1959 Vespa 150 VBA Restoration
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Hooked
1959 VBA, 1959 Allstate boat anchor
Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 374
Location: Snohomish, WA
Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:31 pm quote
Well boys and girls, here it is. Two months ago, I posted a call for help in identifying an old Vespa that my dad used to own http://modernvespa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1394296. One month ago, I bought a 1959 VBA. A few days ago, I started disassembly for a full restoration.

It's in pretty decent shape and ran before I dropped the motor. It was clear that someone had been in the motor in the past, but who knows when and what was done. The paint is in pretty rough shape, but the frame is straight. This was an Italian import -- still on the front fender were the old Italian registration tags. The last one was from 1977!

There were some original accessories on it like a front bumper and horn cover, which I've removed already. Check out that rear side-saddle footrest!

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Ossessionato
a lambretta or two
Joined: 31 Mar 2012
Posts: 3726
Location: San Francisco
Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:34 pm quote
I wouldn't do a thing to it, but rebuild motor (get rid of deflector piston!)
Hooked
1959 VBA, 1959 Allstate boat anchor
Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 374
Location: Snohomish, WA
Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:34 pm quote
Ok, on to the teardown. I put the scoot on a milk crate and started unbolting the motor. With all the articles online on how to do this, it was a piece of cake. I had the motor out in probably 30 minutes. Not bad for a noob!

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Hooked
1959 VBA, 1959 Allstate boat anchor
Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 374
Location: Snohomish, WA
Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:36 pm quote
Wow, how refreshing to work on something where the entire drivetrain is held on by two bolts and I can just pick it up and put it on my workbench. Check out the high-tech engine stand I made out of some 2x6s.

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Hooked
1959 VBA, 1959 Allstate boat anchor
Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 374
Location: Snohomish, WA
Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:41 pm quote
The guy I bought it from recommended a new top end with dome piston and a 20/20 carb. The carb/airbox on there now is the old style where the choke actuates a flap rather than an enriching choke circuit. Since I'll replace the piston, I may as well go with a larger bore kit as well. The old top end looks a little tired. The cylinder still shows the hone marks, but there are also some deeper scratches.

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Hooked
1959 VBA, 1959 Allstate boat anchor
Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 374
Location: Snohomish, WA
Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:43 pm quote
More tear-down action. To split the cases, used a piece of flat steel and a gear puller to make a case splitter. I've read plenty about using a hammer and such but I wanted a way to apply controlled pressure to split the cases. I cranked on the puller and a few pops later, the cases separated.

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Last edited by flyngti on Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
Hooked
1959 VBA, 1959 Allstate boat anchor
Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 374
Location: Snohomish, WA
Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:46 pm quote
I didn't have a clutch nut tool, so I made one out of an old socket. I'm replacing the nut anyway (with the right tool) so it didn't matter if I buggered it up. Looks like the last guy didn't have the right tool either judging by the punch mark in tightening it.

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Hooked
1959 VBA, 1959 Allstate boat anchor
Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 374
Location: Snohomish, WA
Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:48 pm quote
The selector rod on the VBA apparently takes a thin wrench to remove. I didn't have a thin wrench, so I made one out of another piece of steel.

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Hooked
1959 VBA, 1959 Allstate boat anchor
Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 374
Location: Snohomish, WA
Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:50 pm quote
The crankshaft proved to be another tough thing to remove. The tap-tap-tap method did not work, so I went back to my piece of steel and gear puller. I heated the case with a propane torch on this one since it seemed to need a little more persuasion.

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Hooked
1959 VBA, 1959 Allstate boat anchor
Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 374
Location: Snohomish, WA
Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:52 pm quote
Someone must have been in here recently. Look at how new that cruciform is! Almost no damage at all.

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Hooked
1959 VBA, 1959 Allstate boat anchor
Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 374
Location: Snohomish, WA
Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:53 pm quote
Whoever worked on this must not have had the right hub retaining ring tool either.

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Hooked
1959 VBA, 1959 Allstate boat anchor
Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 374
Location: Snohomish, WA
Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:57 pm quote
Ok, last post for now:) The engine is completely torn apart and in little marked baggies. The only damage I see is a little wear on the kickstart gear, worn kickstart bumpers, and one of the main bearings feels a little rough. I'll have a look inside the clutch and cush drive since I'm in it this far. Looks like a helicoil has been installed in one of the head stud holes as well as the transmission drain hole. All in all, the motor looks in decent shape. I ordered a bunch of parts today so while I'm waiting, I'll clean up the cases.

This is fun!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
px200 cutdown,px180,px150. Puch SR. Puch scooterette
Joined: 08 Apr 2009
Posts: 5109
Location: west aus
Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:10 pm quote
looks good mate, its nice when it hasnt been painted over with house paint


you mentioned a front bumper and horn cover? id love to have those off you for my project.......... and if your not going to part with them can you show me a picture anyway


cheers

josh
Hooked
1976 Super
Joined: 29 Nov 2010
Posts: 329
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:24 pm quote
Nice job on this disassembly. This looks like a great scoot and a great project.

Have fun!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
px200 cutdown,px180,px150. Puch SR. Puch scooterette
Joined: 08 Apr 2009
Posts: 5109
Location: west aus
Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:26 pm quote
also if you do decide to paint it ill give you the paint code
Veni, Vidi, Posti
px200 cutdown,px180,px150. Puch SR. Puch scooterette
Joined: 08 Apr 2009
Posts: 5109
Location: west aus
Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:09 pm quote
paint
if its blue, or ist it greny silver

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Molto Verboso
Joined: 05 Apr 2010
Posts: 1917

Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:09 am quote
Looks like a good project
Hooked
1959 VBA, 1959 Allstate boat anchor
Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 374
Location: Snohomish, WA
Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:27 am quote
joshzingzing wrote:
you mentioned a front bumper and horn cover? id love to have those off you for my project.......... and if your not going to part with them can you show me a picture anyway
Here's what the bumper and the horn cover look like. Both pieces are ok structurally, but the surfaces are pretty rough. I haven't tried to clean them up or anything. I basically just pulled them off and put them on a shelf. If you want them, you can have them for the price of shipping to AU.

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Hooked
1959 VBA, 1959 Allstate boat anchor
Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 374
Location: Snohomish, WA
Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:31 am quote
SFvsr wrote:
I wouldn't do a thing to it, but rebuild motor (get rid of deflector piston!)
I've been debating this in my head. While I like the idea of a patina scoot, I'd also like to have one that's completely restored with shiny new paint. I'm going to get a paint quote and go from there. I'm definitely getting rid of that deflector piston!
Molto Verboso
No moar Vespas...sold them all
Joined: 09 May 2012
Posts: 1087
Location: Denver City Denver
Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:32 am quote
It's your bike but on that one, I'd keep the paint original, not that you asked me....you know.
Hooked
1959 VBA, 1959 Allstate boat anchor
Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 374
Location: Snohomish, WA
Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:44 am quote
Re: paint
joshzingzing wrote:
if its blue, or ist it greny silver
I think the color is Azzurro Metallizzato. From what I've read, I think this may have been the only color available for the VBA in 1959 but I'm not sure. It looks like scooter west is selling original colors as well. If I do paint, I'll probably go with the original color.
Hooked
1959 VBA, 1959 Allstate boat anchor
Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 374
Location: Snohomish, WA
Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:51 am quote
dcunited4life wrote:
It's your bike but on that one, I'd keep the paint original, not that you asked me....you know.
haha, I welcome all comments It's a group effort!
Addicted
1965 Sprint 166, 2008 LXS150
Joined: 20 May 2012
Posts: 523
Location: Ventura, CA
Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:04 am quote
flyngti wrote:
SFvsr wrote:
I wouldn't do a thing to it, but rebuild motor (get rid of deflector piston!)
I've been debating this in my head. While I like the idea of a patina scoot, I'd also like to have one that's completely restored with shiny new paint. I'm going to get a paint quote and go from there. I'm definitely getting rid of that deflector piston!
chant along.... pat-in-a... pat-in-a... pat-in-a... pat-in-a...
My two cents... so much good paint on there, awesome sticker, chemically remove some of the surface rust, wax and polish the heck out if it and it will look like a museum piece.
Molto Verboso
No moar Vespas...sold them all
Joined: 09 May 2012
Posts: 1087
Location: Denver City Denver
Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:13 am quote
Quote:
so much good paint on there, awesome sticker, chemically remove some of the surface rust, wax and polish the heck out if it and it will look like a museum piece.
[/quote]
Hooked
1966 Bajaj 150
Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 469
Location: New York, NY
Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:42 am quote
One of the coolest things I've seen done is just polishing and waxing the old patina.

Introduction
Hooked
1962 VBB1
Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 187
Location: vancouver
Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:06 pm quote
Horn cover and fender trim
OK, so I realise I am interfering with someone elses deal, but I gotta say that those parts are worth more than the price of shipping. Don't give them away. They are worth at least $50 each in the condition they are in.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
px200 cutdown,px180,px150. Puch SR. Puch scooterette
Joined: 08 Apr 2009
Posts: 5109
Location: west aus
Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:36 pm quote
fly,

you have a message
Style Maven
74 50s x3 78 P200 84 Cosa PK50XL2 58 AllState 68 Sprint 80 50special '66(?) Super125
Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 7947
Location: seattle/athens
Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:47 pm quote
What ZENO said
I love the bike AND how you just dove right in, including going inside the motor with your homemade tools. I am just a beginner inside the motors, but have brought several old cheap tired neglected fiddledwith dead Vespas back to the living, and I've made some mistakes along the way. The worst of these are when something major is irreversible.

In other words, PLEASE don't repaint this scooter. It's beautiful. If you feel you must, please put it at the very end of your list at least a year away. Spend your money on the motor, suspension, tires etc. & get EVERYTHING else dialed in first. If you screw up somewhere(and you might) all this stuff is essentially reversible. You'd also avoid messing up that pretty new paint while your sorting the mechanicals.


look at that legshield trim - dead straight
You will be amazed at the improvement that old finish will respond with if you give it a little love. Good part is- it's not a car, so don't take that long & imperfections don't matter at this point.

Yeah, your bike & stuff, but hard to tell you how strongly I believe you'd thank us later. Regardless, best of luck with it and I know I'll still love it if you do paint it.
Mr. Clean
P,SUPER,V90, 50 Special
Joined: 27 Jul 2010
Posts: 10207
Location: This is't my locker!
Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:59 pm quote
Beating the horse... what Voodoo, Zeno etc said... there have been a lot of GREAT looking bikes with awesome patinas on here lately... and I think they're beautiful that way... Yours is sweet on the outside, now make sweet on the inside I'm so keeping my eyes out for one like that... it's got potential to be a real gem. just don't go and put a nice new, shiny headlight ring and trim either! Character is golden!
Hooked
1959 VBA, 1959 Allstate boat anchor
Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 374
Location: Snohomish, WA
Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:22 pm quote
Re: Horn cover and fender trim
filmworker wrote:
OK, so I realise I am interfering with someone elses deal, but I gotta say that those parts are worth more than the price of shipping. Don't give them away. They are worth at least $50 each in the condition they are in.
All good. Josh and I will work out a deal that works for both of us
Hooked
1959 VBA, 1959 Allstate boat anchor
Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 374
Location: Snohomish, WA
Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:33 pm quote
Ok, you guys are slowing changing my mind...
All this talk of patina made me remember something I read. There are old rat-rod car guys who use this stuff called CLR (calcium, lime and rust remover) to clean up cars to maintain the patina. What the heck, I'll give it a shot and see what happens. I mixed water to CLR about 3:1, got out a green scotchbrite pad and started scrubbing. After only about 5 minutes, the results are...well...remarkable. It's like fricken magic.

The areas covered in a small haze of rust cleaned up amazingly well. The heavier areas of rust didn't budge. Still, you guys are right, there's a lot of good paint under there. Before I decide to paint, I'll clean up more of the bike to see how it looks. One thing that has me concerned though is the floor. It has a few rusted areas and there is some rust-through on the underside crossmembers. I have a new floor I was planning on welding in, but how would I deal with the paint to match the old patina? Lots to think about here.

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nothing at all
Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 9657
Location: westla
Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:38 pm quote
You should paint it.
Be done with that worthless 70 year old paint.
You'll enjoy it so much more. Freaking out if a cat sits on it or a leaf from a tree lands on it.
Be sure to replace that dumb light and all the rubber that's been there for over half a century.
Use really expensive paint so when you're done you can be completely satisfied with yourself that you covered up a lousy paint job to begin with.


And when you go to sell it you'll wonder why all the buyers will ask yyou"why did you paint" "it was worth more unrestored".

Then you can come back here and everybody will say "we told you so".

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unrestored

Style Maven
74 50s x3 78 P200 84 Cosa PK50XL2 58 AllState 68 Sprint 80 50special '66(?) Super125
Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 7947
Location: seattle/athens
Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:07 pm quote
jimmy.....

that was harsh (& a bit late?)
but very well put, nearly pissed myself laffing

I'm pretty sure he's getting it, look at the difference after just a few minutes!!! Wait til he starts obsessing & giving it some REAL love.

Good on ya, flyn, yer on the right track!
Hooked
1959 VBA, 1959 Allstate boat anchor
Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 374
Location: Snohomish, WA
Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:09 pm quote
Continuing disassembly
I got back in the shop to continue disassembly of the VBA. Here are some shots of the floor. As you can see, there are a lot of rust through spots on the underside. It looks like someone slapped some bondo in the rust holes and shot some rattle can black on the floor. Hopefully, I can remove the black paint and reuse the floor rails. I'm guessing the screwed on strap at the back of the floor holding on the outside rail is not original. The new floor needs some trimming and should work really well when it comes time to install it.

Thanks to searching the forum, I also figured out how to remove the rear brake lever. It wasn't stuck and it easily popped up with pressure underneath from an allen wrench. I just poked around under the lever with the wrench until I found the end of the pin and pushed.

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Hooked
1959 VBA, 1959 Allstate boat anchor
Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 374
Location: Snohomish, WA
Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:20 pm quote
headset and fork removal
Removing the front end was pretty straightforward. I removed the headlight, the speedometer, disconnected the cables and popped the headset off. Even though all the cable inners looked pretty good, many of the cable sheaths were in sad shape. Guess I'll be replacing those.

After removing the headset and two fork lockrings, the fork assembly came out. To remove the front fender, I had to remove the lower race. The fork tube was longer than the reach of my bearing puller so I had to extend it using bolts. After applying a little heat, the race pulled right off. All three top bolts holding the fender on were rusted and twisted off when I tried to remove them.

Someone was in the front end recently too because the front brake pads are brand new! I had to break out the gear puller again to push through the lower spring attachment bolt.

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Hooked
1959 VBA, 1959 Allstate boat anchor
Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 374
Location: Snohomish, WA
Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:29 pm quote
With the entire scooter now disassembled, I came back to some of the engine components. The main bearings were still on the crankshaft and I used a puller to remove them.

The other thing I wanted to look at was the cush drive. When I shook it, I could hear some rattling so there was a good chance of broken springs. Drilling out the rivets and removing the end plate confirmed what I though -- 2 broken springs. However, it looks like there's more damage. The out ring is damaged at one of the rivet sites. It's almost like one of the rivets expanded too much and splintered material next to the hole. How bad is this? Do I need to replace the gear?

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Addicted
1965 Sprint 166, 2008 LXS150
Joined: 20 May 2012
Posts: 523
Location: Ventura, CA
Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:56 pm quote
I don't have reliable answers to your questions but.... Great pictures man! Thanks.

Last edited by SammyM on Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:37 am; edited 1 time in total
Hooked
I wish I had an "AVANTI"
Joined: 31 Jan 2008
Posts: 136
Location: Bogor, West Java, Indonesia
Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:56 am quote
Good luck with the restoration
Please keep posting the progress
Veni, Vidi, Posti
a not so normal vbb2 '64, a weirdo vbx '86, a not so normal pts100 '82 and a red lipstick '74 sprint
Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Posts: 5722
Location: Indo
Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:57 am quote
hows the resto going on mate

just saw this and wow its a nice fun project u have there

ps: do you still have the nose cover

good luck with the bike and cheer mate
Hooked
1959 VBA, 1959 Allstate boat anchor
Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 374
Location: Snohomish, WA
Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:54 am quote
koenig blues wrote:
hows the resto going on mate

just saw this and wow its a nice fun project u have there

ps: do you still have the nose cover

good luck with the bike and cheer mate
Things have slowed way down. I had to (and still having to) deal with family medical/estate stuff so I don't have a whole lot of time to devote to this project right now. My only update is I've been collecting parts. I now have a box full of bearings, seals and cables waiting...

A month or so ago, I found an NOS christmas tree for a VN1. According to the parts diagrams, even though the tree gears are different, the ring gear is the same. The price was right so I decided to give it a try. It looked like this thing has been sitting on a shelf for 30+ years gathering dust. Lucky for me, the ring gear is a perfect match and should do the job.

As for the horn cover and bumper, it's now in the land down under.

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