Seized GTS 250? Thoughts and advice please.
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Addicted
2005 GTS 250ie
Joined: 28 Jan 2012
Posts: 793
Location: Stamford, Lincolnshire
Sun Jun 22, 2014 2:02 am quote
After a fantastic trip to Italy with Brown Beret, Louswheel, Stan and at least 4000 other Vespa riders we were running back to Calais to meet the ferry back to Dover.

We had just left our last fuel stop and headed out on to the Autoroute (motorway/highway) I overtook a truck and small van at an indicated 85/90 mph and felt what I thought and expected was the rev limiter. I backed off the throttle just a tad and expected the power to come back.

RED OIL LIGHT - No power and the bike just decelerated to a standstill. I managed to steer over to the hard shoulder with no locked wheels or other dramas.

After a top to bottom inspection i found no leaking oil, no leaking water, (with the ignition turned on the water temp was still solid at 50% (as it had been for the last 2000 miles since leaving the UK). I tried the ignition and starter just for curiosity and found that the starter made a very half arsed effort at turning the engine over.

Bike was recovered to the ferry where I pushed it on board. A subsequent recovery back in the UK and all home before dark.

Before I start throwing money at this any thoughts on alternatives to a seize? My logic is telling me that I got some oil starvation to the piston. I thought I might get a warning from the oil light if the was going to happen. In this case Oil light then stop, not a warning!

Any advice out there? Anyone had the same problem.

Background info: 2005 model 10000 miles plus the 2000 in the last 10 days. Recently MOT'd new belt and rollers (OEM and standard weights) Running Leo vince 4 road pipe.

IMG_1876.JPG

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The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37878
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:22 am quote
The oil light came on because the engine had stopped. I fully expect the oil level to be fine, and there not to be an oil pressure problem.

I bet it's lack of electrical power, with possibly the regulator or stator having given up the ghost.
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Granturismo 218
Joined: 04 Feb 2013
Posts: 5766
Location: NWAOK
Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:24 am quote
What was the oil level? You may have run it out of oil by riding at sustained high speeds.
Ossessionato
Joined: 22 Oct 2011
Posts: 4250
Location: Tega Cay, SC
Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:37 am quote
It sure sounds like an electrical problem. I would take out the plug, disconnect the battery and see it you can rotate the engine by hand. If it goes easy enough, reconnect the battery and check the plug for spark. If you have spark, put the plug back in and give it a go. If the battery is struggling to start, check the battery and charging system. If you have gotten it this far, it may have been a fried reg, stator or maybe just a fuse/short. Good luck.
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Granturismo 218
Joined: 04 Feb 2013
Posts: 5766
Location: NWAOK
Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:04 am quote
And if the engine doesn't turn over like it should, make sure the flywheel didn't disintegrate before you pull the top end off. That will also lock up a motor.
eeee-bip
Benelli TNT 125/Kymco AK550 I don't care. You can quote me.
Joined: 15 Apr 2008
Posts: 17702
Location: South East Great England of Britishland
Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:24 am quote
[genie posting as Bill here....]

i had a similar episode last year, on the way home from Normandy, and about 20 miles from home ... the engine cut out, the oil light came on, and i ground to a halt, not to be restarted. the scooter had been leaking oil slowly all weekend due to a knackered oil sensor, so all sorts of dire possibilities went through my mind. it turned out that that top of the spark plug had broken off.
Addicted
2005 GTS 250ie
Joined: 28 Jan 2012
Posts: 793
Location: Stamford, Lincolnshire
Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:38 am quote
jimc wrote:
The oil light came on because the engine had stopped. I fully expect the oil level to be fine, and there not to be an oil pressure problem.

I bet it's lack of electrical power, with possibly the regulator or stator having given up the ghost.
This gives me some comfort along with some of the other posts.

In the case of a seize should I have expected some serious locking up of the rear wheel?

I have since managed to check the oil and water levels and confirm them as tickety boo!
El Macho
KTM Super Duke 1290, Vespa GTS 300
Joined: 27 Oct 2006
Posts: 9022
Location: Belfast Metropolitan Area
Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:50 am quote
Seize: wheel locks up and stops rotating, clutch disengages at lock-up, wheel rotates again. I agree with Jim. Charging circuit at fault as the engine would barely turn over on the starter.
Ossessionato
'09 250 GTSie '75 Rally 200 '79 P200 '09 Stella 221
Joined: 13 May 2012
Posts: 2550
Location: Midway, Kentucky
Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:01 am quote
There are several fuses in the engine compartment on the left side (rear brake) of the bike. I had something similar happen several years ago, and had a blown fuse that controls the CDI and injection. After replacing the fuse, the bike restarted and ran fine. Afterwards, anytime I encountered a sizable bump in the road, the fuse would blow. It wound up being a wire in the front of the engine bay above the cylinder head which had the insulation rubbed through. After taping and installing heat shrink i've not had an issue since. Forum member SDG -Dave (Sherman Oaks Vespa) was the one who helped pinpointing and repairing my scoot.
Enthusiast
GTS 250 2008
Joined: 10 Sep 2013
Posts: 70
Location: Newport Pagnell England
Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:34 am quote
I am inclined to agree with previous posts, I'd put money on a charging fault that flattened the battery. Engine stopped, oil light on and battery simply unable to turn engine over.

I have seen this scenario a couple of times on machines that have been brought to me.

I hope its sorted soon best regards Phil
Addicted
2005 GTS 250ie
Joined: 28 Jan 2012
Posts: 793
Location: Stamford, Lincolnshire
Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:27 am quote
Sadly this is a seized cam shaft. Apparently the end of the camshaft has broken off. I have been quoted 1400 to buy parts and repair by our local dealer. I am gobsmacked. I am told it needs a new head amongst other stuff.

Looking at used parts now. I can't afford this! I am also looking at pulling the scoot back and doing it myself. I'm sure I could do it but I am afraid that the rest of the summer riding is now over.

What a bitch....
Ossessionato
BV 350 (16) , Sprint 150 2015(SOLD), Liberty S150 2018
Joined: 07 Jun 2009
Posts: 2903
Location: mtl / vt / fla
Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:49 am quote
waspman wrote:
Sadly this is a seized cam shaft. Apparently the end of the camshaft has broken off. I have been quoted 1400 to buy parts and repair by our local dealer. I am gobsmacked. I am told it needs a new head amongst other stuff.



Looking at used parts now. I can't afford this! I am also looking at pulling the scoot back and doing it myself. I'm sure I could do it but I am afraid that the rest of the summer riding is now over.

What a bitch....
So much for trying to trouble shoot online. Thats really is bad news because of the short riding season but at least you did get a good 2000 mile trip in before all hell broke loose. If your capable of doing this diy its a good thing. You will have a ton of money and will know your scooter inside and out. Good luck , if your doing it yourself keep this post alive so we can see how things are turning out.

best of luck !
Ossessionato
'09 250 GTSie '75 Rally 200 '79 P200 '09 Stella 221
Joined: 13 May 2012
Posts: 2550
Location: Midway, Kentucky
Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:11 am quote
waspman wrote:
Sadly this is a seized cam shaft. Apparently the end of the camshaft has broken off. I have been quoted 1400 to buy parts and repair by our local dealer. I am gobsmacked. I am told it needs a new head amongst other stuff.

Looking at used parts now. I can't afford this! I am also looking at pulling the scoot back and doing it myself. I'm sure I could do it but I am afraid that the rest of the summer riding is now over.

What a bitch....
That sucks. If I were going to have to replace the head, I would go with a Malossi head. I did this over the winter and it made a fantastic difference in the power.
Ossessionato
GTS 300 70th Anniversary
Joined: 04 Aug 2009
Posts: 3327
Location: Bromsgrove, UK
Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:16 am quote
I'd be amazed if you couldn't pick up a written off GTS with a decent engine for a lot less than that, and "just" swap them over.
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The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37878
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:48 am quote
^^^^
This!
Ossessionato
GTS 300 70th Anniversary
Joined: 04 Aug 2009
Posts: 3327
Location: Bromsgrove, UK
Veni, Vidi, Posti
1975 Vespa GTR 125, 1976 Vespa V90 (Resto), 2001 Vespa ET4 125 (Sold), 2009 Vespa GTS300 Super
Joined: 05 Sep 2010
Posts: 6063
Location: Northants UK
Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:15 pm quote
Dr Zoidberg wrote:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Low-mileage-Vespa-GTS-300-engine-parts-/271549531506?pt=UK_Motorcycle_Parts&hash=item3f399d0572

might be worth a look....
Richard's GTS is a 250, not a 300, but the idea of an engine swap is a good one.

Really sorry to hear that Richard, that's about as raw a deal as you could've had. Really a wrench after all the fun of the Italy riding we did
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37878
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:19 pm quote
The 300 should swap easily into the 250 (but make sure you get the headset bits and the loom).
MV Santa
GTS250, 1960 VBA, 1975 VBC, 1980 P200E cutdown
Joined: 04 May 2010
Posts: 4261
Location: Sedgwick, Kansas
Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:40 pm quote
I have been reading this with interest because my engine seized a couple weeks ago and I haven't had time to diagnose. I was traveling at a very low speed and the motor stopped without any warning. I removed the variator and the motor will not turn at all. I have begun the process of pulling the motor but as I said I have been too busy to get it out where I can look at it. Fortunately for me I have a spare motor waiting.
Addicted
2005 GTS 250ie
Joined: 28 Jan 2012
Posts: 793
Location: Stamford, Lincolnshire
Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:49 pm quote
Matthew, the shop told me that they had a real problem turning the crank (even with the plug out). There was no seize in the barrel and both the piston and barrel seem ok.

I am actively looking for a new motor now. I am jealous that you already have one

I know that a 300 will fit in the body but I'd rather just swap the motor. I don't fancy having to a full nervous system transplant!
Addicted
2005 GTS 250ie
Joined: 28 Jan 2012
Posts: 793
Location: Stamford, Lincolnshire
Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:52 pm quote
brown_beret7 wrote:
Really sorry to hear that Richard, that's about as raw a deal as you could've had. Really a wrench after all the fun of the Italy riding we did
At least it got there and back (nearly!)
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Lx 50 4T, GTS 250, Something Chinese
Joined: 21 Feb 2011
Posts: 7659
Location: KS USA
Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:26 am quote
Inquiring Minds Want to Know
vintage red matthew wrote:
Fortunately for me I have a spare motor waiting.
May I ask how you got a new motor?
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Granturismo 218
Joined: 04 Feb 2013
Posts: 5766
Location: NWAOK
Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:03 am quote
Re: Inquiring Minds Want to Know
Max6200 wrote:
vintage red matthew wrote:
Fortunately for me I have a spare motor waiting.
May I ask how you got a new motor?
He took it out of some guys bike in Wichita in the middle of the night. Had a look in your garage lately?

When a Vespa locks up, always check the stator before you dive into the top end. Unlike the Japanese, who use something called metal to hold the magnets in place, the engineers at Piaggio have discovered this miracle substance called plastic that does the job cheaper. Only issue is that plastic doesn't hold up as well over time as metal, and when the flywheel comes apart, it locks up the engine. I think everyone who gravitates to working on Piaggio scooters from Japanese brands finds this out the hard way, usually after tearing down a top end.
Molto Verboso
GTS 250ie, GTV 250
Joined: 01 Jul 2009
Posts: 1361
Location: Charlotte, NC
Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:16 am quote
I know this doesn't help Waspman any at this time, but I had a similar experience on my 2007 GTS last Summer. My wife and I were driving about three hours to the South Carolina coast when just 30 miles away my 250 just stopped and would not start back up. Thinking it was an electrical issue-I checked all the fuses and then eventually replaced the three year-old battery. That didn't fix a thing and when I finally got it to my mechanic found that the fuel injection system had broken off. The symptoms were much the same as yours, Waspman, but a much different fix. The fuel injector had to be replaced. Thank God my wife's GTV kept purring along.

Good luck to you and there's not much fun when that bike decides to halt on it's own.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Lx 50 4T, GTS 250, Something Chinese
Joined: 21 Feb 2011
Posts: 7659
Location: KS USA
Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:25 pm quote
Re: Inquiring Minds Want to Know
Motovista wrote:
Max6200 wrote:
vintage red matthew wrote:
Fortunately for me I have a spare motor waiting.
May I ask how you got a new motor?
He took it out of some guys bike in Wichita in the middle of the night. Had a look in your garage lately?

Ah! I just want to know how?
Addicted
2005 GTS 250ie
Joined: 28 Jan 2012
Posts: 793
Location: Stamford, Lincolnshire
Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:31 pm quote
I've decided to bring all the bits back from the shop and make this a project.

I have started a thread on PROJECT REPORTS

"Italian Aftermath... GTS 250 engine rebuild" I'd really appreciate it if those who know can contribute when I get stuck! Thanks for help so far.

IMG_1944.JPG
box of engine bits

Veni, Vidi, Posti
1975 Vespa GTR 125, 1976 Vespa V90 (Resto), 2001 Vespa ET4 125 (Sold), 2009 Vespa GTS300 Super
Joined: 05 Sep 2010
Posts: 6063
Location: Northants UK
Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:46 pm quote
I'll fix up a night to ride over to you and we can stare at that box of parts together! Good luck with next steps, rooting for you and just a phone call away
Hooked
GTV300ie
Joined: 09 Jul 2014
Posts: 312
Location: Raleigh NC
Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:55 pm quote
10,000 miles on a 250cc engine with 2,000 miles at those speeds is pretty good.
Hooked
GTV300ie
Joined: 09 Jul 2014
Posts: 312
Location: Raleigh NC
Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:59 pm quote
Did you change your oil mid trip?
Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 37878
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:18 pm quote
CDRPierce wrote:
10,000 miles on a 250cc engine with 2,000 miles at those speeds is pretty good.
????
CDRPierce wrote:
Did you change your oil mid trip?
Why on earth should he have done?
Hooked
GTV300ie
Joined: 09 Jul 2014
Posts: 312
Location: Raleigh NC
Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:19 pm quote
Did you use synthetic oil?
How much weight was your Vespa carrying?
How often did you change the oil?
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