1959 VBA Vespa Restoration
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Member
1959 VBA 150
Joined: 18 Dec 2016
Posts: 47
Location: Sydney, Australia
Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:13 am quote
I considered soda or vapour blasting, but in the end (basically while researching different cleaning techniques), did it slowly by hand, with a combination of elbow grease, a wire brush, degreaser, a toothbrush, picks, a gurney, and brake cleaner. This was a pretty time consuming process and I did it in a number of stages, lastly using the brake cleaner externally (from all the research I did, I couldn’t find an issue with it on aluminum) before a final gurney. All in all pretty happy with the final result and ready for reassembly.

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original state...

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Member
1959 VBA 150
Joined: 18 Dec 2016
Posts: 47
Location: Sydney, Australia
Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:21 am quote
engine reassembly (early stages)
After getting the cases clean, I firstly set the bearings on the new crankshaft. Involved putting the crank in a vice supported on the crank web with a couple of spanners (avoids knocking it out of true). Have been using a combination of engine oil and Nulon engine treatment (2/3 to 1/3) to lube the engine/bearings up. Oiled the bearings and they tapped on pretty readily.

Next were the oil seals, again using some oil and some type of suitable drift. Firstly put the circlip back in place in the clutch side( a tough one), then I used a piece of timber cut to size with a rubber hammer to tap in the clutch side seal being careful to line up the oil notch at the top. The flywheel side bearing seal went in pretty readily.

Having seated the two main bearings on the crank, was a matter of installing it in the clutch side case – this proved problematic. I had firstly attempted heating up the case (spit test) with the blow torch (protecting the oil seal) while sticking the crank in the freezer. The bearing basically got stuck halfway though trying to seat it (relative contraction and expansion happened very quickly!). Unsure of exactly what to do but wanting to avoid tapping the crank, I e heated the case a bit, wedged the crank with a large screwdriver and tapped it back out with a rubber hammer.

2nd attempt – heated the case up on a George Freeman grill for a good 25minutes thinking I would have better luck…same damn thing – bearing got stuck quickly and did not drop in anything like the video I had watched. I was very reluctant to tap the crank again and after plenty of research and a chat to my local bike mechanic, I stuck the whole case in the oven at ~150C for 20-25 minutes, oiled up the bearing and it basically dropped in. A win. This was a pretty stressful process, and if I had my time again would have used the oven first time around – the overall as opposed to localised heat makes all the difference in etc rate of expansion/contraction. I just hope I haven’t done any damage to the new mazzuccehli crank.

A great guide for some of the VBA intricacies:
Basically hit a bit of a snag at this point – with some key parts missing – have just put in an order with GPS imports, including a: rear hub/axle bearing (a 4 part bearing on the VBA http://www.gpsimports.com.au/products-details.php?productId=4922&search=product&productNumber=A1213+5831); wanted to order a 2.2mm shim for the gear stack just to minimise play; Cush drive washer and nut; kickstart o ring; and kickstart lever (21 splines on this old VBA) and nut.

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Timber drift to tap the flywheel side oil seal in – lining the notch with the oil

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having reinstalled the circlip (a tough one), lined up the clutch side seal and again used the timber drift and again lining up the oil notch.

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seating the crank/bearing is aided by cooling the crank

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after a couple of failed attempts, heating the case in the oven for about 20-25mins at ~150C, was enough to get the main bearing seated.

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Member
Joined: 12 Aug 2016
Posts: 13
Location: Wisconsin
Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:00 am quote
Really inspiring stuff. Thanks so much for sharing. I have a VBB2 project that I started in November and is aiming in the same direction (aesthetically a restoration but with some power/safety modifications).

I started from the other direction - body first, so right now the scooter is disassembled and in the process of being blasted before bodywork and repainting. Meanwhile I am compiling a list of new parts I need to order, based on what I discovered breaking it down. I'll let you know what I find out especially where it isn't so obvious from what is already here on MV.

Very grateful that I will have the benefit your experiences on the engine rebuild to guide my efforts in that area.
Member
1959 VBA 150
Joined: 18 Dec 2016
Posts: 47
Location: Sydney, Australia
Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:59 pm quote
cheers Basile,

I have been slack in updating this post, but have kept up to date on the blog: https://1959vesparestoration.wordpress.com

Hope it is a help for you, or any other members
Team Scooter Trash for Petfinder Foundation   vespa scooterwest scooter west Motorsport Scooters   AF1 Racing Vespa Austin
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