Meet "Buffy"
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Hooked
Bodgerific 150 Super, 50s in progress
Joined: 18 Aug 2016
Posts: 182
Location: Melbourne, Way Downunder
Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:38 am quote
Since I bought Hanoi Jane, I've been on the lookout for a rusty/rescue Vespa project. I've restored a couple of cars, including a body off nut and bolt restoration of a 1960's Triumph, and there's something about doing a rescue rebuild that makes a vehicle truely yours.

I had a line on a quite rusty Super, but it was 3000km's away, and disappeared before I could get some serious details on it. Other than that, it's been slim pickings for a year or so.

A few weeks ago, a 50s smallie bobbed up on eBay. (It's pretty well know to a couple of locals on here.)

The eBay photo's showed a shed load of rust, more patches (mostly riveted in) than floor, rusty 4 stud wheels, a box of random parts, and a broken headset. Truely inviting



A rusty non-runner, it was going for more than it should, but Ginch's One Smallframe thread had me thinking, so I threw the minimum bid at it. Winner winner, chicken dinner. The seller was pretty generous, and deilvered it to Melbourne, so it turned out to be an ok deal. I'd love to have got it for less, but I reckon it was fair enough with delivery.

I'm the proud owner of a second Vespa. Well, most/some of one.

Got it home, chucked in a brace, put it on the hoist, and had a good look.



Fair to say it's proper fucked. The floor turned out to be a combo of rust, holes, riveted in plates on riveted in patches, and a lot of gap bridging orange paint. I had entertained thoughts of making it into a rat-rod, and celebrating the rust, but there's just too much, and the temptation of shamelessly coping Ginch's tech build means it'll need a proper rebuild of the chassis and body. The fact that Scooter Centre ships as many parts as you can buy for a fixed fee of 27Euro helped that decision.

The plan then is to to build a 50ss themed tourer (without the faux tank), with a "fun" power plant, that will also be nice and nimble in city traffic. The body will get a full rebuild and stiffening up, and the suspension will get a going over. At least till I run out of funds.

Hopefully, I can restore her to new or better condition, and build something thats "mine".

So today was initial teardown day at my buddy Mat's factory, and onto a workbench it went.

Pretty much everything orange is rust, rusty, or orange paint standing in thin air somehow.



Ditto the base



It's more hole than donut at this stage.

So it's time to cut. I wanted to salvage the horncast, so we carefully sliced around it



Then Mat and I cut one side each with the plasma (Meet Mat!)



Which left me with what remained of the floor still attached in the 8 or nine places there isn't rust.



So in went the ear plugs and out came the air chisel, till whats left of the floor and leg shield came off, and the spine was freed up.



Top half of the spine is good, but the bottom half is awful



Time to decide if the centre spine is repairable, or if I pull it out and replace it. It's got massive chunks missing, and lots of rusty sections, but carving it out and doing a full replacement will be a serious chore.

Going to be a long road, but this should be fun.

Last edited by Gt6MK3 on Fri May 18, 2018 11:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
Ossessionato
1976 Super (x 2), 1974 Primavera (x 2), 2006 Fly 150
Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 4388
Location: So Cal
Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:20 am quote
Wow talk about a "ground up" restoration. Way to tear into it & good luck
Veni, Vidi, Posti
a herd of easy shifty rats
Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 6689
Location: seattle/athens
Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:30 pm quote
Ouch!

That's quite a challenge but doable with enough work. I brought a couple of similar ruined smallies back from the edge, but yours is worse. There is a post on the British smallframe forum with some bikes w/ worse damage being fixed and I got a lot of good tips there. Sadly the pics no longer work which REALLY pisses me off! Take a look and if you join and can then load his original post as in a reply, you may be able to see one of the photobucket URL's to find his account and see his pics. http://vespasmallframeforum.proboards.com/thread/9606/welding-tips


Most of the floor was toast on this one but the spine was fairly healthy.

Hooked
Bodgerific 150 Super, 50s in progress
Joined: 18 Aug 2016
Posts: 182
Location: Melbourne, Way Downunder
Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:42 pm quote
Yep, I've been reading his stuff.

Try adding this to Chrome - it's letting me see the photobucket photos there both on Windows and Mac.

Chrome photobucket workaround
Veni, Vidi, Posti
a herd of easy shifty rats
Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 6689
Location: seattle/athens
Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:41 pm quote
It works!!!




Thanks, I love you man! Should work here too then... nice.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
74 Super, 75 Super, PX project, LML off-roader and new to 2018, '66 Blue Badge Smallframe
Joined: 30 Nov 2011
Posts: 6667
Location: Victoria, Australia
Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:38 pm quote
Ossessionato
2 matching N.Z. '69 VBC Super, 177cc Racer, VespaCross Bodge, Puch SRA150, Piaggio Zip 100! & others
Joined: 26 May 2013
Posts: 3731
Location: Millbin, Ostrayleea, mate
Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:21 am quote
NZs finest ... It's Buffys Bro
Hmmm... Not sure if I should admit it... but... I imported that scoot from New Zealand a few years ago.

I also saw it on eBay, so contacted the seller, as I've got the (original rather than a photo) import approval & some photos etc.
So if you want I'll dig as much as I know about it.
Hooked
Bodgerific 150 Super, 50s in progress
Joined: 18 Aug 2016
Posts: 182
Location: Melbourne, Way Downunder
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:19 am quote
Actually S.E.B., I stalked the convo on facepalm's Aussie Vespa buy/sell where you mentioned that - it was what tipped me over the edge to bid/buy, knowing it was a paperworked import. Any paperwork or history would be gratefully recieved.

A big thankyou to Ginch for dropping by tonight with his smallie clutch puller, sorryI was so disorganised today.

Last edited by Gt6MK3 on Sat May 19, 2018 12:01 am; edited 1 time in total
Addicted
1966 SS180,1968 Sprint, 72' Rally ,74 V90, '64 GL 150 & too many projects!
Joined: 17 May 2010
Posts: 988
Location: seattle, wa
Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:13 am quote
Gt6MK3 wrote:
Yep, I've been reading his stuff.

Try adding this to Chrome - it's letting me see the photobucket photos there both on Windows and Mac.

Chrome photobucket workaround
Oh this is great !!! thanks for that!
Hooked
GTS Super 300
Joined: 07 Oct 2017
Posts: 109
Location: Missouri,USA
Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:32 pm quote
WOW!!........Some of you guys are amazing to me in what you will tackle! If that was mine...as soon as I got it home and saw how bad it was.......I'd have dug a hole and pushed it in.
Colt.45
Hooked
Bodgerific 150 Super, 50s in progress
Joined: 18 Aug 2016
Posts: 182
Location: Melbourne, Way Downunder
Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:05 am quote
It looks scary, but it shouldn't be too bad.

Spent an hour today just staring at it till inspiration struck. Then spent 30 or 40 minuter walking around the racks in Mat's factory, looking for a legth of Goldilocks steel rod.



Cunning plan emerging
Veni, Vidi, Posti
74 Super, 75 Super, PX project, LML off-roader and new to 2018, '66 Blue Badge Smallframe
Joined: 30 Nov 2011
Posts: 6667
Location: Victoria, Australia
Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:55 am quote
Ossessionato
2 matching N.Z. '69 VBC Super, 177cc Racer, VespaCross Bodge, Puch SRA150, Piaggio Zip 100! & others
Joined: 26 May 2013
Posts: 3731
Location: Millbin, Ostrayleea, mate
Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:50 am quote
You should really have the brace still welded on else it will straighten out or warp.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
a not so normal vbb2 '64, a weirdo vbx '86 and a not so normal pts100 '82
Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Posts: 5300
Location: Indo
Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:50 pm quote
u'll need a strut bar when u change the floorboard mate but i still dont get it why did u have to cut all the legshield..

for sure its gonna be a a fun project and i wish u luck mate, cheer

strut bar.jpg

thicker steel.jpg
mine is worse

Hooked
Bodgerific 150 Super, 50s in progress
Joined: 18 Aug 2016
Posts: 182
Location: Melbourne, Way Downunder
Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:53 am quote
Fear not

Bracing, lots of bracing, has always been part of the plan.









Jig is most of the way there. It locates off two tabs inside the frame/engine mounts, and the front holes from the stand mount (well it would, but one was missing, so I levelled that area up and tacked in a temp bracket.) . The steering tube/rod still needs some tweaking, then it will all get boxed/welded in to stiffen it up.

Getting there
Ossessionato
1980 P200E, 1974 Primavera, 04 Ninja 250
Joined: 04 Apr 2013
Posts: 3598
Location: San Diego, CA
Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:36 am quote
This is badass.
Addicted
2006 LX150 (carbed) | 2007 GT200
Joined: 29 Jun 2016
Posts: 566
Location: Toronto
Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:49 pm quote
Thanks for posting pics! I'm enjoying following along
Veni, Vidi, Posti
74 Super, 75 Super, PX project, LML off-roader and new to 2018, '66 Blue Badge Smallframe
Joined: 30 Nov 2011
Posts: 6667
Location: Victoria, Australia
Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:45 pm quote
Hmmm. I concerned that when I put my frame on and heave on it to straighten it up, the jig might break... otherwise, full steam ahead!
Hooked
Bodgerific 150 Super, 50s in progress
Joined: 18 Aug 2016
Posts: 182
Location: Melbourne, Way Downunder
Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:17 am quote
After some tweaking and initial boxing, the laser came out to play.



It showed that everything looked good, so lots more weld was added. Crap tig welding by me, and artistic tig welding by Mat. The initial tweakable frame was also hot glued to a much sturdier base.



Annoyingly, the heat generated slightly played with the upper alignment.



So another few hours went into getting it right, till my OCD was happy....





A couple more welds to tie the final construct together, and a final alighnment check await, then teardown begins in earnest.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
74 Super, 75 Super, PX project, LML off-roader and new to 2018, '66 Blue Badge Smallframe
Joined: 30 Nov 2011
Posts: 6667
Location: Victoria, Australia
Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:17 pm quote
What is it that you welded? The jig?
Hooked
Bodgerific 150 Super, 50s in progress
Joined: 18 Aug 2016
Posts: 182
Location: Melbourne, Way Downunder
Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:16 pm quote
The jig's welded together. I normally just MIG weld, but Mat's (ever so slowly) teaching me to TIG, so this has all been TIG'd. My TIG butt joins are ok but fillets are a real challenge, so he's been cleaning up my messy errors as we go.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
74 Super, 75 Super, PX project, LML off-roader and new to 2018, '66 Blue Badge Smallframe
Joined: 30 Nov 2011
Posts: 6667
Location: Victoria, Australia
Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:45 pm quote
Jig? No mig, just tig? Got it. Or should I say I git it.
Hooked
Bodgerific 150 Super, 50s in progress
Joined: 18 Aug 2016
Posts: 182
Location: Melbourne, Way Downunder
Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:00 pm quote
Somehow I knew Id be the butt of a joke there.
Hooked
Bodgerific 150 Super, 50s in progress
Joined: 18 Aug 2016
Posts: 182
Location: Melbourne, Way Downunder
Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:33 am quote
Finished the jig yesterday, managed to flatten my phone battery before I took any photos. The surgery I inflicted on Buffy afterwards wasn't for the feint hearted.

Before I left, Mat and I did some head scratching over a frosty beverage,and knocked together a fixture so the engine could go under the knife too.

Wen't over to my mate's workshop today, and took the casing face down.



Fixture worked a treat.

Than we milled out the cases to 88mm ready for the full circle crank.

Addicted
1974VLB 1979VSX 1974V9A
Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 616

Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:12 am quote
Go 54mm!
Hooked
Bodgerific 150 Super, 50s in progress
Joined: 18 Aug 2016
Posts: 182
Location: Melbourne, Way Downunder
Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:24 am quote
Buffy looks a forlorn as her surgery continues



Main focus a.t.m. is to extract as much of the reinforcement as possible. It's not bad when you can see the spot welds, but when they're hidden, it takes a little more work.

Need to mark it out roughly, then use a cutting blade to grind a patch till coliour changes appear to let you know you're getting close



Go really slow till the outline appears



Gently work the edges till they start to spring away



Keep going, just kissing the edges with the blade till it springs free



This is this afternoons eventual haul



Last edited by Gt6MK3 on Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:38 am; edited 1 time in total
Hooked
GTS Super 300
Joined: 07 Oct 2017
Posts: 109
Location: Missouri,USA
Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:14 am quote
Wow, some of you guys amaze me You can take something like that and with lots of sweat & tears end up with a nice scooter again. I applaud you because if it had been me......I'd have borrowed a backhoe,dug a hole and pushed that rusted mess in it and covered it so quick you'ed never have known it existed !
Colt.45
Veni, Vidi, Posti
a not so normal vbb2 '64, a weirdo vbx '86 and a not so normal pts100 '82
Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Posts: 5300
Location: Indo
Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:55 pm quote
Gt6MK3 wrote:
Buffy looks a forlorn as her surgery continues



Main focus a.t.m. is to extract as much of the reinforcement as possible. It's not bad when you can see the spot welds, but when they're hidden, it takes a little more work.

Need to mark it out roughly, then use a cutting blade to grind a patch till coliour changes appear to let you know you're getting close
]
i like this
Hooked
Bodgerific 150 Super, 50s in progress
Joined: 18 Aug 2016
Posts: 182
Location: Melbourne, Way Downunder
Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:10 am quote
The old story about a bacon and egg sanger is that the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed.

The Ginsu knives came out in earnest on Friday, and Buffy moved from involved to genuinely comitted.

Radical liposuction first, as she lost the weight off her hips.



Then it was time for some speed holes spot weld unpicking



Lots of speed holes unpicking.



Not all the work was neat, some was very much meatball surgery...



But finally, after a fight, I got her major only cancer free section out in one reasonably tidy and intact piece.



By beer o'clock, I'd harvested everything Buffy's body had to give (her steering tube was elsewhere having the steering lock boss tig'd back together after someone in the past tried to get a lock out with what looks on evidence to be a large and quite angry chainsaw).



and poor Buffy's scarred and rotted panels lay discarded and disconsolate on the floor, rusting quietly.

Addicted
1974VLB 1979VSX 1974V9A
Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 616

Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:55 am quote
Great initiative! Even if it never goes back together, Im still impressed.
Molto Verboso
Joined: 26 Oct 2015
Posts: 1250

Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:58 am quote
OMG...
Hooked
Honda elite
Joined: 19 Jun 2007
Posts: 319
Location: California
Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:17 am quote
what the heck is this going to turn into? Very interesting.
Hooked
GL, PK, PE200
Joined: 24 Apr 2012
Posts: 475
Location: Deep in the heart of Texas
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:37 am quote
Are you going to take the left cowl and make a smallframe battery side door?
Veni, Vidi, Posti
a herd of easy shifty rats
Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 6689
Location: seattle/athens
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:54 am quote
hardcore
Damn. Next time somebody says that they are taking the frame all the way down to bare metal to deal with rust, I shall be referring them to this thread.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
74 Super, 75 Super, PX project, LML off-roader and new to 2018, '66 Blue Badge Smallframe
Joined: 30 Nov 2011
Posts: 6667
Location: Victoria, Australia
Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:25 pm quote


Tools.jpg

Molto Verboso
PX221 Malossi, O tuned PX200 and some motorbikes
Joined: 14 Jun 2017
Posts: 1023
Location: London UK
Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:50 pm quote
Never seen anyone go this far. Can't imagine where we are going

The suspense is terrible. I hope itll last.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
a herd of easy shifty rats
Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 6689
Location: seattle/athens
Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:44 pm quote
frame remanufacture
So, exactly which pieces will be:
A) preserved and 100% from original Buffy
B) ordered new from a supplier of body & frame parts
C) you will need to fabricate portions and repair old parts
D) you will need to fabricate something new from scratch
I've tried to figure out from your posts , but I'm just not clear. I know you probably won't yet have a complete list, but what's the rough plan?

And I'm still trying to decipher Ginch's post, maybe that's a clue.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
74 Super, 75 Super, PX project, LML off-roader and new to 2018, '66 Blue Badge Smallframe
Joined: 30 Nov 2011
Posts: 6667
Location: Victoria, Australia
Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:30 am quote
Re: frame remanufacture
V oodoo wrote:
And I'm still trying to decipher Ginch's post, maybe that's a clue.
It's an Ikea DIY dining setting. Or maybe a scooter. Put it together how you want and write your own adventure...
Hooked
Bodgerific 150 Super, 50s in progress
Joined: 18 Aug 2016
Posts: 182
Location: Melbourne, Way Downunder
Sun Apr 29, 2018 6:14 am quote
Huh. I wish I was doing something special enough to warrant all that.

This is the first time I've tackled a bike restoration, and I'm just trying to work my way through a logical way to get all the rust out, and still be able to put her back together at least as good as, or hopefully slightly better than, new.

My day job as a computer nerd doesn't give the reward of tangible results, so I like automotive and mechanical projects to scratch that itch. I'm lucky enough to have friends who have facilities and skills far in excess of mine who humour my ambitions to learn how to do things properly, keep me on the "do it once, do it right" path, and educate me along the way.

I'm not trying to do anything special, just execute a rescue/rebuild thats technically elegant enough that Buffy won't be considered a bodge, despite the amount of new metal going into her. In total, I've bought 5 new body parts so far, the rest will be salvaged, built from scratch, or fabricated as upgrades. It would have been quicker and easier to simply rust patch, but I don't think she'd have been structurally as sound as I hope her to be, and I simply think it would have been a bodgy way to go. It's entirely possible some will still consider her a bodge at the end of this, but I'm doing the best I could given her condition.

Glad you're enjoying the ride, if you see me doing anything stupid, please feel free to call me out. Equally, I hope you'll help with advice when I inevitably need it, 'cos as I said, this is my first bike rebuild. (I'm enjoying it so far, these really are simple and elegant in their design and execution).

Craig

P.S. - If you look back to the first post, my plans were laid out there, and they haven't changed. What has is my relationship with these bits of metal. I started of referring to "It", but now it's "Her". Funny hoe hours of close contact working with some elegant metal can change your perspective.
Ossessionato
2 matching N.Z. '69 VBC Super, 177cc Racer, VespaCross Bodge, Puch SRA150, Piaggio Zip 100! & others
Joined: 26 May 2013
Posts: 3731
Location: Millbin, Ostrayleea, mate
Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:42 am quote
A mark on a work bench somewhere
If ya goin all pretty like... Check Monits resto out...

'66 Sprint Resto
2019 Spring Gathering - May 16 - 19, Location TBD (Likely Maggie Valley, NC)   Vespa Wasp Pin Badges   Yelcome Leather Top Cases and Roll Bags for Piaggio Vespa PX LX LXV GTS GTV
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