Junk Yard Find
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Member
Vespa 125 VMA, Vespa SS 180
Joined: 14 Feb 2018
Posts: 45
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:00 pm quote
I picked this up from a junk yard in Wisconsin this past summer, with hopes of getting it running again. I've been working on rebuilding the engine, and thought I would post some progress photos.

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Member
Vespa 125 VMA, Vespa SS 180
Joined: 14 Feb 2018
Posts: 45
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:09 pm quote
Junk Yard Find
Engine split. Crank is toast...

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Member
Vespa 125 VMA, Vespa SS 180
Joined: 14 Feb 2018
Posts: 45
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:13 pm quote
Junk Yard Find
Not really a cruciform anymore. Axle doesn't look that good either.

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Member
Vespa 125 VMA, Vespa SS 180
Joined: 14 Feb 2018
Posts: 45
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:17 pm quote
Junk Yard Find
Thanks to many on this board and Scooter Mercato, for helping me with the parts I needed, here are some current engine photos.

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Addicted
2006 LX150 (carbed) | 2007 GT200
Joined: 29 Jun 2016
Posts: 928
Location: Toronto
Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:46 pm quote
cool! Thanks for sharing here!
Molto Verboso
Vespas 1964 GS160, 1965 SS180, 1977 V9A1T, 1983 PX150E
Joined: 16 Apr 2011
Posts: 1425
Location: Siam
Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:07 pm quote
It's unbelievable that you found an SS180 in a junkyard. It's a rare, highly desired bike. The frame looks to be in decent condition. Show some more extensive photos of the frame.
bodgemaster
1963 GL, 1976 Super (x 2), 1974 Primavera (x 2), 2006 Fly 150
Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 5300
Location: So Cal
Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:25 pm quote
That was a great find. Looks like the more glamorous sister of the GL I just picked up. Glad to see you’re getting it back on the road.

‘Nother project
Hooked
58 VB1T, 68 SS180, 81 100 Sport
Joined: 06 May 2019
Posts: 419
Location: Long Beach, CA
Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:41 pm quote
I'd say your SS180 is one of the better junk yard finds. Not many of those in the scrap pile! Good working bringing it back to life. Engine looks miles better than before. Lets some more photos of that frame! Details please!
Molto Verboso
Vespas 1964 GS160, 1965 SS180, 1977 V9A1T, 1983 PX150E
Joined: 16 Apr 2011
Posts: 1425
Location: Siam
Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:52 pm quote
Don't throw away that Vespa SS leg shield badge emblem. Even though it's bent up, it looks like it could be carefully worked back into shape. The originals are difficult to find. Does it have the Super Sport badge on the tail end? Those are even harder to find original. If original, each will have a 'Bomisa' stamped.
Molto Verboso
1963 VBB2T
Joined: 07 Nov 2012
Posts: 1788

Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:24 am quote
This is an amazing find, how is the body other than the dents and bends? Hope you're up on buying lottery tickets because I think you're pretty darn lucky.
Molto Verboso
Honda elite
Joined: 19 Jun 2007
Posts: 1035
Location: California
Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:38 am quote
Outstanding
Member
Vespa 125 VMA, Vespa SS 180
Joined: 14 Feb 2018
Posts: 45
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:56 am quote
Junk Yard Find
More pictures.

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Molto Verboso
1963 VBB2T
Joined: 07 Nov 2012
Posts: 1788

Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:02 am quote
Frame actually looks like its in very good condition, is the floor solid?
Member
Vespa 125 VMA, Vespa SS 180
Joined: 14 Feb 2018
Posts: 45
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:06 am quote
Junk Yard Find
My plan is to get it running. Clean it up as well as I can. Ride it for a while and decide later if I like the patina as is.

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Member
Vespa 125 VMA, Vespa SS 180
Joined: 14 Feb 2018
Posts: 45
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:09 am quote
Junk Yard Find
It didn't have the cowls, but I was able to get them from members on this board. Thanks Chris and Jim. I guess I'll have to paint them.

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Molto Verboso
Honda elite
Joined: 19 Jun 2007
Posts: 1035
Location: California
Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:10 am quote
wow if that speedo was working the whole time low miles!
Ossessionato
1980 P200E , 2005 Stella 177
Joined: 20 Jul 2018
Posts: 2179
Location: Staten Island, NY
Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:10 am quote
Love it all!
Member
Vespa 125 VMA, Vespa SS 180
Joined: 14 Feb 2018
Posts: 45
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:11 am quote
Junk Yard Find
I still need a seat or seat frame.
Member
Vespa 125 VMA, Vespa SS 180
Joined: 14 Feb 2018
Posts: 45
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:15 am quote
Junk Yard Find
Here's a shot underneath.

Bottom.jpg

Molto Verboso
1979 P150X, 1983 P200E, 1987 T5, 1995 PX200E, 2011 Yamaha Fazer 600 S2
Joined: 02 Aug 2015
Posts: 1920
Location: Veria, Greece
Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:31 am quote
Who in their right mind throw in the junk an SS 180?? You're a very lucky guy and this vespa deserved to be rescued. Looks pretty clean. Are you going for a full restoration?? Was the carb on the engine?? If yes, you're again very lucky...
Enthusiast
Joined: 05 Feb 2018
Posts: 51

Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:59 am quote
Re: Junk Yard Find
Langolson wrote:
My plan is to get it running. Clean it up as well as I can. Ride it for a while and decide later if I like the patina as is.
Love this! Sweet find and glad you found!
Member
Vespa 125 VMA, Vespa SS 180
Joined: 14 Feb 2018
Posts: 45
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:11 pm quote
Junk Yard Find
Yes, the carb was there. It was missing the cowls, clutch cover, clutch splash guard, rear wheel and hub, filter body, filter, cylinder cowl, fan cover, seat, and the axle was damaged from the cruciform. I was able to find everything (mostly from users of this site) except a seat. If I don't find a seat by the time I get it ready to ride, I'll probably just buy a new Sprint seat. My plan (hope) is to be riding it this spring!
Hooked
79p200e 66smallstate 85pk50xl 84p125ets 63GL150
Joined: 24 Nov 2016
Posts: 145
Location: Flatness, Tx
Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:03 pm quote
Re: Junk Yard Find
Langolson wrote:
My plan is to get it running. Clean it up as well as I can. Ride it for a while and decide later if I like the patina as is.
Sweeeeeetttttt score! Good on you for saving it!!

Last edited by poidog on Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
Moderator
P200 PX150
Joined: 28 May 2008
Posts: 4262
Location: Hustletown, TX
Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:03 pm quote
Love that you are gonna rock the OG patina for awhile. My next project (VNB) s missing a cowl and I am hoping to keep the original paint and match the one cowl to save the patina...

Anyway, Great find, great save.
Molto Verboso
S 190. Custom VNB 150
Joined: 04 May 2009
Posts: 1468
Location: CT
Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:25 pm quote
Glad you saved it from the scrap heap. I would love the 180ss
Molto Verboso
Vespas 1964 GS160, 1965 SS180, 1977 V9A1T, 1983 PX150E
Joined: 16 Apr 2011
Posts: 1425
Location: Siam
Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:36 pm quote
The floor looks iffy, but all else looks great.
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: 5671
Location: Indo
Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:20 pm quote
This is gonna be a phoenix for sure
Molto Verboso
One or two fun scoots....nothing too precious
Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 1449
Location: UK (South East)
Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:58 pm quote
The finest largeframe vespa ever made IMHO, particular a 1968 example that had been locked away in a dry garage since new!!
Hooked
Rat 2003 Stella 2T; 1979 P125x (in pieces, out for paint)
Joined: 12 Sep 2015
Posts: 161
Location: Madtown
Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:01 am quote
Wow, which junkyard? I'm in Wisconsin, and want to visit...
Member
GS-150 VS4
Joined: 04 Feb 2020
Posts: 37
Location: Vallejo, CA
Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:02 pm quote
Very nice. Looks like a relatively undented frame too. Amazing motor resurrection.
Member
Vespa 125 VMA, Vespa SS 180
Joined: 14 Feb 2018
Posts: 45
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:18 am quote
Quote:
Don't throw away that Vespa SS leg shield badge emblem. Even though it's bent up, it looks like it could be carefully worked back into shape.
On the top of my "to do" list, it needed to be straightened.

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Before

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After

Member
Vespa 125 VMA, Vespa SS 180
Joined: 14 Feb 2018
Posts: 45
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:25 am quote
Quote:
wow if that speedo was working the whole time low miles!
The speedo cable, speedo gear and speedo were all still connected and in working condition. I think after the cruciform shattered, the bike was junked. The cases looked like they had never been split. The nuts looked like new with no rounded edges.
Member
Vespa 125 VMA, Vespa SS 180
Joined: 14 Feb 2018
Posts: 45
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:30 am quote
Quote:
Wow, which junkyard? I'm in Wisconsin, and want to visit...
I found it at Friberg's Gone Green Recycling in Frederic Wisconsin. If you go there, look for the cowls and the seat... Maybe they're still there?
Member
Vespa 125 VMA, Vespa SS 180
Joined: 14 Feb 2018
Posts: 45
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:39 am quote
I was able to work on it some more, with the "shelter in place" order from the governor of MN. I started working on replacing the cables and found a squirrel and mouse nest in the frame tunnel. Complete with walnuts, in case I needed a snack! The mice skipped the walnuts and ate the wires instead, which lead to a new project - rebuilding the wiring harness!

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Goodies in the frame tunnel!

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Note the small pieces of wire the mice were snacking on.

Member
Vespa 125 VMA, Vespa SS 180
Joined: 14 Feb 2018
Posts: 45
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:51 am quote
The mice did a number on the wiring harness!

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Not much left intact, most of it came out in pieces.

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Wiring to the tail light was still there.

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The red wire was the only wire that was still connected. I was able to use it to pull an old cable through, so I could refeed the repaired harness later.

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Making my new wiring harness.

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Done. Just need to pull it through, connect it to the tail light and refeed it to the brake switch. I'm not looking forward to the brake switch.

Molto Verboso
Vespas 1964 GS160, 1965 SS180, 1977 V9A1T, 1983 PX150E
Joined: 16 Apr 2011
Posts: 1425
Location: Siam
Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:37 am quote
Electrical tape might not be the best material. Black plastic tubing specifically for wiring harnesses would be ideal, and then use the tape to just close up the gaps. Shrink tubing is also quite good for the ends.
Addicted
SS208, SX250 , RD's and a K1300s and an RZ350 and TZR250
Joined: 30 Sep 2012
Posts: 567

Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:58 am quote
Looks like a great scooter. Amazing that the cross gave up at 2400 miles. I wonder if defective or if someone was riding wheelies...

Great job on the badge!

I have a seat frame if you need one still. I think I still have gears, too. If you want spares.

For the brake switch, push a cable inner through the brake switch hole back to the under tank area, connect wires with some tape and then pull through as the rest of the harness goes in...
Molto Verboso
Gina, 1965 Vespa 180SS, Bella,1968 Vespa 150 Super, (Both NZ new Airco assembled), Francesca, 2006 Vespa LX150, Sofia, 2007 Vespa GT200
Joined: 21 Jan 2015
Posts: 1327
Location: Hamilton, NZ
Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:19 pm quote
Brake switch wires
To feed the brake switch wires feed a heavier wire back from the front, then tape the new ones to the pull cable and do the deed. Have done that on my 180SS and 2 Supers.
Member
Vespa 125 VMA, Vespa SS 180
Joined: 14 Feb 2018
Posts: 45
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:09 am quote
nomadinsiam wrote:
Electrical tape might not be the best material. Black plastic tubing specifically for wiring harnesses would be ideal, and then use the tape to just close up the gaps. Shrink tubing is also quite good for the ends.
I found wiring harness sheathing on Amazon and ordered some. Thanks for the advice.
Member
Vespa 125 VMA, Vespa SS 180
Joined: 14 Feb 2018
Posts: 45
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Sun Apr 12, 2020 2:43 pm quote
I've had some time to work on the SS again, I got the stator and flywheel on a few days ago, and I have good spark. I put the piston, cylinder head and carb on today. I'm almost ready to test the engine. I have a couple of questions:

Are the SS carb settings for the mixture screw and idle screw the same as other carbs? 1 1/2 turns for the mixture screw and 2 1/2 for the idle screw?

I installed a new exhaust stub so I could use a P series muffler. Is the 120 jet still good? Or do I need to use a bigger jet?

Lastly what spark plug should I use for in town driving?

Thanks!

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Piston, cylinder and cylinder head on and torqued down.

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Carb on. New rear brake pads.

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Cylinder cowl on.

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