Step By Step Variator Weight Change
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Member
GTV Vie Della Moda
Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 36
Location: Australia
Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:22 am quote
I had to make the comments for the photos shorter due to limited space allowed for file comments. If anyone needs more information, I will be more than happy to help.

I just wanted to start by saying that this is the way I changed my variator weights. For your own peace of mind you should torque all nuts to the specified values as listed in the manual.

Now I did not do this as I do not have a torque wrench. For those of you who do not have a torque wrench I will describe how I did my nuts and bolts up with my impact wrench.

10102008211 1st.JPG
First start by putting the bike on the centre stand and remove the airbox cover. It is held on by nine screws.

10102008214 2nd.JPG
Next you need to undo the four screws that hold the plastic transmission cover on.

10102008216 3rd.JPG
Next you need to remove the axel cover cap with a flat blade screwdriver. You lift it from the bottom and slowly work it out.

10102008217 4th.JPG
Activate the handbrake. Count the number of threads protruding from the nut and put a mark on the nut and thread. This is so when it is put back together you line up the marks and the number of threads.

10102008218 5th.JPG
Next use an impact wrench and a 21 mm socket and take the shaft nut off. When the nut is off there will be some washers behind it. Make a note in what order they come off. This is important as the wrong washer against the bearing may damage it.

10102008221 6th.JPG
Next with an 8 mm socket undo all the bolts on the outside of the transmission case. All the outside bolts are the same so it does not matter if you mix them up. After you have done that you will need a 10 mm socket to undo the remaining 4 bolts.

10102008222 7th.JPG
Two of the bolts are recessed and two are on the rear.

10102008225 8th.JPG
Wriggle the transmission case off to reveal the variator. Same deal for the variator. I counted the threads after the nut and marked the nut and shaft so that I could later line these up with the impact wrench. Hold the variator and remove the nut.

10102008226 9th.JPG
When you have the nut off pull the first half of the variator off. You will see a spacer in there. Do not forget to put it back. when you put it all back together.

10102008227 10th.JPG
Next put the nut back on the drive shaft to stop the clutch from falling out when you move the belt out of the way to remove the other half of the variator.

10102008228 11th.JPG
Reach in and put your fingers around the variator (to stop it coming apart before it is off the shaft) and pull it off the shaft. The cylindrical bush will come off with it too. Turn it over and remove the roller plate to reveal the weights.

10102008230 12th.JPG
Now you just put your new weights in. Put the roller plate back on with the slide blocks. (the orange things)

10102008231 13.JPG
Put the variator and bush back on the shaft. This is a splined shaft so make sure you seat it on there correctly. Wiggle it back a bit.

10102008232 14th.JPG
Next put the spacer and belt back on and fit the other half of the variator. This also sits on the splined part of the shaft

10102008233 15th.JPG
Now squeeze the belt together and work it towards the variator. At the same time work the outer half of the variator in towards the splined shaft. The idea behind this is so that we do not pinch the belt between the two halves of the variator.

10102008234 16th.JPG
I did the nut up as far as I could with a breaker bar and the 24 mm socket. All the time I kept moving the belt back so as not to pinch it between the variator halves. Once it was as tight as I could get it I tightened the nut with my impact wrench.

10102008221 6th.JPG
Next you put the transmission case back on. I put the bigger 10 mm bolts on first and then the outer 8 mm bolts. Do up finger tight for starters and then tighten up. It is important to check these after a few rides to make sure they do not come loose.

10102008218 5th.JPG
Next I put the nut back on the the rear of the bike using the same technique as the the nut that holds the variator on. That is, as tight as I could with the breaker bar and then with with my impact wrench.

10102008235 last.JPG
Next you put the transmission case cover back on, the axle cover back on and last but not least the airbox cover. Don't forget to put the oil drain hose back into its clip. And that is pretty much it.



Last edited by redfone on Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:31 am; edited 15 times in total
Ossessionato
R.I.P. ----K.I.T.T.500, Agent Orange (400)
Joined: 04 Jul 2008
Posts: 2670
Location: Rockford, IL
Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:36 am quote
Great write up! Awesome post and a real nice addition to the info on the forum! Good pics and definitely makes me feel ready to put on the variator wgts myself!
Ossessionato
2009 MP3 400
Joined: 27 Jul 2008
Posts: 2005
Location: Saratoga, N.Y.
Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:51 am quote
Thanks for the write-up, Redfone. It's always good to get a real-world report, especially where the manual is not quite perfect.

Last edited by ramblerdan on Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:14 am; edited 1 time in total
Hooked
MP3 398.9
Joined: 21 Sep 2008
Posts: 337
Location: Singapore
Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:57 am quote
awesome! another one for the Technical Report page.
Hooked
MP3 500
Joined: 21 May 2008
Posts: 288
Location: SoCal Orange County
Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:22 am quote
nice write up! ::Sticky:: anyone??
Hooked
Had a Piaggio MP3 250ie Graphite Black
Joined: 18 Feb 2008
Posts: 331
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:16 pm quote
Nice one Redfone. Definitely sticky worthy..
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Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:02 pm quote
Bookmarked.

Wayne B
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Vespa P200E, Fly 50, Vespa S50
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Location: West coast of Finland
Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:16 am quote
A word of caution
You can do it this way, tightening with an impact tool, but it is hurting my engineers hart to see it done. It's fine as long as you are aware of what you are doing but as an universal wow you must use a variator locking device of some sort and a torque wrench because:

If you change some of the parts, even the just nut (which you should do according to the manual?), you can't trust any position marks any more.

Too tight->crank threads gone, too loose-> variator falls off.

So if you like to have the biggest possible certainty, get a torque wrench, you'll need it anyhow. Use your impact wrench only for opening nuts.

The rear nut is however a different beast which requires a torque wrench which will "click" in opening direction, mine doesn´t.
Addicted
MP3 Piaggio 2007
Joined: 17 Jul 2007
Posts: 574
Location: Austin, Texas
Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:06 am quote
Variator info.
Thanks Redfone for the info. Great pics and instructions. Can't wait to see your edits. I was going to get an Electric 1/2 impact today . They are $40.00 off at Harbor Freight / coupon today. Kinda got lost on the part where you set the parking brake and you said something stripped off the rear. I like your technique of marking the threads with ink.

Super Job
Molto Verboso
Smrfmobile was a 2007 sky blue Piaggio MP3 250ie w/Tow-Pac, Inc. Instatrike B kit
Joined: 29 Jul 2008
Posts: 1307
Location: south San Francisco bay area, CA
Sat Oct 18, 2008 11:26 pm quote
QUESTION
Awesome write up.

What is the use of variator weights and the point in changing their weight??
Member
GTV Vie Della Moda
Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 36
Location: Australia
Sun Oct 19, 2008 4:49 am quote
DavidHerring

I had to remove the part about the twisting to try to tidy up the comments. Basically what happend is at the end of the drive shaft there was a hex head that you could fit a 10 mm socket on to.

The manual suggests using a 21mm offset ring spanner on the clutch nut and a 10mm socket on the drive shaft hex head. You are to use the smaller 10mm hex head to stop the drive shaft from spinning when you undo the 21mm clutch nut.

The clutch nut was on so tight that I ended up twisting the hex head right off the drive shaft.

If you have a look at the fourth photo you can see the end of my drive shaft does not look too good. It should look like the picture below.

Hex head.JPG
Hex head at the end of the drive shaft

Veni, Vidi, Posti
. . 2008 Blue MP3 400. . di Peluria Orso .... 1993 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 ....... 2013 Honda NC700XD; 2017 Versys X300
Joined: 02 Jun 2008
Posts: 6152
Location: Milledgeville, GA
Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:06 am quote
Re: QUESTION
smrf wrote:
Awesome write up.

What is the use of variator weights and the point in changing their weight??
The weights are a key componenet of the automatic transition. Centrifical force causes the weights to change the effective diameter of the belt pulleys. As the diameter changes it is like changing the gear the bike is in. Over time the weights will wear impacting the performance of the transmission. Using weights of different mass will change the power for acceleration but also change the mpg. Heavier weights essentially have the bike running in a lower gear. I had mine changed along with the belt as part of 6000 mile service. They still looked good, but while the bike is apart it is not a significant thing to do. If they wear out between services then it is a big labor cost to get the transmission apart to change them.

If you want to experiment back and forth with weights either have a big pocket book to pay the labor or study this great post on how.
Molto Verboso
Smrfmobile was a 2007 sky blue Piaggio MP3 250ie w/Tow-Pac, Inc. Instatrike B kit
Joined: 29 Jul 2008
Posts: 1307
Location: south San Francisco bay area, CA
Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:30 am quote
Re: QUESTION
Ok, so the weights do normally wear out..would they be changed during a stock 6k service or something added on if needed so I should be sure to ask about that additional fee when checking for what shop I get my service done at?

You say heavier weights make the bike run in lower gear...is that more power at the low speeds or more power at high speeds?

And confirm heavier weights would lower your MPG, correct?
Fuzzy wrote:
The weights are a key componenet of the automatic transition. Centrifical force causes the weights to change the effective diameter of the belt pulleys. As the diameter changes it is like changing the gear the bike is in. Over time the weights will wear impacting the performance of the transmission. Using weights of different mass will change the power for acceleration but also change the mpg. Heavier weights essentially have the bike running in a lower gear. I had mine changed along with the belt as part of 6000 mile service. They still looked good, but while the bike is apart it is not a significant thing to do. If they wear out between services then it is a big labor cost to get the transmission apart to change them.

If you want to experiment back and forth with weights either have a big pocket book to pay the labor or study this great post on how.
Ossessionato
R.I.P. ----K.I.T.T.500, Agent Orange (400)
Joined: 04 Jul 2008
Posts: 2670
Location: Rockford, IL
Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:35 am quote
The standard weights are 'scheduled' to be changed or to last until your 12K service along with your belt change. But it is probably wise to do like Fuzzy and have them changed at 6 to be safe.

As I understand it(which is saying much ), the variator wgts(heavier that is), will increase your low to midrange torque and have a slight effect on top speed and mpg.

In other words, you should get more acceleration, smoother transitions, and basically drop a few mpgs and a few mphs.
Banned
Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 2919

Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:46 am quote
Re: A word of caution
jk_single wrote:
You can do it this way, tightening with an impact tool, but it is hurting my engineers hart to see it done. It's fine as long as you are aware of what you are doing but as an universal wow you must use a variator locking device of some sort and a torque wrench because:

If you change some of the parts, even the just nut (which you should do according to the manual?), you can't trust any position marks any more.

Too tight->crank threads gone, too loose-> variator falls off.

So if you like to have the biggest possible certainty, get a torque wrench, you'll need it anyhow. Use your impact wrench only for opening nuts.

The rear nut is however a different beast which requires a torque wrench which will "click" in opening direction, mine doesn´t.
I am ordering the tool from my Piaggio dealer tomorrow. It's only $115.00, and you get another tool for the tool box Would have ordered it yesterday but left the check book at home by mistake, DOH
I figure it this way, the tool is cheaper than paying someone to do the job once.

Wayne B
Addicted
MP3 Piaggio 2007
Joined: 17 Jul 2007
Posts: 574
Location: Austin, Texas
Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:11 am quote
Belt and variator
Redfone,

Thanks for the edits, I got my impact wrench and love it. I don't see how I ever got by without one. I'm practicing on my VW bus lug nuts. I've been using regular sockets, but I'm going to get the proper impact ones. And maybe a torque wrench.

I hope that the stripped shaft isn't a major problem for you.

Thanks again , Dave
Member
GTV Vie Della Moda
Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 36
Location: Australia
Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:43 am quote
Dave,

Is the impact wrench you have 12v? A very useful tool to have in the shed. They can undo some pretty tight nuts. I have used mine to undo car shocks, truck wheel nuts ect..

The other day I used it to undo a 32mm nut that was absolutely not going anywhere with a breaker bar. The 12v impact wrench cracked it in 4 hits. So much easier.
Addicted
MP3 Piaggio 2007
Joined: 17 Jul 2007
Posts: 574
Location: Austin, Texas
Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:19 am quote
Impact Wrench
Redfone,

No , I have 1/2 Chicago impact with a cord for plugging in the wall. I'm a little leary of the torque it has for the bike, so I'm searching for a 3/8's Im-pact. All of the ones that I see have a battery pack, and my past experiance with those is they go bad if they are not regularly used. I don't want to get a compressor and hoses and air gun. The cost will probably lean toward the 3/8's battery pack. Sure will be convenient, and safer. I've used large impacts before up to 1in. drive on diesel trucks, you have to watch out with the powerful ones. My 1/2 Impact amazes me at how powerful it is. I keeping my eye out for a sale on one of those bike stands to raise the bike for working on.

Dave
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