1956 Vespa Ape rebuild
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
empty barn syndrome
Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 5387
Location: Puyallup, WA
Sat Jul 09, 2011 6:59 pm quote
I've had an Ape project in my garage for well over a year, and I'm finally getting started. Actually I have two Apes, one is a 1956 and one is a 1957. I am using the '57 as a source of parts for the '56. Here is the before picture. It looks pretty good from this distance, but when you get a little closer, you can see how much work it's really going to take.

ape before.jpg

Veni, Vidi, Posti
empty barn syndrome
Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 5387
Location: Puyallup, WA
Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:02 pm quote
There is some pretty significant body rust in the roof area, particularly at the rear near the support columns. The repair of the roof will take someone with skill that is far beyond my own, so I'll be having someone with the proper tools and experience handle this part.

bad rust.jpg

Veni, Vidi, Posti
empty barn syndrome
Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 5387
Location: Puyallup, WA
Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:06 pm quote
The first thing I had to do to was just get it mobile. The tires were rotted, and the hubs didn't want to spin, so it was hard to move it around the garage. I bought some new wheels (I'll be blasting and powder coating the old ones) and removed the old, only to find the the area between the wheels and the hub were completely packed with the remains of a community of spiders. I got all this cleaned out and put the new wheels on...it moves great now. Below is a picture of the Ape with the temporary wheels on, and the spider stuff has all been removed.

spider hubs.jpg

apetempwheels.jpg

Veni, Vidi, Posti
empty barn syndrome
Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 5387
Location: Puyallup, WA
Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:15 pm quote
Next I removed the box from the rear of the Ape, to make it easier to get at all the parts that will need to be removed and rebuilt. My next task was to remove the transmission from the parts Ape and the motor from the '56 (which is now done). Then I removed headset and front fork from the donor Ape.. My plan is to rebuild the front fork, the transmission, and the engine first, because they are the simplest steps.

I'll be using the front mudguard from the donor, only because I like it better. The '56 has a split/welded front mudguard, but the donor had a one piece mudguard.

Once the front fork assembly is removed and cleaned, I'll be getting some of the parts blasted and powdercoated prior to reassembly.

remove van.jpg

apefender.jpg

spiderfork.jpg

Petty Tyrant
GTS250 GTS300 MP3 500
Joined: 11 Oct 2005
Posts: 29652
Location: Bay Area, California
Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:10 am quote
Most excellent!
Molto Verboso
Joined: 05 Apr 2010
Posts: 1917

Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:59 am quote
That thing is freakin' awesome !
nothing at all
Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 9657
Location: westla
Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:47 am quote
I made a comment about the glass before, am i correct that all the glass is good.?

Love the headlight and bracket, cool.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
empty barn syndrome
Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 5387
Location: Puyallup, WA
Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:18 am quote
jimmyb865 wrote:
I made a comment about the glass before, am i correct that all the glass is good.?

Love the headlight and bracket, cool.
Hi Jimmy,

Between the two Apes I have one complete set of windows. I'm going to have to buff out the curved sections to get rid of the haziness.

Len
Veni, Vidi, Posti
empty barn syndrome
Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 5387
Location: Puyallup, WA
Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:31 am quote
Got the fork stripped down for rebuilding.

apehub.jpg

apeforkparts.jpg

Veni, Vidi, Posti
empty barn syndrome
Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 5387
Location: Puyallup, WA
Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:34 am quote
Once apart, I inspected the parts and noticed that a small bit of the collet thru which the shock bolts is broken off. You can see it at the bottom right corner of the picture. I'm wondering if this will affect the performance of the fork when rebuilt? It seems to serve more as a stand-off for the shock to bolt up against than for actual strength of support. I have another fork I could poach a part from, but would rather use/fix this one if possible. What do you think, fixable?

forkbrokenbit.jpg

Moderibbit
1980 P200E - "Old Rusty", 1976 ET3 Primavera
Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 8127
Location: Atlanta, GA
Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:38 am quote
Sweet!
nothing at all
Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 9657
Location: westla
Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:05 am quote
That's where the dampner sits, correct. Do you have someone close that can just build that area up and then you shape??
Veni, Vidi, Posti
empty barn syndrome
Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 5387
Location: Puyallup, WA
Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:20 pm quote
jimmyb865 wrote:
That's where the dampner sits, correct. Do you have someone close that can just build that area up and then you shape??
I think I do know someone who could build it up. Will find out tomorrow.
Hooked
1974 Rally, 1978 P200E, 2000 HD Fat Boy. 2007 HD Street Glide
Joined: 16 Sep 2009
Posts: 445
Location: Atascadero, CA
Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:02 pm quote
That is awsome. Keep the pics coming!!
Moderator
PX150 and 1 drowned P200,
Joined: 28 May 2008
Posts: 3872
Location: Hustletown, TX
Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:26 am quote
Looking forward to watching this one. Good stuff Len.
Ossessionato
I have a few scooters....
Joined: 08 Nov 2005
Posts: 2198
Location: San Antonio, TX
Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:52 pm quote
If this turns out half as nice as your last restoration, it's gonna be frickin awesome. Keep the pics coming, Len.
Addicted
2011 Piaggio Vespa GTS 300 Super
Joined: 03 Apr 2011
Posts: 501
Location: Spokane,WA
Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:34 pm quote
Can i ask where you found those 2 gems in the rough?
Ossessionato
GTS 300 70th Anniversary
Joined: 04 Aug 2009
Posts: 3289
Location: Bromsgrove, UK
Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:03 am quote
Very nice.
I'm looking forward to seeing the end result.
What's the engine in an Ape of this age?
Veni, Vidi, Posti
empty barn syndrome
Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 5387
Location: Puyallup, WA
Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:30 am quote
gator51 wrote:
Can i ask where you found those 2 gems in the rough?
A Vespa guy in Temecula had them in his garage, he put them on Craigslist. I bought them both for $1,500.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
empty barn syndrome
Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 5387
Location: Puyallup, WA
Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:34 am quote
Dr Zoidberg wrote:
Very nice.
I'm looking forward to seeing the end result.
What's the engine in an Ape of this age?
It is a 150cc, similar to a Vespa scooter engine except that it attaches to a transmission (differential) that sends the power to sprockets and chains that drive the rear wheels. It also operates in reverse.
Ossessionato
GTS 300 70th Anniversary
Joined: 04 Aug 2009
Posts: 3289
Location: Bromsgrove, UK
Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:47 am quote
Len Smith wrote:
Dr Zoidberg wrote:
Very nice.
I'm looking forward to seeing the end result.
What's the engine in an Ape of this age?
It is a 150cc, similar to a Vespa scooter engine except that it attaches to a transmission (differential) that sends the power to sprockets and chains that drive the rear wheels. It also operates in reverse.
With all the gears?
I like the idea of doing 40mph backwards!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
empty barn syndrome
Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 5387
Location: Puyallup, WA
Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:00 am quote
Motor



Veni, Vidi, Posti
empty barn syndrome
Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 5387
Location: Puyallup, WA
Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:05 am quote
Differential.



Veni, Vidi, Posti
empty barn syndrome
Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 5387
Location: Puyallup, WA
Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:20 pm quote
Welded and repaired.




Member
2009 GTS 250ie
Joined: 13 Aug 2010
Posts: 20
Location: Southwest Florida
Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:35 am quote
Looking good. Living vicariously.....in your garage.... Thanks!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
empty barn syndrome
Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 5387
Location: Puyallup, WA
Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:30 pm quote
Cleaning old parts



Veni, Vidi, Posti
empty barn syndrome
Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 5387
Location: Puyallup, WA
Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:30 pm quote
Emerging from the corrosion...



Hooked
1979 Vespa P200E
Joined: 14 Mar 2011
Posts: 181
Location: Winnipeg Canada
Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:54 pm quote
What kind of cleaner are you using? I have completely dismantled my P200 and am in the process of cleaning and evaluating all the parts. Solvent and carb cleaner arenít doing as good a job as whatever you are using is doing.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
empty barn syndrome
Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 5387
Location: Puyallup, WA
Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:01 pm quote
A light touch with a wire wheel.
Ossessionato
2013 Can Am Spyder RSS
Joined: 17 Nov 2005
Posts: 2525
Location: Olympia, WA
Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:30 am quote
Great Pictures!
You will become the Ape Expert.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
empty barn syndrome
Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 5387
Location: Puyallup, WA
Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:41 am quote
Turkman wrote:
You will become the Ape Expert.
I dunno, I only know of two of us, and the other guy has been at it longer than I have. Maybe I can become the assistant to the Ape Expert?
Ossessionato
2013 Can Am Spyder RSS
Joined: 17 Nov 2005
Posts: 2525
Location: Olympia, WA
Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:17 am quote
When you're finished.....
....we'll have to ride down just to see the completed project. Good reason for a trip.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
empty barn syndrome
Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 5387
Location: Puyallup, WA
Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:19 am quote
That would be awesome!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
empty barn syndrome
Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 5387
Location: Puyallup, WA
Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:35 pm quote
Fender blasted and etched. Also got fork parts blasted, etched and painted. Will be getting fork assembly back together so it is ready when needed. Next up after fork assembly is motor, then differential.



Addicted
Joined: 15 Jul 2011
Posts: 626
Location: Chino Hills CA
Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:34 pm quote
Please keep up all the threads & photos to document your restoration -- this should fun!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
empty barn syndrome
Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 5387
Location: Puyallup, WA
Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:09 am quote
Putting fork back together, and dismantling motor for rebuilding. The piston didn't look to bad for a 54 year old.

Also, I re-posted some Ape technical manuals on my website after the data was lost. will also be updating a page there with more pictures (but will keep posting progress pics here.)

http://www.brooktownclassics.com

IMG_0299.jpg

IMG_0301.jpg

Enthusiast
ET4
Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 63
Location: Dublin
Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:35 am quote
Love it Len, your work is awesome!
Molto Verboso
Joined: 05 Apr 2010
Posts: 1917

Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:26 am quote
Agreed
Molto Verboso
Joined: 05 Apr 2010
Posts: 1917

Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:27 am quote
Will you be keeping it or selling it when you are done ?
Ossessionato
2012 BMW G650GS, 2006 GTS,
Joined: 15 Jan 2006
Posts: 2089
Location: Snohomish County, WA
Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:30 am quote
You have been pretty busy Len!

Great job, makes me want to get back out in the garage to work on my small frame.
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