Free (sort of) LX 50 winter project
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Member
LX 50 "Bernadette"
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 22
Location: Old Lyme, CT
Thu Dec 31, 2020 11:54 am quote
Hi all, first time poster and long time lurker.

I've recently acquired a 2008 LX 50 from a friend who no longer uses it. Short story long, she had it sitting in her back yard, exposed to some harsh coastal elements for far too long. I had fixed it up for her once before two years ago, and used this forum and YouTube for the knowledge I needed to crack open the scooter and tackle the biggest issues. I had replaced the belt, rollers, spark plug, fuel and air filters, and cleaned up the carb that was all gunked up. I rode it around for a couple weeks, tuned it up some, and it was running great when I gave it back to her. I didn't want to give it back, as it was SO MUCH FREAKIN' FUN to commute to work on it. It was my first scooter experience and I really fell in love with Vespas.

Fast forward to this past November. Vespa is sitting in her yard, albeit covered this time. I ask her if she needs me to tune it up for her, and she says "No, it's yours. You seem to enjoy it so much, I've got two little ones and no time to ride it. Just take it." I was floored! I insisted she accept the money that she put into it for parts (about $200) which she did reluctantly.

So now it's my winter project. Since I've already been elbow deep in it previously, I'm going to upgrade some components and use it as a commuter in the spring. I already have the Malossi multivar and CDI from Scooterpartsco. Eventually I'll do the Malossi 80cc kit, cam and carb upjet. Cosmetic stuff, like the switches and badges, will get replaced as well.

From all that I've read this seems like a nice community to be a part of. I'll post more pics of the progress as things move along. Happy New Year everyone!











Molto Verboso
2006 LX150 (carbed) | 2007 GT200
Joined: 29 Jun 2016
Posts: 1265
Location: Toronto
Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:23 pm quote
Great project, with a nice back story!

Welcome to the forum
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2010 S50 Modified "Punkin"; 2003 ET4 Malossi 187 "ISO"
Joined: 18 Feb 2017
Posts: 729
Location: Deepinnaharta, Texas
Thu Dec 31, 2020 1:07 pm quote
Slightly Higher Performance
Greetings:

Beautiful story! Let me encourage your delinquency and root for you to do the Malossi 78cc kit AND Cam while you have the engine on the bench. Consider the Malossi ECU as well. You may find you go from a 37MPH Road Block to a genuine 60-mph scooter to give the stock 150s a run for the money. Malossi or Polini variator with a new belt is a BIG asset all by itself, but the engine power increases considerably with the cylinder kit. Pipe if you like but the difference isn't as significant. See Punkin thread - Slightly Higher Performance.



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GTS 250ie Super, Italjet Velocifero, Scarabeo 150, S50, ET4, ET2
Joined: 22 Nov 2016
Posts: 649
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:08 pm quote
Welcome and enjoy the LX. They are nice little scooters and a gateway drug for bigger and faster scooters. I have a friends being stored in my garage right now. Don't expect too much out of it, with only 2 small valves they will only go so fast. Now an S50 like Wheelmans you can get it to zip around and race cars from stop lights. But enjoy wrenching and keeping it alive and running.
Addicted
2010 S50 Modified "Punkin"; 2003 ET4 Malossi 187 "ISO"
Joined: 18 Feb 2017
Posts: 729
Location: Deepinnaharta, Texas
Sat Jan 02, 2021 7:10 am quote
Greetings:

I liked "Gateway Drug"! So true. Punkin performs competently in civilized suburban traffic, but it's not going to outrun many cars off the line if they punch it. Well, maybe a few subcompacts, but only to 45MPH.
Member
LX 50 "Bernadette"
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 22
Location: Old Lyme, CT
Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:14 am quote
Re: Slightly Higher Performance
Wheelman-111 wrote:
Greetings:

Beautiful story! Let me encourage your delinquency and root for you to do the Malossi 78cc kit AND Cam while you have the engine on the bench. Consider the Malossi ECU as well. You may find you go from a 37MPH Road Block to a genuine 60-mph scooter to give the stock 150s a run for the money. Malossi or Polini variator with a new belt is a BIG asset all by itself, but the engine power increases considerably with the cylinder kit. Pipe if you like but the difference isn't as significant. See Punkin thread - Slightly Higher Performance.
I certainly don't harbor any delusions that a variator and CDI are going to turn this scooter into a laser beam. A reliable commuter is all I need at the moment. I believe "delinquency" would be the operative word here. I don't have an M endorsement on my license, and while at some point I do want to do the 80cc kit, I definitely don't want to invite any unwarranted trouble. I know, I've read the posts where people say "It's cool, the cops won't bother you unless you're doing 60 in a 25," or some dismissive statement like that, but for the time being I think keeping it legal is in my best interest. We'll see if my conscience gets the better of me come spring.
Addicted
2010 S50 Modified "Punkin"; 2003 ET4 Malossi 187 "ISO"
Joined: 18 Feb 2017
Posts: 729
Location: Deepinnaharta, Texas
Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:05 am quote
Greetings:

Unless you exceed 45, the only way the Constabulary can tell it's modified is by removing the head and measuring the bore. Unlikely, in the experience of thousands of Delinquents as well as my own. The 4-valve S model in my post would run 39MPH speedo-indicated with a tailwind. Probably closer to 35 True. Even in 45-mph limited Deepinnaharta, nearly useless as a commuter.
Member
LX 50 "Bernadette"
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 22
Location: Old Lyme, CT
Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:11 am quote
Delinquency achieved.

I fitted the Malossi big bore kit along with the cam and upjetted the carb to 80. Installed the multivar variator kit and threw in a new CDI. I cleaned up the insanely rusty muffler and sprayed it with high-temp paint. Replaced a few switches and other odds and ends, changed the oil and fired her up.
It's been deathly cold in CT the past couple days and she was reluctant to start, but once she warmed up I went on a easy jaunt up and down the street to help with break-in.
Currently getting 45 on the GPS while the dash speedo is pinned, but I'm taking it easy. Quite the noticeable difference in takeoff from a stop, and it's a lot quicker in getting up to cruising speed. Once it breaks in a bit more I'll change the oil again and start going full throttle.











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GTS 250ie Super, Italjet Velocifero, Scarabeo 150, S50, ET4, ET2
Joined: 22 Nov 2016
Posts: 649
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:30 pm quote
Well done. It's nice to not have to plan your trip to avoid hills. These are good handling scooters that can take the extra speed.
Addicted
2010 S50 Modified "Punkin"; 2003 ET4 Malossi 187 "ISO"
Joined: 18 Feb 2017
Posts: 729
Location: Deepinnaharta, Texas
Mon Jan 25, 2021 6:09 pm quote
Greetings:

Hah! I knew you'd succumb to the Dark Side. As Pink said, it's basically a less-powerful 150 with the 78cc cylinder. The chassis is up to the task for sure, as are the brakes.

Your exhaust looks amazing. If it rusts out again, consider the Techno version over the Technigas. Better sound, and less off-throttle backfiring in my experience. It is a bit of a chore to ream out the welded choker ring at the headpipe, but well worth the effort. You can lose the airbox snorkel while you're at it.

I did the secondary gears at the same time as the cylinder kit, so I guess I really don't know how much spunkier yours must be off the line. But the upgear gives reasonable 0-8MPH acceleration, after which tuning the variator brings performance back to par. Then there's a bit of a wait as the scooter Gathers Speed up to 60-ish, at least downwind and/or downhill.
Member
LX 50 "Bernadette"
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 22
Location: Old Lyme, CT
Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:44 pm quote
Thank you for the recommendation regarding the exhaust. I definitely considered replacing it, but it's just not in the budget at the moment.

I think I found what you're referencing here. If this isn't it then steer me in the right direction:
https://www.racingplanetusa.com/vespa-tecno-exhaust-straight-vespa-primavera-lx50-stroke-50cc-stroke-scooters-p-135055-1.html#.YA-N0ehKiUk

Is the sound much louder? I can't say I care for a loud exhaust, but if it breathes better I'm definitely interested.

I'm also finding that the cold weather coupled with the improved compression is making it more difficult to start. Electric starter just can't handle it when it's 30 degrees in the garage. I've been using the kick starter and can definitely feel an increase in the force it takes to turn over. Once it's warm though I can start it with the button no problem. I assume that once the piston rings and cylinder are broken in, and it's not trying to drive ice-cold oil through the system, that it will be easier to start. [/url]
Addicted
2010 S50 Modified "Punkin"; 2003 ET4 Malossi 187 "ISO"
Joined: 18 Feb 2017
Posts: 729
Location: Deepinnaharta, Texas
Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:31 pm quote
Greetings:

Yep, that's the pipe. I love mine, and if memory serves I paid considerably more for it. Grrr. You can take the heat shield off and color-match it to your scooter if so inclined. I like the look.

You can't tell the difference in noise level at idle. It has a bit of a bellow when the throttle is wide-open (remember to punch the choker ring out!), but settles to totally wholesome socially-acceptable noise levels at part-throttle. Exhaust mods on 4-strokes don't make nearly as much difference as on Smokers, but I happen to feel this one helps some.

Your cold weather thickens the oil for sure, but the biggest hit is from the power loss at the battery. If there were room, I'd suggest a plug-in Battery Blanket like I used to use in the GWN, but no way to stuff a blanket in the space we have. My S spins quite easily with the starter, but here again, my garage rarely gets colder than 60F.

My 150/187, on the other hand, won't turn over at all with the first kiss of the Start button 50% of the time. This despite warm weather and the decompression mechanism at the cam. Others have reported the same issue with the Malossi cylinder on the Leader engine. I can fit a Size 14 battery into the compartment if I lose the battery cover, but I can't quite bring myself to do that - yet.



Member
LX 50 "Bernadette"
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 22
Location: Old Lyme, CT
Thu Jan 28, 2021 3:18 pm quote
And here's where we are...

Came home from work today and fired up Bernadette. I considered making a quick trip to the liquor store, but didn't make it out of the garage. I let the engine warm up, gave the throttle a couple of revs and she died.

Fast forward to me breaking her down and getting the motor on the bench. Variator is fine, cylinder still moves, but I blew a valve.
It looks to me like like the piston contacted the valve at some point. I may have used the wrong (thinner) head gasket from the kit when I assembled it, and that threw off the squish? Or the valve just failed and contacted the piston? I correctly adjusted the valve lash to spec before it went back together, and when turning the flywheel I didn't hear or feel any interference. I dunno here. Piaggio parts diagrams show that the collar of the valve is segmented in half, and initially I thought that's what failed.

So what's the recommendation here? Should I get an entirely new valve assembly or just replace the valves?











Member
LX 50 "Bernadette"
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 22
Location: Old Lyme, CT
Thu Jan 28, 2021 3:43 pm quote
Upon further inspection of the exhaust valve it's apparent that the collar is definitely broken and the valve stem is bent.







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GTS 250ie Super, Italjet Velocifero, Scarabeo 150, S50, ET4, ET2
Joined: 22 Nov 2016
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Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Thu Jan 28, 2021 4:00 pm quote
The bottom picture is the Upper cup that is indeed broken. Did you find the half-cones that hold the upper cup on? I'm rebuilding a sprint 50 with 4 valves and got all of my replacement parts from AF-1. Here is a link to the parts diagram https://www.af1racing.com/ProdImages/st3/EVP2000US2.pdf .
Member
LX 50 "Bernadette"
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 22
Location: Old Lyme, CT
Thu Jan 28, 2021 5:29 pm quote
Pinkscooter wrote:
The bottom picture is the Upper cup that is indeed broken. Did you find the half-cones that hold the upper cup on? I'm rebuilding a sprint 50 with 4 valves and got all of my replacement parts from AF-1. Here is a link to the parts diagram https://www.af1racing.com/ProdImages/st3/EVP2000US2.pdf .
Thanks for the link! That helps me out a lot.
I did find a piece of the half cone for the exhaust valve that was stuck in the valve cover. I'll do more hunting for the rest soon.
Would you recommend replacing the whole cylinder cover assembly? The exhaust valve was bent and therefore not easy to get out of the guide.
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GTS 250ie Super, Italjet Velocifero, Scarabeo 150, S50, ET4, ET2
Joined: 22 Nov 2016
Posts: 649
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Fri Jan 29, 2021 5:57 am quote
They are a pricey item. Just try replacing what's bent and broke. I'm not sure if you can replace it with the 4 valve head which would give you more power. You would need the 4 valve piston though.
Member
LX 50 "Bernadette"
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 22
Location: Old Lyme, CT
Fri Jan 29, 2021 7:36 am quote
It's going to have to be the 2 valve, as I already invested in the Malossi cam. I'll source the parts for replacing the exhaust valve. Never done a valve replacement before... hopefully it's not a PITA?
Molto Verboso
2006 LX150 (carbed) | 2007 GT200
Joined: 29 Jun 2016
Posts: 1265
Location: Toronto
Fri Jan 29, 2021 7:54 am quote
Sorry if I missed it, but you know why the valve collided? Was the timing wrong on the rebuild?
Member
LX 50 "Bernadette"
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 22
Location: Old Lyme, CT
Fri Jan 29, 2021 8:06 am quote
berto wrote:
Sorry if I missed it, but you know why the valve collided? Was the timing wrong on the rebuild?
The timing and valve lash was set correctly upon rebuild. I spun the flywheel after assembly to be sure that there was no interference.
My suspicion is that the exhaust valve seized in the open position at some point and the piston struck the valve.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
LX190, Primavera
Joined: 12 Oct 2007
Posts: 7000
Location: New Zealand
Fri Jan 29, 2021 5:37 pm quote
That piston has indents for 3 valves but your head only has two.
Member
LX 50 "Bernadette"
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 22
Location: Old Lyme, CT
Fri Jan 29, 2021 7:08 pm quote
znomit wrote:
That piston has indents for 3 valves but your head only has two.
The Malossi 80cc kit is compatible with both 4 valve and 2 valves motors. Or at least that is what is advertised.
Addicted
GTS 250ie Super, Italjet Velocifero, Scarabeo 150, S50, ET4, ET2
Joined: 22 Nov 2016
Posts: 649
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Sat Jan 30, 2021 7:01 am quote
Znomit you are on to something. It does say it is for two valves but you can see where a valve crashed into the piston where there was no indent. The 4 valve kit I got for my S50 was this https://scooterpartsco.com/vespa/s-50/s50-engine/malossi-88cc-cylinder-kit-for-vespa-piaggio-4-stroke It has 4 indents in the piston. You piston only shows 3 indents. I think you put the piston in backwards because if you look at your valves they appear to be diagonal. If you had flipped the piston you would have had an indent for both valves. Maybe someone that has done this kit can comment and help clear up your problem. By the way Scooterpartsco does have the replacement piston: https://scooterpartsco.com/vespa/lx-50/lx-50-engine/malossi-piston-and-rings-for-3113905. If you don't want to break the bank they have the Naruka kit for a lot less https://scooterpartsco.com/vespa/lx-50/lx-50-engine/big-bore-cylinder-kit-for-vespa-lx-50-piaggio-fly-50-2-valve. When you reinstall everything double check the relief orientation.
Molto Verboso
2006 LX150 (carbed) | 2007 GT200
Joined: 29 Jun 2016
Posts: 1265
Location: Toronto
Sat Jan 30, 2021 12:11 pm quote
Pinkscooter wrote:
I think you put the piston in backwards because if you look at your valves they appear to be diagonal. If you had flipped the piston you would have had an indent for both valves.
I haven't installed this particular kit, so this is just an opinion. But pistons I have installed all point the orientation arrow towards exhaust. I see arrow down (to exhaust) here, which I would think is right.

That said, the cutouts do look odd for 2 valve setup. And there is the bent valve to consider.
Member
LX 50 "Bernadette"
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 22
Location: Old Lyme, CT
Sat Jan 30, 2021 3:48 pm quote
Pink and Berto: I like the way you think. I was studying the piston orientation earlier today and it seems as if the indentations don't line up. I've watched the Malossi 80cc kit install video on ScooterWest about a thousand times now. Robot is saying to align the arrow with the exhaust, which is what I've done. But now I'm second guessing myself.

Thank you all for your input. I'm sure I'll get this figured out by the time the snow melts.
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GTS 250ie Super, Italjet Velocifero, Scarabeo 150, S50, ET4, ET2
Joined: 22 Nov 2016
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Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Sat Jan 30, 2021 3:58 pm quote
This is getting stranger and stranger. I pulled the head and cylinder from my 4 valve kit and here is a picture of it. It clearly has 4 small reliefs. I also snagged a picture of yours from the Malossi web site and it shows the 3 reliefs and says its for the iGet motor as well. Hmmm. I see that this kit also works with the 4 valve but has no relief for the 4th valve. When I got my kit there was a different 2 valve kit that only had 2 reliefs. Someone here bought it for his 4 valve and had the same valve problem. Here are pictures:





Member
LX 50 "Bernadette"
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 22
Location: Old Lyme, CT
Tue Feb 09, 2021 5:52 am quote
New parts arrived from AF1 yesterday. Thanks for the recommendation, Pinkscooter!
I installed the new exhaust valve, cup, and cone halves. I checked the timing and rotated the flywheel. I can't hear or feel any interference from the valves.
I have two theories as to why the exhaust valve failed:
1. I wasn't paying close attention upon my initial reassembly and didn't install the cam sprocket at TDC, causing interference.
2. As I mentioned before, this bike was not well cared for. The exhaust valve stem looked like it had some corrosion, and it may have seized on its own.

I'm waiting on a couple more parts from AF1 and I'll have this girl back together. Once the snowmageddon is over in CT I'll take her out for a ride. Thanks to all that have chimed in with their input.
Addicted
GTS 250ie Super, Italjet Velocifero, Scarabeo 150, S50, ET4, ET2
Joined: 22 Nov 2016
Posts: 649
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Tue Feb 09, 2021 1:53 pm quote
Glad to hear it's working out. I'll think of you as I scoot home in sunny 60deg weather. They say we have a big one coming, 1" overnight with 50deg the next day.
Member
LX 50 "Bernadette"
Joined: 18 Feb 2019
Posts: 22
Location: Old Lyme, CT
Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:53 am quote
Things are coming along nicely! I finally got her all back together this past Friday, and made a frigid run to the grocery store on Saturday with no issues. I was getting up to 48 mph (GPS) in the flats and I'm very satisfied with that.

Last night I installed the Prima mid-sized windshield. Did a quick ride up and down the street and I'm happy with the amount of air that it deflects over my head.

I'm shopping for top cases at the moment, and leaning towards a Givi monolock in black and gray. Looking forward to warmer weather this week in CT, and finally giving her a bath and maybe a wax.



Molto Verboso
2006 LX150 (carbed) | 2007 GT200
Joined: 29 Jun 2016
Posts: 1265
Location: Toronto
Tue Mar 09, 2021 5:57 am quote
Nice!
Addicted
GTS 250ie Super, Italjet Velocifero, Scarabeo 150, S50, ET4, ET2
Joined: 22 Nov 2016
Posts: 649
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:28 pm quote
Well done. Enjoy your new ride. What scooter are you getting next?
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