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Location: Tysons (Northern Virginia), USA 22182
 
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Hello everyone. I have a 1964 GS160 I've never driven or even started. I've decided to get it running now, and hit a wall of failure. I have zero spark and no clue of what's wrong. I have put a brand new coil on, so that isn't the issue. I have detached the wiring from the loom (leaving on the red and black stator wires to the coil to make sure it isn't grounding out in the frame. No luck.

Since I don't have any history on this scooter, I am wondering if might not even have the right stator in it. What if this is an earlier GS160 stator, the kind that needs a battery? I see no wires crossing over to the other side, though. Is there any way to tell?

If all fails, is there an aftermarket stator that would resolve the issue (I mean one that is idiot-proof)?

Any advice would be highly appreciated. BTW, I have seen and read the Scooter Help articles, but I've gotten nowhere... Thank you.
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OP
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Enthusiast
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Location: Tysons (Northern Virginia), USA 22182
 
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Another question I have is instead of an aftermarket stator/ignition, is there another no battery stator plate I could fit onto my GS160 to get it to run? I mean, like an early 1970s setup or something? I hope someone will be able to help. Thanks.
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Before you tear into the stator make sure:

1. points are set and actually opening
2. condenser is good ($2.00 part)
3. flywheel is magnetized
4. coil is good. just because it's new doesn't mean it's good.

I've had all of these problems with my gs160.
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Ossessionato
Vespas 1964 GS160, 1965 SS180, 1977 V9A1T, 1983 PX150E
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Location: Siam
 
Ossessionato
Vespas 1964 GS160, 1965 SS180, 1977 V9A1T, 1983 PX150E
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Posts: 2537
Location: Siam
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Those brown Bakelite coils are notoriously dead right out of the box. You might try a 6 volt blue PX125 coil. They work great.
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Molto Verboso
'64 Motovespa 150S (177) , '65 VBB, '66 Allstate SF, '66 180SS
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Molto Verboso
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'64 Motovespa 150S (177) , '65 VBB, '66 Allstate SF, '66 180SS
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Location: S.Salem, NY
UTC quote
I also fixed an ignition problem on the SS with this : http://www.scootermercato.com/Scooter-Parts/Ignition-Coils/132299

Motor would just quit after 15-20 miles with brand new brown coil. No problems since.
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Ossessionato
Vespas 1964 GS160, 1965 SS180, 1977 V9A1T, 1983 PX150E
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Posts: 2537
Location: Siam
 
Ossessionato
Vespas 1964 GS160, 1965 SS180, 1977 V9A1T, 1983 PX150E
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2537
Location: Siam
UTC quote
Even the Taiwan made coils work really well. I'm not sure what the deal is with those brown things. Some people have good luck with them, but many seem to have failures with them
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I've tried everything. I replaced the spark plug, the external coil again as suggested, the points, the condenser, and checked that the flywheel is still magnetized. I set and reset the points and plug gaps. I wired from the stator to the coil directly, eliminating the possibility of a short in the chassis. I surrender.

I'm wondering if removing the original ignition (stator) and installing a Pinasco Flytech will resolve this issue. These are pretty much idiot proof and make starting easy and spark very reliable, right? There is a model sold by SIP that is made specifically for the SS180 and GS160.

Alternatively, I'm ready to buy a running SS180 engine to install as a turnkey solution. That's how frustrated I am...
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1979 P125x
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Location: Midland, MI
 
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1979 P125x
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I feel you pain. I have a 79 P125x and I cannot get spark when the plug is in the cylinder. So I put a timing light on the plug wire and I touch the spark plug on the engine and kick it over and the timing light lights and the spark plug sparks (not sure if its very strong or not). Then when I put the plug in the engine, the timing light will not fire. If I do this same thing on my 65 Allstate, it fires the timing light with the plug in or out of the engine.

I have had the stator rebuilt because the wires were cracking so it has new points and condenser, new spark plug coil, spark plug wire, cap, and spark plug. I have had the flywheel remagnetized and still nothing. Some have said that you need a stronger spark when the spark plug in in the cylinder and under pressure than when outside the motor. Some have said that the condenser could be bad and that will cause a weak spark. I am about the point to convert to the P factory electronic ignition as the next step. Points are not that difficult but this is pretty frustrating. I bought this scooter not running and I rebuilt the engine over the winter so everything else is in new shape and have no clue at this point either. I had them send a new condenser when they sent the flywheel back and I will put that in this weekend.
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Thanks for that. My GS160 randomly started sparking and is working fine now. I had given up on it and maybe it felt bad for messing with me and decided to give me a break. I built the engine of my old 911 by myself, so I'm not a complete novice. I do think swapping in an electronic ignition might be the way to go for you.

On my end, my running and driving SS180 stopped sparking after the GS160 came back to life! So random. I went through the same process on this one. Changed the points, condenser, two external HT coils, and nothing, I'm done with this. I wish I had more time to dedicate to this, but I have a lot of other life on my plate. That's why I was hoping someone would have a running SS180 engine for me to swap in.

Does anyone have an SS180 engine for me? Pleeeeeaaaassssse? I have an SS180 or GS160 front end and an extra swing arm to trade, if that helps...
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1979 P125x
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Location: Midland, MI
 
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@msprygada avatar
1979 P125x
Joined: UTC
Posts: 629
Location: Midland, MI
UTC quote
Update: I could not get a spark when the plug was in the cylinder but it would spark when it was out of the engine. I replaced the high tension coil, spark plug wire, plug cap, points. The only thing that was not replaced was the plug coil on the stator. Nothing I could do would make it fire when the plug was in the engine.

So I decided to ditch the points and go electronic so Matt at Scooter Mercado set me up with the electronic stator, flywheel, new coil, and regulator. Installed all the parts, measured for timing marks at 18 degrees and installed the plug and it started right up on the third kick (I think I needed to get gas through the carb). I checked the timing and it was spot on. It now is a one kick machine no matter cold or hot. You can tell just how strong the spark is. I need to get the jetting figured out but it does pull hard.
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2007 Stella 225
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Location: Rochester, Minnesota
 
Ossessionato
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2007 Stella 225
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Posts: 3547
Location: Rochester, Minnesota
UTC quote
msprygada wrote:
Update: I could not get a spark when the plug was in the cylinder but it would spark when it was out of the engine. I replaced the high tension coil, spark plug wire, plug cap, points. The only thing that was not replaced was the plug coil on the stator. Nothing I could do would make it fire when the plug was in the engine.

So I decided to ditch the points and go electronic so Matt at Scooter Mercado set me up with the electronic stator, flywheel, new coil, and regulator. Installed all the parts, measured for timing marks at 18 degrees and installed the plug and it started right up on the third kick (I think I needed to get gas through the carb). I checked the timing and it was spot on. It now is a one kick machine no matter cold or hot. You can tell just how strong the spark is. I need to get the jetting figured out but it does pull hard.
I've never installed an electronic ignition and regretted it, 1960's VW Bug, 1950 Ford truck flat head 6, GS750 Suzuki had two sets of points, old Briggs lawn mower. The truck always started easy with a good tune up. With a Pertronix ignition I didn't even need to use the manual choke.
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