Mon May 10, 2021 4:15 am

Member
1985 PK50S
Joined: 10 May 2021
Posts: 23
Location: USA / Germany
 
Member
1985 PK50S
Joined: 10 May 2021
Posts: 23
Location: USA / Germany
Mon May 10, 2021 4:15 am linkquote
Hi Everyone,

I just joined the forum after ending up here often with my google searches.

I am a first time Vespa owner since 1 week ago. I am from the USA originally, but am on a work assignment in Germany. Following some nice holidays in Italy, I grew really fond of the older 2 stroke Vespas and have been regularly searching for them. Last weekend, I finally brought home a 1985 PK50S with around 9000 km.

The scooter is generally in good condition - a bit of patina and bumps, but good character. The engine runs strong and it drives well. The owner recently put on a new carb, rims, and tires as well.

Since getting it home, I noticed a slow oil leak that left a few drops on the floor each day (regardless of running it or not). It's gearbox oil and does not smell of fuel.

I tried gently tightening the oil fill and drain plugs as well as the case bolts that I could access. No change to the leak though.

Upon cleaning up the engine to try to find the leak, I removed the gear selector cover and it was full of oil. With the cover removed, I can see the drops forming and falling bottom of the shaft and frayed cables now (see pics - yes, cables are ugly and on the list to replace too!).

My internet searches have not helped me figure out yet where the oil might be escaping from in the gear selector assembly. I saw in an exploded view there is an O-Ring further up the shaft going in to the crankcase.

Any advice how I should investigate this? Can I get to that O-Ring without having to split open the crankcase if that is the most likely culprit? Any other gaskets I should check?

I'm pretty comfortable with a wrench, but don't have a proper workbench or large set of tool on our overseas assignment here. So I can probably manage things that can be done with the engine still in the scooter by propping it up on some milk cartons, but engine removals or advanced activities I should probably trust to a local Vespa shop.

Thanks everyone and I am excited to join your community!

-Brandon

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Mon May 10, 2021 4:21 am

Sergeant at Arms
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
Joined: 21 Oct 2005
Posts: 9520
Location: The state of insanity, SoCal
 
Sergeant at Arms
Weird 80's Vespas & Cool Vintage Lambrettas
Joined: 21 Oct 2005
Posts: 9520
Location: The state of insanity, SoCal
Mon May 10, 2021 4:21 am linkquote
you cannot get to that o-ring without splitting the cases.

even then it's a whore of a job.

unless it's hemorrhaging, like, i dunno, ounces? i wouldn't worry about it.

some drips and drops, no worries. just check and keep it topped up my man.

-g
Mon May 10, 2021 5:14 am

Hooked
PK50XL,PK100S,ET3
Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 141
Location: UK
 
Hooked
PK50XL,PK100S,ET3
Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 141
Location: UK
Mon May 10, 2021 5:14 am linkquote
Quote:
even then it's a whore of a job
This is probably an understatement! Check and top up is the easiest bet. And maybe keep an eye out for a cheap second engine so you have something you can sort out and still have a running scooter.


With the cables, if they look in good condition apart from the ends, and are adjusted ok, maybe leave them for a bit until you've had a bit of practice with easier jobs. they too fall into 'not much fun to do' category.
Mon May 10, 2021 7:14 am

Member
1985 PK50S
Joined: 10 May 2021
Posts: 23
Location: USA / Germany
 
Member
1985 PK50S
Joined: 10 May 2021
Posts: 23
Location: USA / Germany
Mon May 10, 2021 7:14 am linkquote
Thanks for the feedback!
Sounds like I should just enjoy it for a bit and then plan for a motor teardown sometime in the future to replace all the seals / gaskets.
Tue May 11, 2021 11:15 pm

Member
1985 PK50S
Joined: 10 May 2021
Posts: 23
Location: USA / Germany
 
Member
1985 PK50S
Joined: 10 May 2021
Posts: 23
Location: USA / Germany
Tue May 11, 2021 11:15 pm linkquote
Another question

Last night I took apart the rear hub after noticing oil on the inside of the rear wheel rim. Sure enough, there was oil in the brake housing so I will replace the oil seal and rear hub gasket in there after giving it a good clean.

Now I'm debating opening the clutch casing while I'm already this far along. I don't know if the clutch has ever been replaced on this bike (and don't know how to tell if it is good or bad by feel). The previous owner had it 5 years and did not have the clutch serviced. So I'm wondering if I should just go ahead and replace it as well as the gasket for the casing.

From what I've seen online, it doesn't appear that a clutch job is too difficult on the old 50cc engine. Any feedback though from someone that's actually done it? Is it a good preventative maintenance activity to do since I've gone this far already?

Thanks for helping out the newbie...
Wed May 12, 2021 12:46 am

Hooked
PK50XL,PK100S,ET3
Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 141
Location: UK
 
Hooked
PK50XL,PK100S,ET3
Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 141
Location: UK
Wed May 12, 2021 12:46 am linkquote
Its not too bad a job and if you have the rear hub off for changing the seal then its not too much more to take the clutch cover off.

Having the proper tools for the job will make things easier too so get a clutch puller and compressor, and keep an eye out for the woodruff key falling into the engine.

For locking the gears for removing the clutch centre nut, a copper coin (2p in uk) works well but drill a hole in it and put it on a bit of string.

For the new plates and spring, surflex 3 plate and a polini spring were suggested to me and have worked well so far.

and new tabbed washer to replace the one you destroy removing the clutch.
Wed May 12, 2021 2:25 am

Molto Verboso
'64 Motovespa 150S (177) , '66 Allstate SF, '65 VBB, '66 180SS
Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1028
Location: S.Salem, NY
 
Molto Verboso
'64 Motovespa 150S (177) , '66 Allstate SF, '65 VBB, '66 180SS
Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1028
Location: S.Salem, NY
Wed May 12, 2021 2:25 am linkquote
".....but drill a hole in it and put it on a bit of string."
Do this !
Wed May 12, 2021 7:50 am

Hooked
PK50XL,PK100S,ET3
Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 141
Location: UK
 
Hooked
PK50XL,PK100S,ET3
Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 141
Location: UK
Wed May 12, 2021 7:50 am linkquote
I forgot to say as well, not sure if you need to take the tank and carb off and then undo the rear shock mount to swing the engine down a bit. I think the frame may get in the way of some of the clutch cover bolts if you dont.
Wed May 12, 2021 8:55 am

Member
1985 PK50S
Joined: 10 May 2021
Posts: 23
Location: USA / Germany
 
Member
1985 PK50S
Joined: 10 May 2021
Posts: 23
Location: USA / Germany
Wed May 12, 2021 8:55 am linkquote
Thanks for the tips! I got in to the clutch casing now and am working on removing it.

Do I need to replace the steel plates too or just the cork ones? I saw you recommended just a set of Surflex friction plates. I'll need to order the clutch puller tool as well since I probably can't get it out without that tool. Same with the compression tool for rebuilding it.

Any tips to keep the woodruff key from falling in when I remove the clutch assembly??
Wed May 12, 2021 9:23 am

Member
1985 PK50S
Joined: 10 May 2021
Posts: 23
Location: USA / Germany
 
Member
1985 PK50S
Joined: 10 May 2021
Posts: 23
Location: USA / Germany
Wed May 12, 2021 9:23 am linkquote
Well shit. My penny fell off the string and disappeared. Most likely in the bottom of the engine. Got any advice for how I start this recovery mission? I'll definitely stuff a rag or something below before I remove the clutch in case the woodruff key falls. It will be a couple days though as I need to wait for the puller tool to arrive.
Wed May 12, 2021 9:34 am

Enthusiast
Joined: 02 Oct 2019
Posts: 53
Location: RI
 
Enthusiast
Joined: 02 Oct 2019
Posts: 53
Location: RI
Wed May 12, 2021 9:34 am linkquote
Probably a little late to the party now that you've begun to deposit money into your engine case, but the o-ring around the clutch lever wears easily and leads to drops of oil that occur after a ride. You need to remove the clutch cover to replace (or double up) this o-ring, but you can leave the clutch intact.

As for your clutch, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I'm not sure how you've gone from fixing an oil leak to replacing your clutch.
Wed May 12, 2021 10:34 am

Member
1985 PK50S
Joined: 10 May 2021
Posts: 23
Location: USA / Germany
 
Member
1985 PK50S
Joined: 10 May 2021
Posts: 23
Location: USA / Germany
Wed May 12, 2021 10:34 am linkquote
Well I guess it was my lucky penny. While looking in there with a flashlight to see if I could spot the penny, I noticed a small magnet on the back of the flashlight. Took it off, tied it to a string, and dropped it in the case - and grabbed the penny! Glad that's over with...



Wed May 12, 2021 11:31 am

Ossessionato
73 & 74 Rally, 76 ET3, 80 P200, 06 PX150, 61 Ser 2, 65 Silver Special, 86 Elite 80, 2015 HD Road Glide Special, 2011 Ural Tourist
Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 4076
Location: Oceanside, CA
 
Ossessionato
73 & 74 Rally, 76 ET3, 80 P200, 06 PX150, 61 Ser 2, 65 Silver Special, 86 Elite 80, 2015 HD Road Glide Special, 2011 Ural Tourist
Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 4076
Location: Oceanside, CA
Wed May 12, 2021 11:31 am linkquote
Good catch with the magnet!

As you've learned, jam a rag down there as it can be fiddley when refitting the clutch. It can sometimes pull the woodruff key out of its notch.
Wed May 12, 2021 11:49 am

Molto Verboso
'64 Motovespa 150S (177) , '66 Allstate SF, '65 VBB, '66 180SS
Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1028
Location: S.Salem, NY
 
Molto Verboso
'64 Motovespa 150S (177) , '66 Allstate SF, '65 VBB, '66 180SS
Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1028
Location: S.Salem, NY
Wed May 12, 2021 11:49 am linkquote
Lucky you ! American coins are not magnetic.
Thu May 13, 2021 12:49 am

Hooked
PK50XL,PK100S,ET3
Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 141
Location: UK
 
Hooked
PK50XL,PK100S,ET3
Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 141
Location: UK
Thu May 13, 2021 12:49 am linkquote
The steels are cheap so maybe order them as well and then make a judgement call when you take it all apart.

Good job with finding the penny! Now you know what the string is for
Tue May 18, 2021 8:05 am

Member
1985 PK50S
Joined: 10 May 2021
Posts: 23
Location: USA / Germany
 
Member
1985 PK50S
Joined: 10 May 2021
Posts: 23
Location: USA / Germany
Tue May 18, 2021 8:05 am linkquote
Thank you everyone for the tips and guidance. I finished the job last weekend after the last parts arrived on Saturday.

I did a good clean of the outside of the engine (degreaser), replaced the rear hub oil seal and gasket, replaced the clutch with polini spring / surflex plates / new steel plates, new clutch gasket, and replaced all the washers/pins/nuts I removed as part of this process. And finished it off with a fill of new gearbox oil.

The good news is the scooter runs great and the clutch is amazing (much better than the old one).

The bad news is that there is still a very slow leak coming from the gear changer area (few drops per day) that I posted about at the start of this thread. I'm not sure I'm willing or equipped here overseas to do the full engine removal to fix that, so I booked an appointment at a Vespa service center this October. I'm sure they will have other recommendations for me to address while the engine is removed and opened as well (bearings and seals, rubber suspension bushings, possibly cables). I'll make sure I get a list of ideas from the experts here to ask that they do while the engine is removed.

In the meantime, my goal is to enjoy riding it (1st priority!) and do some more small fixes / maintenance. I like the process of learning about the scooter and fixing some things that will save me money from the shop - but I'm happy to leave the big tasks to the service center.

My next "project" will be the lamps in the headset. My status lights for High Beam and Indicator status do not work. I assume that's as easy as opening up the headset and changing the bulbs, but let's see... Happy to hear any tips from someone that has done this before!
Tue May 18, 2021 9:46 am

Ossessionato
73 & 74 Rally, 76 ET3, 80 P200, 06 PX150, 61 Ser 2, 65 Silver Special, 86 Elite 80, 2015 HD Road Glide Special, 2011 Ural Tourist
Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 4076
Location: Oceanside, CA
 
Ossessionato
73 & 74 Rally, 76 ET3, 80 P200, 06 PX150, 61 Ser 2, 65 Silver Special, 86 Elite 80, 2015 HD Road Glide Special, 2011 Ural Tourist
Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 4076
Location: Oceanside, CA
Tue May 18, 2021 9:46 am linkquote
Well done so far!

As far as the headlamp bulbs go, might be as simple as removing the headlight bulb and then checking that the wires are tight and bulbs are intact. Might be wiring? Wont know till you check.

Cables you can do yourself, and should know how to do. There's plenty of guides online and a few YouTube videos of how to do them. Most of the time just swapping the inner braided cable is enough. Really older scoots will benefit from replacing the inner and outer.

After that. Ride the hell out of it all summer long and enjoy!
Wed May 19, 2021 1:20 am

Hooked
PK50XL,PK100S,ET3
Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 141
Location: UK
 
Hooked
PK50XL,PK100S,ET3
Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 141
Location: UK
Wed May 19, 2021 1:20 am linkquote
Good work on the clutch!


As MJRally says, enjoy riding it now.

Has the scooter service centre given you any idea on costs for a strip and rebuild?
Mon May 24, 2021 4:34 am

Member
1985 PK50S
Joined: 10 May 2021
Posts: 23
Location: USA / Germany
 
Member
1985 PK50S
Joined: 10 May 2021
Posts: 23
Location: USA / Germany
Mon May 24, 2021 4:34 am linkquote
No estimates yet from the service center, but I'll ask them as the date gets closer. I expect it will not be cheap though
Mon May 24, 2021 5:20 am

Hooked
PK50XL,PK100S,ET3
Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 141
Location: UK
 
Hooked
PK50XL,PK100S,ET3
Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 141
Location: UK
Mon May 24, 2021 5:20 am linkquote
Keep an eye out for a second engine. If you can do a clutch, theres nothing any more technincal for a full stripdown.
Mon May 24, 2021 6:45 am

Ossessionato
73 & 74 Rally, 76 ET3, 80 P200, 06 PX150, 61 Ser 2, 65 Silver Special, 86 Elite 80, 2015 HD Road Glide Special, 2011 Ural Tourist
Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 4076
Location: Oceanside, CA
 
Ossessionato
73 & 74 Rally, 76 ET3, 80 P200, 06 PX150, 61 Ser 2, 65 Silver Special, 86 Elite 80, 2015 HD Road Glide Special, 2011 Ural Tourist
Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 4076
Location: Oceanside, CA
Mon May 24, 2021 6:45 am linkquote
Brandon1440 wrote:
No estimates yet from the service center, but I'll ask them as the date gets closer. I expect it will not be cheap though
It's honestly not as hard as it seems. You already have the tools for the clutch. You only need a $15 flywheel holding tool to tear the engine apart.

If money is tight, consider stripping the engine ahead of time to save the shop some effort and time $$$.
Mon May 24, 2021 7:01 am

Member
1985 PK50S
Joined: 10 May 2021
Posts: 23
Location: USA / Germany
 
Member
1985 PK50S
Joined: 10 May 2021
Posts: 23
Location: USA / Germany
Mon May 24, 2021 7:01 am linkquote
Thanks for the encouragement! Maybe I will give it a try then. Once the engine is out, I agree it should not be so bad to open it up and replace seals, bearings, and gaskets.

How difficult is it to remove the engine from the scooter though? I don't have a great garage workshop setup here on our overseas assignment and I was told that I need to remove the engine in order to repair the oil leak from the gear selector.
Mon May 24, 2021 7:19 am

Hooked
PK50XL,PK100S,ET3
Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 141
Location: UK
 
Hooked
PK50XL,PK100S,ET3
Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 141
Location: UK
Mon May 24, 2021 7:19 am linkquote
Taking the engine out isnt too bad at all basically its the following.......

Seat off
Tank out (turn petrol off and then take r-clip out of tap)
carb off
unplug loom to stator plug
undo rear brake cable
undo gear cables
undo clutch cable
undo and remove shock bolt
undo and remove main engine pivot bolt

I find it easier if the scooter is on its side after the carb is off but not sure if thats just me.

Putting it back in is basically the reverse but put the tap on the petrol tank first and then thread it though the hole (empty tank, fuel on)

and you have the joys of the gear cables but you sound like you'll have the experience of doing them before you tackle the engine.

have you had a look at the scooterhelp website, the smallframe engine strip and rebuild is pretty good.

https://www.scooterhelp.com/tips/engine/engine.drop.sf.vespa.html
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