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2013 LX 150
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Hello, I've been a bit of a motorcycle enthusiast form many years. I have had several different bikes, including a couple of 50 cc scooters. After a long, (10 year) hiatus. I decided to get back into it, with the purchase of a 2013 lx 150ie.
The vespa had only 50 miles on it. It had been sitting, unused, in a garage all this time. When I first took delivery, the bike ran amazing. I promptly, removed the exhaust and the wheels, as the tires were 8 years old and I didn't trust them. I had the tires replaced, I reinstalled the wheels, and reinstalled the exhaust, no problems.Once I got to the specified maintenance mileage, I proceeded to change the fluids. I did not have a 24mm box end wrench for the oil drain plug, so I removed the exhaust, to access the drain plug with a socket.
Since then, the exhaust has been leaking from the cylinder head. I tried several times to get it to seat, but to no avail. I ordered a new gasket, installed it, and again, major leak at the cylinder head.
Am I doing this wrong? I've searched this forum and others, watched the scooter west video and others, I've tried everything suggested. Is there a trick I'm missing? Could I have possibly damaged the cylinder head? It seems strange that it went back together so easy the first time.
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Molto Verboso
2006 LX150 (carbed) | 2007 GT200
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Molto Verboso
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2006 LX150 (carbed) | 2007 GT200
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Hello, and welcome!

I doubt you damaged the head. More likely the exhaust is just not seated properly. Especially given it was just running fine, and you put in a new gasket (so we can rule out it missing or being doubled up).

I find there's a bit of an internal "step" where the exhaust mates up. It can feel seated when it's not quite.

Annoying, but when it's happened to me I just loosened off the exhaust; jiggled it around to reseat; and torqued again.
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2013 LX 150
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Thank you for the reply. I tried this method a few times with no luck. i finally decided to take it to the local shop. When I picked up the bike, the service writer said there wasnt much of a leak to begin with but the mechanic shimed the silencer out a bit to get a better seal.
When I drove the bike, it was the same. lack of power, louder exhaust, check engine light going on and off, and hot air blowing out the bottom of the bike.
I thought about trying to fix it myself again, but because they charged me $125.00 for the "repair", I decided to take it back and let them mess with it all weekend.

Is Hot air blowing out the bottom of the bike normal? i dont see any fan or vent or anything that would move that much air. The only thing I see, in the vicinity, is the exhaust port on the head.
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2009 LX 150, 2024 GTS Super
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Actually yes, it’s normal. Your LX150 is air cooled with a fan and it blows out under the cylinder. The fan intake is near the muffler. It’s not noisy, though.

Maybe you damaged the lambda /oxygen sensor when you removed the muffler?
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OK, I see. All that plastic shroud work underneath is directing the flow toward that area.
Damage to the sensor is a possibility. I was careful, as I know they can be fragile, but still a possibility. Also may cause many of the symptoms I'm experiencing.
Do you think the lambda sensor could come on intermittently if damaged, or would it be on all the time?
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I Just spoke to the shop this morning. Its been confirmed that there is a major exhaust leak at the cylinder head. They didnt have it scheduled for today, so when a lift is available they will get to it.
I'm Hoping this will be the fix to all the drivability issues. Especially the crappy exhaust note that's been ringing in my ears. It used to sound so mutch smoother and more satisfying.
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Glad they confirmed your exhaust leak. Let us know how they resolve it, the previous repair with shimming the exhaust seemed odd to me. Hoping they resolve your check engine light issue, too.
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It's been over a week since I had taken the bike into the shop. Apparently, they are having the same issues I did. They ordered another new gasket, (I think this is a hail Mary move, as the gasket is brand new). I Wish there was an actual Vespa service shop closer.
Is it normally this difficult to get the exhaust to seal? I can't imagine having to deal with this every time I need new tires.
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Hasn't been a problem on my LX150 and I've been through a lot of rear tires over the years (and still the original copper gasket). Reinstallation for the exhaust always starts with wiggling that head pipe into place. It's a pain but it always seems to find that one spot before I hang it by the side screws and finish with the head stud screws. Maybe you have a slight bend in your pipe or flange from previous incorrect placement. That could be checked by the dealer, especially by installing another exhaust as a test.
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Picked the scooter up from the shop. It was immediately evident, they had not fixed the bike. All the same drivabillity issues and the check engine light. When I got home I looked underneath and to my surprise, the exhaust studs had been replaced with bolts. I called the service writer for an explanation. He tried giving some bullshit excuse for trying to get over on me. Then apologized profusely for the failed cover up. Like I wouldn't notice. The mechanic apparently broke the studs and then tried to pass off his backwoods repair.
Now, I'm concerned they may have damaged the threads. If so does this mean I need a new cylinder head?
I'm beyond pissed. If they couldn't do the repair they should have said so. I'm mad at myself too for not just paying the tow company to get it to the dealer, in the first place.
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That's not good, sorry to hear that. It's probably best to turn to a authorized, knowledgable, trusted dealer at this point. They can figure out the check engine light. Those bolts really should be replaced by proper exhaust studs for long term serviceability. If you are lucky, the exhaust stud threads in the head are intact and new studs can be replaced. If not, the threaded holes could be butchered, oversized, incomplete, or who knows. The dealer can advise how to proceed. Not sure what to say about the other repair person…
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Update.
OK, it's now been over a month without my ride. I ordered new studs, new copper nuts, and a new gasket. I installed everything. No damage to the threads, which was my main concern. I tried dry fitting the exhaust, it felt as though it wasn't sitting flat on the gasket, when all the bolt holes for the braket lined up. I think this is why the repair shop tried to shim the braket out. I put a long extension into the collered end of the pipe and pulled toward myself, like a lever, while pushing against the braket. I then tried fitting the pipe again. It actually seemed to fit better. So I did the same thing again and was able to get the pipe to fit flat. How the pipe got bent in the first place is beyond me.I swear, I didn't manhandle the pipe upon removal, instalation, or anywhere in between. Anyway, I believe the exhaust leak is fixed. The bike is much quieter, that's for sure.
Unfortunately, there are still some drivablilty issues. Lack of power, shakes like a chihuahua at idle, and ofcourse the dreaded check engine light comes on when excelerating and holding steady speed, at higher rpms.
I checked the charging system, with a multimeter, at the battery. Everything checked out, so I didn't investigate further. I also checked the ohms and voltage of the o2 sensor. It checked out good as well. I also pulled the spark plug. It looked decent, just bit of dry soot. I cleaned it up and put it back. Tomorrow I'm going to get some brake cleaner and go on the hunt for vacuum leaks.
I'm at a loss with this bike. Desperately trying to get it fixed before my appointment at the vespa dealership. It's going to cost me $300 just to transport it.
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Glad you were able to resolve the exhaust leak and mounting. As for the poor running, checking for vacuum leaks is worthwhile. For transporting it to the dealer, it would be great if you could find access to a pick-up truck to carry it yourself and save money. Or that $300 Could buy you a rack for the receiver of a truck or SUV to transport the scooter. Especially useful to get it home if you have a flat or other breakdown.

Bill
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Well, the vespa dealer has had the bike for over a week. The service writer has been riding it around saying how well it runs (with the exception of this pesky check engine light coming on).
He says that they finally were able to pull a code. No surprise O2 sensor. Ofcourse, however, this does not mean it needs an O2 sensor. There are many different components that can set off a code for the O2.
The service writer wants to order the part and see if that fixes the issue. I could throw parts at it in my own garage without the cost of labor. He also said it would take 10 days to 2 weeks to get the part. I can get it buy Tuesday. Through my conversations,
It seems the service writer has been the one actually trying to diagnose the issue. I really don't think a tech has seen the bike. Labor shortages can be a real bitch.
I ordered the O2 sensor. I'll rent the truck and trailer again, go pick up the bike and see what happens after I replace it. I don't have high hopes at this point, as per my own tests the O2 sensor was fine.
I guess if the new O2 sensor dosen't fix the issue, I have all winter to try and track it down. I'm going to ride the bike as regular as possible, (weather permitting). And just kinda pretend the light isn't coming on. If this isn't just some kind of Vespa quirkiness and there is a component failing, my guess is it will eventually break and I'll be able to diagnose the issue much easier.
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2009 LX 150, 2024 GTS Super
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You might also double-check the O2 sensor plug and the wiring for strain, corrosion, or other connection issues. Sometimes those wires take a beating when the exhaust is removed. Surprised the dealer couldn't scrounge up a used /good sensor to test with.
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