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I just changed my battery on my 2015 gts300. The battery compartment had very serious rust- you can just about see the ground through it. Is that part of the Vespa structural?

My aim is to get maybe a year or two more out of it. I can't see fixing it makes sense at this point.
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cshama wrote:
I just changed my battery on my 2015 gts300. The battery compartment had very serious rust- you can just about see the ground through it. Is that part of the Vespa structural?

My aim is to get maybe a year or two more out of it. I can't see fixing it makes sense at this point.
When i sold my 2009 gts about 18 months ago it didn't have any such problem.

Maybe a leaking battery could have caused this?
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This is the one area of the bike that should always be rustproofed by owners upon getting the bike. Use Dinitrol or Waxoyl for a permanent protection against rust. The battery compartment is exposed to moisture and sometimes battery gas. If your bike battery failed recently it may have been "gassing" for some while prior to failing adding to the corrosion issue, or actually causing it. My GTS battery sits in a plastic tray. Does yours?

Is it safe? I'd clean out the area and use a rust converter in there. Then spray the whole lot with Dinitrol wax spray. It will basically kill the rust for years. If the metal is a bit thin, as long as it supports the battery ok it shouldn't matter. It does form a structural part of the bike but, and I'm guessing here because we can't see it, it's minimal if you have a little weakness specifically under the battery. As long as the rest of the underside floor of the bike is sound it'll be fine. Photo's will confirm this one way or the other! Of course you could take it to a tech and get a pro opinion on this.
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I just did another inspection. The rust around the battery compartment is terrible. I flaked off a 2inch bit of. metal. I wouldn't even feel good trading it in.

The truth is I have had it for 6 years - rain and shine. And Ive really enjoyed it. It runs really well. But to fix it properly will cost a lot. Probably more than it's worth.

I think I will ride it for as long as I can -ie. until the battery falls through it's frame and start looking for a new scoot in the meantime. Next time I will focus on rustproofing because this is a clear weakness.

I may consider saving some money and getting a Piaggio Liberty 150. My specific use is I drive to the station and leave the scoot for a week before I pick it up. Not exactly a taxing user these days. And I have a motorcycle so I don't really need power.

But the problem is I really love the Vespa.

Good problem to have I guess
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I would still treat the rust in there now to prevent additional damage.
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Yes- supplies ordered
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cshama wrote:
But to fix it properly will cost a lot. Probably more than it's worth.
I doubt that - unless you're referring to a lot more than the battery tray. I'm assuming it isn't remotely structural - but either way holes can be welded, rust can be treated, and a thick protective layer can be applied. Most or all of that you can do yourself even if a novice!

If you post pics I'm sure people can help talk through the options. Although I don't own a GTS I'd be happy to make suggestions with such pics - e.g., if no holes, you may be able to simply scrape all loose rust flakes off with a flathead, sand and POR-15 it to stop and seal, and then give it several thick spray coats of something while taping newspaper around to prevent overspray outside of the tray. Probably looking at a $30-50 dollar investment in such a scenario
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The battery compartment can be ripped away with your fingers. It's that bad.

To weld it will entail significant dismantling. And finding someone who wants to weld it. A challenge in itself.

I'm going to spray it with rust converter and ride it to its doom.
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well, where there's a will there's a way - you could also make a plastic insert with drain holes so you don't have to worry about the battery falling through the (treated) metal or something.

Anyway, hard to assess without pics - just trying to help show a less doom-and-gloom side of it. Nobody ever totaled a vehicle over a rusted battery tray after all
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The later GTS models have electrostatically applied electrophoretic primer which pretty much alleviates the corrosion issue, like it does on cars. But it's still worth apply a rust preventing wax chemical when you get the bike. Sorry to hear yours has this issue. In fairness I've rarely seen corrosion of any kind on GTS bikes that I've looked after for customers and these bike have been from 2010 onwards usually with very high mileages. Of course, like your car, you must touch up obvious scratches and stone chips. I think if the bike is in long term daily use, no matter what the climate they last ok even on very wet salty UK roads. That being the case I'd expect most GTS bikes to be ok pretty much anywhere in the world if looked after.
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Mine is a 2015. And the rust is terrible. They use a lot of rock salt around here and I ride in the winter
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Stromrider wrote:
That being the case I'd expect most GTS bikes to be ok pretty much anywhere in the world if looked after.
This consideration alone is worth more than all.
cshama wrote:
Mine is a 2015. And the rust is terrible. They use a lot of rock salt around here and I ride in the winter
In many use and maintenance manuals of many manufacturers there is a warning dedicated to this type of situation.
⚠️ Last edited by Attila on UTC; edited 1 time
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I think the caveat is You have to be aware of the danger and check regularly for signs of rust. Stupidly I had no idea that rust could happen to my Vespa so I never checked. And when I checked it was too late.
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cshama wrote:
I think the caveat is You have to be aware of the danger and check regularly for signs of rust. Stupidly I had no idea that rust could happen to my Vespa so I never checked. And when I checked it was too late.
I'll give you the example of my non-Vespa scooter, the lower parts are the most exposed to rust and not just because of the salt; the blows of the stones detach the paint that protects against corrosion which then spreads.
I find myself in the condition, after only three years of use, of having to disassemble the muffler because it is starting to rust underneath.
I will have it powder coated which will cost me a lot (120 €) against the price of a new muffler (300 €) but it will last me much longer.
Every year I visually check various metal parts (even using an optical probe for hidden parts) to find out if there is corrosion, I consider it a pastime.

PS: A mechanic's optical probe is cheap now ...only a example:

https://www.amazon.it/Depstech-Endoscopio-Semirigido-dellendoscopio-Impermeabile/dp/B06Y67FZGW/ref=asc_df_B06Y67FZGW/?tag=googshopit-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=279822065224&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=14352747108784818428&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1008383&hvtargid=pla-747547894797&psc=1
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Here's the rust[/img]
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It's clearly on its last legs. I'm going to spray it with anti rust today. But I think a good whack with a hammer and it would disintegrate .

In a way it is my fault that I didn't check regularly but I never thought this was even a possibility .
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OMG!
There is very little metal left ...
Consider cutting up to where the metal is intact and rebuild the missing part and then weld it.
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I really think you need to cut and weld a replacement in in that case. Some rust protectant isn't going to strengthen that (as I'm sure you know). And it really won't cost that much - there are people squirreled all over the place with little welding and metal shop setups who could help you. It's only a box - not asking them to do anything too fancy.

For perspective: people have to weld and fan stuff like this for classic cars and bikes all the time.
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My plumber just came around and he thinks he can rivet it. We will see.
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What Attila said. You need to cut that out and have something welded in. It's not as expensive as you might think.
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My plumber want to rivet it. Apparently the metal is to thin to weld.
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Plumber came over and did this. I am going to treat everything with rust converter and then paint.
The mesh is strong radiator steel
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Under the front wheel
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Rivet or bolt in some sort of plastic or sheet metal cradle to support the battery
Hit it with the rust neutralizer & spray with epoxy appliance paint, before, during & after installing stabilizing elements
You can usually find black epoxy appliance paint in rattle cans. it goes on thick & protects well
Another choice is sub marine sealer for evaporation coolers, the brush on version produces less mess from overspray
Automotive under coating in spray cans, similar stuff
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Decades ago I had a 1500cc VW Beetle.
They had a lead acid battery under the right hand side of the rear seat and were subject to quite a bit of corrosion in the floor pan due to battery acid spill.
I took an offcut piece of nylon fibre carpeting, soaked it in a strong solution of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and let it dry. I placed this under the battery and replaced it in position. The residue of bicarb in the carpet reacted to neutralise any battery acid spill and prevent further corrosion.
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Even a piece of aluminum can absorb acid.
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Yeah the rust on this bike is indicative, as the owner indicates, of inadvertent neglect. Rust behind the front wheel is just straight forward neglect. If you leave metal unpainted for any length of time it will rust. I will say the rust in the battery compartment is NOT normal. I suspect something had definitely been going on in that area to do with the battery. I've never ever seen a GT or GTS that has rust like that inside, and I've seen inside many many GT/GTS bikes.
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Stromrider wrote:
Yeah the rust on this bike is indicative, as the owner indicates, of inadvertent neglect. Rust behind the front wheel is just straight forward neglect. If you leave metal unpainted for any length of time it will rust. I will say the rust in the battery compartment is NOT normal. I suspect something had definitely been going on in that area to do with the battery. I've never ever seen a GT or GTS that has rust like that inside, and I've seen inside many many GT/GTS bikes.
Many wash the scooter with the steam wand and then do not dry it ...
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I previously owned (and sold) a 2015 GTS. I did not (as Stromrider suggested) treat it with an up-front preventative such as Waxoyl. I did, however, use Salt-Off, a product for boats exposed to salt water, a few times over the course of the winter and also in the spring. I also used touch-up paint to treat any paint dings. When I did notice a bit of rust in the battery compartment, I treated it with Rustoleum paint. Suffice to say, the body and battery compartment are structurally sound. I don't know what happened to your GTS, but perhaps winter road treatments may have had something to do with that corrosion?? I hope the riveted solution works for a while!
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It seems that instead of salt they used nitric acid to melt the ice ...
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There's been a few cases here of similar. Is it poor sealing on the battery compartment cover?
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I was pretty shocked that in just 5 years things could get so bad.

The riveted battery compartment should hold but rust is everywhere now.

I'm in the north east and I ride through the winter so I think that is the main issue. But it's still very disappointing.

I've applied rust converter, then a rubberized epoxy, and finally fluid film.

If I get 3 or 4 more years out of it I'll be very happy.
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cshama wrote:
I was pretty shocked that in just 5 years things could get so bad.

The riveted battery compartment should hold but rust is everywhere now.

I'm in the north east and I ride through the winter so I think that is the main issue. But it's still very disappointing.

I've applied rust converter, then a rubberized epoxy, and finally fluid film.

If I get 3 or 4 more years out of it I'll be very happy.
It looks like you have made your repair. But, I have a method that I have used on old VW's (battery compartment under the back seat and drivers floorboard) and on a Honda CT90 battery area.

Clean everything back to where you get the thickest metal possible. Cut patches out of sheet metal and shape to fit. Apply JB Weld liberally around the hole. Screw on the patch using self-tapping screws. Apply more JB Weld around the edge of the sheet metal on the outside and smooth out into a "seal" and over the screw heads to lock them in place. Let dry. Paint with Rustoleum.
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Sadly, your scooter has very little resale value at this point but will still get you around town just fine. I would look more toward welding in panels and repainting/treating the inside/outside to prevent more damage. It doesn't have to look good, just function and replace the strength lost. Your repair will buy you some time until you can find someone capable.
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It's like in the song "Diamond and rust" where the roles are between the Vespa and the owner.
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