Wed Nov 10, 2021 7:33 pm

Member
Vespa P200e '79
Joined: 03 Nov 2021
Posts: 5
Location: Carlsbad, CA
 
Member
Vespa P200e '79
Joined: 03 Nov 2021
Posts: 5
Location: Carlsbad, CA
Wed Nov 10, 2021 7:33 pm linkquote
Hi All,

I am new to this site and hoping someone can point me in the right direction.

My P200, which has been in storage (climate controlled FWIW) for the past 8 years, is finally getting to see the light of day. The guys at Vespa Motorsport (San Diego) got the bike "ready" for storage (basically drained what needed to be drained etc) in 2014 but now that I have more time on my hands (and since I live much farther way) I want to take a crack at getting the bike roadworthy myself. The scoot was running fine before I mothballed it, though it was never ridden a whole lot. The intended use going forward is to the coffee shop, grocery store and other short distance runs.

The gas tank has a little residual gas that has thickened somewhat but has no rust as best I can tell (see pic). Do I need to clean the tank with acetone (I watched the Scooterwest YT video on this) or can adding new gasoline alone do the trick since its a small area of varnishing? I am replacing the oil tank (it was cracked where the sight glass screws in) and relevant gaskets/seals. Should the fuel tap be replaced as well due to the varnish? I plan to replace the fuel line as well as the oil line. I am hoping that addressing these issues will allow me to get a crack at starting the scooter and to see what other issues crop up.

I expect I need to replace the tires given they are ~15 years old though a visual check does not suggest anything wrong with them. The new 12v battery is in place and that showed the headlight is not working but turn signals, brake light, and the horn are. Could it be the headlight needs to be replaced or possibly a problem elsewhere?

I am hoping someone on MV can share a link that might have a checklist of things that I should look into/likely need to replace on a bike that has not been ridden for as long as mine. I am working my way through the knowledge base on this site (overwhelming in volume at times yet very helpful) but if anyone can point me to particular links on this forum that might help me zero in on the relevant stuff that would be greatly appreciated.




Oil tank has been removed as it was cracked



Wed Nov 10, 2021 7:42 pm

Molto Verboso
63 Lambretta LI 125 series 3, 71 Sprint Veloce , 2005 Vespa PX150, 1979 P200E
Joined: 04 Jul 2011
Posts: 1071
Location: Tucson, AZ
 
Molto Verboso
63 Lambretta LI 125 series 3, 71 Sprint Veloce , 2005 Vespa PX150, 1979 P200E
Joined: 04 Jul 2011
Posts: 1071
Location: Tucson, AZ
Wed Nov 10, 2021 7:42 pm linkquote
The headlight is not going to work with just the battery. The rear tail light, neutral light, horn, back light of the speedometer and turn signals will work. The gas tank looks a little sticky on the bottom but hard to say from just the picture, I never dealt with a empty tank like that although I just pulled a Scooter from my shed after 3 years.

If anything I would expect the fuel tap to go bad on your scooter but don't replace it if it doesn't leak. I haven't have much of a problem with carburetors either but I use a gallon of carburator chemical fluid whenever I want to clean them overnight.

It seems like your P200E is well taken care off. You should pay close attention to the tires, today they might look ok but sitting for 8 years can be detrimental specially if the tires did not roll. Touch the tires and take a closer look with good light.
Wed Nov 10, 2021 8:03 pm

Member
Vespa P200e '79
Joined: 03 Nov 2021
Posts: 5
Location: Carlsbad, CA
 
Member
Vespa P200e '79
Joined: 03 Nov 2021
Posts: 5
Location: Carlsbad, CA
Wed Nov 10, 2021 8:03 pm linkquote
Many thanks, Scooterist. I think I will change the tires for the reasons you suggest....and it will make my wife happy
Wed Nov 10, 2021 8:10 pm

Lucky
76 Sprint V, 63 GL, 62 VBB, 05 Stella
Joined: 16 Jun 2011
Posts: 4244
Location: Nashville
 
Lucky
76 Sprint V, 63 GL, 62 VBB, 05 Stella
Joined: 16 Jun 2011
Posts: 4244
Location: Nashville
Wed Nov 10, 2021 8:10 pm linkquote
Agreed on the tires. They're going to be hard and slippery, so don't push it if you take the bike out before you replace them.

Also, expect that the seals may fail in relatively short order after sitting that long, causing an air leak. If that happens, you'll need to replace them, which takes you down a whole 'nother path, especially the clutch side seal. If you find that you suddenly develop a fast idle or the bike doesn't want to return to idle when you stop, that's what's happening, don't tell yourself otherwise and hope it goes away.

That's an outstanding looking bike and with a little maintenance, a P200 will carry you wherever you want to go for a lot of years to come.
Wed Nov 10, 2021 10:03 pm

Addicted
Scattered remnants of 1974 Rally
Joined: 30 Jul 2009
Posts: 837
Location: San Francisco, CA
 
Addicted
Scattered remnants of 1974 Rally
Joined: 30 Jul 2009
Posts: 837
Location: San Francisco, CA
Wed Nov 10, 2021 10:03 pm linkquote
It looks great. It might just start up.

- Generally good to rebuild the carb and clean it all out.
- Oil change (might have all dripped out)
- Plug
- Battery
- Tires are good to change
- two stroke oil is good to run through and refresh

Could have some issues after a little bit
- Cables sometimes start breaking after sitting a while
- The fuel line/tap can get debris in it, and show up as issues, but not right away (be aware)
Thu Nov 11, 2021 6:22 pm

Hooked
1959 Allstate w PX Engine
Joined: 29 Nov 2020
Posts: 382
Location: Los Angeles
 
Hooked
1959 Allstate w PX Engine
Joined: 29 Nov 2020
Posts: 382
Location: Los Angeles
Thu Nov 11, 2021 6:22 pm linkquote
Wow, good call with that planned climate-controlled storage.
Tank looks good from here. Tires not so much.
Since you're replacing the lines anyway, you could pour 1/2 gallon of lacquer thinner in the tank to knock loose that small amount of (what looks like) varnish and dump it out.

The auto mix will not work right away unless you prime it. Not sure what you'll need to do but maybe start with your own 2% premix until you're certain the oil pump is delivering oil to the engine.
Thu Nov 11, 2021 8:18 pm

Member
Vespa P200e '79
Joined: 03 Nov 2021
Posts: 5
Location: Carlsbad, CA
 
Member
Vespa P200e '79
Joined: 03 Nov 2021
Posts: 5
Location: Carlsbad, CA
Thu Nov 11, 2021 8:18 pm linkquote
Thanks everyone. I really appreciate the responses. Picking up replacement parts tomorrow and will post an update after I get everything installed.
Fri Nov 12, 2021 6:46 am

Lucky
76 Sprint V, 63 GL, 62 VBB, 05 Stella
Joined: 16 Jun 2011
Posts: 4244
Location: Nashville
 
Lucky
76 Sprint V, 63 GL, 62 VBB, 05 Stella
Joined: 16 Jun 2011
Posts: 4244
Location: Nashville
Fri Nov 12, 2021 6:46 am linkquote
Share a video of the first start if you can. We love first start videos around here (I do, anyway).

And since the bike was properly laid up, you probably don't strictly need to clean the carb, but it also wouldn't hurt to throw a little seafoam in the first couple tanks of gas, either.
Mon Nov 22, 2021 3:13 pm

Member
Vespa P200e '79
Joined: 03 Nov 2021
Posts: 5
Location: Carlsbad, CA
 
Member
Vespa P200e '79
Joined: 03 Nov 2021
Posts: 5
Location: Carlsbad, CA
Mon Nov 22, 2021 3:13 pm linkquote
Update and a question:

- cleaned the gas tank with acetone and managed to get all of the varnish off and have a clean rust free tank
- installed new fuel tap, fuel line, and euro style fuel tap lever
- installed new oil tank (old one was cracked at the sight glass) and new oil line
- cleaned the carburetor and jets with carb cleaner but, critically, failed to check the float and needle as part of this process.
Paid the price for that oversight with gasoline running out of the carburetor when opened the fuel line in my first attempt to start the engine. A quick check confirmed the float needle was stuck. Lesson learned. Knowing the old carb was at least 18 years old have ordered (from Scooter-Speed) a new SI Dellorto 24/24 along with the 2 gaskets (carb to box, and box to case). Hope to get that installed this week and take a second crack and starting up the bike.

Question: the guy at Scooter-speed said I run the risk of the engine seals failing after I run the engine (given its been sitting unused for years). The solution he suggested: open the breather valve near the clutch cover and add Marvel Mystery (or similar oil). Let it sit in the engine for a week but every day turn the motor over once or twice with the kickstart. At the end of the week drain the oil (via the gear box oil plug? ). It is what they do at SS when they work on bikes with histories similar to mine. To be clear he said it reduces substantially the risk of failing seals but does not guarantee it. Any thoughts/comments/insights on this approach? I will be installing new tires this week so will have access to that area anyway.
Mon Nov 22, 2021 3:22 pm

Lucky
76 Sprint V, 63 GL, 62 VBB, 05 Stella
Joined: 16 Jun 2011
Posts: 4244
Location: Nashville
 
Lucky
76 Sprint V, 63 GL, 62 VBB, 05 Stella
Joined: 16 Jun 2011
Posts: 4244
Location: Nashville
Mon Nov 22, 2021 3:22 pm linkquote
I hadn't heard of trying to re-lubricate the seal prior to running like that, but I don't see how it could make anything worse, and the seal is probably going to fail sooner than later in any case, to be honest. Now we're just discussing how long until it happens.

As to the carb, you could have order a new float and needle (you'd have needed a new one anyway, as the ethanol in gas will destroy the rubber of the original float needle after a few months) and dropped those in with the carb still in place. You can also swap in the parts off the new carb, too, in about five minutes since it's just pulling the float cover to do it. Either option will be fine, but the old carb is still absolutely good to use if you don't want to swap it.

Assuming you do swap it, my one bit of clever advice would be to not worry about moving the fuel line from the old banjo to the new, since it's the same part on both carbs and it'll save you having to remove and re-install the fuel line, which can be a PITA.
Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:23 pm

Member
Vespa P200e '79
Joined: 03 Nov 2021
Posts: 5
Location: Carlsbad, CA
 
Member
Vespa P200e '79
Joined: 03 Nov 2021
Posts: 5
Location: Carlsbad, CA
Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:23 pm linkquote
Thanks for all that CM. How would I know when the seals start to fail? One big surprise event or something that builds slowly that I can be aware is starting to happen and then attend to.
Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:52 pm

Member
'63 GL, '74 PV
Joined: 11 Oct 2021
Posts: 10
Location: Chicago
 
Member
'63 GL, '74 PV
Joined: 11 Oct 2021
Posts: 10
Location: Chicago
Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:52 pm linkquote
It's a maybe on the seals failing soon. See what happens. My PV motor is on its original seals (or certainly very old seals) and I know of another like that and both have spent many years under a tarp without any care.
Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:28 pm

Hooked
1959 Allstate w PX Engine
Joined: 29 Nov 2020
Posts: 382
Location: Los Angeles
 
Hooked
1959 Allstate w PX Engine
Joined: 29 Nov 2020
Posts: 382
Location: Los Angeles
Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:28 pm linkquote
javaseeker wrote:
How would I know when the seals start to fail? One big surprise event or something that builds slowly that I can be aware is starting to happen and then attend to.
Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:05 am

Lucky
76 Sprint V, 63 GL, 62 VBB, 05 Stella
Joined: 16 Jun 2011
Posts: 4244
Location: Nashville
 
Lucky
76 Sprint V, 63 GL, 62 VBB, 05 Stella
Joined: 16 Jun 2011
Posts: 4244
Location: Nashville
Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:05 am linkquote
javaseeker wrote:
Thanks for all that CM. How would I know when the seals start to fail? One big surprise event or something that builds slowly that I can be aware is starting to happen and then attend to.
The first sign of an air leak is usually that the motor stops returning to idle smoothly after running for a minute or more.

It may "hunt" when it winds down, doing a "pop-pop-pop" thing for a few seconds as it slows down. It may just not return properly, either fast-idling for anywhere from a few to 30 seconds before settling back down to idle, and in severe cases, it'll do what's called "dieseling," where the RPM's run up to the redline and, because of the lean condition, even killing the ignition or pulling the plug lead won't stop it, because the fuel is igniting from heat & pressure alone like a diesel engine.

As soon as you experience any of those symptoms, it's time to start going easy on the motor (no extended wide-open throttle (WOT) runs, at a minimum) and get ready to replace the seals.
Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:53 am

Ossessionato
79 P200E (Ruby), 62 Allstate (B-62), 2008 Stella (Olive)
Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 2505
Location: Florence, OR
 
Ossessionato
79 P200E (Ruby), 62 Allstate (B-62), 2008 Stella (Olive)
Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 2505
Location: Florence, OR
Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:53 am linkquote
javaseeker wrote:
Update and a question:

Question: the guy at Scooter-speed said I run the risk of the engine seals failing after I run the engine (given its been sitting unused for years). The solution he suggested: open the breather valve near the clutch cover and add Marvel Mystery (or similar oil). Let it sit in the engine for a week but every day turn the motor over once or twice with the kickstart. At the end of the week drain the oil (via the gear box oil plug? ). It is what they do at SS when they work on bikes with histories similar to mine. To be clear he said it reduces substantially the risk of failing seals but does not guarantee it. Any thoughts/comments/insights on this approach? I will be installing new tires this week so will have access to that area anyway.
This sounds like great advice. Next questionable engine I do I'm going to do this. I just had a seal blow and meltdown, because I didn't want to believe the seals went after starting it up.

The symptoms were:
Hard to keep the engine running,
but adding some choke would keep it running
Hard to start
Would wind down very slow - didn't want to drop to idle

All symptoms pointed to an air leak. So I pressure tested the combustion chamber, and air was just blowing through the thing. Turned out that the flywheel side seal totally melted and made a mess, cause I kept trying to run it like an idiot.

Rebuilding it now. Here is the thread: Getting Bianca, the P200 back on the road
Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:26 pm

Hooked
1959 Allstate w PX Engine
Joined: 29 Nov 2020
Posts: 382
Location: Los Angeles
 
Hooked
1959 Allstate w PX Engine
Joined: 29 Nov 2020
Posts: 382
Location: Los Angeles
Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:26 pm linkquote
qascooter wrote:
The symptoms were:
Hard to keep the engine running,
but adding some choke would keep it running
Hard to start
Would wind down very slow - didn't want to drop to idle

All symptoms pointed to an air leak. So I pressure tested the combustion chamber, and air was just blowing through the thing. Turned out that the flywheel side seal totally melted and made a mess, cause I kept trying to run it like an idiot.

Rebuilding it now. Here is the thread: Getting Bianca, the P200 back on the road
Those symptoms are demonstrated in the video I linked to, including pulling the clutch to calm the engine at 1:00.
Sounds like that MMO pre-lube is a great idea!
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