Mon Sep 13, 2021 7:51 pm

Addicted
'07 GTS250, '07 LX150, '81 P200E, '80 P200E, '64 V90 and 3 Ciaos
Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Posts: 517
Location: Tucson, AZ
 
Addicted
'07 GTS250, '07 LX150, '81 P200E, '80 P200E, '64 V90 and 3 Ciaos
Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Posts: 517
Location: Tucson, AZ
Mon Sep 13, 2021 7:51 pm linkquote
Quote:
Lost Dog. Three Legs, Blind in One Eye, Missing Ear, Tail Broken...Answers To The Name "Lucky".
Yes, it's an old joke, but quite appropriate. I picked up my first Modern Vespa last night, and it's a rescue mutt.

I've several friends who ride GTs and GTSs that have teased me about coming to the dark side for years. I have a couple of P200Es, but they're almost old enough to drink again and lack the panache of the newer machines.

On a recent club outing, one of our members who rides a 2019 Primavera was lamenting the performance of his machine. He loves the size and the comfort it affords, but after a 130-mile loop through Elgin and Sonoita, he was put off by it's performance on the trip down AZ-83 which includes 8% grades and faster traffic. At the post-ride lunch, he vocalized his his discontent, but made it clear that even the GTS seemed big and heavy to him. Offhand, I mentioned that there had been 190cc kits for the old ET4 and LX, so maybe there was one for the Primavera. He wanted to know what that would do for him, but since I hadn't ever wrenched or ridden one, I referred him here for evidence. While the rider has yet to make a decision, I kept thinking about it and decided it would be fun to see what a kitted modern smallframe would ride like...

Three weeks later, a friend in Phoenix sent me an OfferUp link to this bike. It was apparent that it had problems, but the price was so low and the fact that it had paper made it hard to resist. I sent him the funds and a finder's fee.

Lucky is now home and I'm assessing what ails him. There is some body damage (the fender looks like it was removed with bolt cutters...), a non-trivial number of wiring sins (T-taps, hacked wire, weird homemade harnesses and a toggle stuck in the center cover) and other hamfisted attempts to get Lucky running. The carburetor is a Chinese clone with a pull-knob choke...this one is more sensible since the pet-carrier is missing; just lift the seat (latch destroyed), reach down and pull the choke. VGG-approved!

Keys are gone. The previous owner got tired of trying to make it run and wanted some quick cash to put into an RC car project. Smart move, since they weren't going to get Lucky going as he sat, since the immobilizer/CDI/flasher relay module was missing.

On the upside, Lucky has low mileage (~4800) and a set of Bitubo shocks. There is compression, though the kicker is slow to return. Engine oil and final drive oil is cleaner, but not suspiciously so. Aside from the fender and the horn cover, the rest of the bodywork is present.

I've already more than doubled my investment in Lucky in replacement parts and there's more on the way. After a cursory engine inspection, I feel the next step is to go over the wiring harness with a fine-toothed comb and test/repair the harness. Then I'll get a new immobilizer with antenna and pair it to the new lock set. If Lucky decides to run, then I'll look at bodywork and maybe some mods.

Anyway, I'll tag on some photos of Lucky as he currently sits and update as he moves towards being roadworthy again.


Less photogenic side.


Underseat nonsense.


Low miles.


WTH with that fender!?!


Yup, that may have something to do with Lucky's problems.

Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:00 am

Addicted
'07 GTS250, '07 LX150, '81 P200E, '80 P200E, '64 V90 and 3 Ciaos
Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Posts: 517
Location: Tucson, AZ
 
Addicted
'07 GTS250, '07 LX150, '81 P200E, '80 P200E, '64 V90 and 3 Ciaos
Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Posts: 517
Location: Tucson, AZ
Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:00 am linkquote
It just gets better and better...some of the stuff I'm finding reminds me of the "Customer States" threads on the reddit forum "Just Rolled Into The Shop":
Quote:
Customer states that the rear brake lever is floppy. Technician reports that the cable knarp is snapped off at the lever. New cable is on order.
Quote:
Customer states that the engine doesn't respond to the throttle. Technician reports that the cable inner is missing, and the carb end of the cable outer attached to linkage through the application Vice-Grips and lots of enthusiasm. New cable is on order.
Quote:
Customer states that the speedometer is not working. Technician reports that the entire cable is missing. So much for low mileage. New cable is on order.
So far, the wiring looks repairable. There were some really ugly bits of wire in the space where the pet carrier belongs, but I've traced a lot of it to superfluous add-ons and attempts to bypass the immobilizer circuit. My biggest concerns are the T-taps; I believe I should split the wires that were fitted with T-taps and crimp them back together rather than sealing over a weakened point in the wire. The biggest unknown at this point are the bonus leads added to the starter relay via ring terminals. The leads disappear into the frame and gently tugging on then causes an odd clunking noise in the bodywork back between the fuel tank and the right rear indicator. Can't wait to find out what lies within.

Pictures follow, identifying all the weird stuff in the harness. Glad this is a carbureted bike, or this could really get expensive to resolve.


Interrupt switch for coil. The original leads are still in the chassis, below the coil.


This mess is where the interrupt switch wires to, as well as leads that went to the coil. The white plug is likely where a hacked-in Honda CDI from a Spree or Elite 80 went


Weird starter relay piggyback leads went to a momentary button under the bumper. It just bridged power from the battery to the starter motor.


Lucky has been de-wormed.

⬆️    About 2 months elapsed between posts    ⬇️
Mon Nov 08, 2021 1:31 pm

Addicted
'07 GTS250, '07 LX150, '81 P200E, '80 P200E, '64 V90 and 3 Ciaos
Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Posts: 517
Location: Tucson, AZ
 
Addicted
'07 GTS250, '07 LX150, '81 P200E, '80 P200E, '64 V90 and 3 Ciaos
Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Posts: 517
Location: Tucson, AZ
Mon Nov 08, 2021 1:31 pm linkquote
Quote:
Can you put a price on sanity? In this instance, the price was $58
I hadn't been able to devote time to Lucky recently. Work had me out of town for a few weeks and I'm about to head out again. I'd also been working on a project with a friend that involves getting our small hoard of castoff two-strokes running again and I'm pleased to say we've made a good dent in that job. Still, I was feeling rather guilty today, enjoying a morning cup of tea and looking at the battered LX in my courtyard.

I've been wanting to confirm that Lucky is a runner before sinking too much money into his resurrection; paint and bodywork aren't cheap. I haven't attempted to paint in years and I haven't put nearly enough time into studying RestoLad on Youtube. So, I'll stick to what I know for now and keep chasing that spark of life.

I did get a spraypainted cardboard box full of random bits from Lucky and some of those bits were connectors that had been clipped off the wiring harness. I had been shopping for replacement harness online and not surprisingly, they cost a fair bit more than Lucky. The exercise was beneficial, as I'm now aware that there are no less than three variations on the LX harness. I recently struck paydirt, when AF1 Racing listed a lovingly used '07 LX150 harness that looked to be in good nick. Money changed hands and I now have a usable harness.

Worked from home today, so I used my lunch break to fiddle Lucky's old harness out of the chassis. I will admit to snipping off the lead for the fuel sender; dropping the tank wasn't going to happen without removing the rear shock and try as I may, I simply couldn't get the sender plug disconnected through the chassis notch for the seat lock. As for the rest of it, I figured it would be good practice to figure out how to disentangle things so I could re-entangle the replacement later.

My hope is to run the replacement harness in two weekends and try cranking Lucky over by his starter motor. Kicking him has been an exercise in futility and I probably need to buy the right tools to remove the CVT for servicing anyway.


Old harness was pretty rough.


Wiring's all gone.


This bit really frosts me. They hacked up the starter relay to fit this, but had then hacked off the leads needed to make it work. The dang "bumper button" from above was just bridging the main terminals!



Last edited by az_slynch on Thu Dec 23, 2021 11:25 am; edited 1 time in total
Tue Nov 23, 2021 12:56 pm

Addicted
'07 GTS250, '07 LX150, '81 P200E, '80 P200E, '64 V90 and 3 Ciaos
Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Posts: 517
Location: Tucson, AZ
 
Addicted
'07 GTS250, '07 LX150, '81 P200E, '80 P200E, '64 V90 and 3 Ciaos
Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Posts: 517
Location: Tucson, AZ
Tue Nov 23, 2021 12:56 pm linkquote
Worked from home today, so I used my lunchtime to fit the replacement harness into Lucky. I must say, while liquid cooling makes for more powerful and longer-lived engines, not having to work around a cooling system made this job pretty straightforward. Having a harness that isn't hacked to bits either is nice, because it suddenly fits nicely in the chassis without a lot of guesswork. Now I need to reconnect the headset wiring, clip on the rear lamps and pick up a battery of suitable capacity.

The goal here is to see if Lucky will run, so I'm not overly concerned with buttoning everything up to spec. If he fires over and runs reasonably, I'll proceed to order the next round of repair parts and replacement bits of bodywork.

While waiting for last Monday's flight, I ordered a Neiko bodywork repair kit off of Amazon for the princely sum of $35 plus tax. Over the last weekend, I spent a little time practicing on Lucky's smashed-up nose. Fortunately, there's a lot of bent metal to practice on. So far, I've managed to unroll the driver's side of the horncast opening and push out a pair of nasty creases below the passenger side turn signal. There's a caved-in section between the passenger-side indicator and the horncast opening and a few nasty indentations at the bottom of the opening; those will be a bugger to work back out due to the position of the steering tube.

The next steps, assuming the engine works, are:

- Remove the forward end of the harness again
- Invest in a slapping file, a shot bag and a few more body dollies and try to work out the rest of the dents
- Remove the rear harness and evap components so I can try to pop out the dents in the passenger-side cowling.
- Sand and prime those areas to protect the exposed metalwork. Remove the busted badging.
- Find a shop willing to respray a Vespa chassis that was hammered on by a bodywork noob.

Stay tuned!


Less spaghetti up top.


Engine bay is much tidier.


See original pics. Somehow, he's less crinkled now.

Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:40 am

Hooked
PK50XL, PK100S, ET3
Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 252
Location: UK
 
Hooked
PK50XL, PK100S, ET3
Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 252
Location: UK
Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:40 am linkquote
Thats good progress! wiring is such a nightmare.

Rather than a bodyshop doing the paint, do you go down the rattlecan route.
Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:52 am

Addicted
'07 GTS250, '07 LX150, '81 P200E, '80 P200E, '64 V90 and 3 Ciaos
Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Posts: 517
Location: Tucson, AZ
 
Addicted
'07 GTS250, '07 LX150, '81 P200E, '80 P200E, '64 V90 and 3 Ciaos
Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Posts: 517
Location: Tucson, AZ
Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:52 am linkquote
Matchlessman wrote:
Thats good progress! wiring is such a nightmare.

Rather than a bodyshop doing the paint, do you go down the rattlecan route.
The thought has crossed my mind and I have used a paint gun before with a modicum of success. I have resprayed bigger things and the paint didn't fall off within a year, so I figure that counts for something.

A curious thing has happened while working on Lucky; this project has evolved from "get a cheap beater LX running and maybe mod it" into "this has the potential to be a nice little scooter if I put the the time and money in". I have a new color in mind and a list of nonstandard parts I want to add in order to freshen up Lucky's appearance and make him stand out from the crowd.

Is it worth it, though? A decent LX still commands a $2000 price tag and I paid $200 for Lucky. That leaves me with a decent budget to mod with, especially if I chalk up the time I invest in labor as a learning opportunity. Also, I feel a bit better about changing Lucky's look since he's already a mess. I'd be far more reluctant to make changes if he had a straight shell and a healthy paintjob.

I'll consider laying down the paint, but I feel that with the crystalized vision of what Lucky could be, I may just bite the bullet and pay a professional if I don't feel like I can achieve the desired result.
Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:37 am

Hooked
PK50XL, PK100S, ET3
Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 252
Location: UK
 
Hooked
PK50XL, PK100S, ET3
Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 252
Location: UK
Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:37 am linkquote
Do you do both, a diy job while getting Lucky sorted, then when you've got a decent working scooter, get the new colour done professionally.
Thu Dec 02, 2021 11:08 am

Addicted
'07 GTS250, '07 LX150, '81 P200E, '80 P200E, '64 V90 and 3 Ciaos
Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Posts: 517
Location: Tucson, AZ
 
Addicted
'07 GTS250, '07 LX150, '81 P200E, '80 P200E, '64 V90 and 3 Ciaos
Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Posts: 517
Location: Tucson, AZ
Thu Dec 02, 2021 11:08 am linkquote
Lucky powers up. So far, things are working. Headlight high/low beams function, and the corresponding dash lamps work as well. Tail lamp works, as well as brake lamp after cleaning and re-seating the bulb. Horn works, oil light comes on and the low fuel indicator works. Starter cranks the motor and there are no ugly noises.

I need to install the carburetor and rig up a fuel feed, but I'm thinking he'll fire up on non-skunky fuel. Phew, I need to flush the tank, install the new tap and replace the gas cap.

One more note on the tank: I pulled the fuel sender to test the gauge and the low light. With just key-on power, the light works, but the needle doesn't seem to move. Any ideas on that to check?

EDIT: The sender is no bueno. If I orient it *just right*, the needle will move slightly. Got it to read 3/4 for moment, but I twitched and it went straight to Empty. It's probably got issues with the rheostat inside.

I'll put the proper CDI in and program the keys next, to make sure the immobilizer functions and the indicators work.

Then we tear down again and finish fixing the chassis.

EDIT DEUX (12/6/21): Installed Lucky's new carburetor today, along with a cleaned-out airbox and a new filter. Test CDI was installed and fuel was supplied externally. He barked off with little trouble and idled cleanly. Pictures don't convey the joy of hearing the little mutt come to life.

Engine sounds healthy, oil light went off quickly and no weird noises were heard during the warm-up.

On to the next steps. Also, we're green to order the next round of parts. Go Lucky!


Dash lights up. Low fuel? No tank, no surprise.


Yes, that's a temp fuel bottle hanging from an IV pole. Yes, it's connected. Yes, it's feeding the carburetor. No bulb in the right front marker. Lucky still has 99 problems, but his powertrain and electricals aren't on the list.

Thu Dec 23, 2021 10:49 am

Addicted
'07 GTS250, '07 LX150, '81 P200E, '80 P200E, '64 V90 and 3 Ciaos
Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Posts: 517
Location: Tucson, AZ
 
Addicted
'07 GTS250, '07 LX150, '81 P200E, '80 P200E, '64 V90 and 3 Ciaos
Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Posts: 517
Location: Tucson, AZ
Thu Dec 23, 2021 10:49 am linkquote
Had a half-day of work yesterday, so before focus shifted to family and merriment, I figured I'd sneak in some time on Lucky. I was planning on doing some mild maintenance to the latest one to follow me home (you could say, I gotta Fever), but after running across a formerly infamous MV scoot project and diagnosing a no-start on it, I noted how a Vespa kickstarter is supposed to function and decided that the CVT cover was coming off.

First things first, the new carb came off and the inlet was plugged with a BOV return hose plug for a Subaru WRX. I would have left the carb on, but there was an odious puddle of dross lurking on the crankcase below it. I cleaned up the engine and the innards of the rear chassis so I can look at putting the fuel tank back in. Lucky cleaned up decently with some degreasers and a plastic brush, but the block will never be concours-ready unless I strip it and vapor blast it. He came from Illinois originally and there is some patina that would be consistent with exposure to to wintertime road grime. For now, it's just gonna remain integral to Lucky's character.

I'd procured a few tools for servicing the LEADER engine family, so it was time to open up the CVT case. While it was a bit dirty inside, it wasn't too bad (aside from aforementioned patina). This is where Christmas came early. Lucky already has a Malossi belt and clutch installed. I didn't pull everything out due to fading daylight, but it looks like he has the Multivar too. Man, those other guys would be steamed if they had know how many goodies were in this "parts bike"! The name only gets more apropos by the day...

Anyway, the cover is cleaned up and the bearing is still decent. Dismantling the kicker this afternoon if I can finagle the time and hoping it doesn't need more than some cleaning, linishing and lubrication. I hope I never need it, but it would be nice to know it works!

EDIT: Kicker dismantled and cleaned. Gear teeth scrubbed with a wire brush. Twisty bits linished and lubricated. Thank you to NOLA scooter for the fantastic wiki article on setting the clockspring, worked perfectly with the second option and it only took one try. Even got out the Simichrome polish and made the pedal look decent. Works smoothly now and hopefully will still on the day I forget to switch the key off.


Engine is a fair bit cleaner.


CVT is a bit dirty and rusty in places, but serviceable.


Score!


Lucky got a bit of bling for Christmas. I like Sprint style racks, but there just isn't one for an LX. Call it a compromise.


Yep, it's a Fever. 2001 Super Fever ZX. Not a Vespa, but an interesting little bugger in it's own right.

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