Mon May 23, 2022 5:03 am

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Mon May 23, 2022 5:03 am linkquote
theschuman wrote:
I Googled Vespa piston ring compressor, but nothing specific (to the Vespa) came up…. Does anyone have a suggestion in terms of what I should buy as a ring compressor to allow me to try without (and then with) the piston ring in its current state??
You are blowing this out of proportion. Look at the scooterwest video... you can put the rings on with your fingers. I used two PLASTIC pry bars to push on it and they went right in. The whole process takes (maybe) 40 or 50 seconds. Once that third ring is in, slide it on(holding the piston in place) and down, align piston pin hole and slide in piston pin, insert circlip , push cylinder all the way to the base gasket and move on. This whole thing is a less than 10 minute operation that requires no special tools.

Start at 14:55, watch to 21:00. This is almost real time. Notice that it takes him literally 30 seconds to squeeze the rings and slide the piston in. He inserts to the last ring, puts the whole cylinder/piston assembly on , lines up the piston, inserts pin and retainer.

Just do it.

Last edited by rdhood on Mon May 23, 2022 5:06 am; edited 2 times in total
Mon May 23, 2022 5:03 am

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Mon May 23, 2022 5:03 am linkquote
The bore of a GTS 300 is 3 inches. That's the sizing info you need to buy a ring compressor. However, many local auto parts stores like autozone or advance auto, O'reilly's , etc have a free tool loaner program. You might call and ask if they have a 3" ring compressor for loan.

Again, you can get it back together with no ring compressor if you exercise a bit of care.

Lastly, don't sweat this. If you've gotten this far you'll be able to finish the rest.
Mon May 23, 2022 5:05 am

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Mon May 23, 2022 5:05 am linkquote
theschuman wrote:
I Googled Vespa piston ring compressor, but nothing specific (to the Vespa) came up…. Does anyone have a suggestion in terms of what I should buy as a ring compressor to allow me to try without (and then with) the piston ring in its current state??
Here's one generic example from Amazon. I used this one for my rebuild. (The Piaggio tool is just the metal band part to be used with a pair of pliers.)



Mon May 23, 2022 5:07 am

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Mon May 23, 2022 5:07 am linkquote
I should add that probably the most important part of this whole process is making sure when you put the piston pin and retaining clip back in to make sure you do not over-stress the clip by bending it too far. Make sure it fully seats in its groove.
Mon May 23, 2022 5:10 am

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Mon May 23, 2022 5:10 am linkquote
I spent more time make sure the rings were oriented correctly and at the correct position than I spent compressing them enough to get them in the piston.
Mon May 23, 2022 5:13 am

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Mon May 23, 2022 5:13 am linkquote
Bueller wrote:
I should add that probably the most important part of this whole process is making sure when you put the piston pin and retaining clip back in to make sure you do not over-stress the clip by bending it too far. Make sure it fully seats in its groove.
It's actually harder to do this than to compress the rings to get the piston in the cylinder. Don't be surprised if the last ring slips out a few times and you have to take it (the cylinder assembly) off and compress the ring again.

Last edited by rdhood on Mon May 23, 2022 8:54 am; edited 1 time in total
Mon May 23, 2022 5:39 am

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Mon May 23, 2022 7:28 am

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Mon May 23, 2022 7:28 am linkquote
How did the seating of the rings go?

As some folks above were saying all you have to do is exercise patience and an abundance of caution. Slowly work the rings in one at a time. the key is to keep uniform pressure as you put the piston into the cylinder.
Mon May 23, 2022 1:49 pm

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Mon May 23, 2022 1:49 pm linkquote
theschuman wrote:
A what now? I am going to try using a tongue depressor because it rhymes with "ring compressor", and it's also something I've heard of before.

Anyone want to come to CT and take this thing, in its present state, away from me for a reasonable price? I really want to ride, and being a mechanic just isn't for me.
Another one in the camp of don't give up now—you're sooo close. You've got this!
Mon May 23, 2022 3:16 pm

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Mon May 23, 2022 3:16 pm linkquote
Yes, what he said above. Take a break from it if you are frustrated.
It will come together for you. you are at the most difficult part, everything after this is easy peasy...
Tue May 24, 2022 2:24 am

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Tue May 24, 2022 2:24 am linkquote
I haven't done it yet. Maybe this weekend, as I work and have family commitments (my son's baseball games) after work.

I appreciate the votes of confidence. Where can I get the clips for the piston rod? Aren't those one-time use items? I can't find them for sale at ScooterPartsCo…
Tue May 24, 2022 7:19 am

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Tue May 24, 2022 7:19 am linkquote
Any dealer can order them. Yes, they say one time use. I have re-used them by carefully removing and reinstalling them. If you do so, it is at your own risk of course but I haven't had an issue so far
Tue May 24, 2022 8:50 am

Molto Verboso
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Tue May 24, 2022 8:50 am linkquote
theschuman wrote:
I haven't done it yet. Maybe this weekend, as I work and have family commitments (my son's baseball games) after work.

I appreciate the votes of confidence. Where can I get the clips for the piston rod? Aren't those one-time use items? I can't find them for sale at ScooterPartsCo…
I think scooterwest has them in stock for a couple bucks
https://www.scooterwest.com/wrist-pin-clip-wire-type-15mm-modern-vespa-963486.html
Tue May 24, 2022 3:21 pm

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Tue May 24, 2022 3:21 pm linkquote
I have reused them as well, I can understand why they are one time use, considering what they hold in. If you are waiting to put it all back together then order some for peace of mind. Mine clicked in pretty solid, and felt like there were not going anywhere, so I stuck with the old ones. Word of caution, those things have a tendency to fly everywhere and are a little tough to get clicked into place. Do it somewhere you can easily find it, if during installation it slips out of the grips of your needle nose. So much fun.
Good luck.
⬆️    About 1 month elapsed between posts    ⬇️
Thu Jun 23, 2022 6:17 am

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Thu Jun 23, 2022 6:17 am linkquote
I'm back at it. Just cleaned up the area around the base gasket. Cleaning up the cylinder and found some rust (see pics). Is it fine to reassemble with this rust on there? If it's going to be an issue, how do I remove it? Thanks again!



Thu Jun 23, 2022 6:18 am

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Thu Jun 23, 2022 6:18 am linkquote
Less detailed view of rust.



Thu Jun 23, 2022 9:03 am

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Thu Jun 23, 2022 9:03 am linkquote
I would try to use a scotch pad or Emory cloth to clean it up. That spot is most likely surface, and depending on the condition of the head, it could cause some weakness in that location. The smoother the barrel and head are, the better they will mate, and put less stress on the gasket.

I am sure some folks will argue with me on this, but I have found details can make or break the rebuild. I don't know about you, but after my rebuild, I think about all the shortcuts I took and if they are going to hold up to rigors of riding, I like long distance riding, so if I were to leave that spot, it would be in the back of my mind every time I ride the bike.

Good luck and keep us posted.
Thu Jun 23, 2022 3:57 pm

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Thu Jun 23, 2022 3:57 pm linkquote
Thanks... Okay, I will get an Emory Cloth. But, do I need to go beyond "step 1"; Emory Cloth is "step 1"?



Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:40 pm

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Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:40 pm linkquote
That's a machined mating surface. I don't think you want anything like 80 grit sandpaper near there. Are you sure it won't wipe off with some cleaner and a soft rag?
Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:56 pm

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Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:56 pm linkquote
Just wipe with some acetone. If you still think some scraping is needed, just flatten some 3/8 copper tubing, sharpen the flat end with a file, and use that. It's softer than the aluminum, so won't score the surface. Don't use anything that leaves any sort of groove, however tiny, on the surface.

BTW, it can't be a rusted surface - it's aluminum, not ferrous at all. Probably just some hot oil staining.
Thu Jun 23, 2022 5:49 pm

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Thu Jun 23, 2022 5:49 pm linkquote
I agree, it is not rust. Wipe it down with acetone or brake cleaner. Don't scrub it.
Fri Jun 24, 2022 5:27 am

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Fri Jun 24, 2022 5:27 am linkquote
I'm pretty sure it's rust. Brake cleaner did absolutely nothing to it. The reverse side also has rust as in this pic. Brake cleaner has zero effect on those "dark" parts in the pics.



Fri Jun 24, 2022 5:37 am

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Fri Jun 24, 2022 5:37 am linkquote
Also, here is some more (probably bad) news. There are some scratches on the part of the engine case where the base gasket goes (not on the cylinder, but on the the part of the engine base where the cylinder meets the base). The longest scratch is about 1 cm and deep enough to catch a fingernail. Please see pic and advise.



Fri Jun 24, 2022 6:08 am

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Fri Jun 24, 2022 6:08 am linkquote
I have just read this thread for the 1st time this morning. You are doing great, and I really admire your nerve and tenacity. I am also a complete novice when it comes to engine work, so it helps me to see that you, with no experience, can do this. We're all rooting for you.
Fri Jun 24, 2022 6:24 am

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Fri Jun 24, 2022 6:24 am linkquote
theschuman wrote:
Also, here is some more (probably bad) news. There are some scratches on the part of the engine case where the base gasket goes (not on the cylinder, but on the the part of the engine base where the cylinder meets the base). The longest scratch is about 1 cm and deep enough to catch a fingernail. Please see pic and advise.
That's what gaskets are for. Dress it lightly to make sure it isn't raised up, wipe clean and assemble with a new gasket.
Fri Jun 24, 2022 6:42 am

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Fri Jun 24, 2022 6:42 am linkquote
The new gasket should seal up nicely - nothing you can see there is out of the ordinary.
Fri Jun 24, 2022 8:32 am

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Fri Jun 24, 2022 8:32 am linkquote
NightWing wrote:
That's what gaskets are for. Dress it lightly to make sure it isn't raised up, wipe clean and assemble with a new gasket.
Thanks again to all. How does one "dress it lightly"? And should I worry about the rust? Or just lay the gaskets down after all is cleaned up (which is where I'm at… I just freaked when I saw the rust and then the scratches)?
Fri Jun 24, 2022 9:59 am

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Fri Jun 24, 2022 9:59 am linkquote
A small flat hone or a bit of 600 emery wrapped around a flat stick would suffice. Maybe even an emery board from a female's stash. Again, aluminum doesn't rust. Don't worry about stains. Don't try to take scratches out, just make sure the edges aren't proud.
Fri Jun 24, 2022 12:54 pm

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Fri Jun 24, 2022 12:54 pm linkquote
Gonna try acetone to get those "rust" spots off. Will 100% acetone nail polish remover be fine?
Fri Jun 24, 2022 1:03 pm

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Fri Jun 24, 2022 1:03 pm linkquote
Try a little 0000 steel wool and your fingertip. Rub gently in a circular motion. Make sure to clean up all the little steel wool "fuzzies" that will break off.
Fri Jun 24, 2022 1:10 pm

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Fri Jun 24, 2022 1:10 pm linkquote
Just clean with acetone and get on with it!
Sat Jun 25, 2022 9:25 am

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Sat Jun 25, 2022 9:25 am linkquote
The saga continues -

100% acetone nail polish remover didn't take the spots off, but they seem less "raised". The bigger one is still a little rough compared to the rest of the surface.

Also, I was shipped the wrong gasket set. I think they shipped me the 300 HPE set. Good thing I noticed the gaskets were different!



Sat Jun 25, 2022 1:32 pm

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Sat Jun 25, 2022 1:32 pm linkquote
Well done noticing tthe difference before you ripped the packaging open!

Those discoloured bits you seem so fussed about lie outside the gasket area - so ignore them.
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