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the best strategy is to immediately stop counting costs
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npn wrote:
Yep I ordered bunch of items. My expenses are over $500 now and I paid $500 for the scooter itself... The good news is that I got the Title with my name on it yesterday in the mail

I'll see what else I can do on it while waiting for the parts
Wait until you ride it and realize you need $1500.00 in performance upgrades.
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hibbert wrote:
Wait until you ride it and realize you need $1500.00 in performance upgrades.
Popcorn emoticon ROFL emoticon
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hibbert wrote:
Wait until you ride it and realize you need $1500.00 in performance upgrades.
No man, I'm not into upgrades, normally. And especially for a scooter like this, no way I'd add some upgrades or modifications. I want it as close to as original as possible. This bike was made in India and from what I gather, made to withstand harsh riding conditions. Now, the parts these days are not the same. All made in China and IMO, junk in comparison.

I have one or two acquaintances, they are into bikes, Harleys, and have customized theirs up to the wazoo, but when I ask them "when was the last time you rode your bike", I get like "well I've been busy, the weather is too cold/hot blah blah". There's definitely a crowd out there more interested in customizing and upgrading than actually riding. Not me, if I have something of value, I'd keep it authentic and original.

Been thinking about getting registration plates; didn't think I'll have it ready for riding this summer so only got the Title. What do you think of antique plates? In Illinois, they are cheaper but you can't ride it much. Was thinking of getting a custom plate "number": "NT VSPA"
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While I'm waiting for the new coil, I wanted to learn about timing and points. I'd appreciate it if someone shared a link to a good video or a thread about it.

But first, would the engine fire if the stator is set almost randomly? I put mine in the same exact position I found it but I have no clue if that was original or someone messed with it
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First off, do you know how to find TDC?

Next up find a degree wheel image online, print & stick to cardboard or just buy one.

Now get a small battery & lite bulb w/ some jumper wires so you can detect if/when your points are opening/closing.

Then report back, sorry, I'm being called to dinner now ...
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npn wrote:
... I put mine in the same exact position I found it but I have no clue if that was original or someone messed with it
That's just what I do in your situation initially.

So you HAD good spark at the plug and then lost it?
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Quote:
...didn't think I'll have it ready for riding this summer
wrong I believe


ROFL emoticon


(you actually do pretty nice work, and you're no slouch getting after it. Clap emoticon)You already kinda got the bug, ain't even gone for a ride! Watch this vid for a little taste:

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I think I printed that degree wheel 25 years ago and glued it to a cereal box. However, I have a little window cut out to observe the points.
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V oodoo wrote:
(you actually do pretty nice work, and you're no slouch getting after it. Clap emoticon)You already kinda got the bug, ain't even gone for a ride! Watch this vid for a little taste:

Oh I know I got the bug. The missus has gone mad for I've been spending more time with the scooter than her. I call it passion, she calls it obsession. Truth is that I lost my IT job recently and while waiting for something to pan out, I'm spending my time working on the bike. Today I'll cheat though - going on a 100mi trip on my Harley Sportster 883.

I watched the video, very inspiring! I love those commercials with girls riding them. Btw you know it wasn't the Italians who first had the idea of such vehicle, right? See pic below.

On another note, imo, and this is not changing my new found love, the design is not that great - the engine being on one side creates a massive imbalance of weight... Anyway, I'm sure there are long discussions about it.
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V oodoo wrote:
Then report back, sorry, I'm being called to dinner now ...
No kidding. This is the only task that I truly dread on a Vespa. Luckily, it is something that does not need to be done regularly.
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V oodoo wrote:
So you HAD good spark at the plug and then lost it?
I did have a spark but I don't know if it was "good". It seems kind of weak but I'm not sure, it had been a while since I worked on a small engine like that.

Long story short, I still have consistent spark from the red wire coming out of the stator
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+1

Those are the pages I learned to set points from long ago.
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I wish I took the time and learn about Points before I reinstalled the stator. I could've cleaned a few things, probably lightly sanded the points for better contact and lubricated the felt pad. I know it's not too late, but I really hate removing and putting things back and forth.
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npn wrote:
I wish I took the time and learn about Points before I reinstalled the stator. I could've cleaned a few things, probably lightly sanded the points for better contact and lubricated the felt pad. I know it's not too late, but I really hate removing and putting things back and forth.
you've got a few days, it's easy and worth doing while you wait!
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you can even set the gap correctly with the cigarette paper or gift wrap tissue that I use. easy stuff to have ready for your first start.
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My TDC tool. Just a longer spark plug with removed electrode
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Clap emoticon Great idea for TDC tool!
Quote:
I love those commercials with girls riding them. Btw you know it wasn't the Italians who first had the idea of such vehicle, right?
External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text
The Original Salsbury Motor Glides 1935 to 1937. Foster Salsbury was an innovative businessman based in California, and created the world's first commercially viable motor scooter in 1936.

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text
Model 85 came out about same time as first Vespas. Which one would you choose?

Agreed there were MANY scooter type vehicles developed along w/ first cars and automobiles, usually flops. But Cushman in the USA made some that were vaguely successful and sold a load of them to the Army in WWII w/ many going to troops fighting in Italy. I read somewhere that the specific idea for what to do with their factories first came Piaggio from these primitive scooters.

Quote:
In the later stages of the war in Europe, Allied paratroopers used these scooters to maintain contact between units, increase their mobility and haul small loads. The Cushman Motor Works designed the Model 53 Airborne Scooter to be airdropped by parachute or carried by glider. Some scooters, like this one, had a hitch to pull a model M3A4 general-purpose utility cart. By adding certain equipment, the cart could be converted to carry a .30-cal. or .50-cal. machine gun or even an 81mm mortar.

Cushman made 4,734 airborne scooters for the military beginning in 1944. The rugged, simple Model 53 could travel through a foot of water, climb a 25 percent grade and had a range of approximately 100 miles.

Technical notes:
Maximum speed: 40 mph
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wondering now if I need a shotgun scabbard on my Primavera.
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So my friend bailed on me riding today, cause it was too hot with 41% chance of rain lol... did I mention something about people interested more in customizing bikes than actually riding

Put the exhaust properly tightened, cleaned the undercarriage and tightened the bolts that hold the stand (or whatever you call that... I'm sure people are laughing at me for making up words and calling things "things" lol). That "stand" was holding by a thread literally both bolts...

So without doing much research, the whole thing about, fancy words such as TDC and "points"... It's just finding/setting the point of the stator producing electricity, through the coil, and resulting in a spark inside the cylinder when the piston is at the highest point (max compression) by creating a close circuit through the two end points aka "points"... wow! Talk about old school! Love it

Side note, did you know that Harleys make that spark just after the point of max compression when the piston is on its way down?
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npn wrote:
Side note, did you know that Harleys make that spark just after the point of max compression when the piston is on its way down?
Is that why they are so slow?
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nomadinsiam wrote:
Is that why they are so slow?
Lol it's why they shake like hell. Something it took me awhile to get used to. 120 year anniversary this weekend, craziness in Milwaukee!
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V oodoo wrote:
Now get a small battery & lite bulb w/ some jumper wires so you can detect if/when your points are opening/closing.

Then report back, sorry, I'm being called to dinner now ...
OK I created a simple continuity tester with 6 1.5v batteries and a light bulb. Basically touching the loose wires with alligator leads closes the circuit and the bulb lights up.

However, connecting one lead to the red wire coming out of the stator, and the other to the frame indicates a continuous closed circuit. Spinning the flywheel makes the light brightness change a bit (I guess it adds 6v electricity) but the light stays on the entire time.

Is that how it's supposed to act? I'm not sure if I'm doing this right, but I don't think I can detect properly with this setup when the "points" are closing/opening.
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poor man's method - gift tissue or cigarette paper between the points, they hold it. turn the flywheel. when it releases the paper, the points have opened and this is your firing point. it's close enough.
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sdjohn wrote:
poor man's method - gift tissue or cigarette paper between the points, they hold it. turn the flywheel. when it releases the paper, the points have opened and this is your firing point. it's close enough.
I'm afraid the points are not separating enough or maybe corroded and provide that continuity.
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npn wrote:
I'm afraid the points are not separating enough or maybe corroded and provide that continuity.
if they don't separate enough to let the paper go, you need to adjust the gap by moving the body of the points. There is a slot you can loosen a screw and move the points along the slot for more or less opening. in fact getting that gap right is part of setting up your points.
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OK I did various tests and it's safe to say that the points open at around 18 degrees. But, all the manuals I've found say that the timing should be 22 degrees BTDC for this scooter. 1980 Bajaj / Vespa Sprint 150 VLB (up to 1979)

The new coil should be arriving tomorrow so I'll give it a try the way it is.
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npn wrote:
...OK baby steps today. Removed the flywheel by installing a snap ring/circlip that I got from Autozone. Slightly wrong size but good enough to push the flywheel out.

(later)

I wish I took the time and learn about Points before I reinstalled the stator. I could've cleaned a few things, probably lightly sanded the points for better contact and lubricated the felt pad. I know it's not too late, but I really hate removing and putting things back and forth.
It's not that hard and probably worth it at this point to do it right. This light bulb method I mentioned is from the end of the Scooterhelp site previously mentioned and will help you get by for now:


"Static Method: For years many people used very thin tobacco rolling paper to check when the points opened. The idea is you get the points open and place the paper between them through the inspection hole. Then let them close and put some tension on the paper by pulling it. Slowly rotate the flywheel and the paper will slip out when the points separate.

This can work if it's your only option but a far more accurate way is to make a small testing circuit which will show you when the points open. You'll need:

• A 6V 25W bulb (a headlight bulb off older Vespas is good)
• A battery holder from Radio Shack that can hold 4 AA batteries.
• Two small alligator clips (insulated are best).
• A length of insulated wire.

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

Make a small open circuit following the diagram above (or click it for a PDF). Once you have it made up disconnect the one red wire on the HT coil (located outside the engine by the rear shock) and the other contact to the engine casing. If the HT coil is not connected due to a rebuild you can go directly off the red wire coming from the stator. Be warned that there is the possibility of very minor 6V shocks and sparking from doing this - basically it is less voltage than putting a 9V on your tongue and isn't really anything to worry about but it may be visible."

ANY battery & bulb will work, or even any continuity tester. There's more on the Scooterhelp website on what to do next, but you obviously would need to pull the flywheel to change the timing. EDIT: If you've already done all this to get your 18 degrees, I think you are well on your way to firing it up w/ your new coil
⚠️ Last edited by V oodoo on UTC; edited 1 time
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From my manual:
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Yep I've done all I can and determined that the current timing is set on 18 degrees, vs what seems to be correct of 22. The relatively short travel distance of the piston may not have that much of an impact...will see.

I don't want to bash Scooterhelp but their description is very lengthy and even they said "don't remember" if the light will go dimmer or brighter. Anyway, I have learned a lot from that website.

One thing worth mentioning is that once you calculate the TDC you can verify if that calculation is correct by positioning the flywheel at TDC and looking inside the cylinder (with the sparkplug removed) to see where the piston is. Then rotating the flywheel in either direction will tell you if the piston is at the very top.

/Yet another way, old school way, is to stick a pencil down through the spark plug hole and mark where it sits highest, that's your TDC/
⚠️ Last edited by npn on UTC; edited 1 time
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npn wrote:
/Yet another way, old school way, is to stick a pencil down through the spark plug hole and mark where it sits highest, that's your TDC/
been there done that
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sdjohn wrote:
been there done that
LOL how did I know you have!

It's so amazing to see that spinning the flywheel 4-5 degrees, doesn't move the cylinder at all
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You may be 4 degrees retarded, no big deal I think at lower RPMs and may even help you start at the expense of maximum power at higher RPMs.

1. receive new coil

2. mount it somehow so it's grounded

3. a spoon of gas in carb

4. fire it up

Popcorn emoticon
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npn wrote:
LOL how did I know you have!

It's so amazing to see that spinning the flywheel 4-5 degrees, doesn't move the cylinder at all
Just center it and call it good enough, if you're in a bind
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Until I got some neodymium magnets that stupid wheel would shift on me during the process almost every time anyway ROFL emoticon

I use a wheel now but would use a pencil to get going in the absence of proper tools.
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Is this where you spray the starter fluid, put a "a spoon of gas in carb" (v oodoo)? Btw, I'm sure the carb already has some fuel in it from the last attempt
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Yep, kick it a few times as is and see if it goes as is or if not, see if your plug is wet or dry. All after checking that you now have spark at the plug of course.
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Just a heads up, these engines will start and run on timing anywhere from 14° to 34°.

But they won't start if the point gap is too small. Get the gap right.
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