LX Major Mods: Part 3 - Installing the Malossi 190 Cyl. Kit
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 Vespa LX 190, 2011 LXV150ie
Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 8697
Location: Annapolis, MD, USA
Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:19 pm quote
Part 3 – Installing the Malossi 190 Cylinder Kit

Now that we have the engine/transmission assembly removed and ensconced on a clean and sturdy workbench, you need to give some thought to organization. You will be removing a lot of parts – both small and large – so find some appropriate receptacles and designate an area to temporarily store them away from the clutter so that they won’t get lost. It’s a good idea to take digital pictures and/or notes as you go along to refresh your memory on the order of reassembly when the time comes.

Don’t rely solely on this tutorial for direction. I haven’t documented every single step (that would have required maybe twice as many photos). I relied on the Malossi instructions that came with the kit, along with the Vespa factory service manual and a Hayes manual for further reference. If you use those three documents, along with this tutorial, you should be well-covered.

Fastener torque specs are available in all three sources.

First, I removed the air box and duct:


Then the inner fender:


Remove the carb and intake manifold (by simply removing the two bolts holding the manifold to the head) and start disassembling all the plastic shrouding:


You need to remove the SAS system to get all the shrouding off. Be careful undoing the nuts that hold the SAS pipe to the head. They are right next to the exhaust port and get corroded and seized from the heat. I managed to break off one of the studs:


Thankfully, these are common 6 mm studs (unlike the rare 7 mm exhaust manifold studs), and a replacement was easy to find. I was able to salvage the special long nut and remove the broken stud with extractors. Next time, I’ll definitely use lots of penetrating oil and give it time to work.

Next, remove the four bolts that hold the valve cover on and remove it:



Note that I had removed the transmission cover. I did this because I was working on the upgear kit installation at the same time. If you are just installing the cylinder kit, there is no need to remove the transmission cover.

Next, loosen the central bolt on the timing chain tensioner:


Then, remove the bolt holding the bell encasing the camshaft automatic decompressor assembly:


…and remove the bell:



Then carefully remove the bobweight return spring:


Remove the M5 Allen screw holding the static weight and remove the weight:



Slide out the bobweight, being careful not to lose the little plastic yellow ring on the back:


Then remove the timing chain tensioner assembly altogether by removing the two cap screws holding it onto the cylinder casting:


With the chain now slack, you can remove the camshaft sprocket and spacer washer. Note that I ran a wire tie through the loop of the chain so that I can keep some tension on it while removing the head and cylinder. You definitely don’t want the chain to come off the bottom sprocket during this operation or you’ll be doing more major disassembly!;


Unscrew the four head nuts and the two long bolts on the timing chain side of the head and carefully slide it off, keeping a little tension on the timing chain as you do so:


Still keeping some tension on the chain, slide the cylinder off the piston and the long studs. You may need to tap the cylinder lightly with a rubber mallet to break it loose from its base gasket:


After blocking the opening of the crankcase with a clean rag, remove the circlip holding the wrist pin in the piston and slide the wrist pin out to remove the piston (the black object above the wrist pin is one of the belt tensioner shoes):


Malossi recommends a valve leakage test and replacement of the valve springs if the engine has a lot of miles. Mine had only 3700 miles, so I didn’t worry about that. If your valves leak, they will need to be lapped, and the guides possibly replaced. Clean and decarbonize the head with a soft scraper and carefully remove all traces of the original base gasket from the crankcase.

Malossi recommends lapping the mating surface of the head to make sure it is perfectly flat. This is done by moistening a sheet of 1000-grit wet-or-dry sandpaper and laying it on a known perfectly flat surface (I used a machinist’s granite surface plate, but you could probably use a smooth granite tile, a piece of float glass, or the machined top of a good table saw). Lap the head on the sandpaper until the mating surface is uniformly white, then wash off any residue:


Test-fit the new base gasket and cylinder, minding the chain all the while to make sure it goes together smoothly and that there are no casting flashings that need to be removed:


After carefully assembling the rings on the new piston in accordance with the instructions that come with the kit (be very careful, piston rings are very brittle and will break easily if flexed too far!), place a new circlip in its groove on one end of the wristpin hole, making sure it is well seated in the groove and the open gap positioned opposite the insertion recess:


Then, making sure the piston is positioned so that the arrow on it’s crown is pointed toward the exhaust port, slip the piston over the end of the connecting rod and insert the new, prelubricated wrist pin. The next step probably requires more manual dexterity than anything else in the installation: insert the second new circlip. This will be vastly more difficult than inserting the first one, as the end of the wristpin is somewhat in the way. It is wise to remove clutter around your workspace and position some towels so that – if you lose your grip on the circlip – it won’t go careening off into parts unknown. You can’t re-use an old one, and there are no extras provided – so be forewarned! Again, make sure the clip is well-seated in the groove and the gap in the clip is positioned opposite the insertion recess:


Check to make sure the gaps in the piston rings are positioned as specified in the instructions, apply motor oil to the piston and rings and the cylinder bore, and then carefully slide the cylinder down over the piston, compressing each ring in turn until the cylinder can be pushed down to the base gasket. Then install the head gasket:


Reinstall the chain tensioner shoe, and -- minding the chain all the while -- slide the head on:


After properly torquing the four head nuts and the two long bolts to spec, re-assemble the camshaft sprocket and auto-decompression assembly. Position the timing chain on the sprocket making sure the “2V” mark on the sprocket is aligned with the reference notch on the adjacent casting when the crankshaft is in the “top dead center” position as indicated by aligning the reference marks on the flywheel (see service manual). This step is critical, as the valve timing will be off if this is not done correctly. Refit the chain tensioner assembly and tighten the center bolt, then re-check that the valve timing marks are still aligned.

The next step is to adjust the valve clearances to spec (detailed instructions available in the Wiki):


Then replace the valve cover, making sure that the gasket and its groove are cleaned and that the gasket is properly positioned. If there is any damage to the gasket, replace it. Torque the bolts to spec:


Apply anti-seize compound to the threads of a new spark plug, and insert it and torque to spec:


Before re-assembling the plastic cooling shrouds, take time to clean the foam filter in the SAS system, located at the top of the fan cover (it just pulls out):


Reassemble the plastic shroud (may require an extra beer and some cursing), reattach the carb and intake manifold, the inner fender, the air filter, and any other fiddly bits that were removed, and you’re there!:


Don’t forget to refill the crankcase with oil!

In the next part, Part 4, we’ll tackle the installation of a Polini upgear kit.

Last edited by Silver Streak on Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:14 pm; edited 2 times in total
Hooked
GT-200
Joined: 20 Aug 2009
Posts: 216
Location: PA
Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:04 pm quote
Nice work my kit should be here tomorrow and I expect a snow day the next day so I am there. Thanks for taking the time to show us your work. What did you use to compress the piston rings? Did you think of blocking the secondary air system off since you have the sito pipe. I have been checking the project report section waiting for your reports thanks.
Chris
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 Vespa LX 190, 2011 LXV150ie
Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 8697
Location: Annapolis, MD, USA
Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:04 pm quote
ctl73 wrote:
Nice work my kit should be here tomorrow and I expect a snow day the next day so I am there. Thanks for taking the time to show us your work. What did you use to compress the piston rings? Did you think of blocking the secondary air system off since you have the sito pipe. I have been checking the project report section waiting for your reports thanks.
Chris
You really don't need a ring compressor. The edge on the underside of the cylinder is relieved a bit, so it's easy to compress the rings one-by-one with your fingers as you slide the cylinder on.

I considered blocking off the SAS port, especially after I broke that stud, but I wanted to have the option of going back to the stock pipe if any of the threats of emissions testing come true. Plus, I don't think it hurts performance to leave it active. It may actually reduce emissions to feed air into the exhaust system, even if there is no catalyst in there. Maybe?
Wiki Moderator
LX 190, Aurora Blue + Stella FOUR STROKE FURY! + '87 Helix
Joined: 11 Apr 2006
Posts: 6916
Location: Los Angeles
Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:21 pm quote
This is just beautiful, thanks! I definitely need to give this a few reads to let it sink in.
Banned
2:6
Joined: 11 Jan 2007
Posts: 7717
Location: San Francisco
Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:44 pm quote
Having just done this same upgrade I can say that this is a very good writeup.
Molto Verboso
LX150
Joined: 19 Jan 2010
Posts: 1288
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:54 pm quote
Thank you! So well done that I got nervous and tense in the scary hard parts and felt triumphant at the end.
Ossessionato
Looking for the next one, probably electric
Joined: 10 Jan 2008
Posts: 3417
Location: Babcock Ranch, Florida
Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:27 am quote
I was waiting for this. Well done and thanks.
Addicted
09 Triumph Bonnie, 06 Kymco P250, (Retired: 05 Stella , 08 Piaggio Fly150, 02 Yamaha Vino50, 07 Yamaha C3)
Joined: 11 May 2009
Posts: 525
Location: Brookline, Mass
Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:18 am quote
Great pictures!
Very good to see the process visually.

I was wondering how it compares to the 150 in terms of performance?

Thanks again,

Dani
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 Vespa LX 190, 2011 LXV150ie
Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 8697
Location: Annapolis, MD, USA
Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:22 am quote
DaniFly wrote:
Great pictures!
Very good to see the process visually.

I was wondering how it compares to the 150 in terms of performance?

Thanks again,

Dani
Well, I'll let everybody know some objective numbers once I get done experimenting with variator tuning and the weather starts cooperating (26" of snow here now, and another 10"-20" on the way tonight!). I did baseline performance tests on the more-or-less stock bike last summer to serve as a basis for comparison.

From seat-of-the-pants assessment, I can definitely say the performance is considerably better on all counts: off the line, mid-range pickup, and top end -- but I know I still don't have the variator optimized, and I'm sure I can get even more out of it. When the weather moderates, I'll finish the tuning of the variator and run the same tests for some hard-number comparison. I'll present the test results in a later part in this series.
Hooked
Joined: 26 Dec 2009
Posts: 314

Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:42 am quote
"Silver Streak for President"!

Hooked
Vespa 300 GTS Super i.e. 2009
Joined: 07 Jan 2010
Posts: 112
Location: Vigo-Spain
Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:31 pm quote
Great job and great pics. Thank you
Hooked
LX 150
Joined: 02 Aug 2009
Posts: 194
Location: Camarillo CA
Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:54 pm quote
Congratulations
The job you did is the best I have ever seen. Your efforts are well appreciated by myself and those of us who make upgrades ourselves. Your detailed step by step is flawless. I will be installing the 190 on an LX within the next2 weeks.

Thank you for all your efforts,sharing and advice.

Defendo
Lurker
ET4
Joined: 13 May 2008
Posts: 2
Location: Hollyweird
Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:59 am quote
[/quote]

Well, I'll let everybody know some objective numbers once I get done experimenting with variator tuning and the weather starts cooperating (26" of snow here now, and another 10"-20" on the way tonight!). I did baseline performance tests on the more-or-less stock bike last summer to serve as a basis for comparison.

From seat-of-the-pants assessment, I can definitely say the performance is considerably better on all counts: off the line, mid-range pickup, and top end -- but I know I still don't have the variator optimized, and I'm sure I can get even more out of it. When the weather moderates, I'll finish the tuning of the variator and run the same tests for some hard-number comparison. I'll present the test results in a later part in this series.[/quote]

Hey There,

Beautiful pictures and explanation. You should do a book! I'm arriving a wee bit late to this thread, but I hope you'll still be around to re-visit it. I have an '02-'03 ET4 that could use a new lease on life, and I was thinking about installing the 190cc kit and/or the Variator kit. Could you expand on your experiences with either/or so far? Or am I missing the last part of this series? Thanks again, great stuff!

Robino
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 Vespa LX 190, 2011 LXV150ie
Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 8697
Location: Annapolis, MD, USA
Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:45 pm quote
robino wrote:
Well, I'll let everybody know some objective numbers once I get done experimenting with variator tuning and the weather starts cooperating (26" of snow here now, and another 10"-20" on the way tonight!). I did baseline performance tests on the more-or-less stock bike last summer to serve as a basis for comparison.

From seat-of-the-pants assessment, I can definitely say the performance is considerably better on all counts: off the line, mid-range pickup, and top end -- but I know I still don't have the variator optimized, and I'm sure I can get even more out of it. When the weather moderates, I'll finish the tuning of the variator and run the same tests for some hard-number comparison. I'll present the test results in a later part in this series.

Hey There,

Beautiful pictures and explanation. You should do a book! I'm arriving a wee bit late to this thread, but I hope you'll still be around to re-visit it. I have an '02-'03 ET4 that could use a new lease on life, and I was thinking about installing the 190cc kit and/or the Variator kit. Could you expand on your experiences with either/or so far? Or am I missing the last part of this series? Thanks again, great stuff!

Robino
I will confess to never having gotten around to writing Part 5 before getting sidelined for a while with some health problems.

I can say that I've had all these mods and a few more on the LX for about 12,000 miles now (including a trip to Colorado and back), and the scooter has performed flawlessly. I finally settled on 9.5g Dr. Pulley sliders in the Polini variator as giving me the best all-around performance with my setup, which now includes a PM Tuning pipe.
Hooked
2008 LX 190 Nero Grafite (Sold) 2015 Moto Guzzi V7II Special
Joined: 06 Dec 2009
Posts: 327
Location: Sydney, Australia
Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:51 am quote
Thanks (for the second time) Dave. Haven't been around these parts for a while due to many things.
My scoot threw a piston yesterday on the freeway and I've just got it home and taken the engine apart again to fit my second Malossi 190 Kit. I think it was due to Brisk racing plugs - won't be using them again! Seems the tip blew off somehow, welded itself to the piston and blew a huge chunk out of the pistin crown - it doesn't look like anything oogly went down deep as the barrel is still good.

Fingers crossed when I've put the new kit back on.

Hope you are good - I've recently taken up the Uke after playing guitar for 35 years. Heaps of fun!

Best,
Mark
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 Vespa LX 190, 2011 LXV150ie
Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 8697
Location: Annapolis, MD, USA
Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:01 am quote
Thank you for the kind words... I'm doing well now.

The kit is still running strong. Glad to hear your cylinder didn't suffer from the piston incident.

Uke on!

Last edited by Silver Streak on Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:21 am; edited 1 time in total
Molto Verboso
lx150
Joined: 02 Oct 2011
Posts: 1237
Location: Adrian, Mi
Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:44 pm quote
What will she cruise at?
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 Vespa LX 190, 2011 LXV150ie
Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 8697
Location: Annapolis, MD, USA
Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:25 am quote
camper wrote:
What will she cruise at?
Easily at an indicated 65 on the gently rolling terrain around here. If it's dead flat with no headwind, 70 is no problem for extended periods.

My speedo error is about 8%.
Member
07 LX-80, Swapped Ruckus, 86 Honda Swapped Spree-Y6...
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 22
Location: Charleston S.C.
Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:25 am quote
I wish I was still in Annapolis, so I could come see this thing! Good work man, you seem to have some sweet rides.
Lurker
Joined: 06 Nov 2013
Posts: 3

Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:13 am quote
what is this?
in the picture you took i can see the sas filter (red arrow) what are these?( green arrows)



Hooked
Joined: 26 Dec 2009
Posts: 314

Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:34 pm quote
@alpesto, you should pull out the foam rubber pieces and clean them, dry 'em, and put them back in there.

They are air filters.
Lurker
Joined: 06 Nov 2013
Posts: 3

Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:07 am quote
robertsfun wrote:
@alpesto, you should pull out the foam rubber pieces and clean them, dry 'em, and put them back in there.

They are air filters.
Thanks for your answer! Now, I am trying to find foam rubber pieces to put them back. Piaggio sells the complete box instead of separate filters... One more maybe silly question. Is it critical to put back immediately these filters? Will i damage the engine by having this box wihout filter for a couple of days?( i am only talking about the green arrow filters, as indicated)
Hooked
Joined: 26 Dec 2009
Posts: 314

Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:01 am quote
At the risk of hijacking a wonderful topic, one more time.

You should really post a new topic, OK? This one is too good to be taken off track.

A few days in cool climate will probably not hurt anything. Beware of wet streets though. Oh....don't ride your Vespa through the Sahara either.

The electrical and ignition system, as well as the air cooling of the motor is adjoined with this piece!!
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