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I have only had my vespa for a week or two and the Cruciform is already starting to go out. slipping in 3rd and 4th gear. So I was thinking about doing it myself. how much time will i be looking at this taking? me being a rookie will i be able to do it? how much would it cost if i took it to a shop? I am waiting for my haynes manual will that help me get through it? If i do the cruciform/ or pull the motor what other things should i change while im at it so i dont have to go down there again? just looking for some advice thanks guys. Also I am looking for someone who lives in the bay area that can show me some things about my P. I mean, help me do some maintenance. do some rewiring and show me where some things go. just help me out basically. Im young and I HAVE A STRONG DESIRE to learn so i can be dependent on myself when it comes to fixing her. I am willing to pay hourly i just dont want to take it to a shop if i dont have to. I WANT TO LEARN but dont know what im doing really.
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Are you aure it is not the selector box? I was sure I had a worn cruciform and was told to try changing out the box. It did the trick for me!
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ScooterRaton wrote:
Are you aure it is not the selector box? I was sure I had a worn cruciform and was told to try changing out the box. It did the trick for me!
I asked a few people that earlier today and they said if im slipping out of 3rd and 4th chances are its the cross?
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DominicLNanni wrote:
ScooterRaton wrote:
Are you aure it is not the selector box? I was sure I had a worn cruciform and was told to try changing out the box. It did the trick for me!
I asked a few people that earlier today and they said if im slipping out of 3rd and 4th chances are its the cross?
It is definitely definitely definitely the shift cross.

Are you mechanically inclined? Do you know your way around a set of tools? Can you follow instructions? Then yes, you probably can do it yourself.
However, if you couldn't wrench or screwdriver your way out of a paper bag, get a professional.

Here are step-by-step instructions, with pictures:
http://scooterhelp.com/tips/engine/shift.cross.lf.vespa.html
And here are some more step-by-step instructions, with pictures: http://www.vespamaintenance.com/engine/cruciform/index.html
Your Haynes manual will be helpful too, but it wont have as many pictures. There may even be some instructional videos on YouTube.

If those instructions look too scary or difficult, then man up and get a professional. Otherwise, I wish the best of luck and skill to you.
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Take pics of every step of the way and document it on a thread here. You might be amazed at the support you'll find! You can do it.
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I agree, if you can use a wrench you can do it. I did it as a rookie. It's not too complicated. More physically difficult. Getting the engine off the scoot can be hard if the big swing-arm bolt is stuck in there. I recommend having a friend help getting the engine off - you can do it by yourself but why needlessly bust your balls over it... call it a manly bonding experience

Anyway, just go slowly and ask questions as they come. Take pictures of how things fit together so you don't got nuts trying to put it back together. If you are splitting the cases for the cruciform, go ahead and replace the seals and check out soft metal parts besides the cruciform for wear (such as kickstart gear). Buy fresh gaskets. That stuff is fairly cheap.
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you need to order a gasket kit when you order you cruciform.
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smallstate wrote:
you need to order a gasket kit when you order you cruciform.
and you should plan on replacing the flywheel side seal while you are in there.
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You can do it as a rookie, and can even do it without dropping the engine. I would suggest dropping the engine and doing a full renewal of all seals and gaskets inside the engine at the same time. No reason to change the cruciform and then 6 months down the road have to split the cases to change a seal.

I recently changed my cruciform one afternoon without dropping the engine, I knew the seals were good as they were changed by previous owner, but he didn't change the shift cross so I had to go back in and do it. You will need a few specific tools I believe like the Fly Wheel puller at least.
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oopsclunkthud wrote:
smallstate wrote:
you need to order a gasket kit when you order you cruciform.
and you should plan on replacing the flywheel side seal while you are in there.
Why are we all so redundant? I already said both of these things... I truly don't feel slighted, I mean both of you know so much more than me it isn't even funny... I've just noticed in every thread there tends to be like 5 posts saying the same thing in a row from everyone (I do it too)? I guess we all just like to chatter with each other so much!

*monty python old lady voice* "oh yeah yeah, just what you said. mmm hmmm mmm hmmmmmm... I always say that too mmm hmmmm"
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xantufrog wrote:
oopsclunkthud wrote:
smallstate wrote:
you need to order a gasket kit when you order you cruciform.
and you should plan on replacing the flywheel side seal while you are in there.
Why are we all so redundant? I already said both of these things... I truly don't feel slighted, I mean both of you know so much more than me it isn't even funny... I've just noticed in every thread there tends to be like 5 posts saying the same thing in a row from everyone (I do it too)? I guess we all just like to chatter with each other so much!

*monty python old lady voice* "oh yeah yeah, just what you said. mmm hmmm mmm hmmmmmm... I always say that too mmm hmmmm"
i did not read all the postings before i replied. my bad. you totally had it covered. i was just thinking "hell yeah a noob can replace a cruciform" but you will need... i should have read all the posts first. i spazzed out.
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smallstate wrote:
i did not read all the postings before i replied. my bad.
No no, like I said it's probably best for dingbats like myself to just hold off and let more knowledgeable folks like you answer the queries in the first place . I'm sorry if it sounded abrasive - I was more laughing because I notice there are a lot of threads where people (myself included) for some reason post the same info. Probably half the time because we don't read the whole thread, like you said.
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its all good. i have gotten so much good free help on here, that it is ridiculous. and, i do not know that much. i only know my bikes. i would not have known to get a flywheel puller, because my flywheels are self extracting... i think it is cool that people are happy to step up and help you here.
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awesome guys thanks for the support i will order my cross today, and the seals, and the special tools needed. and a new kick start gear is a really good idea, and might as well do the fly wheel why not right!
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no, your flywheel should be fine. you just have to remove it. you will put the same one back on.
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one major thing people alwyas overlook are the Kick start Buffers, a high wear item, get a pair of those too.
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maybe check for wear in the bearings. and check the tolerances on your piston rings.
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Dominic,

Good on you for wanting to do it yourself. When done you will have a huge leap forward in confidence and ability.

The guys spelled it out, but I have some additional advice for keeping your mind.

Keep a log. Get yourself a binder or spiral notebook.

Draw assemblies if there is any possibility that it can be reassembled wrong. You will think you will remember, you won't.

Got a digital camera? Take lots of pictures. You can reference them later or share with us.

Clean as you go. Clean, Clean, Clean.
a. Don't make the mistake of dropping all the dirty greasy parts in the bucket and coming back to them. For example, on my VNB, the head nuts are just a little bit different than regular nuts. I wire them, washers and their nuts together (ouch!), clean, then into a baggie with the name of the part written on it with a sharpie. They go into a long, narrow cardboard box with the name sticking up. This keeps the order of disassembly correct. When reassembling I just grab the next bag of clean parts and refer to my log. Easy, peasy.
b. Folks that disassemble and drop the parts in a pile will often give up when trying to put it back together. I have bought two scooters in boxes for really cheap because of this. Good for me.

As you find a part that needs to be replaced, look up the part number in your parts manual, and name (use the name in the manual), and write it in the margin of your log. Order parts in batches. When they come in, put them in baggies and in the right disassembly order in the box. Why? Because you will forget to order THAT part. Then, on the Sunday you planned to do the final assembly, it is missing. So you either put in the old one (wrong!) or wait until Tuesday to run the the shop and hope they have one or order on-line on Monday and wait a week to get it.

Tip about ordering parts. There is the Piaggio name and the common name. We call it a "Cruciform" but Piaggio calls it a "Selector Spider". When you are talking to a parts guy, be ready to use both and the number to be sure you get what you need. Even then, there may be small variations that can make you crazy! Pay attention to the factory notes in the parts manual (at the end).

Tip about cleaning parts. I have a Torin Big Red 3.5 gal parts washer, metal, recirc-pump. They cost about $70. I use a 50/50 mix of kerosene and paint thinner. (You used to be able to buy parts cleaning solvent, not anymore). Make a tray from 1/4in screen to keep little stuff from dropping to the bottom. If you can't afford that, buy a plasticstorage bin, the kind with the translucent bottom about 6in deep and put a gallon of solvent in it. Put the lid back on when done. I use the plastic bin for setting the whole engine in for initial cleaning, before I disassemble.


I know, this is so anal, but it works, especially for the novice builder. And I am making assumptions about your experience and shop...maybe you have been doing bikes or NASCAR stuff for 20 years and have a 5-car garage with all the goodies and a lift! (My dream.) My shop is a space 12x20 with a work bench, and good lights, full of spare parts bins and engines waiting for the scooters to get back from paint. (Oh, and the VB1 now getting the treatment.)

Jim
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JIM!!!! that advice was awesome.!!! im def going to use all the info you gave me. I really like the whole label in bags and put them in order. I cant tell you how many times I have just thrown parts all together and then later came up with 8 extra bolts and 5 washers extra. and you just think to yourself oh shit.!!! I wonder where these went? thanks Jim I really appreciate your detailed response a lot.
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smallstate wrote:
no, your flywheel should be fine. you just have to remove it. you will put the same one back on.
Well, yes, you should keep the flywheel as long as the rivets look good... but you should replace the flywheel *seal* while you do the job. It's quick and easy, and replacing a $15 part now may just save you from countless headaches and heartaches as a result of a soft seize at some point down the road. Good luck!
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Dominic -- if you're in SanFran there should be lots of vintage Vespa aficionados around. Befriend some of them. You will need them -- especially some that already have specialized tools like a flywheel puller and clutch holder tool, cases separator, torque wrenches, etc.

With all due respect to others who've posted, you've just bought a Vespa and joined this board. It takes a while to learn how all the stuff works. I think your idea to hire someone or to show you how it works is a great idea (though they'll be working themselves out of a job).

While mechanically very simple, there's still specific knowledge to be known about Vespa innards, and what is acceptable in terms of wear, tolerances, and how everything goes back together. Even if you don't hire someone, if you can have a Vespa buddy around who has actually taken an engine or two apart before when you crack your cases, it could make for a much less frustrating experience, and hopefully only one or two orders for parts rather than a multitude. For many seasoned wrenchers, a case of beer is often the ticket for an afternoon of help.

In my case a friend who's the local vintage mechanic in my city held a two day seminar in his workshop (I forget the cost for each participant, not a lot) and we all worked on our own engines with his help and tools. It was invaluable. Since then, I have taken the engine apart on my own with a much, much better working knowledge than had I just gone on my own first time round. I'm mechanically inclined, but know my limits with patience and frustration... Also, we're not talking about taking apart a lawnmower or weedwhacker here, but a vehicle that can travel 100+km/h and your very person depends on it running well.

FWIW, slipping in second and third gear isn't always a worn cruciform. I had the same symptoms, and a replacement (though used) gear selector box cured it as the selector arm mechanism was tighter than what I had originally. After my last partial rebuild it my scoot showed some of the same signs of slipping into a false neutral, but it was just tensioning on the gear selector cables that needed snugging after having installed new cables. Your mileage, of course, may vary!

As others will -- I'm sure -- attest, try the easy stuff first that doesn't require splitting the cases. Then, when you've ruled that out, go whole hog into the guts of the thing...

There's no substitute for i) experience and ii) an in-person diagnosis by someone experienced. <G>

It's a great learning experience to get to know how your scoot works -- carpe diem!
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phaetn wrote:
Dominic -- if you're in SanFran there should be lots of vintage Vespa aficionados around. Befriend some of them. You will need them -- especially some that already have specialized tools like a flywheel puller and clutch holder tool, cases separator, torque wrenches, etc.

With all due respect to others who've posted, you've just bought a Vespa and joined this board. It takes a while to learn how all the stuff works. I think your idea to hire someone or to show you how it works is a great idea (though they'll be working themselves out of a job).

While mechanically very simple, there's still specific knowledge to be known about Vespa innards, and what is acceptable in terms of wear, tolerances, and how everything goes back together. Even if you don't hire someone, if you can have a Vespa buddy around who has actually taken an engine or two apart before when you crack your cases, it could make for a much less frustrating experience, and hopefully only one or two orders for parts rather than a multitude. For many seasoned wrenchers, a case of beer is often the ticket for an afternoon of help.

In my case a friend who's the local vintage mechanic in my city held a two day seminar in his workshop (I forget the cost for each participant, not a lot) and we all worked on our own engines with his help and tools. It was invaluable. Since then, I have taken the engine apart on my own with a much, much better working knowledge than had I just gone on my own first time round. I'm mechanically inclined, but know my limits with patience and frustration... Also, we're not talking about taking apart a lawnmower or weedwhacker here, but a vehicle that can travel 100+km/h and your very person depends on it running well.

FWIW, slipping in second and third gear isn't always a worn cruciform. I had the same symptoms, and a replacement (though used) gear selector box cured it as the selector arm mechanism was tighter than what I had originally. After my last partial rebuild it my scoot showed some of the same signs of slipping into a false neutral, but it was just tensioning on the gear selector cables that needed snugging after having installed new cables. Your mileage, of course, may vary!

As others will -- I'm sure -- attest, try the easy stuff first that doesn't require splitting the cases. Then, when you've ruled that out, go whole hog into the guts of the thing...

There's no substitute for i) experience and ii) an in-person diagnosis by someone experienced. <G>

It's a great learning experience to get to know how your scoot works -- carpe diem!
I appreciate that. I dont want to slit the case if i dont have to. I just posted a thread about how to adjust the selector box because i ordered my manual and it still hasnt come. I dont even know the location. I know i just joined, and I also know i have to gain peoples respect. I know i cant just jump into something guns blazing and EXPECT peoples help. Its just nice having a place to come and bullshit and ask for some help and eventually give people advice once i know what im talking about haha..!!
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DominicLNanni wrote:
I appreciate that. I dont want to slit the case if i dont have to. I just posted a thread about how to adjust the selector box because i ordered my manual and it still hasnt come. I dont even know the location. I know i just joined, and I also know i have to gain peoples respect. I know i cant just jump into something guns blazing and EXPECT peoples help. Its just nice having a place to come and bullshit and ask for some help and eventually give people advice once i know what im talking about haha..!!
Dude, I'm sure you're earning lots of people's respect by saying that you're here to learn and that you want to work on your own scoot. This is a community that likes to get its fingernails dirty. That goes a looooong way. Even more cred., btw, for saying you plan to pay if forward when you figure out what's what.

I don't know how many years young you are, but that's a mature attitude for sure. Clap emoticon Clap emoticon

Indeed, it is cool to have a place to hang out and shoot the Vespa shit, as it were.

Hey, Leather faces (a.k.a. old farts), how did you get your scooter info before the Internet?? (Thanks to Al Gore for that!) What? Books, service manuals, motorcycling periodicals, and face-time with copious amounts of beer?
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phaetn wrote:
Hey, Leather faces (a.k.a. old farts), how did you get your scooter info before the Internet?? (Thanks to Al Gore for that!) What? Books, service manuals, motorcycling periodicals, and face-time with copious amounts of beer?
Carrier pigeons. Sometimes we used smoke signals or yodeling too.

Yep, the Haynes manual was pretty much our bible back in the day. For help on the finer points, we'd call up people we happened to meet who knew a thing or two about scooters, or we'd push our luck by calling up one of the handful of shops around the country and hopefully not bug them too much with questions. Parts were mail order and service was DIY, unless you were one of the lucky ones who lived within 50 miles of a scooter shop.

Things are SOOO much easier these days... you kids don't know how good you have it!
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phaetn wrote:
DominicLNanni wrote:
I appreciate that. I dont want to slit the case if i dont have to. I just posted a thread about how to adjust the selector box because i ordered my manual and it still hasnt come. I dont even know the location. I know i just joined, and I also know i have to gain peoples respect. I know i cant just jump into something guns blazing and EXPECT peoples help. Its just nice having a place to come and bullshit and ask for some help and eventually give people advice once i know what im talking about haha..!!
Dude, I'm sure you're earning lots of people's respect by saying that you're here to learn and that you want to work on your own scoot. This is a community that likes to get its fingernails dirty. That goes a looooong way. Even more cred., btw, for saying you plan to pay if forward when you figure out what's what.

I don't know how many years young you are, but that's a mature attitude for sure. Clap emoticon Clap emoticon

Indeed, it is cool to have a place to hang out and shoot the Vespa shit, as it were.

Hey, Leather faces (a.k.a. old farts), how did you get your scooter info before the Internet?? (Thanks to Al Gore for that!) What? Books, service manuals, motorcycling periodicals, and face-time with copious amounts of beer?
hahahah im only 18, 19 on saturday. a vespa has always been my dream. I finally got it and now IM READY. I have to order a new clutch cable now.. Wha? emoticon should i just order both of them at the same time and replace both of them?
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you have two of the greatest scootershops on the west coast in your city.

you should not have to order anything, just walk into one of them and up to the parts counter and say: i just bought a p200, i'm a total noob, sell me the red haynes manual and a set of inner cables. and all the other shit that i'll need, too.

and know that you'll be back, again. and again. and again.

best,
-greasy
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greasy125 wrote:
you have two of the greatest scootershops on the west coast in your city.

you should not have to order anything, just walk into one of them and up to the parts counter and say: i just bought a p200, i'm a total noob, sell me the red haynes manual and a set of inner cables. and all the other shit that i'll need, too.

and know that you'll be back, again. and again. and again.

best,
-greasy
im going tomorrow to get the cables
UTC

Ossessionato
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2633
 
Ossessionato
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2633
UTC quote
greasy125 wrote:
and know that you'll be back, again. and again. and again.

best,
-greasy
Isn't that the TRUTH!
⬆️    About 2 years elapsed    ⬇️
UTC

Lurker
'74 Vespa Sprint 150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4
Location: Tempe, AZ
 
Lurker
'74 Vespa Sprint 150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4
Location: Tempe, AZ
UTC quote
Thanks - At a Similar Place
I tip my hat to you. For you approach to this and your attitude!

Im like T-Bone was when he first shared this, as I am new to this community as well as young in age (22).

Vespa has been my dream, however as a heavily involved student, my dream has been challenged a couple times with needing some maintence work. Work that for my level of mechanical knowledge always felt overwhelming.

However, now that I have graduated I really want to get my hands even more dirty. Soemthing I hope to be able to do with this Vespa, and maybe others for the rest of my life!

I shared what I thought was going on a post I made a couple hours ago, and I was told that I likely will need to change the cruciform.

You may see me come back here after I can past the couple steps I feel a bit confident doing now on my own.

Thanks and cheers!
@astromags avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
'80 P200E, '76 Primavera 125 ET3. '59 Vespa 150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6897
Location: GT, Texas
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@astromags avatar
'80 P200E, '76 Primavera 125 ET3. '59 Vespa 150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6897
Location: GT, Texas
UTC quote
What the crux!?!?
Hey Dom,
How's it going? haven't seen you on here in a while.

I just wanted to point out a couple of things that could bite you while you're in there. I was having the same issues with popping out of gear, and it was caused by a worn cruciform. The main reason it was worn though was because whomever had owned the bike before me, had 1) installed one of the gears backwards, 2)Installed the cruciform backwards. SO watch out for that. The gears aren't marked so be sure to keep track of which way is up. Same with the cruciform.

read this too: http://vespamaintenance.com/engine/cruciform/index.html

note the part about reversed threads.
@airfin avatar
UTC

Addicted
some Vespas, some Lambrettas
Joined: UTC
Posts: 685
Location: Union City CA
 
Addicted
@airfin avatar
some Vespas, some Lambrettas
Joined: UTC
Posts: 685
Location: Union City CA
UTC quote
Re: What the crux!?!?
astromags wrote:
Hey Dom,
How's it going? haven't seen you on here in a while.

I just wanted to point out a couple of things that could bite you while you're in there. I was having the same issues with popping out of gear, and it was caused by a worn cruciform. The main reason it was worn though was because whomever had owned the bike before me, had 1) installed one of the gears backwards, 2)Installed the cruciform backwards. SO watch out for that. The gears aren't marked so be sure to keep track of which way is up. Same with the cruciform.

read this too: http://vespamaintenance.com/engine/cruciform/index.html

note the part about reversed threads.
I regularly tell Dominic how slow he is - but I really hope after 2 years he would have already completed this repair...but who knows.
@rgconner avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
GTS250
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2959
 
Ossessionato
@rgconner avatar
GTS250
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2959
UTC quote
There has to be a way to know how those gears stack.

I mean, if I ordered new ones, how would I know how to stack them?
@astromags avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
'80 P200E, '76 Primavera 125 ET3. '59 Vespa 150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6897
Location: GT, Texas
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@astromags avatar
'80 P200E, '76 Primavera 125 ET3. '59 Vespa 150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6897
Location: GT, Texas
UTC quote
rgconner wrote:
There has to be a way to know how those gears stack.

I mean, if I ordered new ones, how would I know how to stack them?
There is a way, but it's a very subtle difference and if you weren't aware, you might not notice. If you've ever seen them'd know what I was talking about. Some face one way some go another(neutral space between 1st and Second). So it's a good idea to keep track if you aren't familiar with what's up.

I was trying to save him trouble down the line.
@scooterraton avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
2 - Many
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3165
Location: Boca Raton, Florida
 
Ossessionato
@scooterraton avatar
2 - Many
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3165
Location: Boca Raton, Florida
UTC quote
astromags wrote:
rgconner wrote:
There has to be a way to know how those gears stack.

I mean, if I ordered new ones, how would I know how to stack them?
There is a way, but it's a very subtle difference and if you weren't aware, you might not notice. If you've ever seen them'd know what I was talking about. Some face one way some go another(neutral space between 1st and Second). So it's a good idea to keep track if you aren't familiar with what's up.

I was trying to save him trouble down the line.
When I pull mine out I clean a small spot and dot the outside with a paint pen then wire them together. Simple green...my cleaner of choice...doesn't take the paint off.

I'm also a hardcore bagger and tagger. Take a part off, put it in a zip lok with the associated washers bolts etc and tag it. This has saved me hours of...."hmmmmm...I thought I would remember where this weird looking washer goes!"
⬆️    About 3 years elapsed    ⬇️
@badran avatar
UTC

Member
Vespa Sprint 1967
Joined: UTC
Posts: 14
Location: Egypt
 
Member
@badran avatar
Vespa Sprint 1967
Joined: UTC
Posts: 14
Location: Egypt
UTC quote
Just had my cruciform replaced.
It was slipping in 2nd and 3rd gears. I tried tightening the cable and do the adjustment from the adjuster just outside the selector box. it improved but didn't end it. So I called the mechanic and he did it. I would have liked to do it myself but I didn't want the hassle really etc. I have the old cruciform but it doesnt look too worn out. The slipping stopped though. Anyway I will post its pics when I go down and pick it up.
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