Saturday, December 5, 2009

this is quite an update

i worked with my friend, michael, on a grande i had sold him a few weeks ago. he's got an engine with the intake bored out to 13 and the window inside the case carved out and the crank cut. he also has a 13:13 Dellorto, Malossi Air Filter, and the Simonini Circuit. This is what the biked looked like before we startedHe wanted to put some lower handlebars on so we took all the controls off and then the stock handlebars, mounted up the new low ones, marked where we needed to chop to shorten them width wise, and then got out the hacksaw.
yeah, it went pretty dang well. we also shortened all the cables for the new handlebar height, switched out his left controls as there was a busted brake lever part, tightened up his brakes, fixed his tail light blowing problem (hopefully), put on a headlight, wired for that and a horn and a little hidden killswitch that sits underneath the back left side of the seat, it's so sweet how it's secretive. but anyways, here it is, done about 4 or 5 hours later.
whew! dang, that looks good.
i also worked on my friend, meagan's engine as she just bought a grey ciao off ebay that didn't have spark. i tried to diagnose it very quickly and thought i had figured it all out, so i split the case halves, drilled out the intake, put it all back together as i wanted to do that for her as well. when i tried to test for spark to see if i had fixed it, still no worky. so i need to get under the flywheel again and check over all the wires again. here are the photos from the case spliting process as i haven't posted those before:

flywheel off, here are the coils
i removed the little collar piece that the points rub on, that's called the cam, right? well, also, take out the woodruff key, so it looks like this:remove the nuts that hold the case halves together, like this.don't forget to take off your cylinder! also, i had ladybugs crawlin around and living in the fins of this one!

next, you can either put it in the oven, or if you have a 3 jaw puller, like me, you can just pop it off right away. also it can save you from having to put in a new crank seal as you won't damage it with heat, they cost 8 bucks a pop which is quite a lot to me. make sure you check the old one before you just leave it in there though, you'd hate to go through all this work and not even look at it and have a leak. some would say just replace it no matter what, which you can do if you want as well i guess.
anyways, i always put the crank nut, or whatever that's called on the end before i use the puller on it, as it can widen the tip and cause you not to be able to put the nut back on later, so it just keeps everything where it's supposed to be. you'll notice a pop once you start cranking down on that puller and then the cases will split apart like so:
here they are completely apart, yep. one of the bearing stuck in there, on the side where i wanted to bore out the intake, sometimes they both stay oh the crank, which makes it really nice to work on the engine as if you don't need to replace the bearings, you don't need to remove them (as they would bend and not function properly after removing them whether or not they were good to begin with as the inner and outer race get bent) oh, here's the intake before:
and the inside:
anyways, and i don't wanna get shards of aluminum in there where that bearing is, so i took one of jason's candles (sssshhhhhhhhh) and melted a little wax to seal it off as i didn't have any silly puddy. it seemed to work alright, although it was kind of a brittle wax, and so if i did it again i'd need to use a softer wax. also, i only did this because my crank seal was bad, otherwise when i would have gone to melt all the wax out after the cutting, the torch would have melted the seal, which would be dumb.then i got out the trusty 'ole rotary tool and started on iti only took a little off the inside, out the outside looked something like this, as this is a photo from a different engine, actually, the one michael has now:then i put the crank in freezer, as well as took a vaccum and sucked up all the shards that were all over and inside the engine, took one of my roommate's creme brule torches from the kitchen as we don't have a proper one and melted out all the wax. then i sprayed a bunch of times with carb cleaner just to make sure that all of the pieces were gone, then put a new oil seal in, brought the crank back and pressed the case halves together. i used a hammer lightly by the way. it should go back together pretty freely though, as the different in temperatures of metal help with that.
lastly, jason and i went to handybikes yesterday without knowing that they were having a liquidation sale as they hoped to sell the entire warehouse soon. it was our first time there and it was a dream come true. jason will probably have a write up on his blog which you can check out and if there are any extra tidbits i wanna add about the trip i'll put up another little post about it. but here's what i scored, everything NOS!

CEV all chrome short headlight bucket
CEV puch style bulbs with sockets for non sealed beam bulbs
CEV headlight clips to keep your bulb in, we got 100 for less than 99 cents!
Two sets of Domino Grips, still in the plastic
Front Brake knarp kinda things that you stick the cable through, kinda like a on road bike but for italian mopeds
Buddy fold down pegs
Franco Morini Variator inside cylinder piece (to try out on a stock vespa variator as it's a little longer)
Franco Morini Rear Clutch...COMPLETELY disassembled, or rather, jason and i looked up all the individual parts off a diagram so that i could build one from all the NOS replacement parts they had lining the's going to be pretty crazy to put this together, and was FAR more expensive than i realized until after we had left (jason and i are kinda kicking ourselves, but it'll be something new to try out as they are very bizarre clutches but are interchangeable with vespa variated ones.
and lastly,
A Piaggio Ciao/Bravo/SI booklet that i'd never seen before, it's pretty cool.
You know what's also pretty cool. BJ from handybikes, i can't even describe him to you. Just so sweet and just wanted to make our visit special and gave us a tour, and understood our passion for mopeds, and showed us all these little treasures in the warehouse. he's pretty great.


  1. Longest post ever. Handy bikes trip = most epic day I've had in a long time. Will be logged in the memory section of my brain for a long while.

    Italy or die!

  2. that grande looks pretty rad man, what kind of bars are those??

    cant describe how jealous i am about your handy bikes trip

  3. Post up the new stuff you got!