Vespa 150cc Top End Install - How-To w/ pics

This project was done over two days. Normally it would take about 25-30 minutes but I was waiting on the head to arrive. I tried to make the photos as clear as possible and will do the same with the instructions. 

So here we go!

11mm socket and ratchet
small needle nose pliers
mallet and wood block (optional)

20 minutes

The first pic shows everything but the head and head gasket. The motor is on the stand and we're ready to begin.

1. We begin by putting one of the wrist pin cir-clips into the piston. Do this in a well lit area and don't force it. The process should be pretty easy but if the pliers slip, the clip will spring out and could be lost. I usually cover my work with my other hand to prevent this problem.

2. Next, apply the piston rings. There are really 2 ways to do this. First notice the small notches in the piston ring groves of the piston. You want to place the gap of the rings identically so you can later compress them. Option 1 is to use snap ring pliers but they always slip on me. Instead (option 2), I just start at one end and carefully work my way around. Be careful not to flex the rings too much since they can break pretty easily with too much force. 

How do I know if my rings are upside down?
If you look closely at your rings, you'll notice they  have tapered ends. The wide end should be up.

3. Okay, now we flip the cylinder upside down and slide the piston in from the bottom. You can compress the rings by hand as you slide the piston in. Be sure to note the piston side chambers must match the cylinder chambers. I am using 2-port cases and a 2-port cylinder kit. The 2 side ports match the cylinder and the final port points down at the exhaust outlet. Be sure not to slide the piston all the way inside the cylinder yet. We need the wrist pin hole to be sticking out a bit. See the pic.

4. We're just about at the half way point now. Guide the base gasket down the cylinder studs being sure to match up the case ports. Slide the base gasket down onto the Slide the assembly we've created down along the cylinder studs. Needless to say, exhaust port down. Be sure your wrist pin bearings are in the small end of the crank arm and slip the small end of the crank arm inside the back end of the piston. Be sure not to push on any parts too much. This last step should be effortless. If there are any hang ups or difficulties, stop. Go back. Check to make sure everything looks correct.

5. Now line up the hole of the crank arm with the wrist pin hole in the piston and ease the wrist pin all the way in. The pin usually doesn't slide straight in. Normally, I twist the pin in my fingers as I slide it in and it finds it's place pretty quickly. Once the pin is in, insert the other wrist pin clip. Hell yeah. Almost done.

6. Next slide the cylinder down to the base of the block. This should be relatively easy but sometimes with brand new parts, it takes a light tap or a mallet. I recommend placing a piece of wood block between the cylinder top and the mallet for safety safe.

7. Still Cool? Okay, now drop the head gasket (a head gasket is actually optional) on and then the cylinder head. Make sure the hole in the head for the spark plug is pointed upward.

8. Now hand tighten all your cylinder stud bolts. The long stud bolt should be at the top right (see pics). The end of it has a small bolt and lock asher for bolting down your cylinder shroud (not included in this how-to).
Using an 11mm socket, Tighten in a cris-cross pattern starting from top left. Be sure not to try to tighten the thing down on the first round. This can mess up your base gasket seal, head gasket seal, strip your bolts, and cost you money. Just take it easy as you go around. Eventually, give everything a nice snug final turn making sure the parts are seated adequately.

9. Finally, step back and bask in the glow of your work. 


Vespa 150cc Cylinder Kit has arrived!

The cylinder kit ordered from scooterpartsdirect.com arrived today. They had the cheapest price I could find on a standard 150cc kit. The kit is really a bit of an upgrade for this motor (being 125 stock). The head was ordered separately from an ebay auction. Although used, it was just too cheap to pass up. 
Well... wouldn't you know it... they shipped the wrong part. I should have photos and details of the top end install up here shortly. 

Installing a 2-stroke top end is really about as simple as it comes but it's still nice to see it step-by-step. 
For those beginners out there, stay tuned!


VNB 125 engine progress - starting at the bottom

The first two pics show what came with the frame. Note the cases were missing the main bearings, main seals, top end, clutch assembly, flywheel assembly, carb, fan shroud, and case bolts. In fact, if you look closely, you can see I held everything together with some butchers twine. Honestly, it was totally fine with me that the engine was so stripped down. I figured any 40+ year old motor deserves a REAL tear down - rebuild. I couldn't afford a fancy engine stand and my wife wants me to be as thrifty as possible so I made a stand out of a butcher block and some steel square tubing I found in the dumpster.

In the final photo, you can see that I took care of the main bearings, seals, case bolts and fan shroud. I have the top end on order and it should arrive in a few days. Originally this was a 125 cc. For no additional cost, I decided to upgrade to the 150 (otherwise, what's the point). Also notice, I have a 2 port motor. I could have ground out the third port and upgraded to a 166cc kit but since this is the first time I've ever taken a vespa motor down to the cases, I figured I'd just skip the excess and make sure I get it right. 

Sorry I didn't get photos of the in between steps. I didn't think to start this blog until now.

Welcome to the Vespa Restoration!

Greetings to all. 

Today is my first post here. I am working on a 1965 VNB 125. After some work and research, I realized there are a few people out there keeping a blog of their progress and I thought it would be fun to o the same. I am planning a good amount of restoration and upgrades so I hope people can find my site helpful in some way. 

First, a little about me. I'm 26, a designer and owner of a letterpress print shop. My wife is my business partner and she is also a scoot enthusiast as well. I'm up in Boston and have been riding scooters for some time. My first scoot was a a 71 VSB  military model. I picked it up from a naval yard and kept it for about a year. I ended trading up for a motorcycle. A few bikes later and now I'm back. If anyone has ever been to boston, scooters are the only way to travel but the roads will bend your rims in minutes. My wife and I both also ride 2-stroke 50cc vino's. Mass doesn't require inspection on insurance on anything 50cc or under so it's a pretty good deal. 

On to the VNB!
I've attached some pics below. First - are a few images of the body. What is not shown in the photos is the front fender, head set, front end, etc. It's all here and will be highlighted at some point. The original color was the soft blue. Some jerk-off spray bombed the whole thing black. They sprayed over the decals and all. I did some sanding, cleaning, disassembling and am working on the body and engine simultaneously.

VNB Body pics