Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The next few weeks ahead...

So, here is how things have been going...

I have sanded and grinded and chemicaled myself out. I give up. I caved in this morning and decided to get the frame media blasted. So, I called a place called SoftStrip who said they can fit me in on Friday morning at 10am. It should take about an hour and cost about $90. Honestly, if I knew it was that cheap, I would have done that from the beginning instead of waste 20+ of my own labor hours toiling away. This is as far as all of that has done. The only thing that really kept me from wanting to media blast is that it seems that it will take away the body filler that had previously been applied. And although on the smaller pieces, they were over-bondo'ed into submission, it was used very wisely and responsibly on the frame. But fortunately, it was just applied to the front of the legshield, so it shouldn't be all that hard to recreate. Anyhow, Friday morning = Media blast. The rest of the weekend = body prep + what will be covered in the next paragraph.

3 Days of letting PB B'laster soak in, and the piston is still seized. I'm not surprised, I never really seem to get an easy break, so I imagined this would happen. Jeremy ended up using a hydrulic press and a hacksaw. I might have to go the same road, but my step-dad (Ken, he's helping me all weekend with body and mechanics.) and I might have a few different tricks up our sleeves beforehand. As the engine is coming apart, it really seems that the only thing terribly wrong with it is the seized piston. It is also cleaning up incredibly easy. Just a little de-greasing oven cleaner and a rag does wonders. I just can't get the damn casing to separate. I took a heat gun to the bearing under the stator, like other blogs suggested, but it still won't budge in the slightest bit. Again, maybe Ken will have something up his sleeve this weekend. He has much more experience with mechanics than I do(albeit, not Vespas, but old model cars).

So, I had a heated debate with myself about whether to keep true to the roots of the VBB and keep the 6v system, or drill a hole in the side of the frame, upgrade the stator/flywheel/junctions/wiring harness, and run off of a 12v battery system. A lot of people say that the old magneto set-up is just awful and it is worth the price and labor and actually adds desirability and value even though it takes away from the original state. Well, when disassembling the engine, the debate is over. I pulled the flywheel and noticed that a fin is chipped off. And one of the wires to the stator has a terribly damaged sheeth. So since those are really the two most expensive pieces of a 12v upgrade, I might as well do it since I have to anyway. I'm sure that I will be much happier with the outcome anyhow. A buddy of mine has a sprint with the original 6v system and is very unhappy. He is going to have me give him an upgrade too, so at least I will have the experience first.

To finish off today, I found a picture that my beautiful girlfriend, Danielle snapped of me right when the delivery truck door opened and I got a glimpse of my new toy last Friday. I think I look thrilled. Oh, by the way. Never set a deadline on your Vespa restoration project. But, I am hoping to have this done in time for our wedding. We are getting married on June 7th, and don't want a crappy limo. We want to ride off on a restored seafoam green '63 VBB 150! So, I'm not necessarily planning on it... just hoping I get lucky enough for the experience.



Scooter Couple said...

My entire bike, cowls, rims, etc., etc. were med. blasted for $100. Check with these guys again and bring in everything you got. It's worth it.

Use fiberglass tape to tape all exposed threads on the rims, etc. or the steering lock cover.

It would also be wise to med. blast your cases, but don't polish.

Also, if you have not already, set your settings to email you all comments. It's helpful.


Scooter Couple said...

I have been told by my trusted mentors that oven cleaner is the absolute last thing you want to use. It can damage your cases. Use paint thinner instead. Don't chance messing up the cases.