Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. My name is Steve and i am the lucky owner of a John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. I built her over three years with the help of my father, father-in-law and two children. She was launched in August 2007 at Queen Anne's battery marina in the barbican area of Plymouth. This blog is a record of our voyages together around SW England.
Arwen has a YouTube channel of her own. Search "plymouthwelshboy".

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

'Stacey' spanish motovespa 125 super' update: thank heavens for Granddad's

There are considerable advantages to having a Granddad who is an engineer. He thinks like a an engineer; solves complex problems like an engineer. It is a thinking process to behold.
Last Tuesday Granddad managed to advance the work done on 'Stacey' our 1971 motovespa 125 super restoration project after a stall of a few months!

pre-restoration 'Stacey'

So for the one or two who are interested in 'Stacey': where have we actually got to?

Well Granddad solved the problem of the wonky headset. There was far too much play in it after we had tightened it up and we couldn't work out why. Turning a square nut in the headset through 90 degrees cured the problem! Yeah I know, don't say anything. It was a humbling moment for Granddad's son as grandson turned to his Dad with a look of derision on his face!

We also managed to get the gear cables installed and threaded correctly but then the real fun started and that Granddad was unable to resolve, as much as he wanted to! But he had to leave that afternoon and had already stayed 2 hrs beyong his initial departure time and we all knew a late home Granddad might get into trouble with a lovely 'Granny'! So he had to leave us with the gear cable fiasco to sort out....and we failed miserably! We have had to send out a plea for physical assistance i.e 'please come to our garage and help us' kind of assistance to Vespa forum members who live in south west England!

So here is a summary of our plea for help sent down the fibre optic cables and out in to the ether early this morning:

"The end is so near ‘in sight’ yet feels so far away!

Basically everything has been restored but we are stuck on three or four BIG things

1.       The gear cables are proving a nightmare beyond our capabilities and very basic knowledge. We have installed three sets and each time run into the same problem. When you twist the gear change on the handle bar it will drop into first from neutral but when you try to twist the grip back to select neutral or other higher gears – nothing – the tube will not budge one iota; Nada!; if you disconnect the cables and use pliers to turn the gear selector at base of engine – there is no problem – spin the wheel and the gears select easily.
We will recheck whether we have the gear selector arm in correwctly on the right hand side of this picture
The clutch works fine as well (although see final point below). We are not sure whether we have the gear selector head correctly positioned within the headset unit or not but it seems to have sufficient rotation room to move through all the gears 1 to 4. Basically we are stumped and have no idea what to do next. People gave us very detailed instructions in response to a previous plea for help and we followed them to the letter. Hence the success with sorting the clutch cable. We have also swapped the gear cables around just in case we inserted them and connected them the wrong way as well; so we have done that!
the gear selector arm is at the base of the engine unit behind the flywheel and so is difficult to get at!

2.       There is a problem with the speedo and we have fitted a new cable as well and stripped out the speedo drive twice. If you don’t put the speedo in and just have the cable poking out the top of the fork then when you rotate the wheel the cable rotates too. Put on the speedo and rotate the wheel and nothing – not a flicker of the needle and we don’t know why and don’t have sufficient knowledge to work it out either. Very frustrating!
I'm really beginning to HATE this speedo unit!

3.       Having restored the engine we have yet to a) start it up or b) test the electrics and so we need someone around to help us do those things so we don’t blow up the engine or ourselves

4.       A minor point but when we bought the bike up from being on its side during cable installation to upright we noticed that the little black bung that sits at the top of the tube on the clutch plate (where I think the clutch spring and brass plunger are located) had popped out; oil had leaked out. What does this mean? Have we got the clutch cable too tight?
Why did the bung pop out of the top of this tube?

We are so close to getting ‘Stacey’ (my son’s name for the scooter – I have no idea why and neither does he!!) on the road but despite months of playing about we have been beaten by these issues and know it

So……rather than get people travelling long ways to come and help us, as deeply appreciative as we are of these generous offers, is there anyone you know of locally within say 70 miles of Plymouth who is either a great scooter fan and mechanic or who owns a scooter repair/restoration business who might be able to help us out. We approached a couple of businesses in Plymouth but they just don’t seem interested and they are general scooter and motorcycle repair places and we sense we need people who know and understand older scoots

Any suggestions would be deeply welcome because right now we are stalled!

Steve and Sam

1971 Spanish motovespa 125 super restoration
PS below are the blog pages posting on 'Stacey's rebuild progress....for masochists, the bored, the insomniacs...these pages will cure your woes!"
Well, lets hope that some kind souls out there can be our 'knights on shining armoured scooters' because right now we are pretty desperate! We'll let you know how it goes!
Steve and a crestfallen number one son.
here are the previous blog entries for those who are remotely interested:

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