This is the story of my '64 Vespa 150 - how it became mine and how it has given me a new vespatude.  I'll be recording the neat places I visit, the different things I do to make the Vespa my own, and - oh yeah - those reactions I get from both friends and strangers.

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Thursday, January 12, 2006
Man, what a relief! This Vespa business has been weighing me down. I was beginning to wonder if it would ever work again. Today, I was able to drive Heebie to work after lunch!

Earlier I posted that I thought that perhaps the problem was the condenser. Well, I decided to go ahead and "upgrade" the whole electrical system. In the process of attempting that, I learned that the upgrade did not fit my bike and that I had stripped the threads in the case where the stator is attached. Now I had multiple problems to deal with and not much time to get it done.

That is why I have not been posting much - nothing was happening. I worked on it just a little bit on Saturday before getting frustrated and quiting. Monday and Tuesday evening I tried a little more. Since the bike is outside, I don't have much light. Working by flashlight can get frustrating - especially when you are trying fix stripped bolt holes!

Monday night I decided to use tap screws to create threads as I bolted the stator on. Worked great until one of the screws broke off! So I spent Tuesday trying to find a solution. Finally, in frustration, I just drilled a hole in the broken screw and used another tap screw to affix the stator. Now, I just needed to get all the wiring back together.

I used the condenser from the upgrade and attached it to the old regulator and stator. I got the wiring back together at lunch today and then gave the bike a kick. Nothing. But it did sound like the plug was sparking. I held the plug up to something grounded...was that a spark? It was hard to tell in the sunshine. Then I stood up and when I did, I pushed the kick lever down. Whoah! There was spark, I felt it coming from the plug in my hand.

I put it back and started kicking a few times more. Ah, it turned over and then died. It did that a couple more times and then it started running a little more smoothly. Finally, I was able to leave it idling as I ran to tell the wonderful red head that the Vespa was finally running!

I took it for a spin and then decided I would drive it back to work. Everything worked just fine. Only this time I did not forget my tools (I learned that lesson a couple of weeks ago when I got stranded at my in-laws). What might run now might not run later.

I look at this as a temporary fix. I think the engine casing has really seen some of its better days. At some point in the near future, I believe I will get a new engine.

Until then, I'm just glad it is running for now. What a blast to have my tie flying over my shoulder as I tooled down the road in the 64 degree weather. It was tempting to drive on past the office.

Congrats!!! I've been watching to see how it all worked out. I've ordered a sidecar to attach to one of my vintage scoots. It should arrive in Feb. or March.

that is soooo awesome

Happy for you.

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