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, August 31, 2006
The engine has arrived!
I was walking into the living room to sit down a check my email. Out of the window I could see a big brown UPS truck. The driver and his helper started shifting a large box back and forth to get it out of the truck and the helper picked it up and started across the yard.


I helped him get it up to the door and I brought it into the living room and tore into the box. There was loads of paper and cardboard and in the bottom was a piece of plywood with the engine fastened to it with metal bands. Everything looked to be in order.

It has been raining outside for most of yesterday. It is supposed to be raining today and tomorrow -- I believe it has something to do with Ernesto the tropical storm. So, I went in the basement and cleared a space for Heebie and then wrestled him down there. He'll have to stay down there until I can find the time to switch out the engines.

Not that I haven't started already :-) Once I got him down there, I began to take the old engine off. It didn't take that long -- I've gotten pretty good at it. Then it was time to put the new one on...

I was kind of surprised by the state of the engine. Obviously, I didn't expect a brand new engine. You can tell that the engine is solidly put together. Everything is tight and, well, solid. However, there was no detail work on the engine. For instance there appears to be some rust tarnish on the flywheel cover and other small things like that. Really, those are small issues and I can do some work on those to get them up to stuff.

The only thing I really was unhappy with was the state of the kick start. It is pitted and dark tarnish is all in the pitted areas. Still, I'm not too upset with this because I would really like to modify the kick start from my old VBB engine to go on this one. I like the curve of that one better than the angular bend in the P kick.

The other issue is the bike. My Indonesian friends put a very large kick stand system on the bike. I haven't seen another bike with one as large. Anyway, it keeps me from being able to line up the pivot bolt because the muffler keeps hitting the kick stand spring mechanism. Yes, I know I could take the muffler off and get the pivot bolt in, but then I wouldn't be able to put the muffler back on -- not to mention I want to avoid taking it off if at all possible.

So, here are the challenges I see going forward 1) finding a replacement for the kick stand. I believe I will contact SCOMO to see about getting one that they know will work with this configuration, and 2) the electrical. Just looking at the wiring I can tell I am going to need some help getting my stator wires to match up with my harness.

Once those things are out of the way, the rest should be pretty normal. I can't wait to get that thing up and running. Only thing is that I won't have much time to work because I have events to attend for the next three nights and I ride my first metric century (on my road bicycle) on Saturday morning. Somehow, I think I will find the time! I don't believe I will rush it though. I've waited this long. I would prefer to do it right.

Great. That is wonderful news!

If you have the time to do so, would you mind taking some pictures as you go along?

Seeing pictures of your previous escapades was very interesting.

All of the best as you make the change... I am sure that you are going to find the larger engine a treat!

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