Monday, October 20, 2014

My favorite way to rewire a Vespa! + Winter Grande build start + Watercooled pics.

Did some more work on my red Ciao, I really enjoy this bike. Im finding myself more and more comfortable with the front forks at high speeds. I finally passed my Gf who was riding my stock Derbi Variant Sport (Which is a big deal to me). Im still loving the single speed setup because of its speed reliability. Here are some pics of the current radiator setup after I added an overflow bottle. Ive been experiencing average temps from 260-310 but thats just in town riding, I really want to get a reading of what my temps would be like at WOT for miles. 

 Tucked in there.
 I used a M.O.P.E.D. oil tube from our shop for the overflow bottle. I drilled and tapped a 15mm Bing banjo into the fillcap of the radiator and the bottom of the oil tube. I then put a small hole at the top of the bottle for overflow.  Its really rad to see the coolant boil up into the bottle after short blasts. 
 So Im rebuilding my Vespa Grande engine currently for my winter Grande. I figure I should just have one bike to destroy in the snow and rain this year. My Grande has always been an outside only bike and you can totally tell. So far Ive replaced the bottom end bearings and seal, done deeper case matching (64cc Malossi), Bored the intake, cut the crank, and cleaned it up a little. The stock crank has been holding up very well for the amount of miles that have been put on it.  No its time to rebuild the stator with my "Go To" format. This is my favorite way to wire a Vespa and it applies to Ciao, Bravo, Grande, Si, and most vespa powered mopeds. 
 So this is your whole electrical system (you may have another coil for turn signals), points, condenser, lighting coil, and ignition coil. Inspect every wire and solder point for in perfections. 
 I found that my ignition wire leaving my points was worn.
 The red wire attached to this square male plug is for your lights. I dont like this design and I disable it, Ill show that later.
 It clips into this square hole
 Cool.
 So on your ignition coil there are 2 wires, one (red) goes to your points and the other (blue) is for your brake lights. On Vespas and many other Italian mopeds, there is a safety feature that kills your ignition when your brake light is out. I am not a fan of this setup because it compromises the reliability of the bike because you never know when you might blow a bulb. Grounding this blue wire out eliminates the whole brake light circuit and you never have to worry about losing spark because of it. I suppose if you really wanted to have break lights but have a way around this incase of a blown bulb, you could always have a ground switch for the whole brake light system.  Ive had the most success with grounding it out as it is one less thing to worry about (that's important in building mopeds).
 Be sure to loctite everything!
 I cut the blue wire and ground it out using a small (5mm) circle wire connector and connecting it to the coil bolt.  Also be sure to not cut the blue wire too long or too small.
 Like I said earlier, I  eliminate the square plug that the lighting coil connects to. I used matching red wire (duh) and made it extra long to be safe. If you are familiar with Vespas you will know how frustrating it is on a Bravo/Grande/Si when the female lighting plug comes loose from the square connector.  Gah!
 The lighting coil bolts down on the bottom of the stator plate, the condenser goes on the right side.
 Wires seen here (all three have small circle connectors on them for attaching to points) : Red is from your internal ignition coil to your points, Black goes from your points out to the external ignition coil, and Yellow is from the condenser to the points. Make sure to tuck your wires in the cool channels! 
 So this case plug used to have the blue (brake light) and black (ignition) wires coming out of it. Since I internally grounded out the blue brake light wire, I have room for the new light coil wire as well as the black ignition wire. 
 Looks good! I went ahead and stuck the disabled square light plug back in the cases to seal it up. So I run the black to the external ignition coil and the red to the lights. No kill switch, only decomp, one less thing to fail. 
 So then connect the yellow, black, and red wires to the points and you are good to go..... well time your bike first! 
Look at this Malossi 64cc kit! I love the fact that this is an aftermarket part that looks worse than some original parts. This guy came into the shop one day and said "Im out of mopeds, I want you guys to have this" He gave us a box full of Vespa stuff. I dug this rusted Malossi kit out and broke the rings free. It ran decently for a trashed kit and when  I took it apart this last time, I checked the ring gap and its was 3 mm! Thats right not .03 or .3 mm! hahah. I also got a very used Vespa Simo pipe from him that I run on this Grande as well. Free build!!!! Its kind of rad to get handed down parts and keep them alive.
Got to build this rad dude! This was non variated before but now its a fun little variated ripper. Lots of new goodies. Parmakit 74cc, Polini head, motor mounts, Tun-r launch lever, Sim Turbo pipe, Modded J spring,  Malossi varplus, le party CDI..... and the list goes on. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Experimenting with my water-cooled Vespa head.

So Ive been venturing into water cooling lately and it's pretty rad! I've recently been cruising my red Ciao which is pretty quick. It has a full Malossi engine with D.E.P.S. kit, a custom 47mm matches water cooled head, 19 PHBG, and 30mm Calibrata pipe, which I scored for a killer deal. The current setup is single speed and I love it but I will probably variate it eventually for shits and giggles. I really love the look of the stock forks on Ciaos but venturing over 40mph on them is pretty sketchy, so I'll probably switch them out next season. I want to have this bike as a daily drivers so I want to eventually have a fast ass bike with very low temperatures. Anyways back to the H20 crap.... My first and funniest attempt at thermosiphoning cooling can be seen in the first 2 photos. It was more or less just an experiment and the easiest way to set it up.  If you arent familiar with Thermosiphoning, it is a cooling technique that uses convection to circulate the cooling fluid without a pump. 

 So this first setup worked, just not as good as it should. With the radiator so far away from the head and the long hoses, the cooling wasnt very effective. With this setup I wasnt seeing any temps over 320 degrees but that is easily attainable with an aircooled setup.  Also forgot to mention this is the small "snake" Polini radiator.

 Yea on the ride a few nights ago my radiator fell off and I was dragging it behind me, kind of funny. 

 This is my current and second try.  BARELY got the snake radiator tucked under the tank and shortened the hoses. I still need to do some fiddling to get it mounted perfect. I was looking at a few of water cooled moped photos and it seems like the Ciao has much less room than Puchs and French bikes.  

 Went out and went WOT for a long long while and my temps didnt get over 280 degrees. Which is pretty good but I still think it can be much better.  I really feel like the snake radiator is ultimately too small for the cooling Im looking for. Maybe I can find another for cheap and run 2? haha.

 So here are a few other radiators I have gathered for experimentation.  From left to right KTM65, Derbi GPR50, and Mini Polini radiator. So I would love to use the larger ones but I think next I will install the Mini Polini radiator due to the lack of space under the tank. Its a tad larger than the snake radiator but still thin. 

To show the thickness of these guys. The KTM and Derbi are kind of out of the question right now. I really love fenders because I ride year round, maybe I will have more room with a fork swap? 

Looks like there is a decent amount of room with the EBRs so who knows.  So far its been fun to experiment with radiators and cooling. Im planning a 50cc full H20 Polini build next year which will probably have a pump, so far this is all just practice for it. If you have experience with water cooling hit me up! COOOOL.