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Dave's shonkers - build a Vespa kit (some parts missing)

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Been on with a few bits on the van recently, brace yourself for a thrilling update. 

The van has always taken ages to warm up which I guess is a modern diesel thing. Having seen assorted chat about chinese diesel heaters on here I was thinking of getting one and had a look under the van to see if there would be space to put one.

Hold on, what's this?


So instead I started trying to figure out why this thing wasn't working. Tried some diagnostic shiz which reported that the heater was locked out, but I couldn't turn it on or reset the fault by the Citroen diagnostics. I also wasn't sure if the van ECUs would ever be able to trigger it properly as at some point they have been swapped out for a panel van set. I tried some coding shit but no dice.

A man on a fb group suggested putting 12v up it would make it run even if the van wasn't triggering it. I tried this, and also a Webasto diganostic thingy:


But I only succeeded in burning out some stuff on the circuit board.



Luckily this turned out to be fixable:


And after lots of reading I ended up adding some missing pins to the wiring loom for the heater, disconnecting it from the van electrics completely and triggering off a simple 12v switch. I will be adding a remote relay so I can trigger from inside the house soon. Also added the circuit to trigger the fans once the coolant is up to temperature.

It works brilliantly, this is the van on an icy morning:


After about 10min of heater running the fans come on:


5-10 min after that you are fully defrosted and fairly warm inside.


All this dicking about with the heater did lead to finishing off the battery, when I got the van 2 years ago I noted that it was running a too small part worn battery with scrapyard writing on, frankly I'm surprised it lasted this long.


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Also been doing a bit of work on the interior.

In short, I managed to spill most of a 6 pint milk in the back of the van on the way back from the supermarket. I cleaned it up as well as I could but the milk got under the boarding in the back and started to smell.

I had to strip it all out in the end to clean it properly so decided to add some insulation under the floor and get rid of the rank vinyl for some carpet. I did a pretty shit job of documenting the process but frankly it was boring so never mind.

I was a bit surprised to find that under the floor the ply was supported on a selection of random offcuts rather than actual battens:


I also pulled the front floor/mat thing as the milk had got into that too. I was trying to buy a new one from a breaker in Sheffield who has a really good reputation on owners groups, but it was far too hard work to get the fucker to actually turn up to his own business and take my money so I ended up fixing up my old carpet with expanding foam and gaffa tape:


The milk had gone pretty grim:


Having cleaned it all out I added some actual battens:


And insulation, this is XPS underfloor heating stuff rather than Kingspan but I only had 20mm thickness to play with and this was available for a reasonable price in that thickness.


It doesn't look like I took a picture of the finished job so you'll have to imagine this with the vinyl peeled off and black carpet glued on.


I also gave the seats a proper clean, they were fairly grim.


Obviously the first thing I did with the clean van is fill it with muddy bikes and children, I have now got some mats for the seat bit but probably need to source some sort of extra carpet or vinyl to protect the "boot" area.

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  • Dave_Q changed the title to Dave's shonkers - HOT 3 way shite action 2 bikes 1 van

So what did I win?




The big one is a Vespa GTS 250ie and the small one is an ET4 125. 

To be honest, I wasn't really looking for 2 bikes, but the 125 came up as a suggested item on the finshed item page for the two fiddy, and was located not far away from it so after some back and forth with the seller a suitably derisory offer was accepted. 

The 250 seems in decent mechanical order but has a lot of dents, scratches, repainted bits etc. 

The guy used to commute on it but it's been sat for about a year. Only things I could see to stop it getting an MOT were a sticky throttle and a non working brake light switch. I've fixed those now so I'll take it for test tomorrow.

The 244cc fuel injected powerhaus seems fine:


The chap was at pains to point out to me that the topbox fitting was something he'd done himself and not factory, tbh I might have figured that out myself.


The 125 is much more familiar RANK MOPED territory, having been sat for 5 years. It also has a pretty impressive compliment of dents and even the rare moss option. 



A quick attempt with a jump pack shows it turns over but seems to have neither spark or fuel. The carb rubber thing doesn't look great either from an initial inspection.


If I can get it going fairly easily I will try and get it MOT'd and either sell it on or offer it to my wife who has shown some interest in a rank moped of her very own.

Thanks very much to @Rave for inspecting the 250 for me.

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Could be worse.


The indicator was actually working intermittently on the way there but sadly did not self heal in the MOT bay. Seems to do 4-5 flashes then go off till next time which is a bit odd. 

Rear pads are on order (£7) and I've even gone mad and ordered a tyre for £35.

Also made a bit of progress on the 125, seems it actually has a factory immobiliser which you can diagnose by sticking an LED into a connector somewhere.

I got 1 key with it which is the immo master key, the flash code on the immobiliser is telling me the CDI and the immobiliser box have no connection (therefore it's not detecting the key) so that gives me something to have a look at.

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Bit more on the no spark 125. 

Dug out the immo box from behind the glovebox.

The wiring to it wasn't looking too clever:


On further inspection/prodding, one of them has turned to dust. 


I am giving up on the immobiliser as all the wiring between the cdi and immo checks out with a multimeter, it's got +12v in all the right places and with everything connected including that broken wire it's still giving a flash code that says no communication so maybe the immo box is dead?

You can get an aftermarket cdi with no immobiliser but they're about £70 so would blow my theoretical budget of ≈£0, luckily Piaggio also did this engine in other models without an immobiliser so I have a CDI from a pre-leader Beverley 125 on the way for £20.

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  • Dave_Q changed the title to Dave's shonkers - sparks good, fuel not so good

CDI turned up yesterday and got me some good sparks. The scoot fired up fine on brake cleaner but not a sniff without.

So I took the carb off to have a look.





Pretty rank. I've cleaned it all out as well as I can with brushes and wire and the bike does now start and idle without spray but it dies if you open the throttle more than about 1/4.

I'm guessing it may be the accelerator pump as this is pretty hard to clean out properly.

Not too sure what to do next, maybe get a little ultrasonic cleaner to try and clean it better as a replacement carb is $$$ and the generic ones are most likely shit.

Also fixed all the MOT fails on the GTS (see Bikeshite thread for man vs tyre) so will pop it in for retest in the morning.

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Impressed to see that they both went in the van so easily... fetching scooters home in the C15 always involved taking bits off - nothing ever went in with the top box and mirrors still attached! Just think how easily I'll be able to ship home rank mopeds in this Vito... MUAHAHAHAHA. The GTS looks like it'll prove itself a proper bargain, I'm sure you'll enjoy riding that in the urban scramble.


Re: the carb on the 125 - it did look spectacularly rank, but those CV carbs are normally pretty reliable, even when terminally worn. The problems I've had over the years (the same type are fitted to my Helixes) are cracks in the rubber inlet manifold - I would whip that off and have a really good look at it if you haven't already - and the vac piston sticking occasionally. The latter can wear and get burrs on the end nearest the needle, cleaning with a bit of fine abrasive paper usually does the trick. Ultrasonic cleaners are good IME - I have one of the Lidl jewelry cleaners, which is fine for moped carbs, but won't take something that size. - you'd be able to get bits of it in OK though. I wholeheartedly recommend voiding the warranty by using diesel in it instead of water.


As you have already surmised, the aftermarket (Chinese) carbs are down in the bottom drawer behind the bar in the Last Chance Saloon. I gambled £25 or whatever it was and bought a Helix one purely to use the bi-metallic strip electric choke thing - the Honda ones are £££ - and for once my luck was in. A while later, after discussing Chinese carbs on a scooter forum, out of curiosity I stuck it on one of the Helixes, which was running perfectly with the carb it had on at the time. Nightmare - poor starting, idled when it felt like it and, worst of all, two big flat spots in the middle of the rev range. I've since robbed the gaskets from it, but anything where actual engineering tolerances are involved should be considered scrap. If that one really is bolloxed then a decent second hand one is your best option IMO.


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Yeah you can buy a full carb that I reckon I could make work for £15 brand new, but confidence would not be high in it lasting a month. 


I've just been out again and applied a bit of brake cleaner and some revs to try and get things flowing through the carb.

It kinda worked, was able to wobble up and down the road at up to 20mph but it's still not right in the lower end of the revs, also this elbow thing does not look too clever as you mention. 


I'm hoping with a better effort at cleaning the carb I'll get there.

Very pleased with the GTS having now ridden it a bit, can see why they are so popular with moped crime gangs as the acceleration to 40ish mph is really good, big enough to fit a gang member or 2 on the back of and I reckon they must crash quite well with the metal frame, which is probably important when involved in a chase.

I reckon it could be even faster with a tranmission service, I imagine it is well overdue and both the belt and the rollers wear which slows the bike down, it's about £80 worth of parts if you go genuine though so might have to wait until next month. 

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They're a great* bit of design, those rubber inlets. The whole weight of the carb is supported by that on many scooters, with obvious consequences. It was such a problem with the Helix that Honda fitted a brace to the later models, which they made available for people to buy and fit to earlier bikes. Another possibility that springs to mind is the condition of the vac lines, any missing clips etc.


If you want to save a few pund on the transmission overhaul I would stick with genuine rollers but get an aftermarket belt. I use Three Five belts (Taiwanese) in the Helixes which are cheap and reliable. I went to those because I bought a genuine Honda Bando (£££) for my first belt change and the bastard snapped half way through its duty cycle...


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Cheers for the tip on the belts, all the noise on using genuine comes from owners groups which seems to be mostly populated by people who own nearly new ones and never ride them anywhere. 

There are Triple S belts for £26? Never heard of them tbh. 

The 125 is now alive, I am on a low input training course this afternoon so took the laptop + wireless headset outside. 


Had the carb off again, the inlet thing is definitely on it's way out but none of the cracks go all the way through. 

I had a blast through the jets with the FIRE EXTINGUISHER OF MANY AIR PRESSURE and also found the slide thing was a little sticky, I cleaned it up some more and applied a tiny smear of grease.

All running great now, had a quick brum up and down the road and it's seems pretty sprightly tbh. 

At a bit of a crossroads now as to what to do with it, I reckon it may need a new exhaust as it's got a hole and is possibly too rusty to weld. Other than that it just needs a stop/tail bulb and possibly a centre stand spring for an MOT.

But if the exhaust won't bodge then MOT + V5 + exhaust is getting towards more than I was planning to spend. 

I've surely added value by dragging it North and getting it running so if my wife doesn't actually want it it could make more sense to punt it on now as a project?

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If Triple S isn't Chinese then I say crack on. As for the exhaust, here's one for 40 notes delivered that's described as solid:




Bit of wire wheel action and some BBQ paint and your good lady will be out on the Queen's Highway in no time 👍 Seems a shame to punt it on now when you've done all the hard work.


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Unfortunately the exhaust situation isn't that straightforward, it's the pre-leader engine so second hand ones are rarer and more expensive.


Going to put up a sale/roffle thread on here, if noone is keen I'll get it tested and try the general public.

Having asked my wife she is keen on the concept in general but would like one that's a bit less battered.

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  • Dave_Q changed the title to Dave's shonkers - welding rust to air

So I have put a for sale thread up but as I've been inundated with zero offers I thought I'd have a look at bodging up the exhaust. 

The silencer seems to be made from several layers of very thin steel, the outer couple of which have dissolved and it seemed to be blowing sort of between the layers. 


So I had a go with the welder. 

Even on minimum ampage it was blowing through the layers so I sort of welded some holes, then kept welding till they weren't holes, then rinse and repeat.


To distract the MOT man from the welding I have given it a factory quality paint job using the dregs of a £ shop spray can from the shed.


I don't even think the welding is 100% gas tight tbh, but it is  much better than it was so hopefully it's be a pass or advise.

Worst case I might be able to weld something up from this and a cheaper Leader exhaust as it's the silencer not the pipes that are gone.

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That's given me nightmares of welding up my colleague's KMX 200 exhaust with a crappy gasless mig! Porous as shit, pinholes all over the shop.

He's happy enough with it though, it had been welded up before and it looked terrible, my welding was a big improvement once ground down. Some minor pinholes left but it passed the MoT ok.

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Luckily on this the bit I have welded is on the back/bottom of the exhaust, and is mounted very low down so nobody will see. 

If there are any leaks left they will be very minor so I'm hoping to get away with it.

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  • Dave_Q changed the title to Dave's shonkers - YELLOW

No movement yet on the 125, I have fitted some front indicators but the stand springs I ordered several weeks ago haven't turned up yet so I can't take it for MOT.

I have however painted the 250. 

Here are some before pictures. It was a decent 10 yarder but was covered all over in scratches, dents, and dodgy touch up work. 









A couple of during, I lashed loads of vactan and zinc primer over the rusty bits. It's not that bad for one of these but the battery bit in the middle of the frame seems not to get painted at the factory.



I do also wonder if it's been painted before as these stickers were not the original badges. Maybe they got stolen?


And the after pics:







It's not a perfect finish, I tried to fill in the dents and scratches and knocked out the big one at the front but there are a few spots where another round of filling and sanding would have been needed to make it perfect and I just didn't bother.



Looks a lot smarter to me anyway and hopefully being BRIGHT FUCKING YELLOW will mean slightly less chance of a SMIDSY.


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  • Dave_Q changed the title to Dave's shonkers - build a Vespa kit (some parts missing)

So this happened.


I have been trawling the ads for 2 stroke shite recently and this engine popped up as local and cheap. Being sold by a local lad who is into auto scooters and didn't really know what it was. I wasn't sure but I reckoned it was well worth the asking and managed to get in first.

Turns out it is a smallframe engine off of a PK50s elestart. Polini 110 kit and up gear kit and some sort of funky pipe. 


So I was kinda planning to sell it on and make some coin but decided I would see if I could find a suitably shite frame to put it in.

Enter this thing:


It's pretty solid actually and was ridiculously cheap as these things go. Getting a bit thin in a couple of spots on the floorboards:

And the beginnings of a hole have been cut in the frame down here, presumably for clearance for a big carb?


Obviously I couldn't resist plopping the engine in place and making some brum pop noises:



One downside of the bargainous nature of the frame is there are no documents and it doesn't seem to exist on DVLA so is an unregistered import. From the frame number it is a 1983 PK50s elestart which is quite the stroke of luck as it matches the engine.

I guess the 14 months it will take for all the paperwork to go through will give me some time to gather all the bits. I have the idea that I may be able to build the whole thing for £500 with a bit of patience which I reckon would be quite an achievement considering the prices of these things in general. 

 A letter with a NOVA form filled in with mostly blanks and shrugs is off to HMRC today, wish me luck

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Welding has happened.

I started out by taking off the rivetted on strip things off the floorboards for access. 

There was some rust under the 2 layers of paint so I reckon I will have to strip a lot of it off. 


I started with the weird part drilled hole in the underside:


The flap is kinda offset from where it should be, I couldnt get it to bend back so I had a go at welding over the holes/gaps. This was surprisingly successful.


Couldn't get the grinder in to dress back the inside but could just about get the powerfile in, this is before grinding off the excess wire etc. 


Buoyed by the success of this part I moved onto the floorboards. There was a roughly 2x1 inch area above the rear crossmember thingy on both sides that was quite thin with a couple of holes. I was thinking of cutting a patch out but had no metal in stock so I tried the welding proverb of using a bit of copper under the hole - a flattened bit of pipe.



This worked amazingly well actually. I also migged a fair bit more wire over the thin bits, the welder was working quite well for once. I have recently changed to Lidl gasless wire after running out of gas and it seems to be doing better than I ever did with gas?

Anyway I didn't go too mad with dressing the welds back as the surrounding metal is still fairly thin, will allow myself a skim of filler here to make it look a bit better.



Melted the shit out of my £ shop clamps but otherwise a successful evenings fettling. I am pondering whether to send it off somewhere for some sort of blasting but will probably just power on with the flap wheels to save a few quid.


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Bit more progress on the PK frame, stripped some more paint off and welded up some holes.

It had a few extra holes in the legshields and floors from racks/crash bars and just one in the rear wing? 

Apparently this could have been from an aerial is it used to be a thing to fit an aerial and a little radio in the toolbox and some speakers in the glovebox.


You can see there there seems to be rust under the original paint?  This seems to be the case in a few places.

I've migged up the holes and ground them back, few pinholes still but will put a skim of filler over rather than repeatedly rewelding to try and make it perfect.


I picked up a few more parts off the guy I got the frame off, 20mm axle PK125 forks and most of a headset. He'd clearly decided I was alright and threw in a few extra bits and showed me the garage behind his garage - when I was there the first time I didn't clock that there was a door at the back of the normal looking single garage, behind there was his actual collection of 9 largeframes including a T5, 2 mint Rallys, etc etc.

Paperwork wise I got a dating cert from the Vespa club which was wrong, stating it is a 1975, they are going to do me a new one.

Overall I am going to try and be a bit more patient now about sourcing the bits for this as I have already spent about £300 ,so my chances of doing the whole build for £500 are slipping away.

Next up I think is trying to finish the ET4, I think that will get through an MOT if I can weld up the stand so it doesn't scrape the floor in corners.


Edit: forgot to put the words for this picture, this was the inside of my "new" fork's brake drum, heard of shoes delaminating but never seen it like this. Luckily new shoes are about £8 and probably would have replaced them anyway tbh.

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13 minutes ago, Dave_Q said:


Next up I think is trying to finish the ET4, I think that will get through an MOT if I can weld up the stand so it doesn't scrape the floor in corners.


Stands are for wimps.

Just do as I do and find a convenient wall to lean it against.


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OMG actual video content.

The last few bits I needed to make the engine go turned up today, spark plug and cap.

So I was keen to get out there and impress my family and neighbours by seeing if the engine works.

The first 1:00 of pointless kicking was with a cdi wire disconnected. There was a second period of actual running after this vid with a few revs etc but the camerachild had got bored by then.

Anyway don't forget to smash that MF like and subscribe, if anyone from say SIP or beedspeed are watching and want to sponsor me by sending some free shit, hit me up, I reckon I could churn out a video of this quality or possibly even lower once a week promoting your items.
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Cheers, the main thing was to see if the engine sounds OK as I got it without hearing it running and was wondering whether I should be tearing it down to have a look at the insides.

Pretty happy that it will be OK just to stick it in.

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Cheers Dick. I have got one of the recommended carbs to go with it (Dellorto 19.19) and jetted it to the Polini spec plus it has a 3.00 primary so hoping it should all work OK and give a decent cruising speed.

Not expecting miracles but 50ish on the flat and being able to maintain 35-40 up a hill would be great.

I am actually keeping a spreadsheet of parts filled in with target prices then updating them when I buy stuff. 

At the moment it says I will spend 667.34 on parts so lets call it 750 by the time I have added in the stuff I've forgotten.

Not including any registration costs or paint in that but will still be cheap in scooter terms.

I did actually send a V62 off for it but I'm expecting to come back as no trace, I reckon as it's a 1983 I can tape over all the lights, switches and speedo and go for a daytime MOT with just a reflector stuck to the back, wouldn't ride if on the road like this but I'm expecting things like lights (and the indicator telltale which is an MOT requirement if you have the indicators fitted) to be relatively expensive but I can be collecting that stuff while I am waiting for the DVLA to get it registered.

Getting a bit ahead of myself there though, need to get some paint on the frame first.

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