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The Fabergé Greggs fleet: Stripping the Vespa engine

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2 hours ago, juular said:

All vans prior to the phase 3 2012 build suffered from a scuttle that leaked onto the head. It was much worse if you had the windscreen replaced as the fitter broke the seal and rarely replaced it.  The fix is as simple as some foil tape or silicone.

The 1.9 and 2.5 while the injectors can get rusty from this it generally doesn't cause a major headache. You can often get them out by loosening the retaining nut and running the engine until it chuffs - bingo injector out. Obviously a very very bad idea and you will die in a fireball etc.

The big problem is on the phase 2 2006 to 2011 2.0 M9R where the head is shaped like a bucket and the injectors literally sit in a swimming pool for years until they break, and then they are completely welded in. They also block the head from coming off so you are looking at major surgery to get them replaced and it's often easier to get a new engine.

The 2012 onwards phase 3 2.0 M9R has a different head, injector cover and injectors, and the scuttle seal was improved. 

My money is on wiring or plugs.

There is a blue plug under the fuse box in the engine bay that sits with the wiring tight at a hard angle and it eventually chafes or works it's way out of the plug. Many people cut the plug off and solder the wires then shrink wrap. Eliminates a LOT of French style electrical randomness.

This is a lot more encouraging than the general doom and gloom on forums. 

It’s too early to say but it does only seem to happen when damp/ raining which would point to something simple and electrical. *crosses fingers*

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Well here we are, the future/dystopian present of being a mechanic.. 



The results are in and they are.. 

Car Scanner ELM OBD2
DTC report
Selected brand: Vauxhall
VIN: W0LF7AJA67V659041

Raw code: 2A00
Status: Pending
OBDII: Heated oxygen sensor (HO2S) 1, bank 1 - circuit range/performance
Vauxhall: HO2S Circuit Closed Loop Performance Bank 1 Sensor 1 Low Temperature; HO2S Circuit Closed Loop Performance Bank 1 Sensor 1 High Temperature
Raw code: 0380
Status: Pending
OBDII: Glow plugs, circuit A - malfunction
Raw code: 2A00
Status: Confirmed
OBDII: Heated oxygen sensor (HO2S) 1, bank 1 - circuit range/performance
Vauxhall: HO2S Circuit Closed Loop Performance Bank 1 Sensor 1 Low Temperature; HO2S Circuit Closed Loop Performance Bank 1 Sensor 1 High Temperature
Raw code: 0380
Status: Confirmed
OBDII: Glow plugs, circuit A - malfunction

I wonder if that’s just the codes for the EML light that’s on all the time or if there’s a stored code for the limp mode under load? I’ll have to take it out when I get a chance to see if anything else comes up when in limp. 

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  • Fabergé Greggs changed the title to The Fabergé Greggs fleet: accidental new member

Now where are we with everything? I've done loads of miles in the Vivaro pinging up and down to Devon pursuing surf and bike rides. You can see the appeal of becoming a #vanlife wanker- were it not for impending ULEZ meaning I can only keep this for a couple of years, I'd be tempted to do a very minimal camping fit out in it. It still has it's glow plug light on and occasional limp under labour, but nothing that effects its ability to crunch miles in absolute comfort. Vans are great. 



I even conducted some work meetings from a field next to some sheep in between surfing. The office: 



Some Devon highlights included this ace garage- one for @motorpunk


Anyway, enough lifestyle. I've been using the Sprint Veloce a bit, limited by the cruciform/clutch problem and by the fact that the fork design means there's nowhere to thread my lock though- damn! Not to worry though, the forks on these have a terrible geometry which means they dive like crazy under breaking- it has to be witnessed to be believed- even the smallest touch of the front brake bottoms out the suspension. That's all very amusing when bimbling, but if it's going to remain in the fold for a while it's going to need to be usable in the cut and thrust of London traffic. I've picked up a pair of PKXL forks which supposedly fit in with a little bit of metal work to the mudguard and bump stops. Most importantly they have a vastly improved geometry and should sharpen up the braking and handling no end. 


I secretly know that I need to strip the engine on this but I'm exhausting all of the smaller things that might be causing problems first. Starting with the clutch. I was surprised to see it has an ancient 6 spring one in there as it's a later PX engine. You can see how much bigger the old one from my LML is (7 Spring). My LML has a later still 8 spring one (Cosa type) which brings with it buttery light action. Confused yet? Good good. 

Thar she blows


That's where your clutch goes. Access is a bit fiddly and would be way easier if I had an impact wrench to take the hub off. 1558966761_IMG_19622.thumb.JPG.1b17c7e5c85a2daf201d9e42a4ee39b3.JPG

Here's your old 6 spring clutch versus a later 7 spring. 


My logic was I'd strip my old 7 spring one, oil it up and stick that in there.. easy peasy. Rebuild: 


And there it is 


Stick the clutch cover back on.. oh wait the clutch cover doesn't fit over the clutch any more. A hitch, but not surprising as I'd read about this somewhere. Luckily I had a clutch cover from my spare LML engine. Smaller vs Bigger: 


But wait, the new clutch cover snagged on a bolt that holds in the transmission primaries. It looked as though it would fit if I roatated the bolt but I didn't know if I could undo that bolt without everything falling to bits at the time, which I do know: it would have been fine. 

You can see they have a little cut out to help clear it-  I even carefully shaved a bit off to help but it still didn't clear.


That meant back on with the old clutch. What made all this exceptionally annoying is the castlated nut holding the clutch which by this point was getting very chewed. People have long given up on them as they're such a pain, but I'd forgotten to get a new collared nut. I have now, and I'll return to the job soon. TLDR: Loads of faff, no progress. 

How's the LML? Good. Always having to tweak the indicator wiring. Bit of a draggy clutch which I'll soon sort. Most pressingly, I think the rear hub seal is leaking- there's an excess of oil everywhere including dribbling down the tire sidewall. I've ordered the bits and it's an easy job ( I hope) with an impact wrench to get the hub off... 


The Saab is currently laid up in my work car park. I should really sell it cos I REALLY need cash but I just love it too much. 



With all this work to do, no time, no cash and too many vehicles, I accidentally ended up with a Yamaha Beluga. Runs like a champ but feels like it wants to go round in left circles. To be investigated..


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On 8/22/2020 at 9:09 AM, strangeangel said:

Nice fleet! If you get a minute sometime I would be very interested in hearing about the electric bike you mentioned a while back. Hope you can get the van sorted fairly painlessly ?


Forgot about this- I punted on that bike but I’ll compile something for this thread so I don’t forget about it forever  

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18 minutes ago, wuvvum said:

Is the Beluga 2-stroke or 4?

Edit: being on a P plate I'd assume it's 4-stroke?

4 Stroke- quite throaty and pulls well with 11hp or so. I wasn't really aware of these until this one, it's like a Spacey's more conservative sister. 

You know them? 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Fabergé Greggs changed the title to The Fabergé Greggs fleet: Project creep
  • 2 weeks later...

Right then, some progress on the Vespa Sprint. 

Removing the backing plate and the cylinder cooling cowl gets us ready to take the flywheel off. I don't know why but I get crazy satisfaction levels from using tools specific tools for the job- such ease, many joy:


Ooooh look the stator. Very satisfying cracking those little screws with the impact driver. Rotating the stator a bit alters timing so I took care to mark up the timing marks- about 18 degress BTDC is usual for these. This is a 12v CDI job, which is nice. 


With the wiring out the way it's off with the head and cylinder in 20 seconds because two stroke. I think I took this picture because the ring gap looks huge, but then I realised that when you compress them into the cylinder it'd close right up. It's nice to see this kind of thing for yourself. 


Piston and gudeon pin out get's us ready to split the cases


Which went smoothly.. 


Dismantling the gear stack lets us see the fabled shift cross. This is mounted upside down and hence why the shifting felt like shit- the cross is out of alignment with the gears and jumps in out. THIS EXPLAINS EVERYTHING. I strongly suspected that it was this, and it's nice to have my suspicions confirmed. It also means the previous owner is a wolly and explains why he offered it to me for £CHEAP. 


Here's the stripped axle. You can see that the cross doesn't quite line up with the smooth marks made by the gears. There's also a missing shim which creates loads of slop in the gears. 


So basically I need to order some parts and I also need a special tool for removing the crank- the bearing behind it has split which causes the gearbox oil to get contaminated with petrol mix. I love these little engines- so simple!


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  • Fabergé Greggs changed the title to The Fabergé Greggs fleet: Stripping the Vespa engine

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