Friday, September 5, 2014

I sprang a leak. So did Andrew.

Yesterday when I was leaving work I noticed a leak under my bike.

I looked and could find no evidence of a leak and assumed that someone else had parked in my spot and left the stain.

Today at lunch time I went to stow a purchase in my topcase.  I had parked one spot over to convince myself that I wasn't the source of the leak.  Lo and behold, it is me leaking.
I traced the leak to the floor of the Vespa where you can see two drops forming on the underside of the chassis.
That, my friends, is what a coolant leak from a Vespa GTS looks like.  Another ModernVespa quasi-instant diagnosis.  Thanks to Craig (caschnd1 on MV), with MJRally, Madison Sully, and Jimc chiming in for good measure, for unhesitatingly identifying the problem.

I plan to ride home on quiet streets to avoid over-exercising the bike, and to keep a sharp eye on the temperature gauge.  I have some coolant at home and I'll top up the reservoir.

Some time over the weekend I'll open up the bike to see if I can spot where the leak is and assess whether I can repair it myself.  The Vespa shop manual is not exactly crystal clear, but I think the worst case may be that I need to order a new hose which I think I should be able to get from ScooterWest.

And so it goes.  The joy of owning a vehicle like me.  Old(er), that is.

I've been silent here because, as usual, summer draws to a close and I get really, really busy.

Last week Susan and I attended the CSCS annual conference in Banff.  We got there via Vancouver and a road trip with our son Andrew and his partner Anuschka (hereafter, the 'kids').

The road trip blossomed into a full-blown adventure involving a midnight Greyhound ride from Revelstoke to Banff.  Andrew and Anuschka repeated that feat 24 hours later.  Further adventures ensued as Susan drove the 'kids' back to Revelstoke in a rental car to re-unite them with their 2003 Mercedes E Class which by then had a new fuel injector.  If you have to get stuck, the Rockies offer stunning scenery to compensate for the pain. The silver lining was more time for us to enjoy our kids' company in Banff.  It was a lose-win.

And so it goes.  My son's joy in owning a car like me.  Old(er), that is.

I'll come back to post some of our overly breathtaking photos, just to make Sonja homesick.  Bob too, wherever he is.

19 comments:

  1. Bah, Humbug! I won't be getting homesick. Never.

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    1. And you know, that's definitely the right path to take. These days, with a couple of notable exceptions, the world is home, isn't it?

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  2. Broken down at Banff, things could be worse!

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    1. Technically we were broken down at Revelstoke. We subsequently found out that some folks call it Revelstuck. So I guess we were in good company.

      We were refugees in Banff. Not bad at all. At eh Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. In a suite. Even better.

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  3. Good luck with your coolant leak. I'm very much looking forward to new Revelstoke photos.....it's been a long time but I still remember.

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    1. I'll get around to posting the photos but my hands are so full right now. It's been a whirlwind.

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  4. Coolants leaks can't be a good thing. Is it going to be hard to fix? Being stuck with ones kids is a bonus! I can hardly wait to see the your pics of Revelstoke.

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    1. Got the bike opened up on the weekend. Last night I fixed the leak (crosses fingers) and buttoned it back up - 3.5 hours at $0 per hour, plus <$3.00 in parts.

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  5. There. That toned down my 300 lust just a tiny bit. Still loving my LX150...but some day will move up, potential coolant leaks and all...... Hope you get this sorted without too much grief.

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    1. Dave, it's true that I have more maintenance and repair issues with the GTS than the LX. The LX is a great bike and is as reliable as the day is long.

      There is no way I'd go back to the LX though. For my needs the GTS is really a sweet choice. It removed any limits I had with the LX in terms of speed and distance.

      That said, there is no doubt at all, that in the city, faced with heavy traffic, the LX is a dream. It's a little narrower, a little more maneuverable, just enough to make a huge difference. There are times when filtering with the GTS is difficult and I know that the LX would be a breeze.

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  6. David - Not sure but I think if you use a higher viscosity coolant the leak will plug itself. :) Good luck with the fix.

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    1. Dave I just stick with the OEM recommendation and use a Motul product.

      I think that someone addressed an earlier leak at the joint in the floor. There is a junction fitting that doesn't show up on the parts list and clearly it doesn't match up perfectly, and the clamp on it on one side doesn't seem to be OEM. All the Vespa clamps on the cooling system are one time use clamps, not the screw type.

      I would have preferred to find the German autoparts clamp recommended on ModernVespa, but I really needed the bike, so a resorted to a garden variety hose clamp.

      If it springs another leak, and I have to get back in there (a fairly major pain), hopefully I'll have the right clamps for the job and a better junction fitting.

      Time will tell. I think that I'll shop for new clamps and a new fitting to have on hand, just in case.

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  7. Without a doubt, the modernvespa.com forum is the most important resource for modern Vespa owners and riders in this solar system. I have gotten more instant diagnoses and moral support from that group of people than a person is entitled to without paying cash.

    Hope the coolant leak fix is painless and permanent!

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

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    1. Steve, painless no (I suppose it depends on what one considers 'pain'), and permanent... I somehow doubt.

      Cheap, for sure. Including the mechanic's gloves, the total was under $10.

      Getting the tupperware off the bike was a fairly big pain. I had to remove the horn cover, the glove box, dissamble my mods to the left kneepad, remove the floor rack and battery cover, remove the crash bars, remove the side fairings, the smaller fairings at the back of the floorboard, then finally the floorboard, and only after much Googling, wiggling, cajoling, and cursing.

      Putting it all back together was equally challenging. A-N-D, it requires an elastic band of all things to hold the glovebox lox dogleg lever in position. You'd think Piaggio could have sprung for a spring!

      Without Google and MV, I'd still be cussing and scratching my head.

      When some time frees up I'll do a workman-like post to explain all this in gory detail.

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  8. Adventures aren't just for two-wheels. Think of the memories.

    We took the greyhound from Red Deer to Penticton one January when our car froze in -38 temps in Edmonton. More adventures on 4 wheels.

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    1. Now THAT must have been a colossal pain and a memorable experience.

      And the memories... one of my favorite expresions is "experience is what you get, when you're expecting something else".

      Adventures on 4 wheels for sure Brandy!

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  9. Hi David ,
    Hope your well!
    It will be good to know how you get on with the coolant leak repair....hope it's straight forward enough.
    As always .....great to stop by,
    Been very busy and not had much online time!
    Kindest regards
    Len

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  10. Glad it sounds like the leak is on its way to a happy ending. I understand about being MIA front posting. I get the posts out, but keeping up with other blogs I enjoy and having the time to comment continues to be elusive.
    ~k

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  11. In my experience, usually with boats, things are repaired - for now.

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