Friday, September 15, 2017

Parts are fun!

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OMG!! Things must be picking up in the Life on two wheels studio, because YES, it's another episode!

Viewer beware, this is the very first technical episode. Those of you who thought that there would be another wild bar-hopping episode following the previous episode on the wonders of St. John's Newfoundland, will be sadly disappointed.

In this episode I dig into the guts of my Vespa to rip out the ignition (or high tension) wire that sank my trip to Pennsylvania, pick up replacement parts from Vespa Toronto West, build another high tension wire from scratch (coil to spark plug), install it on the bike, and PRESTO!!! My untrustworthy ignition is a thing of the past.

I made this episode in honour of Ken Wilson, who provided moral support in the background. Ken was a little let down that I chose to end my trip failure video without delving into the root of the problem, choosing instead to focus on Texas barbecue (now come on, who can blame me, honestly??)

I plan to post this episode on on the off chance that anyone suffering with a similar issue will find this episode to be helpful.

The music for this episode of Life on two wheels is Give by Silent Partner, made available courtesy of the YouTube Audio Library.

That's it for now folks!

See you  next time, on Life on two wheels, the vlog


RichardM said...

A little bit of dielectric grease on the inside of the rubber boots helps keep out moisture and makes the boots easier to twist off bot the coil and the plug miles down the road. That helps them from deforming. Also, nothing wrong with soldering on the wire. It doesn't hurt conduction but could make the wire more apt to break with vibration if it isn't crimped properly.

Good video.

David Masse said...

Thanks Richard, that's high praise.

If this ever becomes a re-do, I'll apply dielectric grease for sure.

bocutter ed said...

Hi-tension lead vs Texas BBQ? You are a good fit for TMSC "a riding club with an eating disorder".

BTW I really would like to see that exhaust gasket before you stuff it on your bike. Is it possibly a candidate for my custom "lifetime gasket"?

David Masse said...

Well Ed, my name is David, and I have an eating disorder.

As for the gasket, it's funny, I was thinking the same thing. I promise to drop by and show you the gasket.

I have been through at least four of them in the four years I have owned the bike, and a lifetime exhaust gasket is sounding pretty sweet right about now.

Ken said...

David, always glad to help. I forgot you had a 300. It was the 250's that had the to short cable. Your cable may have been the dinner for a rodent. I could not get a focused look. They had dinner on one of mine. Be sure and tie wrap it away from the exhaust.
Ride on.

David Masse said...

Ken, the damage to the insulation was heat related. I'll dive back in with a tie wrap.

bocutter ed said...

From on-line dimensions it looks like 1.5"OD x 1.25ID will be 0.014" (0.35mm) thicker ...

David Masse said...

Checked it out yesterday. There is no way the heat damage to the high tension wire occurred as a result of regular operation. I think it happened when the lead fell off the spark plug and the cap and wire descended, grazing the exhaust pipe.

There is a wire retaining clip on the body centered above the the spot where the footwell tunnel opens into the engine compartment. I tried to open that clip to reinsert the high tension wire, but there is just no way. I think that I'd have to have the bike on a lift, then disconnect the rear shocks and jack up the bike to drop the engine in order to get access to that clip.

I took a close look at the wire and it is well forward and clear of the exhaust.

The good new is that now I know how to replace the wire so it anything goes wrong again, I'll be in there in a flash to set it right.

Thanks for all your guidance Ken, it's much appreciated.

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

David, very well done, enjoyed watching and as always, I learned something too. As you know, very rewarding to make parts into a repair.

Curious about your exhaust gasket on the it just from use, age and time? My Helix gasket needs regular attention from tire changes and the resulting muffler removal and reattachment. Is that an issue with your Vespa as well?

David Masse said...

Thanks for the knd words Doug.

You are correct about the gasket. It's graphite on a mesh, probably a metallic meash. The muffler has to be removed for rear wheel removal, and for changing the oil in the final drive. Basically the gasket lasts a year.

Not a big deal really, it's just annoying when it starts to go. I tried torquing up the collar bolt at the exhaust joint because it seemed loose. It was sounding better initially, but after riding for a few hours it was growing noisy again.

Steve Williams said...

My Vespa had the short cable and failed during a ride. Didn't know anything about the wire then but could have easily screwed the wire back in and been on my way. Instead it cost me $150 to have the scooter hauled home. Lesson learned.

The video was great and provides a clear picture of how the whole thing works. In my case, I didn't make a new wire. Ordered one from It was already lengthened and ready to go. The only challenge was getting it in the scooter.

Your video production skills and your narration get better and better. Enjoyed watching!

David Masse said...

Thanks Steve.

My goal with technical forays is to provide some helpful information that I think I would have appreciated as I was setting off to do the job.

I am fortunate to receive unsparing critical reviews from family members that motivate me to improve as I move along the video production path.

Producing these videos gives me fresh insight into the truly remarkable talent of folks like Casey Neistat and Mic Bergsma. Mic in particular is on another plane. He produces amazingly clear technical videos without being able to speak. His how-to videos are second to none. Imagine if he could speak!

The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.