Sunday, October 12, 2008

Conversion from VNB to VBB

C. Dale's got some exciting news.  

Meanwhile, we ride again! 
Not in the same context at all:
The details for revitalizing the electrical system of a 1959 Vespa 125 (VNB):

The old stator plate:
The black bundle at the top is the coil (the thing that takes the tiny spark from the points just to the right above the copper at 3 o'clock, and juices it up) has the line that goes to the spark plug.  They don't make 'em like this any more.

Luckily, somehow, this engine has the bracket to hold an external coil.  I'm kinda passively researching why that is.  My sense is that this baby was made toward the tail-end of 1959, and so some of the features wholly embraced in 1960, trickled in a little early.  It's similar to the 1974 1/2 MGBs.  But let's focus on one ridiculously tiny vehicle at a time.  

Here's the new set up:

The marking I've put there show Top-Dead-Center in the single-cylinder rotation, and as close to exactly 25 degrees before TDC.  The idea is that at -25, the points are still closed, but then, inside of that 25 degrees of the 360 rotation, they open up, and that gap makes the tiny spark.

We adjust that gap via these long windows in the ignition disc.

Alas, even though I used a feeler gauge, I initially set the gap way too big, so the spark was getting lost in the air between the points.  No spark. So no explosion, and no run.

Seeing as how I've never done this before (and the points in the MG were converted to an electronic system, which can't be done on the Vespa because the MG has a constant battery, and the Vespa is battery-less)  we've made new friends.  Both of us.

Scooter Bottega in Brooklyn is the place to go, if you've hit your wall and can ask for some help.  And look, my Vespa's made some friends:

And it seems peer pressure works.  The mechanic, Robbie, spent a little over an hour with it, and that was all it needed.  He explained to me how it went, and I feel a little smarter about them than I did before.  I took it for a zip around the giant parking lot across from my pop's place--the same lot I drove my MG around for the first time over 11 years ago.  

- Clean the contacts on the light. update: find tiny screws
- Oil the throttle. 
- Check the horn. update: needs replacin'. 
- Watch the Jets at 1pm. update: Won.



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