Friday, 8 April 2011

The Vespa U comes apart

So, I desperately wanted to drive a Vespa U. The condition wasn't the best, the former owner had removed some paint, some welding was necessary, surface rust here and there. Some parts were "wrong". In 1959 it had been uppdated with saddle springs from a "faro basso", the Vespa 125 with the prefix VM1-VM2. Originally the U had foot boards of solid aluminum, no rubber. Here the owner replaced them with VM1-VM2 boards. And of course, the "wrong" colour.
I decided to make a light restoration. Keep the colour and the alterations who been there for over 50 years. Respray it in as like nuance as possible. Make an overhaul of the engine and brakes, clean the tank. Fit new tyres, cables, and saddle cover.
The work can begin. This is at my friend Jim's house. He's the mechanic wizard, I'm the head of cleaning and sourcing parts. Jim has got the tools and skills.
Working "al fresco", since Jim's garage was full and it was a couple of lovely summer days.
The fender is unique to Vespa 125 U. Fortunately the little old lady found it in her summer house along with the fork. The Vespa had been stored in two places, and not by her!
By the way the horn isn't the right one, from a later model.
The engine was in quite good shape. The piston required only a de-coking and cleaning, the cylinder was honed, the bearings had been replaced so it only needed new oil seals.

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