Monday, December 31, 2007

Shim & Some

So with the head tube shortened, I needed a shim for the lower race, due to cutting off the original Peugeot pressed shim. I found some donor material laying around, and a few cuts with a snips had my shim made nicely for me. I feel like I should have used a more French beer, perhaps, but it was the only can I could find. I then painstakingly greased bearings and put them back into the races, and found that it is better to cut a little long than short, as I almost almost cut it too short, with the top of the head tube not quite poking through the top of the triple tree. However, with a little more wrenching and a tiny little little tap with a hammer I was able to get the top nut on a few threads and turn it down the rest of the way, and it still doesn't bind. I'm just glad I didn't have to cut it and re-weld again.

Now I have to figure out the best option to fit my Motobecane hub to the Peugeot brake stop on the forks. Perhaps I'll just toss a Lelu hub onto the wheel from a Peugeot rim, but I will be swapping this rim out for a 6 star mag, and I'm not sure if those hubs are interchangeable. Any advice?

Head Tube

I've come up with my solution. After taking the head tube around town to the hardware stores and a few machine shops, no one had a die big enough or of the correct pitch to thread. I heard that bike shops could do this, but

A) There are no real decent bike shops around Anderson.
B) They were all closed for the holiday.

Instead I bought an 1 1/8th" hole saw, and used it to cut the welds off the head tube from the lower triple tree clamp. It worked well, and took about a minute. I then measured and sawed off 20mm from the head tube, which is hopefully the correct amount to fit it with no spacers.

Then I positioned the shortened head tube in a vice and clamped the lower tree exactly centered around the head tube, and welded. I think the welds turned out decent for as little as I weld these days, but at any rate, no one will see it and it is more sturdy than stock.

I will need to put a shim to hold the lower bearing race, as the old head tube had a bulge built in to keep the race steady. Oh well. I'm going down to the shop to fit this up with some new bearings. More pictures, as usual.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

At least its French-ish

Spent a few hours working on the 40 yesterday. I assembled my Ninja G3, and that is quite a pipe. It took me about an hour to mount it all up, because I had to file down some welds so that the stinger could bolt on. I was a little confused, because I was told I wouldn't have to lose the kickstand, but it was hitting, so I dropped it anyway. I can deal with no kickstand, and since I lost my pedal chain anyway, it's not like I'm doing anything but push starting. It also took me an hour to disassemble the Variator for the first time, put it together, wondering why Malossi sent useless screws with the Variplus, only to put it together and realize those little shims needed to go under the clutch plate. Ooops. So off it came, and I got more practice reassembling it. I might be good at it, by the time I get to tuning the weights, but for now, I have all 6 of the heavy ones inside. A trip to Walmart yielded a nice 4 pack of cables, with minimum filing, took the place of Throttle, Choke and Decompression. Not bad for $5 bucks. I'm going back there right now, and I want to get this thing riding around today. I'll take my camera today and snag some pictures.

Here is the bike, sans front wheel, ready for fork removal.

Taking the forks off was a bit of a challenge. An 1 1/4 socket got that bottom nut off, and then a little prying and it came out. What an odd fork design.

The head tube from my Peugeot forks is too long. I think I'm going to run to the hardware store and have it threaded down to the 2nd red line on there, and then it ought to fit nicely, and with the nut installed I'll cut the excess length off and spin the nut back off to preserve the threads. Anyone have a better idea?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The 40t & SCS

I took my 40 down to the shop today.
I have a nice garage, as many of the Bourbon Bandit's can attest, they call it "The Laboratory" because I have things labeled and put in boxes and bags, and the floor is clean and tools are put away. Hah. At any rate, it's too cold to be working out there comfortably, and I've come up with a nice and wonderful solution. There is a small, old moped parts shop here in town. A little old man named Everett owns it. He has been there since the late 70's, and he has been a great resource for my moped parts. I've made an arrangement to use his shop, since he no longer offers service on mopeds due to his age. So I have at my disposal, many factory tools for Puch, Motobecane, Sachs, Indian mopeds, as wells as a plethora of impossible to find moped parts all organized and inventoried. New rubber boots for your 50v forks, anyone? So I put my 40 onto the nice Airlift table and shot it up to working height. I'm going to get spoiled. I had replaced my stock AV7 with a variated AV7. The rear sprocket was for a Di-moby clutch and I didn't have a 56 tooth sprocket, so it wouldn't spin out the engine enough to get it into the powerband. Well, I have one now, in addition to
  • A Ninja G3
  • Dellorto 15:15 SHA Cable Choke
  • 15mm Shorty intake
  • Malossi Variplus
  • New Motormounts

I am considering a Malossi 62cc kit for the AV7, but I really would like an AV10, and that seems just like money spent for no real good reason, since I wouldn't use that cylinder on the AV10. I might end up getting it anyway, because I think the AV10 is a few years out, yet. It all depends on my next job and what I am making (plus what my soon-to-be wife will let me spend).
These mounts need replaced big time.
I used a factory bushing puller to pull out the old mounts and push in the new ones. It took 30 seconds to remove both sides and 30 seconds to install both sides, thanks to the impact wrench. Using the right tools is great. I just hope I don't get spoiled. Look at my box of Motobecane goodies! Most of these tools can improvised, but it is night to have the right tool for the job right out of the box.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


I'm back from the in-laws after Christmas celebration, I was able to sneak into the garage and use some tools and accomplish something. I have had a set of 6 spoke Motobecane mags sitting around (actually, hanging from the rafters) and I have decided to go ahead and just get started on my Motobecane project. I had been waiting until I had all the parts I wanted, but who knows when that will be. Due to the insufficient funds coming in, I might have to wait until next winter to get all the cosmetics in place, but if I can ride it around this spring, that might motivate me some. At any rate, I dissassembled the mags, pulling the hubs all the way out, which was a bit of a process.
The mags were Gold, like in this picture, and the coating was corroded and flaking badly, plus they were super dirty and full of cob webs. At first glance, I though the hubs were held in with Allen screws, but I soon realized that the hubs were riveted in. So I had to drill out the rivets and then use a punch and hammer to drive the rivet out of its hole. It worked pretty well once I had a system down for it. The hubs have come out, and I doubt I will use rivets like the stock ones to re-attach them. Most likely I'll use nice new hardware with nuts and plenty of locktite. With the hubs out, I inspected the brakes. The pads are in decent shape, and the inside surface of the drums have a little rust, but nothing I can't fix with some light sanding. I'm going to replace the sealed bearings as well, both in the front and rear. I guess I'll have to find some kind of drift punch to push them out. Everett might have one that I can use, he does have all the other Motobecane tools.

The mags being hub free, I tossed them into the sand blaster, and with a methodic and systematic sweeping of the skat, I cleaned all the corrosion and coating off the rims. They look much better now, having been blasted down to a smooth finish. I blasted the rear sprocket too, I plan to take them all to the powder coater and have them shot in a nice black. Not flat, but not too glossy. We will see how the look. I am on the fence of coating the hubs. The black color is pretty good, and I'm not sure if the drums could avoid being coated which would mess up my braking, so I'll consult on that. These mags will grace my 40, mounted onto Peugeot forks up front. Not sold on what tire I'm going to use. I like Gazelles on my Magnum, but they seem almost too "off-road" for the look I'm going for on the 40. I suppose I might get some more Savas, I liked those tires on my Swinger and Maxi. Any recommendations on tire choices?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

1979 Maxi

With this small ped-venture, I will be working on several bikes at one time. Here is a frame, generously sold to me by none other than Tim R. from TBS. It looks to be quite straight, and it is my first golden maxi. It won't, however, be gold for long.

I will strip this one down while I'm at my in-laws over Christmas. Father-in-law Bob has a nice sandblasting cabinet big enough to fit a maxi frame into. I think this frame I might try an unusual color scheme on. I'm thinking new VW Bug green with a soft white fender, shocks, & chrome. The chrome on the side rails and shocks has slight pitting, same with the lower forks, so I was thinking to have them powder coated as well in the soft white. I'm not sure if a two color bike would look nice or not. I do like chrome, but re-chroming is too expensive, and pits take away from a professional finished look of the bike. I would, of course, paint the side covers and plastics white as well. I think it could look pretty good, topped off with a big white saddle seat. It makes me excited to think about these beautiful bikes coming to life! I will also be experimenting with a new powder coater for this frame. I have been trucking my frames up to Elkhart and having Devin at Motion Left let his coater do them for me, but the drive up there is a bit too expensive to do all the time, plus I don't want to overload Devin with my jobs since he is plenty busy building his own MLM bikes. There is a place here in Anderson I'm going to get a quote on, and if it is decent, give them a spin. I've also heard of a place in Portland, Indiana that I might try out.

This tank will need an acid bath. Any bike I sell will need a clean tank. My own bikes, I don't care so much, but I doubt anyone would be thrilled about an ugly tank.

Here is a Puch E50 made in 1986 which means 3 shoe clutch and roller bearing clutch from the factory! Also, it has only 3 engine bearings and used 3 same sized seals. I'm very fond of these motors, and an 86 E50 was the first engine I built, and I still ride it, the fastest bike in Anderson by a long shot.
I do think, however, that this one is going to need a new piston.

It came to be in this unassembled mess, and it is mostly there, sans the flywheel. If I'm going to get a new piston, I might as well put a kit on this engine. I'm kind of tired of Polini, I have two of them, and they are fast and familiar, but I want to do something different. I've built a few Metra65's, and they are nice, but I've never tried to make a real fast one, latebird style. I might give it a go, or perhaps something else, but I don't know about making the jump to 75cc. Then again, I have been lusting after French bikes since the beginning of my moped tenure, and I have quite a few go fast goodies stuck away for my wonderful 40t waiting patiently in the garage, so perhaps I'll go with the familiar Polini or Metra, and then move into exploring with AV10

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Phil & Peds Excellent Ped-venture

I have begun a small moped venture. I will be powder coating and rebuilding Puch Maxi and Newport mopeds in my spare time as a way to gain experience with mopeds and to get a fix without having to keep every bike. Mostly, it has to do with filling my spare time, and doing something I enjoy. Once I'm done with this little venture, I will have the money from the sale of these bikes to enjoy on my own personal mopeds, plus the experience and skill having built several others. It is my goal to build 4 mopeds by spring. I've got the color combo's picked out for a few so far. This bike here is prepped and at the powder coaters ready to be shot. I will have it back at the start of the new year for re-assembly. In the mean time, I'm going through the engine for a mechanical restore. I'll post pictures of that when I get to it.

Moped HQ

This blog is started to chronicle and record my moped adventures and projects from this day, December twentieth, two thousand and seven. Expect projects, pictures, write ups, technical information, moped related stories and legends.