Started noticing a little problem with my Vespa soon after I got it, and by looking at the symptoms I suspected that I had a worn shifting cross, which I viewed as an opportunity to tear into my engine and do a partial engine rebuild.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think the engine needed to be rebuilt, but one of my goals with this vehicle was to bite the bullet and really get to know it in a mechanical sense. I wanted to experience this Vespa in a manner that was so thoroughly physical that I would require gloves and my Vespa would be left huddled in the corner calling the 2-stroke equivalent of a social worker.
I ordered a bunch of parts from Scomo and got ready to get down and dirty. I fully suspected it to take a full 3-day weekend, but from working with my dad on various projects throughout the years I knew that it would take at least four score and seven years. And so it was.
The shifting cross is also known as the cruciform, for a reason that was quickly made obvious to me: even Jesus would want to kill himself trying to get to this thing. The motor has to be removed from the frame, split in half and all the gears have to be removed. There were points where I had mini-panic attacks and what little sleep I had was plagued by nightmarish visions of my scooter spread out over my parents garage for all of eternity, like an even-poorer version of a 74 Chevy pickup on blocks.
Fortunately, the night before (or the morning of) I was to move back to San Luis, we had it completely together and started it at 1 am. I’m sure my neighbors are still pissed…
To be fair, if my neighbors weren’t mad at me, I would never see them.
Posted by Red Scott @ 2:58 pm