My 2007 Vespa GTS 250

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Areomyst
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My 2007 Vespa GTS 250

Postby Areomyst » Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:40 pm

In July of 2014, I got a phone call from a gentleman who remembered me from the dealership where he purchased his 2007 Vespa GTS 250. I suppose I must have made an impression on him because he really wanted me to have his old scooter! His bike had something to the tune of 21k miles on it, and he wanted to sell it to me. The price changed a little based on what I could afford at the time. The local dealer told him that it needed $1400 or so in repairs to make it road worthy again. I believe they suspected that the throttle body/ecu was bad and needed to be replaced... To make long story somewhat shorter, the gentleman sold me the bike for under $1000 in non-operable condition.

I went to pick up the scooter fully expecting to be buying a $500 machine. When I saw the bike, it was in near showroom condition! I couldn't believe my eyes, and I realized that I had the deal of a lifetime presented to me. I expected a scooter that was in rough, crashed up condition. What I ended up buying was a Vespa GTS that was in really great shape! All it needed was a spark plug resistor cap and some very minor work, and I had a machine that carried me over 10k miles further before needing it's first somewhat major repair!

Attached to this post are some somewhat random images of the scooter. I am using a YSS front shock, and MG Biketec brake levers. I also favor Heidenau tires. To date, I have not modified the engine or CVT, but I do plan to do at least a little CVT tuning...

This week, at 32,911 miles the exhaust valves finally failed on me. I ordered new ones from Scooter West and I hope to have the repairs done sometime next week as I am supposed to take a 190ish mile (one way) ride to the beach to meet my family for spring break.

~Josh
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Last edited by Areomyst on Sat Mar 26, 2016 5:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Corrected the time that I purchased the bike!
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rpmorrell
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Re: My 2007 Vespa GTS 250

Postby rpmorrell » Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:07 am

Congrats on your purchase ! :mrgreen:

In what way did the valves fail? Burned out the seats? Were they adjusted to spec?

I'm surprised @ how much mine need adjust every 10K service on my 250cc Quasar.

Kind regards,
Rob :)

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Vespa GTS Valve Failure

Postby Areomyst » Sat Mar 26, 2016 5:56 am

rpmorrell wrote:Congrats on your purchase ! :mrgreen:

In what way did the valves fail? Burned out the seats? Were they adjusted to spec?

I'm surprised @ how much mine need adjust every 10K service on my 250cc Quasar.

Kind regards,
Rob :)


Thanks for the reply Rob! The valves were adjusted to spec, but the face of the valve becames pitted anyway. When I called Scooter West (aka Vespa Motorsport) Fabio seemed to believe that a valve job at this milage wasn't out of the norm. (Fabio is also a member here, by the way - he's building a 98cc Roost Havoc engine with Malossi C-one carters!). I hope to have the parts today so that I can work on the scooter some more over the weekend.

The symptoms I was noticing: Rough, choppy idle, random engine cutting off at stops, and the occasional odd misfire during acceleration. Finally it just stopped all together under throttle. Thankfully it died on me only .25 miles from home, so it was an easy push down the road, albeit a frustrating one. I checked the spark, did a cylinder leak down test, checked the fuel delivery, etc.

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Here are my exhaust valves with 32,911 miles on them! They really aren't all that bad, but a cylinder leak down test showed that they were indeed leaking. When I pulled the engine apart I also poured some isopropyl alcohol into the exhaust port with the valves closed, and sure enough they were leaking pretty bad. In the 2nd photo, I started to clean up the valve on the left a little bit - but then I stopped because I decided I was just going to replace the darned things.

I haven't had to do any engine work on my GTS until now, and despite my 10 years of working on scooters for a living, I haven't had to tear down but one of these engines. When I was originally diagnosing the problem I was frustrated because I wanted to check the compression but couldn't find a compression spec ANYWHERE in the shop manual. I later realized that this is because of the compression release mechanism! Oops!

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The decompression mechanism bumps the exhaust valves open on the compression stroke when the engine is turning at starting RPM. That being the case, I'm surprised the damned thing wouldn't at least start with my valves being the way they were! I'll try to get it back together this weekend, and I'll be sure to report back on how the repairs go. I hope it's all nice and smooth, as my Vespa is my primary transportation lately. I've got a 200 mile trip next weekend as well, and I sure hope I don't have to borrow or rent a car. :)

Cheers!

~Josh
"The more a man learns, the more he realizes how little he knows."

starreem
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Re: My 2007 Vespa GTS 250

Postby starreem » Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:36 am

Hey! you can drive my GTS. :)

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Re: My 2007 Vespa GTS 250

Postby Areomyst » Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:40 pm

starreem wrote:Hey! you can drive my GTS. :)


Thanks Starr! Borrowing your scoot would sure be better than renting a car, but I got the parts in today so I think I'll be able to get the bike back together in time for my trip next week.

Interestingly enough, the new valves are slightly different than the originals! The valve stem is undercut on the new valves... As the undercut is pretty high on these, I don't expect exhaust flow gains. I suppose I could modify them, but I'm not going to take the time to do that - I just need my ride back on the road!
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rpmorrell
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Re: My 2007 Vespa GTS 250

Postby rpmorrell » Sat Mar 26, 2016 5:13 pm

Eeeek! :shock:

Those valves look scary! & you say this is normal? :shock:

What's the fuel quality like? Could this contribute to the build-up?

My Quasar has about 40K's on it, but kilometers : not miles.
I do regular injection cleaner liquid, valve adjustment, & only use BP fuel.....Not comforting to think it could be on its way to the state in your pics :|

Much appreciate the heads up though :)

Kind regards,
Rob :)

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Re: My 2007 Vespa GTS 250

Postby Areomyst » Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:32 pm

rpmorrell wrote:Eeeek! :shock:

Those valves look scary! & you say this is normal? :shock:

Well, I don't know about 'normal' but the guys at Scooter West who do these engines all the times weren't surprised at all by me ordering a set of valves at this milage interval. They do look scary - there's a lot of build up on the valve stem - but in the above post where I said "they really aren't all that bad" I was more referring to the valve faces. I've seen much worse over the years. Check this thread out for some fun carnage: viewtopic.php?t=2517

rpmorrell wrote:What's the fuel quality like? Could this contribute to the build-up?

I use the highest octane rated fuel I can get wherever I go. I hope the fuel quality isn't a problem, because it's really the only practical thing I can get...

rpmorrell wrote:My Quasar has about 40K's on it, but kilometers : not miles.
I do regular injection cleaner liquid, valve adjustment, & only use BP fuel.....Not comforting to think it could be on its way to the state in your pics :|


Here's hoping that yours goes longer than mine did! My Vespa has been such an incredible source of enjoyment and therapy over the past couple of years that it's hard to be without it, even for a week or so!

~Josh
"The more a man learns, the more he realizes how little he knows."

starreem
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Re: My 2007 Vespa GTS 250

Postby starreem » Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:26 pm

heh! I figure it's as good of an excuse to see you to Raleigh as any. I see you in Durham every now and then...

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Re: My 2007 Vespa GTS 250

Postby Areomyst » Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:52 pm

starreem wrote:heh! I figure it's as good of an excuse to see you to Raleigh as any. I see you in Durham every now and then...

You do make a good point... I need to make the trek up that way to visit you! Now that I think of it, how can I not have made it out to your place after all these years!?! Good grief.

~Josh
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Re: My 2007 Vespa GTS 250

Postby Areomyst » Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:10 pm

I worked on the Vespa after work as much as I could before I just got too tired to continue. I am quite frustrated, because I lost as small dampening "washer" that goes on the compression release assembly... I ended up disassembling the engine a bit further because I feared that I may have dropped it down the timing chain well. I still haven't found the stupid thing. I will not be able to finish the rebuild until I get a new oil sump gasket, and a new plastic dampener for the compression release! How very frustrating...

I still had plenty of other things to keep me busy though.

Valve adjustment on the GTS is easily done with the rear shocks disconnected, and the bike jacked up so that the engine pivots upward. In fact, you can replace the entire top end in this manner. Starreem did a great write up on Modern Vespa showing the procedure: http://modernvespa.com/forum/wiki-valve-lash-gts

Here is my own engine in "top end service mode":
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For the better part of a year, I've had a set of Jettin shock bushings kicking around and I didn't take the time to install them. With everything else that I'm doing with the GTS at the moment, it was an opportune time to go ahead and install them!
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Old bushing pictured to the left of the photo, and the new one to the right...

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Old VS New.


My fuel gauge has been intermittently going in and out, and a fuel sending unit was cheap enough. I've had one laying on my parts shelf for a long time now, and I just never did replace it. Since the engine was dropped out, it was a fine time to go ahead and replace the silly thing.

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The 3rd bolt that holds the fuel tank on his hidden behind the tail light. The right rear turn signal also needs to be removed in order for the fuel tank to (somewhat) easily be maneuvered out of the frame.

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The fuel tank removed! Please pardon my mess. It's been a long week!

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Here's the fuel sending unit coming out of the tank! Thankfully I didn't have a full fuel tank and the time... It'll be nice to have a fuel gauge that works all the time. :)

I'll likely order the parts that I need from Scooter West again. I suppose I'll get all that sorted on Monday!

Tomorrow, I hope to get the opportunity to change the pulleys in the CVT! I changed the belt recently and that's when I noticed that the drive face and torque drive pulleys needed to also be changed...

Cheers!

~Josh
"The more a man learns, the more he realizes how little he knows."

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Re: My 2007 Vespa GTS 250

Postby Areomyst » Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:20 am

This video shows the dampener/washer that I misplaced! I hope that if any of you guys ever have to do similar work on your QUASAR that you don't make the same mistake that I did. I plan on taking one last look for the thing today before ordering a new one. It's embarrassing to have to admit to dropping a part like this. What's worse is that it apparently evaporated! Hah!
https://youtu.be/7Rri8LSIsxo?t=1396

~Josh
"The more a man learns, the more he realizes how little he knows."

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Re: My 2007 Vespa GTS 250

Postby Areomyst » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:23 am

Well, I got the cylinder head cleaned up and nearly ready to go back together. I'll order an extra gasket and the compression release "packing" (as it's called in the parts fiche) and then I should be able to get this thing back on the road! It's tough to work on my own bike when I am so busy at work.
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Re: My 2007 Vespa GTS 250

Postby Areomyst » Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:10 pm

I did some more lapping on the valves to get a more uniform finish than the one pictured above. I used a 400 grit lapping compound. I would like to have been able to work up to a finer grit from there, but I had to work with what I had this time around. :) Scooter West came to the rescue again as they had all the parts I needed in stock, and the parts should ship out in time to get to me on Thursday! I'm really looking forward to getting back on the road.

In the mean time, since the GTS is being worked on, I've been riding my Kymco People 50. It's hard to go back down to a 50cc after being spoiled for the past couple of years on the 250!

~Josh
"The more a man learns, the more he realizes how little he knows."

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Re: My 2007 Vespa GTS 250

Postby Areomyst » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:19 pm

What a day! I got a lot of work done on the GTS, but alas, I am still not back on the road with it. As it turns out, I had two problems and did not realize it. Because I did not notice any check engine light, I figured I had a mechanical problem. When my leak down test showed that the exhaust valves were out of spec, I addressed that issue... I got everything back together tonight, and alas - no start! But wait, there's more! The CEL was illuminated...

I hooked up my Centurion scan tool, and it was indicating that I had no load at the fuel injector. Damn... The saga continues!

I'm heading out of the shop for the night, but I'll upload some photos and write a bit more when I get to the home computer!

~Josh
"The more a man learns, the more he realizes how little he knows."

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GTS 250 Compression Release Dampener Thingymabobber...

Postby Areomyst » Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:19 pm

The part that I lost due to my own stupidity is the "packing" (as Piaggio calls it) for the compression release. I'm more inclined do identify it as a dampener or bushing in said system, but I am not Italian enough to label it correctly I suppose... Here is a photo, which hopefully clears up any confusion:
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This is the part that I needed to complete my cylinder head repairs. If time allows, I will post more about the trials and tribulations of these repairs in the morning. :)

Ciao!

~Josh
"The more a man learns, the more he realizes how little he knows."


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