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1st December 2002

We travelled to Essex (trailer in tow) to pick the Ape up.
It's now in my garage, drying out.

8th Dec 2002

The engine has been bench mounted and tested - IT RUNS!!
(after a fashion!)

The kickstart (hand-start) gear appears to be faulty - it only catches occasionally, so it was started with a socket in an electric drill on the flywheel nut.
As Patrick said; "That won't be very convenient!"

Things obviously need checking and adjusting - both carbs were tried - neither will allow the engine to tick over, but will rev ok. We are a little worried that the idle problem may be due to poor compression, but could just be adjustment - and the lack of an air filter! Next stage should be a compression check - when I find my tester.

We are not sure of the history of the engine. It was reassembled by a previous owner and no new parts were used. As we need to open it up anyway we are considering a rebuild.

4th January 2003

Ok, decision made - we are going to rebuild the engine!

We have also decided to replace the flywheel and stator plate to give us a 12V system.
All right, it won't be original for 1963, but it will give us a lot more scope for replacement lights, windscreen wiper etc.

11th January 2003

Dismantled the engine today!
(see pictures in "Dismantling" section)

Fairly easy to dismantle, though splitting the casings was time consuming - gentle taps and we resisted the urge to prise it open.

We didn't use any special tools except for a three leg puller we already had.

The flywheel came off with the puller. The clutch with a bit of gentle persuasion, and a blow to the centre shaft using a drift; the same for the splined shaft on the output shaft.

We found that the kickstart gear was worn, causing the kickstart to slip occasionally. As we intend upgrading to a larger cylinder kit (Malossi 112cc!) we will replace the primary gear set (with the kickstart gear) anyway with a higher ratio set.

We might replace the crank as we don't know if it's ever been rebuilt and with a 112cc kit we want to make sure it's ok.

We will be ordering the new engine parts tomorrow, so will be probably start re-building next weekend  :o)

25th January 2003

Well, we have cleaned all the case parts etc.

and have started rebuilding the engine.
We are still waiting for one or two parts, so won't be able to finish the engine rebuild until next weekend (the only time we get a chance to work on it).

(more pictures to follow)

Patrick keeps on poking at the bodywork and finding more rust!

1st - 2nd February 2003

Half finished the rebuild - found that the old kickstart quadrant didn't mesh properly with the new starter gear so have had to postpone the rest of the rebuild until we get the new quadrant. We have also ordered new jets for our carb, but there may be a problem with supply of those.

Doesn't it look clean though?

We spent most of Sunday making templates of the sections of bodywork which need replacing and cutting out the old, rusty sections.

8th February 2003

We have just received the new kickstart quadrant and carb (Dell'Orto 18/16, jetted for our kit) so we spent today finishing assembling the engine!

We fixed it to the test-bed again, filled the gearbox with SAE30 oil, wired up the new electronic ignition module and set up a temporary fuel supply.
It started with no problems, ran sweet as a nut straight away, idles and revs great! We are really pleased!!

15th February 2003

A bodywork weekend!

We have borrowed a spot welder (thanks Fred!) and have been playing with it! It weighs a ton, is at least 30 years old, but it works!

Here's the front, new metal in place and waiting for grinding, filling etc.

We also decided to replace (or plate under) the front floor which was showing pinhole rust through!

to 16th March 2003

Well, I have been remiss in taking photos and updating this site!
The cab is almost finished - we decided to leave the pickup and doors until after the MOT as there will still be a couple of weeks before we can get the registration through and drive it on the road.
We have added a seat frame (welded angle) with a shortened seat from our 'donor car', and a new dashboard to mount some things which wouldn't have been there originally (wipers and speedometer).
You can see the wiper motor (again, from our donor car but modified for a narrow sweep) just above the controls. Originally the wiper was linked to a foot operated pedal!
The headlight is original, from a contact in Austria who also supplied 3 new dampers along with lots of other bits - very useful.

Alright, black and silver may not be original Piaggio, but then again, neither were seatbelts, sidelights and twin rear lights! (Or radio!)

We towed it to the test centre (about 6 miles) with a solid bar and Patrick steering. No problems with steering, braking or suspension up to 50mph!

It passed the MOT!!!  The tester was very impressed with the work we have done, especially the safety aspects like seatbelt and lights and had no reservations in issuing a certificate of roadworthiness.
He did comment on the fact that we were 'soft'! having fitted a duct hose from the cylinder head (air cooled) to the cab for winter heating (you can see it under the seat below)

It is a bit smoky; perhaps 5% oil/petrol ratio is a bit high, but better safe than sorry while it is being run in.


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