Visit our Twitter feed for more great content
TSS

Vintage Vespa Forum

Vespa Sprint Body Refurbish

AutoShrine Sponsor
AutoShrine Sponsor

enigmas Avatar
enigmas Vince Stok
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia   AUS
A friend contacted me recently wanting my advice on some body repairs to a 68 Vespa Sprint he'd purchased interstate sight unseen. The scooter came with all the required paperwork and had been road registered. It was tired and well used but appeared like a viable proposition that only required a bit of mechanical fettling to be usable once again. The idea was to sort the mechanicals, reregister the Vespa and sell it off to an enthusuast who could then slowly sort the aesthetics at their leisure.
Unfortunately this wasn't the case, as close investigation followed by a full body sandblast revealed a multitude of repairs to the scooter body making it more a patchwork quilt than a properly repaired monocoque!

The following images show the extent of the 'original' repairs. My task is to sort and repair the multitude of patches.
























A start to the repairs...















Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2018-08-29 06:20 PM by enigmas.

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <
enigmas Avatar
enigmas Vince Stok
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia   AUS
I put some more time into the Vespa over the last few days welding/repairing, rot, tears and misc holes in the panel work. I repaired the mounting holes for the tank, seat, engine/trans unit as well as adding steel plate backing so I could tap threads for the securing bolts. A section of the rotted floor under the tunnel was removed and a repair patch for the seat mounting area was fabricated and also welded in place.

The new repro floor board repair piece was dropped off this afternoon. Truly whoever fabricated the 'new' panel must have been asleep or drug affected as all the support braces underneath had been spot welded on crookedly. Unbelievable! All the way from Europe...and seemingly no quality control over these repair panels.

Here's some of today's work.




























Note:
New Repro Vespa Sprint floor board panel. Take note of the positioning of the under floor braces...Not one of them is parallel with the other.
We're currently awaiting an 'appropriate' response from the supplier.





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-08-31 06:58 PM by enigmas.

enigmas Avatar
enigmas Vince Stok
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia   AUS
...and about another 4 hours today and a half section of the floor board was removed, the frame flanges cleaned up and the frame checked for alignment front to rear.














. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <
OlympiaScooterCompany Avatar
OlympiaScooterCompany Silver Member Matthew Gatlin
Olympia, WA, USA   USA
Well done my friend, many of us would have thrown in the towel and moved on. It is refreshing to see someone with such an eye for detail.



Matthew Gatlin
Olympia Scooter Company
Cell: 503.954.4043
Email: sales@olympiascootercompany.com
Website: www.olympiascootercompany.com

enigmas Avatar
enigmas Vince Stok
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia   AUS
Thanks Matthew...a friend bought it sight unseen based upon a positive description of an older, well used 'Classic Vespa Sprint' but was obviously 'duped' by the seller who now seems to have gone to ground. I've repaired about 3 Vespa monocoques now...this one being the most extensive with regard to surgery. cool smiley

Postie Scooter Rebuild.
http://vespaclubmelbourne.com.au/forum/topics/vespa-postie-scooter-surgery?xg_source=activity&id=6411086%3ATopic%3A225513&page=3#comments

enigmas Avatar
enigmas Vince Stok
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia   AUS
I've put in a couple more sessions on the Vespa body, this time focusing on strengthening and renewing part of the frame where the engine/ gearbox combo slots in. This section of the body was compromised by both corrosion, and some mediocre accident damage repairs.
I have access to a jig to ensure the 2 holes are correctedly positioned so that the scooter doesn't end up 'crabwalking'. Whilst the floor panel is off the frame it was given a little twist to also improve headstem and wheel alignment. Always worth checking before proceeding.

As an aside I was shown a classic Vespa a while back that had received very expensive body prep and paint work. It looked glorious. Unfortunately no one had bothered to check for any inherent misalignment/twist in the monocoque prior to the paint job. So what we have now is a pristine body with a twist!

Here's some pix of the current work.



























Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-09-07 04:03 AM by enigmas.

enigmas Avatar
enigmas Vince Stok
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia   AUS
I was able to put in several hours today with the primary focus being on lead loading corrosion pits, weld seams/joins and also restoring the body lines where the seat area meets the central tunnel. The rubber mat over the centre tunnel can be a corrosion/pitting area as moisture between the metal frame and the mat becomes trapped between the 2 surfaces. This area on a well used classic Vespa is often cratered with deep pits.
























enigmas Avatar
enigmas Vince Stok
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia   AUS
Here's today's effort. The work focused on several areas including: Lead loading the sides near the engine mount, welding on a thick steel washer either side of the engine/frame mount. This was done to ensure strong and correctly located frame to engine/trans mount. Adding metal to the flanges where the floor panel attaches (these were a bit wavy), restoring some panel lines and also welding several more miscellanous and no longer in use holes.



















Both sides where the heavy steel washers were plug welded in place were leaded and metal finshed later in the day. Pics of both sides where the engine/trans mounts tomorrow.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2018-09-13 05:51 AM by enigmas.

enigmas Avatar
enigmas Vince Stok
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia   AUS
Finished the engine side floor pan flange today. As with the off side I needed to weld some extra metal to the edge near where the seat tower starts and back about 100mm. Once this was done I fabricated a plug for a hole ( a PO had added an ignition switch) about the size of a 10 cent piece and welded this in place. There were a few more tears and holes to fill before I turned my attention to lead loading some of the panels.















Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-09-14 03:52 AM by enigmas.

enigmas Avatar
enigmas Vince Stok
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia   AUS
Today's effort comprised first fabricating a card template, then a metal replica of a small section of corroded sheetmetal at the rear of the footboard where it attaches to the inner rear guard. This took a while as the foot board panel needs to be located correctly and also be sealed from water intrusion from the rear wheel on wet days.

After this was done the front of the floor board panel was inserted/slotted partially under the front curved panel for strength. The 2 panels will be spot and plug welded (where needed) for extra strength at the join. The seam will then be lead loaded for a smooth panel finish.

Rust converter was then brushed over the full interior of the tunnel right up to the steering head. Tomorrow the tunnel will be etch primed and then sealed with a zinc rich paint to quell any tunnel corrosion recurring. Once the full interior is treated with rust convertor and zinc rich paint an adhesive sealer will be used on every internal and under guard seam that is accessible. This will both seal out moisture and also strengthen the monocoque further.























Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2018-09-20 05:28 AM by enigmas.

enigmas Avatar
enigmas Vince Stok
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia   AUS
I managed to get quite a lot done today. The primary focus was to fit and weld the floor board and also the front tunnel repair patch to the scooter shroud. Prior to this I etch primed (grey) then then used a zinc rich (black) paint to protect the front shroud repair patch, inside tunnel and floor panel, as these areas would be inaccessible when welded in place.

I used two welding techniques to complete today's task...spot welding and plug welding (MIG welder). Ninety percent of the repairs to the sheet metal were carried out with an oxy/acetylene set.

The major metal work repairs to the Vespa monocoque are virtually completed with an end now in sight. Remaining tasks are lead loading joins, seam sealing, and ensuring the removable rear side panels fit correctly.

One last item is the centre stand. There's often fatigue fracturing on older Vespas where it bolts to the central tunnel sheetmetal. I'm going to reinforce this area (underneath) with 2 strips of steel strap plug welded between the last 2 floor pan cross braces.























Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2018-09-21 06:16 AM by enigmas.

enigmas Avatar
enigmas Vince Stok
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia   AUS
Today's focus is on finishing the major body work.
This includes:
1. Finishing the leading on the floor board join to the front panel,
2. Welding the gutter edges at the floor board to front panel where they join,
3. Adding two steel straps to the floor board where the centre stand attaches (This inclusion is primarily for added strength to the floorboard area as constant use causes panel fatigue over time.)
4. Repairing one of the steering 'Limiting' stops. ( This was torn and deformed from its original position)
5. Etch priming the remainder of the body.

The first image below illustrates the seam sealing of the panel section joins. The purpose is to both exclude moisture 'between panels' and to also add extra strength and stiffness to the monocoque. Rather than use a traditional bituminous compound, I decided to use 'Liquid Nails'...a Selleys building product that is also a powerful adhesive when dry. It's readily over painted and has the advantage of being both a sealer and an adhesive.




















The finished Vespa body...now ready for prep and paint.











Although the body repairs are now completed there are still a few metal repairs to the side covers needed.

* Tallying up the time it took to refurbish the body but excluding the side covers was just under 50 hrs.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-09-26 07:35 PM by enigmas.

enigmas Avatar
enigmas Vince Stok
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia   AUS
This will be my final post with regard to restoring the body of this classic Vespa. The only remaining piece that needed some TLC was the left hand rear cover...the one normally used for storage. The original cover was badly corroded where the lower section contacts the frame and was also missing one of the brackets that secures it to the body. I had another cover at hand that had been badly repaired ruining the aesthetics of the side face pressings but it had a good floor section. These covers should be identical pressings but they weren't as the side profile that meets the scooter's LHS rear guard varied in contour.
Fortunately both floor sections were virtually identical so I decided to mark off, cut and then weld the good floor section to the original cover that had the corroded floor section.
I chose to spot weld 90% of the repair and only gas weld towards the rear section where the floor met the edge of the cover. Once this was done, the weld beads at the rear of the cover were levelled, cleaned and finally leaded to add strength as the original metal was very thin in this area.
Although the task looks straight forward, it was quite tedious due to the thinness of the metal at the tail end of the cover, as it incorporated numerous pin holes. Overall the repairs took just over 5 hours to complete.































Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-10-03 07:03 AM by enigmas.

RodW Rod White
St Margarets-at-Cliffe, Kent, UK   GBR
Hi,

Loving your work. Am about to start doing something similar to mine.

How (and what) do you check that it's straight? As you mentioned above, I don't want to create a lovely looking but twisted body.

Also, lots of the ends of panels are rotted away. I can cut old metal off and weld new in but how do I know how long it's supposed to be? The old panel edges are rotted away so it's just guesswork. How did you do it?

Ta

RodW

enigmas Avatar
enigmas Vince Stok
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia   AUS
Hi Rod, it's easier for me to explain certain procedures in how your Vesta should be repaired if you post some pictures of the scooter illustrating the areas needing repair.

As for general alignment of the wheels front to rear you can check this with a long straight edge (preferable a long steel ruler of about 1 metre in length.) Align it with the centre seam join on the frame where the tank bolts in...the seat area... and run the ruler through to the headstem. The ruler should centre on the headstem if the frame is straight and not twisted.

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <

To add your reply, or post your own questions




Registration is FREE and takes less than a minute!


Having trouble posting or changing forum settings?
Read the Forum Help (FAQ) or contact the webmaster





Join The Club

Sign in to ask questions, share photos, and access all website features

Your Scooters

1980 Vespa P 125 X

Text Size

Larger Smaller
Reset Save

Sponsor Links