Vintage Vespa Forum

P200E Fuel Issue?

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rockandride6 Chris N
Santa Clara, CA, USA   USA
Hey all! I have a 1979 Vespa P200E that I am having some issues with. It used to be a reliable runner but had started getting hard to start and now won't start at all. If I am lucky I can get it to start (maybe every 25 kicks) but it dies within a few seconds.

I just removed the Exhaust and decarbonised the cylinder, so that should help (it was a bit messy in there) but the scooter was in my garage overnight and I came out to the smell of gas. The fuel petcock is in the OFF position but there was a considerable amount of fuel that came out through the exhaust (header and muffler still off). I remember there was some fuel in the muffler when I took it off, but I'd assumed it was due to trying to start it.

So, my questions are:

A. is this as simple as a bad petcock?
B. if it is a petcock, what else could be a problem? Maybe a stuck float?
C. What else could it be?
D. Is the petcock easily replaceable/accessible? Do they often need replaced or can they be adjusted/fixed?

Thanks so much! A bit of urgency here, but any advice is much appreciated.

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CalScoot SD P200, VBC Super, 100 Sport
San Diego, CA, USA   USA
I would check float and needle. You can also take fuel line off and then turn petcock on and off to see if its flowing and turning off. check compression, pull the plug and check it, replace if needed.

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primosonic Bernie Garcia
Riverside, CA, USA   USA
Rockandride6. I had the same problem years ago and found out that the best thing
to do is replace the petcock. Sometimes the spring washer of the petcock loses it's
tension after years. When you replace that, try this test:
1.with the petcock in the off position, remove the fuel line to the carburetor and place the tube into a empty 2.5 gallon container. 2, open your petcock to the on setting and let all the fuel run into the container. If the fuel has not emptied out completely then your petcock is working 3. turn your petcock to the off position.
4. re-attach the fuel line back to the carburetor 5. re-fuel your tank with the left over container.

Now, i agree with CalScoot and check your needle and float. Clean the needle so that there is no gunk on the needle (use carb cleaner to remove deposits) and maybe just replace the float.
If your still getting hard starts, then try to either get your stator checked and or re-magnetize your flywheel or replace it with new ones. Also purchase a
new spark plug wire and or spark plug and gap it to specifications. Hope this helps.

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