Today was my best day in the garage yet! Things are really starting to pick up as it becomes clear what needs to get done and I feel more confident about how to do it. I’m about ready to quit my internship and work on Betty full time for the rest of the summer! (Just kidding, everyone, not going to do that).

Okay, first up I assembled the rest of my new HT coil. Got the little spark plug clip on the wire (this was mildly annoying to do), put the cap on (luckily I remembered to do that first), and transferred over the little clips that hold the wires together.

Looking good!

While that felt pretty satisfying, that was not what made today so great. After I got warmed up with the HT coil, I moved on to tackle the cylinder barrel. It took a little elbow grease, but after removing the 4 bolts at the base of the barrel (much easier said than done), the barrel popped right off! This was absolutely the coolest part for me so far.

Some thoughts:

  • I put a towel under the piston to support it because I read that’s important. It’s orange by accident.
  • The gasket at the base is much thinner than I expected it to be. It’s almost like a sticker. I expected it to be more rigid.
  • I also expected the rings on the piston to be rubber and rounded. Instead they are metal and flat, and they can move around on the piston.
  • Overall it seems to be in pretty good shape, hopefully not much will need to be done to it.

Lastly I tried removing the piston, however I was having a lot of trouble and decided to call it a day before it ended on a frustrating note. Basically there are these weird clips holding it in that are really tiny and difficult to remove. You can see one of them here:


In the center hole there is this horseshoe-looking thing, that is it. I’m supposed to take tiny pliers and squeeze it together and pull them out, but it’s easier said than done. I tried heating it up with a hairdryer (which also happens to be orange) and it still didn’t work. I figure I’ll probably get it another day, it’ll just take a few tries. I’m mostly worried about causing damage since this area seems so delicate. If you’re curious how to remove the piston, I found this video to be a helpful visual:

Note that I did not listen to that with sound on or watch the whole thing so I have no idea how good the rest of it is.

My next task is to remove the piston and then I’m going to head back to the shop so they can have a look and tell me if the cylinder needs to be re-bored or anything, plus I can buy a new gasket and rings and what not. I’m not planning on going any farther into the engine for now, so after that hopefully it’ll be reassembly time…

Overall a great day and I’m feeling really positive about how far I’ve come and how much I’ve learned. If anything, I think I’ve overcome a lot of self-doubting which has been a really valuable lesson for me and will serve me well through the rest of this project (and life!). This blog has been a very honest, vulnerable look at my journey and I appreciate everyone’s support thus far.

Ps. My birthday is in 2 weeks and you know every girl’s dream is to get scooter parts for her birthday… 😉


4 thoughts on “Momentum”

  1. Rather looks to me like the piston has sustained a lot of wear and the cylinder would have, too. Measurements are in order. How are the cylinder wear ridges at the top and bottom of travel? Does this engine use splash lubrication, Two-Stroke oil/fuel blend, crankcase mounted sump pick-up and oil pump or a combination thereof?


    1. The cylinder looks to be okay, haven’t looked closely at TDC and BDC. I’ll be bringing both piston and cylinder into the shop so the experts can have a look. It uses an oil/fuel blend (not sure if anything else).


  2. Would it be helpful if I stopped by to see it on August 9th in the afternoon?
    I’ll be arriving at SAN on the way to La Jolla.


    1. Only if you want to! I think I’ve got it under control for now but you’re always welcome to come check it out! And let me know if you need a ride or anything from the airport. Thanks!


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