I bought the scooter from a dealer in May 2019 with the intention of it being a slow burn restore, the kind of thing you do when you have a little spare time and a bit of spare cash. That however is not how it turned out.
This is the lambretta the day it got delivered to my house. The tyres held just enough air to get it from the dealers in the van to mine. The picture is a little decieving as to the condition of the scooter but you will see as you read on what was in store. It was a scorching day and I had some spare time so what the hell, lets strip it down straight away.
A bit of advice at this point from myself is, before you purchase your machine make a list of what is missing and what it may need for your rebuild, and then build up a shopping list so you have a ball park figure of what you will need to restore your Scoot. If you are new in the game try and take someone along with you who knows about lambrettas so they can point this out to you. I didnt do this and my scooter was missing quite a number of small parts that I didnt bank on.
You can see here it's pretty grotty but it's mostly surface rust with some pitting. There are quite a number of parts missing on this hub alone.
These rims could have been saved but they were quite badly pitted on the inside so I went for new ones. I actually sold these to someone on the internet who was doing a rusto lambretta project.
You can see here where the paint has flaked that white was not the original colour. The original colour was baby blue which was no to my liking so this will be changed. The horn cast grill also has a lug missing so again a suprise expense to replace. Looking at the floor, the bridge piece is missing along with the choke and petrol levers. Some opportunist will have had that lot a long time ago.
This was interesting, the speedo lense had completely milked over so I had no idea if there was a speedo underneath. The gear shift has completely seized as has the switch unit.
Dings and dents on both side panels, and the toolbox lock is without a key.
I dont think these panels are the original ones for the scoot and someone has made a crude attempt at welding the holes where the panel handles go, they are a bit of a mess. The rear rims look ok and will be saved. The rear running boards are cracked and in poor shape.
New exhaust please, this one has been welded throughout the whole of the underneath and is as rusty as hell. The kick start too could do with a tickle.
A new light lense and 12V bulbs will be needed and maybe a reflector.
I checked the inside of the petrol tank and low and behold,,,,,,no rust.
The shock absorber will be changed as I cant determine the condition of this one. As well as this all the cables have been cut and the trunions taken. The wiring loom is also cut and there is no coil or plug lead. I'm told these things are cut because the scooters are traded in as part of a scrapage scheme in Italy and it is to try and ensure they do not end up back on the road. I Like the home made panel rubber, not!
I took the air filter out and it disolved in my hands. This scooter has not run in years.
The seat is in bad nick with many springs missing.
OK Lets Get Stripping.
Headlamp out first, take a picture of the wires as it may come in useful later, although I will be going 12V but you just never know.
Head set top off, would you believe it, there was a speedo under the milked lense. Lots of rust and seized screws in here.
Keep an eye on where the shims go. Need a new steering lock also and the pinch bolt for the gear pully has gone.
Seat off, air scoop off, rear badge holder off. Front mudgaurd off.
Airbox and tank removed, lots of dirt and dust here from years of use or unuse. The carb is removed and let me tell you it was filthy, and the top where the throttle cable connects was broken, little things but a tenner here and a tenner there all add up.
Headset removed to show where the cables run, spray the fork locking nut with WD40 so it soaks in and helps when it's time for removal.
Brake cable linkage and switch to be replaced, Also the brake pivot bush as there is lots of play in it. The foot brake will be reused. Looks bad doesnt it, but it really is just surface rust with a bit of pitting.
Off with the leg shields next.
When the bits come off you can see it is practically a scaffolding pole bent to shape and pieces welded to it.I'm told Innocenti had a steel tube making factory before the war so it makes sense really.
The horn will be changed for 12V and the rusted sprung horn mount will be soaked in vinegar along with other parts to clean off the rust.
Headset replaced just nipped up for manouverability.
Jump forward a couple of hours and here we have some of the 36 pieces that are going to the bead blasters to get the grime, rust and paint off.
Back from the bead blasters and we are down to bare metal. All the parts need to be etch primed as soon as possible.
Thats a nice mustard coloured etch primer.
Fill and rub down, fill and rub down.
Ok lets add some two pack heavy primer.
These lines on the mudgaurd front are important so time must be taken here.
Primed and then sprayed with a guide coat. The idea of the little black dots all over it is that when they have all been wet and dry sanded off you know you have done the whole panel.
Take your time on the exposed areas of the frame as it wants to look good when finished.
Cover the holes up for the stone chip paint as it gets everywhere and I dont want to undo all the good rubbing down work I have done.
So its mask up time as the frame is going to get a coat of stone chip paint on the underside to protect it from,,,,,,,stone chips.
Also the underside of the rear mudgaurd and rear floor runners, the leg shields and front mudguard will also be done.
Voilla, let it dry and then it can be base coated before the final coat goes on.
Looks rough, but it is perfect for the underside of vehicles.
Getting excited now as we are getting some colour on. I have to admit I'm not doing this bit, My Uncle and Cousin do the technical stuff.
This colour looks like you could drink it, it is that glossy.
Come on lets start with the rebuild. I was advised to leave the parts as long as I could so the paint really hardened.
So here is the red colour.
Scabby panels were not good enough in many ways, so a bit of panel beating and welding.
Then make them look liike the flask he said!!!
Get Josh the apprentice involved.
And lookie here a beautifully painted panel. Wet and dry sanded with some 1800 grit and highly polished.
Ok so I jumped a bit with no photos, but I'm back in my garage with bits and starting on the rebuild. The good thing is everything is clean so there is no grime to wash off. I have used mainly original parts in this photo apart from loom and cables. You can see in this picture I have used a small self tapping screw in one of the spindle clamps. This is because the original bolt broke in there and whilst trying to drill it out I snapped the drill in it. So I drilled a little hole at the side and used a self tapper. You cant drill out a drill bit (well not with my tools you cant).
I have fashioned a scooter table out of an old garden bench, I chopped the legs down a little. The stand is on, and the forks with new bearings fitted.
Both hubs skimmed and rebuilt using new brake arm and shims, bearings, seals, speedo worm and drive, cable clamp and grease nipples. You can see the box of old nuts and bolts and fasteners, dont throw these away as even though I bought a full stainless steel nut and bolt kit I needed 1 or 2 of these to get me by. The old rubbers are there also because as good as the reproductions ones are, they dont always fit so it is good to look back on how they were.
Now we are getting somewhere.
Lets stick the front wheel on.
Stand feet on and seat ready to be rebuilt. Aluminium tie wraps to keep an eye on originality. Tank, air box, toolbox, rear mudgaurd and some rubber trim.
Remember the before?
Now look at the after!
Engine in and exhaust connected. At this point I started it, I had done nothing with the engine other than take the head off and inspect the barrel, which was in good fettle with no scoring. I changed the oil and with a new plug gave it a kick. Nothing at first but a squirt of fuel directly in the cylinder through the spark plug hole and whoosh, we were running and it sounded well after I fiddled with the carb screws. New shock absorber shown here upside down as I was not sure which way it went.
Alright now it looks like a bike. Leg sheilds, seat, mudgaurd, rear running boards, floor fixings, horn cast grill, badges, Its getting close.
A little bit of rain never harmed anyone, right quick back in the garage. Shock absorber now the correct way around. Still got the kick start to paint black and noticed the kick start shaft is not in good condition. Another £40 to spend there.
So yes there was an original speedo under the milked over lense, and in a past life the little scoot has done 20k Km so around 12k miles. I considered getting a nice new white speedo but I want people to know it has had a life before it got a new suit.
Can you spot the difference? I tried to use as many original parts as possible for two reasons, 1. It is the right thing to do and 2. It keeps the costs down substantially.
It lives, some little excursions up and down the back road and tighten everything up again. It's important to torque as the service manual suggests as bits falling off is not a good idea.What a beauty!!!!!
I have added a mirror and a back rack and one of my boxes, also there is a holder for my phone so I can sat nav my way around if I need to.
I am very happy with the way this turned out. It was a lot of time dedication and hard work from a number of people and myself, now to get riding it and enjoying the bike for what it was designed for.
Since I completed the rebuild I managed around 60 miles on it over the course of a few weeks and then I was made aware of large clouds of blue smoke coming out of the exhaust. An engine rebuild was in order and I attempted it myself. it wasnt too hard and I replaced the bearings, seals, gaskets and piston rings and also honed the barrel. The scoot runs fine now but the jetting is still not quite right as it struggles to start from cold or warm. At least the blue smoke has gone!
As an update to this I am now happily jetted at 42 pilot and a 118 main. This is because I am running a 42mm clubman exhaust and the head is actually a 150cc.
Ok on a couple of run outs the engine died, and I was not really sure what had happened. A friend of mine suggested it was a fuel problem so I ordered a fast flow fuel tap. When I pulled the old tap which was new on the rebuild, you could see the amount of debris that had built up on it. The tank was obviously not clean when I put it back in.
The fast flow tap is substantially bigger so more fuel will flow. It appears to have cleared the problem.
This download is a price list of the parts I had to buy and the cost of the whole rebuild. It may give you some idea of what you could be looking at should you choose to go ahead with your own project. I recommend you do!!!