1979 Vespa P200E – Engine Teardown

1979 Vespa P200E – Engine Teardown
You might have noticed the title has changed, this is an engine rebuild, that will turn into an engine transplant.  The 1979 Vespa P200E chassis will be fully evaluated at some point, maybe this engine will return to it’s original home at some point.  The engine was always the reason for buying this Vespa, the rest is bonus.  Now to jump back in to the tear down.

I’ve spent enough time working on old engines to know that the the Phillips head bolts holding the img_1898stator plate onto the engine can be troublesome.  I skip using a screwdriver and go right in with the hand held impact driver.  The top bolt came out easily with this method, the lower two no so much.  After having the hand impact driver fail, I had to resort to cutting slots into the bolt heads with the air-powered die-grinder.  With a flat head bit on the hand impact the lower two bolts yielded, and allowed the stator plate to come free.  Under the stator plate I found more sand.  Like I said before,
something bad happened to this machine in it’s past.  This was the last component in the way before the cases can split.  The case halve bolts img_1926were removed, and were split apart.  While the crank was rusty, after a quick cleaning and degreasing the inner of the case was in very good condition.  On a few of the vintage Husqvarna dirtbikes I have worked on in the past I have found engine cases corroded to a degree that relegated them to scrap.  I am glad that was not the case on this Vespa engine.

Next to be removed was the clutch cover and clutch pack.  Interestingly enough, the special clutch nut removal tool for this engine is the same as for a Honda Z50 or CT70.  I remembered having a tool img_1928that worked when I tore down a Genuine Stella a few years back, but still bought the factory tool.  As you can see, other than the finish (black is OEM Honda, silver is from scooterwest.com) both are for the same speciality fastener.  This is why I never sell specialty tools when I get rid of a motorcycle or scooter, you’ll never know what else it will fit down the road.

With the clutch pack removed the crank assembly could also come out.  With the crank assembly removed and on the work bench, it is easy to see that it is not longer serviceable.  Surface rust is one thing, but the bearings have all fallen victim to rust and corrosion.

img_1924This concludes the autopsy.  A crank assembly has been added to the list of parts to be replaced, as well as the rest of the engine bearings.  I debated going with a stroker crank assembly in place of the stock length, but will keep that stock length with a race cut.  This engine will be definitely warmer than stock, but not a crazy race engine.


The additional parts will likely be ordered this week.  While waiting for them to arrive, the cases will be degreased and the process of port matching of the cases to the new 210cc Malossi top-end will start.  I’ll keep everyone posted as this continues forward.  Good luck out there, have fun, and godspeed.

-Eric Archambault

Me on scooter