Monday, 5 January 2009

Oil Changes, Tire rotation, and General Tom Foolery

A few months ago when I was still in the Land of the Free. My Friend Suleyman had come past the due date of a Tire Rotation and an Oil Change. Well remembering a trick my father had shown me a few years back I decided to use this trick when we were not able to find a decent block to set the scooter up on. This is a step by step instruction for setting up the scooter for maintenance.

1. Drink a full can of Coconut juice, it comes in a steel can and is about 6-8 inches in height.

2. Remove the Port and Starboard side cowls from the Stella, Vespa, Bajaj or practically any combination of Vespa there of.

3. Once the Cowls are removed, dismount the tire/wheel combination from the port side.

4. You will notice that there is a plastic shroud that covers the bottom of the scooter engine, this is a shield from the dirt and the grime from the road, it is not necessary but it keeps the area clean and neat. Remove said shroud with the stock tool set that comes with your scooter. It should come off once you have removed the 2 screws and the 1 bolt.

5. If you have a friend this is where they come into play. Have them lift the rear of the scooter slightly, until you have adequate space to place the Empty can of coconut juice between the ground and the lowest point of the engine, remember to keep it centered, and lift with your knees not with your back.

6. Now that the wheel is floating in the air by a good 3 inches you can removed the Lug nuts that hold the Rim to the Engine.

7. Once all the bolts are removed try wiggling the tire out of the fender well, if this proves to be difficult rotate the tire and nudge it out of place, you can use soap if you need to.

8. Now you can place the new Tire/Rim combination on the Engine mount. Make sure all the Lug Nuts are secure.

9. Have your friend gently lift the scooter once the pressure is off the can you can remove it. Place the scooter down and onto its new Tire.

10. Time for the Oil Change! Remove the bolt that is on the front side of the lowest point of the engine, you will know it when you see it. Be sure you have something near by to catch the oil. You can use the coconut juice can but it might overflow so I suggest that you use a Tupperware container that can hold at least a quart of liquid.

11. Once all the oil has drained out inspect the container and see if there are any particulates in. If you happen to find foreign substances in your oil consider taking the scooter to the local scooter mechanic.

12. There is a Bolt on the opposing side of the oil drain, this is the oil inlet. Removed the bolt. Remember to reinstall the drain plug/bolt so that the new oil does not simply leak out everywhere.

13. Using a large Syringe fill the oil reservoir to the level of the inlet hole. Once you have filled the reservoir reinstall the bolt and make sure it is snug.

14. Your finished! Put the shroud back in its place and the old tire on the spare mount and you can call it a day.

You can get the Coconut Juice in a large can from an Asian/Latino food market, and the oil which is SAE w30 non detergent can be found at a Auto Zone or Tractor supply store, as can the giant syringe to replace the oil.

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