26 February 2011

Scooter

 I've been driving my scooter every day that the roads are dry, even below freezing. I've enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. I've got the tinkering bug with it now too. It's fun because the parts, even performance parts, are much cheaper than for a car. I spend $35 and got a performance CDI and coil set. You see pictured here the old CDI (Capacitive Discharge Ignition) and the orange slightly larger performance replacement.They advertise that it has a slight spark advance and can run to a higher RPM. I am mostly interested in the advance and newer parts. I can keep the old one as a backup.
 The performance coil is of course orange next to the stock coil. It's advertised to have a higher voltage output for better spark. I didn't measure so I can only take their word for it. It came with a cap but I had not yet assembled it.
 I had read several places that the stock Chinese valve stems degrade and eventually leak either slowly or suddenly. I decided mine were far enough into the risky zone that I'd replace them now. Though this one is cracked and splitting when I pull on it, it does not leak yet. It might have lasted quite a while longer. But for $3 why not have new ones?
 Removing the old stem finished the split and it fell apart. Now I kinda wish I had gotten angled stems, but the store I was at only had straight. I had picked up the shortest they had, and it's not a big problem. Just would have been slightly more convenient with an angled stem.
 Since I was taking every thing apart and had some of the cowling off I decided to check the valve clearance. The engine manual I have (not for my scooter, but good for the engine) specified 0.08 - 0.12 mm. These valves had much less than that. I didn't measure where they were, but it was less than 0.078mm. I adjusted them out to about 0.10mm. For as many miles as my scooter has I was expecting a possible oil leak. But I have found none, other than the stripped gear box oil plug. But I fixed that with a little RTV gasket goop.
 I'm rather interested in replacing the stock headlights with HID lights. For $40, it's a nice upgrade that adds safety and cool factor. The stock lights barely light up the road at night. For reference I took some pictures of the stock bulb and holder so I can figure out which HID bulb I'll need to get. The stock setup leaves the left light on low while running, both lights on low when the headlight switch is on, and both high and low activate when the "passing" switch is pressed. So normal driving is 25W, headlights on is 50W, and passing is 100W. With the HIDs, I'll get two 35W bulbs with inverters.
I'll have to re-wire a little bit, but I'll end up with one 35W light on all the time, and both for headlights on or passing at 70W. I'll also have to setup a DC bypass as the stock system runs the headlights on AC direct from the alternator. I'd like to eventually change to LED signal lights as well, but that's a low priority.

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