Vapour Blasting

Unless it’s a new build, when it comes to building an engine, it’s generally accepted as a bit of a messy job, with oil and grease covering most parts, especially when rebuilding an existing motor that’s been around the block a few times.


I wanted to rebuild the original engine for the LI150. I’ve had it in and out of the LI over the years and in different forms. It’s done thousands of miles and so it’s picked up a lot of grime. Rebuilding it this time, I wanted to build it with a clean start. It’s a good way to rebuild with no grit or dirt getting in between components, gaskets and seals.


The little I know about media blasting is vapour blasting is one of the least aggressive forms of blasting, especially for alloy engine casings and components.

I was in touch with Colin of Ultra Vapour Works in Newtownabbey. After a few message exchanges, I called up to his workshop. Colin talked me through the process and what to expect. Turnaround was a couple of days and I was delighted with the results. Colin also stated that various finish can be obtained on request.


You can contact Colin via Facebook Ultra Vapour Works Group business page here.

Below are the before and after pictures of the work carried out.

Ulster Lambretta Club 4 Nations Lisnaskea 2018

The 4 Nations is a yearly event hosted alternatively by the 4 Lambretta clubs of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and England. This year it was our turn, the Ulster Lambretta Club. Hosted this time at Lisnaskea, in County Fermanagh. A great part of the country.


I left Friday morning and decided to ride up the M1 from Belfast. I’m rarely on Motorways, I’m not keen on them as I like to use the more scenic A and B roads. The LI was still performing well after the 2,000 mile trip round Europe and so it was given a good blast up the motorway. About fifty miles later I stopped off in Lurgan to see my Mum and Sister. After a cup of tea and a chat, I was soon on my way to Lisnaskea.


Riding the rest of the way to Lisnaskea was uneventful but enjoyable without any issues. Although about the last 20 miles or so it did get cold. The biggest surprise for me arriving at Lisnaskea was not getting lost.

Once I arrived I was greeted by fellow club members and old friends. I was delighted to see my good friends Andy Vass and Simon Collins from the Lambretta Club of Great Britain. More people were arriving during the afternoon and evening. The main reception room was more than big enough to hold the Ulster Lambretta Club stall and signing in desk.


Friday evening started with me and Mark McClurkin tucking into the small supply of red wine and cheese I had brought with me. Later I took the minibus trip from the site into Lisnaskea. The Centre supplied trips back and forth into Lisnaskea for the weekend. Which went down well with all those wanting to head out.

Me Marty Walker and Chris Wilson decided to go to a bar in town which ended being the choice of a lot of Scooterists that night. The highlight of the night for me was listening to Chris talk about the Ulster Lambretta Club back in the 60’s/70’s as he was an original member. He rode up to Lisnaskea on his Model D Lambretta. We got back to the Centre to the bar, with music supplied by Ian Hedges.


On Saturday I awoke with a very fuzzy head and I was in dire need of Coffee. My roommates Mark McClurkin and “Studs” were also worse for wear. The days itinerary included a Rideout up to the Irish border town of Belcoo and then onto Enniskillen for soup and sandwiches. I was asked to take photos of the Rideout which I nervously agreed to. Any responsibility of this kind leaves me stressed and all common sense leaves me!


Just before the Rideout, we got together for an Ulster Lambretta Club members photo. Then I went on ahead to get ready for the Rideout passing so I could get some photographs. The group passed and after technical issues with the camera, I needed to get ahead of the group again which had me riding like a lunatic. I found a spot and took more photographs as the group passed. Again, I had a problem, but there was nothing I could do about it without trying to get ahead of the group. This time I didn’t make it as I got lost and by the time I caught up with the group we had arrived in Enniskillen Castle.


At Enniskillen Castle, I was flustered enough to drop my Nikon DSLR and break the lens. I still had my phone camera which is capable of taking quite good photos. After Soup and Sandwiches, I headed back to the Lisnaskea Site to try and relax.


That night we headed back into Lisnaskea for food and a couple of drinks before going back to the Centre and the bar. The red wine came out again but this time I took it easy.

Sunday morning came with a grumpy realization of having to head to our homes and rejoin the Rat Race. The weather was a bit gloomy with cloud and showers and cooler. After saying my good bye’s I set off back with Marty Walker.


On leaving the Centre the first item for our viewing pleasure was a dead cow in full rigor mortis on the side of the road. A few miles later on some of the worse country roads I’ve ever ridden on there was a mangled car which had exited the road, through a hedge and rolled in a field. The rest of the journey back along some great country roads was trouble free and with a stop at a cafe along the way for tea and a scone, the journey back was complete.


The Lambretta ran really well apart from the failure of a dud spark plug cap. The overriding success of the weekend for me was meeting old friends and making new friends. My voice is hoarse from constantly chattering. An absolutely superb weekend.




Scootronics Hi Powered CDI Review

Anthony Tambs at Scootronics has just released a new CDI. This version is a high powered version with diagnostic LED’s.


It has two diagnostic LED’s that will indicate a fault. The red LED indicates the Pick Up is working and the green LED indicates voltage is working from the Low Tension Coil.

Also incorporated into the CDI is a voltage controlled boost circuit, which Anthony says “I’m making use of the unused negative half cycle of the low tension signal. The voltage boost circuit is stabilized to 320 volts. This should give you a power rating of just over 100 millijoules.”


Included is a Flexible HT lead, (which for me is one of the best ones I’ve used). When you’re bending it through the frame to the Spark Plug Cap there’s plenty of flexibility that will allow for movement. You need to get your own Spark Plug Cap. There are too many preferences out there for Anthony to cover.

I’ve never been able to get to grips with electrics, this CDI goes a long way to helping those like me, make the diagnosis of electrical faults easier.


One last note to add. Lunchtime today, I went into town on the Lambretta. when I rode away to come home, it was spluttering badly unable to ride it, I checked the CDI diagnostic LED’s and they both light up. So within an instant, I was able to dismiss the Pickup or LT Coil. I changed the plug and it ran fine for the ride back home.

Contact with Anthony Tambs can be made on his Scootronics page on Facebook on the link below.
Scootronics Facebook Page

You can also look up the relevant information on the CDI and other Lambretta related info on the Lambretta Tuning Group on FB from the link below.
Lambretta Tuning Page on Facebook



Taylor Tuning Cowling Spacers

When building engines with longer conrods, you need packing plates. This sometimes means that when fitting the cylinder cowling, you can find it doesn’t fit properly and it will under stress, which can lead to them cracking from their connections leading to the air cooling being jeopardised.

To help combat this Darrell Taylor of Taylor Tuning has made spacers of different sizes.

In the pictures, you’ll see before and after where I have the 3mm packer fitted to my 230 engine. There’s a gap before fitting the spacer.

You can contact Darrell on his Taylor Tuning Facebook Page here.


Check Your Nuts!

Maintenance and the usual checks are usually essential on a Lambretta. Gearbox oil, cables, tyre tread and air pressure, carburetor, spark plug, petrol flow, filters, connections, the list goes on, but have you ever been complacent when everything seems to be ticking along nicely without a worry? Have you ever got lazy when checking for the simple things like the wheel nuts? I have, a lot. About a week before I was heading to France for my Western Front Run I “dodged a bullet”.

The video will show me pulling up to traffic lights at a junction. These lights are the bane of my local scootering. It’s about a mile from my house and I use it a lot when going to Belfast City Centre and other places. This time the junction that annoys me so much, may have saved me a nasty experience on the Lambretta.

I left home on my way to the city, as I was coming up to the lights the front end felt odd, when I reached the lights (that take a lifetime to cycle through the sequence) I lent over the headset to take a look, giving the headset a wobble to see what was going on. I couldn’t see properly, but I thought I’d ride on and check at the next opportunity. The lights changed to green and as I set off the wobble returned, so I rode off the crossroads and pulled over onto the pavement.

I stopped the engine and got off. My first thoughts were steering issues or fork problems. I was in for a shock.

Three of the four SIP nuts were gone. The last one turned in my fingers. The last thing I thought it could have been was the wheel nuts. It’s the first time I’ve ever had wheel nuts come loose.

Now, I’ve been running SIP Tubeless rims for a while now and I’ve had no problems like this (there’s that complacency I was talking about). It was suggested to me by Martin Hyland of Just Lambretta some time ago that I could use Kart nuts. These are M8, but they take a 10mm socket and the important bit is, they fit the well the nut goes into. More importantly, you can see easier for any loose nuts. I had forgotten all about these (which I had already ordered). I replaced the SIP nuts with these as soon as I got home.

What if the lights at the junction were green when I reached them? Knowing me, I’d probably had ridden on until I stopped for a proper look, but the wheel would have come off long before that.

When was the last time you checked your nuts?

Watch the video linked below.

Oily Blog Nuts Video

K2 Custom Classics Fork Compressor

When I rode to France in 2017, my Lambretta picked up a bit of an issue with the front end. When I got home I decided to take a closer look and strip the forks for a service (which doesn’t happen as often as it maybe should).

I didn’t fancy dropping the forks out completely as I don’t have a strong enough bench to hold them, so it involves trying to balance them and unless you have a friend to help, a third hand.

This is where the Fork Compressor from K2 Custom Classics comes in. Firstly it’s small. Secondly, forks can be stripped in situ. It works by clamping the unit to the fork leg and a bolt that runs through the unit with a U shaped piece at the bottom that fits over the spring. When you tighten the night the bolt rises compressing the spring. It’s as simple as that.

If you’re worried about scratching the paint. You can overcome this by wrapping some insulation tape around the area where the clamp fits before fitting the compressor.

It didn’t take long to strip the forks. The diagnosis was collapsed fork link buffers. So forks rebuilt handling was back as it should have been.

You can get the compressor from k2 Customs Classics



Under Panel Battery Tray

Last year I fitted a toolbox under the rear side panel. (You can read about it here).


It carried a couple of bottles of oil and a couple of bits to France. When I got back one of the supports had snapped on the box, but it still held.

When I stripped the LI for an all-over service, I wanted to remove the battery from the legshield toolbox and move it to the back of the Lambretta. Dave Mayo May who has an FB page LamFab Scooter Fabrications. supplied his version of a battery tray for under the side panel.

It comes in Stainless Steel, in two parts. That means you don’t have to unbolt it from the frame strut to remove the tray for wheel changes etc. There’s a thumb screw that holds the tray to the support. (I used a bit of Loctite for added security). There’s also a Velcro strap and two Nyloc nuts & bolts, which bolt it to the rear frame strut.

You also get some sticky backed foam padding to absorb any rattle from the battery.


As with all these rear fitting trays. Always make sure there’s clearance from the rear hub.

It’s been fitted for a while now and there have been no issues at all.