Author Topic: Piaggio Ape 50  (Read 14447 times)

1bubble10 (paul smith)

  • Quite Chatty
  • ****
  • Posts: 122
Piaggio Ape 50
« on: April 23, 2015, 06:55:08 PM »
As my Peel P50 replica thread seams to be getting a lot of interest I thought I would introduce you to my Piaggio Ape 50.
I saw it on a car sales forecourt (7 years ago now). it looked a little odd as it had previously had had a coffee machine in the back and had an ally section let into to the rear box to increase the height making it resemble a cathedral on wheels. It had got my name written all over it. I pulled my self away as the temptation was just too great - a week later I went back and made him an insulting offer which he was very quick to accept. The first thing I did when I got it home was to remove the ally section to bring the box height back to standard. In the last 7 years the poor little vehicle has been subjected to my own pimping.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2015, 07:59:03 PM by 1bubble10 (paul smith) »
Bamby P50, Piaggio Ape 50

1bubble10 (paul smith)

  • Quite Chatty
  • ****
  • Posts: 122
Re: Piaggio Ape 50
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2015, 07:02:16 PM »
The first modification was an optional piaggio extra (not available in this country) cab heater consisting of exhaust pipe heat exchanger and three speed fan. Made the van useable all year round. Second pimp was the piaggio option extra (again not available here) roof rack - I never use it but it does look cool. Third pimp was the sign writing on the side (same as what Peter Seller had on the side of the Lambro he drove into a swimming pool in Return of the Pink Panther film. Forth pimp was the sun visor (again not available here) - next to useless but look typically italian cool. Fith pimp got rid of the silly little wing mirrors and replaced with Piaggio Ape TM mirrors (much larger and safer).
« Last Edit: April 23, 2015, 07:04:15 PM by 1bubble10 (paul smith) »
Bamby P50, Piaggio Ape 50

1bubble10 (paul smith)

  • Quite Chatty
  • ****
  • Posts: 122
Re: Piaggio Ape 50
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2015, 07:19:38 PM »
Last year I had catastrophic engine failure. It needed a complete engine rebuild. I toild with the idea of selling it on as a project but after a couple of days thinking I decided I like the vehicle too much and that I would go ahead and do the work.  I thought it was a perfect opportunity to increase the capacity and give it a bit more go in order for it to keep up with the flow and some. I bought a 133cc long stroke cylinder kit, long stroke conrod and crank all new bearing and seals for engine, gear case and diff case, bigger carb and read valve inlet manifold, stronger four plate clutch and pollini banana exhaust new engine cowls and a new heat exchanger for the exhaust (the wallet had one hell of a bashing Ha!!). The build did take a couple of months as I had to modify bits as I went along, it was far from a simple build, not to mention getting the carb jetted to suite the other components. I did finally get there and she runs very well. Purrs at 30mph, cruises at 40mph and tops out at about 48mph. Hellishly good fun to drive and handles surprisingly well.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2015, 08:25:38 PM by 1bubble10 (paul smith) »
Bamby P50, Piaggio Ape 50

1bubble10 (paul smith)

  • Quite Chatty
  • ****
  • Posts: 122
Re: Piaggio Ape 50
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2015, 07:31:59 PM »
Once I had got it apart I could not help myself and had a lot of components powder coated:- brake back plates, trailing arms, springs etc which then led to the purchase of new shocks etc..

In the second photo the rubber mallet (not lump hammer) was for whacking anybody that dared disturb me.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2015, 07:44:12 PM by 1bubble10 (paul smith) »
Bamby P50, Piaggio Ape 50

Rusty Chrome (Malcolm Parker)

  • Global Moderator
  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1231
Re: Piaggio Ape 50
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2015, 07:36:06 PM »
Is there any scope to change the gearing to make best use of the extra power?
Malcolm
Bond Mk D - "The Bond Minicar solves your problem"
Nobel 200 - "Almost as cheap as breathing!"

1bubble10 (paul smith)

  • Quite Chatty
  • ****
  • Posts: 122
Re: Piaggio Ape 50
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2015, 07:46:32 PM »
Yes I forgot to mention that one - larger drive cog to clutch basket which also got changed.
Bamby P50, Piaggio Ape 50

Big Al

  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4693
  • Ranttweiler, biting the breeze block of banter
Re: Piaggio Ape 50
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2015, 08:07:02 PM »
Has it got machine guns? Never mind.

 I was going to pass a Clouseau comment when I saw the pic. Good fun and probably better than the Green Hornet.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

1bubble10 (paul smith)

  • Quite Chatty
  • ****
  • Posts: 122
Re: Piaggio Ape 50
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2015, 08:12:35 PM »
Green hornet??
Bamby P50, Piaggio Ape 50

1bubble10 (paul smith)

  • Quite Chatty
  • ****
  • Posts: 122
Re: Piaggio Ape 50
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2015, 08:21:52 PM »
I had an unfortunate moment with it last saturday after driving about thirty miles I felt it nip up but didn't manage to stop the van in time and lost all compression. I think its probably broken a piston ring. I have bought a new cylinder kit in readiness so come week end I shall take the head and barrel off for inspection. I shall post up pictures of my findings.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2015, 08:28:18 PM by 1bubble10 (paul smith) »
Bamby P50, Piaggio Ape 50

marcus

  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 2718
    • http://marcusdemowbray.wordpress.com/
Re: Piaggio Ape 50
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2015, 07:34:30 AM »
Good work.
Just remember: as one door closes behind you, another slams in your face

Big Al

  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4693
  • Ranttweiler, biting the breeze block of banter
Re: Piaggio Ape 50
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2015, 08:26:26 AM »
A frustration. Might be that the position and cooling air way might be unsuitable for a larger engine. It is possible to get digital temperature gauges, I assume they are thermistors. Bonding that onto the cylinder head, or such, will allow you to monitor the temperature. It is interesting to note that the engine often gets hottest after a step climb, going down hill the other side. With no real throttle applied, it is thus weak on lubricant, and fuel to heat up to help it cool down to normal. A sort of catch 22. Why 'Schmitters flick the choke on descents.
Also with a tuned unit there is a bit of guess work before prime settings are found for timing, mixture etc. Knowing the temperature the engine is running at, is a very useful aid to getting it bung on. Its a bit expensive to have seizures to tell you there is a problem.Since the vehicle is pimped an extra gadget is possibly a bonus. More useful than machine guns.

The Green Hornet was Clouseau's 2CV, if memory banks are working.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

Bob Purton

  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 5153
    • Inter microcar
Re: Piaggio Ape 50
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2015, 08:44:17 AM »
Our window cleaner uses an Ape for his rounds and he fitted the 80cc upgrade kit with no repercussions at all. Maybe the step up from 50cc to 133 is a step too far? Still if the kit is sold it must be possible to set it up to be usable.
I'm a bit of a Puch moped fan and all manner of cylinder /piston kits are sold for them, some work out of the box whilst others take no end of tinkering.
I'm sure you will get there.

Big Al

  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4693
  • Ranttweiler, biting the breeze block of banter
Re: Piaggio Ape 50
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2015, 10:05:00 AM »
But even those mopeds have to be wheeled home when Puch comes to shove. I enjoyed my Puch Alpines. Good engineering in the main.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
Citroen BX 17TZD & GTI 16v
Held - MG Magnette ZB & 4/44
For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

plas man

  • Quite Chatty
  • ****
  • Posts: 283
Re: Piaggio Ape 50
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2015, 01:49:45 PM »
saw one yesterday at Guisbrough N York's running well , also one stands on Carlisle station complete with coffee percolator !!!

marcus

  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 2718
    • http://marcusdemowbray.wordpress.com/
Re: Piaggio Ape 50
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2015, 02:43:05 PM »
When I was working on a big project Oop North there was always one at Oxenholm (Kendal) Station, selling coffee. An occasional sight in London too.

Also in London I am starting to see quite a few of those lovely old Citroen H vans (corrugated like Junkers planes and roof panels). They are usually used for selling drinks and or Street or Festival Food. There was always a Citroen H at Guilfest and Squeak and myself often got our breakfast from it.
Just remember: as one door closes behind you, another slams in your face