Open the case...

Scott Strong /

Since joining MA I’ve read many a post on the various forums and spent more than a few hours in the Wiki educating myself on the workings of a two stroke. That said my foray into actual repairs was not exactly adventuresome with some basic maintenance and tuning on my few Puchs. One of those, a 1980 Newport with 368 original miles, was in need of a new ZA50 clutch cable. Every time I passed the bike I’d take a glance at that nub of a wire sticking out from the center of the engine!

The information on the forum posts and Wiki about replacing a ZA50 clutch cable are all over the map and the general sentiment about said repair was that it can be a pain in the ass. The Puch repair manual coverage is minimal and confusing. Even the replacement part description at Lucky 2 Strokes…’this moment of frustration brought to you by: Puch”, did little to instill confidence in this novice wrencher. So, faced with the decision of a $100 repair and several hours of driving to and from the nearest moped shop I opted to open the ZA50.

As I peeled my way to the back of the engine case no overwhelming sense of dread consumed my thoughts. I followed the instructions on the Wiki video and slowly but surely each part made its way in order the bench top and before long I was staring at the starting clutch. Seeing the actual mechanism brought a moment of clarity; there are two effing cables, not one! All of a sudden the rather confusing language in the repair manual made sense. What also came too light was the fact that I didn’t need to open the engine to make the repair. Oh well at least could flip the second clutch (another thing I had read about). Anyway, I put the new cable in, adjusted the tensioner according to spec, and worked my may in reverse order through each gear, nut, and shim. Little over two hours in and my ZA50 started for the first time in 37 years!

So, for all you other noobs out there…just open the case and have at it.

4DD96746-EF81-4E2E-9E99-857C58A9B651.jpeg

Re: Open the case...

Every NOOB should read your post. The best way to learn is to crack it open and have right at it. A lot of folks today want to be spoon fed information rather than learning on their own.

Great job and enjoy that Puch!

Re: Open the case...

caution is the right way to go about things, that being said. i normally glance skim read the articles and dig right it to later reread when i f up messily cleaning my greasy hands and cursing

Re: Open the case...

"Experience is what enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again. "

Re: Open the case...

Probably Fred /

Man the flipping of the clutch and tuning your puch za50 bikes with the stock parts transforms into a small motorcycle, it’s amazing!

I don’t know why people want to leave puch bikes in the complete stock mode just to go slow get stuck on hills and impede traffic, if you still want to go 25-30 miles an hour just don’t hold it floored.

Man what things like flipping the clutch, getting rid of the restrictive airbox and simple tuning does

The way I Understand it the clutch the second gear clutch was actually designed to be the other way to begin with at least that’s how it was on some of the dirt bikes mostly in Spain that came with a za50 engine so actually when you’re flipping it you’re putting it in the correct position

And being on dirtbike’s a za50 engine is a very robust engine, especially the later models of them

Re: Open the case...

Did you check the state of the pucks whilst you were in there? I reckon you should get some on order and crack them cases back open, for piece of mind.

Re: Open the case...

Scott Strong /

Indeed I did! They looked pristine! See image...

Compare them to a 1978 MK II that I also opened this weekend. What a difference! Mind you the latter had some 4,000 plus miles compared to 368.

E748997B-1D0D-43F2-932D-F00298A3CFC7.jpeg
924752BA-F8C2-4CDC-BB2E-62D21814FF8D.jpeg

Re: Open the case...

lucky puch bits to be sitting on plush towels.

Re: Open the case...

Want to add although the starter cable *does* unscrew from the outside, trying to catch the threads on the inside from the outside is hero grade level patience. Dunno if its the cable on the inside that throws you off but I've spent hours trying to screw it back in from the outside, catch and slip, so close...lol Most times it was easier/quicker to pull the gears and thread it from the inside

Re: Open the case...

Scott Strong /

LOL It’s an old golf towel from my son’s bag that’s full of oil on the other side. Plus after 40 years of service they deserve some posh treatment before heading to the trash bin, which by the way l also scarfed from someone. In fact come to think of it my whole work area is nothing but second hand stuff.

Re: Open the case...

Charles McCusker /

hell ya, that's what I did too. Just gotta open it up and go for it. Wanted to remove my oil injection and make sure the za was proper before trying to run it (there was rtv on the clutch cover, if that's any indication of why i didn't trust the motor). Cracked it open, flipped the 2nd clutch, replaced the pucks, replaced the case gasket, and re-shimmed it. Runs great now while i put together my kitted e50.

Re: Open the case...

> Charles McCusker Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> hell ya, that's what I did too. Just gotta open it up and go for it.

> Wanted to remove my oil injection and make sure the za was proper before

> trying to run it (there was rtv on the clutch cover, if that's any

> indication of why i didn't trust the motor). Cracked it open, flipped

> the 2nd clutch, replaced the pucks, replaced the case gasket, and

> re-shimmed it. Runs great now while i put together my kitted e50.

That's plenty reason to open it up .

Re: Open the case...

Charles McCusker /

> P D Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> > Charles McCusker Wrote:

>

> > -------------------------------------------------------

>

> > hell ya, that's what I did too. Just gotta open it up and go for it.

>

> > Wanted to remove my oil injection and make sure the za was proper

> before

>

> > trying to run it (there was rtv on the clutch cover, if that's any

>

> > indication of why i didn't trust the motor). Cracked it open, flipped

>

> > the 2nd clutch, replaced the pucks, replaced the case gasket, and

>

> > re-shimmed it. Runs great now while i put together my kitted e50.

>

> That's plenty reason to open it up .

yup. never even tried to fire up, just took it right off the bike and tore it down.

Re: Open the case...

Scott Strong /

So what constitutes the “later models” for ZA50s? I did notice a considerable difference in the clutch design between my 1978 MKII and 1980 Newport.

Want to post in this forum? We'd love to have you join the discussion, but first:

Login or Create Account