Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

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I had a Honda Rabbit 23 years ago when I was a kid. My aunt recently offered to give me the 1978 Sears Free Spirit 1hp! I took it in a heartbeat. It has 968 miles and was stored in a barn 20 years ago because it wouldn't run. I did all the stuff and she starts right up.

I took the restriction out of the airbox, and out of the 14mm carb intake (Thick plastic ring). There was no restriction in the muffler, manifold, or outlet. I up jetted to a #68 and upsprocketed(?) to 15t as described here:

https://myronsmopeds.com/category/parts/kromag-parts/ The head gasket was the thinner one so I was not losing compression there.

To the best of knowledge it is now a stock 2hp bike. I want to thank everyone here for documenting and sharing their knowledge. Without you I would have been scratching my head. THANKS!!

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

Nice score. I’ve had two red ones- the first got the same treatment as yours and the second… well I lost my damn mind with that one.

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(edited)

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

🦺🥇b to the MOPO 🚨🚨🚨 eff /

Sweet! It looks great!

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

Wow that is gorgeous--nice job! I have a friend who paints cars so I think I'll be sanding this winter. My speedometer needle warped up to the bezel and won't function properly. Are you familiar with this? I've read it's a common issue..

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

Yep that is a very common issue with all VDO speedometers that came on Puch, Batavus, Sachs, etc. It is caused by the plastic needle warping upwards from being out in the sun. It can happen in only one summer. Only way to avoid this is to place a white plastic bag over the dial when parked outside. Once it does warp the only remedies are either buying a good used dial from Sunday Morning Motors or using a magnifying glass and placing the dot from the sun on the middle of the needle waving it slowly back and forth until the needle juuuuust starts to drop. Done wrong you melt it completely and its ruined

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

> Thomas Peffer wrote:

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

> Yep that is a very common issue with all VDO speedometers that came on

> Puch, Batavus, Sachs, etc. It is caused by the plastic needle warping

> upwards from being out in the sun. It can happen in only one summer.

> Only way to avoid this is to place a white plastic bag over the dial

> when parked outside. Once it does warp the only remedies are either

> buying a good used dial from Sunday Morning Motors or using a magnifying

> glass and placing the dot from the sun on the middle of the needle

> waving it slowly back and forth until the needle juuuuust starts to

> drop. Done wrong you melt it completely and its ruined

Yeah, I figured I'd have to go to the extreme. Looking at the speedo unit, it appears to be sealed up tight.

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

Nice machine, these are what Maxi's should have been!

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

She's perdy.

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

I’m in the just replace or delete camp with speedos. I’m running this 80mph unit currently. https://www.treatland.tv/vdo-80MPH-speedometer-p/vdo-80mph-speedometer.htm

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

> Chad Tufts wrote:

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

> She's perdy.

Yes, it is in nice shape. These snowflake wheels are really something. Far away and even up really close you would swear they were plastic or fiberglass. The only way I found out they were alloy was to take a metallic wrench and lightly tap them. The high TING told me they were the real deal.

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Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

Do your self a favor and repack the wheel bearings before you even take it around the block.

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

Good advice, I did it yesterday, then went for a 10 mile jaunt.

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

Free Spirit is the best step thru single speed moped design ever.

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

I cleaned up most of the chrome and replaced/never seized most of the bolts.

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Most of the bolts can be replaced with these screws. Note that they are machine screws and the 2.5" screws are for the gas tank/plastic accents.

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I am in the market for a plastic chain guard for the left side of my bike. If anyone has, or know someone who has one for a Magnum, Pinto, or Free Spirit please let me know. I believe they all will fit.

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

Bro. This ain't right. That brake plate needs to slide into the swing arm.

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Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

> up shits creek wrote:

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

> Bro. This ain't right. That brake plate needs to slide into the swing

> arm.

I was hoping no one would catch that o_0 My neighbor pointed it out when I had it outside for pictures today.

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

Isn’t the cylinder exhaust port restricted on the 1.0 hp engine also? Or is that just on the hi torque top ends?

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

Nope. It's a 2hp engine with the intake restricted and geared 13*45. There's a plastic insert inside a 14mm bing intake.

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

Dirty30 Dillon /

I probably won't ever own another Puch moped, but I would spend a couple dollars on a nice Free Spirit.

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

Probably Fred /

> Thomas Peffer wrote:

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

> Yep that is a very common issue with all VDO speedometers that came on

> Puch, Batavus, Sachs, etc. It is caused by the plastic needle warping

> upwards from being out in the sun. It can happen in only one summer.

> Only way to avoid this is to place a white plastic bag over the dial

> when parked outside. Once it does warp the only remedies are either

> buying a good used dial from Sunday Morning Motors or using a magnifying

> glass and placing the dot from the sun on the middle of the needle

> waving it slowly back and forth until the needle juuuuust starts to

> drop. Done wrong you melt it completely and its ruined

Nah, not the only remedies I repair Puch speedos by getting them open by uncrimping lid with small screwdrivers, heating and straightening the needle and if it’s a 30 mph speedo I take the 30mph post out so it will go past 30.

I recrimp the lid using a pair of water pump pliers and then apply sealant to reseal it.

The thin plastic speedo needle can bend again after a few years because all the plasticizers are out of it so a good swap is a VDO speedometer that came with some Derbi Sle bikes that has a thick needle or swap the needle with one.

Some Tomos speedos will work on a puch though sometimes Tomos speedos aren't very good or accurate to begin with

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

> Seth B wrote:

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

> Isn’t the cylinder exhaust port restricted on the 1.0 hp engine also? Or

> is that just on the hi torque top ends?

I have come across some sources that say the exhaust is restricted somehow. This is the only Free Spirit I've ever seen so I can't say for certainty. The restriction may have been removed some time over this bike's 40 years, but I cannot find evidence of grinding anywhere. EVERYTHING else on the bike is completely original. The tires, tubes, spark plug, even the light bulbs. I'm guessing there was no restriction to begin with.

> Probably Fred wrote:

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

> > Thomas Peffer wrote:

>

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

>

> > Yep that is a very common issue with all VDO speedometers that came on

>

> > Puch, Batavus, Sachs, etc. It is caused by the plastic needle warping

>

> > upwards from being out in the sun. It can happen in only one summer.

>

> > Only way to avoid this is to place a white plastic bag over the dial

>

> > when parked outside. Once it does warp the only remedies are either

>

> > buying a good used dial from Sunday Morning Motors or using a

> magnifying

>

> > glass and placing the dot from the sun on the middle of the needle

>

> > waving it slowly back and forth until the needle juuuuust starts to

>

> > drop. Done wrong you melt it completely and its ruined

>

> Nah, not the only remedies I repair Puch speedos by getting them open by

> uncrimping lid with small screwdrivers, heating and straightening the

> needle and if it’s a 30 mph speedo I take the 30mph post out so it will

> go past 30.

>

> I recrimp the lid using a pair of water pump pliers and then apply

> y sealant to reseal it.

>

> The thin plastic speedo needle can bend again after a few years because

> all the plasticizers are out of it so a good swap is a VDO speedometer

> that came with some Derbi Sle bikes that has a thick needle or swap the

> needle with one.

>

> Some Tomos speedos will work on a puch though sometimes Tomos speedos

> aren't very good or accurate to begin with

So I did end up trying to pry up the metal crimping and open the speedometer using this method. My big fat stupid ugly neanderthal fingers busted the glass bezel. I got pissed and tossed it in the trash.

**

Here is a pic of the restriction I removed from the carb intake, just so no one is confused. It's a little jacked up because I put the elbow (intake) on a drill press and drilled it out.

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Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

I have been working on the bike in my free time and just finished the innards and the seat. I tried finding some leather at the local Goodwill but alas there was none that I liked. Ended up using leather scraps that were had laying around.

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seatbottom-min.jpg

I designed the seat cover in illustrator and cut/etched it with the laser cutter. It's not perfect but it I uploaded the patterns to my mega folder for all. Feel free to share, edit and improve it. I think local office supply stores can print them out at 100% size.

If anyone has issues converting it for use in a laser cutter pm me and I'll give you the svg file.

https://mega.nz/folder/FIk2lArQ#A2_Z5hcm1NH2JZb2GVPvlQ

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

Beach Club Nick /

> Dan James wrote:

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

> I have been working on the bike in my free time and just finished the

> innards and the seat. I tried finding some leather at the local Goodwill

> but alas there was none that I liked. Ended up using leather scraps that

> were had laying around.

>

> I designed the seat cover in illustrator and cut/etched it with the

> laser cutter. It's not perfect but it I uploaded the patterns to my mega

> folder for all. Feel free to share, edit and improve it. I think local

> office supply stores can print them out at 100% size.

>

> If anyone has issues converting it for use in a laser cutter pm me and

> I'll give you the svg file.

>

> https://mega.nz/folder/FIk2lArQ#A2_Z5hcm1NH2JZb2GVPvlQ

That's pretty sick

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

Nice job! I've done about a dozen seats now and they get better each time but I still suck pretty bad at it compared to the pros. That turned out great for a first time.

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

Thanks guys. It doesn't compare to anything professional but found out that I really enjoy hand sewing. So relaxing to me.

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

^ Price is right too, looks good!

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

> I have come across some sources that say the exhaust is restricted somehow. This is the only Free Spirit I've ever seen so I can't say for certainty.

They have a restriction in the baffle area. If you remove the baffle from the header, 10mm nut at the tip of the exhaust, it should pull into two sections. The end of the header\belly section there is a tube that they invert one, sometimes two little sleeves going perpendicular into the tube. They can be drilled or dremeled out easily.

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

🎨🏆 Duncan /

Nothing rides like a free spirit, such great frames I feel a fool for not having one in the collection anymore. Congrats!

Here’s my old ones. Never liked snowflakes myself.

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^has magnum forks which really helped it feel more predictable in turning. Stock FS forks are the weak link in the frame design but replace those w even stock magnum XK forks (usually pretty cheap to find) and it’s a whole new bike.

Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

So my stock engine build has been finished for a bit now. I may change up the color scheme, but it's kind of growing on me.

Epic EPIC thanks to all the experts who post here day after day, and site admins who have kept this valuable information available for over a decade.

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Re: Barn Find 1978 Free Spirit.

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