Vespa starter clutch won't engage

So I've had this Vespa Grande for some time and it's never had this problem before. I loaned it to my roommate for a while since his car broke down. He was riding it one day and it died on him, then he couldn't get it started.

When I tried to start it, the starter clutch wouldn't engage at all. The clutch bell was spinning so it's not in bicycle mode. I took the clutch off to see if maybe it was seized up, but everything seems to be moving just fine and there wasn't any grease in the clutch. I put it back together and I could spin the pedals really fast with no change in resistance.

Any thoughts? I don't have a drill powerful enough to start it, otherwise I'd just use that.

Re: Vespa starter clutch won't engage

does the motor turn over by hand?

decmp decompressing?

belt slipping?

take a closer look at those starterclutchers too. also try some searches i remember a few threads about kinetics (same basically motor) doing this but i dont remember the solution

Re: Vespa starter clutch won't engage

Your starter shoes are not engaging. They might simply be too worn and need to be replaced. Unbolt the housing and remove. They will be on the inside of the housing. I am not sure the exact thickness. Mike at fatcitymoped.com will have all the parts and can answer to the issue of minimum pad thickness. I guess that the springs of thenstarter shoes could somehow be something but the money is on that the shoes are shorn...

Re: Vespa starter clutch won't engage

Yes, the problem is with the starter clutch and not the engine or the belt, as far as I can tell. I've taken the clutch bell off and everything looks normal, but like you said it might be too worn out. The springs look fine and it seems like the pivots move freely.

I'm surprised the problem would happen all of a sudden though. And it's not like it's only engaging a little bit -- there's no change in resistance when I spin the pedals.

Do you think it would help to flip the starter clutch so it goes the other way? I've heard of some people doing that with Vespas.

Re: Vespa starter clutch won't engage

I was reading somthing about flipping the the clutches as well, It was said to engage later once flipped. I cant confirm it, and im pretty sure it was for a za50 lol. (all i do is read shit on MA for 90% of my shift at work overnight so it all kinda blurs)

Sorry not much help here. Ive never had a problem with ciaos starter clutches, But i was planning on replacing them soon for the hell of it.. (edited)

Re: Vespa starter clutch won't engage

About all I've heard is "flip the starter clutch. It makes stuff better."

Re: Vespa starter clutch won't engage

If you mean to put the shoes on backwards, it doesn't work. Geez if you already inspected it its not much more to change them. As tothe the suddenness of its demise, that's often how auto clutches go, isn't it. Sure they may often slip but if you consider the mass the shoes must turn its kinda large vs their size. If you have the belt off the pulley and spin the wheel via the pedals the variator pulley will probably turn which is the equivalent of when your car's clutch wears out it can sort of go on the flats but slip on the smallest hill.

Re: Vespa starter clutch won't engage

Yeah, the variator pulley turns a little bit but I figured that was just from drag in the clutch bearings. I can stop it easily with my finger.

Re: Vespa starter clutch won't engage

Mike Hojnowski /

Here's a picture of my Ciao starter clutch, installed in the proper orientation. I installed mine upside down and had problems. I flipped it, and it works great.

IMG_0990.JPG

Re: Vespa starter clutch won't engage

I tried flipping the starter clutch and even put some electrical tape on the shoes, but nothing seemed to work, so I guess I'll just buy some new clutch shoes. At least they're pretty cheap.

Re: Vespa starter clutch won't engage

OK so I bought the starter clutch shoes and installed them today. Still no dice. I can hear it scraping against the clutch bell though. I guess tomorrow I'll try cleaning everything out real good with brake cleaner or something. Or I could try roughing up the clutch surfaces with a file or some sandpaper. But for now I think I'll have a drink or two and go to bed.

Re: Vespa starter clutch won't engage

Maybe they are upside down.flip the. m and see if they work.the guy who was helping me get mine running did that by accident.

Re: Vespa starter clutch won't engage

Dominic Valentino /

hmm, strange, maybe try, very carefully lubing the pins, and/or very slightly working (weakening) the springs? In the meantime you can easily start the thing up with a length of webbing (e.g. tie down strap) or some other piece of 1" ish webbing. just wrap it two/three times around the front var and pull :) (edited)

Re: Vespa starter clutch won't engage

Marc, I put the shoes in like the picture that Mike posted above.

Dominic, I'll give that a try. Thanks.

Re: Vespa starter clutch won't engage

OK, I put the starter clutch in the "wrong way" and it worked fine. Not sure what's going on there but I won't worry about it.

Re: Vespa starter clutch won't engage

Mike Hojnowski /

Weird. Well, glad you got it working!

Hojo

Re: Vespa starter clutch won't engage

I am having a problem with my bike, and was wondering if it sounds like the starter clutch. Running a Malossi variator with a Malossi belt with stock rear variator with the yellow spring installed. I have to push start the thing, and it was working just fine. However, the other day, I tried push starting it, but when the rear clutch kicked in, there is this bang, and then the rear wheel just drags along the street without turning. Is that the starter clutch not engaging / disengaging?

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