ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

Hi,

I'm new here and to mopeding. Just bought a non-running Puch Maxi off Craigslist for $75 and thought I'd give it a go. I will run with a bit of fuel mix in the cylinder head, so far so good. I've cleaned the tank, new petcock and cleaning carb is next. I've got the ZA50 2 speed model. I drained the trans fluid and about 2.5 ounces of nasty black motor oil came out. I flushed and filled it with 10 oz of Type F for now. My question is, can I fire this bike up and try to run it for a bit, or do I need to tear down the trans, change the pucks, etc. prior to riding? Anything else I'm missing? Thoughts? Thanks!

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Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

You can try riding it. Do you remember if any plastic like chunks came out in your tranny fluid change? If so those are the deteriorating pucks. They are only for dampening the shifting of the gears. It will run without them but may shift hard and what can cause wear on your gears. Plan to get those replaced. Even if you pull out fully in tact pucks they will be ready to crumble if they are original. They will probably crumble in your hand if you give them a squeeze.

While you are in there you can also flip the second gear which gives you a little more time in your first gear.

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

Ok cool thanks. No chunks came out with the nasty black trans fluid, nor the Type F flush I did...so that's good I guess for now.

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

Yeah, you can test ride it. Just don’t neglect changing the pucks too long or you risk shearing gear teeth. That’s bad.

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

Anything else on the must do list before putting this in real service? Like any bearings inside the engine, etc. I might need to worry about?

I'm on top of the obvious stuff like tubes/tires, chain/sprockets (I had to remove 2 links from each chain because they were so stretched out). The wheels seem to spin very nicely, so I'm wasn't planning on priortizing the wheel bearings.

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

Nope nothing else should be addressed until needed. If you keep it stock you will probably never need to replace the other bits. As soon as you start changing internal pieces it will need to get re-shimmed which is a whole thing on it's own. The pucks and flipping the second speed clutch does not alter the engine spacing so that is ok.

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

Ok so the pucks is the main thing. So...since I don't know if they were ever replaced, maybe I'll test ride it. And as long as it shifts really smooth, I'm good. I'll switch them out at the first sign of harshness? Sound like a plan? Or should I just do it and get it over with?

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

I think it's a pretty safe assumption that nobody has replaced the pucks on that. When you replace the pucks you can check the condition of your transmission case bearings and the big ol middle case bearing for the counter shaft

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

Ok, sounds good. Yeah, you're right. This was owned by a teenage girl (now a middle aged woman)...she wasn't likely tearing down the trans. or doing any other maintenance that I can observe

Thanks for the help guys!!

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

While getting into the tranny seems daunting it is pretty simple once you get in there. It would be better for the preventive maintenance on this because the cost of waiting can be bad. There is a person on here looking for new za50 gears right now. I'm gonna bet is from not replacing the shift pucks.

Super tough to destroy these engines unless you just ignore the basic stuff.

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

Yeah, I watched a youtube video of it being done...doesn't seem all that bad.

From what I saw you need an impact wrench (which I can borrow), and some metric sockets for it. A bit of loctite and I'll be set. Otherwise looks fairly straightforward, just lots of bits to keep track of and put back as they were :) Good to hear that's about the worst of what I need to deal with at least.

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

For the very near term, I'll continue to focus on getting it running. Tank cleaned up beautifully with Evaporust. New petcock/fuel line/filter is on the way from Lucky II strokes. The old petcock was trashed and completely plugged with dirt...so I'm assuming that's what I'll find in the carb.

Next question...when I tear apart the carb, is there a possibility I can just clean it up and reassemble without a kit...or should I just get a kit ordered and on the way to replace the gaskets and stuff while I'm in there? I'm sort of trying to keep costs down and not buy stuff I don't really need, but I also want to do the right thing.

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

For the carb, the only thing you are practically guaranteed to need to replace is the float needle valve. Rubber tip doesn't tend to last 40+ years. So you can order that in advance. The rest you won't really know until you check it out

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

I second the float needle, but I doubt you will need to get a kit to rebuild the carb. If any of the gaskets seem worn or broken you can make them work until you order a kit. I have had broken gaskets on carbs for a lot longer than I should admit.

And honestly I have never had to use an impact drill on my za50's. Just tap my socket wrench with a hammer a few times until it loosens the nut.

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

It's been about forty years since I bought a carb kit . I recall having most of it for a lot of years afterward .

If I need a gasket , I cut my own . And , generally , float valve needles are good .

I do remember buying one maybe twenty or so years back .

Most often , it's the float valve seat that needs the most attention .

Polish them to a shine with q tips and a mild abrasive like Brasso or even toothpaste .

Clean and insure all passages are clear from start to exit . Use brake cleaner . It cleans better than junk carb cleaner . That's something else I haven't bought in about forty years .

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

Don’t put off the shift pucks until something feels or sounds different. That’s often too late. Often the first sign of a problem is catastrophic failure. They’re ok for a test ride or two, but anything more is a roll of the dice. Mine only had 1100 miles when I changed them, and they crumbled in my hand like wet chalk. I’ve seen other people neglect them, and it’s bad.

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

Great input from all -- thank you so much!! I can immediately tell that this is a great community of helpful people. As a side note, I'm also into EM pinball machines as a hobby and the Pinside site has like minded helpful individuals similar to here. Very nice thing. I've graduated from noobie to starting to actually help others in that world.

Back to mopeding though -- Once I make it through the carb and hopefully get up and running, I'm going right to the pucks -- Seth B note about catastrophic failure was enough for me!

So, back on pucks. I'm assuming I'll just get the standard red Atomic pucks given the bike is stock. I'm also assuming that even if I later add some mild performance enhancements (don't even know what that would be yet) I'll still be ok with those and that the super stiff pucks are more for the radical performance hot rods? Is there any rule of thumb on at what point you need the stiff ones?

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

IMO, those would be more for heavy hitting builds, like Gila or Polini. The red ones are fine, even for mild performance mods. It’s a good habit to blip shift also, once you’re familiar with the shift point. Another tip- Ditch the ATF and run 0w-20 or 5w-20 motor oil in the tranny. Preferably 0w-20. Better shifting.

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

Very good. Thanks.

Question on the subject of "flipping second gear". So we're talking about installing the second gear clutch upside down from how it is now? So in the video I saw, it appears that both first and second gear clutches have a triangle shape on one side. The guy assembled them with the second gear triangle up, and the first gear triangle down so they were facing each other.

So if I'm understanding all this correctly, I'll be assembling the second gear clutch with triangle down (just like the first gear one). Both triangles down.

Does it sound like I know what I'm talking about at all?

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

Yes you are correct. Check the wiki here about disassembling a za50. And read the words and pics. You can see how the second gear looks.

I have use the info a few times reminding myself of the process.

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

Have you been through this yet?

https://www.mopedarmy.com/wiki/ZA50

And this

https://www.mopedarmy.com/wiki/Disassemble_a_Puch_ZA50_Engine

Go over the info on these pages, and follow the directions, and you should be good.

I would highly recommend double checking the shimming/end float when you put it back together. It SHOULD be good, as long as you are meticulously anal about reassembly order, but not always.

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

No, I hadn't seen those. Very helpful...I understand the basics better now.

I'm glad you mentioned the end float thing. I need to wrap my head around that better to understand exactly what we're talking about and how to get it right.

I'm interpreting that it pertains to the height of all this stuff stacked together to ensure its within the required tolerance -- not too short to not engage with the bearings, nor too tall to not fit or create friction?

I'll study that second one in more detail...

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

Do not worry about the end float unless you are replacing parts from the tranny....other than the pucks. If you put it all back as it came out, flipping the 2nd speed clutch doesnt change anything, then your end float will not have changed. Dont stress over it. I just test the transmission movement best I can before trying to start the bike. You wont be able to engage the 2nd gear but you can make sure things are moving correctly.

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

Yeah, that makes sense. Thanks for the note, I feel a bit better with each exchange here. I'll just pick and place each part out as I go on a long table to keep it in order and try not to over think it.

Worst case scenario if I F it all up, I'll toss all the jumbled pieces in a box and drop it off at Detroit Moped Works to reassemble :) for $90 -- not a bad deal really.

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

I actually gotta disagree here. End float can be out of tolerance from previous wear, or differences in torque values on reassembly, or gasket compression.

The two things I always check on reassembly even if just replacing the pucks and flipping the gear:

1. the roller retainer thrust clearance, measured with feeler gauges as shown in the illustration. In my experience these are often too tall and some light even sanding can get them back into spec

ScreenShot2020-07-15at2.04.07PM.png

2. the end float against the transmission case bearings, measured with plastigauge on the shims, tightening down the transmission case to torque spec then removing again and measuring

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

^^This, what Mike says. It’s so quick to check it and be sure.

Side note, try not to damage the original gasket. Replacements are not always the same thickness as original, throwing end float off. It’s pretty critical. So is properly torqued everything. Either of these not correct, And you’ll end up with a bearing punching right through your tranny cover.

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

Kevin Bishop /

I never flip my second. It just seems like the shoes bind and that’s what causes the delay in shifting. Flipping is BS!

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

> Kevin Bishop Wrote:

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

> I never flip my second. It just seems like the shoes bind and that’s

> what causes the delay in shifting. Flipping is BS!

Isn't that^ the purpose ?

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

I have only rebuilt a few za50 transmissions. And have not had any explode on me. I have only done what Matt is planning to do so I was just careful on getting pieces back in place. My current za50 adventure is going to involve a new crank so it is going to require all the extra work you are describing.

Re: ZA50 question for Puch Maxi just pulled from storage

Thanks for your thoughts Kevin, much appreciated. Seems like more folks vote for flipping than not flipping? With zero experience, I may go with the consensus.

Either way, I've got some time to decide. I'm getting the petcock and some other parts today. This weekend I'll go through the carb and if all goes well I'll be up and running. I didn't order a carb kit, so if I need any parts that will be another delay.

After all that I'll hit the transmission.

As for the float measurements, I'm up for doing it as I can see the value in it. I just need to understand what to do. As it relates to Mike Boyd's descriptive note, I think I understand the step 1. Step 2 sort of has me baffled at the moment. Will need to figure out how to do that one. I'll keep studying!

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