work­shop elec­tri­cals

Scootering - - Front Page - Andy

Gun­son Strobe Light

Some­times it’s the sim­ple things that cause the most prob­lems, a good ex­am­ple be­ing ig­ni­tion tim­ing on your scooter. Get it wrong and at best your bike runs badly. At worst, you’re into the world of hol­ing pis­tons and pay­ing for ex­pen­sive mis­takes.

I bought this Gun­son (model un­known) strobe a few years ago now for about £25 from a lo­cal tool shop. Once I’ve marked top dead cen­tre on my en­gine cas­ing and set the scooter’s tim­ing af­ter a re­build I fire it up, aim the strobe at it and see how ac­cu­rate my tim­ing ac­tu­ally is. It is as easy as that.

The power for the strobe comes from a 12v bat­tery, but that doesn’t have to be con­nected to the scooter you are strob­ing, so in my case my Vespa PX has pow­ered tim­ing checks for my T5, Li Se­ries 1 and RT225 Lam­bret­tas. In­ex­pen­sive, easy to use and very re­as­sur­ing.

Cord­less Makita Drill

This is an­other tool that’s been in the shed for quite a few years now and do you know what? It may not be cheap but in that time it’s seen off two ‘cheap’ corded al­ter­na­tives and is still as good to­day as when it was new.

Again, do your re­search be­fore buy­ing; I mainly use my drill for drilling holes and with wire brush at­tach­ments, oc­ca­sion­ally with sand­ing discs. You there­fore need to make sure any po­ten­tial drill revs fast enough for your needs. This 18v LXT drill has enough power for a good brush­ing ses­sion and the bat­tery recharges in less than an hour. The lat­est LXT drills in the Makita range claim as lit­tle as 30 min­utes charge time th­ese days.

The drill is also well bal­anced so not too tir­ing dur­ing sus­tained use, it has both for­ward and re­verse fea­tures, as well as ‘drill’, ‘ham­mer’ and ‘screw’ modes too. The chuck is key­less and there is even a lit­tle light in the end that shines to­wards what­ever you are drilling, should it be in a dark nook or cranny that the free­dom of a cord­less drill al­lows you.

Makita cord­less drills start at around £65 ac­cord­ing to the in­ter­net, but the bet­ter mod­els cost more so do some re­search, try a few out and maybe see if you can strike a deal at your lo­cal hard­ware shop – the ef­fort will be worth it.

Dremel Cord­less Multi Tool

I have had both corded and cord­less Dremels for a num­ber of years now and I make no apolo­gies for us­ing this brand name against other prod­ucts. For me I have found it in­valu­able for cut­ting rusted bolt heads, re­mov­ing seized nuts, clean­ing parts, drilling small holes, pol­ish­ing, grind­ing into head­sets to route hy­draulic hoses, plus of course fet­tling the mul­ti­tude of af­ter­mar­ket scooter parts that don’t fit in an at­tempt to make use of them. A Dremel does all of this and more for me, and speak­ing to John at JB Tun­ing who uses a Dremel to port count­less bar­rels, pis­ton and en­gines a year, in his opin­ion it’s sim­ply not worth buy­ing an in­fe­rior al­ter­na­tive. Not if you want one that does what it says on the tin.

Again for those with no power in the shed, I can rec­om­mend the Dremel 8200 cord­less mul­ti­tool, which has a 10.8v Li-Ion bat­tery that recharges in about an hour, revs be­tween 5000rpm and 30,000rpm, and weighs just 600g. Like the rest of the range it fea­tures their in­no­va­tive EZ Twist Nose Cap there is no need for a min­is­pan­ner to tighten and loosen the col­let when chang­ing ac­ces­sories, a num­ber of which I do buy with dif­fer­ent brand names from my lo­cal hard­ware shop. As al­ways, shop around as a ba­sic Dremel 8200 can be found from around £70 up­wards.

Sealey Cord­less Im­pact Wrench

If you are the Mus­cles from Brussels, or your bi­ceps are the size of Bournemouth, and you have a long enough breaker bar, then no nut or bolt – how­ever seized with rust – should present much of a chal­lenge to you.

For the rest of us, a bad day in the shed can con­sist of lit­tle more than ap­ply­ing lib­eral coat­ings of WD40 then us­ing ever larger tools with an in­creas­ing amount of violence in an at­tempt to re­move what­ever is stub­bornly re­fus­ing to turn that day. Then I dis­cov­ered the im­pact wrench…

At first the pre­serve of only those with a com­pres­sor and air­line, nowa­days tech­nol­ogy has moved on to al­low such tools to be bought by a wider au­di­ence. This par­tic­u­lar ex­am­ple is the Sealey CP2400 which has a ½in drive, 24v of power and can de­liver up to 325lb-ft (441Nm) of torque. If you have rear hub nuts to undo but no holder, a barn find scooter to strip that was ac­tu­ally dragged out of a river, or even if you’re feel­ing par­tic­u­larly lazy when tak­ing your bike apart for a win­ter re­build, se­ri­ously con­sider one of th­ese.

You do need to do your re­search first though; some cheaper of­fer­ings of­fer so lit­tle power they are verg­ing on point­less. And if you’ve no power in your shed then a cord­less version will need to do the biz and also recharge quickly enough (Sealey claims one hour for this). The CP400 also has both for­ward and re­verse con­trol so clutches and fly­wheels can both be tack­led, it is bal­anced and light in your hand too, and I know for a fact it does fly­wheels, hubs, front sprock­ets and more.

A word of cau­tion though; firstly, make sure you only use spe­cial hard­ened im­pact sock­ets on such a tool. Se­condly, don’t use it for tight­en­ing things up or you might risk dam­ag­ing cer­tain com­po­nents. Use the torque wrench we ad­vised last time.

The Sealey CP2400 and has an of­fi­cial re­tail price of £287.94 (in­clud­ing bat­tery and charger), but if you shop around on the in­ter­net you can find it for less than half of that price. If it gets you out of trou­ble even once, you’ll love this piece of kit for­ever!

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