I will preface this story with two statements:
- I should have known better
- I should have brought my camera
The other day I bought a puch clutch cable from treats, thinking “YAY! The end of my clutch worries!”, but I was oh-so-wrong. After obsessively checking the tracking, I rushed home to find a new clutch cable, knarps, and jets! However, the nubbin on the end of the cable which had looked quite substantial on the Internet, was naught but a teeny piece of metal, no bigger than about 1mm around by 3mm long. I’m pretty sure the puch uses the much larger toggle-shaped nubbin on the other end of the cable. But I figured that they sold it as a starter cable, so it must work…right?
So I installed the cable and knarp, removing the bicycle shifter cable that I had previously wrapped around my clutch lever (being knarp-less at the time). With that done, I got to work on the carb, removing it from the engine by loosening the screw on the clamp that holds it to the intake. Of course, this meant that gasoline got EVERYHWERE, but being a moped there were only a few ccs in the float bowl. A few clicks later, the float bowl was removed and I had access to the main jet! I screwed the old, corroded, nasty jet out and replaced it with a fresh 50 jet.
Fast forward through carb re-assembly and attachment, fuel line replacement, and stopcock opening and I was down on the street to test it out! I pulled on the clutch lever, and heard a small *pop*. That pop ended that nights work, because I knew from the slack on the clutch lever that the teeny tiny nubbin had snapped off into the clutch assembly, and that the last thing I wanted to do was to grind up a tiny piece of metal with my clutch/trans, and flood the system with tiny pieces of metal to get stuck in bearings. So I walked it to where it normally hangs out, parked it, and called it a night.
The next day I was back to working on the moped. It was really frustrating to have been so close to testing the new jet, and then to have the clutch lever break AGAIN. Especially after I had a hunch that it would break in exactly the unpleasant way that it broke in!
The first step, of course, was to tool up. I grabbed an oil pan and funnel from my local (and very friendly) Tags, and some 30W ND SAE oil from, of all places, Family Dollar. Then it was back to the moped to take apart the clutch/trans.
The clutch happens to be lubricated by being submerged in oil. So as soon as I popped the last screw off, and pulled the clutch housing off, a huge purple puddle of oil appeared under the ‘ped, mostly in the oil bucket (yay foresight!). Unfortunately, the teeny nubbin did not come out with the oil, and without removing the pedal arm the case was still stuck on pretty close o the engine casing. So the next step was to try to wash it out with more oil, and hope for the best.
Unfortunately, no combination of smacking the sides, running oil through the clutch, and grunting would coerces the tiny piece of aluminum to come out. I even tried to locate it visually by sticking a handy strip LED flashlight near the gap in the case, and looking through the clutch hole. But at this point it was getting pretty dark, so I wired up some huge LED panels (40W of them). They did the trick! I was set to work as late as I wanted.
The pedal needed to come off so I could completely remove the engine casing. The pedal is held on by a wedge that his hammered in, and then a bolt is tightened to the other side to make sure it does not rattle loose. Unfortunately, to remove the pin you have to smack the threaded side pretty good, and the pliers I were using to tap it out were not cutting it. The next best thing, since I didn’t have a hammer, was to give it a good whack with an old lever lock. Eventually, as my frustration built, I managed to whack the peg hard enough that it budged. A few more taps and it was loose in my hand. Moments later, the pedal arm was removed and the clutch cover followed soon after. Unfortunately, this stripped the threads on the wedge that holds the pedal on.
With the clutch cover removed, it was easy to find the nubbin. It had gotten stuck in a corner of the casing, in a bit of oil. I grabbed it, and a few other offending bits and bobs out of the clutch casing. After that, I returned the casing to its proper position, and bolted it back on. Then I chased the threads on the pedal wedge with a file, and managed to bang it back into place. The last thing to do was to fill it with oil, and then wire up a clutch cable in the form of a new bike shifter and a knarp.
With all of that done, it was time to test the new jet! I took it out to the street, carefully engaged the clutch, and got it to start and idle, but only for a few seconds. Based on the bumpy ride, I think the jet is too big. However, it was a good day! Things were capital A Accomplished, tools were improvised, and actual progress was made!