||Widened spark plug gap shortly
after leaving home. I noticed a lack of power. The gap had been set to
factory settings, but it bridged easily at that setting.
I also noticed that engine made a rattling sound when under load (going
uphill). I figured this depended on the fuel mixture.
||Lubed chain, applied grease to
||Swapped carburetor jet: removed
the 220, installed the 230 that I carried as a spare. I hoped that this
would cure the carbonizing and knocking (due to overheating) that I was
||Tighten bolts holding on mirror
||Found that one saddlebag was
rubbing against the wheel. So I stopped at a garbage dump and found a
piece of vinyl siding, cut it to shape and wired it onto the bike to keep
the saddlebag away from the wheel.
||Greased balls in the gear
changer. The Mobylette has a variable clutch/gear changing system. Three
large steel balls are propelling outward by centrifugal force as the
engine speed increases, causing the gear to gradually become higher,
allowing higher speeds than would otherwise be possible. These balls got a
bit stuck, so I greased them.
||Changed the carburetor jet to
225 from 230. The 230 was too big, and unburnt fuel was coming out the
||Adjust & lubricate chain,
grease the clutch. Both these tasks were done regularly throughout the
trip, perhaps every second or third day.
||I took shelter from a
thunderstorm in a shed 1/4 mile off the highway. When I tried to return to
the hwy after the rain passed, I found that the soil on the dirt track was
very sticky and completely clogged up my wheels - it was carried up in
between the wheels and the fenders. The only way I could get back to the
paved hwy was to start the moped on the kickstand, and then walk it to the
hwy, with the front end lifted up off the ground. Took a lot of effort to
clean out the mud and get underway again.
||Regina, Sask. Completely
decarbonised engine and exhaust. Made a huge difference in power. Prior to
this I could only obtain a maximum speed of 23 mph; afterwards 30 mph!
Adjust & lubricate chain.
||Adjust and lubricate chain.
||Edmonton, Alta. Purchased new
rear tire - existing one getting worn.
After leaving the city had a flat tire. Damaged the old worn tire putting
it back on - the metal bead separated from the tire, most likely because
it was worn out. So I put the new tire on. Had a second flat tire late in
||Found that the new tire I had
put on was damaged as well, and in the same way as the old one. When the
bead separated the tube poked out and blew. No spare this time! A local
sporting goods store ordered two new tires for me and a tube from
Edmonton. Stuck in Fox Creek, Alta for 2 days. By June 22 no tires had
come from Edmonton so I got a ride back down the hwy to Whitecourt where I
found a tire and tube.
The bike shop owner (where I got the tire) said to put soap on the
tire bead before slipping it onto the rim to minimize damage and strain on
the tire. This worked really well.
||Just starting up the Alaska Hwy:
changed spark plug - old one very worn.
||Mile 280 on Alaska Hwy:
construction area. The hwy was made of wet clay. I tried riding through
but the mud plugged up my tires (as it had in Saskatchewan). All the while
there were huge earth-mover machines roaring up and down the wet dirt hwy.
It was so slippery it was hard to keep my balance just walking! Eventually
someone with a pickup truck stopped and offered me a ride past the
construction zone. The chain was all muddy as well. Cleaned it off past
the construction and continued on.
||Cleaned bike from yesterday's
mud. Had to remove chain and actually wash it in the river. Chain is
somewhat worn. Took apart the front hub and cleaned and re-greased the
Also greased pulley. There was some sideways play in the pulley on the
shaft, so I put a large washer on the shaft to stop that.
The pulley on a Mobylette moped must not have any side-to-side free play
along the shaft. (The pulley is what the drive belt from the engine runs
around. The small chain sprocket is located here as well. It's basically
what transfers power from the engine to the chain and thus to the rear
wheel). If the pulley has any of this free play, the hook that is on
the inside face of the pulley may pull away slightly from the chain
sprocket. This causes it to grind away. This hook is what hooks into the
chain sprocket to transfer power from the drive belt to the chain. If that
hook goes, then the moped becomes a bicycle. This is the most poorly
designed part of the Mobylette moped. I had major problems with this in
1977 in Quebec.
||Wiped out on a soft patch of
gravel. I was looking around at the scenery instead of down at the road.
Scraped up my hand, elbows, arm, and leg.
||Took apart and cleaned
carburetor. Bike hadn't idled properly since the spill the previous day.
||Robert Campbell Hwy: chain at
the end of the adjusters: wearing out fast.
||Canol Rd,Yukon: decarbonised
engine & exhaust
||Atlin, BC: Lubed chain and
||Whitehorse: I had a new tire and
chain sent to me from Toronto. Picked them up. Put on new chain.
||Lubed chain. Adjusted ignition
timing - I could feel that it was off. Adjusted and filed points, cleaned
and gapped spark plug.
Greased clutch. If I neglected to grease the clutch, the clutch started
engaging too soon, and abruptly. Properly greased, it's real smooth. When
it engaged abruptly it was a real nuisance on hills, since it therefore
engaged too soon, and there was very little power in the higher gear. If
the clutch had even less grease, the next sign of this was rough, erratic
and nonsensical gear changing, and sticking in high gear.
||Adjusted timing again - it was
still off. Installed new set of points. Timing still off.
So I stopped and went to work on it. Seems that when I put the magneto
rotor back on and rode, the timing went off. So I tried two things:
1.Knocking the cam on real hard, and
2.The rotor wobbles a bit - the holes don't fit properly. So I held it
while I tightened the rotor nut. I held it opposite to the direction of
tightening the nut (in other words, to try to compensate for the little
bit that it would turn as I tightened the nut). I noticed that when I undo
the nut, the rotor shifted a bit, before the nut really loosened.
This seemed to help, and after all this, the timing was fine and the moped
performed much better.
Decarbonised exhaust system. There's a "bulb" at the end of the
muffler with small holes in it, that deadens the sound. It gets clogged up
||Alaska Hwy, Yukon: Lubed pulley
||Lubed chain twice today (rain).
||Bike acting up again - lack of
power. Took the sound deadener off of the muffler and it ran fine. So I
cleaned it out really well, put it back on, and the bike worked fine.
||Alaska: Decarbonised engine.
||Greased clutch, speedometer
cable, front forks (they have springs inside). Lubed chain.
||Dempster Hwy: Decarbonised
||Dempster Hwy: Decarbonised
engine & exhaust system. Checked timing - was off slightly. Cleaned
and filed points (charred). Put in new spark plug. Cleaned carburetor.
Greased clutch. Lubed chain.
Fixed flat tire later.
||Dempster Hwy: Adjusted chain.
||Inuvik (Dempster Hwy): Removed
pulley and greased bearings. Installed new drive belt (old one cracked and
very worn). Chain was very worn, as was front sprocket: chain made a
clacking noise, similar to when the pulley catch is breaking.
||Dempster Hwy: Lost the bolt for
the rear brake lever (on the handlebars) - it vibrated loose somewhere.
Fixed it by dinging the threads on a spare bolt so the nut would hold when
tightened only part way.
||Dempster Hwy: Flat tire.
||Demspter Hwy: Another flat tire
||Kickstand getting bent forward
from the heaviness of the bike, so it no longer properly supports bike.
Bent it back somewhat.
||Cleaned carburetor - bike idle
speed was erratic. Adjusted throttle cable (slack due to wear).
||Near Dawson City, Yukon: Flat front tire - took a spill
as a result. Scraped my knee badly. The tire tube was ripped open. Couldn't figure
out why. Put on spare tube.
Put in new spark plug - old one covered with lead deposits and cracked
when I tapped it. Spark gap bridged many times today. Adjusted idle speed -
still problems with this. Gear changer/clutch acting erratically. Mirror
loose from vibration.
||Lubed and adjusted chain.
Wheels got clogged up with clay mud again on a side road. Cleaned out
fenders and then rode in the ditch to avoid the muck.
||Fixed kickstand better. Took off
both chains and washed and lubed them. This moped has two chains. One
powers the bike when it is being used as a bicycle. The other one is what
powers the bike when the engine is being used (ie, most of the time). Cleaned up bike.
Later decarbonised muffler (bike not performing well).
||Alaska Hwy: Bike acting up again
- wouldn't run smoothly, only in spurts at medium to high speed.
Muffler relatively clean. Changed the spark plug and it was then ok for
awhile. Erratic again later.
||Watson Lake, Yukon: Decarbonised
engine. Exhaust has been vibrating with a buzzy sound: fixed it.
Decompressor cable broke. Replaced it with a spare throttle cable, with
wire wrapped around the end to make it bigger. Works ok.
Cleaned and regreased front hub bearings.
Greased clutch. Filed and adjusted ignition points.
Cassiar, BC: put on new chain and front sprocket.
||Chain fell off - adjusted it.
This was a new chain - seemed to be wearing quickly.
||Stewart-Cassiar Hwy: Clamp
holding mirror broke - replaced with a spare. Kickstand spring falling
||Fixed the dents in the clutch
plate (two of them).
||Chain fell off twice. Adjusted
||Adjusted chain. Greased gear
||Put on new rear tire. Kept old
one as a spare.
Right pedal is bent - straightened it.
Discovered two broken spokes on rear wheel - didn't replace them as it
would've been a lot of work to do so.
Decarbonised exhaust bulb.
||Alberta: Adjusted throttle cable
to give more power.
||Discovered that the front
headlight doesn't work. Replaced bulb.
||Pulley started making a horrible
noise. Pulled it off and discovered that the outer set of bearings was
completely shot - their holder unit had completely ground into fine
powder. The outer circlip was gone too. This was due to my laziness
greasing these bearings. There is a grease nipple on the outside, but it's
a tiny, non-conventional size, so I never used it. Put everything back
together and it seemed better.
||Bike acted up, rode as if it
out of gas, but there was lots in the tank.
||Right pedal is in sad shape:
shaft is bent, bearings are gone, end cap is bashed in, rusting.
Adjusted & lubed chain. Greased pulley. The pulley catch was starting
to go. The new sprocket wasn't as tight as the old one; it was wearing out
already. So was the chain.
||Manitoba: Decarbonised muffler
Cleaned carburetor: dirty inside. Float was dented - how that happened I
had no clue.
||Ontario: Installed replacement
pulley (a used one sent from home). Replaced catch with new one. Adjusted
Sprocket is real loose on shaft. Made a shim from a thin pop can and
inserted it between the sprocket and the shaft to take up the slack. This
worked very well. For once I was grateful for litter along the highway!
Rear taillight not working.
||Noticed a severe vibration in
the drive train at low speed. But the vibration went away very quickly
after the clutch engaged. Checked pulley: ok. Lubed chain. The replacement
pulley is working out well: quieter and smoother.
Lost the kickstand spring a few days ago.
Noticeably less power on hills lately - I figured it was because the
engine needed new rings.
||Tried to install new rings on
piston, but I was unable to clean the grooves well enough, so they didn't
fit - piston was too tight in the cylinder. Put the old ones back on.
Adjusted and lubed chain. Greased clutch and gear changer balls.
Decarbonised exhaust system.
Then I went out for a test ride and I found the compression to be very low. So I
did the rings thing all over again. This time I was able to clean the
grooves properly, and the new ones fit. Put the engine all back together
and it ran much better. Installed new cylinder head and base gaskets.
||Had to put old pulley back on -
the shim had worn out, and the old pulley worked fine when reinstalled.
Later in the day the pulley developed a lot of free play. The cylindrical
spacer had worn narrower. I replaced it with a spare.
Chain is worn out - almost at the end of the adjusters.
||Adjusted and lubed chain.
Greased clutch. Clutch grabs too quickly - engine almost stalls at 5 or 6
mph - has no power at all hardly.
Greased and checked pulley.
||Filed and adjusted points.
Checked and adjusted timing.
Checked muffler for blockage - bike had been holding back lately and had
little power at low rpm's. Compression not excellent but not bad either.
||Discovered why the bike had no
power at low rpm's. A screw in the clutch plate had come loose, preventing
the gear changer cheek from going all the way into low gear. This also
accounted for the vibration I had at low speeds (see Aug 29). Also
installed new spacers for the pulley, to replace the cylindrical spacer. I
used some large washers obtained at a hardware store. They slipped on the
shaft and kept the pulley in the proper place. Worked very well.
Trouble with the pulley: shim had worn out, so had to make a new one from
a pop can.
Hacksawed off a section of the tube in the muffler on the outer 1/2 of the
muffler bulb. This was to prevent it from clogging up with carbon so fast.
Also tried riding with just the inner section on - worked a lot better and
was only a little bit noisier.
||Home. End of trip.
Good thing from the mechanical point of view -- from the above list of
repairs and problems, it seemed as though the bike was on its last legs!