A Little Fixer Upper

by Jim Zeiser
(Deposit, New York)

Is this blue?

Is this blue?

The Craig's List ad said "2008 Lance Charming 50cc, 900 miles, can't get it started, $260." After answering all the people with their starting problems here, I just couldn't resist the challenge.

I felt that even if it wasn't anything I could use, I could always sell it after I fixed it. After all, what was I going to do with another two wheeled conveyance?

The scooter came with the usual sad story. At about the time you should adjust the valves, it started stalling on the owner at every traffic light. Then he took it to a "mechanic" who assured him it needed a carburetor and now it wouldn't run at all.

The owner was selling it for about one-fourth what he paid for it just to get rid of it. Once home, I dove in to do the valve adjustment and say objectionable things about scooters and their plastic panels.

After digging my way down to the motor, I found the valve clearances to still be within the tolerable range. Hmmmm.

I attacked the carburetor next, putting the original carb back on, but it still wouldn't start. New carb back on and still nothing. Then I thought of my dark past.

When I worked on two stroke engines, we always put in new spark plugs – no matter how good the spark looked with the original plug. Don't you know it started!

I even took it for a short ride...and it died. Three plugs later, I stumbled on to the fact that the plug for the CDI was somehow responsible and tugged and twisted it and now it runs-sort of.

It has to be kept at a high idle or it dies, which points at fuel or electric issues. When the weather gets more favorable, I'll change the CDI and dig at the fuel line of the carb.

For the money though I have a running scooter with less than a thousand miles and I only almost set it on fire once.

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Apr 22, 2023
by: Don

Found cdi to be my problem on my 2005 Honda helix. Spent a bunch on shops finally decided to try and fix it myself. Contact cleaner is wonderful

Nov 09, 2015
A Little Fixer Upper NEW
by: http://paperwritingservice.ninja/

I hope you'll fix it and it will go for a long rides. Do your best to make it work!

Dec 12, 2010
Road Test
by: Jim Zeiser

The roads were wet but the temperatures were in the forties and I just had to know. I took the Lance out for a quick run to see if my repairs were adequate. It's running as well as I've ever seen it since I got it. I rode for a mile at 35 mph on the speedometer and it didn't miss a beat. I stopped and started a couple of times and didn't experience the dreaded misfire it would give me before. A cheap CDI unit had been the downfall of a hardly used scooter. Now it will go back to Syracuse and serve another owner. Hopefully for years to come.

Dec 11, 2010
Fixed and Leaving
by: Jim Zeiser

I bought a new CDI for the princely sum of $15-shipped-and I installed it along with a new fuel filter. I found a buyer quicker than I thought I would and it will be leaving sometime around the end of January. I still have to road test it to be sure the fix is complete, but I'm confident based on the way it's running now.
I have so many toys right now and this scooter deserves to be a number one ride, not the third or fourth it would be in my garage. I'm just glad to be putting a China scoot back in service for someone to enjoy.

Nov 28, 2010
Simultaneous troubles
by: Gary

Since you indicate you had good spark but replaced the plug anyway, and then found a problem with the CDI or its connection, you must be experiencing simultaneous troubles since a defect associated with the CDI results in a no spark condition.

My most recent trouble was CDI related; luckily I had a spare laying around, so was able to replace it immediately. Experimenting with the bad one seemed to indicate that the problem might be with the connection, as it fired a couple times after fooling with the connection, but it was very hit and miss.

With the good CDI in place it fired up every time with 100% reliability. Though this seemed to suggest a loose blade on the bad CDI, which maybe could be remedied, past experience has taught me that in more cases than not, such things aren't worth the time and trouble to mess with, so in the trash it went.

Nov 09, 2010
by: Kathi, Site Owner

She's a pretty little scoot, Jim. If you sell her eventually, I'm sure someone would be very happy with her (assuming you DO get her running like magic in the future!).

Thanks for sharing your story. What a great buy...

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