Down and Dirty Resurrection
by Eddie Pate
I recently got a TANK scooter, the Urban 50cc from some time ago. She's pretty beat up and I think she's been abused every conceivable way. The thing has a hole in the transmission cover where the kick starter used to be, for example. The plastic looks like a nuke hit it, but after two days of trying to get her running, I finally got the carb shiny clean and the electrical working.
Most people say that Tanks are junk, but that little power plant that they use is still ticking with 2000 miles on the odometer. I had to put the engine into what I dub, "Lawnmower mode", as the little diaphragm fuel pump was garbage and non usable.
I plugged the vacuum line by using a short length of line and a plastic bull plug and then drilled out the remnants of the pump on a press so it became basically a nipple to hook the fuel line to. I also plugged the nipple on the shoddy pump where the vacuum line used to attach to to prevent spillage.
In this configuration, the thing works fine, with just a slight re-tune of the jet to ensure proper mixture. She bogs a little, but still gets up to speed from zero like a mad tiger :) The first initial run was promising, and as soon as I get the proper pump for her, I'm restoring fuel pump function.
However, it does prove that the carb will regulate itself just fine without it as it has a float and needle and will gravity feed as much as it needs. At 70 mpg, even a trickle is WAY more than it should ever need to supply it.
As for the hole in the transmission cover? Mighty putty for now, new cover as soon as money permits. I keep the mechanism inside it running cleanly and properly. The rest is cosmetic.
I'm also giving her a fresh drink of oil in both the gear box and the engine tonight. It's further proof that if you love and respect your machine, it will love you back. Don't get angry or frustrated if you can't get her running. Just take a break and rethink your approach. It's often some tiny little detail that is overlooked that makes the difference between starting up and grinding your starter to a pulp.
You should have seen the looks on people's faces when I drove that thing around town on its test run with a hole the size of a cannonball in the trany cover LOL. She's old and a bit worn out, but not even close to the end of her life :)
A battery tender like the Battery Tender Jr. can make all the difference in whether your scooter will start right up each spring, after being stored for months.
Just about every scooter owner needs to have a battery tender, sometimes called a trickle charger. Unless you are lucky enough to live in a climate where you can ride all year long, chances are your scooter will be put on ice, figuratively-speaking, for at least a couple months every winter.
One of the key steps in winterizing a scooter is to protect your battery from draining during its "rest" period. This can – and will – happen if you leave your battery sitting untended in your cold scooter over the winter, even if it's in a garage or shed.