Vespa Choke Cable
The choke cable on a large frame Vespa runs from the choke lever in the center of the frame below the seat to the carburetor on the right side of the engine. The cable is sold as a single item with a typical outer, but has a wire with pre-bent ends as the cable itself. When the small choke lever is pulled out from the frame it simply pulls the cable by about a half inch which provides a richer mixture for starting.
Unfortunately the cable is located inside the frame and the fuel tank will need to be removed. On the Vespa shown in the picture I have a single front seat and a buddy seat on the standard luggage rack. To remove the front seat, use an 11mm wrench to loosen and remove the three bolts into the frame.
The buddy seat is held to the luggage rack by two 10mm nuts on the bottom side. They are a little difficult to see...
...but a look at the underside of the seat will show them on either side. They hold a small grab bar in place which clamps the seat to the rack. Loosen the nut only enough to rotate the clamp so it passes through the slot.
With the rack out of the way you can remove the last three 11mm bolts holding the rack to the frame, and the rear of the fuel tank to the frame.
Before you can pull the tank the fuel lever needs to be turned to the on position so it faces up as shown. Also the rubber grommet around the fuel lever shaft will need to be removed by prying it out.
Start to lift the fuel tank up by lifting at the rear....
As you do the oil sight glass (if fitted) and the fuel lever will move backwards and into the frame.
Once the fuel lever passes through the frame hole the tank can be lifted from the frame. Sometimes it will need a little help and you can peer into the frame area and see if anything like cables or fuel lines are being caught.
Usually the fuel line will not need to be disconnected from the tank or the carb. There should be enough length to it to lift and slightly twist the tank as shown above. If you have nice paint work, you might want to protect the edges of the frame opening with a rag.
Now you'll be able to see the choke cable (shown with a green arrow) and the frame mounted tube and pin clip in which the small choke plunger fits.
To remove the carb end of the choke cable you'll need to remove the right hand side engine cowl and find the carb box mounted on top of the engine. Using a Phillips screwdriver remove the two screws at either end. Once these are free the top can be removed although it can sometimes need a little effort.
Using a flathead screwdriver, remove the air filter element by removing the two screws. The rear screw is a little weird looking so remember it always goes in the rear hole.
Now you can see where the wire choke cable attaches to the carb. Using a hook of some sort or a flathead screwdriver, unhook the cable and push it out through the hole in the carb box.
Since the carb end is released you can now pull the choke lever beyond the frame and disconnect it from the wire.
Remove the old choke cable and feed it through the hole in the frame. Fit the new choke cable through the frame hole and make sure the end with a loop in it is outside the frame. Push the end of the choke outer cable securely into the end of the frame tube.
Make sure it is fully in the tube or the next step will be very difficult. There is just enough length on the wire to allow you to connect the choke cable.
You'll see the end of the wire poking out of the choke tube on the outside of the frame. The trick is to grab it with some needlenose pliers and....
..thread the wire through the end of choke lever. You can see that one side of the choke lever cut outs is longer than the other (the one on top in this image). Be sure the wire is threaded as shown above to make sure it doesn't come undone in the tube.
With the other end of the cable hanging out through the frame, push the choke lever back into the frame tube. Thread the choke cable through the carb box, and hook it on to the carb hook. Test to make sure the carb hook is all the way released when the choke lever is pushed all the way in, and out when out. If all is well, replace the filter and the carb top.
The final step is to re-fit the rubber grommet around the fuel lever so it doesn't rattle around when driving.
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