Art Jam - Surviving Valentine
RVAJ A Frozen ValentineRVAJ A Frozen Valentine by ZhaneAugustine
A FROZEN VALENTINE
The cool winds of Winters air breezed by a small cafe in the capital city of Arrendele. But a lone individual in a light gray jacket, with the fleur-de-lis, didnt seem to mind much. Nor did the odd little creature that stood next to him.
“Its a mistake,” the creature mumbled sadly, turning his mismatched, and ever shifting eyes at his creator. “You dont even know how to cook.” His voice was drull, monotone, and every bit as dreary as someone might even think he was when they looked at him. If the Arrendelians werent so used to him, they might have ran in fear. Seeing a living sand sculpture would do that to you.
“It cant be that hard to make chocolate,” Prince Luc, of the Southern Isles, said with a
Valentine's Day Art Jam: The ProposalStrantor Military Academy, StrantorValentine's Day Art Jam: The Proposal by Ulquiorra9000
February 13, 3079
"Whew, I'm tired!"
Cassandra Goyua, a tech at the academy, yawned as she stretched her arms. It was nearly midnight, and most of the technicians had already gone home. The vast 'mech hangar was silent and still, and over thirty mammoth, metal humanoids stood against the walls in various states of repair. Despite the number of weapons in the room, though, it was very peaceful here. Stars shone from outside the windows and most of the lights had been shut off, leaving many areas in darkness.
Alphonse Delarosa, a fellow tech, grinned as he looked up from his soldering work on a 'mech's exposed toe. "Going to bed?" he asked. Like Cassandra, he wore a dark blue jumpsuit.
"Yeah," Cassandra mumbled. She walked over to her boyfriend and gave him a quick kiss. "You coming, too?"
Al shrugged. "Later, I guess. I've got a project to work on."
Most of you know me as a sci-fi writer / sketcher / fan with a penchant for "naughty" imagery
In real life I am an engineer. Mechanics and machinery are my life passion. So it's not surprising that my extra money (after food, clothes, house, kiddies' college fund, retirement plan, and vacation) goes to automotive parts because it's where my heart is.
So over the winter break I traded Priss (my Bashan/Peace Sport VIP scooter) with this:
It's a 2008 Titan Velocity 150cc with only 100 miles on the clock. I decided to call her Asuka after Asuka Langley from Evangelion franchise because........ well, because she's red.
(to ~The-Colonel-382: I am capable of buying something that is not blue )
The good thing is Asuka is virtually new, barely broken in. The plastic is low quality but still in great shape. She has potential to be a good reliable transportation. The bad thing is Chinese scooters are set up differently than typical motorcycles sold in the US, not to mention it may be assembled in a home industry by somebody who doesn't know anything about scooter/motorcycle, so some work is needed to make her run smooth.
Right from the start, there are several problems I see with Asuka:
1. Engine sputtering at high rpm
2. Low torque
3. Hard to start
1. Valve clearance is set up too tight. This is typical in Chinese scooters.
2. Carburetor is clogged. Chinese-made gas tank is sprayed with some kind of enamel to prevent it from rusting, but this enamel degrades with gas and clogs the jets
3. Vacuum leaks because of low-quality vacuum lines.
4. The engine runs too lean (i.e. not enough gas in the mixture)
5. The auto-clutch is not fully engaging (again, low quality material)
So right of the bat I put on 1/3 can of seafoam into the tank, see if it helped. Apparently not. The sputtering worsened. So I ordered some high-quality parts from scrappydogscooters.com and sulk in my garage during Christmas break.
Part 1: Valve Adjustment
Typical new Chinese scooter is set up with very little or no valve clearance at all. This may work in China but not in United States (or Kentucky in particular). Or, the dude that assemble this doesn't know squat about combustion engine. Either way, I had to fix it.
To adjust the valve, I had to get access to the cylinder head. Asuka's body is actually well designed, with a small window to get access to the cylinder head without removing a bunch of plastic covers. However, the window is too small to do anything. Perhaps it was designed for Chinese people with small hands and short fingers (I am not stereotyping, by the way ). I am medium built and I can't get anything from this window.
So that front plastic cover had to come off:
As you can see, there are 2 rocker arms which connected to the inlet and outlet valves. As with other typical new Chinese scooter, no valve clearance at all. First I adjusted it to .003" inlet and .004" outlet as most people in the internet suggested. No good. Coming down to .002". Still no good. The feeler gages stopped at .0015" so that would be my last modification until I can get smaller feeler gages. Fortunately it ran smooth at .0015". I can take some deep breath now
After that, I took it out for a run, see if it still sputtered. And lo and behold, it did. So the problem was not the valve. I was 99% sure it was the carburetor, either vacuum leak, running too lean, or clogged jets. Or any two of them. Or all of them. That's for the next step.
Part 2: Carburetor
The carburetor is buried deep inside the body so there is no other way to get to it but to strip the plastic covers (that rat hole will not work). First, I took off the luggage rack under the seat (one thing I love about scooters is it has enormous luggage room for such a small machine)
And then that side panel had to come off
I started taking off the vacuum / fuel lines, and I immediately noticed that some of the vacuum hoses were cracked. The hoses were mostly in good condition, but the tips were split. I suspect whoever assembled the scooter just forced the hoses into the pools (bear in mind these things may be assembled in home industries).
Now that the lines were out of the way, I took off the air duct, and look what I found:
There was a 14-mm wrench inside the air duct! What moron left his tool inside the air duct??? Damn Chinese home industries!!!
After I calmed down, I took out the carb. I removed the bowl to see the jets, and sure enough, the slow jet was clogged.
I used canned air to blow the slow jet (the one for cleaning computer keyboard), and after several minutes, all the holes were cleared. I think the seafoam weakened the clog so when I blew air through the jets, the clogs disappeared.
The main jet was clean, but it was a .105. I replaced it with a .125 jet hoping to enrich the mixture a bit (Chinese scooters are known to run too lean).
All jets were back in place, I moved on to the air-fuel mixture shown at the tip of my screwdriver:
This screw was set up way too rich. Normal setting is only 1 1/2 turns CCW from dead in, but this one was 5 or 6 turns CCW from dead in. So they put in a small jet, and to compensate that, they opened the mixture screw 5 turns CCW??? Really, the logic of some people... but again, this scooter was assembled in home industries by somebody who left his tool inside the air duct, so what can I say about his logic?
Alright, I set up the air-fuel mixture the way it should be (1 1/2 turns CCW), and in the carb go. Lastly I clipped all the cracked tips to make sure there was no leak. I also replaced the cheapo spark plug with high-quality iridium plug, and the cheapo, troublesome CDI with Koso racing CDI with unrestricted high RPM
Asuka was ready to go. Started the engine, and she roared at the 3rd try (gotta wait until the fuel filled in the float bowl). She breathed fire up to 7500 rpm without a single cough. I didn't push her past 7500 because she was still in break-in period. But it was much, much better than sputtering at 5000 rpm like she used to.
I really didn't know why she sputtered. Perhaps she ran too rich. Perhaps the vacuum hoses leaked. Perhaps the wrench restricted the air flow (I still want to hit the assembler in the head with that wrench!) Perhaps it was a combination of 2, 3, or all causes. I don't care. Now she ran great.
The engine ran fine, but it still wasn't torquey. Next time was for the CVT (continuous variable transmission) upgrade.
Part 3: CVT
Now that the "power plant" is working properly, it's time to upgrade the transmission. Power is transmitted to the rear wheel via belt, and this belt causes trouble in about 30% of broken Chinese scooter, so it has to go.
See that belt? That is a cheapo Chinese belt that won't go farther than 1000 miles. I replaced it with Bando Kevlar belt that had been known to go in excess of 10,000 miles.
The Kevlar one is on the right. It doesn't look too much different than the cheapo original.
I also used Koso racing slider for the variator to replace the original:
Doesn't feel too much different than the original but I know for a fact that she is now a trouble-free piece of engineering, ready to "please her master" (pun is NOT intended although I can see your dirty smirk)
So when you're buying a piece of engineering, you have 2 logical options:
A. High-quality but more expensive product that saves you from headache;
B. Low-quality but less expensive product, then rely on your engineering skills to keep it running
(of course, there's option C where you have a fetish for rare, collector's edition, illogically-expen$ive thing and buy it because you just have to have it, but that's a different matter)
I try to take option A whenever trouble is least expected, but once in a while I do option B just to appease my desire to be a complete engineer. I told a few people about this and their general response was "Dude, what are you doing?" My answer was "Well, I am an engineer. This is who I am."