Monthly Archives: May 2013

Re-snaking an expansion chamber

Unfortunately, the images to this post were lost in a server crash.  i’m preserving the text in case it is of any help to anyone.

Here is the Ape 50.

There aren’t any really high-end exausts available to fit this, so we are going to modify and re-snake a Hammerzombie pipe to fit it.

First thing i did was get access to snake the exhaust.

As i currently do not have the fuel tank installed or any fluids in the engine, it was a simple matter of removing the battery and tipping it on it’s side.

This is the Hammerzombie, in it’s unaltered state. A great smallframe pipe.But, when put on an Ape,  the truck bed got in the way of the header, and the differential got in the way of the main body of the pipe and the axle got in the way of the muffler.

so, we’re going to fix that.

First, we had to cut the header along the seam in it and rotate it to get it away from the truck bed.  we used this cut off saw, but found out later the band saw would have gotten us a better cut.

Here we are, cutting the second cut.

It looked good, so we tacked the header together at the first pipe with a TIG setup.

And then did a test fit.

This went well. So we did the next cut.

We tried the band saw, but on this large section of the pipe it was deflecting to much, giving us not a straight cut.

So we got it most of the way with the thinwheel, then switched back to the bandsaw to finish off the cut.

And then a test-fit. and then tacked together.

we were worried a little about the pipe coming too low, and killing the ground clearance.

We tried another test fit. We ended up going with a slightly different routing on the final weld, though.

And here is the pipe fully welded and good to go, except for the bracket modifications.

And here we go. the final picture. looks a bit different than the standard Hammerzombie.

All in all, i’m happy with it. we just need a piece of  1″ angle stock and an exhaust clamp to make the bracket and it’s good to go.

Reinstalling the Ape 50 engine

Unfortunately, the images to this post were lost in a server crash.  i’m preserving the text in case it is of any help to anyone.

Here’s a write up on reinstalling the Ape 50 engine.

it’s going to be more write up than photodocumentation, as i didn’t take too many good pictures of this step.

So, in this picture I have the front engine mount bolt in place, and both axle shafts removed. i’ve also removed both the rear shocks as I planned to replace them anyway and this seemed like a good time to do it.

Of note, you’d typically want to have the cooling shroud on the cylinder, but I left it off since I have to modify an exhaust and figured that would make it easier.

Next, swing the engine up into place and bolt up the engine cradle.

Then, I replaced the rear shocks.

Here’s a shot of the old shock and spring next to the new shock. These shocks were pretty reasonable. I’d recommend replacing them if you have an ape 50.

To get the shocks out, there’s two covers held in place by two screws each in the truck bed. remove these  to get access the top shock mount. remove these nuts top and bottom to get the shocks out.

Then you install the half shafts. These slide in, and then there is a thrust washer that goes against them. Of note is that this washer has a tab on it. This tab has to line up with a corresponding notch in the differential.

Then you install the circlip.

At this point, you’d probably hook up all the electrical and the control cables. I have other things to do first so i didn’t.

Assembling the ape 50 engine and differential

Unfortunately, the images to this post were lost in a server crash.  i’m preserving the text in case it is of any help to anyone.

Alright. sorry this has been a few weeks late but here it is; assembling the differential and engine on an Ape 50. It’s been a busy spring here at Hodgespeed.

So, here you have the four engine case bits for an Ape 50 and the differential. First you’ll have to swap the cylinder studs for the longer 125 studs if you’re upgrading displacement as we are.  you’l also need to install the Christmas tree in the flywheel side case and the clutch basket in the other main engine case along with all bearings and seals.

Now, attach the inner differential case to the clutch side case.

Here you’ll see the first mistake i made. You need to insert the three differential cover bolts on the left hand side in this picture into the case, before bolting the two pieces together. otherwise, there’s no way to get them in the holes, similar to those two annoying case bolts on a handlebar bike engine. save yourself the do-over and put them in before you bolt these case bits together. you need to use gasket goo (witch i personally dislike) on this joint. there is no paper gasket.

Now, insert what is the rear axle on the scooter, but is the output shaft to the transmission on the Ape. make sure to line up the shifter with the shifting fork, and get the gears lined up with the christmas tree. some people like to install this shaft and then put the gears on, as it is slightly easier that way.

Next, we’ve got to put the differential together.

Here you see how all the internal bits go together. it’s pretty straightforward. three gears and a shifting fork for the reversing gear. gasket goo again here, no paper gasket.

Now, back to the other side. from here it’s like a regular smallframe except way simpler because there is no kickstart mechanism. i never realized just how much work that added getting that lined up, but this thing just flew together in no time compared to a scooter smallframe case because of this omission. no runner biffers to install, not spring to fiddle with, no quadrant to line up. just set the parts in the engine and bolt together.

First you install the crankshaft, then grease the gasket surface.

Then you put the gasket on.

Then you grease the gasket

Then you install the flyside case.

If you’re using 50cc-style ball bearings, you’ll have to tap into place. if using the needle style bearings used in all other displacements, it’ll just slide right on.

Notice these two case bolts:

Leave those out for now, because you need to use them to install the engine mount.


Now, install the crank gear. to get good speed you need to go way higher than you’d think, as there is a 1.68:1 reduction in the differential. as a result, the gearing i went with was so tall i needed to clearance the case a little to fit it.

now install the clutch.

Then install the clutch push plate and cover, repeating the grease-gasket-grease from earlier.

Install the top end.

And here’s the issue i found. Most scooter carb setups do not work with the Ape because of the T-shaped engine mount. The reed block will not go together here. the solution? Polini makes a reinforced performance engine mount. here they are side-by side.

the mounting points are the same, but it is Y-shaped to clear whatever carb you want to run.

See? the carb manifold now fits. Here’s another shot of it.

And now to resolve one of those weird little things. there’s a hose that goes from the stock carb to the intake tract, and i didn’t bother to look too hard at it to figure out what it did. needless to say, the 25mm carb doesn’t have this bit, and I’m just going to close it off for my build.

I used a bit of stainless rod in some vynil tubing, and then put that over the nipple on the case.

now, install the stator and flywheel. And here we have another issue. the electric start gear interferes with the malossi 136. score the cylinder fin with a cutoff wheel and then grab it with pliers and break it off. use a grinder to clean it up and to clearance it so it doesn’t rub.

install the flywheel cover and cooling shroud and it’s pretty much ready to go in the bike.

next installment we put it in place and possibly wrestle an exaust snaking.