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Stella bogging down?

 
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Gobigblue
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Joined: 23 Jul 2012
Posts: 22
Location: N. Kentucky
2009 Stella 2T

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:08 am    Post subject: Stella bogging down? Reply with quote

I am glad to have purchased my first Stella scooter. I was debating on whether to buy an older model Vespa (already redone) or a Stella. I chose a Stella and started looking around for a used one. I found a used 2009 with less than 100 miles on it, bought it, and brought it home the other day.

I have been reading a lot on here and other message boards as well as watching some YouTube videos on general maintenance of Stellas. I appreciate all that spend time to read, reply and share their knowledge on here.

Here is what I have done so far:
1. New spark plug
2. New spark plug cap
3. New Bellow (other was dry rotted)
4. Took Carb. top off and cleaned only idle jet and main jet, nothing else in carb yet though (I plan on cleaning fuel filter screen when my rubber seal come in)
5. Changed gear oil
6. New battery
7. Cleaned airfilter in carb. and the screen under the seat

Ordered from online store, not in yet:
1. Rubber seal for carb. top (not one on mine and looks like it had old silicon instead of rubber seal there before)
2. Plastic or Rubber cover securing screw that is missing off back of carb. (many on here say that it is not needed, but went ahead and ordered it)
3. Packing rubber piece for idle plug in carb. (not one there right now)

Current problems still:
1. Going up a hill I noticed it bogs down every now and then. I have to down shift, give it gas, and then I can usually shift back up in higher gear. (does it about 3-4 times per 8 mile ride)
2. Sometimes on flat road it does same thing, acts like it is running out of gas, I either down shift or let off gas and it then gets going again.
3. Fuel guage does not work. (Not too concerned because of reserve switch on Stellas)
4. The fastest I can get it going is 50 mph on flat land and bogs down a lot going up a pretty big hill. It took it a while to get to 50 as well. (I don't know if 150cc engines are supposed to take hills easily or not) I am used to a Honda Spree from my teenage years and Sprees definetly slowed going up a pretty good hill. How fast do Stellas go up hills?
5. I know this Stella mainly sat outside under a 2nd story deck for its first 3 years and was only riden less than 100 miles. Anything else I need to do to Stella initially besides addressing problems 1 and 2? I have put 100 miles on Stella since buying it.

Thanks for any help you can give a new Stella owner!
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Lokky
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

given that you have cleaned your carb and replaced the sparkplug and due tom the erratic nature of the issue my next guess would be that you have some gunk in the tank which is going to block the fuel line once in a while. The hills might be making it easier for it to do so.

Also to be honest a stock Stella doesn't really like hills in my experience. A performance pipe and eventually a kit do magic for allowing you to climb hills with it.


(also you might be seeing the effects of high summer humidity, less oxygen in the air means you will run richer than in the colder months and that may account for some)
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BuddyRaton
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do a full carb rebuild, not just the jets. Take the carb off and take it all the way apart for cleaning. replace all the gaskets, float and needle. Don't forget to change out the air box gasket and make sure there is a good seal there.
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Gobigblue
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Joined: 23 Jul 2012
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Location: N. Kentucky
2009 Stella 2T

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BuddyRaton wrote:
Do a full carb rebuild, not just the jets. Take the carb off and take it all the way apart for cleaning. replace all the gaskets, float and needle. Don't forget to change out the air box gasket and make sure there is a good seal there.


This is what I thought I would need to do. I just was hoping only cleaning jets would fix it because the whole rebuild looks more complicated. Is taking off the throttle and choke cable tricky or is it pretty easy?
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BuddyRaton
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gobigblue wrote:
BuddyRaton wrote:
Do a full carb rebuild, not just the jets. Take the carb off and take it all the way apart for cleaning. replace all the gaskets, float and needle. Don't forget to change out the air box gasket and make sure there is a good seal there.


This is what I thought I would need to do. I just was hoping only cleaning jets would fix it because the whole rebuild looks more complicated. Is taking off the throttle and choke cable tricky or is it pretty easy?



There are some really good videos and tutorials on carb rebuilds. It can be a little intimidating the first time but it really is pretty easy. Read up...print out the procedure...and keep track of your parts.

The first time may take an hour or two. If you feel like you're getting lost take a break and come back to it.

After you do it a couple times a full carb rebuild from start to finish...including removal and re installation is about a half hour. It really is a good starter project for getting to know your scooter!

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Gobigblue
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2009 Stella 2T

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will try this in the next few days and let you know how it goes. Thanks for the input. I love driving my new Stella. They are a blast. I just want to make sure someone isn't tailing me going 40 mph, my scooter die or bog down, and then they run over me. Thanks again.
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Robbie
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gobigblue wrote:
I will try this in the next few days and let you know how it goes. Thanks for the input. I love driving my new Stella. They are a blast. I just want to make sure someone isn't tailing me going 40 mph, my scooter die or bog down, and then they run over me. Thanks again.


I'll throw my $.02 in.
For now, wait till you get the bellows installed and the carb top and airbox correctly sealed.
We all agree these are on the lean side due to E.P.A. constraints.
With all these air leaks you may be feeling a rather unhappily overly lean engine......and yes, the hot weather makes it worse.

With the screw in plug missing, the top of the airbox leaking air, and the airbox getting only hot, undercowl air, you can visualize whats going on here.

Also, I am learning that many of the Stellas have had fuel delivery problems.....seems the fuel valve is not flowing freely in the on position and some have found the characteristics change if the valve is in the reserve position, flowing more fuel.......this info is from the Stellaspeed site.
Just something else to consider.

Good luck and congrats!

Rob
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Gobigblue
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2009 Stella 2T

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Rob. I will try that first since I already ordered those things. Then I will run to the scooter store and get me a gasket kit if it does not work. Thanks again to all for the help!
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Gobigblue
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Location: N. Kentucky
2009 Stella 2T

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I need some more help. Here is the update on my Stella problems.

Before I did anything to the carburetor, Tuesday it died coming home at a stop light. It took about five minutes to get it started again, but it finally did and I made it home.

I did a complete carb rebuild.

I turned the idle screw a little clockwise to make it idle a little faster.

It still took a while to start it, but it finally started. I took it on a ride, got about a mile in, and it died coasting down a hill. The only way I could get it started back was in 2nd gear by "popping the clutch" (like you do a car) It wouldn't start with electric start or kick start. It went a little ways and then did the same exact thing. Now it won't start.

1. I pulled spark plug, put thumb over hole, and it pushes my thumb off the hole when I kick start it. It is getting compression.

2. I went ahead and changed spark plug again just to make sure it wasn't a bad plug.

3. Checked to make sure plug was getting spark and it was.

4. When I had the carb a part, I turned the gas on to make sure it was coming out the fuel line and it was.

Question: If it has a spark, has compression, and the carb is sealed up and getting gas, then why won't the thing start? If it does start, it dies coasting down a hill.

I am about to give up trying to fix it myself, get out my checkbook, and take it to the mechanic. I just hate doing it. Any suggestions on what to try next is greatly appreciated.
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Robbie
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gobigblue wrote:
I need some more help. Here is the update on my Stella problems.

Before I did anything to the carburetor, Tuesday it died coming home at a stop light. It took about five minutes to get it started again, but it finally did and I made it home.

I did a complete carb rebuild.

I turned the idle screw a little clockwise to make it idle a little faster.

It still took a while to start it, but it finally started. I took it on a ride, got about a mile in, and it died coasting down a hill. The only way I could get it started back was in 2nd gear by "popping the clutch" (like you do a car) It wouldn't start with electric start or kick start. It went a little ways and then did the same exact thing. Now it won't start.

1. I pulled spark plug, put thumb over hole, and it pushes my thumb off the hole when I kick start it. It is getting compression.

2. I went ahead and changed spark plug again just to make sure it wasn't a bad plug.

3. Checked to make sure plug was getting spark and it was.

4. When I had the carb a part, I turned the gas on to make sure it was coming out the fuel line and it was.

Question: If it has a spark, has compression, and the carb is sealed up and getting gas, then why won't the thing start? If it does start, it dies coasting down a hill.

I am about to give up trying to fix it myself, get out my checkbook, and take it to the mechanic. I just hate doing it. Any suggestions on what to try next is greatly appreciated.


Two thoughts......fuel line slightly kinked or misrouted or/and, fuel cap not venting properly causing a vacuum to develop in the fuel tank, stopping fuel flow.
So, if you see no issues with the fuel line, try operating it with the fuel cap installed loosely so it vents between cap and gasket.

Rob
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desmolicious
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If what Rob suggests does not work, then you're looking at checking the CDI (ignition box) and if that is not it it may be soft seizing.

Just because it has spark at idle does not mean it is giving spark at all rpms.
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Gobigblue
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Location: N. Kentucky
2009 Stella 2T

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rob,

Just tried loosening the gas cap and starting. Wouldn't start.

When I had the carb apart, the gas came out of tube feeding in to carb pretty good when I turned gas on.

Do you think the kill switch could be messed up? It always dies or starts to sputter when coasting down hills. Now it won't even start to do that. But you would think if it was kill switch it would do it at different times.

Any other suggestions to try?
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Gobigblue
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only thing I have not messed with is the mixing screw on the back of the carb. Would that have anything to do with this problem?
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Robbie
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gobigblue wrote:
The only thing I have not messed with is the mixing screw on the back of the carb. Would that have anything to do with this problem?


The screw you describe is the idle mixture screw.
It would not create the situation you describe.

If misadjusted, you would have a poor idle, either too rich or too lean but it would operate the same whether you rode it ten minutes or two hours.

Rob
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ericalm
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robbie wrote:
Gobigblue wrote:
The only thing I have not messed with is the mixing screw on the back of the carb. Would that have anything to do with this problem?


The screw you describe is the idle mixture screw.
It would not create the situation you describe.

If misadjusted, you would have a poor idle, either too rich or too lean but it would operate the same whether you rode it ten minutes or two hours.

Rob

Idle screw or air/fuel mix?

What's your plug look like?

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talindsay
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few thoughts:

This scooter has what, 100 miles on it? Remember it's not broken in yet. Two-stroke Stellas have a long break-in, and I certainly wouldn't be taking one with that few miles out for 50-mph sprints yet.

When it's died on you going downhill you always had the clutched pulled, i.e., the engine was idling and the scoot was coasting, right? If so, then it's probably not a serious engine issue. If the clutch was engaged and sending power to the rear wheel though, I'd be super concerned about a soft-sieze due to a lean mix combined with oil starvation.

Just in general though, this engine is in early stages of break-in, and god knows what state the 2-stroke oil is in if it's been sitting for three years. It needs a gentle break-in, nothing that involves 50 mph speeds. Take it real easy with this until you've put a couple hundred miles on it. Those rings are still pretty rough at 100 miles, and the long-term disuse certainly isn't doing you any favors.

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Gobigblue
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2009 Stella 2T

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ericalm wrote:
Robbie wrote:
Gobigblue wrote:
The only thing I have not messed with is the mixing screw on the back of the carb. Would that have anything to do with this problem?


The screw you describe is the idle mixture screw.
It would not create the situation you describe.

If misadjusted, you would have a poor idle, either too rich or too lean but it would operate the same whether you rode it ten minutes or two hours.

Rob

Idle screw or air/fuel mix?

What's your plug look like?


The one I have not touched is the air/fuel mix on back of carb. I only adjusted the idle screw a tad to make it idle just a little bit faster.
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Gobigblue
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

talindsay wrote:
A few thoughts:

This scooter has what, 100 miles on it? Remember it's not broken in yet. Two-stroke Stellas have a long break-in, and I certainly wouldn't be taking one with that few miles out for 50-mph sprints yet.

When it's died on you going downhill you always had the clutched pulled, i.e., the engine was idling and the scoot was coasting, right? If so, then it's probably not a serious engine issue. If the clutch was engaged and sending power to the rear wheel though, I'd be super concerned about a soft-sieze due to a lean mix combined with oil starvation.

Just in general though, this engine is in early stages of break-in, and god knows what state the 2-stroke oil is in if it's been sitting for three years. It needs a gentle break-in, nothing that involves 50 mph speeds. Take it real easy with this until you've put a couple hundred miles on it. Those rings are still pretty rough at 100 miles, and the long-term disuse certainly isn't doing you any favors.


I bought it with 81 miles on it. It now has 260 miles on it after 3 weeks of riding it. I only got it to 50 mph for about 5 seconds. Almost all the miles I have put on it is stop and go around town not going over 35 mph.

When coasting down hill at 20-25 mph, I didn't touch the clutch. You can tell it starts sputtering though while coasting and then dies eventually. That is when I pull the clutch in to let it keep rolling.

How do I check to make sure enough oil and gas are coming out the supply lines? I turned the gas on with fuel line disconnected from the carb and it flowed out of tube. I pulled the oil supply line to the carb and the oil came out of it as well. I don't know how else to test it. I would still bet the engine is not getting enough fuel some how. Any other suggestions I could try besides taking it to the shop are greatly appreciated? I can't get it to start any now.

It does have a whole new tank of gas and gear oil. I added a half of quart of oil when I bought it but did not change the oil. I guess I could go ahead and give it an oil change as well
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Gobigblue
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A side note that may or may not mean anything. I pulled the carb twice now and each time there was gas sitting below the float. I don't know if that means it is getting enough or not though. Once the oil exits the clear supply line entering the carb, how do you know that it continues its path freely to the engine after it exits? Just trying to learn. As you can tell by my post, my dad never taught me anything about engines Sad
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BuddyRaton
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

desmolicious wrote:
If what Rob suggests does not work, then you're looking at checking the CDI (ignition box) and if that is not it it may be soft seizing.

Just because it has spark at idle does not mean it is giving spark at all rpms.


Starting to sound like CDI to me too. Check your wires and boots at the CDI....sometimes they dry rot

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Gobigblue
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is getting above my head. I just loaded it up and took it to the shop. I will let you all know what they say about it. Thanks for all the input. I am learning a lot about engines, etc. from you all and appreciate it.
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Gobigblue
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is what the shop called and told me this evening:

Checked and said okay:
Compression good
Kill switch good
CDI good

Checked and said not working:
Electric spark. Said you can see a spark when grounding the plug and trying to kick start (which is what I saw as well), but the spark doesn't stay and is intermittent at higher rpm's. Now there is not a spark at all which tells me why the thing won't start at all now.

Conclussion:
I need a new Back plate (a.k.a. stator or scooter's version of an alternator) So it did end up being an electrical issue. $80 part and and hour to replace with new one. Hopefully back on the road after that.
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talindsay
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting, any hypothesis from the shop about why the stator went bad? I've never heard of a stator going bad that quickly unless it was somehow damaged, but it doesn't seem likely yours was damaged. Hopefully that fixes it for you, I think it would have taken a long time here before anybody suggested the stator.
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BuddyRaton
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did they check it with a VOM? I can't remember the details but the Haynes red book lays out the procedure for testing each coil
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Bcon
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you run some Seafoam or other cleaner through the tank? Water can cause the problems you're having also. Sitting outside that long, I'd take a good look at the fuel and the inside of the tank.

If you're riding it with all the stock exhaust and jetting while having a missing airbox seal and boot, it could be running lean and getting hot, which could also lead to your symptoms.

Of course it could be electrical as the shop has found, but like others, I haven't really seen that happen with a Stella. Corrosion from sitting outside can cause all kinds of odd issues though.

Good luck sorting it out, you'll get it! Once you do, it's a good feeling.

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Bcon
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and to check the oiling system - ride it a bit, remove the carb box cover, open the throttle, and wipe a Q-tip on the small hole on the inside of the carb bore where a small hole exits into the bore. This is where the oil gets pumped in, and if there's oil on the Q-tip you'll at least know the oil is getting through the carb system and into the engine.

I guess this doesn't mean it's getting as much as it needs, but these rarely fail unless the carb box gasket are all messed up and if so the oil would get pumped out all over the engine from under the carb box.

If you've had the oil supply tubing off, I always run a tank with some oil mixed in the fuel until I'm sure everything is primed and working again.

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double-o-soul
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds like it could be a decrepit wire or wire connection. Mine had a similar problem where movement of the bike rendered idling differences or cut outs.
Guys at the scooter shop told me that whenever the idle is affected by some kind of movement (going downhill in your case) it's a hint that the problem is electrical.
In my case, the plastic piece that connects my spark plug wire to the ignition coil was falling apart and sporadically completing the circuit. This lead to a number of false diagnosis such as the timing being off.
plug was black as if it was running too rich,
idle would fire sporadically as if the timing was off.

after taking the flywheel off and messing with the timing, trying a number of different jet combinations, taking apart and rebuilding the carb, all it took was a new connector for the ignition coil. :-/
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double-o-soul
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh a good way to diagnose all that is to get the bike to idle, then take off the cowl and jiggle the wires one by one. if the idle changes when you jiggle one of the wires, bam, there's your electrical problem.
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Gobigblue
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Picked my Stella up this evening from the scooter shop. They switched out the stator for me and know it runs great. They said every now and then a stator will go bad. Now I can enjoy it again. Thanks to everyone for the help and input I received on here.
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BuddyRaton
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gobigblue wrote:
Picked my Stella up this evening from the scooter shop. They switched out the stator for me and know it runs great. They said every now and then a stator will go bad. Now I can enjoy it again. Thanks to everyone for the help and input I received on here.




Thanks for the update!


Now go ride!

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rkplw
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'05 Stella 2T

PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:16 am    Post subject: OK Late reply, bogging down but CDI connect Reply with quote

Maybe some of you are still on this, though doubtful. But your insights were helpful. My Stella was bogging down sporadically, then became undriveable. Tried sparkplug a couple times, cleaned carb maybe three times, and drained gas. (even though I have only used ethanol-free, with an occasional shot of sea-foam). And it kept getting worse. I figured I messed up the jets or the cleaning or fouled up something - I am no mechanic. I started checking wires as mentioned... and the CDI connect was completely loose. After re-securing, it seemed to drive without bogging down. And with a couple trips round the block has gotten back to running smoothly.

Mine sounded like an air-gas/carb or worse issue, but ended up "electrical" (hopefully) and more like, operator error; as I'm guessing the CDI connect got loose on a sparkplug replacement.

Thanks to all those who posted years ago, and heads up for the next scooterist.
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