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The story of my T80 so far

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The story of my T80 so far

Post  Chouse on Fri 28 Apr - 7:35

Right, you might want to put the kettle on for this one!

The story starts 20 years ago when I was a teenager who knew everything about anything. Me and a friend from school bought an old beat up T80 to use round the fields and generally wind up old people. It lasted about 3 weeks before another friend (who assured us was a competent rider) put it into the side of a parked van. After the police were finished with us my dad had his say and that put an end to any more field bike activities and also an end to seeing my mates for a while.

The whole thing should have put me off ever wanting another Townmate but over the years I've always thought about doing it legally. Sadly, my friend who i shared the bike with passed away last year. This got me thinking more and more about the old days and getting another Townmate. A couple of weeks ago i had a mad last 5 second bid on an '85 T80 and won. I was pretty pleased with myself as the photos seemed to show a nice useable little scooter. Moments before the seller opened the garage door i was rather excited that I'd soon be re living my youth on the road.

Then, he opened the door. My excitement was gone, i was staring at quite a rough badly running old bike that had clearly seen no love for a long time. I convinced myself all would be ok, chucked him way to much money and loaded it into the van. This is how it looked at this point....





To be fair, the bike's not about to fall apart. There is a lot of rust but no holes overall and I'm sure it would have gone through an MOT with a bit of love. However, if nothing was done about it now then the rust issue would soon jump up and bite me. With that in mind and knowing that I'd already finished off one of these 20 years previous i put it on the ramp and ripped it apart. The 2 main issues were the center stand shaft and the swing arm bushes being stuck. The key for the helmet lock was also missing so had to be cut off which was fine as i was planning to delete that anyway.

Luckily for me i have a lathe and a milling machine which means stuff doesn't stay stuck for long and i can make new parts to replace them with.











I've since sent the forks, swingarm and frame off to be sand blasted and powder coated. I've also ordered up all the parts i think i need to convert this bike to 12v and a more modern CDI setup from a pitbike. This will involve making up a new stator plate to hold the new stator along with the new pickup coil. I may also need to turn up a new tapered flywheel center but that will all become clear when it gets here. I realise there's an argument here about the reliability of the Chinese charging and CDI setup but to me the availability and cost far outweigh the cons. Pitbike CDI units are about £4 on your doorstep and the stator and flywheel owes me £25. I cant see a reason why it wont work as it's all a copy of C90 running gear and the layout of these engines are almost identical.

Back soon with an update for the 2 people who come on here Shocked ....

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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  JohnW on Fri 28 Apr - 18:58

Interesting story & thanks for putting up the pics. Looks like you have the skills & equipment to do a 1st class job. Is that a vintage car in the background? Yamaha did do a 12volt system on their home market T80's, the one for sale recently on eBay is 12v it also has an electric starter. They apparently used the same engine unit in the 80cc Raptor kiddies quad bike

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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  Chouse on Sat 29 Apr - 0:34

Thanks John, I've read up on the 12v conversion using Raptor parts. Looks like an easy swap to do but you still need to run the Yamaha ignition which is expensive to replace. I may end up going that route yet if this one doesn't work. Well spotted with the car too! It's a 1926 Model T ford which is my very long term project.

Had a couple of boxes delivered today ready for this weekends workshop lock-in. A rather large 4ah 12v gel battery and the new stator/flywheel setup.



My main concerns were the flywheel size and centre taper. The outside diameter and width are good and will fit under the cover without too much trouble. The taper in the flywheel bore is also the same but the diameter and keyway are larger so it sits to far back at the moment to work. This is an easy enough fix as I can bore the flywheel centre and turn up a suitable taper bush to sit in the bore.

Still with me? Good.

The stator plate is a much larger diameter but i was planning on turning up a new one anyway so that's not a problem either. The new seals for the stator plate also came today. I'm using a more common size center seal so it will be cheaper and easier to find should i ever need to replace it.



So far so good, a lot of machining work to be done but i should be on top of it all by the end of the weekend. I don't have a 3mm keyway broach yet to cut the keyway in the new flywheel but i can put it all together without to get the timing set correctly and then cut a keyway later to suit. The pickup coil will be mounted on slots so i can fine tune it afterwards.

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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  barker on Sat 29 Apr - 5:18

love the pictures wish I could do some of them jobs but ive only got a hammer
keep us informed as to progress

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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  JohnW on Sat 29 Apr - 22:49

You say the s/arm bushes were stuck, did you have any problem getting the spindle out as these normally rust into bushes.

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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  Chouse on Sun 30 Apr - 10:22

We all start out with a hammer Barker, never underestimate the hammer. Guess what my first choice of swing arm bush removal tool was?

John, The shaft came out fine. I thought the bushes would slide out either way not realising they were up against a shoulder. Made a puller and tried a slide hammer on a rawl bolt but neither worked. there was nothing wrong with them but the frame was going for powder coating so needed to come out. I have some 24x12 bushes which I will turn down to suit.


Had some workshop time today which I dedicated to the stator bracket. Anyone who has ever pulled this apart will know there are 2 major seals on this part, Crankshaft and outer stator plate O ring. I had ordered the seals for this so it was just a matter of turning up a stator plate to hold them and the stator. Not an easy task compared to previous bikes but easily do-able. Photo below shows the plate that came with the new stator and the billet I had available.









So far i'm pleased with the way the stator fits, it's just a matter of machining the flywheel centre to suit now. I'll make a bracket up for the pickup coil and weld that on after. I need to be happy with the cable arrangement and timing before this.

I think that makes sense, I may or may not of had a few beers tonight so might correct myself in the morning/afternoon.


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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  Chouse on Mon 1 May - 6:24

A bit more time in the workshop today. Now that the stator fits i can get the flywheel to fit and sit in the right place. I meassured the crank taper at 5 degrees and turned up a blank to suit a 22mm bore. Then i had to bore the flywheel center so i could push in the new taper. I clocked the flywheel up in the lathe so it was central and started boring. The pictures tell it better than i do....









I figured this would be the best way to go about doing the job as i could push the tapered bush in to suit the back spacing from the stator plate and make sure it all fit's under the original cover. When i'm happy with it i can weld it in and figure out the best place to cut the keyway to suit the timing. The next step is to machine up a suitable pickup coil bracket and weld it to the stator plate. I'm planning to make the pickup adjustable so i can advance/retard the timing to get it perfect. I also have to fashion up some sort of bracket to hold down the wiring to stop it rubbing the flywheel. I may just rob what was on the plate that came with the stator.

I'm happy with it all so far, i think this might just work.

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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  Chouse on Tue 2 May - 6:58

One last little update, I have to do some real work for a couple of days so wont have time for this old junk.

Mounted the pickup coil today. Measured up the distance from the stator plate to the centre of the trigger on the flywheel and found a suitable lump of aluminium.









and finally all sat under the original cover. The plan all along was to keep it looking original to the eye and able to revert back to standard should I have to.


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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  barker on Wed 3 May - 4:16

well above my skills , well done when can you do mine

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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  3hundredspartans on Thu 4 May - 0:27

Chouse wrote:Thanks John, I've read up on the 12v conversion using Raptor parts. Looks like an easy swap to do but you still need to run the Yamaha ignition which is expensive to replace. I may end up going that route yet if this one doesn't work. Well spotted with the car too! It's a 1926 Model T ford which is my very long term project.

Had a couple of boxes delivered today ready for this weekends workshop lock-in. A rather large 4ah 12v gel battery and the new stator/flywheel setup.



My main concerns were the flywheel size and centre taper. The outside diameter and width are good and will fit under the cover without too much trouble. The taper in the flywheel bore is also the same but the diameter and keyway are larger so it sits to far back at the moment to work. This is an easy enough fix as I can bore the flywheel centre and turn up a suitable taper bush to sit in the bore.

Still with me? Good.

The stator plate is a much larger diameter but i was planning on turning up a new one anyway so that's not a problem either. The new seals for the stator plate also came today. I'm using a more common size center seal so it will be cheaper and easier to find should i ever need to replace it.



So far so good, a lot of machining work to be done but i should be on top of it all by the end of the weekend. I don't have a 3mm keyway broach yet to cut the keyway in the new flywheel but i can put it all together without to get the timing set correctly and then cut a keyway later to suit. The pickup coil will be mounted on slots so i can fine tune it afterwards.

Hi Chouse,

You don't need to do anything to the ignition system if you are to convert the lighting circuit to 12V because they are completely separate and they work independently of each other.

It is a quick and easy conversion, the cost is minimal and parts are not hard to come by, particularly genuine NOS parts. I did the conversion myself with new genuine Yamaha parts for under £80 and it took me half a day and I didn't need to drill, cut, retro-fit, modify, weld or machine anything.

Although I admire your efforts here, I really don't understand why anyone would go to so much effort to do what you are doing at a time there are easier, quicker and cheaper options which are literally bolt on. Surely you could have sourced a YFM80 or even a YFM100 engine which are already 12V through and through and all you would need to do is install a starter switch on the handlbars or just live with the manual kick. scratch

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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  Chouse on Thu 4 May - 7:47

My bike had a few running issues and would only start after about 30 kicks. I looked into changing a few bits including the CDI unit and was shocked at the price. You can find NOS parts but how long for? A CDI unit from A J Sutton is just shy of £200. The charge coil and lighting coil are £65 and £52.

This setup is a much more modern charging system, parts are easy to find, cheap and have a better power output. You also have the advantage of aftermarket race CDI units and coils should you feel the need for more power. Granted, it wouldn't be a cheap modification if you were paying for all the work to be done but it currently only owes me £68 and a couple of days work. Everything can be put back to how it was should there come a time when these reach lambretta money.

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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  JohnW on Thu 4 May - 20:14

Genuine Yamaha parts are expensive (like most Jap spares these days) but there are still alot of good used parts around. CDI units regularly come up on eBay at around £45 I have sold a few at that price (no more left though) In fact the CDI unit & the ignition system generally does not give problems, & the 6volt ignition is very reliable. If the engine wont run properly there is usually another cause.
As for lighting a would agree that the 6volt system is abysmal & more so the indicators. But the Townmate by its name was designed as a commuter & therefore mainly used in urban areas with street lighting. The indicators are the issue as if they are not bright then they may not be seen in daylight, so a safety issue. Again 6 volt systems have been fitted to other bikes & scooters which seem to work OK, in fact Lucas made a system for British bikes. I think the main problem is the small capacity battery, a larger one would probably solve the problem to some extent. In fact the Lucas system used 21 watt bulbs not the 10 watt ones in the Townmate, but of course a bigger capacity battery is needed.
One other thing to be aware of if upgrading to 12 volt with higher wattage headlight bulb is the fact that the headlight reflector is made of plastic, an increase in wattage will bring extra heat from the bulb that can melt the reflector.

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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  3hundredspartans on Thu 4 May - 22:03

John, I agree with most of what you say, but have to disagree about the negative impact a 12V globe would have on the headlight reflector. I have run mine after the conversion for a while and the reflector is the same as it ever was.
As we have all seen on ePray lately with that Deluxe model, it was designed and built with a 12 volt system and I doubt that model would have a differently manufactured headlight reflector than the ones on ours but if the globes were halogen, then I would tend to agree, but the difference in temperatures imposed on the reflector by 6V or 12V incandescent globes is negligible. Plus, it is the wattage that makes the difference with heat generation and not the voltage.

Would a household 60W globe generate more heat than a 20W globe even though they both run on a 240V system? Definitely it would. Idea

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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  JohnW on Thu 4 May - 23:28

Be ok as long as wattage was no more that 35watt. The equivalent fitting for Townmate head lamp would be a 12v 30/35 watt. so you are restricted by the bulb design anyway. Standard 6v is 25/25 watt so extra 10 watts would not as you say cause too much heat. I have heard stories of car fog lamps (the ones that are built into bumpers) overheating and catching fire.
Another way of increasing to 12 volt is to rewind the main lighting coil.

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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  Chouse on Fri 5 May - 6:24

Not a great deal to update you with today. I made up a plate to hold the cables back to the stator plate so the flywheel doesn't rub through them. Ran the cables through a grommet and out of the engine. I also timed the whole setup up as best I could. This might be a bit hit 'N' miss to start with but I'm confident it'll work.

I should hopefully get the frame, forks and swing arm back tomorrow from powder coating. The timing has worked out well as i'm ready to put it all together now. I must also remember to drill a relief hole in the stator plate just before the stator. This way if the crank seal starts to leak it wont travel up the tube and get thrown round the stator by the flywheel.

Some photos of the finished setup....




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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  JohnW on Fri 5 May - 19:14

What are you doing re the lighting? ie still direct AC or DC from battery? Presumably you are using the voltage regulator from a Honda C90. What about ignition, is this on a separate self generating as per original T80. Thats always the best way as then if battery goes flat you can always start the engine.

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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  Chouse on Fri 5 May - 19:51

I'll run the lights D/C from the battery. The stator is 3 phase, one going to the CDI and 2 going to the regulator/rectifier. I bought a complete pitbike loom to make things easier which came with reg/rec and CDI unit. It's now just a case of plugging everything in and running. I will remove what I don't need from the new and old loom then make good what I have left after I know everything works.

Once I know it works i'll order up a spare reg/rec and CDI (£15 delivered) and carry them as a spare.

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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  barker on Sat 6 May - 3:21

the reason your t80 needed 30 kicks was probably same reason mine is a swine to start
float bowl runs dry over night so to get it started first kick I now turn fuel tap to prime kick it once started turn it back to run

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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  adespin on Sat 6 May - 5:04

That's odd !! why does it run dry overnight, has it got a leak? my T80 always starts first or second kick overnight.
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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  Chouse on Sat 6 May - 6:36

The float bowl must have had plenty of fuel as the accelerator pump was working fine. If I took the (new) plug out and heated it up then it would fire straight away. I don't really want to carry a blow torch and plug spanner round with me. I may need a high speed get away some when.

I got the frame, forks and swing arm back today. The colour is a mile off standard but looks real nice. It's going to look odd with everything else the original colour but i'll get the rest done another time. I'm just happy that I've stopped the rust getting any worse and can ride it all year round.




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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  barker on Sat 6 May - 8:35

never noticed this before but your photo looked just like a loo

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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  3hundredspartans on Sun 7 May - 23:50

barker wrote:the reason your t80 needed 30 kicks was probably same reason mine is a swine to start
float bowl runs dry over night  so to get it started  first kick I now turn fuel tap to prime  kick it once started turn it back to run


You have a stuck needle and seat so it stays stuck open. Try bending the spring on the float to have more tension on the needle so it seals properly in the seat and see how that goes. That is if you haven't done that already. You shouldn't need to turn fuel taps to able starting it. I have mine sitting for months and it starts with only a few kicks. Riding it daily, always starts fist kick. :d\\'-\\':

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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  Chouse on Mon 8 May - 8:11

Maybe these were drawn up on a Japanese toilet during a break?

Well today hasn't been great for this bike going back together. On Friday I turned down my 24mm swing arm bushes to fit the Townmate 23mm hole. The bushes were also 5mm shorter so turned up some spacers to allow for that. Pushed it all in fine and went back in the house. That night I realised I'd left out the tube that sits between both bushes! I tried to convince myself it's not needed but it is.

So today I've spent all morning getting them back out which meant destroying them. I took a trip to Fowlers in Bristol yesterday and picked up the last original pair in stock. Now all I had to do was squeeze the new ones in, nice and simple. Nope, even managed to break some 12mm stud where they went so tight. One side now has around 10mm to go where the other needs about 5mm. Hopefully tomorrow I can blag the use of someone's press and get these pushed all the way in.

That'll teach me for cutting corners and for not buying a press months ago when I was looking for one!

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Bush sizes amended

Post  JohnW on Mon 8 May - 20:22

If you need any more bushes RoBush http://robush.com/products/bushes-2/ can supply them in 4 different lengths. but some may need turning down to 24 mm od depending on the length required. What is the correct length?

Part No  ID   OD     IL      OL
RB3518 12 24 38 35
RB3542 12 25 28 25
RB2522 12 25 45 40
RB1061 12 25 54 50

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Re: The story of my T80 so far

Post  Chouse on Thu 11 May - 6:26

Thanks John, i'm sorted now thanks to the loan of a press by a local garage. It's amazing what you can do with the right tools.

I started bolting it back together last night. Really pleased with the way this thing looks. I'm almost tempted to blow more cash on it and do a full restoration but there are many other projects to do after and during this. Anyway, some photos....





Today I've got even more done. Widened the battery mount to get the bigger 12v battery in and started to wire things up.



I guess the big question is does it run?

Of course it does!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOltaIo4Bk8

I had my doubts but seeing as I was 5 wires away from getting it to run after mounting the battery I thought i'd try it. Baring in mind I had timed it up by eye to the markings on the pitbike flywheel I wasn't expecting much. Well on the 3rd kick it fired into life like it had left the factory with that setup! Since then it's gone on the first kick every time so I couldn't be happier with the £65 spent. Checked the battery while running and that's holding steady at 14.8 volts.

All I have to do now is figure out which wires to cut and join into the new ignition and charging from the old loom. Should be straight forward enough, I've already changed the bulbs but need to do the horn.

How it currently sits....



Did I say I was very happy with it? :d\\'-\\':

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