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Want a Motor-Scooter Now?

Here's How to Build One Yourself


Built out of odds and ends and junk pieces at a
cost of $46, this scooter covers four miles daily
and uses only six cents worth of "gas" per week.

of odds and ends and even junk pieces,


at a total cost of only $46. Not bad, is it?
I cover about four miles per day on my
scooter which uses about five or six cents
worth of "gas" per week. Weather per-
mitting, it has been in constant use for a
year, and it has "done its job" even in bad
weather. It starts and operates easily.
The entire frame was
made first. It is made of
salvaged aircraft tub-

W ARTIME re-
strictions on
manufacturing
and selling have made
it almost impossible to
ing, which is stronger
and lighter than other
tubing, and it takes a
lot of abuse. I used it,
also, because I had a
buy a new motor- lot of it on hand. Tub-
driven scooter. Despite ing of this kind, often
the great need of many discarded, can be had
"production soldiers" at almost any airport.
for some means of Thin wall conduit, for
rapid transportation to electrical wiring, could
and from work, an un- be used, but the air-
used scooter is seldom craft tubing is better.
to be had nowadays. The steering shaft
And as for a used mo- (see 1 in Figs. 1 and
tor scooter, well, I have 2) was turned out of
heard of one that orig- 1" round steel so as to
inally sold for $111 and fit the Ford V-8 gen-
which was recently re-
sold for $195 despite its
used condition. Both f a t h e r and son
So, do not scold me Johnny use the motor-
for taking some pride scootei. L o w e r picture
shows the placing of the
in the fact that I de- cushioned seat w h i c h
signed and built my makes riding easy and
own motor-scooter out comfortable.
erator bearings (marked 2 in Fig. 2). Then I a flat surface. I used the top of my work-bench
made the three plates (3 in Fig. 2) which sup- to mark it out. I used the same brake drum to
port the shaft. These were made of 1/8" flat steel shape the four pieces of tubing (7 in Fig. 1), the
which can be obtained in almost any junk yard. front ends of which were laid out with a block
Figure 3 shows the detail of the fork support cut to 65 degrees, to hold the pieces in position.
plate. The fork bearing support (8 in Figs. 1 and 2)
I used a Ford Model A brake drum for shaping was made out of 1-1/2" by 1/16" wall tubing, or
the fork (4 in Fig. 1) made of 7/8" tubing. I
welded on the two bushings for the front axle
(5 in Fig. 1) and used a spacer and a bolt for
the lower spacing of the fork and one of the
plates for the upper spacing (6 in Fig. 1). I
brazed the lower plate in place on each tube of
the fork. Then I placed the second plate (to
support the shaft) over the tubes and brazed it
to the lower plate just 1/8" above the lower plate.
The third plate was also set 1/8" above the middle
plate. That completed the lower part of the
front fork.
The rest of the frame (Fig. 5) was laid out on

FIGURE 1. Side ele-


vation, from the left.
In t h i s and other
plans, the numbers
refer to the details
described in full in Showing the brake drum and mud guard and the
the text. way in which the seat is hinged to the frame and
the air intake on the engine.

FIGURE 5. Here
is shown t h e BRAKE PEDAL'
plan of the hori-
zontal f r a m e
r u n n i n g from
wheel to wheel.
Again welding
was u s e d t o
p r o v i d e ade-
quate assembly
and strength to
the parts.
wise with a hack saw.
The upper half goes
over the bicycle han-
dle b a r s . B a n d s
around t h e tubing
piece take the bolts
and nuts which are
tightened to hold the
bars in position. I
picked up a used pair
of handle bars. They
had to be cut and
welded, to take out
the double curve and
then come s t r a i g h t
back. So there was
no point to buying a
new pair.
The top part of the
fork t e l e s c o p e s the
steering shaft (38 in
Fig. 2) and is also
used as the bearing
adjustment. A small
round g u s s e t 1/8"
thick is welded above
and below.
The seat frame (11
in Fig. 1) was made
of 1/2" thin wall con-
duit formed on the
same b r a k e d r u m
used for the other
tubing work. It was
welded in place. I
welded gussets across
the corners (12 in
Fig. 1) to hold the
cowling f a s t e n e r s
which I bought at an
airport for about a
dime apiece. I ob-
tained the scat (13 in
Fig. 1) from a motor-
cycle shop. It had
been used on the rear
carrier of a motor-
cycle. The seat is
hinged at the front to
gain access to the
engine.
For power I used
a 1/2 hp. Briggs and
conduit, which will just take the generator bear- Stratton engine originally made for a washing
ings without much machine work. I telescoped machine. It runs the scooter at about 18 m.p.h.
a piece of tubing in the bottom and on the top More speed would be much better. The scooter
pressed the bearing race into position in the tub- could take up to 1-1/2 hp. motor which would then
ing and tack welded it. give a traveling speed of 35-40 m.p.h. The motor
The entire upper part of the fork (9 in Fig. 2) must be placed to turn in the right direction.
was made of 3/4" o.d. wall tubing which telescoped The pulley (14 in Fig. 1) I made up of two
the 7/8" wall tubing of which the lower part of 2-1/2" V-pulleys which I cut in half and adjusted
the fork was made. by moving the sides closer together or farther
To the top ends of the two side pieces of 3/4" apart, which makes (he pulley smaller or larger.
wall tubing. I welded a cross piece of tubing (10 In dirt or snow the scooter has more power with
in Fig. 4) and then sawed that in half length- the smaller pulley. The pulley was fastened on
(18 in Fig. 6). The whole assembly
FIGURE 4. Top of fork and is hinged on the rear axle tube.
handle bars. Old pair of
handle bars was cut, and To adjust the tension I used a Ford
parts rewelded, to get shape valve spring to tighten it and for
shown in the pictures of the release the pedal turns over cen-
father and son.
ter and compresses the spring and
releases the tension on the belt. The
clutch release pedal (17 in Fig. 1) is
laid out so that with the pedal it
passes over center and holds the
spring compressed. The sprocket
was turned to fit a small shoulder
to fit in the hub (19 in Fig. 6) and
serves as a bearing retainer on the
left-hand side of the wheel.

FIGURE 2. Lower part of the FIGURE 3. Fork support plate.


front fork. Welding played an Location of this plate is indi-
important role in the making cated directly to the left in Fig-
of this motor-scooter. ure 2.

with the screws which accompany it. The V-pul-


leys I obtained at a hardware store.
The 6" V-countershaft pulley (15 in Figs. 1
and 6) lies in Ford generator bearings the same
as the steering shaft. This countershaft was
turned to take the bearings. I turned the outside
to 1/2" on the sprocket side and also on the pulley
side. And I turned the middle to fit the bearings.
This shaft had to be turned so that the pulley
on one side of the bearings and the 10-tooth
sprocket on the other side would fit snugly.
There should be no play. The countershaft pul-
ley is mounted on the 1-1/2"xl/16" wall tubing
the same size as the fork. A narrow spacer is
tack welded in the center to hold the races in MOTORCYCLE BRAKE DRUM
place (39 in Fig. 6). There is a piece of 3/4" o.d.
FIGURE 6. Elevation, looking toward the rear of
tubing welded to the countershaft bearing hous- the motor-scooter. Nearly every part used was
ing. That telescopes into a piece of 7/8" o.d. tub- made from discarded material.
ing (16 in Fig. 1) and is held rigid by tightening
the clamp bolt. This is also the chain adjustment On the right-hand side, I used a motorcycle
brake drum (20 in Fig. 6) brazed to a Ford
Model A shock absorber housing (21 in Fig. 6)
spaced with a 1/8" pipe or tubing. Pipe will do
the job just as well as tubing and can be obtained
easily. Six bolts were used. The wheels have a
7/8" axle. For it I used a piece of 7/8" o.d. tubing
(22 in Fig. 6). For side play adjustment, I pressed
a washer on a piece of tubing that telescopes the
7/8" tubing (23 in Fig. 6), brazed a nut on the side
(24 in Fig. 6) with a set screw for the adjustment,
and to secure the whole assembly I ran a 5/8" bolt
all the way through. By removing the bolt, the
whole rear assembly may be removed.
The brake band was placed over the drum (25
in Fig. 7) and the anchors (26 in Fig. 7) tack
welded in place. By putting the drum on, you
get the right position without trying to measure
and lay it out. The lower band (27 in Fig. 7)
was made so the pin could be removed (28 in
Clutch and countershaft, exhaust system, and the gas Fig. 7) and the band dropped to drop the whole
tank below the engine are compactly assembled. assembly out. A rod from the brake arm (29 in
Fig. 7) goes straight to the brake pedal, the rod
being made of 1/4" welding rod.
The hood or engine cover (Fig. 8) was made
from two Ford rear fenders, one right and one
left, 1939 model. They were damaged, but I
didn't need very much of the fender; so, I just
used the back fenders which I cut to size and
welded with a V piece in the middle (30 in Fig.
8). Ford horn grilles, 1936, were used for air
intake openers (31 in Fig. 8) lined up with the
air intake on the engine, a Plymouth 1937 hood
grille being used as a top ventilator. I bent a
1/4" flange on the upper ventilator to stiffen the
hood and installed the Ford horn grille with the
original fittings. I punched a hole first to get

Engine cover was made from two Ford rear fenders.

FIGURE 8. Engine cover. Back Ford fenders were


cut to size and welded with a V-piece in the
middle.

the snips in and cut the openings to accommo-


date the size of the grille. Boeing cowling fas-
teners were used to secure the hood to the flange.
The mud guard is a flat piece of sheet metal. A
guard (32 in Fig. 1) had to be placed between
the engine and the wheel to keep the mud out of
the carburetor.
A bicycle front wheel brake control was used
as a throttle control. It clamps right to the han-
dle bars. I picked up a control housing in a junk
yard and used it for a control housing going back
to the throttle. The choke (33 in Fig. 1) is fas-
tened under the seat and also used as a stop for
the engine. This I also obtained in a junk yard.
body. The wheels are 12x3.50 Goodyear tires
and wheels roller bearings with 3-1/2" hubs.
I sprayed the hood with gun-metal finish. The
rest of the scooter, including engine hood and
front fender, I painted red with duco brush-on.
The running board is a piece of 16-gage sheet
metal cover with regular running board rubber
and molding. It is fastened on through the gus-
sets in the frame with a bolt in each corner.
Lubrication: Wheels come with grease fittings
as regular equipment. Other bearings I packed
with grease and a fitting in the countershaft ad-
FIGURE 7. Brake drum. This motorcycle brake
drum was brazed to a Ford Model A shock ab- justing tube (36). I drilled the top of the tube
sorber. and the lower part so that the grease passes into
the bushing on the axle and the bearings on the
The gas tank (34 in Fig. 1) is mounted directly
countershaft.
under the engine and holds approximately 3/10
of a gallon of gas. The tank I made out of 16- Muffler: A steel box 2" square with hack saw
gage sheet metal. The plate in the front of the slots cut in the side to quiet the exhaust. This
seating housing also covers the gas tank filler was connected to the engine by a short piece of
tap. The plate is secured with Boeing fasteners. flexible tubing, as shown in the pictures.
The headlight was an automobile cowl light The whole job cost as follows: Engine, $20.00;
picked up in a junk yard and operated with four wheels, tires, $8.00; and miscellaneous, $18.00.
flashlight dry cells. These are mounted in an Total, $46.00. And you may be very sure that I
aluminum tube fastened to the front fork. have had more than $46 worth of pleasure and
use out of this motor-scooter which I use daily
The tail light is standard bicycle equipment, a to go to and from my work.
tail light with one flashlight cell.
The front fender, I made up over a form of
wood. I made the wooden form the exact size
and hammered out each side separately and
formed it over the wood. The aluminum was
obtained in an automobile junk yard from an old
FORK ASSEMBLY LARGE VIEW
FIGURE 4. Top of fork and
handle bars. Old pair of
handle bars w a s cut, and
parts rewelded, to get shape
shown in the pictures of
father and son.

FIGURE 2. Lower part of the FIGURE 3. Fork support plate.


front fork. Welding played an Location of this plate is indi-
important role in the making cated directly to the left in Fig-
of this motor-scooter. ure 2.