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Rescuing a Peugeot 102

Philip Wintersgill

About two years ago I was looking around in the local scrapyard for anything useful when I saw this unfamiliar moped.  It was a Peugeot 102, a moped I hadn't heard of before.  It was covered in rust and cobwebs, and the handlebars seemed to be badly bent.  I took the flywheel cover off to see if the engine would turn over, but found it was seized solid.  I decided not to bother with it.

A week or so later I went back to the scrapyard, and to my surprise found the Peugeot was still there, but it was now surrounded by scrap cars, with one nearly on top of it.  I decided to have a closer look and managed to pull it out from under the car.  The handlebars were not bent but were two separate bars clamped on to the top of the forks.  The pinch bolts had been slackened off and the bars twisted round to get the moped into the back of a car to take it to the scrapyard.

I decided I would ask how much they wanted for it.  The scrap yard owners have known me for years, as I used to work there, so I hoped it would be very cheap, but it was better then that, they gave it to me for nothing!

I thought that if I could get it running and up to MoT standard, then I could use it and take my Puch MV50 off the road to restore, as after 10 years of daily use it was starting to look tatty.  After I got the Peugeot home, I started to strip it down.  I took the head off, and with a piece of wood on top of the piston, a few sharp taps with a hammer soon had it free.  With the barrel off I was then able to turn the crankshaft.  After cleaning up the barrel and piston and reassembling, the engine needed no other work.

I then looked at the rest of the bike and found both chains badly rusted, the tyres perished, and all four brake liners worn out.  The engine covers, headlamp and petrol cap were missing, and the petrol tank was half full of water and leaves.  On the plus side it still had its numberplate and last tax disc, 31/5/89, so I had no trouble getting a V5 for it.  The V5 stated that the bike had been registered and used overseas, so it is possible it was a private import and possibly the only one in the country.  I then cleaned up the frame and gave it a quick respray, and wire brushed the badly rusted wheels and painted the rims silver.  I took one of the brake liners to a local motorcycle shop to see if they could match it up.  It turned out the liners are the same as those on a Batavus Go-Go, and they still had two sets in stock!

The petrol tank, which is plastic on this bike, was cleaned out with hot soapy water and then flushed out with petrol.  Putting the bike back together, I made an engine cover out of sheet aluminium, and replaced both chains.  I used one of those temporary petrol caps for cars, and found a headlamp off a Yamaha moped, which, with a bit of adapting, fitted the original headlamp shell.

It was now time to see if it would run, and to my surprise it started quite easily, but had a bad misfire, so I changed the plug, but this made no difference.  I then suspected a condenser fault and this was confirmed when I took off the flywheel cover and found the points flashing away like an arc welder!  I changed the condenser for one intended for a Ford Fiesta, and it then ran perfectly.  I then got two almost new secondhand tyres for it and it was off for an MoT, which it passed first time.  I then started using it as daily transport.  All went well for about 3 weeks, when just down the road from home the engine died and would not restart.  The ignition coil had burnt out so I had to modify it to use an external coil.  (See Philip's article in the October 2002 Buzzing -Paul.)  After its few teething problems, it has proved to be very reliable, and I used it for a year which gave me time to restore the Puch MV50, which is now finished and back on the road.  At the time of writing, the Peugeot has been stripped down for a second time, so I can restore it, and I hope to have a photograph in Buzzing when it is finished.

First published, October 2003

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