My ciao won't run properly

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This topic contains 13 reacties, has 5 deelnemers, and was last updated by Gerasimos Zagorianak 1 year, 3 months geleden.

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    Gerasimos Zagorianak
    Topic starter
    Berichten: 9

    Hello everyone and greetings from Greece.

    I own a 1989 single speed Piaggio Ciao. My mother bought it new and now it is my daily driver. It has 19.000 km now. At 9000 k(3 years ago) I fully disassemble it and replace everything that was bad. Also the moped wasn’t idling at all. The list was:
    – Stock cylinder bored to 38,4 with new piston and rings with new headgasket (copper) and new base gasket (paper).
    – Replace the stock exgaust to Gianneli Fire
    – New Belt
    – Replace gear oil.
    – New petcock and inline filter
    – Carb cleaned and everything was renewed except the nylon insert (couldn’t find one).
    – New jet. Stock was 49 clogged and went to 50.
    – New clutch shoes and starter shoes.
    – Installed flashers and battery and charging system.
    – New points and condenser.
    – New sparkplug.
    – New tyres.
    – I replaced the stock filter with a mallossi one, went up to 60 to make it work right, but turns out, no benefits, just increased gas consumption.
    – New petals
    – New chain gear and chain.
    – New steering bearings.
    – New front springs and rubber bushings.
    And many more.

    After a while, my clutch was loosening and the bell was damaged. After replacing the bell, the damage to the axcle forced me to change the crankshaft. I got one from ebay and put it in with new bearings and seals.

    Evwrything were great for a couple of years, till two months ago, the output shaft broke!

    I installed my stock crankshaft, put new bearings in, new gasket, new shaft seal, new base and head gasket and bored the stock cylinder to 39,4. Also new piston and rings.

    After assembling averything, it run poorly. No low end power and was stryggling to get up to speed. After a couple of days, the moped had no spark! I could smell the gas, but no spark.

    I went ahead and replaced everything related to ignition. New points, new condenser, new cable, pipe and spark plug. It worked, but still power was an issue. No low end power at all.

    Since that point I experiment with the carb.
    – Jet 50, stock filter (!)
    – Jet 60, stock filter
    – Jet 56, stock filter
    – Jet 50, mallosi filter
    – Jet 56, mallosi filter
    – Jet 60, mallosi filter (!)

    The ones with ! are the combinations that make the moped run. The others while opening the throttle, it makes the motor hesitate.

    I checked for leaks with soapy water and blow air through the intake to check for bubbles. My concern was that even with the piston at the top dead center, air was going through (roughly).

    This is how the intake port looks like.

    Is it possible I am leaking from there. Also I find a lot of fuel inside my air filter! It wasn’t like that before.

    Sorry for the long post, any help would be appriciated, really. I am running out of options here!



    Berichten: 2104

    Hi Gerasimos & Welcome,

    I think your crankshaft was swinging a lot before it broke, this swinging will perhaps made the inlet less closed and is now leaking, the photo of the inlet shows clear run-up tracks.
    Maybe its time for a other carter to get the power back.

    What is the weather like in Greece, would like to come back on holiday :thumb


    Gerasimos Zagorianak
    Topic starter
    Berichten: 9

    Thank you for the reply. I saw the marks when I dissasemble the motor for the second time, after I had replace the crankcase.

    Can it be filled somehow? Can a shop repair it with a filler and a lathe? Changing the motor requires, apart from finding one, paperwork to the police!

    I would like to believe that it is salvagable!

    Also from several photos I have looked, my intake port is already open quite enough from the factory. The crankcase has never been opened before.

    The weather is getting hotter and hotter here. We are already storming the local beaches on weekends! The covid epidemic has hold us back from taking short trips.


    Berichten: 2104

    The best way is to weld it with a aluminium TIG welding machine and then adjust it on the lathe or milling machine.

    Foto above was a attempt to make a speedengine from a original carter with a 19mm inlet but the aluminium from the Piaggio carters are welding bad, lots of air bubble comming in.
    Bud it dit drove for a while.
    Also : has a good product but you have to be sure to buy the right one.

    Succes and have fun 😉 oh and say hello for me to the nice girls on the beach 😛


    Gerasimos Zagorianak
    Topic starter
    Berichten: 9

    I talked to a shop repairing engine heads, and he said he might help me. I would try to fix it myself if he can’t help me. JB weld is not available in Greece, and buying online will take time. Post office deliveries suck at this time.

    I have found some products, like aluminum filler material for automotive use, able to withstand gas and oil is my next move. I am afraid because the port is circular!

    I will post here my results.

    Thank you for your assistance and tommorow I will vistit a beach nearby for a swim with the family!

    Best regards


    Berichten: 2104

    I think it would be interesting to see your approach :thumb
    Maybe it is time for me to take a look at this problem and try again with the new techniques to day.


    Gerasimos Zagorianak
    Topic starter
    Berichten: 9


    So this is what I got from the shop. The bubbles tha created the holes, propabpy won’t be a problem (I think).. I will start to put back the motor after I smoothen out the intake a bit.

    Crossing fingers that this will work……


    Herr Flick
    Berichten: 6879

    Hope it works out for you! If it doesnt work I can send you (free) carter with a nice inlet.

    46 Pinasco, Malossi RV, Schijfrem, Fox Vario
    Gele Racefrikandel

    Gerasimos Zagorianak
    Topic starter
    Berichten: 9

    I put everything back, but It doesn’t look good. Still no power at all at low revs. I am calling this a fail.

    Hope it works out for you! If it doesnt work I can send you (free) carter with a nice inlet.

    Please add me on facebook to give you my details. Also if you have any other part available, I am willing to pay for it. I am on the lookout for vario parts, especially for gears.

    Thank you for your help.


    Berichten: 2046

    Did you try blowing on the inlet when the inlet is closed by the crankshaft?


    Gerasimos Zagorianak
    Topic starter
    Berichten: 9

    SuperSi yes. Air is comming through, even with the inlet closed by the crankshaft. I believe since it is a metal to metal contact, an airtight seal is very hard.

    The shop filled it and the tolerance between inlet and crankshaft is almost 0.05mm. Can’t get any closer than this!

    Been testing the carb though, different combinations since now I have a 39,4mm piston!


    Gerasimos Zagorianak
    Topic starter
    Berichten: 9

    So finaly after almost 4 months of downtime, my Ciao runs fine. Thanks to the help of Herr Flick. He send me a replacement carter and after putting everything back, it held idle and was able to rev up easily.

    The shop although filled up the run down port, the inlet wasn’t airtight when the piston was traveling to TDC.

    I used new seals, new bearings and it started right up.

    Here is a video of the first start up.

    I really want to thank Herr Flick for his assistance, time and of course spare parts. I really love that this forum is so active and many people still run, maintain and tune ciaos, Si and Bravos.

    Thank you all for the replys too!

    Best regards from Greece!


    Berichten: 1493

    Sounds very good .
    Are you charging a battery or what on your backpacker?

    Gr. Wim.

    Een oude brommer is alleen leuk als sleutelen uw hobby is.

    Gerasimos Zagorianak
    Topic starter
    Berichten: 9

    Yes. It is a recrifier, an ac/dc converter and a voltage regulator along with a 6volt battery.  I use it mainly for my flashers. They are mandatory here. Police doesn’t have any problem with noise or speed (not always!) but flashers are needed.

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