The project has begun! Might as well blog as much as I can.
A friend brought over the Vespa 50S frame last weekend. The purchase also a new front fender (nice!), a new horncast (plus the old one), a new headlight, the seat, rear shock, engine access door, and both 10" wheels, including hubs, brakes, rims, and fairly worn tires. He also gave me the gas tank. Maybe I'll turn it into a trophy for one of my club's future rallies.
The frame is at least 35 years old and has acquired quite a few coats of paint as well as some rust and not a small amount of dirt. I spent some time today just scraping chunks of clay/road grime/2-stroke exhaust off the engine compartment and the underside. I bought the basic Vespa repair manual, although half of it I won't need since it deals with the engine.
I bought the brushless 3-phase Mars motor on ebay from Team Delta, and also bought a Sevcon controller. They both arrived Thursday. I also got a contactor from them, since it seems like a good idea, and that arrived today.
I ordered two 36V 20Ah LiFePO4 batteries from Sam at Yesa. I asked him to reconfigure one of them so it would fit in the frame better, and he said it would be no problem. He let me know on Thursday that they shipped from China. I plan to hook them up in parallel.
I ordered the Secrets of El Ninja, since I haven't built anything like this before, and I want to make sure I don't miss any important details. It hasn't arrived yet.
So far it looks like everything will fit, although I don't think the engine is going to fit completely within the engine compartment. I think I'll have to leave the engine access door on the right side off and let the motor hang out. Probably better for ventilation anyway.
The major task ahead is building the swingarm (still might try to use a dead smallframe engine case if I can find one). Once that's in and I get the drive system working, I'll have to spend some time working on the suspension, brakes, and other bits. Then I'll take everything off again and have the frame sandblasted and painted. It's going to be a long project.