Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ural 25k Service

To simplify keeping track of the maintenance intervals, I decided to do the 25k km service a bit early. Plus, I wanted to switch out the winter weight oil now that our daily temperatures higher. The thin oil flowed out the engine like water so maybe I should have done it a bit sooner. Very little swarf on the engine drain plug magnet but the sliver of steel from the lifter was there. I'm glad that it finally showed up and wasn't sitting near a bearing or something waiting to cause problems.

Just because I'm a little paranoid (plus it's easy to do), I checked the valve clearances yet again. All were as I had set them earlier (lower limit) and I readjusted them to the middle of the adjustment range (0.003" for both intake and exhaust). The gas mileage has been dismal since I put in the Napa filter so I'm assuming that it has a lot more resistance than the stock filter. I cleaned the original filter and put it back in place of the NAPA filter. I also re-installed the crankcase vapor recovery tank from Raceway. It's an 8 month item and will be removed once temperatures drop to be consistently below 0°F again.

Here is the list of tasks to be done as part of the 25k service.
  1. Change engine oil and filter. (Used 20w50 non-synthetic as that's all that was available)
  2. Change transmission oil. (Last change was with full synthetic. Mickey said that I can double the change interval)
  3. Inspect air filter element (Cleaned the original element with soap and water)
  4. Check carburetors while idling for synchronous operation (not done)
  5. Check:
    1. Adjustment of steering column bearings (checked, no issues)
    2. Tension of wheel spokes (checked, no issues)
    3. Toe-in and camber of the motorcycle and sidecar (checked in February)
  6. Lubricate:
    1. Lever pins (clutch lever was dry)
    2. Foot brake pedal shaft (I'm planning to install a grease fitting on the shaft so not done)
    3. Hinges of the foot brake pedal shaft and linkage. (done)
  7. Check condition and action of brakes (sidecar fine, rear break needed adjustment)
  8. Check tires for tread depth greater than 3/32" (no problem. Almost no measureable wear over the winter)
  9. Check fasteners for proper tightening. (checked the sidecar attachment bolts)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Just Like New

This is almost like getting a new bike, right? I finally installed the replacement speedometer courtesy of Ural (under warranty). It was an easy swap, remove a couple of nuts, remove the speedometer cable, remove the trip reset knob and the wires for the lights. Then reverse the process. Total time, maybe ten minutes. This post is to document the mileage on the old speedometer so the mileage could be added to the new one when needed. The speedometer cable was lubricated before being reinstalled.

The needle has broken free from the spring and the speed displayed is somewhat random though it was sitting at 90 mph for a long time. It's kind of handy to be able to look down and see approximately what my speed is. I had gotten pretty used to knowing my speed by what gear I was in and the rpm but it's still nice to have some validation. Especially since I only use the GPS when I'm on longer trips.

Thank you to JedR, another airhead and future Ural owner, for bringing the new speedometer up from Mickey, the Ural dealer in Anchorage. I believe JedR's new rig is getting here sometime next month.

And here is a short video from last nights speedometer test and this mornings commute. Nothing very exciting.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Too Much Sunshine

We are now above 12 hours of sunlight and, as you can see in the diagram, solar noon is now almost two hours late courtesy of DST on top of the skew put in place by the state of AK to be one time zone instead or four or five. As you may notice, I'm annoyed by both of these things. The weather services were reporting that the temperature this morning was +5°F but after I started my commute, it was obviously much warmer. No heated anything needed. My OAT (outside air temperature) gauge was reporting +25°F upon arrival at the university. Quite a difference. (And I believe the weather services were the ones that were wrong.)

In our absence, Spring has arrived in the interior. Evidence of this are the clear blue skies and way too much sun. By that I don't mean that there was too much daylight but it was just too bright. You can see that most of the snow has melted from the south-facing slopes. March is definitely one of the nicest months in Alaska as long as you don't mind a little snow.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Onion Snow

Someone referred to the yesterdays snowfall as an "onion snow". Apparently, that is a Pennsylvania Dutch saying with several meanings but either is appropriate. One is the last snow of the season and the other is it's time to plant your onions. Both made sense but was surprised at hearing the term.

  • n.
    Chiefly Pennsylvania A light snow in late spring, after onions have been planted.
We leave PA on a flight this evening and arrive in Fairbanks tomorrow morning with a 9 hour layover in Seattle. The warm weather in Fairbanks is apparently creating havoc again at least based on the text messages I have been receiving. Black ice, lots of accidents and cars and trucks sliding off the road. No snow on any roads today from Hershey, PA, to Philadelphia.