Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Mid-week Update

On Monday morning, I was flying to Anchorage for a meeting and took this snapshot of the Tanana River. It definitely looks like Fall here in the interior with hardly any shade of green remaining. Even though it does look a bit dreary, the weather in Anchorage was cold and wet. At least it was dry in Fairbanks.

Tuesday was spent upgrading devices to the new iOS. The 9.7" iPad Pro was registered in the Apple Beta program so it received the update last week. Today was the iPhone and the Apple Watch. Both went without incident though the watch update process took several hours. I think it was because the new OS was transferred to the watch via Bluetooth.

I'm still digging into them looking for any real benefits. The new Siri watchface (pictured) is probably not one of the real benefits though Siri on the watch has always been much better than on the phone. I've been running the public iOS betas since July and like the new features though it seemed to increase battery consumption. Hopefully that has been addressed in the final release.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ural Alternator

On Friday, I pulled the Ural alternator after noting the position of the slotted bolts. I could still see the punch marks I made when I overhauled the engine. The slots are used to set the gear lash between the alternator drive and the cam timing gear. After removing the drive from the alternator, I tried to measure any play. I could feel a very slight amount when putting pressure on the cush drive but it wasn't enough to even try and measure. Just to make sure, I disassembled the drive by pulling the drive gear then pushing out the shaft. There was an internal snap ring holding the bearings in place. This was easily removed followed by the bearings. The bearings looked good, very smooth movement. I removed the dust cover from one side of the bearings and there was still plenty of grease.

After reassembling the drive, mounting the alternator to the drive, and reinstalling the unit, I went for a short ride. I could still hear the whine but I guess it must be normal. No pictures as everything was good. Total time was maybe half an hour.

Last Spring, SueL had mentioned that she wanted a sidecar ride. Saturday was a great day for riding. Clear and sunny. We went around the Chena Ridge-Chena Pump loop and the Fall colors were wonderful. She mentioned that the view from the sidecar was much better than when riding pillion. Of course I pushed the concept that they needed a sidecar rig. And I know for a fact that the BMW they have would pull a sidecar around just fine but I'd look for something more comfortable than a Cozy. (They had picked up my '83 R100RT last Spring) I nabbed this photo from her FB feed as I forgot to take one. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Day Trip to Denali

After meeting of coffee with the regulars on Wednesday, I headed towards Denali National Park with the truck. I opted to not take the Ural since rain was in the forecast and the Roadcrafter still hasn't come back from Aerostitch. I visited with fellow blue/white Ural owner, BruceW, in Nenana. His rig is still in Delta with Mickey getting the engine worked on after his engine hydrolocked last Spring. Mickey mentioned that it was so locked up that it was almost impossible to get it out of gear. That sounded pretty serious. After a short visit, I continued on towards "Glitter Gulch", which is what the very touristy section of the Parks Hwy north of the park entrance is called.

I met up with Lynn, the author of motoblog Curvyroads.Info, and Jerry at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. They are on the land portion of a cruise and the park was as far north as the tour went. After talking at the hotel coffee place, we went to the 49th State Brewing Company which is about 10 miles north in Healy, AK. I had not been there before but my son, Tim, really recommended it. The food and company were wonderful. On the way back to the hotel, we saw three moose in a pond. Unfortunately, I didn't think about stopping for a picture.

There was a pretty strong wind in the canyon blowing north giving me a nice tailwind but it died down by the time I was halfway to Nenana. The remainder of the drive to Fairbanks had beautiful light shining on the trees. There was hardly any traffic and I arrived home shortly after sunset. It was a nice way to spend the day.

Thursday was clear and mostly sunny but it was in the 30s (°F) in the morning. I thought that it may be a good idea to winterize the water system in the RV. I brought about 1½ gallons of RV antifreeze for the pump and the traps and used the small motorcycle air compressor to blow out the hot and cold water lines. I already drained the water heater and switched the bypass. After blowing out the lines, I opened the low point drains. I pumped anitfreeze through the pump but not into any of the water lines. The manager of the RV repair facility said that they were targeting it to be done next week even though they haven't started any work at all.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Ural National Rally - Not

The Ural National Rally was today (Saturday, September 9th) and, no, I didn't participate. In fact, I never bothered to register since I wasn't sure if the rig would be on the road. But I did manage to get the Ural out and about a several times. It was too nice of a day to not test the transmission. After morning coffee and a stop at the Farmer's Market, I noticed a slight loss of power on hills. It was then that I remembered that before pulling the transmission, I made a point of using up most of the gas in case I needed to remove the tank. A quick switch to reserve solved the loss of power on hills. Later on in the day, I went out in search of evidence of Fall and I'm afraid that I found plenty. We really don't have a lot of Fall colors around here besides yellow. Unless brown qualifies as a color. There is very little red except on some bushes. This picture was taken at the park in the Goldstream Valley.

I then continued east towards the pipeline turnout on the Steese Highway. I thought that the trees would be more yellow. Maybe in a couple more days. I was reminded by a whining/spinning noise that I probably need to replace the bearings in the alternator drive. It's a pretty simple procedure and I believe that the bearings are available at Napa. I had helped JedR replace the bearings on his newer Ural. I think that they are pretty similar.

I then headed home as I was going to make pizza tonight and needed to start on the dough.