Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Ural Engine Assembly - 3

Today ended up being a small step backward. Jed and I carefully installed the front main bearing onto the crankshaft and proceeded to then try and install the crankshaft into the engine case. We couldn't figure out how to fit it in so I brought up another one of Van Le's videos on removing the crankshaft when it dawned on me why we were having so much trouble fitting it in. I had installed the front main bearing on the rear and we were trying to put the crankshaft in backwards. Frustrating.

Port's Machine Shop came through again and removed the bearing by splitting the outer race. I went to Napa to pick up a new bearing and was surprised to find out that the price of the bearing was almost double the Ural price. And that's with the senior citizen discount (BTW, it's significant and worth asking for).

But it's not all bad news. I had ordered a small set of left handed drill bits and screw extractors from Amazon. No one in town had even heard of left handed drill bits before. I drilled into the small broken screw in the front of the engine case, then tapped in one of the extractors and carefully removed the broken screw. I had already managed to remove the other broken screw earlier but this one was broken almost flush with the engine case. More difficult as there wasn't anything to grab onto. The reason for the left hand drill bit is that as you drill into the broken screw, the drill rotation is counterclockwise. The same direction as removing the screw. Raceway had pointed out that this screw was broken last summer and said that they will remove it. I'm guessing that they didn't get around to it. The annoying part is that a screw head was glued onto the timing cover to hide the broken screw.

Here are some of the screw extractors that I have. The blue metal index has the left hand drill bits as well as some extractors but I ended up using the extractors that I had which are in the plastic pouch. Less damage to the threads due to thier square profile. I still need to source a couple of screws to replace the two broken ones. BTW, only two broken screws is pretty good for an engine disassembly. I've run into more than that on other projects. I didn't even have to cut off any rusted nuts!

We also installed the large inside snap ring into the rear main bearing retainer. I pre-compressed the snap ring in the bench vice so I could grab and hold it with one of my snap ring pliers. We then got it into the housing enough to disassemble the pliers which were designed for much smaller snap rings. We then tapped the ring into position where it locks the bearing into the retainer. This snap ring was large (~80 mm) compared to what I have worked with in the past.

To be continued. Hopefully this doesn't end up being a ten part series...


  1. wait, let me get this straight, Raceway glued a screw head to hide the broken off screw remaining in the case? That is troubling. A note to Raceway might be in order? Things like this, ruin a reputation.

    The NAPA bearing being twice the price, same manufacturer?

    Thanks for the tip on compressing the snap ring with a vise before engaging the snap ring pliers, was wondering if you had such a large plier or was it part of the URAL special tools.

    I think, if and when (more likely when) it comes to rebuilding the engine on Scarlett, I am going to ask if you'll fly in to oversee the operation....on my dime of course. :)

    1. That appears to be the case. When I removed the timing cover, two screws wouldn't budge. One of them broke (you could feel it) and the other one just sort of snapped and the head fell off. When you looked at the broken part in the left in the engine case, the one that snapped was covered over with gasket sealer and obviously not a fresh break like the other. I have no problem with not having enough time to remove the stud but covering up the bolt hole seemed sketchy. BTW, I'm not upset with Raceway at all as this was something that wouldn't have been covered by the warranty.

      The Napa bearing was identical brand and part number to the original bearing and was made in Italy. The replacement from Ural was from Japan but was a different brand and carried the same part number.

      I was able to reposition the tips of the snap ring pliers to securely hold the snap ring once I had it squeezed in the bench vice enough to insert the pins in the holes. No special pliers but it did have an assortment of tips.

    2. Thanks for the additional info RichardM. I think I would be less serene than you about what was done to hide the screw not being fixed.

      Interesting, same P/N, different manufacturers.

    3. You have a Ural, you need to relax...

      I was looking up the bearing and it is a pretty standard bearing. Used all over the place. 80mm outside diameter, 40mm inside and 18mm wide. You can even order them from Amazon...

  2. Hopefully that double priced bearing will be 4X as good as the Ural bearing and last forever. When I rebuilt my transmission I ended up buying 3 different Snap Ring pliers to get the correct size for the big snap rings.

    1. I don't think that it's 4x better. In fact, the made in Japan bearing felt smoother and the guy at the machine shop said that it was a really tough bearing.

      90° needle nose pliers with the tips ground down work really well on large snap rings. I couldn't find my pair that I used for the Saab front bearings. They're around here somewhere. I must have 4 snap ring pliers floating around here. I've had to purchase a number of them while on the road to work on trailer wheel bearings.

  3. Two steps forward, one step back.

    Crap like that glued-in screw head really burns me up, Richard. Shortly after my GS passed from warranty coverage, I discovered that the rear brake caliper was irreparably seized. That proved to be an expensive replacement. Upon review of the bike's service history with the dealership, I began to suspect that they'd known about the problem for a while, but failed to address it while the bike was under warranty. It would have cost the dealership nothing to replace that caliper--the expense would have been BMW's. I still get fired up about it.

    1. I know what you mean. That was my initial reaction but after thinking about it, it didn't bother me much. After all, it wasn't leaking and they only said that they'll try to take it out. It was left by one of the bikes former owners or dealers.

      I would be much more bothered by your GS caliper as they had been servicing the bike all through the warranty period.