Saturday, April 21, 2018

Spring Snow

Friday was windy, overcast and it looked and felt like fall. I had removed the gauntlets from the Ural earlier in the week but was having second thoughts. Maybe a week too soon. By late Friday afternoon, we were getting snow flurries. Nothing like the northern midwest last week but just enough to remind one that we were still in Alaska.

Saturday morning brought brilliant sunshine but it was still below freezing. The dark pavement was absorbing enough warmth from the sun to melt the snow but there was still a little ice in the shadows. I'm glad that I still hadn't removed the studs from the tires. Or at least the minimal number that I had installed.


I had ordered some LED bulbs to use in the Ural front turn signals and discovered that, for some reason or another, Ural chose to wire the turn signal sockets backwards. Instead of negative on the body of the base, it is wired to the base of the bulb. Time to dig out the soldering iron and shrink tubing again and rewire. But I still wonder why they would do that. My intent is to wire the front turn signals to the Skene module so they would flicker as well possibly improving my forward visibility. The Ural still has an old style flasher module that uses the current to the bulbs to determine the flashing rate. Removing the front bulb from the circuit causes it to flash very fast. On the BMW, I just added resistors to simulate the bulbs but that just consumed amps. The proper way is to change the flasher to an electronic unit which has a constant flash rate no matter what the load. Like many things, it's easier to just order from Amazon than deal with the local auto parts store as they provide parts based on the year/make/model of the vehicle. If you try to explain what you want, they just ask you for the year/make/model again as that is the only way they know to look up parts. There are exceptions but I get tired of trying to find that person. Once the flasher arrives, I’ll rewrite the lights and I’ll need to rewire the flasher as well. I think the one that’s installed has three connections instead of two. The third one would simply be a ground.

Todays Ural task was replacing the battery. The last battery came from Jed's 2015 Ural as it was still installed even after Ural of New England added the automotive battery. We used the stock battery location for a 12volt bus to simplify the addition of accessories. So it was barely 3 years old. The replacement battery came from Walmart. The only difference between their "premium" AGM battery and their regular AGM battery is that the regular one ships dry. You need to add the acid and charge the battery before use. After filling it with acid, I went ahead and installed it on the bike before connecting my smart charger. The smart charger just means that it has multiple charging profiles including one for AGM batteries.

The video below was shot this morning to show off our fresh dusting of snow.


12 comments:

Troubadour said...

Ah yes, I long for the days when the auto store staff were there to help you figure something out, and were quite capable and qualified to do so. Now they're pretty much a glorified search engine, except they sort from the most expensive items in stock whereas I find it online cheaper with free shipping. Motorcycle parts people seem to still be able to deduce, but they too are starting to ask year/make/model.
Spring is a comin' and I'm hoping that last couple week storm/rainfall was the turning point for us.

SonjaM said...

Meanwhile in the Black Forest the last traces of snow have melted away due to unusually warm temperatures last week. This week it's going to be normal again... whatever seems to be the normal für April...

RichardM said...

I don't expect that anywhere anymore. It doesn't matter if it's auto parts, building supplies or whatever. "Glorified search engine" is a great way to put it.

RichardM said...

I don’t expect the last traces of winter to be gone until at least mid-May. But then again, that would be the norm.

Dar said...

I bet you are going to be glad when the snow is gone for good and there are some warm spring days. I ordered brake pads last year, and the clerks swore up and down they were the right ones, and was going to put them on quite a few months later (It was supposed to be a winter project, but never got to it.)Now I have to go in and have the discussion "yes it was months ago, but I just went to do it now and you ordered the wrong ones at $80 a pop" here's hoping they will make it right, they usually have a 'too bad so sad' attitude.

RichardM said...

The snow and the ice will probably be around for at least another month. I guess after years of bad experiences, I almost always take the old parts in with me when going to an auto parts store. Unless I'm already familiar with the part. I've had very poor luck over the years...

Hopefully, they'll get you the correct brake pads.

redlegsrides said...

This post reminded of when I replaced the big metal clunker of a flasher relay on Fiona, the '99 Ural, with a much smaller plastic one....the old one was rather antique looking.

Bluekat said...

Why is it so hard for Spring to take hold? My patience is gone. The snow is pretty, especially with the blue skies, but still, it's time for clear roads and warm weather. We are having a nice touch of spring for the first part of this week at least. :)

RichardM said...

The Ural actually has a 3 pin flasher. I'm just going to rewire it to match this generic two pin electronic flasher. I don't care if the "original component" doesn't fit.

RichardM said...

Better than the midwest with a foot and a half of fresh, very wet snow. I don't think that this Spring is different from prior years. I would believe that my memory may not be accurate...

Bluekat said...

Very true. They're really getting a bunch

Lynne Goebeler said...

We have had spring during the day here in Northern New Mexico, and winter each night, which has been interesting! I hope your snow goes soon, although the folks here would take it since they are in severe drought.