Sunday, January 26, 2014

Valencia is sidelined again.....dammit.

Yesterday afternoon, after lunch, Valencia and I motored out of the neighborhood to try and get some pictures of Mount Evans as we were having a bright sunny clear day here in Colorado.

Turns out, the crisp views of the nearby front range mountains that I'd glimpsed while running errands in the morning, were obscured slight by haze in the afternoon.  I had been in a cage in the morning, so no camera with me.

Still, one must make do:

At the Rocking Horse Subdivision

While meandering about the nearby eastern prairies...

Mount Evans

Valencia's motor started exhibiting what I thought were "ignition missing" issues, basically it felt like the ignition would cut out for a second.  Thinking perhaps it was the PowerArc sensor disk having gotten loose again, I headed for home to check.

On the way home, I started hearing and worse, feeling metallic clanking noises.  Some were hitting hard enough I could feel the impact through the foot pegs.  Damn.  I even stopped to check the oil level thinking perhaps it was too low, but no, it was fine.

Luckily, I was within a couple miles of home when the noises appeared and I nursed Valencia back to the barn.

Once in the garage, I checked the PowerArc sensor disk but no, it was nice and secure, so it wasn't ignition "misses" causing issues.

The metallic noises led me to remove the left jug's valve cover, to see if the nuts holding the heads had worked loose or something similar.  Nope, all secure, but then I noticed a lot of metallic shavings, shining brightly in the small amount of oil one usually finds in the valve cover!  There were also metal shavings all over the inside components of the valves.   Damn.  (Sorry, no pictures, I went into "get it to the dealer" mode at this point as it was late Saturday afternoon).

At this point, it was flashback time to when the engine basically seized on me in Oregon as I was making my way back to Colorado from Alaska.  Not taking any chances, I buttoned Valencia up and put her on the trailer.  

Less than two hours later, I was dropping her off with Randy, at Unique Rides in Fort Collins, the nearest URAL dealer and known good mechanic.  We discussed the recurring engine issues Valencia has experienced and Randy said he wanted to talk to URAL and see about sending the engine to them for full analysis.  He also told me he was hearing sounds I couldn't hear (my high frequency hearing is shot from my days in the Army) and he was sure if I'd kept running the engine, that it would have eventually seized up.

As it was the weekend, he won't get a chance to talk to URAL till Monday or Tuesday at the earliest, we'll then see what the plan is to fix Valencia.  She's still under the URAL warranty so she should be covered.

Me, I'm hoping that the entire engine is replaced.  Most if not all of its "innards" had already been replaced by Raceway Services in Oregon, and I would like to have Sergey of URAL to check out the engine on Valencia to determine why it's had so many issues.  Sergey is regarded as the Mechanical Guru, at URAL.

It's looking like Valencia is out for this year's Elephant Ride.  Yoshie could do it, if I swapped her rear pusher for a dedicated snow tire but I'm not feeling up to it.  Damn.

More to follow.

18 comments:

GlennandSun said...

The engine, in my mind, is the weak link in an otherwise very robust machine. I wonder if the shavings in the head pan were magnetic? Metal there would be valve debris, perhaps guides or push rods. From the sound of your description, there is something much worst, deep inside wrong....again.

Between you losing two engines, CCjon and my engine destruction, my confidence and trust in very long distant touring is waning. We will closely monitor the reason and the cause, thanks for your posting and sharing.

BTW, after my Stormin' Norman's engine was rebuilt by Raceway and Robert, I avoid going over 55 MPH....usually try to keep it a bit less. I am building a theory that the current Ural boxer engine begins to strain above 55 MPH. I hate that constant gnawing feeling that the engine is going to drop me somewhere......

I hope the engine is rebuilt and you can share the issues with us. If the engine is shipped to Seattle, I will always wonder and suspect the worst. Sun and i are sorry you are going to miss the elephant run, glad you made it back home and to the dealer without the tow truck experience again. Glennandsun

Charlie6 said...

Hi Glenn, yeah, sorry about the bad news...and all I have is more to add to it....since the engine rebuild, I'd been limiting speeds to 55mph and below as well...same theory.

Glad I got the extended warranty.

Hopefully, the downtime is not long.

SonjaM said...

Bummer! I hope that the mechanics will be able to fix the problem. Good luck!

bluekat said...

Well that sucks! I hope you get it all sorted out in a satisfactory manner. New motor or whatever works best.

Richard M said...

Wow, what a bad ending to an otherwise nice Saturday. Can the warranty be extended again?

Bob and Sharon said...

WOW that is no good!! Ural should put you on their payroll as a long distance tester. The engine sure appears to be the weak link in a pretty nice piece of equipment. Didn't Raceway tell you that your machine had the most milage of anything they ever had in their shop?

Keep us all appraised

Charlie6 said...

SonjaM and Bluekat, I await the verdict from URAL and the Randy, the local URAL dealer....

RichardM, I bought the extended warranty when I bought Valencia. Three years....starting Feb 2012....best $500 I ever spent I think.

Bob and Sharon, yep, my rig had the most miles racked up when I showed up at their shop the first time.....I'm beginning to think perhaps I got a rig with a "monday" engine.

Thank you all for your well wishes.

VStar Lady said...

Here's hoping they make it right.

Canajun said...

Comes a time when you lose faith in a machine that it's never the same. I hope you're not there yet and the URAL folks make it right once and for all.

bob skoot said...

Dom:

the only good thing is that you made it home and weren't a long way away.

I hope they give you a brand new engine. Then you will have all new parts. Too bad you're going to miss the elephant run, unless you ride your "vstrom

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

Trobairitz said...

Ruh Roh!! Hope it isn't anything too complex. She's high maintenance that one.

Charlie6 said...

Bob, a new engine would be nice....we shall see, I've not heard from the dealer yet.

Trobairitz....truly she is high maintenance....

Richard M said...

Heard anything yet...

Keith - Circle Blue said...

Nooooooo!

Anxious to see how this turns into an happy ending.

Charlie6 said...

Dealer has left voicemails

Charlie6 said...

Me too Keith, me too

Walter Cronenburg said...

What absolutely beautiful pictures over there in Colorado. I'm jealous!

Charlie6 said...

Thank you for the kind words Walther.