Scarlett and I spent most of the day yesterday at Fort Collins with Colorado's premier URAL dealer, Randy getting some warranty work done while he made some repairs to Scarlett.
Above is a Zero Electric Motorcycle used by Denver's Finest to
patrol parks and recreation areas I believe.
A 1998 Ural Deco Rig
First repair task was replacing the master brake cylinder for the rear brakes on my 2014 URAL Patrol, there had been instances where something wouldn't allow the brake piston to retract after brake use; causing the pads to continue grabbing the brake disk. This would of course result in performance loss as the rig's engine is fighting the drag on the brake disk. Jason, in charge of URAL operations and support, wanted us to switch out the master cylinder first as there had been reports of similar issues on other rigs.
Second was the replacement of the starter with a new one. Troubleshooting by me and Randy had determined that the solenoid sporadically failed to pass current from the hot lead to the wire powering the starter. Relays had been replaced along with starter switch, still sporadic failure.
Third and most interesting was the replacement of the wheel bearings in the front wheel hub. Dan K., a fellow Uralista had noticed and pointed out a slight wobble/play of the hub around the front axle. Randy ordered the parts and replaced them today. It was a learning experience mostly for me but for him as well as this was the first of the new front wheel hubs that he'd taken apart.
The bearings are sealed bearings, requiring no maintenance unlike the older rigs which had to have their bearings repacked with grease at prescribed service intervals.
Note, diagram above seems to be missing a "tophat" between item 6 and right-most item 5(bearing).
Randy replaced both bearings (#5) and Seal/Dust Collar (#2)
The disassembly of the front wheel proved pretty straightforward and Randy showed me a technique for coaxing a stubborn split ring (#4 in diagram) out of its grooved when its stuck. I would also learn of a great tool kit called a Bearing, Race and Seal Presser used to push out and push in bearings and associated seals. Cool stuff. (A kit I'll be ordering from Amazon)
Randy ended up pushing both bearings out via the opening on the right side of the hub. The failed bearing was so "stuck" and corroded it even caused an outer sleeve to come out from the hub, but the sleeve tapped back in with no problems.
Above is the outer bearing which had failed and lost
all of its grease when the related seal got dislodged.
The other side of the same bearing, here the
seal is still in place though looking a bit sorry.
Odometer reading (in kilometers) at repair day, for warranty purposes.
The inner bearing looks "OK" and I kept it as a "get me home" bearing in my box of spares.
So glad I'd elected to bring the rig to Randy for the front wheel bearing work, there were a couple of points where I'd probably have gotten stumped.
First being the stubborn to remove the split ring for the outer bearing, we ended up using heat (bearing was toast anyways) and split ring pliers to finally coax it out of the groove. Note to self, order associated split rings when doing this work next time, we lucked out in that Randy's skill enabled us to reuse the existing split rings. I probably wouldn't have had that kind of skill/luck.
The second issue encountered was that the mounting bolts for the front brake caliper had stripped out the threads on the caliper itself since its made of Aluminum. Randy said they tend to come really tight from the factory and I probably should have used some anti-seize on the threads when re-assembling the caliper after changing out the brake pads.
The shiny stuff in the threads is aluminum thread material
from the caliper mounting hole!
So, the holes on the caliper had to be helicoiled. Where the hole is expanded slightly with a drill bit, tapped for the helicoil before its inserted, then in my case, new bolts used to secure the caliper.
A pic to show the clever way Randy supported the
caliper so that he could drill out the mounting holes straight.
We did run into an unexpected issue in that the new bolts that had been purchased from a local hardware store (M10 x 1.25) didn't want to go in onto the newly installed helicoils. Weird since Randy had checked beforehand. Turns out they were helicoils with 1.5 pitch (Randy found this out later) but using different bolts did the trick and the front caliper was "good to go".
Still, now I've seen a helicoiling operation at the hands of Randy, so with the appropriate kit, I should be able to effect same type of repairs in the future.
The ride home was via heavy traffic on I-25 southbound and light traffic on E-470 tollway. Scarlett ran fine, though I didn't notice any noticeable change in handling because the front wheel bearings had been replaced. The cylinder heads temperatures ran in the low 400s farenheit at highway speeds: 55-58 mph.
Brakes feel fine now. I've kept the parking brake disabled for now and will see if the grabby brake issue returns as I now know what to look for.
Good day of wrenching and most if not all (one item still being checked with Ural) covered under warranty.