Saturday, November 09, 2019

Boondocking in the Flagler State Wildlife Area (SWA)

Pretty small for one of Colorado's several State Wildlife Areas (SWA), Flagler does have 4 nice RV sized campsites easily reached on its dirt roads.

Friday, Nov 8, I started off at one next to a nice row of trees at the top of a dirt loop that made for easy access.

Got there shortly after Noon and spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the warmth of a sunny Colorado Fall Day, the sunset was pretty mild but had some nice color:

Saturday, Nov 9, was spent mostly fixing things on the RV, the major one being the supports for the potable water tank.  You see, I'd screwed up and left the vent valves for the tank closed while filling it a while back.  It caused the tank to overfill and I was fortunate at the time to catch it in time before it actually damaged the tank! 

I did the same thing again during the recent trip with Martha.....once again luckily catching it before damage was caused.

I did it once again preparing for this particular camping trip and this time I made sure to mark the valves as I'd confused which position was closed and which was open.  Dammit.

Having found a nicer camping spot yesterday, I moved the URRV over to it as it provided better cell signal for Internet access and it was truly a nicer spot.

I'd then examined the tank much more closely, after removing the metal shields protecting it from the wheel well.  The tank was lying off the rear supports and resting on the vehicle frame....not sure how long this had been the case but it wasn't something I could allow to continue.

The rest of the morning was spent under the RV, unscrewing metal support panels to allow movement of the tank into the rear supports; then, putting the front supports back on.  Of course, it's awkward and difficult to reach the screws some times, making me wish I had a power screwdriver.  I think I'll be picking one up soon after this camping trip!

Got the tank all secured, put some water in and it all seems good for now.  Will see how my repairs last.

Rest of the afternoon, I did some hiking in the woods nearby and just rested from my exertions in the morning working on the water tank!

 A small pond I passed by while hiking

 The new camping spot

 Another view of the campsite during the Golden Hour

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Scarlett repairs, helping with a clutch replacement...

Lost the big windshield's use.

It's been coming for a while now, as cracks had developed on Scarlett's large clear windshield you've seen in previous pictures and postings.

About a week ago, while remounting the shield after replacing a lower plastic mount component that had broken; it cracked suddenly and about a third of the windshield came off in my hands.  Dammit.

So the smaller fly screen windshield will be used during cold weather riding.  Oh well.  Perhaps time to look for someone selling a Ural windshield in the right color scheme.


Clutch Replacement.

This past weekend, I helped out Tim L., a fellow Uralista in his first clutch pack replacement on his rig.

He and his rig managed to make it to over 44k km before it needed replacing; to me, pretty impressive performance!  The anecdotal mileage point where one should be considering replacing the clutch plates is around 30k km so Tim's rig did pretty good!

The hardest part?  Removing the factory installed flat head screws that were "pinged" or "staked" in place to prevent their becoming loose during operation.  We spent over two hours "coaxing" those suckers with heat, and newly purchased impact driver and just brute strength (all Tim's).

Tim replaced those stubborn and now slightly damaged screws with new ones with Allen heads so next time it won't be that much of a PITA.

New "improved" clutch plate on left, and old one on right.
The burn marks are evidence of the heat used to loosen the 
cover plate's screws.

Yep, all components replaced and yep, the longer clutch rod was used along with new throw-out bearing assembly with the old one kept as a "get me home" spare.  I think I need to plan on doing some parts purchasing soon as I've used up mine this summer.

After finishing off at Tim's place, I rode north from Longmont to Loveland and visited with Randy, the premier Ural dealer for Colorado and fellow rider.  He had the replacement swing arm from Ural that had been seen as a parts claim.  Such great support by Ural eh?

Gas Tank Leakage.

Coming home Sunday after accompanying Martha at a nursing conference in Loveland, CO, we came home to a heavy gas smell in the garage.  (Patrick had reported it to us before that on Saturday but since we were in Loveland....).

Martha spotted it, it was coming from Scarlett!  Dammit.

Turns out, the plastic sensor plug in the fuel tank had failed and was leaking fuel onto the garage floor.  What I had thought was a melting snow puddle, was gas.  Sigh.

This "plug" was the fuel level sensor that Ural had started using with the 2014 rigs and which had failed for me in terms of operations before and been replaced under warranty, and then the new one had failed soon after and I just gave up using it.  Now that it was leaking fuel though, it was a problem.

Of course, the plastic cap that one uses to tighten/loosen it from its mounting hole on the lower left front of the gas tank fell apart as I went to tighten it thinking that's all that was needed.

Had to remove the seat, then the tank (much has spilled in spite of efforts to drain the recently filled gas tank).  The use of the fuel pump meant more fuel connections are involved and it was I think the first time I'd removed the gas tank so more fuel that I care to admit was spilled.

Got the tank off and saw this:

The hexagonal plastic cap had twisted off the main
assembly, which remained embedded in the tank.

Had to dig out the remaining bit from the tank, and failed to prevent the innermost bit from falling into the tank.  Dammit.  Since it's plastic, no big deal but still.....

Went to the hardware store and got a 1/2" x 13 tap tool and cut new threads for the mounting hole as the existing ones were buggered up by now.  Then a small 1/2" x 13 threaded insert and installed with with some gas-resistant sealant:

After a couple of hours, I tried some gas in the tank and it seemed to hold so I let it "cure" overnight.

In the morning I put more gas in and it started leaking slightly.  Dammit.

Drained the tank once more, and this time got a 1/2" x 13 3/4" long stainless steel bolt from the hardware store along with a rubber washer with an I.D. of 3/8" hole.  Installed it, it held gas just fine with more than 3.5 gallons inside so I called it good.

Drained the tank once again and installed it back onto the rig.  You have to drain it as the cross-over fuel hose linking both tank halves together has to go under the top frame bar.  I think I need to find where I bought those quick-disconnect fittings for a previous rig!

Some PITA coaxing involved with one of the fuel lines but otherwise a pretty straightforward operation putting Scarlett back together.  Put about 3.5 gallons back in, bled the fuel pump a bit, and Scarlett started right up with no evidence of fuel leaking.

A test ride involving several miles and no fuel leakage or other untoward symptoms noted so am hopeful this repair will be last for a while.

Such are the vicissitudes in the life of a Ural rider.  Martha remains not impressed with Scarlett these days.....ever since her breakdown at Lake Havasu, AZ this past summer.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Uraling after recent snow storms

Been home since Thursday of last week, catching up on chores and tasks here at home.

Sunday, it started snowing for what would turn out to be a total of about 8 inches of snow for the area around my neighborhood.  A bit more in the drifts of course but about 8 inches for sure.

Cold temperatures kept me from wandering out while the snow fell, except in Martha's car as I took her to work so I could then take the car to the tire shop to have the winter tires put on.

Now it's Wednesday, the 30th and I think the snow has stopped for good.  Two snow storms have blanketed the Metro Denver area with a thick coat of snow, and with the sun now fully shining through, it was time to go ride.

It was a balmy 19°F (-7°C) and approaching Noon as Scarlett and I headed out of the snow-packed neighborhood and onto somewhat cleared and wet main roads.

We rode to the ranching neighborhood to the southeast of my home and I posed Scarlett in the usual spots.  Had to engage 2WD a couple of times when on a slight slope or deep snow to get her going but otherwise, stayed in 1WD most of the time.

Almost 90 minutes of riding, very glad the heated grips on Scarlett were functional and keeping my fingers warm!

I think it may be time for a new pusher tire for Scarlett, give her better grip on the snow.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

A Red Sunrise and Uraling in the Red Desert

Oct 23

Today's sunrise was pretty good:

Wednesday, the 23rd of OCT,  I rode Scarlett to check out the Swing Arm City OHV area next door.

It was nothing but flat graveled/dirt area with lots of small ditches to cause one to rapidly slow down to avoid smashing the front wheel into said ditch!

Nothing to take pictures of, so I got back on Highway 24 and headed west for a few miles to the entrance to Cathedral Valley Road.

I decided to check out the side road I'd seen a group of hikers emerge out of the other day and also horse trailer pulling pick up trucks going in and out.

The "road" is called Red Desert Road and the area it allows access to is known on the maps as Red Desert.  Quite nice and scenic though I really didn't go too far in, perhaps just 3-5 miles at most.

 If I was naming this formation, I'd call it City Skyline perhaps

 Junction of Red Desert Rd and BLM Trail 0893

 How's Lighthouse Rock for a name for that rock formation?

 Do you see the thin sliver of a Moon?

 Scarlett and I crossed three of these metal grating bridges

 See the Buffalo Head?

Back at entrance for Cathedral Valley Road