Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A windy ride to visit Natasha

Yesterday and today proved quite windy in terms of riding a motorcycle. I thought it was bad yesterday afternoon when I went for a short ride, I was mistaken.  Today as I rode to Golden, CO to visit Natasha while she's partly dismantled, would prove to be a day of stronger winds with temperatures in the low 40s.

I was riding Brigitta, my '87 R80 Beemer and there were times when the wind tried to toss us around in our lane as we slabbed it to Linden Engineering for pictures.

I got to Golden with no issues, just a few adrenalin-generating moments due to the wind but that's it.

I met Anthony, a Colorado School of Mines student who works as a mechanic for Dennis at Linden Engineering.  He seemed quite enthusiastic to be working on Natasha and he looked forward to getting her fixed so he could take her out for a test run.

Here's Natasha with Anthony working on mounting the seal on the final drive unit

We chatted for a bit as I took pictures, and he showed me the valve guide which had failed:

It appears the metallurgical quality of the Russian made valve guide was "lacking"

I can readily believe now that the failure of valve guides is apparently as common as Dennis had alluded to

As Anthony described it to me, the valve guide above had broken and come loose from the channel in the head of the right side jug.  This allowed compression to escape resulting in the loss of power I experienced along with oil seeping past multiple seals in the engine.  Not only that but now the valve was "loose" within the head and caused some damage to the rocker arm assembly:

Overhead view of the right jug, the two rocker arm assemblies are in the lower middle
That's the replacement cylinder head with good valve guides.

A closeup of the intake side rocker arm assembly, the circled area is where the damage is.
The damage was caused by the valve being "loose" within the channel

Here's a view of the old cylinder head of the right side jug and the valve cover.  Note the burnt coloration on one half of the valve cover itself.

To the right of the above picture, are parts of the Russian 35amp alternator that Dennis is trying to resuscitate,  he believes he can do it anyways.  Long run, I do see a need for an alternator and Dennis assures me he can mount it not only correctly, but mark it so I can check on it periodically.

Anthony also showed me the rubber seal for the final drive which turned out to be fine.  However, he'd found the screws on the retaining plate for the seal to be loose!  He could turn them with his fingers!  So, the old seal is going back on and they'll be applying some loctite to the screws.

Here Anthony demo's where the seal goes, and the mounting plate that holds it there.
You have to make sure to line up the holes correctly, there's one specifically for drainage.

I spotted this poor old Ural tug, with what appears to be a 650cc engine on it.  Anthony told me they were not going to repair it, just use it for parts apparently.

 Note the older 14 Amp Generator mounted on top of the engine.

So, I came away from Linden's with the conviction that things are well in hand for Natasha.  The cost estimate is a bit higher than I expected but hobbies have their prices don't they?

I also learned that I had been right, they had to disconnect the upper sidecar supports and loosen the forward mounting point to enable them to push the sidecar away from the engine to unmount the right side cylinder head.  I'll know next time that it's not necessary to remove the whole sidecar.  Note: ensure you don't remove the cotter pin, it's apparently a pain to put back in, just loosen the bolt which allows the parts of the ball joint to "spread".

I made my way back home, still riding in pretty strong winds though temperatures had soared into the upper 40s.  I even spotted two other motorcycle riders on the way, one was a motor cop on the job and the other rider just out enjoying a day without snow in the front range.

As I write this, there's reports of 1-2 feet of snow over the mountain passes.  I am feeling much better about having not taken the option of riding Brigitta over the passes somehow and try and make the Utah trip work out.

1 comment:

Chris Luhman said...

The wind was (and still is) pretty crazy here too. It's raining and snowing mixed at the moment too. Whee!

Glad they were able to fix the Ural so quickly!