Friday, June 07, 2013

Uraling back to Colorado - Day 59: Valencia gets her Heart Surgery.

First off, my grateful thanks to Robert, one of the ace mechanics at Raceway Services who accomplished great things today with elan and calm, thorough expertise and care.  All the folks that were there at Raceway Services today ensured that all my needs were taken care of, I know I've said it before but Jim Petitti runs a great shop and Frank, the new owner is a lucky man to have such a crew.

Second, my thanks to URAL for their continued outstanding warranty work support for this rider on a trip of a lifetime.  They sent the parts overnight and they showed up, all complete as requested, by 11:00 AM via UPS and Robert was able to get started on Valencia's heart surgery.

I call it heart surgery because the heart of a motorcycle is its engine.  Robert basically rebuilt it from the inside out by replacing the crank assembly, both pistons, the right side head assembly, all associated bearings and seals, and despite a couple of snags did it all in eight hours!  

 Above is the freshly cleaned out engine casing's front view
Below is the engine casing's rear view

 The new crankshaft, nice and shiny.  Sadly, the oil catcher still had to 
be cleaned out by Robert, it came from the factory with greasy crud in it, along with 
some metal fillings!

 I thought it was a bit tricky but Robert got the new crankshaft into the tight
space of the engine casing with no issues.

 The crankshaft's front bearing is pulled through with a special
tool, and readied for the installing of the timing gears.

Ready for the timing gears

Timing gears installed, 515 sealant (the grape colored stuff on the gasket) 
ready to be smeared prior to mating the front of the engine to the main portion.

 Flywheel now installed, Robert proceeds to install the right side jug's base,
easing the new piston in carefully.

The right side piston, nice and shiny

Here's a view of the scoring on the left cylinder's barrel.  Robert
didn't like the looks of it, and Jim had him hook it up to the  large
honing tool to smooth things out a bit.  I am to order a new barrel for later installation
once I get back home, under warranty of course.

To get me back on the road, Robert used the above honing tool to smooth out
the surface of the cylinder's barrel.  Quite the neat tool.  This way I didn't 
have to wait for a new barrel to be ordered from URAL.

A view of the honing tool, it basically rotates around the barrel's 
surface, removing imperfections such as the scoring, leaving shiny 
surface behind.  Care must be taken to not remove more than 1/1000ths
of an inch of material....for then the piston rigs won't seal against
the cylinder walls.

Robert removed about 95% of the striations, had Jim verify his work and Jim declared that it would hold piston rings just fine!

Once the engine was assembled, it was quick work by Robert to reinstall the clutch assembly, mate the transmission to the engine, reinstall the PowerArc ignition sensor, set the timing and together we manhandled the engine onto the motorcycle frame.  Man, that's one heavy sucker.  Through the judicious use of a motorcycle jack though, and Robert's expertise, we managed to get the engine secured without anyone getting hurt.

Then it was just a matter of hooking up all the wiring, bolts, screws and assorted connectors back onto the engine, reconnecting the exhaust pipes, gas tank, starter and air box.  Oil was next, carburetors were mounted and related cabling was sorted out.  

A compression test revealed 130 psi on the left jug (which had to be honed) and 140 psi on the right jug which has the new head.  So, within required spec of being within 10 psi of each other.  The psi figures should climb as the engine gets broken in by the way.

I left the shop at 7:00 PM, and taking it easy on the engine, rode along I-5 towards Lebanon, OR and Bluekat and Ron's home therein.  They've graciously invited to stay with them over the weekend.  

I am spending the weekend riding Valencia around the Salem/Corvallis/Lebanon area.....doing the 600 km engine break-in procedure of riding under 55 mph, using varying speeds, in order for the new engine components to "bed in" properly.  Wish me luck, I am making sure I am staying within easy towing range but I believe things will go just fine.

Then, a final checkout by Raceway Services on Monday and I should be cleared to go back to riding towards Colorado and home.


GlennandSun said...

Yessssss! Nothing so amazing and rewarding than to tear apart an engine, rebuild it and then start it up to hear and feel her purr. So very happy for you Dom, glad you could be a part of that hands on work and we hope your confidence in Valencia grows as the miles slip by.
Hats off to Ural for not making delays or excuses, and getting parts right to you fast, that is truly impressive. Really happy they support like this. Very satisfying to have Raceway give you total support. Everything is concluding on a good note....delighted for you! Ride safe, GlennandSun

RichardM said...

Good report on the process with plenty of pictures. This has been a great story of Ural support for their customers and may account for the cost increases over the years. Have fun riding around the Corvallis/Lebanon area. If you see Brad and Brandy, say hello.

SonjaM said...

Robert seems to be quite the master surgeon. Rebuilding the engine pretty much from scratch. I would have love to see that happening (just for the learning experience).
Obviously you have to calculate for maintenance/warranty cases when you are traveling on a Ural. That's a whole new dimension of UDF.

So, Valencia: No bring your master home safely. No more fuss, just smooth riding all the way home.

Bob and Sharon said...

I'm glad to see the the "Heart Surgery" had a good outcome. Now physical therapy for 600 Km and your good to go.

And I applaud Ural and Raceway Services for doing it's best to keep you moving forward.

Martha said...

Glad to hear the patient and her owner are recovering nicely! Your benefactor is equally relieved to know the hit to the wallet is minimal.

Now, for those of us non gear heads, some of us who live in drought ridden brown states, can we get some shots of the scenery all around you? Trees? Food? And but of course, your gracious hosts.

Have a great weekend

Trobairitz said...

Thank you for stopping by coffee this morning Dom. It was great to finally meet the man behind the blog.

Have a great day tootling around the valley.