Wednesday Dec 26
After we dropped off Patrick at the airport in Las Vegas, Martha and I were quite fed up with Las Vegas and its crowds and traffic.
Instead of waiting till Thursday, we packed up the URRV soon as we got back to it and headed south on US95 towards Lake Havasu.
Soon, we were finally back within the confines of Arizona's border and had found a boondocking spot off of exit 4 on eastbound I-40. There were at least five or six more RVs already camped out in the area but we got a good spot pointed at the winds which were blowing quite strongly.
Sunset proved nice:
Thursday Dec 27
Today the plan was to go into Lake Havasu City to stock up on supplies and check out the London Bridge. Yep, the London Bridge which used to span the Thames River in London.
You probably know, but it proved to low for modern river traffic and instead of just being demolished, it was sold and taken to Arizona brick by brick and reassembled there as a tourist attraction.
As we neared the bridge, I noted that Scarlett was having some difficulty shifting gears so I thought that once again I had to adjust the slack on the clutch cable. It had been happening often lately, this need for tightening.
Try as I might, I couldn't get it to adjust this time. After a lot of head scratching and testing, I decided to check the clutch release rod (it pushes against the clutch plate to disengage the clutch) and its components.
I found that the rear tip of the clutch release rod (1), which inserts onto the "top hat" (4) had somehow seized within the rod tip and heated enough to melt and eventually shear off inside the rod tip. Who knows how long it's been that way....but it does explain why I had to frequently adjust the clutch cable's tightness as it wore down more and more where it contacted the clutch release rod!
Left: the spare rod tip, right: the rod tip with part of
the clutch release rod fused and sealing the opening.
The old rod, note the worn down and ground down
tip on the right and closeup below.
There was also some were on the square tip end.
There is also supposed to be a rubber seal to keep
oil from splashing into the clutch assembly.
It was completely gone.
Being an experienced, and thereby pessimistic, Ural rider. I had a spare clutch release rod and rod tip! There was some problem removing the old components, which had poor Martha walking to the various nearby auto parts stores seeking a suitable magnetic pickup tool which I hoped to use to pull out the failed rod.
Turns out, I was able to use forceps to grasp the failed rod by its end and pull it out. Now, I'm also the owner of three different sized magnetic pickups....oh well.
So, some travails later which involved the installation of the replacement parts and getting them to seat in correctly, learning how to install the clutch release lever and cable correctly and finally finding I had to basically loosen the adjuster bolts to their stops in order for the clutch to work correctly. A short test ride later, she was fixed. Sigh.
All this took a joy filled 4-5 hours. I had her fixed with some phone help from Randy (my Ural dealer back in Colorado). In the meantime, Martha had executed the backup plan and secured a rental car for today and tomorrow. Turns out, where I broke down, there were three auto parts franchises and an Enterprise Rental car location!
So, while Martha finished the planned shopping at Walmart, I rode back to the BLM campsite with no issues. I checked with Randy, and confirmed that I had the clutch cable adjusted correctly. It didn't look right to me at first but then again, I probably replaced said clutch cable a while back with the clutch release rod already damaged so it wasn't right from back then.
I can pull the cable out of the adjustment
knurled knob by the amount shown above,
Randy confirmed it looked OK to him as well.
The clutch release rod replaced, it confused me for a bit why I had to screw in both the forward and rear adjustment bolts on the clutch cable all the way to the stops in order for things to work. Now I believe the clutch release rod had been damaged prior to the new cable, and things just sort of worked, but not optimally....ending up with today's breakage discovery.
Rear adjuster which moves the clutch release lever
Forward adjuster, screwed in to the stop
Sigh. Such are the vicissitudes of the life of a Uralista. Luckily, I had the spares, and was able to do the repairs. Learned a lot about the mysteries of clutch cable adjustment too, just goes to show how little I know about things sometimes.
Truly amazing how, even damaged as it was, the clutch release assembly still basically functioned! I wonder how long it was running, damaged as it was?
We'll see how tomorrow goes.
What? No pics of the bridge? Fear not, for Martha came through with a couple: