Showing posts with label Scarlett Mods. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scarlett Mods. Show all posts

Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Hot Colorado Sunset

We're experiencing quite the heat wave here in Colorado, went out riding for a bit at mid-morning and it was already in the high 80's at that point.

Worked on Scarlett, my 2014 URAL Patrol Sidecar, disabling the parking brake on it as it appears to be causing the pusher wheel brakes to "grab" even when not engaged!  This causes performance and heat issues as you might imagine.

I followed fellow Uralista Darrell's mod, the disconnection of the parking brake cable from the lever attached to the cam on the caliper and keeping the lever in place with a bolt:


This evening, sunsetwx.com predicted a good sunset for Colorado so I rode out with Scarlett to see what we could see:

 Denver Skyline



Added the Ian overlay to bring out the colors

It was still 80 degrees Fahrenheit as we pulled into the garage after the sun had set.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Giving Scarlett more breathing room

Back in January of this year, I had installed the Raceway Two-into-One exhaust headers onto Scarlett, my 2014 URAL Patrol Sidecar rig.  I had elected at that time to keep the right-side stock muffler and use it.

I'd had no real issues with the stock muffler but recent rides convinced me perhaps I was "stifling" Scarlett in terms of her ability to push exhaust gases out of the engine.

Scarlett's recent trip to the vicinity of Provo, Utah and back had revealed a rather severe lack of top end power when negotiating hilly portions of highway.  Her MPG ratings had plummeted as well since I'd had get gearbox rebuilt by URAL but I'd blamed that on the use of the OR1.02 EFI mapping which was known to be "rich".

So, I ordered some exhaust pipe reducers and they all finished arriving today.  Took me a while to remove the remaining stock muffler from Scarlett but with just minimal cursing, it came off.

I had, originally, cut a portion of the header pipe that came from Raceway to accommodate the length of the stock muffler.  Using the new adapters, I added back the length and it worked out just perfect to line up the Harley-Davidson Sportster muffler that fellow Uralista Darrell had given me prior to all this.

 The installed adapters/reducers.  Took three of them to get the right
fit for the muffler and the header pipe extension.  I'll be adding one more 
clamp I think, forward of the one you see above.

If you look closely, you can see I was able to reuse the bracket that was
used by the stock muffler's circular holder.  Lucky.

Took Scarlett out for a test drive, she sounds a bit louder than normal of course with the HD muffler but not annoyingly or obnoxiously so.  I drove her to the local toll road and warmed her up.  The first run through was a bit dismal, no power going uphill and thereby no real acceleration.  This first run, I used the stock speedometer to gauge speed and it was not giving me the readings I wanted.

Decided to mount the Garmin Nuvi GPS that I'd received from SonjaM back in 2013.  

Did another run of the same test course and this time, she ran much stronger.  It's like the EFI computer adjusted for the newer freer-flowing conditions provided by the Sportster muffler and rendered better performance?  Not sure.

Using the GPS, I was certain this time (as opposed to the highly inaccurate speedo from Ural) that I was holding steady speeds of 60 MPH.  This second run, she did both uphill portions just fine, holding 55-50 MPH, in fourth gear, with no struggling though I was at WOT.  (Wide Open Throttle).

So, satisfied with the initial test run, I filled up her tank (25.5 MPG) and we'll see how the new muffler affects the next tankful's MPG results.

On a further positive note, no backfiring from exhaust leaks when decelerating using engine braking.

More to follow.  Perhaps I've become spoiled with Fiona's more powerful engine, but if Scarlett can once again hold 55 MPH while going up hills on the highway, I'll be happy.  After all, I've learned to not exceed 55 MPH on the slabs if I want any kind of decent MPG.

If future tankfuls of gas render same dismal MPG ratings, then I'll have to again explore going back to the OR1.01 EFI Mapping or failing that, putting Scarlett back to using the stock mufflers.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Scarlett gets an updated EFI Mapping.

This past Saturday, I drove Scarlett, my 2014 URAL Patrol Sidecar Rig to Unique Rides.  Randy is the owner of Unique Rides and among the several different vehicles (scooters, Enfield motorcycles, trikes, ATVs and even amphibious tracked vehicles) that the sells; he's also the first of two URAL dealers here in Colorado.  In my opinion, he's the premier dealer in Colorado for URAL.

As always, I was warmly received by Randy himself and he had me drive Scarlett to the shop to get the new EFI: (Electronic Fuel Injection) mapping.

Scarlett had version URAL_XXOR_01.01 before Saturday.  While it performed pretty well from the non-offroad versions before it, it still exhibited some minor stumbling and popping noises when in first gear, and especially with a cold engine.  An annoying behavior which I'd sort of learned to live with.

After a bit of work, Randy got the new version: URAL_XXOR_01.02 downloaded into Scarlett's ECUs. (Electronic Control Units) and tweaked the balance of the throttle bodies just a tiny bit to make them match closer.

Here's what I wrote in an email to Randy and URAL's director of operations: Jason with a cc to Ilya, the boss man over at IMWA:

Mileage when installed: 26772 km

My engine was still warm from the ride to Unique Rides but it was noticeably smoother ( no pops or stumbles ) as I motored ever so slowly away from Randy's shop and towards the exit.

I rode it 10km out and 10km back, no issues, in fact it seems to pull a little harder than before but that could be just my mind playing tricks on me.

As I rode towards Loveland from Fort Collins, I encountered slow/go to stop/go traffic on I-25.  This was perfect in terms of seeing how the new offroad EFI map did with such conditions.  

I am happy to report that on flat ground, there was only smooth roll-on of power from a standing stop, barely even giving it any gas and none of the usual popping noises or slight stumbles.  It would just smoothly accelerate in first gear.  

The only time it would even give you a feeling it was going to stumble was on slightly inclined portions of the highway, from a standing stop I tried just easing out the clutch but found I had to give it a bit more gas as I was on an incline.  Even then, no pops or stumbles.

So far, very pleased with the performance of v1.02 of the offroad mapping, gentlemen!

After overnighting in Loveland, CO...where the temperatures were below freezing overnight for my rig as it sat in the hotel parking lot:

This morning, it was 32°in the parking lot of the hotel.

I put the rig in neutral and gave it 3-4 kicks with the ignition off to get the oil moving inside the engine after sitting out in the cold overnight.

I then thumbed the electric starter and it cranked for perhaps 3-4 secs before the engine caught.

Don't know if it was the cold resulting in the 20W50 oil being a bit sluggish or the new EFI mapping but yes, slightly harder to start this morning.

Still, it steadied up pretty quickly after some slight throttle on my part.

Behavior for rest of the ride was like yesterday.  Nice smooth roll on of power with throttle while in first gear.  No stumbles or pops.

The next day's email:

Temperature in garage: 57°F

Pressed the starter button, engine caught in less than one second of cranking.

No pops or stumbles as I headed out of the neighborhood.

Filled up the tank, will report on MPG once I have to refuel again.

I will update this blog posting with the MPG figure I get from this latest tank of gas.  

I am very pleased with this version of the OR or Off-Road EFI mapping, my thanks to URAL and Electrojet for continuing to pursue rider satisfaction in the behavior of their EFI rigs!

Somewhat related: I found out from URAL's Jason that the EFI rigs run a little hotter than the carbureted rigs.  To see temperatures up to 450 °F is OK, the idea is to not spend a lot of time in temperatures close to or above 465°F.

My 2014 rig runs with head temperatures ranging from the high 300s to about 415°F since I installed spark plug temperature sensors.

Update: 16NOV15:

The first tankfull of gas rendered an MPG result of 29.  This was a combination of city/hwy driving.

Pulled the spark plugs today:


 Left side spark plug

Right side spark plug

Both Randy (my URAL dealer) and Jason, URAL's Operations Director declared the plugs look good.

Update: 17NOV15:  MPG from last fuel up: 36 MPG.  Mo better.

Monday, August 03, 2015

4-Way Flashers for Scarlett

Given a URAL sidecar's performance envelope, one goes slower on the steeper hills when motoring about...usually, not a big deal but on the expressway (when they can't be avoided) it can be a big deal if the cager behind you is not attentive.

I'd seen loaded semi-tractor trailer rigs put on their four way flashers when struggling uphill on the expressways, thought it a good idea at the time, warn people behind you that you're not going even close to the posted speed limit.

I'd done this mod on Valencia, my 2011 URAL Patrol before and today I did the same mod on Scarlett, my 2014 URAL Patrol.

Only difference was type of switch used, as I didn't have same time of pull on/push off switch that I used on Valencia, instead using a rocker switch I had onhand.

I installed a "two spade out of one" adapter on the turn signal
light bulb's black wire connection. (RED arrow)

New wires in place, basically "bridging" the stock black
wire and the purple wires going to the turn signals on the tug and sidecar.

Rocker switch, secured to right side of headlight
bucket cover (onto which all indicator lights and speedo
are mounted).  I used two-sided tape and reinforced
with some duct tape on the inside of the cover.

I've some doubts about the durability of the mounting, but we'll see.  Duct tape can be a very secure thing sometimes.  I'll probably pick up the right switch next time I'm at the auto parts store in preparation for the eventuality.

Here's a link to the original instructions I followed from a fellow Uralista on sovietsteeds: LINK

Now, like the truckers, I can engage the four-way flashers when forced to downshift to 3rd gear on the steeper hills on roads when the rig can only hold perhaps 45-50 mph.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Protecting Scarlett's Fuel Rails

Though the incidence rate of fuel rails being broken is rather low, less than four reported to IMWA besides mine, I figured it wouldn't hurt to add some protection to the fuel rails on Scarlett.

Background: Somehow, the right fuel rail on Scarlett was broken while I was out riding with a fellow URALista this past weekend: LINK.

 Here's the right side Fuel Rail
Showing the piece that connects to the injector

Same fuel rail, but now showing the piece
onto which one connects the fuel line
The old one broke right at the base of the tube.

Yesterday, while digging about my pile of bits leftover from other projects, I found two metal strips that I thought might do the trick of protecting the fuel rail.

 I've no idea from what project this piece, and it's twin, came from.
However, I am glad I tend to hoard such things....

 A bit of grinding off the end, it fits just right with the mounting screw!

 A little judicious bending/hammering with a vise and vise grips...

Now the metal strip protects no only the vulnerable base where
the fuel line connects, but also the body of the fuel injector.


It took me a bunch more hammering and bending for the right side, not quite the same fit it turned out but I made it work.

 Right side fuel rail and injector


Since I introduced the metal strip, I went ahead and procured slightly longer mounting screws: going from M4 x 12 to M4 x 14 screws.  They worked beautifully, holding the metal strip tightly.

Hopefully, I've added some protection to the fuel rail.  Time will tell.  I might end up bolting on a second metal strip, to provide some overhead protection for the injector but I think it's the base that I needed to worry about.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Adding Vacuum Ports to the EFI Throttle Bodies

Since it appears that URAL will not be selling the current software/cable used by dealers to synch the EFI models, it was time to do a modification to allow one to synchronize the throttle bodies.

There's been, by the way, no official announcement either way re a bare bones version of the dealer tool which allows dealers to upload EFI maps, synchronize the throttle bodies and see engine details rendered by the ECUs.

So, like a carbureted motorcycle, the idea is to measure the amount of vacuum being "pulled" by each throttle body and ensure it's even both at idle and at around 1800-2000 RPM.  Unbalanced carburetors or throttle bodies tend to run rough and/or poorly so this is an important thing.

Marc L., a fellow Uralista with a Battleship Blue 2014 Gear-UP hosted both Darrell S. and myself at his home in Westminster since he had a drill press.

We all were ready to go by 10AM this morning and soon we had the throttle bodies off both Marc's and my rig.  I watched Marc drill the mounting hole for his throttle bodies and I then mimic'ed him in drilling my own throttle bodies.  Close supervision was supplied by Darrell to ensure I didn't bugger up the job since this was the first time I'd ever used a drill press.

Holes done, it was time to run a tap through them to introduce 5/32" threading into the hole for the vacuum ports we'd bought previously to screw into.

Note:  The throttle bodies are made of a very soft aluminum so a very light touch on the drill press was called for and slow/smooth but very effortless threading of the tapping tool.

Marc demo's the use of the tapping tool, trickiest part was at the
beginning since you have to ensure you're straight up/down and sideways.

The vacuum ports were threaded in with a very small dab of blue Loctite material to ensure they stay in place in the throttle bodies.

Freshly mounted vacuum port, this is the left side throttle body

Re-assembly was basically a reversal of the steps taken to unmount the throttle bodies.  The process highlighted the need for a 2.5mm Torx wrench (these are the stock screws) used to secure the fuel injection module and the bracket holding the throttle cable.

We elected to replace the Torx screws with allen headed screws by the way, and Darrell was kind enough to make a hardware store run to obtain them for us as we did the drilling and tapping.

So now, I need to buy an extra long 2.5mm allen wrench with a T-handle, it makes the removal of these two screws much easier!

Once we got the rigs re-assembled, we set off together, Marc and I, to warm up the rigs by doing about seven miles of riding.  

We returned to Marc's house and put the Harmonizer tool on Marc's rig.  No adjustments required!  Lucky dog.

My rig was next and Scarlett proved quite stubborn in terms of getting her idle where we wanted it and still balanced!  Finally, after much travail, we got it to balance but with the tach on the Harmonizer reading 1200 rpm, a bit high.

I had the left side idle screw completely off the stop and still we couldn't adjust the idle any lower.  Both Darrell and Marc remarked that before we made changes, the rpm had been reported at 1200 by the Harmonizer.  We are suspecting perhaps a small leak on the left side throttle body butterfly valve.  I may have been, all this time, running with idle a bit high?

There's been reports, you see, of some 2014 rigs needing updated butterfly plates as the ones they had are "sticking".  Mine weren't sticking when I examined them but something to keep in mind, the fact that some of the early 2014 rigs needed replacements of these disks.

We said our goodbyes to Marc around 2:30PM and I was home after boring slab riding by 3:30PM in medium traffic conditions.  An overcast day with temperatures in the low 50s for a high though it was cooling down as I neared home.

Note: Scarlett's idle RPM was being displayed as 960 rpm at idle by my cheapo tachometer I got from ebay which I'd determined in the past to read 100 rpm low.  Sure enough, I got home, put the Harmonizer on Scarlett and her idle was around 1060 rpm after an hour of highway riding.  So the idle is fine for now, she sounds good, and pulls strong through all the gears.

I'll monitor things some more I think before I start the process of replacing the butterfly valves on the throttle bodies, under warranty of course.  

Previously, Yet Another Colorado Sunset

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Additional Storage for Scarlett

After seeing the ammunition cans used by the three Uralisti on their rigs during my recent visit with them as they crossed the country on US50; I began to have thoughts.

So, the other day, I went to the local Army Surplus store and lucked upon a used storage container of rather strange "provenance".  Not a typical ammo can, not as robust but also not as heavy, it seems to have been a container for items belonging to a drogue or pop chute?

 Coerce?  Weird.
The kangi characters suggest Chinese perhaps....the two
left most characters are 8 and 9

 What drew me to buy this box, was that it opens from the side.

 The bright orange handle, immediately removed.

 A bit rusty on the inside, nothing some naval jelly didn't cure

 No idea if tag is original

 After rust removal, a coat of blue primer inside and out

Several coats of flat black paint, to include one coat of rubberized coating later, it was ready to mount to the underside of Scarlett's tub, right after the snowmen supports.

As with the new Kolpin Gas Can you see below, I used large washers to distribute the load where the bolts secured both items.


 A small lock (enough to keep honest people honest) secures the lid


Now there's room to carry my "self-recovery" ropes, come-along device, tow strap and a spare inner tube.