Showing posts with label Valencia Repairs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Valencia Repairs. Show all posts

Friday, November 20, 2015

R.I.P. James Petitti

The URAL sidecaring community lost a great man today, James Petitti, the guy who created Raceway Services/URAL in Salem, Oregon.

I saw the facebook posting by URAL and felt the need to write this posting.

I first met Jim back in April of 2013 as I was heading up to Alaska with Valencia, my 2011 URAL Patrol Sidecar.

I was experiencing clutch issues due to the failure of the rear main seal on the engine causing oil contamination of the clutch plates.

Jim's team jumped on my rig and got it squared away in an amazingly short time and had me on my way.

The original blog posting is here: LINK. but this is the picture I wanted to repost:

As Valencia was worked on tirelessly by his mechanics, Jim and I talked about his experiences in the motorcycling world and also in the world of racing.  He talked about his interactions with one of the other greats of motorcycling history: Burt Munro of "The Fastest Indian" fame.  Jim explained to me about pushing the envelope in terms of mechanical modifications when he used to be part of a racing team of what I recall to be small stock cars.  I am sure I have the designation wrong, but his expertise in such matters was extensive and to me, unquestioned.

Jim's shop, Raceway Services, remains a premier URAL dealer and I was lucky to have found them along the way to and from Alaska.

Though the shop is now owned by Frank, Jim's influence carries on I believe.  I am sure Jim's name will forever be associated with URAL and Raceway Services.

Rest in Piece Sir.

Monday, February 03, 2014

SITREP: Valencia's status and current action plan.

The dealer is closed today but last update from Randy is that Valencia's engine was to be shipped to the mothership in Redmond, WA to be taken apart and analyzed.  At that point (which according to Randy, wouldn't take long for URAL's Sergey to analyze), a decision would be made to either rebuild the engine again or ship a replacement engine back to Unique Rides, my dealer.

Note: The 2014 models are now shipping, which makes me wonder if they've stopped making 2013 model engines with carburetors and the "old" design for weeks if not months now.  Which would kind of make me wonder re existing stockage levels of engines suitable for Valencia.  The new engines are NOT retrofittable (to my knowledge).

Note: I don't know where the engine is now, I hope to get more info from Randy tomorrow.  The assumption is that he's already shipped it to the mothership.

So, what to I do now you ask.

Well, some may think me callous, but I have decided that I am done with Valencia.

Yoshie, my Suzuki V-Strom Sidecar Rig, though running fine, is not as good or safe on snow as Valencia was.

So, emails were exchanged between Tammy, the co-owner and sales person of Unique Rides.  It all happened over the course of last week and the result is this:

1.  They will take both Valencia and Yoshie in as trade-in rigs for a new 2014 Red and White Patrol.

2.  I signed the invoice this morning and sent it back to Tammy via email.

3.  The value offered for the trade-ins will result in a no cost upgrade to me.

4.  Unique Rides will take on ownership and eventual sale of both Valencia (once she's repaired of course) and Yoshie.

5.  I need to deliver Yoshie to Unique Rides, so no more riding on her except to get her to Fort Collins where Unique Rides is located.  Yoshie is too wide for my trailer so she must be ridden to Unique Rides.

6.  My new rig, is scheduled to ship out of New Jersey on 24FEB13.  Yep, that's the earliest they could do it, there's apparently a big demand for the new rigs and its not like they make thousands of them each month.  (Total URAL rigs produced last year was under 1300 units).  About a week to transport it to Colorado, figure I take ownership end of February if no delays occur.

So that's the plan.  I will still keep trying to find out the final resolution of the engine issue of course and update you all when I have something.

This is why I will be not riding on three wheels for the month of February.  Where the weather and road conditions permit, Brigitta, my '87 R80 Airhead Beemer will provide for my two-wheeled riding "fixes".

How am I going to get to work you ask?  Well, recent events involving Martha's car highlighted the fact that perhaps being a one car family isn't "optimal".  That and the fact I will soon only have one sidecar rig drove the need for a backup car.

I now introduce you to Milli, the URV:

2006 PT Cruiser

Yep, I am back to having a cage, after almost 6 years of doing without one.  She's got a tow hitch and just enough tow capability to function as the URV or Ural Recovery Vehicle.  When my new rig is down for whatever reason, she'll get me to work.  She can pull the trailer to pick up my rig if needed though I'll probably use Martha's X5 to take my new rig to/from the dealer as needed.  I bought the car from Oscar so I know it's been well-maintained and he sold it to me at a fair price.

Odometer reading: 90,068

Note: One good point about having Milli, the boys can learn to drive on her, not Martha's X5.

I drove Milli to work today, just another lemming in a cage.  :(

Hopefully by the end of this month, I hope to introduce you to my new Ural Sidecar Rig.

Update: 04FEB14: Got email from URAL's VP of Operations & Product Support: Jason:  The engine is being picked up by URAL's trucking company today, they expect it to be in Redmond, WA this coming Monday.

Update:05FEB14: Engine picked up today by URAL, same truck that delivered two new 2014 rigs, took the Valencia's engine.

Update 11FEB14: URAL's VP of Operations and Product Support, Jason wrote me today:  The engine arrived yesterday (late due to weather) and Sergey has already dis-assembled and inspected it for defects. We have found the crankshaft shows signs of wear or damage on the connecting rod main bearings and will need to be replaced. Sergey will complete the repair and your engine will be shipped back to Unique Rides by Friday.

So, URAL once again has stepped up and honored their warranty without questions.  I dare say there's not many companies out there who are this fully behind their product.

If the engine ships Friday as planned, it should be back at Fort Collins by the latter half of next week.

Update: 19FEB14:  Valencia's engine has been repaired, was picked up for shipment on 14FEB (Friday) and should be at Fort Collins either today or tomorrow depending on weather conditions.

Updated: 20FEB14: Valencia's engine arrived yesterday, that's the good news.  The bad news is all the winter weather hitting the East Coast and specifically New Jersey has delayed the shipment of the 2014 Red/White Patrol to March 4!  :(

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Valencia is sidelined again.....dammit.

Yesterday afternoon, after lunch, Valencia and I motored out of the neighborhood to try and get some pictures of Mount Evans as we were having a bright sunny clear day here in Colorado.

Turns out, the crisp views of the nearby front range mountains that I'd glimpsed while running errands in the morning, were obscured slight by haze in the afternoon.  I had been in a cage in the morning, so no camera with me.

Still, one must make do:

At the Rocking Horse Subdivision

While meandering about the nearby eastern prairies...

Mount Evans

Valencia's motor started exhibiting what I thought were "ignition missing" issues, basically it felt like the ignition would cut out for a second.  Thinking perhaps it was the PowerArc sensor disk having gotten loose again, I headed for home to check.

On the way home, I started hearing and worse, feeling metallic clanking noises.  Some were hitting hard enough I could feel the impact through the foot pegs.  Damn.  I even stopped to check the oil level thinking perhaps it was too low, but no, it was fine.

Luckily, I was within a couple miles of home when the noises appeared and I nursed Valencia back to the barn.

Once in the garage, I checked the PowerArc sensor disk but no, it was nice and secure, so it wasn't ignition "misses" causing issues.

The metallic noises led me to remove the left jug's valve cover, to see if the nuts holding the heads had worked loose or something similar.  Nope, all secure, but then I noticed a lot of metallic shavings, shining brightly in the small amount of oil one usually finds in the valve cover!  There were also metal shavings all over the inside components of the valves.   Damn.  (Sorry, no pictures, I went into "get it to the dealer" mode at this point as it was late Saturday afternoon).

At this point, it was flashback time to when the engine basically seized on me in Oregon as I was making my way back to Colorado from Alaska.  Not taking any chances, I buttoned Valencia up and put her on the trailer.  

Less than two hours later, I was dropping her off with Randy, at Unique Rides in Fort Collins, the nearest URAL dealer and known good mechanic.  We discussed the recurring engine issues Valencia has experienced and Randy said he wanted to talk to URAL and see about sending the engine to them for full analysis.  He also told me he was hearing sounds I couldn't hear (my high frequency hearing is shot from my days in the Army) and he was sure if I'd kept running the engine, that it would have eventually seized up.

As it was the weekend, he won't get a chance to talk to URAL till Monday or Tuesday at the earliest, we'll then see what the plan is to fix Valencia.  She's still under the URAL warranty so she should be covered.

Me, I'm hoping that the entire engine is replaced.  Most if not all of its "innards" had already been replaced by Raceway Services in Oregon, and I would like to have Sergey of URAL to check out the engine on Valencia to determine why it's had so many issues.  Sergey is regarded as the Mechanical Guru, at URAL.

It's looking like Valencia is out for this year's Elephant Ride.  Yoshie could do it, if I swapped her rear pusher for a dedicated snow tire but I'm not feeling up to it.  Damn.

More to follow.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Repairs, Roosters and Services for Valencia

Over the last seven days, have been providing all of the listed items in the post's subject line to my 2011 URAL Patrol Sidecar Rig, Valencia.  All part of the post-trip maintenance that she required after riding over 10,000 miles over the last three months.

First the repairs.  You'll recall that a bearing failed on the right side control rod for Valencia's engine, allowing its piston to strike the right side head.  A flurry of repair activity later, it was discovered by Raceway Services that they should have also ordered a new left side cylinder as the existing one was "scored".  To get me back on the road and not wait another day, they honed the existing one enough to get me home; the idea being I'd have the Fort Collins URAL dealer swap it out once I was home.

That day was this past Wednesday, once the parts had arrived from URAL.  I rode up to Fort Collins to Unique Rides where Randy and Tammy run a URAL dealership.  It is the same dealership where I bought Valencia, by the way.

Valencia and I arrived at 10:30 AM and would not leave till after 5:30 PM, long day, mostly due to difficulties encountered by Randy in the installation of new u-joints for the propeller shaft leading to the sidecar wheel.  The replacement of the left cylinder, the portion of the jug through which the piston travels, went well.

 The old jug removed, ready for the new cylinder

 A view inside the engine, I was glad to see no metal particles anywhere
on any of the internal surfaces!

Here's a picture of the old cylinder, note all the scoring ...

The rest of the day was spent wrestling with uncooperative u-joints.  I was glad I had Randy do the work, I would have been extremely frustrated. The old u-joints were worn you see, to the point I could move them upwards and sideways way more than allowed.  It's usually a pretty straightforward operation, I've done it before, but something about the u-joint in question caused "issues".  Randy finally ended up chucking the American-made u-joint and putting in a Russian u-joint instead.  Ironic, but it did work, finally.

So, that's the repairs, hopefully the last of them for a long, long, long while.

Yesterday, I visited Darrell, a fellow borrow the use of his Harmonizer Carburetor Synch tool.  Lovely thing, I must buy one for myself soonest.  On the way home, I stopped Valencia across the street from this person's house to capture his roosters.

 Why did these tall metal roosters catch my eye, that's obvious....why
take pictures of them?  Martha likes Roosters as decorative items.

Finally, today was the day for finishing the 40,000 Kilometer service for Valencia.  Fluids had been changed earlier in the week and now it was time to grease the drive shaft spline and grease the small u-joint connecting the drive shaft to the final drive.

You have to remove the pusher wheel, disconnect the sidecar wheel propeller shaft, rear brake rod and 2WD engagement rod to free the final drive.  Once the above is done, you unbolt the four 17mm bolts and the final drive unit slides off for easy access.

 I believe the manual says to grease the splines at least every 10,000 Kilometers, I 
was quite please to see the splines above still had some Honda Moly Grease on 
them after more than 20,000 Kilometers!  The trip to Alaska, with its intervening
episodes of unexpected repairs required had thrown my schedule of maintenance off.

 Here's the final drive, mostly cleaned up with the u-joint grease
renewed and the spline socket grease renewed as well.

 A view of the drive shaft spline, all cleaned up, note the lack of any
wear or damage.

 Well coated with Honda Moly Grease, the spline is ready for
installation back onto the final drive's u-joint assembly.

 One of the consequences of using a Russian u-joint on the sidecar propeller shaft is
that the clearance between the grease zerk and the nut holding the right
side of the pusher wheel's axle.

The tool that comes from URAL is of course a bit too thick, a
bit of grinding with my power grinder though and I had all the clearance
necessary to secure the axle nut.

So, maintenance and services are done.  Some more tests are required to restore my full faith in Valencia of course.  Riding in a pouring rain with explainable rough-running issues is one, the theory is that the air filter gets waterlogged, but until I do the ride......

Today is supposed to be a scorcher in terms of temperatures.  The second test is to simulate stop/go slow riding conditions to see if the PowerArc's electronic control module passes muster.  I replaced it on Monday with a new one from Raceway Services after it experienced heat issues last week.

There's always something to do on a URAL it seems, and still it remains a very fun rig to ride.  

Monday, June 10, 2013

Uraling back to Colorado - Day 62: Salem, OR to Ontario, OR

I left Bluekat and Ron's home shortly after 7:00 AM and arrived at Raceway Services in Salem, OR shortly after 8:00 AM.

Last evening, I had a chance to give Rachel, Bluekat and Ron's daughter
another ride in the sidecar.  She doesn't like her picture taken apparently....  :)

Robert started checking out Valencia's torque on the head bolts, asked me about yesterday's oil change, examined the oil I'd brought from that oil change, fixed the mounting bolts on my front brake caliper (they were stripped due to overtightening I think).

I was out of there by 10:00 AM, once again thankful for such a great dealership such as Raceway Services and the stellar shop crew and management that they provide for customers.

The rest of the day was steady ( speed was between 55-60 mph indicated ) riding on the I-84 Super Slab.  No pictures of the Columbia Gorge area, too much congestion due to a traffic accident on milepost 44 which really snarled things up.

10 glorious hours later, and according to Google Maps roughly 421+ miles, I checked into a Motel 6 in Ontario, Oregon.  I am a tired rider tonight.

Here's today's route:

source: google maps

 As I rode along, I tried to capture a sundog rainbow, failed at that
but as you can see, got a good shot of the sky and clouds somewhere
to the west of Ontario, Oregon on I-84.

Red sky at night, sailor's delight.  That's the saying where good
weather is presaged by the appearance of red skies in the evening.....I hope its correct.

Valencia ran great all day I am happy to report.  The plan is to cross into Idaho tomorrow and stop at the URAL dealer in Boise, ID to get him to check/re-torque the head bolts one more time per the recommendation of Raceway Services.  I didn't have a torque wrench with me and the one I found at a NAPA store was $200 so I passed on that purchase!  I also hope to do a 1000 kilometer interval oil change to ensure there's no more metallic shavings in the engine oil.

After that's done, it's more slab time heading towards Wyoming.  

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.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Uraling back to Colorado - Day 58: Valencia's Engine is Kaput

Woke up early and started heading back towards Salem, OR....back to Raceway Services for them to diagnose the annoyingly loud and nerve-wracking noises coming from my engine.  I checked the oil before I left the motel 6, and two more times until the worst possible thing happened.

About 75.25 miles from Raceway's location, Valencia's engine suddenly lost power and I heard a loud bang!  I immediately pulled in the clutch lever and coasted over to the side of the road.  I looked at her engine, found no holes in the engine case, and I'd been fully expecting to see a piston sized hole based on the noise I heard.

No evident damage but the engine was not usable.  Pushed her further off the road, as the truckers apparently like to see how close they can get to a vehicle parked on the side of the road without actually hitting it.  Stupid bastards.

Called for a tow truck, it failed its ETA and then failed to show at all.  This proved to be a good thing as they wanted $270 to tow me to Salem!  The second outfit only wanted $150 and they actually showed up pretty much on time.

As the tow truck approached, I elected to push Valencia a 1/4 mile further to the west so that he wouldn't have to go past exit 25 so he could then turn around and get on the westbound side of I-84.  Good exercise that, pushing a fully loaded sidecar rig on flat ground while trucks and cars whiz closely by at high speed.

 I look so happy.....not!

We got Valencia back to Raceway just before Noon.  Jim was kind enough to arrange food for me.  I ate lunch with Jim and we chatted for a bit while Robert started tearing into Valencia's engine once he returned from lunch.  I'd alerted Jim beforehand as to my troubles and he advised he had the guys standing by for my arrival.

Robert found massive metal particle contamination inside the engine.  He also found a partially frozen control rod on the right side piston.  It is believed that the races belonging to the bearing used by the right side control ride had disintegrated.  The resulting metal flakes/particles floated about, contaminated the needle bearings and caused the bearing to fail.

Once the bearing failed, the control rod no longer rotated as designed, which meant the piston it controlled was no longer on its designed path/stroke within its bore/cylinder.  The piston attached to the control rod went further than expected,and impacted the right side head.  I believe this is the load bang I heard.

This "disintegration" of the control rod bearing races is rare but the guys at Raceways have seen it before apparently.  The theory is, I think, is that when the crankshaft parts are pressed together into the complete assembly at the factory, some of the assemblies are pressed too hard and damage the races slight.  Use and wear and tear do the rest.  Again, it's a theory, no one is really certain.

All of Valencia's damaged parts will be going back to URAL for analysis, hopefully they'll figure out what happened so that it doesn't happen to some other Uralista again.

View of the right side head

Red arrow above shows where the piston hit the head, not good

Both pistons' sides were scored. both pistons will be replaced as
well as the crankshaft.

Its out of focus, yes, but you can see the massive amount of 
metal flakes/shavings from the disintegrated bearing races

 Above is Valencia's oil sump, lots and lots of metal particles

The ruined crankshaft, which will be replaced.  On the right side control
rod, one is able to pull it in/out slightly.  There's not supposed to be ANY lateral movement!

In sum, crankshaft assembly, right head, both pistons, all engine bearings (old ones are contaminated with metal particles), related seals and gaskets are to be replaced.  As I left for the day, Robert was finishing cleaning out the engine case and parts that are still usable; the left head for example.

The parts were ordered and were shipped overnight by URAL (they're covering the whole repair job under warranty) and will be here tomorrow.  Robert will hopefully then be able to put all the new components in, reassemble Valencia and turn her over to me for me to break the engine in over the weekend.

The plan is, do the engine break-in procedure (600 km) over the weekend, do a break-in oil change and examine the oil filter and oil thoroughly.  If all goes well, I take Valencia back to Raceway on Monday to have them do an inspection/re-torque things and just check things out.  So I'll be spending some more time in Oregon.  

I will be staying with fellow moto-blogger Bluekat at their home in nearby Lebanon, OR.  No room at the inn but I am quite happy to have a spot on their lawn to camp!  :)

Quite the day, full of lows and highs, but in the end, it's all good.  Raceway and URAL are once again providing the outstanding customer service/support I've come to expect.  So glad I listened to Martha, who "counseled" me to head for Salem instead of trying to push onto Boise and the new URAL dealer there.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Uraling back to Colorado - Day 57: Repairs at Raceway Services and later, new noises.

So, I'd mentioned before the annoying clutch dragging issue when sitting at stop lights and such, especially when the engine was hot.  This posting was supposed to be an account of another great day of great customer service by Raceway Services but it will end in a low note due to other issues.

Today I rode Valencia over to Raceway Services, in Salem, Oregon.  After the initial greetings, Robert who is one of the shop's mechanics jumped in and started taking Valencia apart to get the engine/transmission out of the motorcycle and onto the work bench for analysis.

The clutch kit that was overnighted to the shop arrived as Robert was finishing removing the engine from the chassis.  Robert soon had the transmission off and the clutch parts disassembled and here's what he found:

 Above is the flywheel which came with my Valencia, note
the shiny "gouges" along the channels.  These are points where the steel
plates and clutch plates could "hang", preventing clean disengagement of the clutch

The above picture is a new flywheel and gives you an idea of 
what the channels should look like.

 Above is the transmission input spline from Valencia, note
the gouges on its splines, below is a new undamaged input spline

So here was the rub at this point in time, both the transmission input spline and the flywheel needed to be replaced.  Neither part is part of the clutch kit that had been sent to the shop.   Damn, I thought to myself, another night in town while more parts are ordered.

Robert went away for a bit and consulted with Kurt who handles warranties and parts.  The decision was made to take the flywheel from an existing engine which had been mounted on a test stand for a previous project; and to get the input spline from an in stock gearbox!  How's that for taking action to get a rider back on the road?

Plan made, Robert worked through the day to make it happen.  I tried to take pictures, learn things and tried to stay out of the way.  I even got invited to lunch with Jim and the new owner of the shop: Frank.

Frank, the new owner and Jim who's staying on as he's
the "soul" of Raceway Services.

 Here's Valencia's new clutch, freshly installed.  Note this time
I got the new clutch plates from URAL.  They're supposed to be more
robust and heat-dissipating.

 Above is the old input spline component
Below is the one removed from another gearbox

 The new input spline installed, the gears re-assembled and
ready to be mated with the cover

 The engine and transmission, back together again.

 During re-assembly, it was found that the clutch actuator lever's stub which
pushes the clutch release rod was worn way down!  The lower one
is the one I had on the motorcycle when I arrived this morning.

 Above is the worn down clutch actuator arm that came with Valencia
Raceway Services didn't have a new arm in stock, but instead of making me wait
for a parts order, Robert welded new steel onto the existing arm.

The above would be buffed and smoothed out a bit more
and then installed.  It worked great.  I will however, be ordering
a new part from URAL.

So, 5:30 PM comes along, Robert was done and Valencia awaited me.  I paid my portion of the bill ( under $100) and the rest was covered by the URAL warranty.  Such a deal.  I was once again a happy camper, with another great experience at Raceway Services helping me continue on my trip.

As I left Salem behind and approached Portland on I-5 and neared the I-205 interchange, I thought I started hearing noises coming from the engine area.  I'd heard them before this morning but had attributed them to the clutch issues, just things getting worse I thought.  

Well, it's not the clutch issue, the noise (which sounds like metal rubbing together) is evident and sometimes quite loud when at idle or moving slowly.  It's there whether in gear or not, so not the new clutch.  Still, she seemed to run fine, I should have turned back at that point but foolishly thought I'd swing by the URAL dealer in Boise, ID tomorrow.

At 8:30 PM, I checked in at a Motel 6 in the town of The Dalles, the noise seemingly much louder now.  DAMMIT.  Now I have to return to Salem in the morning and have them try and figure out what's causing this new noise!  I've never heard this type of noise before from any of my motorcycles.

After discussing it with Martha, it doesn't make sense to continue forward to the new URAL dealer in Boise; they're at least six hours away from my present location, whereas it's only three hours to get back to Raceway Services.  Sigh.

I hope whatever is wrong is also covered under warranty.  Keep your fingers crossed for me sports fans, and hope things hold together to allow me to get back to Salem in one piece.