My Barn Twins

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by fxray, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. Bruincounselor

    Bruincounselor North Plains Drifter Supporter

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    Wow. I stumbled into this thread looking for information about the non-running, leaking everywhere, basket case '81 R100RT I picked up last week. I've read every word. Thanks for posting the wealth of information on stuff I had never considered. My learning curve will begin once I dig into it later this summer (too much riding to do in the meantime). Perhaps I'll catch a few of the folks here at the MOA rally later this week - I'll be on my Oilhead.

    Thanks Ray!
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  2. fxray

    fxray Long timer

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    Hey Bruincounselor, I'm glad you stopped to say hello as you were walking past my "campsite" at the rally. Despite what you said about having read every word on this thread, you still looked normal, no crossed eyes or anything, so I'm happy about that! Hope you had a good time over there.

    I had planned to have the Havana Gold R90/6 (the bike I now call "Seegar") ready to ride to the MOA Rally in Des Moines, Iowa, but that just didn't happen. So, as plan "B", I turned the Black R90/6 (the bike I now call "Bevo", after its second PO), which is supposed to be a naked bike, into my temporary beast of burden. Here it was at my buddy's house as we were getting ready to head for Iowa.

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    They have a his 'n hers pair of liquid cooled R 1200 GS Adventure bikes, with their own dedicated garage stall, but they still let me tag along on my old airhead.

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    Here's the "her" bike closer up:

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    And the "his" bike:

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    I usually leave my bikes parked out in the street, so as not to mark up their nice driveway. More good rides than I can remember have started from this very spot over the years, on a wide variety of motorcycles.

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    In spite of them both riding Adventure bikes, their idea of rally camping was a hotel room near Des Moines. I think they both had their fill of tent camping in their younger years. I, on the other hand, was anxious to try out my new Marmot Tungsten 3P tent. Here's a view out the door, once I had it set up at the rally.

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    And the view from the outside, with the Bevo bike relieved of its load:

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    The Iowa State Fairgrounds are spacious, and are thick with beautiful shade trees. I set up on this little parkway between the sidewalk and the road, because nearly everywhere else was occupied when I got there. Except for all the fancy BMW Motorcycles parked everywhere, it looked like one of those refugee tent cities that we see on TV, but everybody was friendly and getting along well with their neighbors.

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    Inside the main rally building, there were a lot of vendors and the MOA Gear people. There were also people explaining and booking tours of exotic, far-off places. I walked around in there, but a lot of the stuff is either for newer bikes or beyond my means. Only twice did I did break out my wallet to buy something.

    Once was for a couple pair of nice, heavy duty ROK Straps.

    The other time was when I encountered the author, Jack Riepe, sitting at a table signing and selling his books. I like his stories in the Owner's News Magazine, published by the MOA, so I bought a copy of each book:

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    I asked him to sign them both, which he did:

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    This one says, "To Ray, a great 'R' bike rider, if there is such a thing."

    I love the publishers' logo, showing a sailing ship gripped in the tentacles of a giant squid. I didn't notice at first, but the tentacles also form the letters "Z & D" for the initials of the publishing house, Zadic & Deverelle, which I find pretty clever.

    In case you don't follow his work, Jack Riepe likes the "K" bikes and feels that all others are inferior -- especially the Airheads, which are left over from the days when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. I attended his seminar, where he filled a very large room, and entertained the crowd quite well. I can now say that he is every bit as crazy in person as his writings would indicate. I enjoyed his session immensely, and am also enjoying the first book, which I am partway through. There is a comment on the back of the book, where Tom Cutter - BMW Superbike Racer, Master Mechanic, Friend Of The Marque BMW Clubs, Int., summed up the book very concisely by saying, "Doesn't suck." I agree with him.

    There were also vintage bikes on display, so here are some pictures to scroll through:

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    Back outside, there was a very nice Ural parked near my tent:

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    In the spirit of retro, it even had the hand shift:

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    In an earlier post, I was sort of poking the inmate called "junkcollector" for inducing all of his friends to buy motorcycle related stuff. Actually, I have to give him a shout out for all his help in selecting some gear. He loaned me his tent a couple years ago and taught me how modern tents are assembled. He also showed me a lot of other camping gear that he has found useful. I wound up sleeping very comfortably on my self-inflating mattress with my new sleeping bag, inside my new tent. I also enjoyed my new (to me) Kermit chair, which was handy to carry along when I walked to where the live music was performed several times. Thanks, man!

    We had some rain Friday night, and my bike sat out in the weather overnight for the first time since I've owned it. The tent did its job well, and the rain on the roof just made a pleasant sound. None of it leaked inside.

    Saturday morning, before I broke "camp", I wiped the bike all down with microfiber towels and had it looking sharp. I never hit any rain on the way home, but often ran behind where the storm had recently passed. Several people walking past my bike at the rally had told me, "That bike is just too clean!" Well, the wet roads took care of that. By the time it was home, it looked like this:

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    I know what you're thinking. It looks like one of those adventure bikes that just crossed the Amazon river down in South America. What a mess!

    Well, maybe it wasn't the Amazon, but it did make it across the mighty Mississippi River on this little jaunt -- TWICE!

    O.K. . . . all right . . . both times it was on a bridge -- but that pavement was pretty damp!
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  3. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin! Supporter

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    ...and a big thanks for all the "vintage bmw" pics to add to my swiped-bits.... :D
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  4. Bruincounselor

    Bruincounselor North Plains Drifter Supporter

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    I'm glad someone thinks I look normal. That was Thursday after 12 hours on the 1150GS in 95 degree heat and I was not feeling normal at all. My buddies and I were looking for beer, water, and food when we stumbled by. I tried to catch you later when I was in a better state of mind, but never caught you at camp. It was good to meet you as well. I was lucky enough to make some great connections with other knowledgeable airhead folks at the rally (and I had a great time at MOA national #5 for me). I'll post up a link when I start my resuscitation efforts on the RT.
    fxray likes this.
  5. Bruincounselor

    Bruincounselor North Plains Drifter Supporter

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  6. fxray

    fxray Long timer

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    ^^^ Yep, I'm subscribed to it. My project R90 won't probably get much done till late autumn too. I'm too busy trying to keep the licensed bikes running. That's likely a sign of too many bikes, but I'm not fully convinced of that yet. :lol3
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  7. guywithchickens

    guywithchickens Been here awhile

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    I'm just starting to think about what next winter's project might be...toying with trying to find an R100RT that needs love, or give my V-Strom a thorough going-through, or finish the wooden dinghy that got started 15 years ago. So many decisions...
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  8. fxray

    fxray Long timer

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    My original plans this month were to ride the R90/6 to the MOA Rally in Des Moines, then ride the Harley FXRS with some friends on a trip circling around Lake Michigan. I made it to the rally and back just fine, but I have become convinced that the INA needle bearing on the inner end of the camshaft in my evo FXRS is ready to shell itself. I decided not to run it again till I fit a new Torrington bearing in there.

    I was going to cancel the Lake Michigan ride, but then got to thinking maybe the airhead could handle that ride too. No worries -- of course it did!

    Like most Harley riders, my friends are really good people, and none of them minded having a 'brand X' bike in the mix. I guess this is sort of a RR, but I figure I'll throw it in this thread where I put my old barn twin back together in the first place.

    So, there we all were -- one black airhead and three black Harleys. I guess we ran through Illinois, Indiana and then into Michigan before I took any pictures:

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    This was at a roadside pub alongside a lake. You see stuff like this when you stick to the two lane roads. Notice the red Jeep at the right, with the rear window lifted. There was a humongous black dog dozing peacefully inside the back. I walked behind that Jeep and said, "Well, hello, puppy."

    The dog slowly opened his eyes, lifted his head, looked over at me and finally said, "RRRRRAAAAAAAWWWWWWWFFFFFFF!"

    That's full volume dog talk for "You are too close to my master's Jeep -- get back now before I kill you! "

    I had no idea that I could still jump as well as I did at that moment. I'm pretty sure nobody saw me though, because one of the Harley riders made the same mistake after lunch. :lol3 :lol3

    The second night out, we stayed at the Star Gate Motel in Indian River, Michigan. All of us old school riders prefer the single level motels where you can park your bike near the door. This place is run by some Illinois transplants who moved up there and bought the motel about five years ago, because they liked the area. Their nephew is a close friend to the people I was riding with. He had the idea for this trip in the first place, and wanted to stay / visit at the Star Gate. Sadly, he has a serious illness that flared at the last moment, and was unable to go with us. It was bittersweet to pull in there for the night without him.

    Our hosts took good care of us, and made some great route recommendations, not the least of which was telling us to ride Michigan State Route 119. There is about a 20 mile stretch on there called "The Tunnel of Trees" -- for good reason.

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    It's a twisty blacktop through a beautiful forest of tall, sweet-smelling pines and other trees. There are great looking houses, but unobtrusively set back from the road. There was some traffic, but not much. If I lived there, I would ride that road as often as possible.

    We came upon this church in the woods, and stopped to look around:

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    There was an old graveyard attached:

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    Here's a closer look at the sign:

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    I don't know about the crosses. They looked like modern markers that had been placed to locate the old grave sites.

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    Out back was a deck which overlooked Lake Michigan. Here were some of the Harley riders taking in the view. It was sometimes hard to tell where the horizon marked the boundary between sky and water. In this picture, it is slightly above the railing.

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    There were steps down to the beach / shore area:

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    One of the guys was down there looking at the vastness of the lake:

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    I went down to get my old boots in the sand:

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    . . . and to have a look around:

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    Then we were back on the bikes and off to ride the bridge, the Mackinac Bridge, that is -- the one where the Yugo once famously blew off the side in a gust of wind. (Read about it here). If you are really scared, I hear that the cops will haul your motorcycle or drive your car across for you, while you assume the fetal position in the back seat and whimper with fear. Since I had my tablet and there was WiFi, I had googled, "will my motorcycle blow off the Mackinac bridge?" Of course, advrider threads popped up, like this one.

    In the end, it was a piece of cake. I loved it, and would have ridden back and forth all day -- even with the $4.00 fare for each crossing, but I was with a group that wanted to move on.

    In the parking lot across the bridge, I tried to get a picture of the bridge over my handlebars. It's there, but you have to look sharp:

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    Here is a closer look, after walking a bit (you couldn't take vehicles down to the observation area):

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    That evening, we got rooms at the Terrace Bay Hotel in Gladstone, Michigan, situated on a bay of Lake Michigan. They had an excellent restaurant, and there was a back door from many of the rooms that went out to the lakeside. Here is the view facing east out the back door in the evening.

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    . . . and watching the sunrise the next morning:

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    Some more riding brought us down through Wisconsin that day, which was also a treat on some winding back roads. We got another hotel that night, and not the kind where you can park your ride directly outside the door. When I went outside the next morning, the bikes were still there, but my old airhead was yelling, "Help, you left me surrounded by Harley's!"

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    I got a chuckle from the nice little Mini Cooper parked near us. Check out the license plate. They were from Wisconsin, but were evidently unhappy with the state slogan, "America's Dairyland".

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    They had put their own little sticker on there with their own little slogan:

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    One of the guys in our group remarked that "You'd probably be putting your life at risk if they saw you eating a burger at the next table in a restaurant!" :lol3 :lol3

    Later that morning, looking at all the contented cows cropping green grass on the hillsides along our curvy roads, they didn't seem to know they were in a hellish situation.

    Finally back in old Illinois, we pulled in at a couple of historic marker sites. One was the 1878 Henry School, on the old Galena Trail in Polo, Illinois. It was used as a school clear up until 1957. Purchased by the Polo Historical Society in 2001, it has been turned back into an old country school on display.

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    We also stopped in Cherry, Illinois, site of a horrible mining disaster back in 1909 that led to the creation of workmen's compensation laws.

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    Anyhow, the old airhead made it home with absolutely no issues at all.

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    At more than a few stops along the way, people came running over to talk airheads with me when they spotted my R90/6. In spite of the fact that I was with two brand new Harleys and one very nice hundredth anniversary Ultra Classic from the 2003 model year, I never heard a single comment about those bikes. Even the Harley guys mentioned that. What could I say -- people have a soft spot for old stuff that is still rolling as it was intended. These guys understood, though. They all have their own old bikes at home that draw attention when they are out and about.

    Our little jaunt around the big lake was a little over 1,300 miles this past week. We had a nice, leisurely trip and saw some wonderful scenery along some fabulous roads. Close to home, my R90/6 rolled up 10,000 miles total, since I got it back on the road in March of last year after the redo. I hope this is just the beginning.
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  9. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Long timer

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    Well done, Ray. :thumb.

    I hope you stopped for some Pasties up at Bessies in St. Ignace. Just north of the bridge. :dukegirl

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  10. fxray

    fxray Long timer

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    ^^^ Jim, I saw the signs everywhere, but am trying to rewire my eating habits. Sadly, we did not stop for pasties.

    Every time I saw a sign for them though, I was reminded of an anecdote by @ lit67. It seems he was up there and stopped to try a pastie. The problem was that he asked for a pāstie (ā = long a vowel sound). The Michiganders call it a păstie (ă = short a vowel sound). When the lady corrected him, he asked her, "O.K., so what's the difference?"

    She told him, "You can eat păsties, but pāsties you wear on your nipples!" :photog
  11. fxray

    fxray Long timer

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    Over the past couple days, I finally got around to fooling with the Amal Monobloc for the TR6R. This old carb is now 54 years old, but has a new lease on life after a re-sleeve job by Lund Machining. I ran it through the ultrasonic cleaner, and polished the outside a bit, and replaced all the gaskets (again). It's back where it belongs, along with the new fuel lines I made up for it. After a little fiddling with the idle jet, the bike is running sweet!

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    It will actually idle now without having to constantly blip the throttle, and no longer tries to die while sitting at a stoplight. I rode it into Peoria Heights, where a group of about twenty of us retired biker guys meet for breakfast on Thursdays to discuss issues of the day. Today, a lot of that talk centered around 60's era Triumphs. I hadn't known until this morning that one of the guys used to be a Triumph dealer 'back in the day'. He was happy to see me ride in on the bike, and I didn't have to kickstart it in traffic even once. :brow

    Back home, with the bike safely put away, the sky opened up and we got a nice, gentle, but steady rain shower. I still had the CL350 up on the lift after doing an oil change and tune-up yesterday, so I did some detailing while the rain came down outside. Temperature was a pleasant 78°F.

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    I'm thinking the next thing is to run the old Sprint up on the table and go through some things. Maybe if I change the oil, and clean some electrical stuff, and check the points, and clean the carburetor, and put in a battery, and dump in some fuel, it might even run. :hmmmmm

    I can't get too side-tracked though, because, earlier this week, my buddy loaned me the tools to fix the FXRS cam bearing. I really need to get to that.

    In the middle of all this, the phone rang. The SL350 parts were ready to be picked up from the powder coat shop. The parts that did look like this:

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    now look like this:

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    Just to prove the maxim that there is no such thing as a free motorcycle, I now have some skin in the game on this one. It is still nearly a free bike though, and I am grateful to have it.

    So, what ever became of the Havana Gold R90/6? It's still in process and was actively holding up the backdrop sheet for the above picture of the Honda parts.

    It'll all come out in the wash . . . someday. Meanwhile, three out of the four licensed bikes are currently runnable, recently serviced, and even clean. That's an amazing 75%!

    From my perspective, today was a good day!
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  12. OdyBandit

    OdyBandit Long timer

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    Hey Ray nice write up on your trip. A friend of mine from Eureka told me about the Thursday breakfast. He’s not retired though and rides a KLR. His son has a Sherpa like mine. Been really busy on the farm but starting to get caught up. That SL will be one sweet bike.
  13. fxray

    fxray Long timer

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    I didn't get into too much Airhead stuff over the past month, but here is how August of 2018 went.

    I did put the little 1970 350SS Harley Aermacchi Sprint up on the lift for a little light cleaning and inspecting. Mainly I wanted to arrest the development of the rust and corrosion on the chrome parts and to put a light polish on some of the alloy parts. I also reached out to a few sources for parts, and I now have a stash of stuff on hand for when (if) I get to work on this old bike.

    Here it was back on the ground after some cleaning. It may not look too spiffy, but the entire exhaust system previously looked like it was made of 80 grit carpenter's sandpaper:

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    I even discovered a rear drive chain underneath a few acres of dirt.

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    The bike came with an original 1970 Factory Manual, and I have picked up a CD version of the Parts Manuals for the entire run of Sprints. Armed with the ability to search by part number, I acquired some NOS parts:
    • points (called circuit breakers in the parts manual)
    • condenser
    • carburetor kit
    • float needle (called a fuel valve in the manual)
    • a stop bolt for the kick lever
    I also violated one of my personal rules and bought a new Motobatt battery before I am nearly ready for it. My logic was that I needed it to test the 6 volt system.

    Tampico, Illinois is the birthplace of President Ronald Reagan, but a little south of town is:

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    So the Sprint's PO on his new Harley, and I on my '74 R90 took a ride up there for a visit. I knew we had the right place when I recognized a few spares near the shop door:

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    I didn't get inside the barn, but it is reputed to be full of old Sprints in various condition. Being a barn bike freak, I'll be back for that tour another day.

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    After the venerable guard dog (white in all the places she once had red hair) calmed down and let us inside, there was a lot of neat stuff to see. I just love Dachshunds and old bikes.

    :raabia

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    Bikes ranged from a Chimera to a Sprint bobber, and lots of stuff in between:

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    Back home, I finished up with the little 350 and swapped places with the bigger Harley to give it another turn on the bike lift table. It seems that Harley Davidson used to flirt around with an INA needle bearing on the inside end of the camshaft in their Evolution Engines. These tend to take a crap after some thousands of miles are run up. Ditto for the roller lifters. Once this happens, you have to pull the engine and split the cases to clean all the debris from the oil system.

    Mine didn't do that, but it had some gear whine. This FXRS, to my way of thinking, has low miles (74,500) for its age (27 yrs). Others tell me the cam box has been living on borrowed time. So, I went in for a look:

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    Nothing looked or measured too bad, and the cam lobes all looked great to me:

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    but . . . the inside end of the camshaft did have a pitted spot where it looked like it had worn through the case hardness:

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    Then, surprise, surprise! The noise I had heard was not coming from a failing INA Bearing at all. Those things, in case you don't know, only had every second needle roller, with the rollers separated by plastic spacers. They tended to fail on the bottom where the downward pressure from the valve springs gave the greatest load.

    Instead, my engine was born with a full complement Torrington needle bearing. That's the counterweight of the crankshaft directly behind the needle bearing.

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    Torrington or not, the needle bearing and camshaft needed to be replaced. This unexpectedly led to a somewhat life altering situation here in the land of barn twins. Right now, it is time for a breakfast ride on one of the bikes.

    (To be continued later.)
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  14. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Long timer

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    Coises! A cliff hangah!
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  15. fxray

    fxray Long timer

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    ^^^Heh, yeah, sort of.

    "Life altering" is too strong a phrase. "Equipment altering" is more accurate, but it easily could have been life altering. Hang on -- this could get lengthy.

    There is a special tool for that needle bearing (see my last previous post). Actually, there is one to remove it and another to install the new bearing. My buddy had the installation tool, but not the remover (he does now). He has changed out a bunch of these by using an expandable blind hole bearing puller with a slide hammer. I borrowed that tool and gave it a try, but was overly cautious and didn't expand the bushing on the tool quite enough. Hey, it was my first time inside one of these things.

    I managed to catch the backside of the needle rollers, but not the backside of the bearing cage. A little light tapping of the slide hammer, and the bearing cage broke -- yeah right there inside the heart of everything important! :arg

    I got out my magnet-on-a-stick and retrieved every bit I could find, extracting all the needles that remained in the fractured shell. Another try with the extractor tightened a bit more did nothing but yield more bits for the magnet. It was at that point that I decided to stop and order the correct tool -- there's nothing like closing the barn door after the horses have stampeded out.

    But . . . my buddy said he had a different tool group that might work better. He thought it was worth a try, instead of waiting for the Jim's Tool to arrive. I told him I would hop on the R90 and be right over to get it.

    "No," he said, "it's too heavy and bulky to carry on the bike -- better drive the van."

    En-route, I was moseying along on this 25 mph residential street:

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    Note the stop sign to the left, on the cross street. Someone coming down that street would see this view of the intersection as I was coming up the other street to their right. (I had no stop sign.):

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    The sign says to stop, but he didn't see the sign. He was some young kid, barely old enough to collect Social Security. :lol3

    He tee boned the van right at the driver side door, just a little ahead of the fuel tank filler cap. Fortunately, an E350 is built like a tank. The little four-door car penetrated as far as the steel main frame, and quit. Here's how the customization worked out:

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    He hit hard enough to slide my one-ton van about six feet sideways and make the passenger side rear wheel smack the curb hard enough to look like this:

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    Both vehicles were totaled. Both drivers walked away, mostly O.K., just a little stiff and sore. Zero air bags deployed, which is probably just as well. I imagine he had the Takata bags that tend to send shrapnel when they deploy.

    Had I been on the Airhead as intended, the result would have been different (assuming the same timing of the situation).

    I was rather proud of the fact that the tire still held air, and the van was not leaking anywhere. I was especially glad that the fuel tank didn't explode while I was sitting in there. The tank is situated just inside the frame rail from the impact.

    In fact, the van was able to be started and driven a few feet up the rollback truck for easier loading. The driver's door was open to the weather at the top edge by several inches, but the door didn't need to be tied shut on the wrecker. It would still latch and unlatch via the door handle.

    Ford tough!

    So . . . I figured I had destroyed my Harley and lost my beloved E350 van -- all in the same day.

    The thought crossed my mind that if I had accepted @OdyBandit's invitation to go to the Peoria TT Race with the Airheads, I would have been far away from this intersection. Now he wants to ride up to Rock Falls to watch the Cannonball riders come in for their lunch stop. I think I'd better go with him!

    I quit working on the Harley till the bearing extractor showed up, but there wasn't enough of the bearing left for the tool to work. I used my old-school devious ways to finally remove the rest of the bearing. Then I carefully put the pieces back together to see if I had left anything inside the engine. Even one little fragment of a steel chip that got into the gear-type oil pump would shear the tiny woodruff drive key and stop the pump. That would mean a full, engine-out teardown.

    I took my sweet time putting things back together, mainly scared to fire it up and see what happened. But . . . it worked! It's back together and stronger than ever.

    I put in new roller lifters from Harley Davidson, a new Torrington needle bearing, and a new EV-27 Andrews cam. I wish I had done this years ago. The engine woke up, and the bike is transformed with this simple, bolt-in cam -- no head work required. So far, I have a little over a hundred miles run up, and no issues. I'm still keeping a close eye on the oil pressure idiot light, but starting to relax. Torque and horsepower are better throughout the range, and the perpetual "Evo Cough" seems to be cured. That has plagued this bike since it was new. I suppose the different valve timing is the cause of this cure. The original would have been choked down for the EPA.

    Meanwhile, I looked through several thousand Craigslist car/truck ads, visited car lots all over the place, and used the Car Fax and Car Guru search engines for hours on end. The van that got wrecked was used, but was a known quantity when I bought it from a good friend. A replacement would be a pig in a poke.

    I started thinking that an SUV with a factory towing package, coupled with an enclosed trailer might suit me better than another van. This brought on literally days and days of reading here on advrider about trailers and tow vehicles.

    I found a cherry, well equipped, well maintained Chevy TrailBlazer about a hundred miles north of me. It had a lot of new parts and was freshly detailed inside and out. I got good vibes from the PO, who seemed to be a "car guy". I bought it.

    Then I started looking for a trailer. I like the Wells Cargo Road Force Trailers, and started looking for a used one. They have recently been bought out, and new ones are not readily available. I didn't find any used ones either. So . . . I wound up with a new one (different brand) that looks the same and is made by the same company that bought Wells Cargo (or so I was told).

    I got a 2018 Air Lite by American Hauler. It's a 6'x12' nominal floor area, and 6' interior height. Here's the whole rig back home and dropped in my driveway.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Advantages? Lower deck height, taller ceiling, nice wide ramp, lots more space.

    I'm looking at E-Track now. I have a feeling this is only the beginning.

    Ray
    ME 109, dmftoy1, bpeckm and 3 others like this.
  16. Cogswell

    Cogswell Trying to live the new normal.

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Oddometer:
    9,437
    Location:
    Riding with my pal Richard Cranium
    I'm glad you were not seriously injured in the accident Ray !

    Thanks for the bearing story on the Harley too. :D
    Texer likes this.
  17. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,385
    Location:
    Pocono Mountains, PA
    Well dang it all Ray, that was NOT what I was expecting. :yikes

    Glad that it was not any worse, but sorry to see the E350 going to the auction house. :(

    Thanks for confirming my homework on the trailer. :lol3 I am likely going to get the same configuration for hauling my bikes around. Behind my E350 PSD. :smooch
  18. fxray

    fxray Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,384
    Location:
    Illinois, USA
    Cogswell and Jim, thanks for your comments. I admit that I moped around a while after the crash, until several people reminded me of how fortunate the other driver and I were, since we both walked away from the crash. I am reminded of @bmwrench and his recent painful crash that came on the heels of a home fire. From that perspective, what happened to me was of no consequence at all.

    Jim, if you are thinking of an American Hauler like mine, take a look underneath before you decide. Although it has ceiling, floor, and wall framing on 16" centers, the floor frame cross members are pretty lightweight steel, and the welding is not among the best I have ever seen. I think this is typical though. The wiring is also less than what you or I would do from scratch. It's still better than some others that I looked at.
    brittrunyon likes this.
  19. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,385
    Location:
    Pocono Mountains, PA
    Thanks for the heads up on the shortcomings of that brand, Ray, but I was not considering anything but the size. There are several different builders available in eastern PA that have very good construction standards, but with prices to match, of course.
    fxray likes this.
  20. washpark

    washpark Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    Park City, UT
    Glad you escaped injury in the "accident". Sorry the E350 bit the dust. As far as I am concerned they are classics. I have a 2003 Sportsmobile conversion camper van that I haul my R90 and F800 around on (not at the same time). Handles great. Cruises at the speed limit. Gets 12 mpg using regular gas. No issues at 120,000 miles. I use a Mototote rack.