It should come as no surprise to anyone, when something goes wrong, it kind of sets a mood that continues to cascade, bringing everything around it down to a level of misery that can’t be enjoyed at the value in which it is worth.
That kind of sums of the last few weeks for me.
As mentioned in “High’s, Low’s, and Somewhere In Between”, the KLR ended up with a leaky mechanical seal. This in itself isn’t a huge problem. It is an easy fix, rather cheap (for the part itself), and the mechanical skill needed is somewhere around the 7 out of 10 range due to pressing seals out and back in. So nothing too entirely difficult for me.
So with the parts ordered, I waited patiently for them to show up.
And I waited
And I waited some more.
By the time two and a half weeks rolled by, and the realization that my bike had now been officially sitting in my garage, unable to motate for a longer period that I have owned it running, put things into a perspective that just continued the misery.
Also, among all this time waiting, the camping trip was coming closer and closer. Eventually I began to worry that the parts would not arrive in time for me to put them in, and use the KLR for the camping trip, which was really what I was looking forward to doing. I really wanted to spend some time figuring it all out.
What else happens during this time, is I start to question the validity of using a KLR for my trip. If I am having these thoughts now, what about on the trip? Will I be able to get all of the quarks worked out before June 17th? So many questions started to pile up, and I realized I needed to put everything KLR on hold until I figured them out.
One of the things that I decided to hold off on, is the 685 big bore kit. This wasn’t exactly all that hard for me to cancel, and the reason being is I hate being lied to, or misdirected by business’s. If you don’t know, just tell me. It goes a lot further than giving me false hopes.
So I ordered the Big Bore Kit from Schnitz Racing on February 17th. Later that afternoon, I received a call from them explaining that most of the parts I ordered, were on back order, the main one being the kit itself, and that it would be in the following week and ship. Excellent, no biggie as I needed to buy another cylinder and setup a time to have everything bored and gaped.
I at this point, was still very happy. I love buying new toys! Especially ones that improve on something I already own!
So the waiting game began. I was waiting on the Big Bore Kit, as well as my Mechanical Seal.
March 4th had come along, the day that both Items should have arrived, and nothing. I called up Schnitz and they now gave me a new date of the 9th, that the big bore kit would be in. Also, nothing else that I ordered was in, except for the Oil Filters. I did make a rather large order, and with giving them 2 weeks to get parts in, I was rather disappointed. Also, having scheduled time with a machinist in Oregon to do the bore and gap the rings for the weekend of the 6th, I decided to just cancel the order. My Mechanical Seal was also still on back order, and I was depressed about the whole situation.
So on March 4th, 2010, I canceled my order with Schnitz. As of me writing this, March 16th, `12 days later, I have not yet received my refund. (Refund has been recieved! Schnitz had issued it right away, but the bank had been “holding” it for some reason. )
So by the time the weekend of the 6th rolled around, I was beat down. I was ready to push the KLR off of a cliff side. The whole experience I had up until that point with it, had been comprised of more waiting, than writing, and I realized that maybe I should just prepare myself for the worse.
But that weekend didn’t turn out so bad. A lot happened to start lifting my spirits. First off, I now had a few days to enjoy the beautiful weather that they were experiencing in Oregon. Secondly, my race bike sold, finally ending months of pain staking pushing to get rid of it.
The weekend came and gone, and Monday rolled by without too much excitement.
Tuesday, however was another story. I work as a Data Center Admin. That, in my company means I do everything from Network Admin, System Admin, etc.
Well, Tuesday, our Virus Software decided it would be a good idea to delete the Exchange Log files, causing our exchange server to crash. I would end up spending the next several hours trying to recover from a repair that wasn’t successful before moving on to a restore from backup. Lesson learned is to just restore from backup and deal with the lost emails.
Tuesday though, my parts also came in. I was unable to pick them up, but Wednesday, because of my 24 hours of work spent on Tuesday I had some time to kill and I was able to pick them up.
I came home and instantly started pulling apart the KLR to install them. I took my time, I wanted to make sure I didn’t damage anything else, nor did I feel like loosing anything and spending an hour looking for a nut. I pulled the skid plate, drained the oil, drained the remaining coolant, pulled the covers and impeller, and pressed out the old seals and put in the new seals and reversed the removal process to button her all back up.
After she was all sealed up, the moment of truth had come. I slowly began to poor the new coolant into the radiator, stopping every so often to listen for that terrible draining sound.
I put a little more in. Still no draining sounds.
And a bit more until the radiator was full. Still nothing.
I pulled the coolant drain plug out a little until fluid started to seep. Yup, fluid is down here in the water pump. The seal installation was a success!
During the removal of everything, I did actually find the exact problem, which ended up being in the impeller seal and not the mechanical seal itself, and I am thankful they include that with the mechanical seal.
It had developed a series of small cracks throughout it. When I pulled it, it just crumbled. The material itself could easily be snapped with a couple fingers and not much force. I also took notice that they changed the design of the Mechanical seal from what I had in it, and what I had put in it. Just slight variations.
I than put in oil, and started her up. Ran her for a few minutes, turned her off, checked for leaks (both oil and coolant). Everything looked fine.
I topped the radiator back off, as well as the coolant reservoir, double checked oil levels, grabbed my gear, and took her out on a quick ride to make sure everything was in order. I rode for a few blocks, returned, and watched for leaks.
I then decided to take a little bit longer of a ride, jumped on 520, and then up North 405. I made my way to the Totem Lake Exit, turned around and stopped at my works parking lot. Did a quick once over of everything to make sure it all still looked in order, and continued on home.
No leaks! Also, it was the first time that I really got to pay attention to the coolant temperature since I installed the Thermo-Bob. Coming home from Grant’s when the seal had gone out, I paid attention to it, but was to pre-occupied on watching it not to over heat if it ran out of fluid in the 20 miles between us.
My spirits for the first time in several weeks over this bike, had been lifted. Again, all my doubts slowly brushed away as each mile passed below me on the tarmac, eventually envisioning both of us riding along the roads of Northern Canada in 3 months time.
As I pulled Sarah back into the Garage and turned her off, I realized that the coming weekend would be our first official shakedown trip together. It was now time to prepare both her, and myself for 3 days of camping in whatever mother nature decided to throw at us.