Friday, March 25, 2016

A little Blue work and a little work for TicTac

Had a productive couple of hours today.  Michelle and I got the fuel system back together again.

I ended up changing out the fuel filter and the fuel lines.

The fuel filter is the metal part by my thumb... Super simple to change out.  The lines are tough to get on because of the snug fit but Michelle did that like a pro.

Didn't take to long to get everything back in the tank... We also have the cover on and the battery is reconnected.

Now all I need is some gas to try her out.  That has to wait until morning.  I only have a gallon fuel container so we dumped the gas we took out into the car where we are staying.  I thought there was more left than there was so I didn't leave any for Blue. 😒. But all good... Will just get a gallon tomorrow.

Michelle and I finally ordered a new converter for my solar panel.  Our friend Jake picked out the one we needed and it arrived today.  Quick exchange.

This is the old converter.

Here is the new... All you have to do is move the 4 wires from one to the other.

The wires from the battery line looked a bit rough so I snipped off to make a cleaner end.

Tomorrow I will test it out then glue it onto the panel.  The old one will have to stay because it is quite glued on there and I don't want to chance damaging the panel in any way.

Feels good getting things ready and cleaned up for the road.  Michelle has been working on food we will be having on the road.  She loves to cook and is coming up with some recipes that are economical and work well with our kitchen setup and lack of space... She will be starting a blog shortly and I will be sure to share that with all of you.  I get excited by creating more ways to live simply but with things one wouldn't think you could have.

More to come!

Mechanic Jack

I'm getting into this whole mechanic thing.  I love research and figuring things out... not a fan of parts that are hard to budge but all is going well.  I take my time... work a little and then take a break to help with not getting frustrated.  Works really well when something isn't quite going the way I want.  I take a break and when I come back it usually does what I was hoping.

I first took off the cover to the clutch so I could have a quick peak and check on the gasket.  It also gave me something to do while trying to figure out how I was going to get off the floorboard mount and shifters.

I'm trying to keep all screws, nuts and bolts close to, inside or attached to their partner part so I'm sure it all goes back together correctly. :)

I finally got the footboard mount off so I could take off the primary cover.  Quite the stupid piece when you don't have every tool available.  I have been having to buy tools as I go along.  Not many... a couple of sockets and little things which will be great for the road.  I have always carried around some cheap basic tools for little things but nothing for any real bike work.

The front bolt of the footboard mount is easy with a deeper socket but there is a little hiding bolt behind all that mess.  Not a big enough space for a socket so a combination wrench worked but with very little movement it took a little while to get the bolt loose and off.

I can't seem to budge the bolts on the shifters so I took off the primary cover with them still attached.  I'm still able to look at everything and manipulate it a bit.

I'm trying to learn all the right terms... still not there but better than what I was before I started this mechanic adventure.

Everything looks pretty good from a basic look.

Here is the compensator... doesn't jiggle at all so that is a good basic sign.  The chain isn't loose.

This is the primary chain tensioner... Looks good as far as I know. :P

Below is the clutch assembly.  It also doesn't rattle when I try to jiggle it in any way.

I'm not sure what that ware line is around the outside... is it suppose to be there???  or is it a weld of some sort... seems odd.  Need to do some research on that.

I did purchase a new primary gasket.  Figured I was going in so I should just replace.  The new one is on the top and the old one is on the bottom.  Nothing is ripped or worn on the bottom but better to be on top of that then having to open her up just for a gasket and they are pretty inexpensive.

I also worked on the fuel line.  It took me some courage gaining to pull the hoses off.  I'm always afraid I am going to break something forever... and really... that isn't likely and things are replaceable.  So, I pulled off the hoses on the fuel pump and I actually found a hole!!!  I was very excited because I felt like I was doing good.

Now I will have to figure out how to put on the replacement hose, which for whatever reason, is an inch shorter than the hose that was in there.  It came from a part made for my bike.  The shop I have been going to near here let me buy the hose without having to buy the whole filter.

These are also very tough to get on since you want a snug connection... but it seems like it won't fit at all.  I might try using a hair dryer or something to loosen up the end a bit for placement.

I did accomplish changing out the other fuel line that goes to outside the tank.  That one was super simple.

You push up on the metal thing while pulling down on the black hose.  It pops right out.  Then you use a 7/8 socket and loosen up the metal piece and it comes right off.  The replacement piece comes with a new metal piece so you stick the hose right thru, tighten it up and push up the metal part to reattach the hose.  Now I have to attach it to the pump which will be a pain since it is a tight fit.

While everything was open I thought I would check inside the tank and I found this piece of plastic...

It is from the fuel pump... remember that piece in the last post where I was unsure... it seemed odd

It's the other part of that... the shop told me it was a breather and not to worry... now I wonder if I have to replace this outer case of the fuel pump... since part of it was in my tank.

Still have things to figure out.  I want to get this fuel issues put back together again so I can start up Blue and figure out if all is working well inside the primary.  That will be the task tomorrow.  Hopefully the hole in the line is all I need to worry about, fuel wise... but I will do some research on the random breather and if it will be an issue.

This has been quite fun to interact with my friends and followers on Facebook as I go along and to share here on my blog.  Feeling a bit less intimidated about what I decided was my task at hand.   Thanks for the encouragement!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Blue needs some fixin'

We are about 3 weeks out from hitting the road again.  I promised Blue if she got us here I would work on her and she is making me stick to that promise.  She has been acting funny while we have been here and the issues can't be ignored.  I decided I am going to try my hand at being a mechanic with a bit of help from my dad, friends and followers. (via phone, email, postings and Skype)  I got around to starting to take Blue apart tonight with Michelle's help.

Here is her issue... she has been sputtering and backfiring and then has a weird clunkity, clunkity sound when she runs for a bit... you can hear at the end of the video.

My dad, his mechanic friend, Wade, from the Indian Dealer in Lincoln NE and I decided to check the fuel pump, fuel regulator for what would be the cause of the sputter and backfire.  Then open up the primary to check the compensator for the clunkity sound.  I also need to tighten up the shifter... so I need to figure that out also.

Today I started taking Blue apart.  Taking off the seat to disconnect the battery which meant I had to remove the tour pack... and look what I found

Yep, one of the quick release levers fell right off.  Luckily it should just be the other side of that screw and put it right back on the pack.

Then Michelle and I look down to see this...

Third time for this piece to break.  Once long before I ever hit the road, one other time on the road and then now.  Not sure when that broke (I check daily on the road) but good to be somewhere where I can just get a replacement part.  Not a cheap part if I remember... will be around $200.

I drained the oil from the primary so I can open it up but realized I need another tool I don't have to be able to budge those bolts... will pick up tomorrow.

Then it was time to syphon out the gas so we could remove the fuel pump.  I bought the syphon with the squeeze ball part... hoping it would be easy.  Of course in the life of Blue nothing is easy.  Since it was rolled up in the package no matter how we put it in the tank it would roll up out of the gas.  So our solution was taping a stick to the hose to keep it straight... we taped every inch that went into the tank so nothing would get into the tank.  We first taped a screw driver but it wasn't long enough... again taping every inch so there would be no chance of a spark from the screw driver hitting the side of the tank.

I asked Michelle for assistance and she took over... after a bit of frustration and what felt like forever she finally found the little trigger of sorts... but not really a trigger... you push on it so that it pulls out and away to release the arm so you can wiggle the fuel pump out of the tank.  YAY!!!

Michelle will get extra bonus points for that effort. :)

The only thing at first glance that looks to be an issue is the plastic casing of the fuel pump that is next to the filter.

If you can see... it is all melted and gooey... not sure what that would affect but something to look into.  

I stopped for the night and will do some more research and such tomorrow evening.  I am a little nervous now I have Blue all in pieces but excited to build up my confidence in Blue maintenance.  I also have a couple of people that I might be able to hire to come over and help if it becomes something I can't figure out on my own.  Confidence is key, I believe.  How else do you learn but by doing.

Wish me luck! 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Catching up

We have been here in California since the end of January.  We get about 8 hours out and about together a week.  We are caregiving for a friend but it is quite a challenge for me.  I hate being inside sucked into the tv.  I lived that life for many years due to depression and anxiety and it is quite the trigger for me.  

We have about 3 more weeks and then we are off on a cross country trip to our summer gig in New Hampshire... Something more my style.  We plan on taking a month for travel and see some sights along the way.  In New Hampshire, we will be working in a campground for tents and small rigs up to twenty some feet.  We will meet a lot of hikers as there is a ton of hiking and the AT goes by there also.  It is on a river that we can tube in so we are excited.  We will be there for 5 months... The longest I have stayed anywhere since being on the road but we will be glamping it up in TicTac.  We are even thinking about doing a small garden in pots while we are there.  I think it will be quite interesting.

Below are a few of our adventures while we have been here.  

Big Basin

We have been to Santa Cruz multiple times.

Winchester House

We have also been able to catch up on movies.  My favorite is The Lady In The van... Guess cause it will totally be. Haha

Now it is time to get Blue ready for the road.  Not sure what's wrong but she has a bit of a clunkity issue so trying to do some investigating myself.  

More to come...

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Heading to California

I picked up Michelle from the airport in Houston and after a day of getting things organized we headed to California.  It was mostly interstate driving, which isn't my favorite, but we had a place we needed to be.

We spent one night in Junction, TX city park.  Quite nice and we stopped at the bakery in town for breakfast before hitting the road.

Then we spent two nights at the Walmart in Fort Stockton because of wind.  It was Michelle's first time overnighting at a Walmart.  We stayed at a good example as there were many RVs in the parking lot at night.

We spent one night in Tucson where I spent a week or so last winter. We were able to meet up with a RVing friend for dinner that night for dinner at a great little Mexican restaurant not far from where we were camped.

The next day we stopped in the Phoenix area for lunch with another RV friend and spent the night at a travel center on the border to California to meet up for dinner with another RVing friend.

Then it was thru California.  I finally stopped to see the Dinasaurs from PeeWee's Big Adventure. 

First day of riding in California was a long one since we had to ride around the LA area.  We spent the last night on the road in a hotel.  Then the next day made it to our destination for the rest of winter.

We are helping a friend's mom for a couple months in the San Jose area.  April we will be back on the road again... To where... Who knows.  But we will have a few adventures in the area since I've never been before.