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Hi folks. Another update on Hidalgo. Current mileage: 145,000

I took a 7 day trip a couple of weeks ago for some job interviews and the speedometer quit working about 1,100 miles into it. Since this has happened a couple of times in the past I knew that the speedometer drive 'hub' had deformed and needed to be reshaped. However when I 'repaired' it it only lasted about 24 miles before failing again.

After I got back home I ordered a new drive hub and was preparing to install it when I decided to do a close inspection of the drive assembly (the part the cable attaches to) and found that the drive gear had some 'flat' teeth on it, therefore causing the binding that failed the 'hub'.

So, the speedometer drive assembly has a finite life in it. In my case it was 142,398 miles. I did maintenance almost every time the front wheel was off so I don't know what could have been done to prevent this.

Anyway, that's another part that died well after its prime.

Til next time. Ride safe.
Just think how many times your front wheel has turned in that 142,398 miles. Gotta love simple designs. :)
 

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This is the Castrol GTX 10W-40 you guys were talking about?



Has anyone used the High Mileage version? I am kinda curious what the difference is.
 

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Turco,

I wouldn't use the 'High Mileage' version of any oil because it might have things in it that could interfere with the clutch operation.
 

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Fork Bushings

Update on Hidalgo. Current mileage 160,000 miles.

A few weeks ago I noticed that the front fork seals were leaking so I ordered replacements and replaced them, just like I have several times before.

Only this time I found that the inner fork bushing was shiny. The anti-friction coating had worn through to the base metal.

So, today I replaced the bushings. Here's a pic of the new-vs-old bushings:
 

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Turco,

I wouldn't use the 'High Mileage' version of any oil because it might have things in it that could interfere with the clutch operation.
Neither would I, just curious but thank you Bill. I am not sure if it is OK/safe to use car oil in a motorcycle but I agree, I don't think high-mileage type modified car oils are not likely to be suitable for bikes at all.

I will continue to test out as many different types of Synthetic or semi-synth oil I am curious about. Currently, I am using Castrol Actevo Xtra 10w-40 synthetic blend. So far not too bad. Clutch seems to like it a bit better than the previous one which was Schaeffer 5w-50 but since this is a semi-synth, not sure if it will hold up as long and as well as Schaeffer had? :thinking:
 

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Current mileage 168,000 miles.

Well Guys & Gals it's time or an update.

I did a little maintenance today replacing the front brake pads (super easy). Then replacing the chain and sprockets. The chain and rear sprocket had 46,000 miles on them. But the front sprocket had been replaced twice already on this chain. This Tsubaki Omega X-ring chain has lasted longer than any previous chain before it by a factor of three. Because of this longevity I went back with a Tsubaki Sigma X-ring chain with J-T Sprockets cogs at the 17/42 ratio.
 

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Nice updates... You really have a Franken5... everything being replaced and all. Wonder what the total cost has been to date...

My kingpin at 54,000 miles although more dinero to begin has had one belt and a barnett clutch cable, TPS adjust.. besides the normal oil and wear items...

Currently needs fork oil changed and besides normal wear items and oil changes that's been it...
 

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Current mileage: 173,000

Hidalgo had to get towed yesterday for the first time EVER! One of the spokes broke on the rear wheel and went through the tube, tearing the tube. The bad part of this is that this happened 480 miles from home. She is in storage right now and I will go get her in a couple of weeks when I can get the spare wheel ready to go.

Check your spokes!!
 

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I hope Hidalgo gets well soon Biker Bill. A mere 38K miles on mine and no major issues.
 

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My '09 is approaching 12K miles. An absolute "beginner" in miles compared to you fellas. Hope mine gives that kind of performance. :)
 

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Update:

Current mileage 177,924

I am doing some suspension maintenance today. Specifically inspecting the swingarm bearings. They have only been inspected twice before. The first time at 60,000 miles, then again at 108,000 miles during the restoration. Both times everything was good so I simply cleaned things up and added fresh grease.

Today was pretty much the same. No dirt, water, or other contamination. The bearing shaft is beginning to show some wear where the bearing rollers are contacting it. I have another bearing shaft from the 'donor bike' from the rebuild. (see pic attached)

The steering neck bearings still feel smooth so I will not tackle that job today.
 

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Thanks for the good info Bill. I'm all the way up to 14,300 mi on my Vulcan. Won't live long enough to come anywhere near the miles you have racked up. ........... old
 

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Update:
Current mileage 179,514

Back in December I had to make a quick, unplanned, trip to Arkansas for a funeral. Three days, 1,200 miles. When I got back I noticed that there was some oil on the right exhaust pipe near the footpeg. Upon further inspection the entire underside of the engine in that area was covered in oil/dirt so it has been leaking for some time. The leak was not unlike the one in this thread: http://www.vulcanforums.com/forums/50-vulcan-500/74682-oil-leak.html

Today I replaced the water pump seals, both the oil seal and the mechanical seal, as the leak appeared to be coming from the water pump area. I also cleaned up the water pump shaft where it rides against the oil seal. I ordered the clutch cover gasket too, just in case.

Since it was dark when I got finish I'll have to wait til tomorrow to check things out.
 

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Update:
Current mileage 181,459

Surprises under the valve cover!

The valve cover gasket has been seeping for a little while so I went to replace it today. While under the valve cover I was getting ready to adjust the valves when I noticed that one lobe on the exhaust cam was beginning to gall. Everything else looks good, just the lobe is failing. I have an extra camshaft and matching rocker arms so they got installed. All the valve clearances were lower than spec so they all got adjusted before reassembling things.

Also, while buttoning things up, the cam chain tensioner would not extend. It appears that the pawl or its pin may have worn. Yep, I have an extra one of those too.
 

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Whew!

Thanks for the info Bill. You are a great reference/mentor for the rest of us ................ old
 

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Cylinder Leakdown Tests

Current mileage: 182,794

Lately performance and fuel economy have been a bit down. Not too much but she's not as peppy as she once was. It could be the extra weight (Daniel is almost 200lbs). It could be the 'less than 100% gasoline' fuel. It could be wear in various parts of the powertrain. Only patient troubleshooting will determine what the cause is.

Since acquiring 'Son of Hidalgo' there has been some unintended comparisons. SoH seems to be a bit peppier. This could be from less weight, original gearing, less overall powertrain wear.

So let the tests begin:

Presently Hidalgo has over 74,000 miles on her since her restoration so I am concerned about cylinder wear. To test for this I will perform a Leakdown test. She is not smoking nor is there any excess 'blowby' in the airbox so I am hoping that the leakdown tests will give low numbers.

As you can see in the attached pic the leakdown numbers are about 10-12%, EXCELLENT! Compare these numbers to over 30% leakdown before the restoration.

I guess I will be looking elsewhere to resolve the 'less than peppy' personality.

Ride Safe!

P.S.: We did the same test on SoH and its leakdown numbers are around 5%.
 

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The next installment on my quest to regain lost power and fuel economy: Replacing the exhaust header pipes.


I thought I was doing okay by letting the 'dreaded exhaust rattle' continue unabated. In reality the pipes were simply vibrating themselves apart.

More testing will reveal if this helps.

Edit: 08-27-16 I have ridden about 200 miles on the 'new' pipes so far. Fuel economy improvement is questionable but she feels more relaxed at speed.
 

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Clutch Inspection

Current mileage: 183,285 miles

It seems lately that Hidalgo is wanting some TLC attention. It's been pretty steady ever since Son of Hidalgo came into the stable. I had figured she would become a little jealous of the attention being given to SoH so she is hinting of little 'aches and pains' to make me give her some fresh attention. I will oblige her.

The past few summers I have noticed that sometimes, especially on a very hot day and after a hard run, that the clutch would not engage quickly enough on heavy acceleration resulting in slippage. Once engaged the clutch seems to hold. The clutch disks have over 120,000 miles on them so they are suspect.

Today I gave the clutch assembly a thorough inspection and here's what I found:

All fiber disks were between 3.02-3.05mm (minimum thickness: 2.9mm)
All steel disks were 1.99mm No spec for them except for warpage. I didn't check that.
Clutch springs are all 34.0-34.20mm (minimum length: 33.1mm)
The clutch basket 'fingers' have some pretty deep grooves in them. I am *not* going to replace the basket at this time because the engine case must be 'split' to do it. (If anyone has a reliable way to clean up the grooves without removing the basket I would like to try it.)

Even though everything is still within specs I am concerned that the fiber disks may be hardening. I still have parts from the restoration donor bike, including the clutch, so I installed all the disks from its clutch (fibers and steels).

The pics attached are as follows:
Fibers: 120k vs 11k
Steels: 120k vs 11k
Clutch basket finger wear 183k

I'll go for a ride later, after the Honey-Do's, and report back.

Edit: Reporting back- After a quick ride around town everything seems to be in order. Shifting is a bit smoother too. Since summer seems to be winding down it may be a while before I know definitively whether this cures the slipping issue.
 

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