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Old 10-01-2012, 10:00 PM   #81
BC Brian OP
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Fort Fraser BC
Oddometer: 610
Day 15 Oct 1 388 kms Colorado Springs, CO to Wheatland WY

I dicked around this morning, got gas and headed North on hwy 25. It wasn’t overly warm and, as I got a late start, the intention was to make a mile, hoping it would warm up down the road. I got about 10 miles, and saw a sign for a mining museum. Colorado and mining? Sounds good, and I took the off ramp to the museum.

The staff was real nice, but when I made a joke about jackleg drills, they didn’t get what I was talking about. I guess you don’t have to be a miner to volunteer in a mining museum J

It was set up pretty nice, and had lots of cool exhibits. Lots of stuff from the “steam engine” era.

Predecessor to the “jackleg”

Engineering office

Assay Lab

I wandered around outside, and checked out some of the bigger equipment

Steam Shovel

You could fit 2 of these into a modern Shovel bucket

While I was outside, I got talking to Tom, a fellow with a long history with the museum, but had only been volunteering for a short while. He was quite interested in my bike and wanted to check it out.

We got talking, and I told him I was from Canada and had worked in underground and surface mines for about 20 years. He was quite excited about that, and we started talking mining. He got the key and opened up the Stamp mill and took me for a look around

Stamp Mill

Water Wheel (they used high pressure water to generate electricity)

He introduced me to Brad, the curator ( I think) of the museum, and we talked mining some more.

When I hit the road, the sun had come out and it was warming up slightly.

The traffic thru Denver was heavy, and moving fast. Denver is a lot bigger than I had thought. Fortunately I all I had to do was stay on the highway and try to avoid slowing traffic down.

I stopped at a rest area just North of Cheyenne, and while I was there, I checked my chain. It was stretching a bit, and I was about out of adjustment. I had robbed the chain off my chopper and for some reason or another, I had an extra masterlink on the chain (probably because my chopper needs a pretty long chain) The plan was that I could remove one masterlink if needed , and I figured this was a good time to do it.
I had quite a few people come to check on me to make sure everything was ok, and one guy even offered me a bottle of water, as it had warmed up to pretty warm by then.

I got it all buttoned up, and got on the road, and not long after that, the bike started missing. I pulled off on a long and lonesome stretch of highway to check the plugs.

Long and lonesome highway

The front plug was carboned up a bit, so I cleaned it up and pulled the rear (I have never actually had the rear out before ) and it was looking the same way. I cleaned it up, planning on buying plugs when I got a chance. I went to install the rear plug, and couldn’t get it started. I took a look and the threads in the head were a bit chewed up.


This doesn’t look good. I cleaned the threads up, got the plug to start, but it wouldn’t go in all the way. Not wanting to force it and screw the threads more than they were, I snugged it up a bit, veeerrryyyy carefully, put on the lead and it fired up. I asked a trucker who was parked on the other side of the highway how far it was to the next town. Not far, so away I went, slowly, with my left foot on the crashbar, keeping my leg out of the way, just in case. I went at well under the posted speed limit to Wheatland. I got a room and asked if there was an auto parts store nearby. At the store I asked for a thread chaser and plugs, and they were pretty concerned that the thread chaser wouldn’t be enough, and looked to see if they had the right heli coil. I told them, over and over, that the threads should clean up ok, and that I was less than excited about installing a heli coil with the head on ( and not all that crazy about pulling the head)

Finally, when they didn’t have the right heli coil, and after calling all over to try to find one, I told them I would take the thread chaser, plugs and some grease (to lube to thread chaser and catch any filings) and if it didn’t work I would come back and order the heli coil tomorrow. Nice guys, very helpful……. maybe a bit TOO helpful J

The threads cleaned up nicely, I installed the new plugs…. carefully…., and tomorrow I will install a safety wire (these things have blown plugs out before, on “un” messed up heads)

If it makes it home like this, (it’s an adventure, right?) I will pull the head and fix it properly with an insert this winter.

If it doesn’t hold together, well, I have a cell phone and a credit card………….. J

(I might just pick up a heli coil kit and headgasket as well, just in case J )
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