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Old 03-17-2013, 08:21 PM   #721
NomadGal OP
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Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
NomadGal. I see you two are going to be trouble. I'm eager to see what comes of your travels together.
LOL, Fey is the wild one here!, I'm afraid I'm a bit of a party pooper as you'll find out in my next post
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Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
BTW, Sorry about your Spot. I have a Spot one that I used on a trip, but won't likely use again. Would you like to have it?
I would love to! Only if you are sure that you'll not use it again. I can also return it after my trip to Alaska.
I'd have to call Spot and see if it is possible to add it to my Spot account.
I'm in Silver City now, camped out at a fellow KLR rider, Spirit is losing a lot of oil, it's coming out of the carb overflow hose, not a good sign
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:10 AM   #722
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:08 PM   #723
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I'm in Silver City NM right now at Logan's house, a fellow KLR rider.
Why am I here? Guess three times and see if your answer is correct as the story unfolds.......

I left Kickapoo Cavern state park and headed for Del Rio.





The ride out of the park was beautiful and quiet, but as I got nearer to Del Rio it began to get more crowded and busy. Del Rio itself is not much to speak of, but as soon as I headed North towards Amistad the scenery changed. The lake itself was immensely blue and awesome! The pics don’t do it justice.















I followed Hwy 90 along the Mexican Border hoping to be able to get a hold of Fey once I got to Anderson. I still thought that I could make it through Beg Bend and into the state park west of it to meet up with her.
As I got to Anderson however it dawned on me that I had, again, misjudged the distance. There was no way I would make it through Big Bend and get there before dark.
Had to buy more oil for Spirit who was now losing about half a quart every 200 miles. Yikes!
I got to Sanderson around 5 PM and left Fey a text message saying I would be later than I thought and headed to Marathon where filled up my gas tank before riding into Big Bend.



The landscape was changing rapidly and becoming awe-inspiring.



Big Bend’s park staff had already left for the day as I rode into the park. Spirit was running rough and I feared for her.
It took about an hour to go through Big Bend and I got to Study Butte a little before sunset.
I couldn’t make up my mind whether to push for the State park in the hopes to find Fey in the dark, or to just find a place to camp nearby. I gassed up again and rode towards Terlingua. Spirit really stared stuttering, I had to stop!
Then as luck would have it I saw a sign saying “Tent Camping” and a motorbike parked near the sign.
I turned around and rode into the ranch.
Again I got lucky in that they still had one site available. Site number 9, my lucky number
I had to ride up a tiny hill and camp on top of it!


Queen of the hill, LOL!

My tent was up in a jiffy, right before night crawled in.



I texted Fey and told her I wasn’t going to make it into the State Park that night, and told her where I was.
It was very windy in the canyon that night, and several times when I woke I wondered if I should crawl out of the tent and anchor down the 2 lines I left dangling. Nah! Too cold!
I woke when the sun hit my tent and just lied there comfy and warm. Eventually however my body screams, “ bathroom! “
Darn it! As primitive as the camping was, the bathrooms were awesome! Not fancy or anything, quite the opposite, but nice nevertheless.
I had cell reception with my funky little tracfone, and Fey texted me that they were heading toward Terlingua.
I hopped on Spirit and rode out to meet them.

I saw the two of them coming and they waved. I wasn’t sure if they knew it was me, so I quickly turned around and passed them, waving again. They followed me into the campground where I offered to pay for a campsite for the both of them. The owner had just told me that some sites had become available.
So Fey and Oz pitched their tent in the site near mine.
The only thing was, they would have other people camped near them that night, but Fey didn’t mind she said, she was thankful for a shower.

Turns out that Fey had the Nomad7 and guide 10 adventure kit, we made a little ad photo .



We hung around for a while shooting the breeze, and as I was sitting next to Fey, I noticed this rock in the sand.


Awesome! There was water here once!

All of us decided to take a long sought after shower, and I even washed some clothes by hand and hung them to dry on a line strung between the water faucet and the number pole on my campsite, perfect!


Amazing the flowers in such an arid terrain


Fey and Oz getting ready for our ride into town and Big Bend

We headed into Study Butte after that as Oz was starving.
Believe it or not, there happened to be the most amazing little store there that sold lots of vegetarian and even gluten free food. Fey and I were in heaven!!
After having gorged ourselves we headed into Big Bend.
I’m just going to post the pics, not much to say, they will speak for themselves.


Fey in the lead, I decided to be last, so I could get in some good riding pics




























Mexico is across the river, what an odd concept!

Instead of going back the way we came we decided to take a dirt road back. I am glad we did, it was gorgeous!


Backward shot, I decided to take the lead, so I wouldn’t get dust in the lens









When we got back to Study Butte, we stopped by the little grocery store where Oz got some beer and ice.
Then we stopped at a liquor store for some booze for Fey who doesn’t like beer. I don’t drink either, so yeah, I’m indeed a party-pooper!


car at the liquor store, guess I am not the only one who likes ductape!



We got back to the campsite where Fey and Oz finished setting up the tent. I joined them and started cooking up some grub for myself. Fey stir-fried the other half of the mushrooms I had bought and made some soup for Oz and herself.
She was using this really teensy but very functional liquid alcohol burner that looks like a miniature soda can. I forgot who made it for her, got to see if I can ask him to make me one too.
Oz ended up using one of Fey’s mermite cans as a cooler, and poured all the ice and beer into it. Clever idea!
As we sat there our camphost showed up followed by a car which held Fey’s and Oz’s new neighbors.
There were 2 couples who, by the looks of it, carried their whole household with them.
They pitched up one tent across from Fey, and then moved their truck to the road.
It was 10 PM before we knew it and I longed for my warm sleeping bag and my Nook.
I bid Fey and Oz goodnight, read a bit and went to sleep.
Well………………………………………………………
Turns out that Fey, Oz, and the neighbors got along splendidly! Too splendid!
I woke up when I heard one of the guys playing guitar and singing, it sounded really nice so I dozed off again.
Then I woke up several times when the bunch of them were really loud and worrying about Chupacabra. When I woke up at around 3 AM it seemed that one of the gals got stuck in barb wire and screaming at the top of her lungs for her husband/boyfriend called unicorn, to come and get her out of it lol. I heard Fey trying to calm her down and telling her that she’d get her out of the wire.
Then it turned out that they thought they were lost, and didn’t know where the campsite was at, nor their tent. I finally decided to turn on the light in my tent so they could see where they were.
One of the girls saw it and screamed, “Look, there is light, the tents are there!” One of the guys found his way to the tents and got the rest to go over there too.
So finally at three AM they went to bed, and I slept till 8.
I took my time packing seeing as both Fey and Oz were still asleep. Fey woke up shortly but found herself still drunk and went back to bed.
When I was ready to leave she woke up and we talked about different routes and free campsites. I gave her my map of Mississippi and Florida that had some free sites marked on it.
Fey told me she hardly ever drank, but once in a while she did.
Riding with her and Oz was fun; too bad we were heading in different directions.
One thing I can say, I had a memorable encounter with Fey.

Once I was on the road again I rode through the state park toward Presidio, it was a breathtaking twisty ride!


Amazing what beauty flowers can add to a landscape






I stopped to hike and take pictures of dead-end canyon






Do you see what I see????



Wow, Spirit has done a lot of miles these last 10 months

After Presidio I turned North toward the New Mexico border.
Fey had recommended taking the dirt road instead of Hwy 67, but for some odd reason that road was inundated with border patrol jeeps that day, and the fact that Spirit used so much oil and stuttered made me decide to take 67 instead.


This building was either in Presidio or in Fort Davis, I don’t remember but I think the latter

After Fort Davis I turned west on Hwy 118, a beautiful twisty road into the hills. Fey had mentioned a free campsite on some sort of loop, but I didn’t see anything. At one point I saw a picnic table and a huge tree, and decided to camp there that night. In case anyone objected I could say there was no sign anywhere that said I couldn’t.



Only a handful of cars passed by, and once it was dark none at all. I slept great and woke up early in the morning. By nine I was packed and ready!
About 15 minutes later I found the loop with picnic sites Fey had mentioned, it would have been perfect! But I didn’t mind, seeing as I believe that everything happens as it should. I discovered later why it wouldn’t have been good for me to camp there, namely that I wouldn’t have been ready to go at 9 for sure! If I hadn’t left early that day I probably would not have made it to where I ended up that night.






I made it into New Mexico!

Spirit ran a lot better now that I was keeping my speed at around 50 mph, but she still needed a lot of oil.
I was hoping she would safely get me to Logan’s house where I could see what the heck was happening.
On free campsites.net, and by referral from Fey, I sought a place called parks ranch. I had punched in the co-ordinates in my GPS, but for some reason it showed me a place somewhere totally different. My guess is I punched in a wrong number.
I stopped at White City, where they offered free wifi at the little tourist area. I quickly looked up on google maps where it was. It didn’t look all that hard to find, hmmmmm, very deceptive that google maps.


Letting the turtle out for a walk

I replenished my water supply and met a couple Adrien and T ? and talked to them for a while. They were in awe of what I was doing, and took a bunch of pictures of Spirit and I. She said that meeting me was better than the Carlsbad cavern, LOL.
I wished them goodbye and rode back to the direction I had come from.
I found the dirt road, but missed the immediate left turn, I didn’t think it was that soon, and it didn’t look like much of a road. After a couple of minutes I realized that there wasn’t another left turn coming up, so I turned around.
Now, if I hadn’t been so busy keeping Spirit upright, I might have taken a few pics of the road. As it was all I could do was concentrate and guide Spirit, or maybe she guided me, over all the rocks and boulders and ruts etc., etc.
Fey! This road was not as easy as you led me to believe! LOL.
Not sure if I would have attempted it had I know.
Just when I thought that I had gotten myself really lost I saw a fire ring. This is the campsite??? I would not have know hadn’t it been for the fire ring.
It looked like there were 2 sites; I picked the first one seeing as I had no desire to go any further on that road than absolutely necessary.


This is one of the easier parts of the road


Absolutely alone in the middle of nowhere, I loved it!!!


A gorgeous sunset with the moon high in the sky

I slept like a baby, and woke up mellow and peaceful. The sky was cloudy, but I was grateful for it, not so hot.
I took my time packing and getting ready.
Fey had mentioned the caverns there, but it took me so long to get ready that I didn’t feel like touring them on my own. Yeah, I think that secretly it scared me to do so, seeing as it is a veritable maze down there, and I have no sense of direction.
I dreaded going back over that road, but I knew that I did it once, so I could again.
I seriously need to strengthen my leg muscles! Standing up while riding is somehow very hard for me, and I found myself exhausted before I even got to the Hwy. I managed though, without dropping Spirit!
Once back on the highway I headed for Carlsbad and after that to Artesia to go west unto Hwy 82.






The clouds in the sky were amazing

I had seen on the map that there was a national forest, so that meant free camping.
I got to the forest later that afternoon, and saw a sign saying campsite. There was a single truck with camper and one other site. I noticed a wooden bridge with a big yellow pole at either end. I can sneak Spirit past them I thought.
I talked to the guy in the camper, Bud, and he told me that he’d never ever seen a ranger coming here.
I decided to go over the bridge and camp on the other side.
Hmmm, those cases make me really wide, I almost dropped Spirit, but was able to keep her upright as the Pelican case glanced the pole.



I set up camped and was invited by Bud and Madeleine to come for a beer or wine. I did, but had an OJ instead. They lived in Michigan but he worked on Big Bend 4 months out of the year. They had a cool little camper called a Scamp. I wished I had taken a picture of them.
I did take one of this strange plant near a tree.




There had been a fire not too long ago, luckily most of the trees survived

I slept great that night but woke up early in the morning cause I was cold. I ended up putting the emergency blanket over the polar fleece blanket that I had put my down sleeping bag into.
It did the trick and I slept till about 8 AM

Bud had said that there would be some hot coffee for me in the morning! Yay! Turns out that it had gotten as low as 22 degrees that night! No wonder I had been chilly!

I packed up slowly and left around noon, heading toward Silver City where Logan lived.

For some odd reason I thought that it only was 120 miles from where I was, LOL, it was a lot further.
The ride out of the forest was gorgeous however.


Still snow on the hills










Light at the end of the tunnel




Fey recommended seeing White Sands National Park












no more pavement, only hard packed sand



After white sands I headed toward Las Cruces because I didn’t see a road on the map to go straight west.
In Las Cruces I found a Hibbit sports and bought an under armor Ninja mask for under my helmet. My ears and neck had been really cold while I was riding through the mountains.

The road back up on I 25 toward Caballa where I wanted to take Hwy 152 to Silver City was a nightmare!
The wind was blowing so hard that at times Spirit and I were leaning heavily to one side, almost 60 degrees, just to stay in the lane.
It scared the Dickens out of me, and it was totally exhausting!
Finally once I got to Hwy 152 the wind was calmer.












Halfway down 152 I checked my oil, and saw I was really low again. I took my reserve oil out of my pelican, and discovered to my dismay that I had less than of a quart in it. I thought I had at least half a quart. I poured it into the engine, but now I was so worried about Spirit seizing up that the beautiful scenery almost escaped me.







I passed a ranch on the road and pulled into the gate where I asked the owner if he had any engine oil I could purchase from him. He gave me half a quart of oil for free; it brought me level to half full. Silver City was only 20 more miles; I figured I would be able to make it. I thanked him, saying he saved Spirit; he didn’t even want any money.
I got to Logan’s house around 7, tired, but happy to be there.
Both Logan and his wife Carla are amazing people. Logan had made the most scrumptious salad that I have eaten in a long time, and Carla is creative and sews and paints just like I do.
Their 4 dogs are a riot, Mia keeps licking me, Basia keeps barking and jumping on me, Cara keeps sniffing me, but Jaya is the most mellow one, and just wants to be petted.
I pitched my tent under the trees in their yard and slept like a baby. Today I have to figure out why there is oil coming out of my air-box. So yeah, yet another fixing episode during my journey. I don’t have to tell you how tired I am getting of fixing Spirit, but I’m hopeful that now, once I am done, she will take me to Alaska without any more troubles.

NomadGal screwed with this post 03-19-2013 at 08:28 AM
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:07 PM   #724
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Awesome update Sister!!! Loving all the pics your taking with the new Olympus!
man haven't been to White Sands since I was a kid... need to ride back.
Keep me posted..
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:54 PM   #725
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Lurker checking in

Hey Esther, I been following your RR for a while and am entertained and impressed. Spirit will make it, one way or another. Puking oil out the air box probably means that the oil breather tube is involved. I think they route the crankcase breather through the air box but I am not close to my bike to check it out for sure. There is an inmate up here named Beezer who knows more about the KLR than anybody else I know. Drop him a PM and bet on his answer.

If you make it up here this summer, depending on timing, my wife and I should be around and you are welcome to camp in the yard. I have a shop with a lift and the basic tools. We are about an hour North of Anchorage on the main road system. Love to hear some of your stories firsthand. Dick
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:54 PM   #726
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Very nice. You are a real trooper-the real deal! However, I am amazed that you ride and don't have the need to drink at camp, at least for pain relief.

I don't know ANYTHING about KLRs, but with my BMW 1150GS, oil in the air box is a common symptom of over filling the bike with engine oil. The site glass system on the BMW often gives false low oil readings. Good luck!
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:21 PM   #727
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Well, since she's using up the oil about as quick as you can pour it in, I don't think overfilling is the issue. If oil is being pushed up through the crank breather hose, excessive crankcase pressure is the likely culprit. Reason for that is combustion pressure is leaking into the crank cavity somehow, usually past the rings.

To troubleshoot, the best and easiest way is a compression test. Check with the local auto parts stores if your buddy doesn't have a tester-the "loaner" or rental loots available at some stores is surprising.

But, it does sound like a top end issue is manifesting itself again. Bummer.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:23 PM   #728
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Well, Spirit is partly naked again, LOL!
took off the seat, tank, air box cover, and carburetor at first.
The air box had some oil in it, but not at all that much, the filter was pretty gross!
The carb looked like it had a slight oil film inside of it, but also very little.
Then I decided to check underneath the bike to see if maybe I was losing oil out of the case. My eyes spotted an oil drop hanging below and a steady line from whence it came. Guess what????
I was losing oil out of the crankshaft oil seal, the one that the drive sprocket is on. Yikes, what's up with that?
I drained the oil and removed the chain and sprocket, and sure enough, very leaky seal. My guess is that when I put the 16 tooth sprocket on it with the spacer it might have damaged the seal, or the fact that the seal wasn't stock but bought at AutoZone. It looked like a prefect match though, size thickness and everything. Maybe the fact that pulling the bike with a 16 tooth sprocket is harder, I don't know..... So it looks like I was losing oil from two places.
Tomorrow I'm opening up the top of the engine. Not sure if Silver City has a place to get a leak down tester rented, it is very small. Maybe an air pressure tool might be available. So far nothing show up googling it. I'll call around tomorrow.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:32 PM   #729
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Auto Zone
1502 Silver Heights
(575)388-8808
07:30AM - 09:00PM

Edit: There's also a NAPA @ 2105 Hwy 180 East [(575)538-2997] but I don't know if NAPA loans tools.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:15 PM   #730
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NomadGal View Post
Well, Spirit is partly naked again, LOL!
took off the seat, tank, air box cover, and carburetor at first.
The air box had some oil in it, but not at all that much, the filter was pretty gross!
The carb looked like it had a slight oil film inside of it, but also very little.
Then I decided to check underneath the bike to see if maybe I was losing oil out of the case. My eyes spotted an oil drop hanging below and a steady line from whence it came. Guess what????
I was losing oil out of the crankshaft oil seal, the one that the drive sprocket is on. Yikes, what's up with that?
I drained the oil and removed the chain and sprocket, and sure enough, very leaky seal. My guess is that when I put the 16 tooth sprocket on it with the spacer it might have damaged the seal, or the fact that the seal wasn't stock but bought at AutoZone. It looked like a prefect match though, size thickness and everything. Maybe the fact that pulling the bike with a 16 tooth sprocket is harder, I don't know..... So it looks like I was losing oil from two places.
Tomorrow I'm opening up the top of the engine. Not sure if Silver City has a place to get a leak down tester rented, it is very small. Maybe an air pressure tool might be available. So far nothing show up googling it. I'll call around tomorrow.
A very dirty filter can contribute to oil burning as well as excessive fuel consumption... Seals are usually generic so you can run any brand as long as the measurements are the same... Running an overly tight chain often leads to a counter shaft seal failure... Make sure your chain has a bit of play when the suspension is compressed...


Very much enjoyed your last installment, while the bike problems do add to the drama, I hope you get things sorted with a minimum amount of fuss...
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:36 PM   #731
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Sheesh, you are in a bit of no mans land there for MC repairs. There was a good guy downtown in Silver City who packed up the tent a couple years ago. His shop was called Bear Mountain. My wife and I were stranded a few miles south of you in Lordsburg one time and a guy pulled up with Bandito colors on his back riding a purple Harley and he had a shop down there in Lordsburg. I wish I could recall his name because he was great and went out of his way to get her going again. You might have to go as far south as Deming or Las Cruces to get parts if needed.

On researching this is your closest bet for Kawi parts:
http://www.motorsportsofnewmexico.com/. And they are in Las Cruces.

Good luck. We bought some land south of town so we spent some time there in Silver City. Nice area and great folks, I thought.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:17 PM   #732
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Hi Ester! Lovin' the RR!
Don't forget that sneaky little o-ring inside the collar on the c/s shaft....I had to replace my seal twice before I realized
it was that nasty little o-ring causing the leak.....
Good luck with the fix....Hope the oily airbox is something simple....
Ride safe,
GT
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:02 AM   #733
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This could be goood news... I told her pretty much axactly what Feike did yesterday!
Hoping it's mostly CS seal related though!!!

That WOULD be niiice!
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:45 AM   #734
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Originally Posted by NomadGal View Post
Well, Spirit is partly naked again, LOL!
took off the seat, tank, air box cover, and carburetor at first.
The air box had some oil in it, but not at all that much, the filter was pretty gross!
The carb looked like it had a slight oil film inside of it, but also very little.
Then I decided to check underneath the bike to see if maybe I was losing oil out of the case. My eyes spotted an oil drop hanging below and a steady line from whence it came. Guess what????
I was losing oil out of the crankshaft oil seal, the one that the drive sprocket is on. Yikes, what's up with that?
I drained the oil and removed the chain and sprocket, and sure enough, very leaky seal. My guess is that when I put the 16 tooth sprocket on it with the spacer it might have damaged the seal, or the fact that the seal wasn't stock but bought at AutoZone. It looked like a prefect match though, size thickness and everything. Maybe the fact that pulling the bike with a 16 tooth sprocket is harder, I don't know..... So it looks like I was losing oil from two places.
Tomorrow I'm opening up the top of the engine. Not sure if Silver City has a place to get a leak down tester rented, it is very small. Maybe an air pressure tool might be available. So far nothing show up googling it. I'll call around tomorrow.

Good luck. :fingercrossed

I'm hoping the c/s seal is all it is...that would be sweet.

(catching up on recent events has me worried that the oil loss with the missing cap my have damaged the piston/rings. That will cause pressure to 'blow by' the rings into the crankcase, which in turn increases the crankcase pressure and forces oil out the vent and into the airbox)

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Old 03-19-2013, 08:32 AM   #735
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Originally Posted by CB160 View Post
Hi Ester! Lovin' the RR!
Don't forget that sneaky little o-ring inside the collar on the c/s shaft....I had to replace my seal twice before I realized
it was that nasty little o-ring causing the leak.....
Good luck with the fix....Hope the oily airbox is something simple....
Ride safe,
GT
That 0-ring is brandnew, I replaced it when I put in all new bearing in the engine cases.
Nevertheless, I might as well buy a new one when I order the new seal.
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