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The Squaw Magnet in Fairbanks - Pt. 2



Well, it's been an interesting last couple of days. I was about 10 miles north of Faibanks yesterday when, on gentle deceleration, my engine started making an ugly noise. I tried to determine the location but could not. I was still able to ride it gingerly about a quarter mile over to the Howling Dog Saloon where I called the towing service. I was informed that all the towers in Fairbanks were busy and that it would be a three hour wait. Since I had nothing better to do, I took off the push rod covers and discovered that one of the push rods was flopping around in the tube. The lock nut seemed to be holding so, at first glance, it looked like a collapsed lifter. Again, since I had nothing better to do, I started calling towers myself until I found one that would be right out. I cleared it with my towing service and was towed to Harley of Fairbanks. They removed the loose push rod to discover that the tip at the rocker end had exploded into a dozen pieces. These push rods are the only part of the engine that aren't S&S as they were replaced last month with Rev Techs when I dropped all my engine oil outside of Carson City. So, in my mind, they were suspect. However, I could not exclude the possibility that I had a sticky valve that was causing the problem. The more immediate problem, however, was that rocker box gaskets for an S&S could not be found anywhere in Fairbanks. This is the only town I've ever been to where S&S parts cannot be gotten. Apparently Anchorage is not better as calls down there for parts yielded similar results. I actually ran into a 2000 Chief at a bar last night and I asked the owner where he got his parts. He said he hadn't needed any yet. Good luck when he does. We finally gave up trying to get gaskets and decided to reuse the old ones. They put everything back together today and fired her up. The mechanic siad it was one of the quietest engines he'd ever heard. Hopefully, the bike we'll be OK now but, if it isn't, plan B is to rent a UHaul and take the bike down to Whitehorse where I can work on it myself at Chilkoot Choppers. Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best. Wish me luck! Instead of Alaska or Bust, this could turn out to be Alaska AND Bust!


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