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The Sqauw Magnet is Dead



Cracked year fenders - updated  

  1. 1. Cracked year fenders - updated

    • I used Indian rubber grommet fix, DID crack after 1000 miles
    • I used Indian rubber grommet fix, DID crack after 3000 miles
    • I used Indian rubber grommet fix, DID crack after 5000 miles
    • I used Indian rubber grommet fix, DID crack after 7500 miles
    • I used Indian rubber grommet fix, DID crack after 10000 miles
    • I used Indian rubber grommet fix, NO cracks after 1000 miles
    • I used Indian rubber grommet fix, NO cracks after 3000 miles
    • I used Indian rubber grommet fix, NO cracks after 5000 miles
    • I used Indian rubber grommet fix, NO cracks after 7500 miles
    • I used Indian rubber grommet fix, NO cracks after 10000 miles

The Squaw Magnet is dead. I am currently making arrangements to have it shipped back home or possibly to Whitehorse where I can work on it there. Here's the rundown:


As previously mentioned, I exploded a pushrod outside of Fairbanks last week. I had the bike towed to Harley of Fairbanks where I paid them to clean out the shrapnel and install new pushrods. From there, I road the bike, gingerly, to Denali National Park. The bike wasn't happy about things. I had to ride in 4th gear as the bike would backfire in 5th. From Denali, I rode to Talkeetna. Same story, 4th gear only. I almost didn't leave Talkeetna as when I pulled out of my campsite, I noticed that I was trailing a large amount of oil. Closer inspection showed that it was gushing out of the new oil filter I'd had them install at Harley in Fairbanks. Tightening the filter didn't help so I borrowed a filter removal tool from the local Arctic Cat dealer and discovered that the idiot mechanic at Harley had not removed the old filter gasket. Once I did, the filter spun back on fine and did not leak. What rookie bullshit!! Anyway, I rode the bike into Wasilla which is where Alaskanassassan lives. They have an Indian dealership listed in the phone book so I stopped there. When I walked in, I noticed that they still had 2 Indians for sale. I asked them if they had an oil filter and they said no. Then I asked them why they continued to call themselves an Indian dealership and pay to advertise in the phone book if they had no parts or service to sell. I was told that until they sold those final 2 Indians that they would continue to call themselves a dealership. How dishonest is that! Anyway, I found a custom shop in Palmer that had the parts I was looking for and Alaskanassassan said I could work on the bike in his front yard so that's what I did. He set up a great big tent that we put the Squaw Magnet inside and I tore the rear head off. I took the head into the custom shop the next day for inspection but was told that the head looked fine. I decided to purchase a new lifter for that valve and went back to Shawn's to install it and reinstall the head. When I removed the lifter block, I discovered another piece of pushrod shrapnel sitting on the lifter. So much for paying Harley to remove all the pieces. I installed the new lifter and reinstalled the head and was pleasantly surprised to find that the bike ran fine. I followed Shawn into Anchorage to get a new rear tire for the bike and the bike ran great. However, on the way back, the bike started losing power and then started pinging in 5th gear so I had to go back to 4th. I just made it back to Palmer where I stopped for gas. The bike was now knocking at idle and had squirted oil out between the head and the cylinder. I babied it back over to the custom shop but they were too busy to work on it. I was referred to a guy that works out his house about 12 miles away and very gingerly rode out to meet him. This time we took the engine apart in his yard instead of Alaskanassassan's. A compression test showed 0 lbs in the rear cylinder. After getting the rocker box off, it was discovered that all 4 head bolts were only finger tight and everything was blowing out between the head and the cylinder. We had been very careful about torquing those bolts when I put the head back on so I was quite surprised. Nevertheless, I now paid this guy to do what I had just done which was remove the head and replace the head gasket. He finished up yesterday and when we fired up the bike it looked and sounded fine. I rode off to make up lost time but didn't get a mile down the road before the rear cylinder started barfing oil out again. I hobbled back to the mechanic's home only to discover that the head bolts were, once again, finger tight. The alignment marks, however, were right where they supposed to be so we were led to the conclusion that all 4 studs on the rear cylinder are pulling out of the block. Not unheard of in the mechanic's experience but it was the first time he's heard of an S&S engine doing that. He conjectures that when the pushrod exploded, possibly due to a stuck or pumped up lifter, that the stress on the head pulled the studs out of the block. Sounds plausible. In any case, the bike is not going to run again until the studs are repaired. That won't happen until the entire engine is pulled from the bike. This is 4th of July weekend so there won't be anybody around Anchorage for awhile to work on it. I might ship the bike to Whitehorse as the custom shop there will let me use his shop to pull the engine and take it to a machine shop around the corner. Plus, they don't celebrate the 4th in Canada so there will be somebody around except for Sunday. However, at this point, I'm inclined to just ship the bike back home and worry about it when I get back. Needless to say, I'm disappointed that I won't be able to continue the 2004 Iron Butt Tour. I expected better from an S&S engine. Daddyg and Sven, I will PM you separately but I won't be meeting up with you this year to do any riding. Looks like I won't even be able to make it to Pismo for the CCR. That's the breaks. Shawn, thanks again for everything you did to try and help me get back on the road. I really appreciate it.


Oh well, at least I made it to Alaska even if I didn't make it back!


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