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The Squaw Magnet Stuck in Alaska



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

Well, I've been in the Anchorage area for almost two weeks now and I'm still trying to get the hell out. In addition to describing my current circumstances, allow me to rant a little on the ethics of the motorcycle dealers in the Anchorage area as I have very little else to do at the moment. Two weeks ago, I showed up in Wasilla, AK and hooked up with Alaskassasan. The bike wasn't running right so I went to the local Indian dealership who didn't have so much as an oil filter in stock and told me that the only reason they continued to call themselves an Indian dealer was so they could sell the two remaining bikes they had in stock. I rode over to Palmer, AK where I talked to the owner of the local custom shop. I told him that I planned to take the head off the rear cylinder to see if there were still remnants of the pushrod that shattered in Fairbanks. He agreed to help me out and I made an appopintment with him to install two new tires and adjust the pushrods when I had the engine back together. As promised, I showed up on time for the appointment only to be told that they were too busy to work on my bike. Alaskanassasan made some phone calls and we finally found a dealer in Anchorage that would mount a new tire on the rim but was too busy to remove and reinstall the wheel on the bike so I had to do that myself in the dealer's parking lot. At least this dealer delivered what he promised. On the way back from Anchorage, the engine crapped out on me in front of the custom shop in Palmer. The engine was spitting oil and the rear cylinder had 0 compression but the dealer refused to help me. Instead, he gave me the phone number of a mechanic that works out of his house about 15 miles away. I rode the bike on one cylinder to his place where I had him change the head gasket on the rear cylinder. After the job was done, I managed to get only one mile down the road before the rear cylinder crapped out again. It was, at this point, discovered that the studs were pulling out of the case. I was faced with the decision of trying to repair the engine in Anchorage or shipping everything home and worrying about it when I got back. I talked to the owner of Ground Up Customs, which used to be the Indian dealership, and he told me that he would be willing to help me. He said he would put me at the top of the list and do everything he could to get me back on the road again. Based on this and the response I received from S&S, I decided to give fixing the engine a try. I had the mechanic where the Squaw Magnet was laid up take the engine out of the bike. Last Tuesday, I put the engine in my rental car and took it the 60 miles to Ground Up Customs. I delivered it at 10AM and was told to come back around 3 and they would have some answers for me. I showed up at three only to find that they hadn't so much as touched the engine. It was now too late even to call S&S for parts so they said they would do that Wednesday morning. I called S&S myself on Wednesday only to find that things were hung up on their end while they decided if they wanted to pay for the repairs themselves. Meanwhile, Ground Up Customs still hadn't torn the engine apart. They said they were going to wait for the new pistons and studs from S&S before they went any further. This was bullshit as the machine shop didn't need anything to start repairing the case and could then bore the jugs when the new pistons arrived. Thursday went by and all I could get out of the dealership was that they thought the parts would arrive on Friday. On Friday, I was glad to hear that the parts had arrived. Unfortunately, S&S had shipped the wrong length studs. Even though the machine shop now had everything they needed to do all the work necessary, Ground Up Customs continued to sit on my engine. The machine shop is closed Saturday and Sunday and the dealership is closed on Sunday and Monday so it would be Tuesday at the earliest that things could get started again. I drove down to Ground Up Customs on Friday afternoon and took the engine over to the machine shop myself. Ground Up Customs is now officially out of the loop. They wasted a very important week's worth of time. Now, even if I do get the engine repaired this week, I will still have to ship the bike home as I have run out of time for this ride. What the hell is it with the dealers in the Anchorage area? I have been all over the continent with this bike and have never encountered dealers with such a lack of ethics. I keep hearing that, with such a short riding season up here, the dealers have to make hay while the sun shines but that is no excuse for making promises that they do not keep.


I had the mechanic that took the engine out of the bike take the engine apart on Saturday. The clip was starting to come out of the new lifter I had installed for the intake on the rear cylinder. Probably due to the degree that the head was cocked from the studs pulling out. Otherwise, the engine looked fine. I found virtually no debris in the case when we cracked it open. Perhaps the piston got so hot it just vaporized. In any case, I took the case, jugs and new pistons to the machine shop this morning. He says he will have them ready for me by late Tuesday. We shall see. I'm still trying to get the right size studs out of S&S. If I have any problems on that score, I'll let you know Mean Gene. After that, I'll have my mechanic reassemble the engine and put it back in the Squaw Magnet. There's a place in Anchorage that specializes in shipping motorcycles. It will be easier and cheaper if the bike is running so I can ride down there instead of having them come out and get me. As it is, I have been told that I will have to remove the sidecar so it can be shipped separately. I can't wait to get out of Alaska. It's one of the most beautiful states I've ever been to but, right now, to me it's hell on steroids


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