26 January, 2006 Temperature: 26 degrees F (-3C)
Yesterday, the Baron got his groove back. After a comprehensive tune-up by my trusty crew-chief Lorne, the cold-start problem is a thing of the past, and he runs as good as new. This morning, I barely touched the starter button and he settled into a nice, steady idle. So, what was the problem?
Well, it turns out that my daily runs to redline (and beyond!) along Shephard Road and sometimes Highway 55 were stretching the valves a bit. They hadn’t been checked or adjusted in 6,000 kilometers, so it all makes sense. The choke was not at fault, nor was the carburetor. It’s just that, when the engine was cold, the valves were not sealing all the way, and we weren’t getting adequate compression on start up. It is so nice to have him running perfectly again.
In the future, I think we will avoid the highway altogether. It adds nothing to my daily ride, and only subtracts about five minutes from my commute time. That’s not worth beating the crap out of this valiant little powerplant. I think I will slow down a bit along Shephard Road as well. This project is challenging enough without causing unnecessary strain to the Baron’s noble heart.
There is definitely some symbiosis going on here, because I feel better today as well. I’m not completely over this bug yet, but the earache is subsiding and my sinuses are starting to clear up. The sun is shining, and it is supposed to warm up to springtime temperatures today. That probably helps a little bit too, don’t you think?
Since we are embarking on the second half of our journey next week, I am going to treat the Baron to a good wash and polish over the next couple warm and sunny days. Then you can look forward to some more photos in here. I’ve been too ashamed to even bring the camera along lately, as the Baron is looking awfully tough these days.
Well, I am coming to the end of my daily “blunch” (blogger’s lunch) break, so I am going to have to sign off now. The Baron and I, along with this blog, will be back up to full speed tomorrow.