black yuck on my disc.
Peter and I were in Seattle last weekend, so the SVS was out in my parking space under its Dowco cover. I rode to work today, and when I crouched over to put my disc lock on, I noticed that the right-hand disc (while sitting on the bike) was covered with this black yuck. It was splattered all over the wheel rim on that side, too -- it didn't wipe off and was thick and sticky/tacky to the touch. I didn't have time to investigate further at the time, so I went to work and postponed worrying about it.
I thought that maybe a fork seal was leaking, but when I checked it out more thoroughly tonight, both forks were totally free of oil or other leakage. I also noticed that the gunk was only splattered around 30% of the disc and rim, so now I'm thinking that it's just something that piled up at the bottom of the rims while the bike was sitting out over the weekend. So, I scrubbed off the rims with Peter's wheel cleaner, and we'll see if the yuck returns. If it does, I'll continue troubleshooting.
more on the nighthawk steering stem.
After work today, I went home and grabbed my new steering bearings, and headed over to Peter's to work on the Nighthawk. I greased up the stem and the new bearings, put the washer and dust seal on the stem, and slid on the lower race. I hammered the outer race up into the bottom of the stem, and started hammering the inner race tightly onto the stem....when I realized that I'd forgotten to put the spacer between the inner race and the dust seal. D'oh! I started to chisel the race back off the stem, when the inner race separated from the bearings, and tapered bearings scattered all over. I accepted my fate, and painstakingly cleaned off each individual bearing and inserted them back into the little metal piece that holds them. I got the inner race off the stem, and inserted the bearings back into it, but when I hammered it together, one of the bearings must not have been seated correctly, because the metal piece holding the bearings bent pretty badly and the bearings wouldn't turn counterclockwise. I was cursing myself for about half a second before I realized that I had bent the *upper* race in the last set of bearings...so the old lower race was still in perfect condition. I degreased and regreased the old lower race, put the spacer on the stem, and slid the old lower race right back on. Success!
Now that the lower race was on the stem, I put together the upper race. I hammered the outer race into the headstock, greased it all up, and slid in the inner race. I slid the stem up into the headstock, and everything miraculously fit perfectly! I had to remove the stem, hammer the races further into the headstock, replace the stem, rinse, lather, repeat for a while -- the steering head adjuster nut that fits on over the upper race and screws onto the stem wasn't quite attaching to the stem. Eventually, I hammered everything into the stem enough that the adjuster nut gripped the stem. Now I just need to figure out how to screw it on more tightly; it's a huge nut and I don't have any sort of adapter with a hope of fitting both it and the torque wrench.
So, I'm hoping to get to Sears this week or this weekend to get some adapters for Peter's roommate's torque wrench (thanks, Chris!!). Meanwhile, I'll be ordering a new locknut and lockwasher for the steering stem. Once I've got all that together, I can tighten up the stem, and it'll be all put back together again. Then it's the easy part of putting everything back in place, and I'll finally be done with the Nighthawk maintenace!
Carolyn's free advice of the day: if you're going to do maintenance, I can't really recommend doing it over a 4-month period in a cluttered garage. You won't for the life of you ever remember where you put anything.
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