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Last summer, as Gene and I bombed across the San Joaquin Valley on Santa Fe Road toward Tranquility, the bumpy and patched pavement turned to dirt. Gene slowed as the dust billowed out from under my wheels, soon disappearing behind the growing cloud. Maybe ten miles later the pavement reasserted itself, though weakly, and there appeared in the middle of the road a large grader spreading new asphalt. We slowed and stopped, only to realize that the paving extended all the way across the road, with no way for us to proceed except through foot high piles of the stuff. That wasn't difficult, as after all we were on GSs, but as soon as the wheels hit the mound we could hear the crunching and grinding as it stuck to our tires and was thrown into the air and onto the undercarriage of our machines. Pulling onto the shoulder confirmed our worst fears that the stuff was coating everything: wheels, swing arm, luggage, and perhaps worst of all, the exhaust collector box, where it was smoking and stinking in a small pile. We used sticks to clear the worst of it away, but scrape and pry as hard as we might, the gunk on the collector box wasn't to be moved. Apparently that would have to await another day and better access and perhaps some strong solvent.

Gene finally took care of the problem by installing a Staintune collector box (part number 115B5), but even with a 10% discount offered by a local shop, the $549 ante was way too steep for me.

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