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I just got my 98 900, it wasn't ridden much by the 1st owner (now has 4k miles). Local dealer told me I should replace cam belts every two years... ??? I bought em' but haven't put them in yet. I'm a pretty competent mechanic, do they need replaced every two years??? I can see at a certain mileage interval (and trust me, I know the consequences of piston/ valve contact)... or if they look like they are dry rotting?

Hayes manual spells out the procedure, so doing it isn't a problem and for approx. $50, it's cheap insurance.
 
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Although I have no direct knowledge of a cam belt coming apart on a Duc it is cheap insurance to just replace them.
 
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I'm getting to the [mileage] point of doing a timing belt job as well. I was originally planning to do it myself, but after hearing about some special tool to set the tension (...and the associated cost of about $200) I'm having second thoughts about doing it myself. Did the manual say anything about a way to set the belt(s) tension correctly without buying the "special part" ... I'd like to use the same spring-scale I have for weighing fish ;)
 

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My shop, BCM, also recommends 2 years or xx miles, whichever comes first.

BCM uses the 5mm allen wrench technique for tensioning; no fancy spring scale. If it's good enough for Bruce.....

I beleive the Haynes book covers the 5mm trick, doesn't it?
 

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Haynes uses a spring scale, says that they set the tension w/ the Ducati tool and then measured w/ the scale...

I'm gonna do it and use the 5 MM method and then check it w a spring scale.

Guess I got something to do this weekend besides ride..
 

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I used the spring scale method from the Haynes Manual then checked it with the 5mm allen wrench and it matched that method.

If you use a spring scale, a custom fabricated hook to hold on to the tensioner wheel helps tremendously. Doesn't have to be fancy - just an S-hook twisted 90 degrees and some extra little kinks to get a straight pull against the tensioner.

Mark J
 
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What was the tension they gave for belts? I have a 4V, but I should still be able to hook onto the belt between the two cam drive pulleys, eh?
 

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Well I waited until 12,000 miles to change my belts, which took me 4 years. Since my bike lives in a garage when I'm not riding it, I wasn't too concerned with the belts rotting. It's been two more years since the last belts were installed and I expect to run them until I hit 24,000 in another year or two.

I generally stick with mileage rather than age for most of my maintenance. YMMV.
 

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i really like to see my ducati belts get changed at no more than 3 years or 10k miles. but i tell people 2years 10k miles... it's a bit safer. i know a few people that had belts fail around 11k so i'll never ever suggest 12k. they may be outlayers and saying 10k is a little too safe... buuuuuuuuut. :-/
 

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Heh, I'm such a hack. Last time I change my belts I just went with 'feel' to set the tension. Coming up on 10K miles since then, so far it's run pretty nicely.

Mark
 
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