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Discussion Starter #1
I just read the (more from the good news, bad news) thread and became cocerned about my bike.
I changed the oil and filter the very next day after i bought it, found aluminum shavings in the old oil. I contacted the previous owner and he told me this was normal for a ducati. I didn't really believe him but this is my first duc and i decided to give it some ride time and see. I have changed the oil 3 times this season and each time there are shavings, though not as many.
My questions are:
Could the galley plug be the culprit?
How big of a problem is this?
How hard is it to fix?
Will i have to scrap my engine? :-\
 

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To answer your questions.

1. Yes, but it is most common on earlier engines.
2. It's not until it wears through and you lose oil pressure.
3. The cases need to be split.
4. Absolutely not.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Ducpainter!
What steps do i need to take in order to find out if this is actually the problem?
If it is, how much of a PITA is splitting the cases going to be?
I am mechanically inclined and a diy'er but, i've never worked on a motorcycle engine before.
 

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Hooligan Machinist said:
Thanks Ducpainter!
What steps do i need to take in order to find out if this is actually the problem?
If it is, how much of a PITA is splitting the cases going to be?
I am mechanically inclined and a diy'er but, i've never worked on a motorcycle engine before.
You can verify the problem by removing a cylinder and looking on the left side of the cases. It will be apparent if that's the issue.

I've not actually done the measuring, but the only issues in doing the case splitting is shimming the crank and trans if you replace bearings. The crank is actually preloaded when things are cold, and the measurement process is somewhat ambiguous and part feel from what my tech buddies tell me.
The rest is just a matter of removing enough pieces to get the cases apart. IIRC there screws under both side covers.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well , i've already swapped e-mails with chris at ca-cycleworks about a 799 overbore kit. Since it's going to be apart anyway, any ideas on crank/rod swaps for more cc's? ;D I already have a nichols flywheel, K&N pod filters and a stage 2 jet kit on the way. They will go on as it goes back together.
 

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There was a couple of years of 750 engines, I'm guessing that's what you have, where the cases were a bit on the weak side and didn't take well to too much building. What year is your bike?
 

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Pretty sure that's one of the engines involved. I wouldn't go crazy with it.
 

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I've found it easier to get the plug into view at the opening for the vertical cylinder. When it is screwed in properly you can just see it slightly recessed into the threaded hole on the left side of the crank throw (by the connecting rod journal).

Mine is now backed out with about 1 1/2 threads showing and in contact with the case/bearing. It's still got some fo the screwdriver slot showing, so it was lucky this motor got parted out before it self destructed.

The telltale aluminum bits usually end up on the oil screen and are often described as looking like small fingernail clippings - a good analogy.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks again guys,
I put her up on the stands this afternoon and will start disassembly tomorrow. I'm pretty sure the cases will have to be split. If those shavings aren't from the galley plug, they have to be coming from somewhere.
DP, would you consider the overbore kit (going crazy)?
 

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I forgot to ask if you were sure the shavings were aluminum rather than ferrous metal. I use a small round refrigerator magnet to double check every time I find anything on the filter screen.

If the shavings are ferrous, and look like fingernail clippings or short curved wire bits, I would suspect a spun rod bearing like I had in the Monster. I found those in a couple of oil changes and didn't realize that one rod bearing was being spun/hammered out sideways and shaving itself off against the other rod over a period of time until it just failed all at once.

Either way, splitting the cases will be needed.

I've started buying cheap semi-disposable food containers with snap on lids to store each group of parts that comes off of a motor - like flywheel & alternator group stacked in the order it came off the shaft, same with clutch assembly, etc. Cardboard patterns to stick case bolts through in their relative locations as they come off. Then all containers go into a big plastic bin with a lid.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I had thought about the magnet but just never did it. Anyway, i'll be draining the oil this afternoon so i can check with it then. I will post pics to keep everyone up to date.
And thanks for the good luck, i'm gonna need it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok, i put the duc in the barn/garage.

Drained the oil and found some very small metal shavings.
So i took off a few extra pounds.





Couldn't for the life of me find any sign of wear or damage inside the engine. Other than a broken oil ring on the vertical cylinder.



My new flywheel is due in tomorrow. I'll pull the side cover to put it on and check for trouble there as well. Unless you guys and gals can think of anything else i should do, i'm going to pull the horizontal cylinder, install new piston rings all the way around and put her back together.


But for right now, she's really nekkid. ;D

Any advice or comments are appreciated.
THANKS IN ADVANCE
Howard
 

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You might look in to H/C pistons while you're in there. The price for OEM rings will scare you into it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the heads up DP.
Assuming the second cylinder looks at least as good as the first, any brands or vendors for the hi-comps pop into mind? And, since i have eliminated the galley plug as the source, any other ideas as to where those shavings are/were coming from?
 

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Hooligan Machinist said:
Thanks for the heads up DP.
Assuming the second cylinder looks at least as good as the first, any brands or vendors for the hi-comps pop into mind? And, since i have eliminated the galley plug as the source, any other ideas as to where those shavings are/were coming from?
Chris would be the guy to talk to for hi-comps.
Some metal debris is normal on the screen. Did you buy this new, or are you dealing with an unknown service history?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I bought it in February of this year with 9100 miles on it. The guy i got it from bought it from somewhere in Florida with a salvage title because it had been laid(<-spelling??) down. No maint. or service records that i know of.
 

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Hooligan Machinist said:
I bought it in February of this year with 9100 miles on it. The guy i got it from bought it from somewhere in Florida with a salvage title because it had been laid(<-spelling??) down. No maint. or service records that i know of.
At this point I wouldn't worry about the shavings. If they are present every oil change I would start to worry. My 96 has pretty much stopped generating metal bits. It's possible the previous owners didn't clean/check the screen regularly.

Do you have any pics of the debris?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Sorry, but no pics of my own.
Was going to take some but the batteries in my camera died and i didn't replace them until the next day.
They look just like these only not as many or as large.

Also, they do seem to be going away gradually, this last time there were maybe a dozen or so and small enough to get lodged in the screen.
However, the first time i changed the oil they were exactly like these.
 

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I suspect the oil screen was neglected on this bike. I'd just keep an eye on it. As always YMMV
 
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