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Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

  1. #1
    Posting Freak jeantarrou's Avatar
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    Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh


    I'll try to be brief, the vertical cylinder isn't turning...

    This is my 3rd 2v valve adjustment, I feel relatively confident and things had been going smoothly. I measured everything and while they were all within Ducati's specs they weren't quite up to LT Snyder's, so I pulled all the shims to measure them and see if I could just do some simple swapping or sanding to bring the gaps where I wanted them. Again, everything going well, I was able to do some switcheroos, sand down one of them and one I'll need to replace. On to installing the shims, I started on the vertical cylinder, exhaust valve first, all good. On to the intake, as I'm installing the collets (what a freaking pain in the dick) on the closer a collet goes flying and I was pretty certain it jumped forward towards the center of the engine around the throttle bodies/air intake. I grab my magnet and fish around for a WHILE, no luck (I do have the valve chamber drain hole covered with a bolt...). So I move on, grab a spare collet and finish installing the closer, pop the opener on and go to turn the engine to reset the rocker. After a few spins I start getting more resistance than seems "right" so I do a quick once over. No obvious obstructions, so I give it a BIT more muscle and not unexpectedly I shear the weak ass nipples of the engine turning tool... Fuck.

    So I pull the belts, horizontal cam spins as it should, vertical cams won't freaking budge. I reinstall the vertical cylinder belt, put the bike in 6th and give the wheel a try, it's really really tough to spin. Ok, get ready to cringe... I... uh... kind of go back and forth in a "whacking" motion with the wheel, giving it quite a bit of muscle reverse and forwards... I'M SORRY!!!

    Well, that made bad sounds so I stopped...

    Some noteables...

    Yes the plugs were off
    A very small amount of of oil was weeping out the horizontal cylinder exhaust valve chamber
    A small amount of oil was weeping out the crank where I attach the engine turning tool
    I can visualize the piston in the vertical chamber, it's not at TDC
    All the valve seals appear fine


    I'm assuming I need to pull that head? Please tell me there's an alternative!

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    Last edited by jeantarrou; 01-31-17 at 09:25 PM. Reason: Just cleaned it up
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  2. #2
    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    Oh holy hell why did I read this?! I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight as my mind keeps replaying what you did while I silently scream NOOOO over and over again with no effect.

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  3. #3
    Posting Freak jeantarrou's Avatar
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurlon View Post
    Oh holy hell why did I read this?! I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight as my mind keeps replaying what you did while I silently scream NOOOO over and over again with no effect.
    I can perfectly visualize my mother, in a very slow shaming voice, "look at what you did"! Kind of like a Cathy Bates scene from that movie where she breaks that dudes ankles...

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    Last edited by jeantarrou; 01-31-17 at 09:09 PM.
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  4. #4
    Posting Freak jeantarrou's Avatar
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    To add for clarity, the air intake and TB's were all sealed, pretty much a zero chance the collet hopped in there. The physics of it dropping into an open spark plug hole are hard to imagine either. If the collet is the culprit the only reasonable place it could have ended up, I believe, is somewhere in the valve train cavity...

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    Last edited by jeantarrou; 01-31-17 at 09:24 PM.
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  5. #5
    Day late, dollar short carsick's Avatar
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    Quote Originally Posted by jeantarrou View Post
    like a Kathy Bates scene from that movie where she breaks that dudes ankles...
    Now you know how your bike feels. I'll pray for the bike.

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  6. #6
    Development Rider scottieducati's Avatar
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    Get a smallllllll magnet and fish some more. You really have zero options until you find it. Taking off the head should be cake though, esp. the vertical cylinder.

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    CCS/LRRS #83

  7. #7
    Posting Freak jeantarrou's Avatar
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    What if I find the collet somewhere outside of the engine where it's not affecting anything? Any other issue you've experienced that could cause this symptom?

    Also, one thing I haven't tried is spinning just the crank (with both belts off). If that spins freely I think it's safe to assume the crank/transmission/cylinders are clear and there something going on specifically in the vertical cam/valve train, right?

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  8. #8
    Posting Freak jimmycapp's Avatar
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    Eek. Please be careful. I won't begin to pretend I know the details of that engine, but you have to be careful spinning the crank if the cams are not in time, or you could whack a valve (depending on where the cam lobe is, and if it's an interference engine)

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  9. #9
    Posting Freak jeantarrou's Avatar
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmycapp View Post
    Eek. Please be careful. I won't begin to pretend I know the details of that engine, but you have to be careful spinning the crank if the cams are not in time, or you could whack a valve (depending on where the cam lobe is, and if it's an interference engine)
    I've got all the valves secured with forceps at fully closed, spinning the crank SHOULDN'T be an issue with the cam belts off.

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  10. #10
    Your Father csmutty's Avatar
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    The collet is steel right?

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  11. #11
    Posting Freak jeantarrou's Avatar
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    Quote Originally Posted by csmutty View Post
    The collet is steel right?
    Yes, correct.

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  12. #12
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    Get a pen magnet that is on the end of a long bendable metal rod. Saved my ass plenty of times.

    If you can't find it there, pick up a little $20 USB camera on Amazon. I did to find a fuel injector nozzle that fell down into the head of my Miata. Worked mint.

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  13. #13
    Posting Freak jeantarrou's Avatar
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    Get a pen magnet that is on the end of a long bendable metal rod. Saved my ass plenty of times.

    If you can't find it there, pick up a little $20 USB camera on Amazon. I did to find a fuel injector nozzle that fell down into the head of my Miata. Worked mint.
    I have a couple different telescoping magnets, and I like the camera idea.

    And an update, the crank does turn "freely", imho the issue is limited to the cams or valve train. Unfortunately it appears that I have to pull the entire head to access that area, no cam cover... And two of the head bolts look very very challenging to get to.

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  14. #14
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    That sucks dude. Happens to the best. Sounds like you know your way around the bike though, so it shouldn't be a huge deal.

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  15. #15
    Posting Freak jeantarrou's Avatar
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    Quote Originally Posted by nick5446 View Post
    That sucks dude. Happens to the best. Sounds like you know your way around the bike though, so it shouldn't be a huge deal.
    Thanks, and fingers crossed. I do have a good base of knowledge about this bike, but as seems to happen a lot I'm somewhat forced to go outside of my comfort zone to tackle a new issue. But, I've learned to most this way, just gotta balance the "cost" of learning, right!!!

    And I've enlisted the help of a local Ducati service philanthropist, guy gives away knowledge like its candy!! I'm very grateful and while the guts of this bike are strewn all over the operating room floor (ie. I've pulled the valve rockers to release that cam and it now spins freely) I'm optimistic I'll be able to stuff it all back in properly.

    Oh, and good luck with your dilemma too Nick, chasing those damn electrical problems can be sooo time consuming.

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    Last edited by jeantarrou; 02-02-17 at 03:18 PM.
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    Back marker... jwm2k3's Avatar
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    Quote Originally Posted by jeantarrou View Post
    Kind of like a Cathy Bates scene from that movie where she breaks that dudes ankles...
    Misery

    Scary friggin movie. Kinda like adjusting Ducati valves...

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  17. #17
    Posting Freak jeantarrou's Avatar
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    Quote Originally Posted by jwm2k3 View Post

    Scary friggin movie. Kinda like adjusting Ducati valves...
    Veeeeeeeeery similar experience!!!!

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  18. #18
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    Quote Originally Posted by jeantarrou View Post
    Thanks, and fingers crossed. I do have a good base of knowledge about this bike, but as seems to happen a lot I'm somewhat forced to go outside of my comfort zone to tackle a new issue. But, I've learned to most this way, just gotta balance the "cost" of learning, right!!!

    And I've enlisted the help of a local Ducati service philanthropist, guy gives away knowledge like its candy!! I'm very grateful and while the guts of this bike are strewn all over the operating room floor (ie. I've pulled the valve rockers to release that cam and it now spins freely) I'm optimistic I'll be able to stuff it all back in properly.

    Oh, and good luck with your dilemma too Nick, chasing those damn electrical problems can be sooo time consuming.
    The electrical shit is what I never had any interest in learning when I was younger. Now that I have a serious addiction to buying shitbox bikes, that has come back around to bite me in the ass. The funny this is that I was leaving my night school class last night and saw a sign for a "Harley Motorcycle Mechanics Basics" class...started 3 weeks ago. Hahaha

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  19. #19
    go faster cdovego's Avatar
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    Quote Originally Posted by nick5446 View Post
    The funny this is that I was leaving my night school class last night and saw a sign for a "Harley Motorcycle Mechanics Basics" class...started 3 weeks ago. Hahaha
    Life sure is funny like that.

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  20. #20
    First name on the shit list.... SVRACER01's Avatar
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    Quote Originally Posted by nick5446 View Post
    The funny this is that I was leaving my night school class last night and saw a sign for a "Harley Motorcycle Mechanics Basics" class...started 3 weeks ago. Hahaha
    what school? our dealership is going to be doing entry level training at great bay cc.

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  21. #21
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    Quote Originally Posted by SVRACER01 View Post
    what school? our dealership is going to be doing entry level training at great bay cc.
    Northeast Metro Tech in Wakefield. They offer a bunch of cool classes for way cheaper than anywhere else I've found. They're a non-profit too, which is cool.

    Edit: Trade Preparation

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    Last edited by nick5446; 02-06-17 at 09:00 AM.

  22. #22
    Posting Freak jeantarrou's Avatar
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    Update:

    First off I ended up finding the missing collet, it was nestled in between some engine cooling fins, nice to find it and know it wasn't somewhere... ugly...

    My solution to un-freezing the cam was to pull one of the rockers, went ok, I ended up using some tools meant for other types of labor, but all's well. Install was horrendous, there's some stupid f'ing special tool for the rocker pin springs which of course I don't have and don't want to have. After loads of Googling I saw a thread where a dude used a zip-tie, love those things. The other hurdle was overcoming the erroneous exploded view of the cams in the Ducati shop manual, WTF. 2 days trying to get a spacer into a space where it simply wasn't going to go.

    Anywho , I think I figured the crux of the initial problem though, I'm guessing I actually wasn't setting the collets deep enough into the closing shims and that 1/10th of a mm increase caused an unbeatable zero clearance. I figured this out after ordering 2 new closer shims to cover the measurements I made, when they arrived and I installed them they were faaaar too loose... I popped the original shims in and properly set the collets, voila, all set.

    I won't say all's well that ends well because I haven't tried starting the bike yet, I just pulled the rear shock for service with Peter Kates and I'm planning on servicing the forks myself. I bought a kit from Traxxion Dynamics and I've been reading loads of walkthroughs on various websites. Got a bit of wiring I want to clean up too, so in a couple weeks I'll be firing it up with my fingers crossed.

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  23. #23
    go faster cdovego's Avatar
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    Kudos to you for taking on a bunch of jobs I wouldn't even dream of touching, respect.

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    Central Mass Powersports #123

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  24. #24
    Posting Freak jeantarrou's Avatar
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    Kind words, but it all just started with an oil change 20 years ago, learning and doing it yourself can be very rewarding.

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  25. #25
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    Re: Ducati valve adjustment uh-oh

    Thought of you the other night when I was pulling the carbs off of my Bandit and dropped a screw. All I heard was a faint "ping" and eventually found it on top of a valve. Phew...!

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