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Old May 19th, 2017, 06:21 AM   #1
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Show forks air gap/oil charge

Hi folks, nearly finished the big birthday service on the 749S, cam belts, check the valve clearances, a bit of cosmetic paintwork, new grilles for the radiator and oil cooler, F&R brake pads and all of the fluids including the front shocks.

Made up a spring compressor, bought a fork seal driver, oil level syringe and bludged a damper bleeding tool from the very helpful Richard at Moto1 in Manukau.

However I'm a bit confused...

It may just be senility, many years of tinkering with BMW cars and probably far too much Chardonnay, but the fork oil capacity and air gap seems to be very much 'spin the bottle'.

The owner's manual that came with the bike is pretty clear on an oil capacity of each fork leg of 480cc's. However the workshop manual that I downloaded (seems to be the genuine Ducati publication) also states 480ccs in the rebuild thread, but then 511ccs in the lubrication capacities.

Shocks have been fully disassembled and anally cleaned.

When I came to put them back together, the manual seems to suggest that the oil level is measured before putting in the spring (as do most of the Interweb posts) and the specified air gap is 104 mm.

When I added 511 cc's, the oil level, minus the spring and after working the piston rod up and down to bleed the cartridge, was nowhere near 104 mm - more like 127 mm as far as I could tell with the penis enlarger.

The only way I could get the 104mm air gap measurement was to insert the spring and hoover out circa 20cc's with the aforementioned penis enlarger. Which brings me back to around 480 cc's.

I'm now attacking my second bottle of Chardonnay in protest.

Is somebody able to put me out of my misery please with a definitive spec/method here?

Forks are 43mm Tn plated Showa for the 749S.

Many thanks.
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Old May 19th, 2017, 01:08 PM   #2
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Add 480 cc, virify 104 mm air gap, then insert spring.
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Old May 19th, 2017, 01:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Shazaam! View Post
Add 480 cc, virify 104 mm air gap, then insert spring.
Thanks Shazaam, but this is exactly the workshop manual I have been using. However, using 511ccs from the lubrication specs, without the spring only brings the level to 127mm.

The only way I can achieve 104mm is by inserting the spring and then extracting around 26ccs (so circa 485cc remaining).
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Old May 19th, 2017, 08:46 PM   #4
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Errr... believe I've found the source of the confusion... I was using a small cheap measuring jug with a printed scale on the side. Bought a better small jug with moulded graduation marks and found that the printed scale jug was out by 20ml over 250ml. Cheap jug will get the ceremonial ball pein to the cranium shortly. Pulled the forks apart again, extracted the springs and topped up the levels to 104mm as per the manual. Forks are back in the bike and hopefully she will be running again tomorrow.
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