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Old October 28th, 2010, 08:31 AM   #1
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Help with 7500 Service & for Those who are doing it themselves.

hello all,

I will be hosting a 7500miles service party! in my hometown and hopefully to gather some of our Ducati riders in Oklahoma.

Ive been on motorcycles for years and am not new to head rebuilds/shiming/etc on dirtbikes/cars/jap motorcycles. So as I reach 7500 this winter, I figure its time to learn how to work on the Desmo. I have the full Ductai Factory Manual (700+ Pages) and all normal tools, but no special Ducati tools.

Attached is a list of the services I have gathered for 7500miles from Cecil and manual. Please correct me if something should be added while I am there.

Below is items I would like to hear comments about to if I am missing something...please also keep in mind there are no Ducati Dealers in my city...


1.)Adjust Valve Clearances: Seems simple. remove the items to get to covers, remove covers, put the valve in the rest position and slide the feeler gauge between rocker arm and cam...check clearances.

2.)Timing Belt Tension: Alittle confused on whether or not there is a actual proven method that does not require Ducati tools to perform this....guitar harmonic? E#?

3.)TBS and Idle Speed Setting- As Cecil has mentioned, if the bike runs good, why mess with it now?



Last edited by Quackquack; October 28th, 2010 at 08:39 AM.
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Old October 28th, 2010, 09:06 AM   #2
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Below are the complete results of my 7500 mi. service.

This is how I delivered the bike to the dealer:



I took my time and did little bits of the service during the course of 1 week. Spent a hour or two on it per night. As delivered to the dealer it had been drained of oil because I needed them to remove the oil screen bolts. So I left the key at home too, just in case.

What I did:

* Drained oil & replaced filter
* Changed Brake & Clutch Fluid (bled both systems)
* Replaced front brake pads (cleaned calipers with soap, water, and a toothbrush)
* Cleaned and oiled air filter (used K&N kit)
* Lubed cables
* Removed all bodywork
* Removed belt covers (rear was tricky as a first timer)
* Cleaned and lubed chain and checked tension

What the dealer did:

* Check Valve Clearance: 2 Hours - $158.00

Checked valve clearances, all in spec. Adj cam belts and set cam time. Had to remove belts for valve check.

* Removed Oil Screen Bolts: 1 Hour - $79.00

Remove damaged sump bolts. Had to chisel each one out. Replace with hex bolt for easier removal. (Reality is that the bolts are a horrible choice by Ducati. One of them may have been slightly mangled. The other 3 I didn't bother messing with. Metal is too soft at the head of the bolt. I'm much happier now).

Labor - $237.00
Parts - $14.22
Tax- $15.07
---------------------------------------------
Total - $266.29



The results of the valve check:

Rear:

1. Exhaust: Open - .13 Closed - .13
2. Intake: Open .17 Closed .17
3. Exhaust: Open - .13 Closed - .13
4. Intake: Open - .13 Closed .10

Front:

1. Intake: Open .15 Closed .07
2. Exhaust: Open - .13 Closed - .15
3. Intake: Open - .15 Closed .07
4. Exhaust: Open - .13 Closed - .13

After getting her back home I cleaned the mesh oil filter with kerosene and then filled up with oil. Reset the TPS and removed the SERV indicator using a VDST. I then removed the charcoal canister system because it is only "in the way". http://www.ducatispot.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1888

The entire process required no special tools. An Allen Wrench set. I used T's, L's for the belt covers, and some socket jobs. A Mity Vac to bleed the brakes with. 8mm wrench at the caliper bleeders. Be aware that Brembo uses an 11mm at the master cylinder bleeder (dicks). Went to Advance Auto and got a Y connection for the gas tank hoses and two rubber vacuum caps for the throttle bodies for the Charcoal removal. Need a good metric socket set for the rest of the stuff.

My Conclusions:
Call me penny wise and pound foolish, but I don't think these new Testastretta motors need much of a 7500 mile service. I won't recommend this to others. But in my opinion you could treat this thing nearly like it's Japanese. All that work and not 1 tight valve. I beat the snot out of this thing with several track days and regular back road flogging. With Ducati's reputation for reliability I expected to pay for a few valve shims. Nope.

I'm confident one could change the oil and do basic maintenance for a 7500 mi service. A valve check is just legacy Ducati ideals that die hard. I think you could go the full 15k before requiring a serious inspection. That said, it's also a great idea to stick with the manufacturer's recommended intervals. Right?

The Charcoal Canister can be removed with about $4.00 in parts. Any good auto parts store should carry the necessary items and there are several tutorials on line.

The rear cylinder belt cover takes time to remove. Finesse and patience are key. Helps to have a small L Allen Wrench on hand too.

Having the mesh oil filter bolts replaced is a great idea. Best $79 I've spent on the bike.

Paying more than $500 for this entire service, in absence of shimming the valves, is a complete rip off.

Outstanding Question:

Has anyone had to have their valves "adjusted" during the 7500 mile service?
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Old October 28th, 2010, 09:23 AM   #3
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Cecil..thanks! you and me think alike. Id rather spend my money on something else. and GOOD question...has anyone actually had their valves changed at 7500? haha

Couple of Quick Questions:

1.) Im guessing you didnt need to remove the fuel tank to get to the valve checking and belt stuff?
2.) was your sump filter actually dirty? I dont plan on checking the sump strainer just yet as I just did oil change at 6500. Probably my next one though.

Last edited by Quackquack; October 28th, 2010 at 12:12 PM.
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Old October 28th, 2010, 09:34 AM   #4
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Very nice write-up! I am in the same boat with you... I want to do everything that I can do so that I can save a few bucks here and there ... but mostly because I want to know what is going on with my bike! I plan on letting my local dealer check the shims and replace my belts (supplied by me) and reset my timing ... other than that I am going to pay them to do a once over from front to back just to make sure I did not miss anything ... an hour of labor is worth it to me!
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Old October 28th, 2010, 02:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
1.) Im guessing you didnt need to remove the fuel tank to get to the valve checking and belt stuff?
2.) was your sump filter actually dirty? I dont plan on checking the sump strainer just yet as I just did oil change at 6500. Probably my next one though.
I don't believe gas tank removal is necessary. I think you can prop it up from the back to access the rear cylinder. At least I think you can. For all I know the dealer may have taken it off. But I didn't see any indication of that when I got the bike back.

Yes, the mesh sump filter did contain some metal bits in it. Nothing you wouldn't expect from engine and trans break in. But there was some stuff in there. Service Manual recommends cleaning it every other oil change. I don't think it's super critical. But since I went that far with the bike I figured I'd do everything.

Joe, I totally agree. I'm definitely out to save a buck. Or more accurately, not be over charged for basic maintenance. I mean, if the job warrants the price I have no problems paying the bill. And I too enjoy performing the maintenance and having the piece of mind that comes from doing it yourself. Plus I'm a nerd and also take the opportunity to clean the bike to practically brand new. I even soak all the bolts in WD40 then rub the dirt off with scotch brite to get them clean.

The real maintenance at 7500 miles is the valve check. And as you can see above, this can be done for under $200 at a good dealer. Assuming you handle getting the machine naked ahead of time. I warn you both. The rear belt cover exercises your patience.
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Last edited by Cecil; October 31st, 2010 at 02:04 PM.
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Old October 28th, 2010, 03:09 PM   #6
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I just did my 15K service myself. Cost me a about $130 to do and everything was well with spec. Only thing changed was the belts, plugs and the normal items associated with a total fluid change. I picked up a guitar tuner app for my iphone and used that, and it was spot on when tested against a Gates tension meter. Only thing it really costed me was my time and I got it done in a day and a half.
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Old October 28th, 2010, 06:15 PM   #7
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mr. honey, would you mind doing a write up key things to "note" while doing it or tricks?
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Old October 29th, 2010, 09:11 PM   #8
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When I did mine I found the same results with valve clearances. All were well within tolerance with most closer to the minimum clearance. The oil screen cover bolts are a real bastard as the loctite used to secure them is stronger than the metal of the bolt itself and I had to resort to unorthodox methods to remove them. I modified the metal cover on mine to accept countersunk (flush fit) socket heads because one of my mates who used the square socket heads caught one of his on the trailer loading the bike and did some nasty damage to the engine case which took me a couple of hours to repair. At the very least if replacing the bolts use a domed head capscrew similar to the originals to reduce the chances of this happening. Also fit the bolts with a lower grade of loctite. Removing the tank completely gives easier access to do the work and I would recommend doing that. I did not drain my cooling system, I simply disconnected the overflow hose near the cap, then unbolted the radiator, unplugged the fans and tied it toward the battery side out of the way with hoses still connected..... Another trick learned from experience that saves a lot of time. Total time for me when I did this service was about six hours however I am fairly experienced. No 'special tools or tricks necessary unless you actually need to change shims however a crankshaft turning tool will make life easier. It is not necessary to remove the belts to check clearances. I have set belts by 'feel' for many years but this method requires a lot of experience to know when it 'feels right'. I like the idea of the guitar tuning app. Thanks for that!!

Note, be very gentle with your fuel hose connections to the pump. The small brown O rings are quite soft and easily damaged. Spray them with wd 40 or similar before reconnecting (spray fuel pump ends as well) to help them slide into place easily and reduce the chance of cutting the edges off them on the fittings. Carefully position them squarely as you push them in. I keep a large bag of these spare because most bikes I work on have been damaged at some point. At just 90 cents each it's cheap to replace any that look suspect rather than take the risk.

Finally, good on you for wanting to have a go....... much of the pleasure of Duke ownership is doing your own work.
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Last edited by EL Twin; October 29th, 2010 at 09:40 PM.
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Old October 30th, 2010, 08:42 AM   #9
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wish i would have read your post earlier! haha, just stripped the duc down last night and removed everything im ordering and replacing. I was amazed at the gas tank hose connectors, they look very cheap. I will spray the connections with wd40 before I try to reconnect.

One thing i had trouble with is I noticed the gas tank leaks alot if not EXACTLY flat....as my first time to open up everything for me to see, i wanted to have a look at the tank and when i tilted it up, about 1/2 gallon of gas went all over my garage!

will i need to remove the radiator for checking clearances?


for the loctite question...ive used some really high grades of loctite(stuff you cant buy at the stores) and usually there is always a way to break the loctite compound down...which usually is heat...can you not heat up bolts to break down loctite, wait for it to cool, then try at it?
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Old October 30th, 2010, 09:22 AM   #10
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Gezz, this is a very good write up.
My bike is up for the 7500 service and for me to take it to the dealer it's like 5 hr drive to take it and then 5 hrs to bring it back.
This gives me more confidence of just changing all the Oils and change Air filter.
I don't track the bike, I do ride it hard when necessary, well not that hard like when you track it.
It's just that Serv message in the dash that I know it will annoy me.
Decisions, decisions.
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Old October 30th, 2010, 10:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quackquack View Post
wish i would have read your post earlier! haha, just stripped the duc down last night and removed everything im ordering and replacing. I was amazed at the gas tank hose connectors, they look very cheap. I will spray the connections with wd40 before I try to reconnect.

One thing i had trouble with is I noticed the gas tank leaks alot if not EXACTLY flat....as my first time to open up everything for me to see, i wanted to have a look at the tank and when i tilted it up, about 1/2 gallon of gas went all over my garage!

will i need to remove the radiator for checking clearances?


for the loctite question...ive used some really high grades of loctite(stuff you cant buy at the stores) and usually there is always a way to break the loctite compound down...which usually is heat...can you not heat up bolts to break down loctite, wait for it to cool, then try at it?

If your tank was close to full when you removed it the most likely place it came from would be the fuel cap breather/overflow port. This happens pretty easily if you have an aftermarket cap fitted.

The radiator needs to be moved out of the way to remove the cam cover on the horizontal cylinder and give easy access for measuring.

I have some pretty exotic loctite grades here myself courtesy of the industry I work in and heat will release most of them quite easily, yes. I was very reluctant to put a high heat source so close to the joining crankcase surfaces in case it compromised the sealer between them or melted the plastic screen just inside sitting directly on the surface of the plate. Plus heating a bolt usually softens it and the stockers are only about as hard as old cheese anyway. I refiitted my bolts using 3 bond, It has the benefit of not allowing them to vibrate loose while providing an excellent seal that is easily broken at a later date.


RIGS, There is no guarantee your valves will be ok but the odds are very high that they will be. I bought a VDST from another member on here who upgraded to a Microtec and it has made itself very useful for clearing those sevice messages etc on my bikes and most of my mates bikes. It cannot do everything but for me it was money well spent.
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Old November 1st, 2010, 08:03 PM   #12
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so please confirm...if I am just "checking" the valve clearances for the 7500, will i need to move the radiator to one side? or do I just need to do this if one of them measures out of tolerance and I have to replace the shim which requires removing the cam cover on the horizontal cylinder?
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 07:12 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Quackquack View Post
so please confirm...if I am just "checking" the valve clearances for the 7500, will i need to move the radiator to one side? or do I just need to do this if one of them measures out of tolerance and I have to replace the shim which requires removing the cam cover on the horizontal cylinder?

I just removed my radiator. It made the job easier for me in the long run. Some people just move it to the side, but for me it was better to remove it. I'm planning a how to in the near future when I re-check my belt tension.
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