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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I am new to this forum, sorry if there is already a post on this engine elsewhere I cant see exactly what I am after yet..., I am looking for advice on what best to do with a 1998 996 engine build, should I find a used or dead bare engine and spend the money on adding performance parts that will make it strong and reliable then reuse my current engine ancillary parts, or just pull the current engine out and just rebuild that. The current engine still runs fine and has a lot of life left in it and I want to reduce the down time between engines. $$ inst too much of an issue but I have seen fully worked used race engines going for around $4500, I don't need to race this but I do want a bit more Poke out of it.

Any advice or engine builder contacts be greatly appreciated.

I am located in Perth Australia.

Cheers
 

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Howdy and welcome to the forums!

Your question is very valid and I hear it from people all over the world.

The answer isn't so straight forward because everyone has their own skills and reasoning for keeping/modifying older bikes. For example, if you have a running/sellable motorcycle, the cost of building it into a high-performance machine will be exorbitantly higher then simply selling it and buying a newer bike. A lot of people get overly attached to certain aspects of their particular machines and don't understand the other benefits of the newer one's.

The 996 desmoquattro engine is a good, solid lump. It's actually relatively easy to modify because finding corse bits on ebay is easier then it's been in the past. Things like high compression pistons, lightening the crank a tiny bit, porting/polishing the heads and installing G or 431 cam's, will not only make the engine MUCH more powerful, but be a fun project. If you time it right, more for mid-range then top-end, it will give you a pretty reliable engine.

I would for sure build my own engine, instead of relying on someone else's botched build. I've had nothing but problems with worn engines.

I hope that gets ya started! ;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for advice, I don't mind spending the money, And I don't need a super crazy bike... I just want to keep this bike for a couple of years then retire it as a Sunday track day bike, then I will buy a new one. But I am aware that a lot of people complained about the chrome plat flaking off the cam lobes? is this the case of that era ? if so are there any specific cams i can simply have replaced with race or high end during a service. again $$$ doesn't bother me. Its of nostalgic value to me ;-)

cheers
 

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First the rockers flake and once they start, they go very fast. Once the chrome plating is gone, the cam lobe is craping against the chrome backing, which can damage it. This happens in rare cases, usually you can spot these issues long before they become a problem.

So yes, replacing the rocker arms is smart. EMS Ducati sells beautiful rocker arms for Desmoquattro's and will cut you a deal on those AND their new locking collar MBP shims. I think both are a necessity for longer-life on these motors.

The G or 431 cam's are perfect for that motor. If you search on google and ebay often, you will find a set of them. If you wish to keep the stock cam's, you can have them cleaned up and re-coated, it's not a big deal. If money is no object, a quick phone call to the likes of The Duc Shop or Ben Fox Racing, will probably score you all the cool bits you could ever want for that motor. :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for that , sounds like the plan... rather spend a few $$ now and keep it sweet for as long as possible... really only concerned about the cams and rockers flaking issue... thanks a lot for your time and pointing me off in the right direction.

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Hi, I am new to this forum, sorry if there is already a post on this engine elsewhere I cant see exactly what I am after yet..., I am looking for advice on what best to do with a 1998 996 engine build, should I find a used or dead bare engine and spend the money on adding performance parts that will make it strong and reliable then reuse my current engine ancillary parts, or just pull the current engine out and just rebuild that. The current engine still runs fine and has a lot of life left in it and I want to reduce the down time between engines. $$ inst too much of an issue but I have seen fully worked used race engines going for around $4500, I don't need to race this but I do want a bit more Poke out of it.

Any advice or engine builder contacts be greatly appreciated.

I am located in Perth Australia.

Cheers
Since, you're a Perth lad, perhaps a one on one might be best to answer your questions?

You can go and see Wayne Patterson Performance. I've read very good things about them. They're on Facebook as well.
website http://www.ducatibunbury.com.au.

Also, there is a forum called PSB - Perth Street Bikes. With an obvious wealth of local content & knowledge.

Going with that, there are some knowledgeable folks on the forum here. Up to you :)

Cheers,
Garry
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi again, just another request for info relating to this engine, I have managed to find a ducati service manual for download, Factory manual for 1994-2001 , but the parts catalog I found only for 2001 model.. is the 2001 biposta USA likely to be the same as 1999 ( not 1998 as first mentioned ) , I assume there are some subtle differences of course.
Also if I want to convert to a monoposta I know i need to buy the correct sub frame. I have found one of those and need to get the correct catch mechanism to hold it down. Other forums aren't overly concise about mods that have been made. I assume its just the subframe and duck tail and catch ... as long as I have those three parts I don't think there should be too many issues , although I have seen that the Biposta tail light bracket doesn't fit well without mod.. so assume also that if I get a duck tail with the tail lamp set included all my probs will be simply down to fitting it up . any advice here too please ? cheers by the way, I emailed bunbury Ducati who were kind enough to still reply over the xmas break ! cheers for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Well, a stroke of good luck came my way... I have found an ex race engine that's been road going for a year or two now.. sand cast casings and barrels etc that used to belong to a well known Aussie racer... I have been told the engine will be around $5k with Titanium 70mm exahust and pipes, wiring harness and ECU ... has the full Corse race engine components from what I have been told.. still going to cost me $3-4k to have it stripped down and inspected etc.. probably bearing shells and seals and a few other bits I am hoping it wont be major.... Cheaper than the quote estimate for rebuilding my own engine .. so there will be a good cond 996 engine going cheap soon with plenty of miles of life left in it.
Engine was dyno tuned by Patterson Ducati last year with about 160HP at the wheel too ;-)
 

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In my opinion, those older desmoquattro race engines are really hard to deal with because parts are almost impossible to get. They use different crank's, rod's, one-off piston's/cylinders, cam's, etc… So that's a HUGE expense if it stops working up the road. It's far better to build the stocker to better spec, as you can control what parts you change out and find a reliable source for them.

That's just my .02 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeh i have ready access to Corse Factory Parts and the mechanic who built the engine... Paddo was super helpful and pointed me the right way.. and $$$ ... although I didn't want to spend a fortune this is the cheapest way to build a decent engine with lots of power without blowing $15-20k. I only ride about 3-4000 km a year anyway if I am lucky. $$$ to keep it running.. not too concerned.. won't tell you how much I blew flying model aircraft in a year, far outweighs cost of maintaining a bike. I'll keep ya posted anyway.. this will be a long slow project either way. going to buy the engine.. have it worked over and repair anything necessary... then chop an drop so I am not off the road for too long. Thansk for your opinions , any advice always openly considered.
 

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I think your buddy Paddo may be misleading you in order to make some money off something he can't get rid of.

I've spent a lot of money racing Ducati superbikes and I've also been mislead by people wanting to unload junk. The best investment I ever made was buying the tools and building engines for myself. When I trusted other people, I would up with blown engines and a whole shit ton of excuses.

Just be careful that's all. ;)
 

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You don't have to change out the entire rear subframe just to have a monoseat. I have a bi sub frame and use both mono and bi plastic/seats on it. alternate depending on if the wife wants to go, I change out the plastic and lights and good to go.


Hi again, just another request for info relating to this engine, I have managed to find a ducati service manual for download, Factory manual for 1994-2001 , but the parts catalog I found only for 2001 model.. is the 2001 biposta USA likely to be the same as 1999 ( not 1998 as first mentioned ) , I assume there are some subtle differences of course.
Also if I want to convert to a monoposta I know i need to buy the correct sub frame. I have found one of those and need to get the correct catch mechanism to hold it down. Other forums aren't overly concise about mods that have been made. I assume its just the subframe and duck tail and catch ... as long as I have those three parts I don't think there should be too many issues , although I have seen that the Biposta tail light bracket doesn't fit well without mod.. so assume also that if I get a duck tail with the tail lamp set included all my probs will be simply down to fitting it up . any advice here too please ? cheers by the way, I emailed bunbury Ducati who were kind enough to still reply over the xmas break ! cheers for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@ Tuned....do you know Wayne and Todd ? Or Brett who owns the engine ? it was actually purchased, then pulled down by Brook Henry and Brett, who bought it off him, and had the heads redone about 4000km ago...Wayne Dynoed teh engine last year making 160+HP.. interested to know what you know about the owner or the history of the engine ? quite a bold statement you make... that's all.
I actually sold my old Ducati to Wayne a few years back.. wouldn't imagine a well known and respected Ducati dealer ( and person ) pointing me in the direction of a bad deal considering his profile.
 

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Madryan - Tuned doesn't know his own arse from his elbow most times.
He lives in LA and has never been to Australia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@ Aussie Bob.... I have seen quite a lengthy thread on Engine building where there's been some interesting banter between Tuned among others... I have been buying and selling bikes since I was 17... now 36 so I know a thing or two about doing my homework... what I do know is when this engine was brand new it cost approx $65k ... Ducati engine manufacture can confirm the origin of the engine from the numbers on the back of the pistons. and Brett tells me he can get the paperwork to support it's origin. besides that , its a cheap way to get a weapon of an engine even if I have to spend money on it.. I have every intention of pulling the engine down and replacing parts anyway. This isn't a daily commuter... its a novelty and project .. but yeh..I have done my home work.. I just have to go and see it... The engine will be running and in the 748R so I can hear it running and ride the bike its in..that's about all I can do without tearing it down on the side of the road.
 

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I deeply apologize if I offended you or your Ducati buddies. You're damn skippy, I don't know anything about this particular engine or your buddies.

What I do know is the bike you'll be building isn't really going to be any fun. It's not going to idle well, it's going to overheat when stopped for extended periods of time. The whole bike is going to radiate so much heat, good luck wearing jeans. It's going to be very loud and obnoxious to everyone around you. Plus, it's going to be extremely jarring on and off the throttle, these engines spool up so quickly, riding smoothy at slow speeds with them is nearly impossible.

You need the lower compression to keep the heat down. You need the heavier crank and flywheel so it's smoother at low speeds. You need the standard aftermarket 54mm exhaust, so it's not ridiculously loud or hot.

Street bike engines are not race engines and the reason isn't due to cost, it's simply due to ridability. You can't make a race engine work well on the street without going backwards and why pay all that money for a corse engine, when you can very easily spend that same money on modifying a street engine?

Again, I apologize for even brining up the subject. I just hate to see someone misguided due to not quite understanding what they're getting themselves into. I know these engines pretty well and if someone gave one to me, I'd part it because it has no use on the track or street. I'd take the money from parting and put it into a decent modified stock engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
@Tuned... as always appreciate feedback and points of View, haha haven't been called a skippy before.. I'm a kiwi .. I just live here in Aussie.. but yeh I appreciate your points of view on their own merits.... I am aware of all of the issues you point out... there's just something about this bike and the Era it comes from that keeps me interested.. I am intending to put this bike on a track in a year or so anyway... it is just a toy... I know they're absolute Dogs to ride with race engines in them ... but If i can get this guys whole bike for under $10k ill be grabbing it anyway. and keep my existing 996 in one piece.. wither way its destined for a track.. then I will get a new shiny modern bike at the end of the year... $$$ isn't really an issue.. and I bought a ducati because they're noisey, uncomfortable and run hot and make you feel like you are riding a greasy Pig ;-) after all the 996 was a race bike not a road bike.... if I end up with two bikes ... all is well..if I end up selling one and keep all the good parts then that's the way to go and flog off the other bits then I'm up on the engine build at least. just out of interest for your sake.. check out bunbury ducati Todd races turbo charged ducatis with his Old man Wayne.... and Brook Henry is renowned around the globe for his Bevel gear ducati engine building...look up " Vee Two" down in South West Australia... plenty of good local advice either way as well and the owner of the 748R has worked for Brook Henry (also his friend) . I think I am in good hands.. I'm not into getting all snotty at posts on the forum so no need to apologise..... but its always entertaining seeing as couple of biters having a go on the forums ;-) cheers
 
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