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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
The cerakote on the pipes looks great. Great progress, how much longer do you estimate for completion?
Thank you!! The half-ring replacement should come in next week so I can get on to the really big and exciting one, I'd say by end of the month - the engine start! After that, engine fine-tuning, test ride, then fairings on and she's done.

I've also been trying to connect up to the ECU via the VAG-COM cable, Fiat adapter and the JPdiag software, but haven't had a successful connection. I'm trying to get the JPdiag software unlocked to do the TPS reset. My preliminary guess is I'm using the wrong Windows version. Does anyone have any experience in that area??
 

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1998 916 base. 2005 999r. 1969 Lambretta dl. 2019 Desert Sled. 1983 CR480R. 1989 RMX250
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This is outstanding.

It's a shame so many people have abandoned forums for places like Facebook. Posts like this don't work well on Facebook and are impossible to find later.

This is g-d inspirational, especially after reading it's only your second bike.

If you're ever in the states (Colorado specifically) I'll buy you a beer or two and take you on some amazing roads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Hi all,


Thank you Abnmike, those are kind words and I may be back in the States again soon so might take you up on that offer!

Edufox, thank you too! You look a lot like me in your profile pic, haha. Callipers are just as clean on the inside as they are on the outside! They were very fouled and it took days and days. I usually work with a damp microfibre cloth wrapped around the tip of a flat screwdriver - a normal sized screwdriver for regular cleaning and a long thin one for hard to reach areas. After that I'll hit all areas with Autosol polish with the same cloth, and lastly I'll finish off with a clean dry cloth. Yeah it's a long process. I tend to approach the restoration as "chipping away" until all is complete. I love breathing life into her and seeing the result.

Here's a quick update -

Half-rings arrived, so I could get on with the valve adjustment. Was a two-day affair. I actually came across another 3 fractured half-rings (!!) -
171958


Radiator on and filled -
171959


Flennor belts in and tensioned -
171960


This was a screenshot from a video recording. She fired up and revs well, but cuts out and will not idle. It was as expected. I desperately needed to hook the laptop up to her, but as it turned out I had a bad VAG-COM cable which was causing the connection failure. So with that, I'm awaiting the replacement cable from the supplier and hoping the next update will be promising!
171961


Until then, all comments and suggestions welcome!
 

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Hi all,


Thank you Abnmike, those are kind words and I may be back in the States again soon so might take you up on that offer!

Edufox, thank you too! You look a lot like me in your profile pic, haha. Callipers are just as clean on the inside as they are on the outside! They were very fouled and it took days and days. I usually work with a damp microfibre cloth wrapped around the tip of a flat screwdriver - a normal sized screwdriver for regular cleaning and a long thin one for hard to reach areas. After that I'll hit all areas with Autosol polish with the same cloth, and lastly I'll finish off with a clean dry cloth. Yeah it's a long process. I tend to approach the restoration as "chipping away" until all is complete. I love breathing life into her and seeing the result.

Here's a quick update -

Half-rings arrived, so I could get on with the valve adjustment. Was a two-day affair. I actually came across another 3 fractured half-rings (!!) -
View attachment 171958

Radiator on and filled -
View attachment 171959

Flennor belts in and tensioned -
View attachment 171960

This was a screenshot from a video recording. She fired up and revs well, but cuts out and will not idle. It was as expected. I desperately needed to hook the laptop up to her, but as it turned out I had a bad VAG-COM cable which was causing the connection failure. So with that, I'm awaiting the replacement cable from the supplier and hoping the next update will be promising!
View attachment 171961

Until then, all comments and suggestions welcome!
Dude, we are amazed about how good is your work on the 999. And it seems you are sexy as hell too 🔥 hahaha.
Good job dude, lot to learn here, keep going!
Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
Ola' amigos and compadres,

Thank you for your words of encouragement. It's been quite a rough process of trying to get this thing going. I wish I could say I've got a running bike now, but I feel I've hit the limits of my capabilities. The bike is incredibly temperamental and seems to exhibit changing symptoms, which makes it very difficult to pinpoint what the problem is. Like troubleshooting a constantly shifting target. A brief summary -

Played back and forth for several days trying to get a successful connection to the ECU. Eventually came right with the WCH chipset with pins 4 and 5 soldered together, using the drivers that came with the CD and running from Port 4 (other ports don't seem to work for some reason). Fiat cable test all correct and successful.

JPDiag software had the TPS and Service reset buttons available - no need to register/unlock anything, so that was nice, I guess. Maybe JP was tired of getting emailed constantly so he just put the software out there in full. Software responsiveness was ok initially but became very poor - sensory feedback seemed to deteriorate as time went on. By the end of the evening I'd get a successful connection and then no further response from any of the measured parameters. Played with port settings - nothing. Hoped and prayed.

Next day, got enough of an "open window" stable connection to squeeze in a TPS reset quickly. Did the double-reset procedure at 2.3 degrees as according to BradtheBikeBoy. Hooked up a home-made vacuum gauge, then wound the bypasses in and worked them back out equally 1/4 turn at a time. No notable positive effect on the idle. Bike still stuttered and stalled almost instantly, until I'd run the battery dry and have to leave it.

More recent attempts to start the engine have been really perplexing. The bike's condition seems to have become increasingly unpredictable and unstable. I'd lose spark on one attempt, then lose injector spray on another. They'd come back sporadically, bike would be able to rev once and then die out again. Then not turn at all. Then turn a little bit. Then turn without injector spray. Just a total mess. The fuel pump does buzz on each key on. Checked and double checked all wiring, grounds, fuses and connections. Replaced new spark plugs with new new spark plugs. Potentially may have hurt the battery from all the cranking as it's taking very long to charge up to full now. Also don't want to crank excessively and wear out the sprag...

I'm beginning to think the ECU itself is problematic. Somehow, between the perfectly fine test ride last year and now, something has failed somewhere. I've spoken to a few guys and I think the best way forward is to load the bike up and take it to the dealership. It's 1000km away but it has to be done. As I say, it's simply beyond my capability to work out what's wrong at this stage. If anyone has any suggestions/ideas, I'm all ears!!

172085

172086
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Haven't loaded the bike up just yet. I bought and put in a new fuel pump/coil relay today. Still same symptoms. Gonna check out the fuel pump and crank position sensor. Goddamn it! Help me step bros, I'm stuuuuuuckkk!! 😩😩
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Well, after an entire day of testing, diagnostics and scouring through the forums, I've finally found the issue - part of the fuel pump assembly was still old and problematic. Specifically, some of the wiring and the pressure regulator. Surprisingly, the wiring passing through the bottom flange was fine (known to fail), but in other places it was lousy. My pump repair last year maybe could have been a bit more thorough!!

I get why it was so difficult to diagnose the issue - there was a compounding effect of low fuel pressure, electrical fault and throttlebody work needing to be done, all happening at once. In medical terms, "comorbidity". I'm just glad I got through it. I was about to throw in the towel and take her up to the dealership. I had her prepped and everything!

So, new pressure regulator is ordered and on the way. Also, this thing was completely deteriorated and I need to replace it before I can move on. Pulled this image off Google. Am I right to say it's the low fuel level sensor? Or?? Anyone know what it is? -

172092
 

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Hi Edgar

First of all, thank you very much for the updates and the 999 Bible you are writing for the humanity. I really preciate your hard work and precise explanations here. You are right, the part you mentioned is the low fuel sensor and his wire.
You are closer to the next level!!
Greetings from Spain dude
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
A friend in Spain!! Dude I was meant to fly up there June last year for the Mad Cool music festival to see my favourite band and go run with the bulls. Stupid Covid ruined everything! Festival got postponed to 2022 :(

Thank you! I'll post an update once the fuel pump is properly repaired, and then I'm beyond positive she will fire up!!
 

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Sure dude! From SA to Spain for a concert wtf! What's your band then? You are craaazy hahaha. Go on and one day you would run in front of the bulls in San Sebastián on your 999! 🏍🐂
Cheers mate
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 · (Edited)
Hi all, back with an update after a long while of fighting this dragon.

The fuel pump had a complete overhaul, but it's bizarre to me that the new pressure regulator lets back all the returning fuel without any resistance. I even went as far as borrowing a fuel tank from a donor 999 to run a comparison (Thanks Neville). Wiring redone -
172380


New thermistor -
172381


And pressure regulator -
172382


Putting the fuel pressure issue aside for now (I figure I'll just put the old one back as it seems to work), I continued to have issues with poor/intermittent injector fire and spark. The issue primarily revolved around power and inadequate wiring. The start became very laboured these last few weeks and got down to two or three issues: a lousy solenoid -
172383


and look what else decided to fail (horizontal coil connector) -
172384


While my upgraded starter wiring and earth were good, the lugs seemed to be the weak point in the system. I'd have a battery at 13V attached and only detect 10.5V at the receiving end of the starter. So while the lugs will still have to be redone in future, I opted to just throw the kitchen sink at it and link three batteries together -
172385


I managed a short video upload of the 3x battery effort and first startup. Audio isn't the best but it's still ok. Lemme know what ya'll think!

Awesome cranking power and after a few tries she fired up!!! :D:D Good idle, just need to fine tune and balance the throttle bodies a bit. Otherwise, happy days!! -
172386


I wanted to humour myself so I kept all the parts I removed. There should actually even be more here, but some of the stuff was sold or was otherwise too bulky so wasn't kept (like the old tyres). But damn, talk about a nut-and-bolt restoration! -
172387



I can see the end of the tunnel, folks. We're almost there. Please send any comments or suggestions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Ola' amigos and compadres,


More chaos and turbulence as I continue fighting this goddamn Goliath mutant alligator from outer space. Where I last ended off, the bike was able to start and run but only with luck and massive battery charge. Believe it or not, the sporadic injector fire would still persist at some intervals and also I knew that lugging three batteries around was a totally impractical solution out on the road. The harness needed to be examined to get to the root of the power draw issue and bad signal -

172515


Working carefully along the entire length, replacing old live and earths, renewing connections, wrapping, etc.
172516


Stuff like this came up - these were the pins for the pump/coil relay connector, so even with a new relay you'd still have problems. Explains the intermittent firing issues -
172517


Not taking any chances. All areas were addressed. Had totally manky switch gear internals -
172518


New coils because one of the old ones (vertical head) was corroded. Also installed a new rec/reg (not pictured) -
172519


Secondary loom also addressed. As a side job, the headlamp adjusters were cleaned and lubricated and now work -
172520


Got a much more secure lug crimp this time around for the terminals and have them bent 90 degrees as they should be. Put her back together, hooked up a brand new lithium specifically for this part of the job but would get no more than two engine turns per start attempt. Battery symptoms continued to indicate excessive power draw. Having a thick new line from battery to new solenoid, and from new solenoid to starter, the only logical conclusion is that the starter is bad. Apparently this is typical for starters that are on their way out - they suck more and more charge -
172521


Kinda frustrating how over the course of the year/project NEW problems arise and components fail that were fine before... But the long journey continues. Next post, I'll be diving back in and tearing the starter open. Good news is that all other vital signs are healthy, the loom overhaul was successful. Till next time, folks!
 

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Have you tried bypassing the starter solenoid? This would tell you whether it’s your solenoid or starter.

from the pics, it looks like water made its way all the way down the lugs on the solenoid.

Either way, you’re doing a fantastic job, I think you’ve inspired me to bring my rusted, but perfectly painted 748 tank.

I would’ve suggested a microtec ecu, but since you have the skills and, more importantly, the patience, you WILL finish the job!

knowing that you took the lead on the restoration will only make riding the bike that much sweeter!

props buddy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Have you tried bypassing the starter solenoid? This would tell you whether it’s your solenoid or starter.

from the pics, it looks like water made its way all the way down the lugs on the solenoid.

Either way, you’re doing a fantastic job, I think you’ve inspired me to bring my rusted, but perfectly painted 748 tank.

I would’ve suggested a microtec ecu, but since you have the skills and, more importantly, the patience, you WILL finish the job!

knowing that you took the lead on the restoration will only make riding the bike that much sweeter!

props buddy!
Thank you Alex! If I've inspired any person out there then that always makes me happy :)

Yes, bypassed the solenoid and it did indeed crank. I've since put in a brand new solenoid and also pulled the starter and overhauled the internals. The copper contact element inside had an old and charred appearance, so I wet sanded it down to a clean fresh surface and now just waiting on a new battery to arrive. I've been off with no internet for a while just busy changing internet service providers, but I'll post up again soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 · (Edited)
Here are some pics of the starter service (sorry for crap photo quality) -
Automotive tire Wood Flooring Tire Aircraft


Minus points to Ducati for putting the mounting bolts INSIDE the left engine cover (n):( -
Audio equipment Material property Gas Electronic device Cable


After reading up a bit online, this is an easy fix and can be done at home. This is the internal copper contact face. Wet sanded before and after -
Bullet Wood Ammunition Writing implement Gas

Wood Window Material property Tints and shades Roof
 

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Hi Edgar, not sure where you are at now but I am so amazed at not only your work, but your will to push on no matter what! Keep up the great fight!

Not sure if this will help but this is my experience....I have a 2005 999S (Australia) which had a starting issue that changed symptoms every time you went to start it. Long story short, I learned that when an "issue" displays multiple / changing symptoms, it's most likely electrical (which you have already learnt) BUT also that this is 9 times out of 10, a grounding issue!

After multiple batteries (different types and sizes), multiple stators etc and even checking the pins within the ECU connectors, I decided to scour the web outside of Ducati specific forums. This is where the life long adage of "it's usually the simplest of solutions" became my reality.

On an Aprilia forum, a guy was having intermittent starting / idling issues and his mechanic said to add a ground lead directly from the starter motor to the battery ground (negative) terminal. This fixed his problem.

I went out to the shed and looked at the 999 motor and realised that the ground wire goes from the Vertical head to the battery NOT from the engine block itself (like on all the bikes I have had in the past - Japanese). Why would this matter I thought? For the $10 in wire and crimps and 20 minutes of my time, I thought I can only try! Problem solved, not a single issue since and that was 5 years ago.

How do I rationalise this....the electricity needs to get from the starter motor to the battery to complete the circuit but on our engines, there is a connection point between the block and the head which CAN create enough resistance if the gasket leaks oil (non-conductive) and there builds up enough grime and rust. Now my gasket did show the slightest of oil "mist" build up but that was it. Looking at what you have started with, rust and grit would be a given (your valve as an example).

I know you have taken the heads off and cleaned everything thoroughly and I am no mechanic, I am not saying this is your issue, but as I thought then, for the change in your pocket and 20 minutes of your time, why not?

Additional info that may help, sometimes my dash would throw a "lobat" code (and other times it wouldn't). When using JPDiag to read any fault codes, they would always be different - sometimes spark plug, other times the CPS and other times the injector. The bike would always start and run fine ONCE already warmed up, the issue was only ever present at cold start (this was the only constant symptom). This makes sense to me in the context of a grounding issue as when cold, the block and head would be less in contact than when warm and expanded!

Another note, not sure about your year, but on mine, the ECU will cut the cranking after 2 attempts if it detects insufficient voltage as a feature to save the battery so you don't run it flat attempting to start the bike. Great in theory but really unhelpful when you are trying to start the bike...

Best of luck and keep your chin up :)
 
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