Valve Job...valve life - Page 4 - Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum
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post #31 of 42 (permalink) Old Mar 20th, 2017, 12:23 am
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Ok, I'm glad you are happily back together but let's get to the bottom of this so you aren't having to check the valves so often.

1.)first 21k went without problem... (Got that, I asked when the valves were adjusted before that.)
2.)the valve in the picture in the beginning is coated in a heavy varnish and the varnish is pitted...and indeed stopped sealing... it was not reused (So the valve is not pitted, the varnish is?)
3.)timing is spot on. I use the ducati tool for setting the cams and a degree wheel. (That's cam timing. Have you verified ignition timing?) That would be the most likely source of odd combustion issues. Even systems that adjust electronically must have a relative sensor position.
4.)rides are full of corners so I'm heavy on the throttle: https://youtu.be/Q-QmtG-vF28 (I guess that means you don't ride around at 8K when you are going 30 mph cruise. That can cause you to be in a mapping area that is not properly mapped.(run hotter) I don't know what your bike has but a closed loop cruising operation can be turned off at high rpms.)
5.)ecu code presented on the dash is ERR ENG. (That's a dash display, not the error. Do you have a code reader or can you take it to a dealer next time you have an error to see which sensor is reading what?)

Finally,
When you say you shimmed to the "tightest" allowable settings, I am going to assume you are not just adjusting them to the low end of the range because that would put you right next to being out of range as I explained previously.

Maybe you are tired of discussing it but I am willing to see you through it if you want. If not, that;s cool. If I had to inspect valves every 2K miles, I would probably never touch a Ducati again. To do the job correctly, means that it is perfectly repeatable (re-measure) immediately after adjusting them and turning the engine over a few rotations. Secondly, you have to actually be adjusting them to the correct values and while it sounds simple, it took me half a lifetime to learn to adjust valves with feeler gauges and I am not sure I am done learning. For example, I went to a club garage session a month ago and a friend of mine for 45 years did something I have never seen before. Besides that, I might have been the only person there that understood his explanation.

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post #32 of 42 (permalink) Old Mar 20th, 2017, 10:50 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jahjah View Post
1.)first 21k went without problem... (Got that, I asked when the valves were adjusted before that.)
2.)the valve in the picture in the beginning is coated in a heavy varnish and the varnish is pitted...and indeed stopped sealing... it was not reused (So the valve is not pitted, the varnish is?)
3.)timing is spot on. I use the ducati tool for setting the cams and a degree wheel. (That's cam timing. Have you verified ignition timing?) That would be the most likely source of odd combustion issues. Even systems that adjust electronically must have a relative sensor position.
4.)rides are full of corners so I'm heavy on the throttle: https://youtu.be/Q-QmtG-vF28 (I guess that means you don't ride around at 8K when you are going 30 mph cruise. That can cause you to be in a mapping area that is not properly mapped.(run hotter) I don't know what your bike has but a closed loop cruising operation can be turned off at high rpms.)
5.)ecu code presented on the dash is ERR ENG. (That's a dash display, not the error. Do you have a code reader or can you take it to a dealer next time you have an error to see which sensor is reading what?)

Finally,
When you say you shimmed to the "tightest" allowable settings, I am going to assume you are not just adjusting them to the low end of the range because that would put you right next to being out of range as I explained previously.
@jahjah Let me explain the ENG error history as I have now come to interpret it...I did the valve adjustment at 18k miles per the Ducati factory manual instructions which are quite detailed...I removed everything that it said I should and found two valves out of spec in the horizontal head which I brought back to .05mm for the closer and .10mm on the opener...I then drove it about 10 miles before I tripped the Error message ENG...out of fear I had the bike towed back to my home...I then took it apart and put it back together...I found everything where it should be...torqued and tightened...put it back together...fault went away...then at 21,000k miles it kicked into nanny mode on the highway...I exited and drove about 5 miles before it shut itself off and ended with Ducati roadside assistance towing it to the dealer...it spent 4 weeks there initially while they searched for the problem...was told it was a loose wire, but they offered no more details about it and seemed a little overly protective of the paperwork I needed to sign...I then drove down the road ...tripped an another fault...they forgot to mount the radiator...got it back 2 weeks later and was running horrible...radiator fan had cut the spark plug wire...at this point I was done with dealing with the service dept...and this is when problems began to overlap...every time i tripped an ENG fault i found valves needing to be adjusted so I assumed that is what it meant...at 23,000 miles the ENG showed its face again and this time I reset all the shims to .05mm on the closers and .10mm on the openers...fault went away....then I was noticing valve fluttering noises around 5000k rpm( i do have video but it will take some time to find)...thinking that it might be engine knock I degreed in the cams...went away...came back...started experimenting with exhaust overlap...(I know I'm out of my depth at this point...but as long as I didn't break anything i enjoyed "messing around")...gradually I came to the assumption that this can't be degreed out and it must be that the cams are just wearing down...Que the ENG fault...I felt this time it was directly related to my "tinkering"...woefully I returned to the dealer for help...I explained that the engine fault was likely related to me mucking about and I was concerned this valve noise was from the cams wearing out? they inspected the cams reset the timing and sent me home...when it was on their bench I could clearly see the two different color exhaust valve ports, but they hadn't brought it to my attention so I thought nothing of it either...but the sound on engine braking was deafening...something was wrong...drove it home swapped in my 2nd engine and tore the original down...not knowing anything about valve work and hell bent to not return to the dealer I bought 2 new factory heads and valves from Ducati installed them...put 500 miles on my 2nd motor...Que ENG fault...*(I bought a crash engine with allegedly -500 miles on it...but every valve was already out of spec...I feared it had a viking send off prior to my purchase),**the engine swap was complete with wires and air box but the secondary air clip had a broken locking tab...** fearing the worst I pulled the engine out put the original back in with the new heads and valves...4000k miles later ENG...so now I assume that not lapping in the new valves was preventing a good seal and just like a bad valve...tripping the ENG error...so I tear it apart lap the valves and do a mediocre adjustment....08-.09 on the closers .10mm on the openers....2000k miles later ENG...tear it down to find 1 wildly out of spec...I do feel this to be human error but nonetheless I adjust everything to the tightest allowable.05-.07mm on the closers and .10-.11 on the openers....at this point I feel its perfect...I have taken extra time to each valve individually and recorded its measure and after assembly recheck..i felt no resistance in the cams and the measures were within .01mm of where I expected them to be...perfect...drove about 500ft...ENG...I knew this meant something other than what I thought it meant...I began checking connections around the air box when I noticed the blue yellow corrosion in the clip to the secondary air connector...i wire brushed it away and off I went...Error free...

Phew, that is the complete history and I can see how I began to correlate the ENG fault to the valves...it seemed every time it came up; I did have valve issues. its very confusing to someone who knows little about engines let alone a modern Ducati...nevertheless...looking back I feel that running the valve out of spec for as long as I did caused it to fail...The valve in the pic has the varnish mostly removed and it looks trashed...but none of the others are like this...I will probably try cleaning it a bit more to be sure...but back to your questions..

How does one check ignition timing ...I would think oil would come blasting out of the crank access...but it runs amazingly smooth now so I do feel ignition timing is ok?

My cruising RPM is as low as I can go...3000rpm in 2nd 3500rpm 3rd 3750 4-5 and ~4000rpm in 6th and I will upshift on anything other than flat ground as to not lug the motor...

I unfortunately don't have a code reader but I do have two of every sensor, plug, port and assembly to swap out for troubleshooting purposes...it took the dealer 4weeks under warranty to find a loose wire...I couldn't imagine what the bill would be to correct it now...I was getting ready to swap in the other air box when I saw the corrosion...it fits with the intervals of occurrences and why it went away and came back...I can't tell you how happy I was that I found it...

as to checking the valves...I can check them in under and hour...adjusting takes a bit more of course...fortunately I enjoy working on it as much as I do riding it

I read somewhere people were adjusting their valves to zero clearances for race setups...the assembly values for my 821 are .03mm on the closers and I cant recall on the openers so to be at .05mm I still have a margin of safety...
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post #33 of 42 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2017, 9:57 pm
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I'd like to respond about some of your points but I'm work, tax, and yard buried right now. I'll get back.

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post #34 of 42 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2017, 10:33 pm Thread Starter
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no worries...and a bit of an update as well...i thought I had it sorted but the following morning upon key entry ...ENG...nuts...so I pulled it in and methodically started taking things apart and replacing them with the spares...air box...ECU...Pressure sensors...temp sensors...each time checking to see the ENG was still present...it was...then another aha moment...when tinkering with the TCU wiring harness the fault went away...further investigations revealed the clutch cable was possibly routed behind the TCU wiring harness...I say possibly because all the pictures i took prior are inconclusive in determining the routing...but as i was putting things together I instinctively placed it behind the clip...after checking with the manual it was clear the cable was meant to go in front...I think that this solves the ENG faults...fingers crossed...been riding error free since...I've driven 500 miles without a problem and since swapping ignition coils I have even seen my mpg go from ~40 to ~48...I've also begun alternating between ethanol free and shell premium in hopes to extend the de-gunking process...as to the valve noise...I'm hearing it again...it might be normal? it might have always been there? I typically ride with ear phones so its possible i have just ignored it all along...I can't seem to find my go pro anywhere to record a new video...but am about 3 weeks away from the next service where I plan to check valves as well...currently not riding as high in the rpm range as before...just happy that it is working again...hoping to make it out to Deals Gap tomorrow to really run it up...now where the hell is my GoPro....
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post #35 of 42 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 6:47 pm
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One of the most interesting threads I've ever read! You guys are so technically competent with your dialogue. The pics, the explanations...I'm looking at buying my first Ducati, a 34,000 mile ST3 from 2006. The maintenance requirements make me hesitate. But knowing that this level of understanding engine technology is present on this forum eases my trepidation. I'm an automotive technician as well as a motorcycle tech and feel confident that I can work on the bike. But when I have questions, I'd like to think there's someone out there that knows more than I do. This site has that covered! I usually set my valves a little on the loose side to buy me more operational-time, knowing the valves will sink, which tightens my clearances.


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post #36 of 42 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2017, 11:58 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaku440 View Post
One of the most interesting threads I've ever read! You guys are so technically competent with your dialogue. The pics, the explanations...I'm looking at buying my first Ducati, a 34,000 mile ST3 from 2006. The maintenance requirements make me hesitate. But knowing that this level of understanding engine technology is present on this forum eases my trepidation. I'm an automotive technician as well as a motorcycle tech and feel confident that I can work on the bike. But when I have questions, I'd like to think there's someone out there that knows more than I do. This site has that covered! I usually set my valves a little on the loose side to buy me more operational-time, knowing the valves will sink, which tightens my clearances.


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Just to be clear, when you set the valves "loose" on a conventional spring valve train, a small increase can change the camshaft duration significantly.

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post #37 of 42 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2017, 12:19 pm
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@jahjah Let me explain the ENG error history..... --> thanks

Phew, that is the complete history and I can see how I began to correlate the ENG fault to the valves...it seemed every time it came up; I did have valve issues. its very confusing to someone who knows little about engines let alone a modern Ducati...nevertheless...looking back I feel that running the valve out of spec for as long as I did caused it to fail...The valve in the pic has the varnish mostly removed and it looks trashed...but none of the others are like this...I will probably try cleaning it a bit more to be sure...but back to your questions.. ---> An ECU can flag an error for a misfire. Without that actual error code, you are guessing, a potentially long process.

How does one check ignition timing ...I would think oil would come blasting out of the crank access...but it runs amazingly smooth now so I do feel ignition timing is ok? -->Don't understand your oil comment. I don't 'know how to set the ignition timing on your bike. Most engines have a way to do it so that when you make modifications, you can adjust according. On an ECU based system, it may indicate one point and it may be anywhere. Others could help you answer this. The reason for being sure is that incorrect ignition timing is very likely going to affect the temperature that the cylinder runs at and result in valve issues.

My cruising RPM is as low as I can go...3000rpm in 2nd 3500rpm 3rd 3750 4-5 and ~4000rpm in 6th and I will upshift on anything other than flat ground as to not lug the motor... --->>> Sounds good

I unfortunately don't have a code reader but I do have two of every sensor, plug, port and assembly to swap out for troubleshooting purposes...it took the dealer 4weeks under warranty to find a loose wire...I couldn't imagine what the bill would be to correct it now...I was getting ready to swap in the other air box when I saw the corrosion...it fits with the intervals of occurrences and why it went away and came back...I can't tell you how happy I was that I found it... ---> Hopefully you have fixed that issue. :-)

as to checking the valves...I can check them in under and hour...adjusting takes a bit more of course...fortunately I enjoy working on it as much as I do riding it ---> I don't think I can do it that fast. In any case, it's an hour you will never see again. If you do it 4X or more for a normal check duration, that's 3 or more hours you will never get back.

I read somewhere people were adjusting their valves to zero clearances for race setups...the assembly values for my 821 are .03mm on the closers and I cant recall on the openers so to be at .05mm I still have a margin of safety...
---> Shortly I will post an explanation to this thread. PLEASE read it. Your first problem was a reduced time to having an issue after you did your first adjustment. See the timeline connection?

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post #38 of 42 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2017, 12:35 pm
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DESMO comments FWIW

DESMODROMIC VALVES utilize opening and closing camshaft lobes.

Visual:
If you don’t understand the operation of the DESMO system, YouTube search for “Ducati DESMO Valve System”. Watch the operation at 1/4 speed.

Basic concept:
The Opening cam lobe cams the rocker arm which pushes the opening shim, which in turn pushes the valve down into the cylinder away from the valve seat.
The Closing cam lobe cams the rocker arm which pushes on the closing shim, which in turn raises the valve up toward the seat. Air flow and compression close it the rest of the way. The helper springs probably assist more during starting than anything else.

Different from conventional:
The DESMO design is very different from a conventional valve spring system in which the closing part is handled by the spring causing the valve to follow the closing segment of the cam profile. The only strict requirement, clearance wise, is that some be maintained so that the valve can close all the way and not be held open by the camshaft lobe. The spring continues to assist the closing all the way but its strength is determined to follow the cam profile, not to seal the valve. Compression seats the valve just like the DESMO system. As the valve wears into the seat on a conventional spring system, the clearance diminishes.

DESMO theory:
Opening:
The DESMO opening shim is held in place by limited clearance to the rocker arm, which rides on the opening cam lobe. Therefore, this clearance should not be excessive. Performance will suffer from reduced lift as well. It must also not be insufficient because then it could become an obstruction to the closing operation. This could be catastrophic.
Closing:
The DESMO closing shim is held by collets. When properly installed and not worn out, they will restrain the closing shim. The closing cam lobe-rocker arm combination pulls the valve against gravity back up into the head toward the valve seat. If the clearance is too great, the valve seating could be delayed or insufficient. If the clearance is insufficient, the valve will contact the seat while still being moved by the camshaft and a catastrophic situation can result.

Operation within specification:
The manufacturer has determined what clearances will guarantee performance and avoid obstruction w/ damaging results.
The RANGE, however, does not guarantee that the valves will stay in clearance for the duration between clearance checks. This is a subjective area where the dealer/mechanic has great authority to maximize or minimize the potential to stay within specs during the inspection interval. An unscrupulous dealer/mechanic can pretty much guarantee you will need a valve adjustment at every inspection if he chooses to to increase revenues or because he doesn’t understand the system. If this last statement doesn’t get you wanting to understand the DESMO system, nothing will.

Assumption:
I am assuming that most road bike owners will want to maximize the duration between valve adjustments, or at least minimize the amount of time that the clearances run out of spec, and accordingly, how far out of spec they run. (Note: A race bike would not be adjusted this way)

Conclusions:
To maximize the effectiveness of valve clearance shim adjustments, we must look at what happens as the valve and seat wear into each other over time.

The valve will seat farther into the head over time. This will raise the valve stem which the shims ride relative to.

— pay attention ---
When the valve stem end gets higher due to valve/seat wear, the opening shim is higher. That means that its clearance to the opening rocker is REDUCED.
When the valve stem collets get higher due to valve/seat wear, the closing shim is higher. That means that its clearance to the closing rocker is INCREASED.

If the opening shim clearance gets too tight, the valve may not close, even though there is no conflict with the closer which has gotten looser. Valve failure will result eventually due to the valve overheating. Performance will be dismal.
If the closing shim clearance gets too loose, the valve does not get returned close enough to the seat to close in a timely, efficient manner. Performance suffers.

Note that in general, the factory specification are for cold and the valve length is considered to lengthen as it gets hot relative to the head. You probably should not try to second guess how much, just stay inside specifications cold.

—now, finally we get to what this means to making an adjustment —
Since the opening clearance is going to get tighter as it wears and when it gets hotter, set its clearance as close as you can to the MAXIMUM range value without exceeding it.

Since the closing clearance is going to get looser as it wears and gets hotter, set it’s clearance as close to ZERO as you can without any detectable rubbing during camshaft locations.

It should be apparent that the conventions valve system meaning of “tight" and “loose" do not apply to the DESMO system in the same way. You must always be relative to whether you are talking about an opening or closing clearance. For example, if you are talking about a closing clearance, saying that it is tight would actually imply that it is less than zero.

Personal Observations:
I machine ground my current bike's shims to be exactly on spec. as described directly above. I also learned what to do during reassembly to make the inspection repeatable. I have run about 4 thousand miles so far with excellent consistent starting and performance. With no other changes, I found that the torque curve extended down about 500rpm, making the bike a pleasure to ride around town. The top end feels stronger but that’s just seat of the pants. Technically, all of the clearances were within spec before I started. The main reason I adjusted them was that two of the rockers had the beginning signs of chrome flaking and needed R&R. I decided to use the disassembly to maximize the duration to the next adjustment.
I attached a copy of the data plate. It differs from the factory manual. I would always take info off the bike over a manual.

Readers: Please correct any errors. I was up entirely too late already when I started writing this. Thanks.
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post #39 of 42 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 2017, 7:26 pm
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I do understand Ducati's valve train system. And, due to my automotive/hotrod background, I appreciate the concept of runnng tight to tune the power band. If I had my Ducati, I would run "tight" on the closer...but "not so tight" on the opener...only to extend my adjustment intervals. Living here in Illinois, I don't need every single horsepower. But, I do appreciate how important it may be for you to extract every single bit of performance you can.


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post #40 of 42 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 2017, 9:46 pm Thread Starter
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...long work days...I've been out of town this week so I haven't been able to respond...

I had been very confused as to why I was shimming valves exactly...all my hypotheses had been answered inconclusively...to me i could see the varnish building up on the valve's seal "lowering" the valve and needing a "thicker" opener...and I could also see the valve bashing itself into the seat needing thicker closers ...and then just assume the valve is getting thinner which eventually lead to failures...I have know clue...I do have an over abundance of valves to measure incidentally but none supported this theory ...my checks had some openers growing in clearance and some shrinking...so i really never got a grasp on what was happening...and to make it more confusing the assembly spec for the opener is (.13mm-.18mm) and the out of spec is (.10mm-.25mm)...it kinda hits in the middle of the range and perceptively allowing only a slight margin before its out of spec...and it is leaning toward its low end with the expectation that the clearances are going to increase...I supposed because of all the gunk buildup....whereas the closers are assembled just below the operating range which makes it clear to what end to aim for...in my experience so far the openers have not drifted much...the closers on the other hand are a bit wild but also a bit more predictable...they seem to give .01mm per 1000k miles or so...with the exception of the horizontal intake valve which is again in need of adjustment...yeah...after reading that I've been at the wrong end of the clearance spec I tore it down again...44min...lots of practice...I measured the clearances...all the closers had moved .01mm-.02mm ;roughly 1100 miles; with the exception of the horizontal intake which read .11mm so I am no longer completely discounting this as human error...there seems to be something going on here...I'm going to use new c clips this go around on this valve...and not change it (its got my largest sized shim)...bring its opener to the mid range of its tolerance and see what it does from there...so this go around I'm going to target .15-20mm for the openers...I'm essentially going to reduce all of them by .10mm...I had planned on videoing the valve sound I have been hearing but the sd card got corrupted and the new one arrives tomorrow...I couldn't help myself from tearing it apart again...so...It probably wont be road worthy tomorrow for a video, long work day...a video IS coming tho...curious to find out if being out of spec in the openers is what i was hearing...more to come.. @jahjah you have been a big help!
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