Valve Job...valve life - Page 4 - Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum
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post #31 of 32 (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.

I try to be thorough. I rarely return to a thread. If you have a question for me, PM me.
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post #32 of 32 (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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Last edited by Buhgaboo; Mar 20th, 2017 at 11:27 pm.
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