Finally tackled belt maintenance - Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old May 18th, 2019, 6:55 am Thread Starter
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Finally tackled belt maintenance

When I bought the bike, 2100 miles but 7 years old, do didn't want to chance riding much with the old belts.

Order belts 3 weeks ago from dealer, called yesterday as they said a week or 2 max - order still not in (and could not believe when I ordered they didn't have stock as the belts fit half of the bikes they make). They did say they got their stock order which was ordered even before my order and to come get those and they would use my order for stock.

Anyway onto the replacement last night - watched all the vids again, pulling everything apart went pretty well as I had had the tank off a few weeks ago, belt covers are pretty easy, vertical one is a bit of a pain, but ball end allen wrenches certainly help get to the ones behind the frame. Honestly one of the hardest things was getting the lower coil pack out as there is no slack on the lead even after cutting the zip ties on it, it is a tight fit to get it out.

Once out got everything rotated and marked - just put it in gear pulled the plugs and use the back tire to turn the engine.

I bought one of these a few weeks ago to lock the vertical intake cam that moves when you pull the belt https://www.ebay.com/itm/Ducati-Cam-...72.m2749.l2649

It certainly helped, just a little 3d printed piece - it certainly helped but wasn't 100%, would have been better if it locked to the other cam fully, they make them but this did say it was for the streetfighter 848, so got it. Took both belts off remarked new ones and started on the vertical one, it was a bit of a bugger to get on, tried for probably 30 minutes, but the cam tool just wasn't quite perfect and it still let the intake cam move just a little, once I figured that out, I used a big flat screwdriver on the end of the cam to rotate it back just a little bit and the belt slid right on. Horizontal cylinder was much easier as the cams are not under any tension at TDC and you can just rotate a little by hand if needed to line back up and slip the belt on.

Tensioning the belts wasn't much fun i will say, seems like such a non precise way of doing it, I used the gates iphone app, but plucking the belt and reading the vibration frequency doesn't seem the most accurate frequency can be changed it seems depending on how hard you pluck, where you pluck and if you maybe touch something else with your hand or what not, eventually I mostly found a repeatable plucking method and area on the belt, but as an engineer i hated getting comfortable with it being right. I also used the other method I found online to check deflection between the cams of 5mm which seemed to be about right after doing it with the tuner method.

Buttoned it all back up, a little fun getting the vertical belt cover back in (should have paid more attention when it came out the exact angle route as it came out not too hard but only goes back in with a little fiddling).

I rotated it through to rotations of the crank also with the plugs out and covers off just to make sure it was smooth and nothing terrible happened (like valves contacting pistons).

All good fired it up and sounded like always no different noises from the belts, so tension seems to be good or it seems they will make different noises.

Anyway not a real fun maintenance task and a bit fiddly but not particularly hard to do and I feel better now knowing a belt won't snap from age, just glad i guess they are every 5 years not every 2 years like some models.

2012 SF848, 2015 KTM 300 XCW plated
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old May 19th, 2019, 3:41 pm
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Well done!
I did the same a while ago and was thinking of doing them again soon.
I was under the impression that they are supposed to be every 2 years not 5???
Even so, do modern belts really need changing so often? especially if the mileage is low?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old May 19th, 2019, 5:34 pm Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by UKstreetfighter View Post
Well done!
I did the same a while ago and was thinking of doing them again soon.
I was under the impression that they are supposed to be every 2 years not 5???
Even so, do modern belts really need changing so often? especially if the mileage is low?
All the 11 degree engines are 5 years, the others (superbike engines) are 2 years, even though it is basically the same engine, seems the timing setup has some impact on them. It stinks sitting in a garage with low miles it still needs it, but I guess sitting in one spot around a small pulley is as bad as running it. Just too much risk for a few hundred bucks to risk breaking one as it will destroy the engine, if it wasn't for that I would chance it.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old May 19th, 2019, 8:30 pm
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The vertical belt can be quite a bitch if you've never done it before - especially with the crappy little cam locking tool. After the first couple of times I did the belts/valves I just skipped the locking tool all together and used a 24mm crown nut socket to rotate the cam back in place when installing the new belt. Think I have 3 different versions of that tool and not one of them fit properly or hold the cams in exactly the right place when the belts are removed.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old May 19th, 2019, 9:09 pm
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Here's an easy trick.

Instead of trying to fight the spring tension when the mark on the lower pulley line up with the case, turn the engine so you advance 5 teeths. Turn cams counterclockwise 5 teeths also, install the belt there with no spring tension. Belt must be adjusted for tension there also (at tdc horizontal spring tension will have a slight effect on your reading).

then turn the engine until the lower pulley line up with the case, validate your vertical cams are at the right place, then proceed with the horizontal belt.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old May 19th, 2019, 9:10 pm
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yes, those tools can be very annoying. i find it just as easy to rotate the cam into place as required. or just rotate the engine to vertical tdc firing to put the vertical belt on.

i recommend 5 years on everything these days. i see no reason to do them more regularly.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Jun 9th, 2019, 11:01 pm
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I'd say 5 yrs as well. I just had mine done, and it was 6 yrs since mine were done last. I wouldn't recommend waiting that long, but I had just plum forgot about mine. Put 8k miles on this last set of belts and I live in Seattle. So very humid and down right wet! I tested the belts tensile strength by looping it on my tire machine to hold it mid-air and I tried to snap it by standing on my old belts. I even tried jumping on each of them. Nothing I did would snap or stretch them. The Kevlar belts held really well. I weigh about 220 and I jumped on the suspended belts pretty hard and they just wouldn't budge.

I'm thinking the 2 yr mark is over-stated by their lawyers. 4-5 yrs seems ok. My bike has seen a lot of track miles, street miles, and long periods of just sitting. The old belts seemed very robust even after all my miles and time that has gone by.
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