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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
900ss FE Performance Restoration

Its that time of the year when the weather gets cold and the bikes go in for work.
This thread is just that, only the project actually started last year at this time. I am in the middle of another project http://www.ducati.ms/forums/77-sport-classic/80859-sport-classic-project-bike.html
If you are interested. This project got put on hold while waiting for some machine work to get done. So I got bored and started another project.

The original idea I had was to do a bike like Pablo Pirate http://www.ducati.ms/forums/57-supersport/66498-water-cooled-superlight.htmlthat took a 900ss bike and stuffed an ST3 motor in it. Good fun, so I found the perfect engine, a 95 ST3 with 2k on it for a great price. Next, to find the donor bike, so off to Craigs list where I found an add for a 900ss FE. Hmmm wanted a SuperLight, but this was basically the same bike, but found out upon reading that it actually had numerous improvements over the SuperLight. I also thought the silver was nice. So I went to check it out and it was beautiful, just under 10k miles, nice condition and it was marked #10 a nice low number (actually one of the lowest numbers in USA besides #4 at the Barber Museum. He wanted 7k for it which was too much for an FE, but it was a good find and I offered him 6k that he took. Off to home to see what I got myself into.
I get it home and start riding it as is, nothing new but tires. Rode it for about 2 months growing to like it more and more all the time. The noise of the carbs is much different than my FI Sport Classic. The bar sweep, the narrow feel, the upright position made it such a nice bike to just relax on and hit some swooping twisties. This all made me conclude that I cant mangle this bike with a motor swap and what else, and I decided instead to do a full restoration with a fully built motor. A real sleeper that would happily cruise around at 4k, then hit it and let the flat slides ripp up to 9k.
Money, yes this is always an issue, but I wont do a project unless I do it with no budget for money or time, just to do what it takes to make me happy. This can be trouble and this bike was no exception as I took it a little over the top
Becaue this forum and this great group of people so hapily give up time to post such useful infor, I almost feel obligated to give back with a nice thread covering the rebuild.
I hope you enjoy the details of last summer and this build I am now just finishing.

Pictures, everybody loves pictures, so I will post a lot of them and try to detail as much as I can. If I miss anything just ask and I will fill in the gaps.


First up

The bike as I bought it. Got it home and stripped the body off for a good cleaning.










More to come...
 

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Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You know it. This is the build list:

Completely restore everything down to the last nut and bolt, or replace it

The Engine -

DS1000 crank lightened and balanced
titanium rods
Pistal pistons at 11.5:1
Heads CNC ported - bigger valves
ST2 cams with Adjustable pulleys
Short intakes with 41 split FCR carbs
Termi race spaghetti system.


Here is the tear down. Nothing is really that bad, just used and old.









 

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Woot! I've been waiting for this one. I'm guessing that this will be much, much more than a restoration.
Me too. Looking forward to following this. Now if we can get Hamish back on board the winter won't be half so bad.

Gregor
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Since this bike is getting the full restoration treatment, I knew it would be apart for a long time. My memory is not what it used to be and with so many other parts kicking around my garage I need to be super carful to document everything.

Every nut and bolt is getting re-plated. This gets done all at one time in a drum, so you better know what goes where when you get you bag of hardware back.

To make life better I take every nut, bolt and washer and lay it on a clean sheet of paper. I measure it and write this information along with its location next to it. Then I take a picture with my camera. When finished I can print out this page and lay every part back on the paper to match it all up exactly.

This is what a page looks like



I then document any details while disassembling that may be confusing, like wires, zip ties, springs, ext. You will be thankful you took these later when trying to put the puzzle back together again.



Calipers were a mess from years of brake dust.



Disk carries were also faded from years of sun and cleaners. These need to be re-anodized



Don't forget the little details



more tomorrow, actually I will try to post new pics every day
 

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Are you using a rebuild kit for those calipers? If so, where did you buy the kit and what was included? Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You can, and maybe will answer this, but can racked FCR's be "unracked" and converted to split or are they different designs? My bike has racked and I'd like to go to the split set up. Hope you cover that.

Gregor
From my understanding some have tried with limited success. I believe you will need to do more than just modify the linkage and shafts. Float height plays a big part on how these carbs run. I have heard horror stories about this problem of flooding carbs. I can imaging the proper angle of the float bowls will not be good when put on the horizontal head.

For my bike I used one horizontal and one downdraft carb to keep the float level close to perfect.

I think you could sell what you have and buy new split ones for the same price as it would take to modify what you have.

Anyone else had experience with splitting racked carbs?
 

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Discussion Starter #13

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Discussion Starter #16
The Engine comes apart and again looks pretty good.

The heads were not that bad



Cylinders were also good



some shots of the ports



Now something I found strange. It looked as is sombody had ported the intakes as I could see grinder marks. I can tell this engine has never been apart, so what gives? I ask around to a few of my friends and they tell me it is common to see this from the factory. Sometimes the castings were too rough so they would clean them up a bit. Anyone ever hear this?



The crank also looked like it had been worked. There were some cuts made to the counterweight, again, could have been from the factory? Anybody have pics of a know stock crank from a FE?



Most people would be happy to see the engine was good and just put it back together, Nope, that's no fun, so all parts are going out for reworking.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So here is the plan for the engine
1000DS
Since this is an FE it was the only year to use the 3 phase charging system and carbs. This means the crank is different from all the other years. It was now the foundation for the new to come 1000DS motor. Dimensionally they are the same, and a DS1000 crank pretty much drops in.

To run a 1000ds crank in a 1998 90ss FE engine, I could simply use high compression standard 94mm bore 1000ds pistons in the 900ss over-bored cylinders with a custom base gasket.

This is the math I did for the 900ss

34mm - half of the crank stroke
130mm - connecting rod length
28.6 - height from center of piston pin to top of piston (900ss)
.4mm - thickness of the base gasket

Total = 193mm to top of cylinder


This is the math for the hybrid long stroke in the 900

35.75 - half of the crank stroke
130mm - connecting rod length
26.4 - height from center of piston pin to top of piston (1000ds)
.4mm - thickness of the base gasket

Total = 192.55 to top of cylinder

So the piston is .45mm below the top of the cylinder - remove the base gasket to get only .05mm total less than the original spec

192.55+.4=192.95 to top of cylinder


The Cylinders go to Millennium Technology for boring and new Nikasil plating. These guys are the best. You need to include you pistons so they can match the bore clearance perfect. Cylinder Services - Millennium Technologies

The heads are stripped bare and sent to JPrecision in Quebec. Ducati 2-Valve engines | jprecision This is from their website:

Stage IV
The optimization for those heads includes:
-Original valve seats are replaced by high nickel bronze seats for the ------exhaust and high chrome alloy seats for the intake.
-Intake port is tig welded and reshaped for more efficiency.
-Intake and exhaust ports are CNC ported for optimum air flow and velocity.
-Installation of new AV&V manganese bronze valve guides.
-Multi angle HP seat job is done on a Newen CNC machine.
-AV&V Extreme Duty High Flow valves and AV&V high temp. resistant valve seals.
-Intake manifolds are ported and matched with the intake ports.
-The heads are washed in an ultrasonic bath and are ready for reassembly.

He completely changes the shapes of the ports to a much more modern high flow, high velocity design. This keeps the midrange strong and the top end power up.
 

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should pretty much sticky most of your post because they're always so informative :)

just got an email off to patrick regarding some questions about porting my engine this coming winter... (if winter ever gets to southern california)

I have a place to contact for cylinder work too now, thanks to you.
 

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Great to see you restored instead of Modded :)

I personally think go for modding common models but the rare ones keep close to original.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Now that the hardware is all organized and documented, I toss it all in one bucket and get ready to clean it all.



I still have a vibratory tub for deburring CNC parts. It also works great for cleaning old hardware. You can buy all types of media for these at Eastwood Eastwood 18 lb tumbler

I toss all the hardware in and add some CLR cleaning you buy from Home Dept. This cleaner will strip off all of the old CAD or Zinc plating. I will also clean slight oxidation.



When its done it looks like this



Now this is probably good enough but if you really want them to be shiny and look new I use a soft brass wire wheel on my buffer to polish up the heads.

I am lucky to live where I do as we have great resources for all types of manufacturing. For my plating of CAD, Zinc, or Anodizing I have been using a company called Reid Metal Finishing for 20 years. Reid Metal Finishing, Quality Plating, Anodizing
They are one of the few companies that still do Cad plating. Not needed for this project as all the original hardware is Zinc plated ASTM-B-633-98 Type II Gold Class 2 or 3 depending how thick you want it. Thicker is more durable, but also darker gold than OEM. I went thicker so it doesn't fade and corrode so fast with me living near the ocean.

About 1-2 week turn-around is normal and when finished it looks like this



 
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