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Discussion Starter #1
As a youngster I bought a '94 900SS with the intention of doing track days. I did 3 or 4 in total. That was close to 10 years ago :|

I stored the bike in my garage, drained oil and fuel.
Barrels, heads and pistons have been removed 5 or 6 years ago (which was the first attempt at restoration).

I'm looking to put her back on the road, but was wondering if the bearings will still be usable since they have seen any sort lubrication for years?
I prefer not opening the cases if not needed (so hoping to find the oil galery plug sitting rock solid where it should be :) ).
 

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Thats a hard call to make, ball bearings do not like sitting around with no oil on them, yes they will retain some oil on them, but after a time that residual oil will cease to be effective. If it were my bike and the top end has been off for 5-6 years I would disassembly the engine. Reason behind this is that dust and some dirt has gotten into the bottom end--Even if you are careful some has gotten in there, So for peace of mind again if it were my bike I would take it down and go through it. But thats just my opo
 

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Are you a gambling man?

I just went through a bevel motor that was built fresh in about 1970 and sat un finished in a shed until a few years ago. I ended up changing almost all of the bearings because of rust/corrosion that had developed. If you are doing the work it is your labor (time)and it changes little if you don't mind building the bike twice.

Since people bringing me motors do not want to pay twice we often recommend doing it right the first time but some roll the dice. That said MOST of the time (which implies some times NOT)you will be fine so are you feeling lucky?
If you have a failure will you damage other parts, depends.
Will you mind going back in later?
Are you tuned in to the bike to know when things are going south and STOP running the bike.
Will you same money if you buy another motor?

Mains and output bearings take it the hardest but they often will still have oil coating them and should be okay if they were not on the edge before. keep in mind also most engines setting in a ebay auction have no oil in them for how long? roll the dice and take your chances or spend the time and money to increase your odds of success. Tough choice , good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was thinking about rolling the dice since those bottom end bearings are quite expensive.
Looking at my gambling record... I'll better play it safe.

And since I was smart enough not to cover the bottom end after removing the top... there will be dust in there and possibly some hair from my pug :eek:
 

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I’ve gotten so many barn bikes running I’ve lost track. The ones that were just abandoned and forgotten with the oil still in them were fine. You’ll always find some that were parked due to mechanical problems. I always give a shot at getting them running before anything else. If you can make it run you can find out much more about what is needed and decide how far you want to go, money wise. I have ridden bikes for years without taking the engine apart after finding them abandoned.
 

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My bike tends to sit for months at a time. I don't know if this process has any real value, but before I start it I always spin the engine on the starter for a bit with the kill switch off. The thought is that it pumps oil around the engine prior to it starting and running with load and heat.
 

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The issues to worry about is rust build up on the balls/cage of the bearings if the motor was open. If old oil was left inside you also need to worry about fretting of the mains from the acids in the old oil, not a old bike thing as it happens to newer bikes as well but each year parked with tar for oil increases the chance.

And since the motor was partially apart do not forger to inspect closely for signs of mice etc, I have found nests buried in plenty of motors where the entry hole was very small and the little critters do not stick to the Ducati drain plug so you might need to find a better aftermarket one.
 

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if it's been open the bearings will be dry and rusty. i have some 600 cases that have been doing just that for some time.

can you sell it to someone who thinks they know better? i'd call that the easiest way of of it. not that i'm one to avoid a pointless endeavour.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I won't have any mice in it. I store my bikes in a heated room behind the garage :)
But as I guessed, plenty of pug hear in it (sticks nicely to the oil film inside the cases).

And noticed the oil gallery plug sitting nice and flush against the bearing race (forgot about that over the years).

So I'll pull the bottom end apart to put a steel plug in the crank and replace the bearings.
 

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I won't have any mice in it. I store my bikes in a heated room behind the garage :)
But as I guessed, plenty of pug hear in it (sticks nicely to the oil film inside the cases).

And noticed the oil gallery plug sitting nice and flush against the bearing race (forgot about that over the years).

So I'll pull the bottom end apart to put a steel plug in the crank and replace the bearings.
Heated room storage is better than one subject to temperature fluctuations since the changes in ambient happen faster than what such changes are cooling down or heating up. In such an environment, the changes invite condensate with commensurate effects on a machine, relative humidity depending also of course. Your storage history with this particular bike is an argument in favor of starting it up as is, assuming the ancillary systems have been gone through. Nevertheless, the dirt etc in the may change this answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So... full rebuild with 944 kit and FCR's, then? :D
I wish! :grin2:

I do have a set of split FCR's on the shelf.
But lacking the funds at the moment to go all-in with HC, hot cams, head porting, spaghetti headers etc.
 

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If spending the money and money is tight put it where it is going to make the bike the most reliable.
new rod bearings and bolts.
output bearing and seal
layshaft seal
new mains if you can afford them inspect them closely for fretting if you cannot.
closely inspect all transmission gears for spalling from poor oils.

This should allow you to run and not go back in the bottom end for many years, be sure to blueprint crank and transmission and delete the paper case gasket.

If your budget grows next would be exhaust valve guides and 944 pistons.
porting is good but mostly effects up high where you are not running most of these motors (track excepted). the cost of porting makes it low on the bang for buck scale.
Cams can be added later after the motor is in but keep notes on squish and piston pockets so you do not put in cams that will lift more than you have room for.

If you only do the bottom end you will have to split the bike again to do the top end later but if that is not a issue simply wait until you are ready. I would rather know the bottom end is 100% an have a new top end and questionable lower end.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If spending the money and money is tight put it where it is going to make the bike the most reliable.
new rod bearings and bolts.
output bearing and seal
layshaft seal
new mains if you can afford them inspect them closely for fretting if you cannot.
closely inspect all transmission gears for spalling from poor oils.

This should allow you to run and not go back in the bottom end for many years, be sure to blueprint crank and transmission and delete the paper case gasket.

If your budget grows next would be exhaust valve guides and 944 pistons.
porting is good but mostly effects up high where you are not running most of these motors (track excepted). the cost of porting makes it low on the bang for buck scale.
Cams can be added later after the motor is in but keep notes on squish and piston pockets so you do not put in cams that will lift more than you have room for.

If you only do the bottom end you will have to split the bike again to do the top end later but if that is not a issue simply wait until you are ready. I would rather know the bottom end is 100% an have a new top end and questionable lower end.
I fully agree. Better safe than sorry, I'm going for reliability on this build.

The bike will be used as a dedicated track bike.
Since my track skills are limited to say at least, power is not what I'm after at the moment. All I need is a reliable and easy to ride bike to have some fun.
If I'll do any sort of engine upgrading, it will be a lighter flywheel and a slipper clutch. Need to keep it below 95dB for most tracks around here.
When I'm ready for more power, it'll be time for a new bike.

The going all-in with FCR's, HC pistons etc. I had planned for my Superlight.
But that's still a very long term plan/dream/might-never-happen-kinda-story.
 

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Just so you know - the limiting factor on these bikes on the track is not the power/engine, but the exhaust system touching the asphalt a bit too soon when leaned over.
Apart from that, it's a fun bike at the track.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just so you know - the limiting factor on these bikes on the track is not the power/engine, but the exhaust system touching the asphalt a bit too soon when leaned over.
Apart from that, it's a fun bike at the track.
The headers dragging shouldn't be an issue on this bike, as the headers have been re-welded by the previous owner (the ends of the header are about 1.5 inches higher).

 
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