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1995 900sscr 2015 Diavel Dark
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up a 10,300 mile 1995 900SS CR last October. All original. The bike as a whole is in very good shape but has some rust spots on the frame and some finish pitting on the engine case.
I have always loved these bikes and always wanted to own one. I thought well might as well make this thing beautiful and stripped it apart and tagged and bagged everything.
I want to blackout everything but the original Ducati red paint.
Took the engine, removed from the bike, to my trusted mechanic Polo at Moto Technica in east LA yesterday 3-3-2020 to diagnose a top end oil leak.
Got the call from the shop today and bad news: broken stainless cylinder head stud resulting in bearing and cam damage is what my mechanic is telling me. See attached photos.
He is saying it will be cheaper to source a whole new engine over rebuilding.
Thoughts?
I'm looking for advice.
Should I have the original engine rebuilt?
Is there anyone out there that has a built engine they would like to swap + cash?
Will any other more powerful engine fit?

The bike is for personal use, weekend trips, some commuting.

If anyone has any leads or advise please feel free.
I live in southern California, would be great to find someone local

I might even be interested in having someone put the whole bike back together for me.
 

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Hopefully Ducvet or Belter will chime in, but is there only 1 broken stud? thats what it looks like, I am by far no expert on this but I have heard of many times where a stud breaks and basically does no further damage if it is caught soon enough. and my guess is that the studs in your engine are the dreaded chrome studs -not stainless. maybe some pictures of the cam etc would help the guru's diagnose this for you
 

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1995 900sscr 2015 Diavel Dark
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My thoughts exactly, I've heard/read a lot about broken cylinder studs. I will try and get some more pics.
 

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1995 900sscr 2015 Diavel Dark
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My thoughts exactly, I've heard/read a lot about broken cylinder studs. I will try and get some more pics.
 

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1994 900SS CR, 2002 998 Trackbike
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Maybe it's just me but it looks like the intake valve is bent. So then you are looking at that plus probably the guide. And then I suspect they are right when they say cam damage.

You could get a set of used heads, instead of changing the whole motor. That may be the cheapest way to get it running again. Or you can go down the path of "while it's out..." and rebuild the thing with upgraded parts, refresh and paint everything etc.

There are other engines that can be made to fit such as the 1000DS or even the 1100, but any swap of this sort involves making/buying a lot more parts than just the engine.
 

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There is a set of heads on ebay here in the U.S. right now--BUT they have mystery cams I think he wants $500.00 for them, he is also a member here because I did purchase a few items from him from a bike he is parting out
 
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I personally cant tell from the pictures if a valve is bent or not, but that should be easy enough to check, rotate the cam 360 deg. see if the valves open & close smoothly then if they seem to fill the combustion chamber with parts cleaner and see if it leaks out, if nothing else it's a starting point
 
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if the valve is bent the cam generally won't turn.

is the plug coming out of the crank big end?

rebuilding is expensive, but it's fun. think of all the money you can spend.
 

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I have not seen bearing or cam damage from a broken stud before, if it broke a belt because of it maybe. A broken stud should equal more clearance not less so the valve should not have come close to the piston without something else being wrong. Easiest way to check the valve with the head off is to sping the head of the valve (with valve off the seat) and see if it orbits , if in doubt pull it and check closer.

We can not see what the builder is seeing so it is hard for the internet to tell 100% there is also the chance you misunderstood the mechanic as it happens all the time. Ask him if the stud break caused the Bearing and cam damage or if simply he sees bearing and cam damage AS WELL AS a broken stud. Then the next questions are

What bearing/s?
Crank plug?
Is the cam bad or just a bent valve? (cams seldom are bad with a moderate impact valves bend much easier)
Why is the cam bad?
If a valve IS bent how are the guides, any cracked?
What other parts failed to cause damage?

Looking at the head it has been running this way for a while as the blow-by on the exhaust side is considerable, all fixable. I cannot SEE anything scarry other than chrome studs that can sometimes break on removal. I am a bit surprised the freeze plugs are still as bright as they are given the age I wonder if they are original or if someone freshened the nikasil and did not change studs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Maybe it's just me but it looks like the intake valve is bent. So then you are looking at that plus probably the guide. And then I suspect they are right when they say cam damage.

You could get a set of used heads, instead of changing the whole motor. That may be the cheapest way to get it running again. Or you can go down the path of "while it's out..." and rebuild the thing with upgraded parts, refresh and paint everything etc.

There are other engines that can be made to fit such as the 1000DS or even the 1100, but any swap of this sort involves making/buying a lot more parts than just the engine.
Knowing very little about the intricacies of the engine workings I am at the mercy of my mechanic.

I'd like to hit the "while it's out" path but $ is king.

Leaning more towards sticking with the 900 engine.

Cheers and thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
if the valve is bent the cam generally won't turn.

is the plug coming out of the crank big end?

rebuilding is expensive, but it's fun. think of all the money you can spend.
I'll need to ask my mechanic to answer.

why does it always feel like money well spent when you spend it on yourself? ha

rebuilding does sound fun but I'm a nitwit, nut and bolt kind of guy. Or maybe I just don't trust myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have not seen bearing or cam damage from a broken stud before, if it broke a belt because of it maybe. A broken stud should equal more clearance not less so the valve should not have come close to the piston without something else being wrong. Easiest way to check the valve with the head off is to sping the head of the valve (with valve off the seat) and see if it orbits , if in doubt pull it and check closer.

We can not see what the builder is seeing so it is hard for the internet to tell 100% there is also the chance you misunderstood the mechanic as it happens all the time. Ask him if the stud break caused the Bearing and cam damage or if simply he sees bearing and cam damage AS WELL AS a broken stud. Then the next questions are

What bearing/s?
Crank plug?
Is the cam bad or just a bent valve? (cams seldom are bad with a moderate impact valves bend much easier)
Why is the cam bad?
If a valve IS bent how are the guides, any cracked?
What other parts failed to cause damage?

Looking at the head it has been running this way for a while as the blow-by on the exhaust side is considerable, all fixable. I cannot SEE anything scarry other than chrome studs that can sometimes break on removal. I am a bit surprised the freeze plugs are still as bright as they are given the age I wonder if they are original or if someone freshened the nikasil and did not change studs.
Well that's a relief. No broken belts, just the single stud and blown out oil.

I'll run your questions by my guy and see what he says. There's always the chance of me misunderstanding.

Is there anyone you can suggest to take a look at it here in southern California?

Thanks for the help, I'll get back with details from the mechanic.

Cheers
 

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Can I ask...mine has the original studs, I think. Say I want to replace them, can I do so without removing the head? I know it's a bit lazy, but would it be okay just replace one by one without removing the head, or that's just stupid?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I found a local guru. Moto Servizio in Signal Hill, Long Beach
Engine is going to him next week. Fingers crossed for a better diagnosis.
 

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Can I ask...mine has the original studs, I think. Say I want to replace them, can I do so without removing the head? I know it's a bit lazy, but would it be okay just replace one by one without removing the head, or that's just stupid?
Sorry NO and yes it's stupid lol--there are other things you want to look at to check and see if they are ok, If the studs look like they are chromed--ie shinny then I would consider changing them, but again other things to look at like the crank plug at the crank big end---as ducvet said he has never seen a broken stud alone causing other damage but if they are chrome you know one is going to break at some point so fix it before it breaks I am all for fixing known issues before I have to say --Damn I should have done that
 
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Heads (and cylinders) need to be removed to change studs. If you ever have the engine out or apart do it then. If you have good studs now I would just ride it and know it can happen. Not sure what part of the country you are in but in the north east we call that winter work to be done when you cannot ride anyway.

Plus when / if you go there some of us are going to start whispering about big bore kits....
 

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I know it
I found a local guru. Moto Servizio in Signal Hill, Long Beach
Engine is going to him next week. Fingers crossed for a better diagnosis.
I know it's a long way away--but you could always ship the engine to Eric--aka ducvet, or Sebastian at Melilli Moto in Ocala Fl. I would trust both completely
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Heads (and cylinders) need to be removed to change studs. If you ever have the engine out or apart do it then. If you have good studs now I would just ride it and know it can happen. Not sure what part of the country you are in but in the north east we call that winter work to be done when you cannot ride anyway.

Plus when / if you go there some of us are going to start whispering about big bore kits....
Big bore kit? Awesome! I like go fast improvements. What cc does it come out to? How much is a kit? Worth it? Reliability?
Just more questions for you guys.
Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I know it

I know it's a long way away--but you could always ship the engine to Eric--aka ducvet, or Sebastian at Melilli Moto in Ocala Fl. I would trust both completely
On the other side of our great nation. I'm pretty sure I found the right guy now. Moto Servizio comes highly recommended by Ed @ Ducpower.com and a number of reviews.
 
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