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Discussion Starter #1
I was riding home today(interstate)...bike water temp was 180 to 210 deg F, I experienced a slight loss of coolant. I had to make a brief stop at a store and noticed antifreeze on my left side upper fairing and all over my coolant resevoir tank. My problem is, I can't find the leak. The coolant tank cap was secure and all the associated hoses were tight. Also, there wasn't any coolant in the overflow tank either. I checked the coolant level in the resevoir tank and it read exactly between minimum and maximum. I am at a total loss. Could the resevoir tank been overserviced and the excess coolant escaped through the cap ? Is there a way that I can perform a system pressure test ? I'd like to rectify the problem before I do any damage to my bike. I continued riding home and the water temp never exceeded 220 deg F.....It is was a mighty hot day here in Dixie....96 deg F........110 F with heat index........any of you experienced Duc riders have any suggestions ???
Thanks in advance and ride safe......
 

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Old Wizard
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Coolant Expansion Tank Leak

A very common problem on superbikes.

Classic symptoms of a cracked coolant expansion tank that first started with the 916's and continues today. A leak develops at the tank's mold line (parallel to the fork tube) and appears to be caused by fatigue from thermal cycling and vibration. The main reason that a Ducati superbike coolant tank cracks is that the tank expands as it get hot but there’s not enough clearance around it to allow free expansion in all directions. In particular, there is a rubber grommet that holds the tank in place and presses it tightly against the frame. Because the grommet is somewhat oversized, it causes the hot plastic tank to be compressed by the frame and receive vibration transmitted through the frame. When you install the replacement tank, trim the rubber grommet to avoid a repeat of this failure condition.

The best way to find the leak is to pressurize it with air with the tank under water. The crack gets contaminated by coolant so reportedly all previous attempts to get a lasting repair have failed. P/N 58510111a, price about $33.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi,

Thanks for the advice. I had read about the coolant tank issues but I just wanted to be sure....Wow...what a bummer. My bike has only 8900 miles on it. Is there a heavy duty aftermarket tank that can be bought ? Or is stock my only option ?

Any "need to know" info/tips on the resevoir R & R ? Is it a straight forward job ? Does the fuel tank need to be totally removed ?

Thanks for the help,

748duc
 

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I just fitted coolant header tank #4 to my 916 on Tuesday, not particularly expensive but a PITA to fit.

#1 lasted 8yrs
#2 lasted 15 mins
#3 lasted 3yrs

We'll see what #4 does...
 

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Any "need to know" info/tips on the resevoir R & R ? Is it a straight forward job ? Does the fuel tank need to be totally removed ?
It's straightforward but you'll need to remove not only the fuel tank but also the front and side fairings (to get the air runners off), airbox, steering damper and ignition switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey Desmo....
Thanks for the info. I've been trying to locate a new tank today. But...since it being a sunday, I have had no luck.
Sure seems like alot of work for just a plastic tank. Its a good thing I have the next 3 days off....
You mentioned your 2nd tank lasted only 15 mins....what happened...what did you do to correct the problem..was the tank itself defective..

Regards,
748duc
 

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You mentioned your 2nd tank lasted only 15 mins....what happened...what did you do to correct the problem..was the tank itself defective..
Yes tank was defective, I fitted it and rode 10 miles, stopped for fuel and as I was paying the bike was spewing coolant out of the tank, much faster than any of the other leaks which have only been minor.

The dealer exchanged the tank with no problems and didn't seem particularly surprised...
 
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