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I just got my 998 back from the dealer after 2 years. They adjusted valves and made some minor repairs, mostly electrical. I drove to my in laws last night, 50 miles, and I swear I checked oil before I left. Went to go back home today, did not check oil as I don't have a level spot in their drive. Got about 5 miles, was going 55mph, engine cut out and oil light went on. Pulled over and saw oil was empty. Added a full 4 quarts and drove back to my in laws.

At no point did the engine sound unusual, no smoke, nothing leaking, no drips in their driveway, nothing noticeably wrong or unusual. But a gallon of oil just disappeared. Any idea how to troubleshoot this? Kinda scared to ride it now without knowing what went wrong.
 

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Something is not adding up at 4 quarts. We/you know 4 quarts is capacity and the machine cannot run 50 miles empty of oil, no engine can. Any oil leaking would be obvious to you either during or after the drive, horrific blue smoke and stink while running or a puddle of oil when stopped.

No part of a running engine will burn 4 quarts in less than an hour. (50 miles) Even if you don't have valve stem seals and the 3rd piston ring you won't burn 4 quarts in that amount of time.

The oil light will always be on w/ the ignition on and engine not running. So the oil light does not always indicate that you are low on oil. And if the engine stalled from a lack of oil, it would not have gotten you back to your in-laws.

Something else is going on. Please let us know how you check the oil b/c an engine with sufficient oil shows no oil if you are looking into the sight glass while the machine is on the kickstand.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Something is not adding up at 4 quarts. We/you know 4 quarts is capacity and the machine cannot run 50 miles empty of oil, no engine can. Any oil leaking would be obvious to you either during or after the drive, horrific blue smoke and stink while running or a puddle of oil when stopped.

No part of a running engine will burn 4 quarts in less than an hour. (50 miles) Even if you don't have valve stem seals and the 3rd piston ring you won't burn 4 quarts in that amount of time.

The oil light will always be on w/ the ignition on and engine not running. So the oil light does not always indicate that you are low on oil. And if the engine stalled from a lack of oil, it would not have gotten you back to your in-laws.

Something else is going on. Please let us know how you check the oil b/c an engine with sufficient oil shows no oil if you are looking into the sight glass while the machine is on the kickstand.
This is not freeway, so much more than 1 hour or 50 miles. 30 miles over 2 hours home from the dealer (and other errands) and then parked in my garage for over a week + 50 miles and 90 minutes to my in-laws, parked over night + 5 miles miles to stall out. Not even a drip of oil on the floor in my garage or at my in-laws, not a drop from blowing out the exhaust, no noticeable oil in the fairings or on the engine.

I check the oil through the sight glass holding the bike level - this is a pain without a 2nd person but not impossible. All 4 quarts went in without spilling a drop, so I wasn't reading it wrong when I thought it was empty. I added the oil after stalling before trying to restart the engine.

The oil light is most likely irrelevant, it has never been on when the engine was on, and is always on when the engine is off.

So if it is burning oil, either:
1) It burnt 1 gallon of oil faster than it used 1 gallon of gas.
2) I checked it wrong and it still burnt oil almost as fast it burnt gas
3) I checked it wrong and the dealer gave my bike back with only 10% of the oil full

If it is blowing oil out, it is doing it without any smoke or any residue on the exhaust, which is clean enough to eat out of.

Or it drove 80 miles without leaking oil, suddenly leaked a gallon of oil, and then stopped leaking after I refilled it.


The most likely explanation I can come up with so far is the Oil Fairy magically siphoned off my oil last night without leaving any trace, or a dollar under my pillow.
 

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I gotta say, I've been working on engines since I was about 11 years old... I've never heard of anything like this. The only thing I can think of, given your description, is that perhaps you've got a bad head gasket and the oil is mixing with your coolant? Common sense is telling me that this is unlikely, as there is no way imaginable that an extra gallon of fluid is going to fit into the cooling system, but it's got to be going somewhere.
 

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There is only one possible explanation if your description is at all based in reality. Little oil was in the bike to start with, you didn't check it. Even that has problems.

The sight glass only shows the top of the oil. It's easy to check solo. I do it every time I ride. Apparently the engine stopped for some reason and you noticed the oil light. Normal indication of no pressure when the engine is not running That would indicate it never came on even though you say it lights and goes off when the bike starts. That indicates it was not near empty or it would have been lit while riding and been going on and off as the oil level changed under acceleration and braking and on hills.

The concept that you put a gallon of oil in a bike with a 3.9 qt capacity to bring it up to the full mark next to the glass would overfill the bike unless the filter was also empty.

Too much BS in this post to really spend any more time on it. If you are sincere, I suggest you drain the oil to see exactly how much you have in the bike. Overfilling a crankcase can do serious damage.
 

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I gotta say, I've been working on engines since I was about 11 years old... I've never heard of anything like this. The only thing I can think of, given your description, is that perhaps you've got a bad head gasket and the oil is mixing with your coolant? Common sense is telling me that this is unlikely, as there is no way imaginable that an extra gallon of fluid is going to fit into the cooling system, but it's got to be going somewhere.
Can't be oil mixed with coolant. Cooling system is pressurised and would leek coolant into the sump. If oil somehow managed to find its way into the cooling system then the coolant would have to be displaced, somewhere. Assuming that much oil "disappeared" without trace then there's only two real places for it to go. One is the fuel tank and the other is in the tyres. Neither of which I find probable or even possible:). I can only think the OP has made a mistake when he checked the level in the first place.
 

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I have two DQ bikes and used to own a 900SS. I have never been able to put 4 QTs in the either bike without grossly overfilling it. Maybe if I drained the oil cooler and lines too, but I never do that. I guess if you really ran it dry, the cooler and lines would be drained, but...


Just to be certain, and not to insult your knowledge as you wouldn't be the first to confuse this, but are you using the sight glass on the rear brake pedal side of the bike or the gear shifter side of the bike? If you used the left side glass, you have way too much oil in there!


One other possibility, and this is a slight for sure, but I remember when the 998 came out. There was a big problem on some early bikes with crankcase pressure and blow by. A few bikes puked all their oil in to the air box. I remember some goofy looking fix where there was a crazy looking pipe running from the crank breather to the oil fill. Maybe just lift the rear of your tank and be sure it's dry in there.
 

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Those goofy fixes were actually Ducati corse parts. I think I have one in my vast pile of shit removed from customers bikes.
 

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I see no way for the full capacity to leak or get used without you seeing something amiss, I have seen bikes burn through a quart in 100 miles of hard track use with bad guides but that is not close to the level of use you describe. I broke a piston once and it pumped the oil into the airbox but the oil leak theory is no good unless you have a sealed bellypan and it is currently full.

I would have to guess either there is an error in how you are checking level (which window) or the oil was simply not there before. Now I have had experience with a air cooled 900 motor where the customer did an oil change and forgot to put the new oil in. He probably ran it about 50 miles, and yes there was engine damage when done but he made it to the shop. Those engines are ball bearing cam motors unlike the 998 so I would have guessed the cams would have seized in the heads on your 998 as there would not be any oil up top.

Then there is the oil pressure light, these units should let you know if the bike does not have sufficient pressure if it did not go on until the last moment then we have to assume the bike had pressure. keep in mind the light will go on if the bike simply stalls due to something else so if the light was functioning properly then it is more likely you have over filled the bike with oil. I do this professionally and have for almost 20 years and agree with others that it makes no sense that you burned or leaked that much without noticing. That said I learn something new everyday so I will be looking forward to what you find.

Normal oil changes on those motors only take about 3.5 us quarts when done hot,sump screen pulled and filter changed. If you put 4 quarts into the bike on a normal oil change the window should be solid fluid with no air bubble. Any change the window is not empty but overfilled? fresh clean amber colored oil often looks clear.
 

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I can't wait to hear " The rest of the story ". You can't lose 4 quarts of oil with no trace. When you eliminate all the other possibilities, the one left, no matter how strange, is the answer . If there is no trace of the oil ON the bike, and there is no trace of oil LEAVING the bike, then the only thing left is the oil was not there when you left the dealer. I agree you need to drain the oil and measure. Probable sight glass error. Is it possible an over full sump caused an oil light ? Is there any indication of engine damage ?
 

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Or if the dealer did an improper oil change you will not will see oil in the sight glass w/ out leaning the bike over to the right an uncomfortable amount. In such a case it would appear that you had no oil. The engine will run fine on 2 quarts and you will not see that in the sight glass. My guess is that the engine can hold 6qts.

Is the sight glass 100% oil or is there a line?
 

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This one rates up there as just about the best "Another Oil" thread ever.
 

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Or if the dealer did an improper oil change you will not will see oil in the sight glass w/ out leaning the bike over to the right an uncomfortable amount. In such a case it would appear that you had no oil. The engine will run fine on 2 quarts and you will not see that in the sight glass. My guess is that the engine can hold 6qts.

Is the sight glass 100% oil or is there a line?
I can only speak for the 916 series, but when the correct amount of oil is in the engine, and the bike is on the pit stand, there is a line. If you're using Motul 300V however, there is no way to glean any info other than level from the appearance of the oil in the window as it is that dark green (?) color...

:wink2:
 

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A whole lot worse than this, from someone on the forum. Compared to 4 quarts, the image is a drip.

I left the alternator cover plate (where the tool is used to remove the cover) loose the other day when I removed the starter. Loose, on with the bolts finger tight w/out a tool, was enough of an oil leak for me to excuse myself to the store for beer.
 

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......996sps, 999r, gsxr750, gsxr1220, Mercedes......:)
If you have any left, there is a 99 996SPS for sale in Houston, Texas.

If I wasn't planning to reproduce again I would consider taking a small loan out to own it.
 
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