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Good morning, folks. I'd like to start by saying that this is a great site, and it's been extremely helpful. I purchased a Ducati 999 a few months ago and have been using this site as a reference.

I recently did the "lithium grease" mod on my clutch's fiber plates. The good news is that the clutch is quieter and no longer grabs at low speeds.

The bad news is that I did the push rod "no-no" of pushing the push rod back into place from the clutch side, causing the obligatory oil leak at the seal ring (part 30 on the gearbox schematic), which I diagnosed thanks to some threads on this website. I've ordered the seal and will install it when it arrives.

In the meantime, some questions (I did try to search here for answers ahead of time, but didn't see specific answers to these question--though, I'll grant that maybe I missed them):

1. How can I remove the clutch pressure plate without pulling the push rod out with it? In other words, how can I separate the clutch plate from the push rod (gently) before remove the pressure plate?

2. Once they are separated, how do I put the pressure plate back onto the push rod when I'm putting things back together? Firm, yet gentle taps with a mallet? Straight on to avoid bending the push rod?

3. How can remove the push rod completely (pulling it from the clutch side)? I could only get the pushrod part way out from the clutch side, at which point the attached pressure plate pulled loose.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.
 

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You should be able to remove it from the clutch side, if it only comes part of the way out and then jams it is possible that the small needle roller bearing that is inside the right hand end of the gearbox shaft that the push rod runs through has collapsed and is jamming it from coming out.
Pull the push rod out a couple of inches and have a look at it where the needle rollers run on it, it should be nice and smooth, if it is all scored up than this is possibly whats stoping it coming out.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You should be able to remove it from the clutch side, if it only comes part of the way out and then jams it is possible that the small needle roller bearing that is inside the right hand end of the gearbox shaft that the push rod runs through has collapsed and is jamming it from coming out.
Pull the push rod out a couple of inches and have a look at it where the needle rollers run on it, it should be nice and smooth, if it is all scored up than this is possibly whats stoping it coming out.

Thanks for the responses, guys. If needle roller bearing has collapsed, I presume that means that I need to replace it. Is that correct?
 

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Hi Jtex13, so I'll pipe up, even though some others here know much more.

The pushrod fits into a pushrod pin (AKA "top hat") that fits inside the throwout bearing, and the pushrod often gets stuck in there. The best thing I've found is to get rid of the OEM pushrod pin. Just set the pressure plate and bearing on a piece of wood with a hole in the center and tap it out. It might take some work, and you might want to have a replacement throwout bearing on hand in case you bugger it up.

Then insert an aftermarket top hat, which are generally sized a bit bigger on the inside allowing the pushrod to fit into it easily. I got one made by STM, but Motowheels sells their own version as well. Grease up the pushrod pin both outside and in, and then you'll generally be able to get the pushrod pin into the throwout bearing, and the pushrod in and out of the top hat easily.

There are two small o-rings about 2/3 down the pushrod toward the clutch slave cylinder. Sometimes they catch up on the roller bearings a bit. Like Cyclops7 indicated, be sure that the roller basket hasn't collapsed.

When you can, you'll want to replace those o-rings and the leaky seal at the same time. CalCycle generally has those items in stock. LTSnyder has a neat little kit he used to sell, but he's still at the War College and won't be back for a bit.

Once you get rid of the OEM pushrod pin, life gets much easier, until you have to replace the throwout bearing or the pressure plate, but it still is not too big a deal. I reused the STM unit the last time I changed the pressure plate.

Good luck,
Ron
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, Ron. I had already ordered a throwout bearing and top hat/clutch control pin from my local dealer. I'll definitely use Motowheels next time--their bearing is way cheaper. I'll have to replace my clutch basket and plates down the road, so I'll get the bearing/pin from Motowheels at that point. Thanks again for the tip.
 
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