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Discussion Starter #1
Here is the background info and the general issues around this bike up till now

Had a lowside last year and ever since the bike has not been quite the same again. The damage was mostly cosmetic with no major mechanical issues.
The stalling issue has been getting progressively worse, but that issue has raised its ugly head from before the low side.

I have now performed a major service on the bike including:
- Setting the cam timing using the OEM factory service tool (The cams were off by 1 tooth by the way)
- TPS set
- Throttle bodies balanced
- CO set at 4%
- Valve clearances checked (everything is within factory specs)
- Exhaust leak (slight blow by on the one pipe connecting to the back box) fixed
- Oil, filters, plugs changed (NGK CR9 plugs)
- The plugs showed slight richness but the end can is dry black
- Slight slack from throttle cables removed
- Battery is perfect
- Checked each and every electrical connection and cleaned her up.
- Idle is set at 1300 rpm
- Timing sensor gap is as per factory spec
- Fixed the fuel pump electrical connection (my fault)
- The bike will not run properly!!!!!

The bike will not start unless it is in neutral. No matter what position you have the side stand, unless it is in neutral it will not start period.

Once it starts up, it will either fire up on the first go – or it will turn / start to catch then die down, then the starter will automatically kick in and start up again and this cycle will continue until you crack the throttle a smidgen – the bike will either catch and idle or it will suddenly die like somebody smacked a piston with a 20 pound hammer on the upstroke. It is almost violent the way it stops. You can physically hear a soft metallic clunk as it happens and the compressed air escaping is audible for a couple of seconds
You push the starter button again and the cycle will repeat or it will start up and purr along with no problem in the world without you having to touch the throttle.

Once the bike is on idle you again end up with one of two scenarios
It idles perfectly and when you blip the throttle it will jump up in the rpm range and settle back down again or
The bike will do the violent stop stunt again

Put the bike in gear it will either run smoothly sometimes,
Or it will immediately do the violent engine stop as you put it into gear or as you start to pull away
You have to put the bike into neutral to start it back up again (and the first scenario then repeat itself again starting the bike) The bike will not under any circumstances start in gear.

Once you get the bike up and running it will either run smoothly, or you guessed it. The bike will do the violent engine stop as you change gears regardless of what speed or rpm you are at.

What am I missing? Why would the bike progressively become worse until it ends up in this state?

Any help or suggestions appreciated

SF
 

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Just a little experience I had with spark plugs. I tried something other than the factory recommended Champion RG59V. The bike ran like shit - symptoms similar to what you mention. This was also after a major service. After putting up with this for only a few moments, I installed the old plugs (RG59V) and it ran like a top.

Larry
 

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How did you determine cam timing position? I am uncomfortable with your discription of being out "one tooth". Did you actually check with dial gage and degree wheel?
 

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Safety, if it was my bike, I'd be asking you these questions. The fact that you're asking them makes me look at this thread and any advice with great interest.. Not liking the sound of the "chinking" though.. Ja and one tooth is significant and could just be the problem, possibly one of the valves is out and the chinking is a result of that valve??/ Eish I shudder to think of it.. Good luck there skywalker and may the force be with you....
 

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Timing is commonly off one tooth from what I have seen. This gives the bike more low end torque and less top end pull, ie better for around the city. I had my R serviced, no issues, timing was put into spec (it was off by a tooth as well) and it is a different animal. Does the 999R run the "Surface discharge" plugs? They are like $60 a piece at the dealership. If not, are you sure that the gap is correct before you put them in? The not starting when it is in gear could be that your clutch lever sensor is not working. I put GP masters on mine and had to zip-tie the sensor so I could start the bike in gear with the stand up. Does the bike have a full exhaust on it? If so, maybe the tune is just not working well.
 

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Just a little experience I had with spark plugs. I tried something other than the factory recommended Champion RG59V. The bike ran like shit - symptoms similar to what you mention. This was also after a major service. After putting up with this for only a few moments, I installed the old plugs (RG59V) and it ran like a top.

Larry
Call Mark at The Duc Shop on Atlanta Ga. And explain your situation to him. He is a genius and is very helpful. Your problem is way out of my league!
 

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Timing is commonly off one tooth from what I have seen.
That's a pretty provocative statement. By "from what I have seen", what exactly are you talking about? How many bikes have you seen with this condition?

In the years that I've owned my R and all the discussions that I've been involved in or followed here, as well as discussions with mechanics, other R owners at the racetrack, etc, this is the first I've ever heard of that.
I'm not doubting you, I just want a little background.
 

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That's a pretty provocative statement. By "from what I have seen", what exactly are you talking about? How many bikes have you seen with this condition?

In the years that I've owned my R and all the discussions that I've been involved in or followed here, as well as discussions with mechanics, other R owners at the racetrack, etc, this is the first I've ever heard of that.
I'm not doubting you, I just want a little background.
I have seen a few owners report that their timing was off a tooth. I am not trying to scare anyone, that is just what I have seen. I spoke with the Ducati service manager (started his own shop in Houston recently) and he said that is something he has seen a number of times. There was also a thread not too long ago that was reported as being fairly common. I wish I could find it.
 

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SF, I think your problem is related to ignition more then anything else. That violent shutting-down nature of the motor can be directly connected to ignition not working properly.

The kickstand switch issue is probably just a bad switch, I'd ignore that issue.

I'd take the plugs out of the bike, check them over, make sure there isn't any physical damage to the plugs, especially the threads (IE leaking). Then put them back in the bike and torq them to Ducati spec.

Next, make sure the spark plug coils have the springs in them. I've seen those springs totally compressed and the spark doesn't reach the plug. I just had to make myself new springs because my bike was running odd and I found them both bent out of shape. Oh well, thats what happens when you pull the bike apart every other weekend. Anyway, if everything looks good, put that back together again and follow the ignition cables. Make sure the wire harness looks good.

Third, ignition is powered by the battery... So maybe the first thing I'd check is the battery, even though I listed it last. Your bike my turn over perfectly fine, but if the battery drops below 10.5v, you've got a problem. If the battery isn't charged fully, the bike will do exactly what your describing, not run properly and not wanna start.

If all of that fails, the final thing to check is the grounding of the motorcycle. Make sure the battery is grounded to the motor's case and make sure the ECU is also grounded to the same wire.

There is no reason to not check belt tension and make sure your fuel injectors are actually spitting out fuel. But, those two things don't really get damaged easily, so I'd focus on the list above and let us know what you find!

How many degree's is one tooth? I can't remember.
ALOT! If the belt were to slip one tooth, the bike would either not run at all, or blow up pretty quickly. I've had timing off on my 748 motors before and have been shocked that just a few degree's (much less then a tooth) cause the motor to just simply not run.



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Discussion Starter #11
BrianG - I used tool number 88713.1791 to get the belts in the correct position as per factory spec. I did not degree the cams yet as I am useless doing that job. I only need a person to show me how to do it on a 999R once and I will be OK, but until then the bike stays factory spec using the tool.

Stu, thanks for the support. I am just glad I am not in Cape Town right now. Sunds like you guys are getting the worst end of the cold fronts moving through down there.

fastbydrmike - For some reason I do have that number on my phone... Should probably use it, I always feel embarassed to phone people like that because he will never see my bike in his shop so it feels unfair to ask for help but you are unable to support his business.

Tye - Seems like you are doing nightshift again :)
Sparkplugs are perfect, but I will change them just to be able to rule that issue out
The cigar coils are perfect, the wiring is good
The battery is perfect, I did a draw down test on it and it passed
Grounding is good on both wires
The fuel injectors were checked using the tester and they passed. Visually they also appear to spray a very fine fog of petrol so I dont suspect them as being the culprits
:think:

Thanks for the inputs, appreciated

SF
 

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AHHHH - ECU grounding. That's a good idea, and easy to confirm.

I agree - this sounds like ignition/electrical. The issue I had with spark plugs was not that the plugs were faulty - they worked fine. It was just that they were non-resistor and they actually caused electrical interference that messed with the ECU.
 

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i'd guess its a tad lean.needing to crack the throttle to start when cold supports that.twice in my bikes life it started stalling after a major services.both times the trim was set to factory levels,and both times were cured by slightly richening it.the only starting in neutral is another issue and electrical.(switch).
 

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I would replace yoursafety switch and make sure that's working. If for some reason the switch is shutting down the bike, you will experience the same drop dead result.
Listen very closely when it dies... is the clinking sound coming from the motor or clutch? BrianG and I know what sound the clutch in my bike makes when the kickstand safety switch shuts her down. Its immediate and definately a clunk.
 

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Hello Wess. Long time no speak, I hope the T9 is not so poorly. Feel free to PM me as i am on here mostly now i have been disgarded by the enemy:)
 

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This might very well be related to the electrical system but other than that I think 4% CO is on the low side. Wouldn't hurt to increase it to 7-8%, I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have attached a picture of the camtool I was referring to, it probably has another name in the real world.

Worked on the kickstand switch last night. Even bridging the switch out by jumping the two wires on the engine side of the connection will not get the bike to start if it is out of neutral. (Regardless of what position the side stand is in, yes kill switch is working ok) Bike starts right up with the bike in neutral, and once it is running you can put it in gear and it will keep running as long as the side stand is up.

Replaced the spark plugs, problem stays the same.
A CO setting of 7 to 8 % sounds very high, are you sure about that one?

The sound of the engine stopping is almost painful to listen to. It is mechanical/metalic and comes from the pistons I suspect. (I have put back the rubbber seal on the clutch cover to help trace the problem, to make it easier to hear other things) It physically sounds like a hammer is brought down on a piston on an upstroke. You can hear the compressed air slowly escaping directly after the stop - it is a very soft hissing sound that lasts a couple of seconds (You have to have your ear at the airbox intake with the filters off to be able to hear it clearly)

Earthing cables - there are two on a 999 if I am correct?
One goes to the ECU itself, the other is connected to the vertical cylinder on the left side of the bike? On my 998 there is an earth just above the neutral sensor, on the 999 the bolt is there but there are no wires to connect anything to it.

Thanks for input, appreciated

SF
 

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