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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,
I would really appreciate feedback asap on possible cause of major clutch malfunction?
Background:
2004 ST3.-perfect shape. No mechanical issues until now.
ALWAYS dealer serviced. Religious to the maint. sched.
12K mile service completed in June.
95% of my riding is freeway. Very little commute or city
driving.
3486 miles later-whammo!! See pics below.
Mentioned to dealer when I took it in @12k, that the clutch
was groaning a little. Asked them to take a look. They replied
"No issues" on the service report they also marked the "Clutch Inspection"
box on the printout.

Incident: Returning home from bike show. Following cars uphill in low gear.
engine temp within limits. Chain good condition. Engine was running
fine all morning. 3 hours into a 6 hour ride home.
Changed into higher gear-heard engine noise turn into deep
growl. Thought at first one of the pipes let go. Tried to change
gears, wouldn't leave first. Only choices was 1st and neutral.
Coasted downhill with hazards on until safe to stop.
Oil was everywhere on left side of bike.Again see pics included.

Would really appreciate everyone's feedback on this. Including possible causes, repair costs/time, as well as tactics if looks like dealer failed
to really carry out instr. Hard to believe clutch would go, without ANY
warning, and only 15K miles on it. Anyone experience similar situation??
All help is gratefully accepted and feedback would be greatly appreciated!!!
Thanks everyone!
 

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unM0derator
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Man, what a mess. I do have a question though, since the clutch is wet (edit DRY), and the oil is on the *left* side, did something let loose over there before the clutch went? Did the clutch just not have enough oil? Like a galley line that was plugged or something? Counter-shaft seal?

I think the clutch issue is secondary to whatever caused the oil leak. Well, I guess that oil could have come through the passage for the pushrod, but hmmm.

Is the case intact?
 

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Wasn't the 2004 st3 a dry clutch? If so maybe something pranged your case, maybe in the countershaft sprocket area releasing engine oil..you are lucky not to have gone down from a slippery rear tire.
 

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Wasn't the 2004 st3 a dry clutch? If so maybe something pranged your case, maybe in the countershaft sprocket area releasing engine oil..you are lucky not to have gone down from a slippery rear tire.
I think all ST3 models are wet clutch. It's the ST4s that changed from wet to dry.

Anyway, I doubt the clutch on the right side caused this. Something has let loose on the left side or the back of the engine. Let us know what is was when you find out please. You were very lucky to keep the bike upright with that much oil leaking around your rear wheel! :eek:
 

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unM0derator
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Oh fark. Sorry, didn't catch the year in the original post. Yes, it should be a dry clutch.
 

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I think all ST3 models are wet clutch. It's the ST4s that changed from wet to dry.

Anyway, I doubt the clutch on the right side caused this. Something has let loose on the left side or the back of the engine. Let us know what is was when you find out please. You were very lucky to keep the bike upright with that much oil leaking around your rear wheel! :eek:
Yep I bet your clutch is still fine. :mad: also interested to know what you find.
 

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Almost looks like the shock let loose. Are you sure that's motor oil?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Man, what a mess. I do have a question though, since the clutch is wet (edit DRY), and the oil is on the *left* side, did something let loose over there before the clutch went? Did the clutch just not have enough oil? Like a galley line that was plugged or something? Counter-shaft seal?

I think the clutch issue is secondary to whatever caused the oil leak. Well, I guess that oil could have come through the passage for the pushrod, but hmmm.

Is the case intact?
Yes, from what i saw and felt, the case is intact.
I checked all the fluids early that morning. All were ok.
No *weird* noises from the bike at all. No leaks anywhere.

I really, really really, hope it's not in the engine!!! If I had a choice
that is. Could something have been installed wrong? Misssed? etc??

Yeah, I didn't realize how much oil there was on that tire, until I pulled over. Lucky it didn't happen about ten minutes earlier- I was on a freeway doing 80mph!!
 

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Assuming it's engine oil, it probably came from 1 of 3 places on the left side of the engine: countershaft sprocket seal, crankcase breather or the cylinder base gasket.

What is the current engine oil level now (on the center stand, on level ground)? It's probably low and may not register on the site glass, considering what's splattered all over the bike.

Other things to check, is the filter oil & drain plug tight and not leaking oil? Rear brake works, clutch lever has the same resistance, the rear shock has resistance when bouncing the rear wheel?

Longshot: Maybe the left side case bolt(s) came loose allowing the engine oil leak and preventing shifting. In your last pic, with the shift linkage, just above the linkage is a plastic cover that shields the countershaft sprocket. Remove that cover, 2 bolts, and tell us what you find or take a picture of it.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
fingers crossed

Will Do Jack.
Thanks for your advice and hunches!!

Oil is low. Can't see it through the glass.
Dealership opens in 15 min. so I'll keep you
posted. TBH, shouldnt these things been
given a once over at the 12k teardown?

Thanks!
 

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Mr Leakered
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Could this be a case of the chain nicking the oil galley screw that is just inboard of the front sprocket? I think a couple other folks reported this issue a while back.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Close up pics

Dealership closed-bummer. Have to try again tomorrow.

To answer jack's questons from earlier, I took some more pics of the left
side. Took both fairings off. Right side is dry as a bone. Oil filter is on tight
and drain plug is snug and dry also.

The sprocket looks like the source of exit for all the fluid. Removed the
cover to take better shots. Didn't want to clean it up too much. Try to leave
it as true as possible so the mechanic gets a good idea.

Can anyone give me an estimate of the labor needed in case it is the countershaft sprocket seal, or cylineder base gasket or crankcase
breather?? I need to start crossing people off my Christmas gift list to
pay for this. Thanks again everyone!
 

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I don't see too much that's unusual, other than a lot of oil and chain lube. Nothing apears to be broken, a good sign.
A couple of things to check for, I'd wash the oil & grease off the case/frame/rim, it'll be easier to trace the leak source.
-On the centerstand, spin the rear wheel, does the chain spin and rub against anything?
-Any oil on top of the engine case, above the sprocket, at the base of the cylinder (couldn't see it in any pics)? That might be an indication of oil coming out the case breather or cylinder gasket.
-Can you buy 1 or 2 qts of oil and fill the sump to it's normal level and start it up? See if any oil leaks when in neutral. If not, put it in 1st (on the center stand) and see if it leaks when in gear.

A case seal is probably $15, it's the labor to drain the fluids, pull off the clutch slave, disconnect the shift linkage, remove the sprocket & chain and remove the left case cover that'll drive the cost up. It's not rocket science, just time consuming. The old seal can be pryed out and will just press in. Are you any good with tools, or have gear head buddy that'll work for Jack Daniels?
 

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In the 2nd set of pics, pic number three is that aluminium swarf on top
of the side stand bracket on the top of the black chain lube gundge.
The engine oil has washed behind the sprocket nice and clean hope its
just the oil seal, but oil seals don't stop you from getting gears as you say you could only get 1st and neutral and a loud grinding sort of noise
with it ?

brian.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I don't see too much that's unusual, other than a lot of oil and chain lube. Nothing apears to be broken, a good sign.
A couple of things to check for, I'd wash the oil & grease off the case/frame/rim, it'll be easier to trace the leak source.
-On the centerstand, spin the rear wheel, does the chain spin and rub against anything?
-Any oil on top of the engine case, above the sprocket, at the base of the cylinder (couldn't see it in any pics)? That might be an indication of oil coming out the case breather or cylinder gasket.
-Can you buy 1 or 2 qts of oil and fill the sump to it's normal level and start it up? See if any oil leaks when in neutral. If not, put it in 1st (on the center stand) and see if it leaks when in gear.

A case seal is probably $15, it's the labor to drain the fluids, pull off the clutch slave, disconnect the shift linkage, remove the sprocket & chain and remove the left case cover that'll drive the cost up. It's not rocket science, just time consuming. The old seal can be pryed out and will just press in. Are you any good with tools, or have gear head buddy that'll work for Jack Daniels?
No oil or any other fluid on top of the case. No oil above the sprocket, except pehaps some spray. Can't spin the rear wheel. Bike is tied down on the back of a U-Haul PU that the GF rented to come and get me and the bike.

Chain is really slack (3-4 inches) and bottom is rubbing on the centerstand. But that can be from the shocks compressed and the bike on the sidestand? I dont recall the chain being slack while I was securing it in the truck.
Only oil on the base of the cylinder that i can see is from what came out the sprocket and ran down.....

Thanks for your input Jack-hopefully your lips to God's ears on the good news part. I am handy with tools, but don't have anything for the Duc. But you gave me alot of info to work with and talk to the mechanic about. I take it labor about 2- 3 hours then?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
In the 2nd set of pics, pic number three is that aluminium swarf on top
of the side stand bracket on the top of the black chain lube gundge.
The engine oil has washed behind the sprocket nice and clean hope its
just the oil seal, but oil seals don't stop you from getting gears as you say you could only get 1st and neutral and a loud grinding sort of noise
with it ?

brian.
Hi Brian-If i undertand your question, no, it's not aluminum shavings on top
of the black gunge. Its just the light in the pic.. The pic is at an angle- so I can get a better shot. Use the thick, black lines at the bottom right (That's the truck bed liner) for a horizontal perspective. No grinding noise per se. just an engine pitch from the normal whine to a deep growl. As I mentioned, I originally thought a pipe let go. 1st and neutral were (are) the
only gears I still have.
Cheers!
 

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The side case requires no special tools to take off just a bit fiddly
with having to drain the oil and water you don't really need the case puller.
The thing that would concern me is you can only get 1st gear and neutral,
will the gear change not move up through the gears with the bike just
standing with or without the engine running.

brian.
 

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The chain gets more tight as the swingarm goes up and the shock compresses. That's why you should adjust the chain under some sag. If the shock has blown and the bike is sagging, it should be tighter, not looser.

I'm starting to think that it might be the left case side or counter-shaft bearing that has gone, looking at the pictures.

But, the dealer should be able to tell you everything soon enough.
 

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Going outside the box a little bit here, but the oil breather tank is also located in that area. A disconnected line may emit intake noise as well as expel any oil that had accumulated in the system.

Be careful about sucking the suspension down while it's on the sidestand as the sidestand bolts to the engine case.

L.
 
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