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pretty straightforward
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.
Consult picture at end of post for items
You will need:
-expansion tank
-funnel
-rags
-flathead screwdriver
-various size allen keys
- 8mm socket for ignition key holder bolts
-3.5 liters of coolant (little bit under a gallon, which is 3.78L)
I got the part from the dealer for $41.40 brand new (item 1)

Before I got started, I drained my coolant into a container. Save the environment and dump it at your local autozone

This gave me the opportunity to switch over to Engine Ice coolant since tracks let you use and it is antifreeze up to -25F (cost: $40 for 2 half-gallons).

Now you can put the bike on your rear stand

To get to the part, you have to:
-remove fuel tank (seat can be removed to make life easier but it can be done by not removing the seat). When you're done unbolting the tank, put down some rags atop the vertical cylinder head to soak up the residual fuel that comes out when you undo the clamps

-remove the intake trumpets (twist counterclockwise)
-remove airbox (4 bolts around perimeter) Be careful of the breather hose that connects right next to the vertical cylinder's trumpet
-unbolt ignition key switch (2bolts)
-remove both air runners that contain the air filters
-undo hose clamps (items 10 x2, 31) for hoses (items 7, 9, 29)
-remove temperature sensor on right handlebar side of the expansion tank (3 little flathead screws...careful not to lose)

Now you are ready to reassemble

I just reused my filler neck and cap(items 2, 3, 5) for the new part

Important:
-take the rubber bump stop (item 34) and shave off bout 1/4" of material with an exacto knife or a box cutter or whatever you feel like. This will give your new tank more room to actually expand when it gets hot as is intended in expansion tanks, thus fixing the design problem of this layout.

Even more important.... half a BEER, cuz ur gonna have to refill your coolant with a short ride
while you admire how far you've gotten



-Make sure the hoses are reconnected the right way (item 7 and item 9 in particular) or else the airbox will squish them and it will hard to put the airbox back in.
How do I know?......experience

Coolant refill part
-Start your engine
-While the engine idles, fill your coolant through the expansion tank slowly. Keep track of how much it s taking. Lean your bike side to side to get rid of air bubbles. Squishing the coolant hoses (28, 26, 29, 33, etc) while the bike idles helps also
-When you get to the MAX line on the expansion tank, put the cap back on and position the tank in place but don t bolt it in yet.
-Go out for a little ride, about 5-10 miles or so until the bike is kinda hot.
- Rotate your tank out of the way and get a towel and SLOWLY remove the filler cap of the expansion tank. When it starts to his, go slower and let it hiss off and take the cap out.
-Fill back up to the MAX line. by keeping your bike on the ground and standing it upright (not on the stand). If you have too much, use a turkey baster to remove the excess coolant.
-Bolt your tank back up.

more beer


question? comments?


 

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EXCELLENT Write-up!!

This thread copied to the Hall of Wisdom.

//amullo
 

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After looking at this photo...

I have noticed on my bike that number 7 has been replace by number 8 and there is no hose running to the lower tank. Number 8 was place the electronic thingy that is not show in the picture that attraches to the upper tank. Are you still with me?
Is this safe and what would be the benefit. I am wonder if I should run the hose to the lower tank. I welcome all advise. dc
 

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2004 998S FE, 2000 748B, 1986 750 F1
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After looking at this photo...

I have noticed on my bike that number 7 has been replace by number 8 and there is no hose running to the lower tank. Number 8 was place the electronic thingy that is not show in the picture that attraches to the upper tank. Are you still with me?
Is this safe and what would be the benefit. I am wonder if I should run the hose to the lower tank. I welcome all advise. dc
That might be the atmospheric pressure sensor you refer to. They did change things - leave it alone until you find the correct drawing for your model year of bike.
 

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You go for a ride with the tank and coolant bottle not attached and in place? I'm missing something!
 

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I mounted one the Motowheels tanks this weekend (it's a gorgeous piece of metalwork!!) and am wondering what I'm doing wrong. The stock tank had 3 pins to hold the sensor in place, and they held the sensor in a different position than the MW tank's 2 pins does. Anyone else notice this or did it cause them a problem? My sensor is now rubbing on the steering damper. The tank also seems to be sitting higher and pushing on the ignition assembly.

Anyone else have this happen or did I following your instructions too closely and overdid the number of beers between steps?

I've seen some other posts where they put a sheet of thin rubber between the front of the tank and the steering head. Is this necessary? The hoses seem to hold the tank in place very securely.
 

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I mounted one the Motowheels tanks this weekend (it's a gorgeous piece of metalwork!!) and am wondering what I'm doing wrong. The stock tank had 3 pins to hold the sensor in place, and they held the sensor in a different position than the MW tank's 2 pins does. Anyone else notice this or did it cause them a problem? My sensor is now rubbing on the steering damper. The tank also seems to be sitting higher and pushing on the ignition assembly.

Anyone else have this happen or did I following your instructions too closely and overdid the number of beers between steps?

I've seen some other posts where they put a sheet of thin rubber between the front of the tank and the steering head. Is this necessary? The hoses seem to hold the tank in place very securely.
If you need any help with install, shoot [email protected] an email.

The first generation tanks in 2013 were larger and more difficult to fit but the second generation tanks (V2) made after 2013 were 10% smaller and much easier to fit. I don't think the earlier tanks had any room for rubber but the V2 tanks do have extra room for rubber. Both tanks do not mount up like exactly like the OEM.

-M
 

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I had been corresponding with Motowheels but will send an email to Matt as Stephano didn't have any suggestions and said that they'd never had any complaints at all. I presume it is a second generation tank as I just purchased it from Motowheels in the last few weeks.

What in particular is done differently when mounting as compared to the stock tank?


If you need any help with install, shoot [email protected] an email.

The first generation tanks in 2013 were larger and more difficult to fit but the second generation tanks (V2) made after 2013 were 10% smaller and much easier to fit. I don't think the earlier tanks had any room for rubber but the V2 tanks do have extra room for rubber. Both tanks do not mount up like exactly like the OEM.

-M
 

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What in particular is done differently when mounting as compared to the stock tank?
The aluminum tank does not sit like the OEM plastic tank. It is sits off to one side. The two mounting attachments for the sensor is all you need ( you can remove those mounts and use velcro instead). It is normal for the tank to touch the ignition switch.

see thread:

http://www.ducati.ms/forums/56-superbikes/474330-newer-aluminum-coolant-tank-question.html

post #6

We have not had any complaints on the last two batches since they were made smaller. The is likely the last batch that we will make though as minimum order quantities and costs have gone up.

-M
 
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