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I have already mentioned this and posted parts of it in other threads, also posted on another site, but thought it would be good to post it as a stand alone so please excuse me if you have already viewed this and sorry to clutter the site with more of the same, but with this post I’ve included some photos of the fix.

When first looking for what I a felt was a lean miss: see link if you dare; http://www.ducati.ms/forums/showthread.php?t=57491 I pulled the front plug prior to this which looked normal, so it was time to dig in and pull the rear. After gaining access pulled the plug boot and found it to be wet with oil about 1 inch up. WTF???? The engine was completely dry, 1601 miles showing. Looking down at the plug there was a pool of Very CLEAN oil up to the porcelain… again ..WTF????? Completely cleaned the bore of ALL oil before pulling the plug (didn’t want anything falling into the cylinder) and since it was shortly after a GREAT morning ride (except for the lean miss) it was still very warm. Pulled the plug and inspected closely .. Where is this oil coming from? About 10-15 mins. passed, looked into the bore again and saw a spot (looked like a line) I thought I might have missed.. But???? Made absolutely sure it was clean (as I thought I had already done), another 20 mins pass & looked again. 2 little drops forming. (see pictures).

Long Yellow Blur story as usual, but I searched for answers. It was porosity in the casting. (in the photos it’s stated “Crack”, that was before I found out differently not wanting to do them over so posted as is) I contacted Guy (pronounced GEE) Martin of MBP in an email thinking if anyone.. He calls me. Who does that? Great man. We talked for awhile, he’s seen this before (although Ducati of NA wouldn’t acknowledge it, also the photos were done to send to Ducati of NA - another story), there is not an oil pressure issue like an oil passage and the top of the piston was wet with oil so I was concerned the head was cracked because I know it didn’t come from draining into the cylinder after I removed the plug, but I was told the head is pretty thick in the combustion area so, possibly other issues to come? He gave me the Permanent solid fix without taking the head off. What he said to me before hanging up was “My job here is to make you happy” He’s one of a kind, good people!!

I measured the I.D. and length of the machined spark plug bore, (can’t find any of my notes for dims) machined a thin 6061-T6 aluminum sleeve leaving it .002-.003 smaller then the bore (and just short of the 45 degree angle in length) so when installing, it wouldn’t get stuck, and as Guy said “If you get it stuck before it’s down all the way you’ll need to call a Dr.” haha! so it’s best to leave it smaller then “On Size” and have to drive it in place. I also prepped the bore with a hone to rough the surface slightly, cleaned all contact surfaces to make both parts completely oil free before final placement.

Using the cylindrical 680 Loctite (fills a gap of .015) spread completely over the sleeve and bore, worked it into place with slight twisting till it bottomed out, cleaned up all excess @ both ends (and there was plenty to clean up), allowing it to cure for a few days should do the trick. I also installed a press in plug into the spark plug hole (too lazy to make a short threaded plug and didn’t have an old spark plug to modify) to allow easier access, mostly for clean-up and of course so nothing fell into the cylinder.

I made a mistake here by using some OLD loctite (it does have a shelf life but never ran into issues with that issue .. Until now, at least that’s what I assumed happened) I had a full med size bottle, probably 8-9 years from my airline days. That stuffs expensive so…. If it can go wrong……..!! But doing it over is no treat either!! Sometimes ya just do stuff…… False economics!!

So after still having the miss and rechecking the plug after this fix with 2112 showing on the odometer (even with the miss I couldn’t stay off of it, [just stay out of that rpm range as much as possible. Ha!] -- can you say addition? I know ya can!!) there was a small pool of oil starting again, but this time looked to be trailing up between the sleeve and head, onto the boot seal at the top, and on down the plug boot. So I made a cap to fit snug, using 680 I tapped it in place to finish off the fix. I must say it does look better then just a sleeve cut short. Maybe it was supposed to happen that way? I was thinking about doing that anyway but got lazy, so this forced me to do it!

Since the cap install I haven’t looked yet but I’m confident it will hold as it is a solid fix. With 680, even being old should have worked (so I thought) and assume I didn’t get full coverage while sliding the sleeve in place, even though I took extra care to do so. Always something.

So if you wonder why the inside of your spark plug bore or boot is wet while all else is dry, this could be your problem and fix. Hopefully this will be my last long story of repairs and mystery problems/issues, but who are we kidding…?? Ha!!
 

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Bummer this didn't seem to help anyone:(. Excellent that no one else has had this problem (that read this anyway):D. Maybe it was dealt with in head replacement deemed as a more reliable fix? :confused:

So far it has worked for me. 3000 miles showing :yeah: Just an update!!
 

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I am curious about the Ducati NA part..... what happened with them??
 

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I am curious about the Ducati NA part..... what happened with them??
Just to fill you in about Ducati of NA’s reply: When I first asked Ducati of NA about porosity/cracks in these heads I wanted to know if this was a common problem similar to the rocker arm issue, with the slim chance, even with the age and way out of warranty, possibly would it be covered… I wasn’t holding my breath to be sure nor was I only asking for a possible warranty adjustment - maybe that‘s how they took it. I was really looking to find out if this was common in these bikes/years. It doesn’t hurt to ask. I was sure the head would have to come off.. I wasn’t a happy camper. I had just purchased this bike (top dollar) and was already having numerous problems with 230 miles showing when purchased (felt pretty taken by this time) mostly previous owner induced to start, just attempting to find answers - with no real luck so I went to the source - I thought! I knew VERY LITTLE about these bikes -- still have lots to learn. I sent the detailed photos etc… I won’t include my typical long winded explanations/replies, only his replies.
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DofNA replies: 09-29-08 @ 9:00am

I can understand your concerns after buying a second-hand bike, especially having found some unexpected things already. However, before you jump to conclusions, you should investigate some other probable causes first.

The best thing to do is have an certified Ducati technician inspect your motorcycle to give it a complete look-over. As for the oil in the spark plug hole, if the valve cover gasket is not sealing correctly, this will cause the exact symptoms you have described. In comparison to a cracked cylinder head, as you have assumed, it is a trivial process to repair.

I believe the oily look to the Vertical (rear) piston is not of concern, especially if you are not experiencing poor running, smoking from the exhaust or significant oil consumption. Based on what I said above about the valve cover gasket, I believe this is what you should focus on first. However, I will again state that you should have your motorcycle examined by an certified Ducati technician as they have the tools, training and experience to properly diagnose your motorcycle.

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09-29-08 @ 9:50
I cannot determine what is going on with the cylinder head/spark plug hole in the photos, so I can only recommend you get the bike to a certified Ducati technician for further diagnosis. It’s just simply not possible to make a determination via e-mail.
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09-30-08 @ 8:32am
I do understand your frustration. However, regardless of the concern, our Limited Warranty is for two (2) years from the date of purchase, with unlimited mileage. The warranty does cover Manufacturer’s defects in materials and workmanship, but only for that two year period. Your motorcycle is six (6) years past that warranty period.

In 5 years with Ducati I cannot say that I have seen this before. Porosity or cracking can occur with any casting process, but it is not a common occurrence with these bikes; i.e. this is not a “known concern”. You stated that we still cover the rocker arms because they are a “known concern”. This is actually not true. As with everything, the warranty period expires. Because, at one time, the rocker arms did have a higher rate of occurrence than we would have liked, we did extend that period of coverage. However, that extension has also now expired. If someone came to us with flaking rocker arms now, we would not cover those either.

Just to satisfy your quest to leave no stone unturned, I have forwarded your request (with pictures) to those in charge of making the final decisions on unusual circumstance requests such as yours. I do not believe your request for coverage will be granted, but I have passed it on none the less. I will let you know what I hear as soon as I hear back.

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09-30-08 @10:33am

Your request for warranty consideration has been reviewed by the top-three managers in the Aftersales Department. Their unanimous decision was that it was not a know issue and far too much time has passed since the warranty expired. Therefore, Ducati will not be able to grant your request for warranty consideration.

We appreciate your understanding with this matter.
 

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Ha ha ha... ya, that's my current Windows background..... ever since I took possession of this 999S at Thanksgiving.

Not really! I enjoy working on and knowing my equipment. It's my butt out there in the breeze, after all!
 

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I thought I would complete this post showing where the actual oil was finding its way into the spark plug bore.

Since I needed to remove the heads and completely strip them down due to flaking rockers - and then some - which is an understatement (Another Duc Drowns http://www.ducati.ms/forums/showthread.php?t=73773&page=3), I decided to repair the actual problem, but I left the sleeve in the spark plug bore just in case - plus I didn‘t want to clean up the mess of 680 loctite :D. At least I’m not solely depending on the sleeve to stop the leak since it was coming in under pressure, not just during expansion as previously thought.

The Vertical head exhaust Closer Pins meet in the center of the head - pulling double duty by transferring oil from the left to the right side of the head. There is gap between the pins (which also gets wider when the pins start pushing and wearing into the plates) and you can see in the pictures the major porosity problem in this pin bore - EXACTLY in line with where the oil was coming into the spark plug bore through the porosity..

I machined the pin bore out to accept a filler sleeve, loctite then swaged the end in place to trap it, spot faced the thrust surfaces to width, then final reamed the bore to size. Worked like a charm - although the proof will be in the pudding when I finally get it back on the road - some time this year I hope. Getting close!! :)

Before installing the sleeve, I heated the head which caused oil to keep leaching out from the porosity, sprayed carb cleaner which help percolate more oil out. This went on for some time, knowing I’d never get it all out, so when it finally slowed it was time to install.
 

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Thank you for this write up.... I am having this exact problem on my 998.. I am never planning on getting rid of it. So this fix may pull me through the long run.. the only other remedy I would imagine is a total engine swap (1098) however I would much rather keep everything as original as possible on this particular bike.

If you have any other advise please do not hesitate to update us, thanks again

Ef....998FOREVER!
 
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