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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Ducati.ms,

I have been debating whether or not to send my cylinders out to get bored and nikasil plated, and getting 94mm pistons...pretty much making a budget 853 kit. Since parts are finicky and the expenses involved with doing such a task are becoming greater and greater, I have decided to wait until NEXT winter to do this, perhaps skip the whole 853 idea and try and acquire a 996 engine :)) I REALLLLLLLY want a 996).

My question is simple, yet I am unsure if I can answer it on my own.

Where can I acquire a set of piston rings to put my stock 748 pistons back in the cylinders? I read that the stock Ducati rings can be expensive. I don't feel like rings should be a very pricey affair.

Also, where can I acquire a set of cylinder studs to replace my stock ones? I generally like to do this since it is a good form of insurance.

One more question.
How should I go about cleaning the combustion chamber of my dirty heads as well as the piston? I have rebuilt a few V8 engines in my time but they were usually just cast iron NOT aluminum like the Duc. I was contemplating using a small brass wire wheel on a drill or dremmel and cleaning the areas. I also plan to polish them up. I am just afraid that I run the risk of scoring the surface of the piston and head and creating hot spots... I don't like to destroy my toys :(

Thanks for all the help everyone!
 

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Whatever you do, don't test ride an 853. That's what i did and ordered the pistons the next morning. The difference is amazing.
 

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Why build an 853 if you can have 996cc... more displacement is always the better choice :) After the 853 kit you will want a 916 and then 955 and then 996 then 1036...

Keep the 748 as long as you can afford a 996, it´s a good thought. As for the engine questions, I can´t help you :/
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm sure the 853 test ride would convince me to continue through with it. I think I'll try to save up some money and acquire a 996 powerplant...It is my dream bike after all (aside from the 998 of course-but the 996 would be a drop in).

No help on cleaning the heads up or where to acquire a good set of rings? :(
 

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No help on cleaning the heads up or where to acquire a good set of rings? :(
Don't know where you'd get the rings except from a Ducati dealer but you could try (fine) Scotchbrite pads and washing-up liquid on your heads and pistons, get's them nice and clean, or maybe even put them in the dishwasher?
 

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After the 853 kit you will want a 916 and then 955 and then 996 then 1036...
A good 853 makes more power than a 916.

As for the 996 swap, that's a fine option. Just have to make sure you get a good deal that includes all the other stuff (throttle bodies, etc) and that the motor is in top condition. Although some people like the revvy nature of the 853 (which maintains the same redline as the 748).
 

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A good 853 makes more power than a 916.

As for the 996 swap, that's a fine option. Just have to make sure you get a good deal that includes all the other stuff (throttle bodies, etc) and that the motor is in top condition. Although some people like the revvy nature of the 853 (which maintains the same redline as the 748).
Ok explain it to me. If you take 1200 US$ and throw it at a 916 engine. Then you take 1200 US$ and throw it at a 748 engine. How is the 853 supposed to make more power than the 916?

:think:
 

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Hello Ducati.ms,

Where can I acquire a set of piston rings to put my stock 748 pistons back in the cylinders? I read that the stock Ducati rings can be expensive. I don't feel like rings should be a very pricey affair.

One more question.
How should I go about cleaning the combustion chamber of my dirty heads as well as the piston? I have rebuilt a few V8 engines in my time but they were usually just cast iron NOT aluminum like the Duc. I was contemplating using a small brass wire wheel on a drill or dremmel and cleaning the areas. I also plan to polish them up. I am just afraid that I run the risk of scoring the surface of the piston and head and creating hot spots... I don't like to destroy my toys :(

Thanks for all the help everyone!
To your cleaning question: A few options. Take them to a Cylinder Head shop that can Soda blast them, or even hot tank them although not the best and you have to make sure the solution they use is for aluminum only. Shouldn’t cost too much….and be done with it….

If you have a Die grinder and a “FINE” wire brush attachment, you can wire brush the carbon off similar to what you did with the cast heads. Some Carb. spray cleaner (although you can go through many cans - some brands work better then others) can help soften the carbon but Messy…. Or carb dip and soak them -- but don’t recommend that one -- nasty stuff but it works…. You can - if careful - use a course wire brush to break the thick deposits but need to be careful not to concentrate in any one spot or dig into the aluminum, then final brush it with the fine wire. Sometimes the fine wire brush just doesn’t “Cut” it - ha! and only polishes the carbon....

Simple Green works great on aluminum for a final wash in HOT water, then blow them dry with compressed air - all passages. As for the piston tops, same thing.

My understanding is the Ducati Dealer is the “ONLY” place the rings are available .. A Proprietary thing…:(

Good Luck with your choices..:cool:

edit: You can also make a mandrel to fit Scotch Brite (cut to size) to reach into the runners by taking a ¼” piece of Tubing or Rod and cut a slot on one end. (assuming your Die Grinder has a ¼” collet). You’d have to adapt that if your using a Dremel with an 1/8” collet.
 

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It is quite easy to clean pistons and cylinder head if you use some WD40. Just spray it on and leave it for a short while - take a rag and then you can polish it off :D
If there is a lot - you will have to repeat a few times :p
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the JE link. I plan to call them and give them whatever info they need to help me.

As for the cleaning, I think it will be best that I get them chem-dipped. Is it ok to dip the cylinders AND the heads? Will the Nikasil survive without issue?

Also, how should I clean up my valves? Should I remove all of them while keeping track of their locations and wire wheel them? Can I get THOSE cleaned too? I will need to lap them regardless.

As for removing the valves, how do I go about replacing the valve stem seals? Where can I order a new set? I remember reading somewhere that there are plenty of cheaper alternatives to Ducati branded seals. I guess BMW seals work too? Could I just leave them in, will they survive the dip? I don't really know where to begin with this.

I will need to remove the whole cam and rocker (openers and closers) assembly to get my head cleaned, correct? Thanks for all the help on this. It sure is nice not having to tackle this all alone. Your help is greatly appreciated.
 

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These folks should be able to help you:
http://www.jeproseal.com/
They have a very wide choice of sizes available. I don't believe for a minute that the dealer is the only place you can get suitable rings.
I have a hard time believing that also...did come from a knowledgeable source --- stranger things happen..:D Can't say I really know, just what I heard is all, haven't investigated it - have larger issues in front of me right now..:crazy:
 

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Thanks for the JE link. I plan to call them and give them whatever info they need to help me.

As for the cleaning, I think it will be best that I get them chem-dipped. Is it ok to dip the cylinders AND the heads? Will the Nikasil survive without issue?

Also, how should I clean up my valves? Should I remove all of them while keeping track of their locations and wire wheel them? Can I get THOSE cleaned too? I will need to lap them regardless.

As for removing the valves, how do I go about replacing the valve stem seals? Where can I order a new set? I remember reading somewhere that there are plenty of cheaper alternatives to Ducati branded seals. I guess BMW seals work too? Could I just leave them in, will they survive the dip? I don't really know where to begin with this.

I will need to remove the whole cam and rocker (openers and closers) assembly to get my head cleaned, correct? Thanks for all the help on this. It sure is nice not having to tackle this all alone. Your help is greatly appreciated.
If you're going to Chem-dip, yes the heads need to be stripped - valve seals included as that will be the first thing distroyed. If you mechanically clean them (haven't tried the WD-40 but totally worth a try) you can protect everything sensitive to debris (never be 100%) and you won't have to remove anything.

If your valves/seats and guides are in the same condition I found my heads is @ 5000 miles... to do it right you'll need more then lapping the valves in unless close enough is good enough.. :( along with my cams, rockers.... blah blah blah....:( NOT lookin' good by any means..... :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If you're going to Chem-dip, yes the heads need to be stripped - valve seals included as that will be the first thing distroyed. If you mechanically clean them (haven't tried the WD-40 but totally worth a try) you can protect everything sensitive to debris (never be 100%) and you won't have to remove anything.

If your valves/seats and guides are in the same condition I found my heads is @ 5000 miles... to do it right you'll need more then lapping the valves in unless close enough is good enough.. :( along with my cams, rockers.... blah blah blah....:( NOT lookin' good by any means..... :mad:
What else could I do to my valves? Have them machined?? I fear that would be far too pricey. :(
 

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Ok explain it to me. If you take 1200 US$ and throw it at a 916 engine. Then you take 1200 US$ and throw it at a 748 engine. How is the 853 supposed to make more power than the 916?

Because you would have to buy a 916 engine, then throw another $1200 at it. This poster already has a 748. And yes, an 853 is quicker/faster than a 916.

BTW, you can only punch a 916 out to 955cc.

Need any more explanations Ben?
:think:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Because you would have to buy a 916 engine, then throw another $1200 at it. This poster already has a 748. And yes, an 853 is quicker/faster than a 916.

BTW, you can only punch a 916 out to 955cc.

:think:
+1 on the buying a 916. I already have a 748. The 853 would be fantastic since I LOVE the revvy nature of my 748. But, I also love torque, which the 996 would definitely have. I really just want a bike thats steadfast and eager to lighten the front end. I really want to continue to own this Duc and accomplish my dream through this build with this very bike. I am prepared to tool on my 748 when the time comes. The reality of the undertaking is just setting in and makes it tough to justify large purchases ATM (waiting for those high gas prices again)...

So... what should I do to my heads? What are the terms I should research and who should I talk to? Any ideas and costs involved?

I have read that the 853 pulls around 104-110hp. The 916 averaged 115hp.
I'd still value the 853 by shear peakiness.


Thanks all!
 

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I've owned a 916 and currently have a 748 and an SPS. I've seen 853's and 916's "race". I've ridden an 853 and I will take it over a standard 916 in a heartbeat.

Like I said, the 996 is a great swap if you can get everything you need and it's not a lemon.

Building up your 748 is nice because you know the history of the motor and know exactly what you are getting, what's been done, how it's been ridden and maintained. (plus the close ratio gearbox)

And to get back to the original query--I would just do the best I could by hand and brake cleaner/WD40. I might try a dremel and nylon brush wheel but I wouldn't use wire.
 

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As for the cleaning, I think it will be best that I get them chem-dipped. Is it ok to dip the cylinders AND the heads? Will the Nikasil survive without issue?
Why would you need to dip the cylinders? at the most the top couple of mm might be dirty but you could clean that with WD-40 and your fingernail.
 
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