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You need to remove the spark plugs so you can turn the engine without working against compression
Yes, you will need to set the belt tension - there's no way around it
Crank turning tools are cheap - you can find them for $25 on e-bay and they are worth every penny. You can turn the engine with the rear wheel but it's difficult to turn precisely
TDC for the horizontal cylinder is marked on the pulley and crank case but you'll still need something skinny to put down the spark plug hole to find true TDC if you're planning on adjusting the valves while you're at it.

I don't use the cam locking tool to swap belts. I just mark the pulleys/belts/case before removing the belts so I know where things have to line up after the new belts are installed.
Just be aware that the Vertical Intake Cam will be under tension when you line up the markings for TDC on the Horizontal Cylinder so it will rotate CW when you remove the vertical belt and it will have to be rotated CCW when installing the new belt. It's not a big deal if you have everything marked. You could also purchase a Belt Roller Timing Tool and skip the markings. I have one but, It's $150 and it's quite easy to get by without it.

And no, you don't need to rebuild your engine at 46K - it would be way cheaper to buy a used e-bay motor (there's one with 6k miles on e-bay right now for $1,400 plus $375 shipping)
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Just be aware that the Vertical Intake Cam will be under tension when you line up the markings for TDC on the Horizontal Cylinder so it will rotate CW when you remove the vertical belt and it will have to be rotated CCW when installing the new belt. It's not a big deal if you have everything marked.
Why am I removing the vertical belt when the horizontal is at TDC? I thought they each were removed at their respective TDC.

Does this mean I need to find both TDC separately and mark them separately before removing the first belt? I’ll make note to do that if that’s the case.

You need to remove the spark plugs so you can turn the engine without working against compression
That makes sense. I don’t know why I didn’t think about that.

Yes, you will need to set the belt tension - there's no way around it
aye aye captain. I will do that.

Crank turning tools are cheap - you can find them for $25 on e-bay and they are worth every penny. You can turn the engine with the rear wheel but it's difficult to turn precisely
I will order it right now. Thanks man.

TDC for the horizontal cylinder is marked on the pulley and crank case but you'll still need something skinny to put down the spark plug hole to find true TDC if you're planning on adjusting the valves while you're at it.
Just like a metal rod or something? If I’m understanding correctly it will slide in and out as the piston pushes it, and where it sticks out the very most is true DTC.

Is this correct?


Thanks so much for taking the time to write this up for me. I really appreciate it.
 

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If you want to find true tdc you need degree wheel. But timing mark in engine is quite close anyway. When tightening belts you need to tighten other first, then turn engine 270 degrees and tighten other one.
Find 1098 Service manual from Internet and read it. I mean read it really good. It seems that you are at the beginning of Ducati mechanic career, so much to learn. But dont let that take you down. Just find the info before you make anything stupid 👍
 

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Why am I removing the vertical belt when the horizontal is at TDC? I thought they each were removed at their respective TDC.

Does this mean I need to find both TDC separately and mark them separately before removing the first belt? I’ll make note to do that if that’s the case.



That makes sense. I don’t know why I didn’t think about that.



aye aye captain. I will do that.



I will order it right now. Thanks man.



Just like a metal rod or something? If I’m understanding correctly it will slide in and out as the piston pushes it, and where it sticks out the very most is true DTC.

Is this correct?


Thanks so much for taking the time to write this up for me. I really appreciate it.
I think people make changing the belts a harder job than it needs to be or is.
For the 999 at least, I thought it was rather a simple job and easy to do after the first try. I’d recommend to watch the Chris Kelly 3 part video to get an idea for the scope of things.
Off the toof my head, in a basic description of processes, I would do the following: Lift back wheel off ground. Remove fairings and tank. Remove all obstructing items in front of belt covers. Remove belt covers. Remove spark plugs. Follow video processes.
I’m away from my writings, but I had written down each step and what to look for from the video series from Chris. This I found made the job much more assuring that I couldn’t fault myself in the future.
What also made things a million times easier to understand, and that can’t be faulted if you do this, is to mark on all 5 pulleys between a tooth when the driving pulley mark is lined up with the mark on the case. Make sure the mark also is applied to a single tooth on each belt. Then count the unmarked teeth on the belt between the cam pulley marks. Paint a new mark on the new belts, and place the newly marked belt in the same slot as previously marked. So long as no pulleys rotate (the vertical intake will by default) past what they were left at, transferring the new belts will have not changed anything. All is left is to apply proper tension and button up everything.


Imo a cam lock tool wasn’t needed, but would’ve been nice. Im still in college so a cheap-ass and didn’t want to buy it. There are also better locks out there that can be used to adjust to properly time the cams. Search on youtube for ‘749 rebuild cam timing’ where the motor is on the bench. I’d recommend those if you could find them but 10x the cost of the ebay ones. Crank turning tool would’ve been nice too, but if you have gloves to grip the tire, and a long enough screwdriver to put in the vertical cylinder, you can easily find TDC on compression stroke once air is blowing past your thumb and the screwdriver stops rising.
I’d like to check my valves next and I have the same feeling about doing that as I did for belts and servicing my forks. You should be able to do it if you know how to change plugs and oil. I’d say it’s one of the basic three now to know how to do as a Duc newb.


edit:
This guy also does a good job demonstrating the entire job. Watched him do a fork disassembly video and helped me a lot.
 

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All you guys are making this sound so much more difficult than it is.

Watch a bunch of videos. Get a good feeling for the process and go for it. I do mine with practically no special tools other than a frequency meter on my laptop for the belts and feeler gauges for the valve clearances. The turning tool would be nice to have and is on my list to buy at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
All you guys are making this sound so much more difficult than it is.

Watch a bunch of videos. Get a good feeling for the process and go for it. I do mine with practically no special tools other than a frequency meter on my laptop for the belts and feeler gauges for the valve clearances. The turning tool would be nice to have and is on my list to buy at some point.
Thanks. I’m gonna give it my best effort and try to do it right.

Will this work for the valves?


Also what do I need to adjust the tension on the belts? Any specific tool?
 

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You don't need the wrenches. Just the gauge set. Watch and learn first before buying stuff. Don't take this the wrong way, but I can tell that you don't understand the desmo valve system if you're posting about wrenches.

To set belt tension you need a frequency meter. Some people use phone apps, some use a laptop with program and microphone, and some use a dedicated meter. You just move a tensioning wheel to tighten them. Again, watch the process and most of your questions will be answered.
 
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