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Discussion Starter #1
Apololgies in advance for what follows, but I'm at wit's end with my ST4s - more specifically, the inept servicing of it.

As some of you may know, this saga started in Nov 05 when the bike went in for its 6k service. It wasn't done right, the tech who did it departed suddenly, and, since then, it's been in four more times and handed from one newbie to the next with each of them screwing up something else. First it runs rich, then it runs lean, it pops on deceleration, won't start or idle evenly, won't run smoothly at steady throttle ... the list goes on. Just got it back a week ago and it seemed like they'd FINALLY gotten it right after numerous phone consults with the Duc guru at AMI in Daytona Beach. Brought it home, seemed okay. Today, a week later, I fire it up to go for a ride and start to see smoke streaming out of the right hand side and fuel puddling on the floor. I shut it down quickly and investigated the problem - ruptured HP fuel line. But, wait, there's more. After propping up the fuel tank, I found two of four clips missing from the air box lid and, when I started to remove the vertical spark plug for an insulator color check, found that it hadn't been torqued down - it wasn't even finger tight! As anyone savvy about engines knows, a loose plug will create a host of troubleshooting problems, yet properly torquing them down is basic mechanics and should be a given. :mad:

I payed for the service in Nov. Since then, they've been doing each return visit without additional charge and have even given me a loaner 749 on a couple of occasions. However, I'm at the point now where I just want my own bike back, operating correctly - and safely. (Did I mention I had them fit a new pair of Conti Road Attacks during all this - and I had to return it because the front end felt 'loose' and it appeared they hadn't properly fitted the front axle and/or tightened the axle nut and pinch bolts!)

I guess this begs the question: Do I keep taking it back to this outfit until they get it right? The next closest dealership is 2-3 hours away. Has anyone had any success with Ducati NA with a situation like this? Would writing them help?

If you've read this far, thanks for bearing with me. The whole situation is just driving me crazy.

I welcome your comments ...
 

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LT Snyder

CapnJack,
I noticed that you live in FLA. Have you heard of LT Snyder? He runs a Ducati shop from his home. His website is www.desmotimes.com he lives in Northern FLA and may be able to help you.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ducati_Don said:
CapnJack,
I noticed that you live in FLA. Have you heard of LT Snyder? He runs a Ducati shop from his home. His website is www.desmotimes.com he lives in Northern FLA and may be able to help you.

Don
Yep, I've got LTs manual (along with a factory manual). However, he's in Pensacola which is about 5 hours west of Jax. There's another guy down in Ocala (Melilli Moto) which is a bit closer (2 hours) and I've heard is quite good, but he's not a licensed dealer, either. I guess I just want the local dealership to get it right first, and then I'll have any further servicing done elsewhere. However, my patience is wearing very thin ...
 

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Wow, that's God awful! :( Keep the faith and I'll say a prayer for you and your bike. I'd be well beyond pissed if that happened to me! I sincerely hope it all pans out and by all means keep us posted on how things finally conclude.

Best,

Thomas
 

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While I agree you paid for service and that dealer needs to make it right, I think I would just suck it up and take it to another shop with a good reputation and get it straightened out. Then I would send copies of everything to Ducati, N.A. and hope for some compensation.
 

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Ducs & Florida

Hi CapnJack, Myself, after I think 2 tries, wouldn't let someone like that get thier hands on my bike again-EVER! I live in the Tampa Bay area & I don't let anyone around here touch my Ducs. The BMW dealer in Odessa (near Tampa) just took on Ducati recently but I don't know anything good or bad about them yet. I will say that I have taken my ST4s & 916 to L.T. Snyder & I live 500 miles from him. I'm lucky that my job has me traveling so I've been able to incorporate my trips to L.T.s into my travels to & from jobs. He will treat your bike like it's his own. You will get more for your money than you will at any Ducati dealer. The guy I bought my 888 from told me about the guy in Ocala (Mellili) but he said good stuff & not so good stuff about them. Someone on duc.ms who could tell you about Mellili Moto is lenswerks (I think that's how he spells it), who posts on the superbike forum often. His name is Donnie and I've spoken to him on the phone & I think he was satisfied with the service he got there. I noticed you didn't mention the dealer in Orlando. You must have heard the same things about them that I have.
I know it's a pretty long haul to DesmoTimes, but your bike will be right when you get it back. Those people that have been working on your bike could get you killed. Whether it's free or not, I wouldn't let them touch it again(I know, I'm repeating myself).Good luck, Gregg

P.S. How far is it from Jax to Atlanta? Some good Duc options there for sure.
 

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LT Snyder

Bummer man, what a drag; I personally would end it with the defunk shop, go the distance to LT Snyder's unless you find another trusted source. I'd want my bike gone over completely after what you've mentioned. I have to haul my bike two hrs one way because of what I've heard regarding the area's local dealership here. Call LT ask if he can recommend anyone closer to you.
 

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jbourque said:
Bummer man, what a drag; I personally would end it with the defunk shop, go the distance to LT Snyder's unless you find another trusted source. I'd want my bike gone over completely after what you've mentioned. I have to haul my bike two hrs one way because of what I've heard regarding the area's local dealership here. Call LT ask if he can recommend anyone closer to you.
LT is good people.. have bought quite a few things from him!
 

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LT is the man

Though I have not personally utilized LT's services, he is well know on all of the Duc lists, and I cannot remember a single negative comment made about his products or services. I have bought a ton o stuff from him as well. He is very attentive. He's got my vote.

I live in the Dallas Area. We have at least 3 dealers around. I make the +1hr trip to the right dealer. I won't bore you with the same old BS details I've encountered with the others...

But, I have also had the same results with other brands dealers as well. It is not a Ducati specific issue.

Good luck, chin up bucaroo.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update ...

Thanks to all for the kind words. I've since taken matters into my own hands and finished up the mechanical repairs myself. Armed with the factory shop manual (and a long history of wrenching), I removed all the body work today, replaced both fuel lines - and found more shop-induced glitches! :eek: For instance, the two rubber sealing rings around the base of the intake horns inside the airbox were both mushroomed up instead of down, i.e., they weren't sealing anything. The engine was sucking air through the large resulting gaps instead of through the filter - can you say accelerated engine wear! Had I not pulled apart the airbox, I never would have discovered this. Found a couple of other missing and/or untightened fasteners, too, which I corrected. After reassembling and QA'ing everything (no left over fasteners!), I took her out for a ride and had good results - optest sat. Still a little lumpy at idle, but I think I'll let another shop sort that out.;)

In fairness, I have to say that the owner and service manager have fallen over one another to try to make things right - they didn't charge me for mounting/balancing my tires and reimbursed me for the HP fuel lines I replaced. Now, if they could just hire and train some competent techs ...

Cheers!
 

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I would still let them know what you found and while you will not be coming back until they do get some competent techies.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Bill_Anderson said:
I would still let them know what you found and while you will not be coming back until they do get some competent techies.
Thanks, Bill. I've already provided a handwritten list of all the discrepancies to the service manager and I've also drafted a letter to the owner with whom I've spoken personally. Oh, yes, this is gonna go on record.

Meantime, put @ 100 miles on 'er since finishing up repairs yesterday and all's well. So, what now? Road trip, tomorrow - Wilmington, NC. Can't wait! :D

Cheers!
 
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