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I had a new tranny put in my engine and while this was being installed I decided to allow the builder to shave a little off the flywheel. The builder is once of the top five Ducati engine builders in the country I am told. Everyone has good things to say about the gentlemen. I have good things to say about the guy but my experience is mixed.

Warning!!! When installing flywheel bolts use RED Loctite! Repeat, RED Loctite.

Background on warning:

I finally put my bike all together after dropping the engine to bring in for the open heart surgery just in time for a trip to Deal's Gap to play with the Dragon, a real test of machine and man if pressed.

The weekend was great. Two and a half days of riding without a bump in how my 996 ran. Ok, I have a stumble just before 4k rpms that caught me out a couple times running the dragon but I need to pick up a power commander to tune it out, so I was told.

Monday, feeling comfortable with my Italian girl I decide to leave my friends that are trailering their bikes back and take the adventurous route home. I decide to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Skyline before heading for home. The worst expected thing about the ride is the speed limit and the penalty for exceeding it, $500 federal ticket is the rumor.

Two hours after my friends take off I leave, waiting for the sun to rise. Thinking I should have some adventure on this trip I was a bit surprised when it hit me twenty miles into the journey.

I was losing power. Initially I thought it was the elevation. Then I realized it couldn't be higher then the Cherohalla. It kept getting worse. I pulled in the clutch and 0 rpms. I let it out rpms. Ok, it must be electrical was my thought.

Then, she totally dies. I pulled to the side of the highway. Being loaded up with the backpack wasn't overly anxious to start dismantling things. Well, I had no choice so I just took everything off and went to work.

First thought is all the pounding loosened something. Second thought is the regulator a buddy gave me went bad.

I took out the battery and battery box so I could get a better view of things.

No luck. Nothing looked lose or burned. Nothing further to check I decided to reassemble everything.

Knowing there should be some juice in the battery but not enough to run everything I thought of how to disconnect all nonessential power draining items. At first I thought about disconnecting the wires but then intelligence reared its head and I decided to pull all nonessential fuses, much more simple.

I hoped it worked because I had pull on that on that pain in the butt backpack over my gear.

Everything on I tried to fire her up. Bam! She started and off I ran back to town and hopefully to the mechanic. I was not worried about speed limits because I was hoping to coast as far as possible if the power didn't last and I expected Johnny Law to be understanding of my predicament.

Well, I did make it to the other side of town but still a couple miles short of the mechanic. As luck would have it a work truck pulled in to the lot of the closed down gas station I rolled into. He gave my battery enough juice to make it to the mechanic.

I had spoken to the mechanic about my problem as I was waiting to see if the battery would recharge itself fast enough or if I needed a jump. I explained to him I expected the problem to be the regulator since it was a new addition to the system.

When he checked it I was surprised to find the stator to be the weak point. I called the mechanic that installed the new tranny and put the engine back together again to see if there may be any little nuances with 996's that may cause this. No luck. It was what it looked like, bad stator.

Well, the mechanic didn't have the part since the locals tear around on Jap bikes it was no surprise. I knew of a decent used part source but did a search on Ebay.

The used stator I could get was in Florida. The new upgraded stator was located in California. The Cali guys said two days was the soonest I could get it. The Florida guy said he could get it to me the next day.

A note for you guys that frequent the Gap to battle the Dragon; nothing gets into the area the next day unless it is in state and then maybe.

Yes, I thought of buying the part directly from Ducati the next day when I found out it would be a two day wait. I initially didn't think the local Ducati dealer would have it since the big guys up north didn't stock it. I called anyways. Yup! They had two. Ah, but their made from unobtanium, $469.

Hmm? The new better one was 120 plus shipping. The stock used one I paid $90 delivered. Yeah, I'll spend another $80 for a hotel room and wait it out.

One of the best things about a small town is that everything is more personal. Since I had time to burn I walked over to the post office to check the delivery time and to see if maybe I was lucky and somehow the part arrived in one day.

No luck but the lady said if I gave her my number she would call me when it came in. Wow! That is not what I would expect in Chicago.

Ok, next day lady calls. I pick up part and burned some time as the mechanic doesn't keep to a strict schedule.

When I get there he cautiously goes about opening her up. I prepped her for him to make his job easier. I need him for the tech stuff, ok more skilled labor. I could probably install it but being so far away from home I thought it prudent to have a professional do it. Getting stuck in the middles where I know no one would be bad.

He opens up my girls and what falls out? The head of a bolt. Uh, oh! I see more problems. The last time I found metal where it wasn't suppose to be it was my tranny giving up the ghost.

Being nosey as I tend to be with my girl I try another bolt. Hmm? It's lose. I try another. The same. Ok, maybe the mechanic loosen them when I wasn't looking. I inquire. Nope. He hasn't touched them yet. Not good.

Then he says, "and another thing." Oh, crap. "There looks like there should be a dowel pin holding the flywheel in place but it isn't there."

Great! I think. Do I need to order another part or do I run off to a parts place where ever one may be.

Naw! This guy has it all.

I call the mechanic that did the work to let him know the situation. He asks if I had a lightened flywheel installed. I tell him he supposedly lightened and installed my stock one. He said that it must have been caused by using the wrong loctite which loosened because of the lighter flywheel. He said he should have used red loctite.

When I inquired about the dowel he said that it was not necessary because the screws held the flywheel on.

When I said this to the local mechanic he said the dowel was suppose to keep the pressure off of the screws so this type of things wouldn't happen. He said he would only do it the way he knows how to do it.

Hey! I have no problem with that. The designing engineer put it in there for a reason and personally I wouldn't leave it out unless an engineer told me I could.

Ok, so the lessons I was taught this week is:

USE RED Loctite on the flywheel bolts (Hmm? I use it on the clutch basket so it would make sense.)

USE the Dowel if it was designed with it.

You don't always get what you paid for. (This was just reiterated. It's happened with my Porsche twice in the last year. One incident is with the "best" paint place leaving a black line in the gray paint on a new metal nose and the other was the mechanics forgetting to put on the bottom engine cover besides connecting the airintake. Paying top dollar doesn't do. Paying bottom dollar doesn't do it. Maybe next is putting names on a dart board and seeing which I hit.)

Sorry about the lengthy story but I hope someone can learn something from it.

I did 600+ miles back in ten hours yesterday. Surprisingly I only it two rain storms. Besides the chain needing some WD40 and the engine still leaking oil from my top dollar rebuild my Italian girl is ready for my fun. Yes, and so am I though last night my throttle hand was not very happy. I think I have a taste of what it may feel like to have the hands of a ninty year old, no offense to nonagenarians.

Hope you're out riding.

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