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Going to change out the oil and filter on my bike. Is there anything that I should be aware of??? Have done it all the time on my other bike.

Also I am thinking about changing the front fender to carbon fiber since the back one is like that. Have look a little but really haven't seen anything yet. Any suggestions as to where I can purchase one.

Ed
 

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bandited -

I don't know what the other guys have heard, but my local Ducati shop (the very well respected ECS, which supports a racing team) has informed the DIY crowd that when putting the new oil filter in place, it is better not to fill it up halfway, as is the usual procedure. They indicated that there are problems that can occur because of doing it the normal way, some kind of bearing issue that I didn't quite get. I'll try to get some more info from them about what the deal might be. Anyway, the last time I changed my oil, I followed their directions, to no apparent ill effects.

Otherwise, business as usual. They're motorcycles, after all, even though we seem motivated to treat them like a combination of divine incarnations and works of art.

Ron
 

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Check the sump screen for debris every oil change. It, along with the drain plug magnet, are excellent (early) indicators of the few problems these bikes can develop. A 03 ST4s is pretty well free of the big ones, flaking rockers, oil galley plugs backing out and main bearing failures but they can happen, so keep an eye on those two items at oil change time. Not much more than a basic oil change really. You don’t need to strip the farings, I just take the lower right piece off for oil. Use a torque wrench on the sump screen, sump screen cap and drain plug. People will say to use new "crush washers", except Ducati hasn’t used actual crush washers in many years. They are just soft aluminum washers and I can’t tell you the last time I used new ones. Just don’t bend them up and make sure they're clean when you put them back on. I do keep a few in the tool box just in case, however.

On the fender. Funny you mention it. I just picked up a brand new in the box Ducati Performance carbon ST fender on eBay. They come up from time to time, when you see one, grab it. I'm sure there are after market items for sale, but the DP item is the same weave CF as the rear and excellent quality. The 916-998 Superbike and late model Super Sport fender will also fit, but it is shaped a little different.
 

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Exhaust pipe wrap

Wrap the warm exhaust pipe with aluminum foil to keep it clean.

I've always pre-filled oil filters on every vehicle I've owned if its possible, I can't imagine why the previously recommended 1/2 pre-fill of the filter would now be considered to be a bad thing to do.

I would think starting the engine with an empty filter would certainly be bad, there while there will still be an oil film on the moving parts the dry startup does not seem like a good thing to put the bike through once every oil change, but I'll be waiting to hear the rest of the details from C-simian too.

Bob
 

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Wrap the warm exhaust pipe with aluminum foil to keep it clean.

I've always pre-filled oil filters on every vehicle I've owned if its possible, I can't imagine why the previously recommended 1/2 pre-fill of the filter would now be considered to be a bad thing to do.

I would think starting the engine with an empty filter would certainly be bad, there while there will still be an oil film on the moving parts the dry startup does not seem like a good thing to put the bike through once every oil change, but I'll be waiting to hear the rest of the details from C-simian too.

Bob
I always change the oil/oil filters in all of my vehicles and I've never put any oil in a new filter before installing it. Never heard of it ...I've also never had any problems from not doing this. I think this is an old wives tale. Why would starting an engine with a dry oil filter be bad?? As long as oil is in the pan, the oil pump kicks in right away and begins pumping oil throughout the engine and through the new filter. One thing to remember is after starting the engine with a dry filter, turn the engine back off after a few moments and recheck the oil level as the filter now contains oil and so your dipstick will show a lower pan level than it was before you started the engine. Pour in more oil accordingly.
 

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I guess it depends on where the filter is in the circuit. If it's at the end just before dumping back into the pan, no issue. If it's right after the sump, and before the parts than need oil, like bearings and rockers, I suppose there is the possibility of pushing some amount of the air that was in the filter through the circuit leaving some critical areas oil starved for a second or two. I usually fill the filter as full as I can get it, but I have also done it dry. Not sure it is that big of a deal, but I am comfortable filling it. The Ducati service manual shows the oil circuit, but I am not near my manual at the moment, so I can’t look.
 

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Here's the oil circuit. I think I'm going to keep filling the filter with oil. Can't hurt! Interesting that it goes to the heads before the filter cartridge. At least the oil to the heads goes though the sump screen, if not the actual filter!

 

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Guys -

Thought I'd follow up on the oil filter fill / not fill question. I appreciate Dan's posting the oil flow circuit. I had forgotten that it was in the shop manual.

I spoke with Steve Saucier this morning. He's the owner of European Cycle Services in Middletown, NY, the most well-respected shop in the metropolitan area. His reply to my question is that he has seen evidence of "pump cavitation" when oil filters have been filled with an oil change. Cavitation is when air gets caught in the impeller and causes the pump to lose its capacity to transmit oil at an appropriate pressure. In extreme cases, it may cause the pump to fail or the bearings to get toasted. He does not have his shop fill oil filters of bikes coming in for service as a result, and has seen no evidence of a problem with this procedure.

Dan Kyle (of Kyle Racing Engines) has also issued a warning about what he calls oil block, when air gets in the pump and causes it to freeze up, as a result of excess oil filling. If you go down to post #9 on this Ducati-superbikes thread, you can read his post: oil and oil filter - Ducati Superbikes

As is usual in oil threads, however, there are other messages. The most interesting I have read is the Filter Manufacturers Council Technical Service Bulletin 93-1, posted on the Amsoil website: AMSOIL Dealer Reviews Engine Oil Pump Priming Requirement When No Oil Pressure They maintain that the problem is actually not a filter problem, it is the drainage of the oil out of the pick-up tube, so that when oil is refilled to the crankcase, air is trapped into the tube and that goes to the pump. If we look at Dan's schematic, however, oil goes from the sump to the mesh filter and then to the pump. It would seem that this might help break the air entrapment problem.

So, I don't know how others will handle this information, nor am I certain myself in the face of divergent expert opinion. :eek: My inclination is to follow the Ducati recommendation to "fill filter cartridge with engine oil before assembly this serves to reach the recommended oil level without topping up." As an inventor friend once told me, "when all else fails, follow directions." However, it is germane to note that Ducati doesn't say that avoiding this procedure will be a problem, except that it preempts having to top off the oil at a later moment.

Ron
 

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The other interesting point in the schematic above is the location of the pressure sensor. It is well after the pump, cooler, and filter. I don't prefill the Duc and I sometimes do on our cars. Either way, I always watch the oil pressure light. Invariably, it goes off within a second or two after the engine settles into idle. If it didn't then I'd shut the engine down.

Have a good one.
 

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As long as oil is in the pan, the oil pump kicks in right away and begins pumping oil throughout the engine and through the new filter. One thing to remember is after starting the engine with a dry filter, turn the engine back off after a few moments and recheck the oil level as the filter now contains oil and so your dipstick will show a lower pan level than it was before you started the engine. Pour in more oil accordingly.
If you have a vehicle with an oil pressure gauge, next time you change oil watch it on startup - you will have no oil pressure for the few seconds it takes the filter to fill up. No pressure means it's not circulating.
 

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I love technical discussions; stuff like this is pretty interesting to me, but I think I have to file this one under minutia. In the real world we Duc owners, and really motorcycle owners in general, don't put that many miles on our bikes compared to most other vehicles. My company car saw 135,000 in 2.5 years! My Duc has been driven 33000 miles, in what 7 or 8 years? I used to ride a lot more than I do now, but I feel I still put on the "average" 6K per year on the bike these days. My point is, if we change oil every 3K miles, and if it takes maybe 5 second to get the oil pressure up and the void in the filter filled, then over the life of your average Ducati, lets say 60K miles (which is probably pretty high with an obvious exception here and there) we're talking 20 oil changes. At 5 seconds per change of low pressure, we will see just over 1.5 minuets total time that we are under these less than perfect circumstances... Hopefully at idle and obviously in short duration. Probably not much to it in the end!
 

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I love technical discussions; stuff like this is pretty interesting to me, but I think I have to file this one under minutia. In the real world we Duc owners, and really motorcycle owners in general, don't put that many miles on our bikes compared to most other vehicles. My company car saw 135,000 in 2.5 years! My Duc has been driven 33000 miles, in what 7 or 8 years? I used to ride a lot more than I do now, but I feel I still put on the "average" 6K per year on the bike these days. My point is, if we change oil every 3K miles, and if it takes maybe 5 second to get the oil pressure up and the void in the filter filled, then over the life of your average Ducati, lets say 60K miles (which is probably pretty high with an obvious exception here and there) we're talking 20 oil changes. At 5 seconds per change of low pressure, we will see just over 1.5 minuets total time that we are under these less than perfect circumstances... Hopefully at idle and obviously in short duration. Probably not much to it in the end!
Well put! These were my thoughts exactly. A second or 2 of no pressure at each oil change (if it even takes that long) is such a very minor issue that the engine will likely fail from some other issue like old age than something like this. We're beating a dead horse here.
 

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Thanks for the follow up Ron, good to hear opinions from two pros as well as others in the ST community.

Perhaps the "pre-filling the oil filter" mentality came out of old, unshaven, beer guzzling wives' "tails" many years ago who used to work on good old Detroit V8 powered hot rods before todays synthetic oil and tight machining tolerences became available.

This expired, but well lubricated carnival pony is on the meat wagon on its way to the glue factory.
 

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I am changing my ST2's oil this weekend...quick question about the sump screen...How should it be cleaned before reinstalling? Lastly anyone have torque specs for the sump screen and filter plug? Most torque specs seem to be missing from my shop manual for some reason. I found some settings on Wiki, but I'm not sure of their accuracy. Thanks all!
 

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I am changing my ST2's oil this weekend...quick question about the sump screen...How should it be cleaned before reinstalling? Lastly anyone have torque specs for the sump screen and filter plug? Most torque specs seem to be missing from my shop manual for some reason. I found some settings on Wiki, but I'm not sure of their accuracy. Thanks all!
Grasshopper, see the sticky in the ST forum. :D

http://www.ducati.ms/forums/40-sport-touring/76294-common-fastener-torque-settings.html
 

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quick question about the sump screen...How should it be cleaned before reinstalling?
What VA Duc said on the torque values, but for the cleaning question? Really it should be considered more of an inspection for bad stuff that may be stuck to it! Cleaning? Just wipe it off, but before you do, look for flakes. You will see an occasional piece of something on there which isn’t really a problem. If there's a lot, it may be an indicator of problems to come or well underway. The drain plug has a magnet that will catch most ferrous chunks, but this sump screen is good for catching the non ferrous stuff.
 

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Reinstalling that oil screen properly is very important, as I've read reports where it wasn't properly torqued down and backed out, blocking an oil return galley which lead to oil starvation and a destroyed engine. :eek:

Speaking of flakes: I have read that if one finds a mysterious looking flake on the screen, one can tell if it's a chrome flake off the rockers by dropping it in battery acid and if it "smokes" turns purple and disintegrates, it's s chrome flake. Can anybody verify this method works as described?
 
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