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(If you don't want all the gory details... jump to the bottom of my post and please help me identify which brand of tank prep a previous owner used ... THANKS!!)

-------BEGIN GORY DETAILS---------

I've been riding motorcycles for over 20 years. Love 'em - Can't live without 'em. I've owned just about every brand and ridden about everything else. I've been fortunate and am grateful for all my experiences motorcycle related.

I've been "W.A.M." (without a motorcycle) for a little over a year now. I've been throwing all my money into really expensive bicycles instead. I thought it would satisfy my two-wheeled urges... and it has for the most part. The addiction started back in earnest when my bicycling buddies started talking about buying motorcycles... and following through. I couldn't stand it any longer. So, about two months ago, I started hinting to my wife that another motorcycle was probably going to appear in the driveway soon.

A few weeks ago, I came across this ad on cycletrader.com:

"1999 Ducati 900 SUPERSPORT 12K miles, red, 6sp,
12K service just done by Ducati of CLT (new timing
belt, fluids, oil, and tires), no scratches/dings, never
been wrecked, runs great, meticulously maintained
$5000"

I've never owned a Ducati and have always, ALWAYS loved the look of the Supersports!!

I looked up the book value and called the guy. I met him, let him hold the cash while I test drove it and agreed to take it after haggling over the price a little bit.

After I get home, I unload it and head to the tag and title office to get the paperwork done. Within 3 miles of my house, the bike cuts off on me about 4 times. The last time, I pull over and call the local Ducati shop. They help me brainstorm over what could be the problem. After a couple of ideas are discussed, the service manager asked who I bought the bike from. I told him and he looked up the records. He says that he found where the 12K service was performed... and also that the guy brought the bike in a few weeks later complaining that the bike would not stay running after it had warmed up!!! He also explained that they could not establish communications with the ECU and that it probably needed a new one... at a cost of $1,750 installed. :eek:

I called the guy immediately and, of course, he didn't answer. I left messages over the weekend which never got returned.

After a few days, I had resigned myself to the fact that I got screwed. I went out and bought a Haynes manual and started googling as much as possible. The number of google results were overwhelming so I thought that I should probably find an enthusiasts' forum... which led me here.

Once I found this place, I searched for a few minutes and found this thread. It had been started TWO days before I bought the bike... same model, same year model, same color, same city... That mofo! :mad:

I decided that I have an excellent case for intentional defraudment... the guy knew ahead of time and he didn't tell me. So, I gather up all the evidence (including his repair request from the local Ducati store) and file a complaint with the local magistrate. I'm taking him to small claims court.

--------------------
During the next two weeks...
--------------------

I ride the bike in 8-12 mile trips. I figure it's all a part of diagnosing the problem... trying to get a hold on some sort of pattern to when the bike dies. When the tank was full, I could ride it normally until it warmed up... then it would die. One day, I rode the bike about 10 miles on the interstate after it had already warmed up (nice, steady throttle input seemed to prolong the dying out). But as the gas was used up, any sort of pattern was out the window... all bets were off!! It didn't matter if I babied it or whether it was hot or cold... it would just die whenever.

Within a few days of plunging into what I thought was going to be an electrical problem, I see a gas leak coming out of the left side of the tank. YAY!! Another line for my to-do list :rolleyes:

I hop on the forums and find Rainman's excellent thread regarding tank repair. I thought "Well, cool! I'll just take the tank off and see how it looks. If it's not too bad, I'll order some POR-15".

I get the tank off and take the plug out. The gasoline is just barely dripping out. I grab a paperclip to dislodge whatever trash is clogging the hole. It helps but it's still much, much slower than it should be. When I finally get the remaining gas out, I remove the filler and the bezel to find this:



Look closely! At some point in the past, someone poured some brand of tank liner in the tank... and let the remainder puddle and dry!!!! :eek:

Did I mention that they didn't properly prep the tank and the tank liner flakes into the fuel?



Oh... and as if that's not stupid and lazy enough... they didn't remove the pump/filter assembly before the task:



So, at 6 a.m. this past Sunday morning, I find a handy, dandy chisel and screwdriver and start chipping, peeling away. This is what I ended up with...




I've always heard that you'll always remember your first Ducati!!!! :D
Interestingly enough, I'm still excited about owning this bike!!!

(Now if the magistrate would just let me know when I can see him, I'll be a much happier man!! ;) )
 

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Well, it sounds like he really took advantage of you. Don't worry, he'll get his...karma is a bitch! Despite that, It sounds like you are taking it pretty well, all things considered. Hopefully you don't have anymore unpleasant surprises. Good luck.
 

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Or the old dogshit in a paper bag on the pouch and the house on fire trick!
 

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sounds like vapor lock. check the routing of the fuel line.


does the bike die ONLY when HOT? or AFTER a certain amount of MILES. this is a major way to determind the problem...

when it dies, how long until it runs again?


i would say run it around your block and when it dies lift the tank and close the petcock and take off the hose and reconnect it open the petcock and try to start it.

or maybe that bad seal job is clogging your pump after its been on for awhile. maybe a good cleaning and rebuilding will work.

let us know the results of your efforts.

and i had this exact problem with the guy who sold me my first bike, a yamaha XS650. rode it home and evreything fell off when i parked it.
 

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Motoenth,
Great story, but it's sounds like another case of "nice guy gets screwed". Palmetto1981 will certainly receive his come-uppins one day. I'm glad to see that you found the cause of the problem and don't need another ECU.

The funny thing is that right from the start it sounded to me like a classic case of a clogged fuel filter. What I don't understand is that it appears that the dealer had drawn the wrong conclusion. The fuel filter should have been right near the top of their list of things to rule out, and all they had to do was to peek into the tank to see the mess made by Palmetto1981. I'd be a bit leery of allowing Ducati CLT to do any work for me.

I can't identify the tank sealer. Once I used a product called Kreem. But if I recall correctly, it was a translucent amber color. The kit came in two parts, with MEK as a pre-treatment/degreaser, and the Kreem as the sealer. Rust removal was with a commercial product like Naval Jelly and maybe some ball bearings or hex nuts for agitation. Sand or bead blasting might also work.

I hope you get a good settlement in court, and that you start racking up miles real soon.

PS: Palmetto1981 may have also been a victim. A relative of mine moved to Charlotte last year, so when I see things for sale and the seller is in CLT, I notice them now. I recall seeing a red 900SS on ebay several months ago in CLT, and told my relative about it. Maybe it was the same bike and Palmetto1981 bought it, had problems, and then unloaded it the same way it was unloaded on him. I'm not justifying his actions, but just pointing out a possible coincidence.

PSS: A memory bubble just popped up. Several years ago, a buddy of mine told me about a BMW R100RT for sale that he was interested in. It happened to be located about a mile from my house, so we went to look at it together. After giving the bike a good going over, we opened the gas tank and looked inside with a mag lite. We saw crud galore. When we pointed it out the seller, he got extremely angry, accused us of trying to chew him down, and ordered us to immediately leave. Ever since then, I've always made a point of checking the inside of a gas tank on a used bike. Your story reinforces this as "good practice".
 

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(If you don't want all the gory details... jump to the bottom of my post and please help me identify which brand of tank prep a previous owner used ... THANKS!!)

-------BEGIN GORY DETAILS---------

I've been riding motorcycles for over 20 years. Love 'em - Can't live without 'em. I've owned just about every brand and ridden about everything else. I've been fortunate and am grateful for all my experiences motorcycle related.

I've been "W.A.M." (without a motorcycle) for a little over a year now. I've been throwing all my money into really expensive bicycles instead. I thought it would satisfy my two-wheeled urges... and it has for the most part. The addiction started back in earnest when my bicycling buddies started talking about buying motorcycles... and following through. I couldn't stand it any longer. So, about two months ago, I started hinting to my wife that another motorcycle was probably going to appear in the driveway soon.

A few weeks ago, I came across this ad on cycletrader.com:

"1999 Ducati 900 SUPERSPORT 12K miles, red, 6sp,
12K service just done by Ducati of CLT (new timing
belt, fluids, oil, and tires), no scratches/dings, never
been wrecked, runs great, meticulously maintained
$5000"

I've never owned a Ducati and have always, ALWAYS loved the look of the Supersports!!

I looked up the book value and called the guy. I met him, let him hold the cash while I test drove it and agreed to take it after haggling over the price a little bit.

After I get home, I unload it and head to the tag and title office to get the paperwork done. Within 3 miles of my house, the bike cuts off on me about 4 times. The last time, I pull over and call the local Ducati shop. They help me brainstorm over what could be the problem. After a couple of ideas are discussed, the service manager asked who I bought the bike from. I told him and he looked up the records. He says that he found where the 12K service was performed... and also that the guy brought the bike in a few weeks later complaining that the bike would not stay running after it had warmed up!!! He also explained that they could not establish communications with the ECU and that it probably needed a new one... at a cost of $1,750 installed. :eek:

I called the guy immediately and, of course, he didn't answer. I left messages over the weekend which never got returned.

After a few days, I had resigned myself to the fact that I got screwed. I went out and bought a Haynes manual and started googling as much as possible. The number of google results were overwhelming so I thought that I should probably find an enthusiasts' forum... which led me here.

Once I found this place, I searched for a few minutes and found this thread. It had been started TWO days before I bought the bike... same model, same year model, same color, same city... That mofo! :mad:

I decided that I have an excellent case for intentional defraudment... the guy knew ahead of time and he didn't tell me. So, I gather up all the evidence (including his repair request from the local Ducati store) and file a complaint with the local magistrate. I'm taking him to small claims court.

--------------------
During the next two weeks...
--------------------

I ride the bike in 8-12 mile trips. I figure it's all a part of diagnosing the problem... trying to get a hold on some sort of pattern to when the bike dies. When the tank was full, I could ride it normally until it warmed up... then it would die. One day, I rode the bike about 10 miles on the interstate after it had already warmed up (nice, steady throttle input seemed to prolong the dying out). But as the gas was used up, any sort of pattern was out the window... all bets were off!! It didn't matter if I babied it or whether it was hot or cold... it would just die whenever.

Within a few days of plunging into what I thought was going to be an electrical problem, I see a gas leak coming out of the left side of the tank. YAY!! Another line for my to-do list :rolleyes:

I hop on the forums and find Rainman's excellent thread regarding tank repair. I thought "Well, cool! I'll just take the tank off and see how it looks. If it's not too bad, I'll order some POR-15".

I get the tank off and take the plug out. The gasoline is just barely dripping out. I grab a paperclip to dislodge whatever trash is clogging the hole. It helps but it's still much, much slower than it should be. When I finally get the remaining gas out, I remove the filler and the bezel to find this:



Look closely! At some point in the past, someone poured some brand of tank liner in the tank... and let the remainder puddle and dry!!!! :eek:

Did I mention that they didn't properly prep the tank and the tank liner flakes into the fuel?



Oh... and as if that's not stupid and lazy enough... they didn't remove the pump/filter assembly before the task:



So, at 6 a.m. this past Sunday morning, I find a handy, dandy chisel and screwdriver and start chipping, peeling away. This is what I ended up with...




I've always heard that you'll always remember your first Ducati!!!! :D
Interestingly enough, I'm still excited about owning this bike!!!

(Now if the magistrate would just let me know when I can see him, I'll be a much happier man!! ;) )
damn, you really are getting to the bottom of things. Unfortunately, I doubt you can prove he knew there was anything majorly wrong with the bike. Sans warantee I think you will just chalk this up to a learning experiance. And I like the paper bag, dog shit thing as well.

Sorry man, he will get his.
 

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I know a guy that had all sorts of drama will a similar tank liner disarster on a Harley. He contacted the company in this attachment - they gave him all the how to advice and the product required to easily remove the old liner material, for what was a good result in the end.

They might also be worht a phone call in your case?

regards
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I really appreciate everyone's input.​

Within the first couple of days of discovering this bike had severe problems, all sorts of things crossed my mind... dog crap in a bag and... I better keep the other thoughts to myself. I purchased the bike on a Friday and was scheduled to teach a motorcycle safety class all weekend. Thankfully, that kept me from paying the guy a visit. By the end of the weekend, I had resolved myself to take care of this through small claims.

LeoLegend - I added a link to the thread in the original post.

josephgarcia - vapor lock is the first thing that crossed the service manager's mind too. Unfortunately, it was ruled out because the bike starts back up immediately after dying. I'm convinced it's the clogged filter bag. I'll cut it open and post pics to show just how much treatment is clogging the filter. I'm guessing it's 80% clogged.

gunzen - I've got the original, dated repair request from the Ducati dealership. The description of the problem is written down with the diagnosis and notes regarding failed communication with the ecu.

Don - I've got a HD Tank repair kit on order from POR-15. I think it includes the marine clean but thanks for mentioning it!! Makes me feel better about buying the right product.

felix - I've known the couple who owns the Ducati dealership for years (they're good folks) and I've also acted as service manager (at an RV Dealership). So, I'm really not surprised that the manager didn't get the correct diagnosis over the phone. The service manager's position is for administrative duties rather than repair. If he was really good at diagnosing the problem, he should be on the floor rather than in the office (he would probably make more money!). The tough part for me is that the 12K mile service was performed this past February and the filter was changed (take a look at the pump/filter assembly - the filter canister has no tank prep on it). That means that the tech had his hands down in the tank and replaced the filter without bringing up the tank liner issue to the service manager. I've already called the dealership and brought this to their attention.

As far as the original owner screwing the second owner (uh - you don't know how right you are!!) ...financially... you're wrong on that one. When I went to pick the bike up, the seller kept talking about "his friend" he bought it from and how "his friend" owns an art gallery and loves motorcycles and how "his friend" had this bike detailed to display at the gallery and how "his friend".... blah, blah, blah. Whatever he and "his friend" want to do together is his business but I got the idea they were more than just "friends" (WHERE'S THE PUKING EMOTICON?!?!?)

So, in an attempt to find out how much of the story was true, I started googling EVERYTHING I could remember from talking with him. It turns out that the craziest part about his story was true. Check this out: http://www.metrogalleryoffices.com/ Yep, that's my motorcycle on display in an art gallery. CrAzY!

Maybe that's why I'm not all that mad anymore. I've rescued this fine machine from a life of being an objet d'art owned by a couple of "friends". I'm going to get this bike running again and we're going to enjoy the best asphalt that western North Carolina has to offer. Heck, this thing probably even deserves a few track days.... :D

I'll keep you posted !!
 

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Hey Motoenth, I'm glad you got to the root of the problem. It may not say remove the fuel pump in the service manual since you can change the filter without removing it. The guys @ CLT are good guys and they had always help when I needed, very family like setting. I'm no longer there but I know those are good people. I hope you enjoy your bike and do a DESMO trackday @ CMP with her and a Euro Bike Night @ MAC's with those guys.

As for the guy that sold you the bike, he probably knew about the situation but didn't want to fix it(pay for it).

Now go blow off some steam on 181 or BRP.....that is your prescription:D
 

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I didn't read all of the posts, but it looks to me that the best way to get that tank clean on the inside would be to sand blast it.
 

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You should get it running and then show up at a gallery opening and follow the seller around, make him real nervous. And make sure you carry about $100 in quarters in a sock and wait for him to go outside!
 

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motoenth, all the best to you man on getting that bike running the way it should be!
truly a role model on how to get to the bottom things.
 

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POR-15 is silver metallic looking like that. It looks like Mercury when applied. It requires you to clean it with an acid like solution and then turn it constantly for 30 minutes.

-M
 

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I really appreciate everyone's input.​

Within the first couple of days of discovering this bike had severe problems, all sorts of things crossed my mind... dog crap in a bag and... I better keep the other thoughts to myself. I purchased the bike on a Friday and was scheduled to teach a motorcycle safety class all weekend. Thankfully, that kept me from paying the guy a visit. By the end of the weekend, I had resolved myself to take care of this through small claims.

LeoLegend - I added a link to the thread in the original post.

josephgarcia - vapor lock is the first thing that crossed the service manager's mind too. Unfortunately, it was ruled out because the bike starts back up immediately after dying. I'm convinced it's the clogged filter bag. I'll cut it open and post pics to show just how much treatment is clogging the filter. I'm guessing it's 80% clogged.

gunzen - I've got the original, dated repair request from the Ducati dealership. The description of the problem is written down with the diagnosis and notes regarding failed communication with the ecu.

Don - I've got a HD Tank repair kit on order from POR-15. I think it includes the marine clean but thanks for mentioning it!! Makes me feel better about buying the right product.

felix - I've known the couple who owns the Ducati dealership for years (they're good folks) and I've also acted as service manager (at an RV Dealership). So, I'm really not surprised that the manager didn't get the correct diagnosis over the phone. The service manager's position is for administrative duties rather than repair. If he was really good at diagnosing the problem, he should be on the floor rather than in the office (he would probably make more money!). The tough part for me is that the 12K mile service was performed this past February and the filter was changed (take a look at the pump/filter assembly - the filter canister has no tank prep on it). That means that the tech had his hands down in the tank and replaced the filter without bringing up the tank liner issue to the service manager. I've already called the dealership and brought this to their attention.

As far as the original owner screwing the second owner (uh - you don't know how right you are!!) ...financially... you're wrong on that one. When I went to pick the bike up, the seller kept talking about "his friend" he bought it from and how "his friend" owns an art gallery and loves motorcycles and how "his friend" had this bike detailed to display at the gallery and how "his friend".... blah, blah, blah. Whatever he and "his friend" want to do together is his business but I got the idea they were more than just "friends" (WHERE'S THE PUKING EMOTICON?!?!?)

So, in an attempt to find out how much of the story was true, I started googling EVERYTHING I could remember from talking with him. It turns out that the craziest part about his story was true. Check this out: http://www.metrogalleryoffices.com/ Yep, that's my motorcycle on display in an art gallery. CrAzY!

Maybe that's why I'm not all that mad anymore. I've rescued this fine machine from a life of being an objet d'art owned by a couple of "friends". I'm going to get this bike running again and we're going to enjoy the best asphalt that western North Carolina has to offer. Heck, this thing probably even deserves a few track days.... :D

I'll keep you posted !!
I am glad you have the attitide you have, if you ever head up to Alices, send me a PM, we can compare our 900's. Good luck.
 

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Wow, that is a tough story. Sorry to hear, but hopefully it can be an easy fix. I agree, it looks like POR-15, and that is probably the WORST POR-15 job I have ever seen. I have restored a couple of gas tanks with that product, and it works great if you follow the instructions to the letter and take the time (about a week) it takes to do the job correctly.

I had 1 tank that had a crappy liner in there like that, and I used the POR-15 Small tank repair kit and it really worked like a charm. Cleaned out the entire old tank liner, then used the Marine Clean/ Metal ready/ POR-15 Liner and in a week the tank was full of fuel going down the freeway without any problems.
 
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