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Discussion Starter #1
So some of you may have seen the '98 916 I recently inherited from my father who was injured and can no longer ride. Anyways, it had its 12k service done on 3/21/2007 and has sat there up until I went and picked it up last month.

Already did all the fluids except for the oil. Which I just did today. Anyways, my manual says to check oil level with the bike on the kickstand, my Haynes manual says to check it up on the stands.

Heres where things get interesting. My dad did quite alot to the bike and unfortunately there are no solid records as far as exactly what. I saw a note on a piece of paper regarding an upgraded oil cooler, but other than that I am stumped.

With the bike warmed up to about 160 degrees farenheit, with 3 quarts in it, up on the stands, the sight glass is just over the top of the max line. Once it rests, the sight glass is completely full. The whole thing. No gap at all.

So 3 quarts = 2.8 liters. Supposed capacity is 4 liters, so it should be showing low right? I am kind of at a loss here with this thing and deathly afraid of overfilling, I am used to a good old fashioned dipstick as I grew up a HawkGT nut.

Oil is Motul 300V 15w50.

Any and all answers that help relieve what is becoming a nervous breakdown is appreciated.
 

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Sounds like you haven't changed the filter...that would account for some of the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You insult me! Brand new K&N every time as I get them wholesale.

In other news, Is a white condensation like film on the timing sight glass normal? Or do I now have a huge problem on my hands.

I will try to get you guys pictures later. And yes, I also checked and cleaned the pickup filter.
 

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I have changed my oil many times and have always changed the filter, often emptied the cooler and recently did all of this and dismantled the engine before refilling, so there was absolutely no oil in it before filling and it still won't quite hold the amount claimed by Ducati, the same applies to the coolant.

I wouldn't worry, if it is between the two lines after having been run then there's enough oil in it.
 

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You insult me! Brand new K&N every time as I get them wholesale.

In other news, Is a white condensation like film on the timing sight glass normal? Or do I now have a huge problem on my hands.

I will try to get you guys pictures later. And yes, I also checked and cleaned the pickup filter.
My apologies...just trying to be optimistic...I just changed mine yesterday, and 3.5 liters put it just below max line when on the rear stand. Sorry about your Dad, my day is coming.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well like I said, when hot, it is slightly above the max line, when cold its completely topped out. Should I drain some?

And any info on whether or not the sight glass on the other side should be fogging up with a whitish residue?

Should i run it up to where it normally likes to operate temperature wise? (around 190).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My apologies...just trying to be optimistic...I just changed mine yesterday, and 3.5 liters put it just below max line when on the rear stand. Sorry about your Dad, my day is coming.
No apologies necessary. My partner here at Moto! is always getting pissed off at me for constantly asking him if he did the basic routine stuff on any given project. It is how I am so I get it ;)

As far as my pop, his injury was not motorcycle related, more self destruction related. It really isn't a sore subject, but I appreciate the sentiment greatly.
 

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Well like I said, when hot, it is slightly above the max line, when cold its completely topped out. Should I drain some?

And any info on whether or not the sight glass on the other side should be fogging up with a whitish residue?

Should i run it up to where it normally likes to operate temperature wise? (around 190).
I have experienced that on several different bikes in cold, damp weather. It is probably just condensation, and should burn off after some time at operating temp. If the oil itself is not milky, there is no need to panic.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for that insight Pumpman, I am in Tacoma, Washington, and summer has been a bit late. So I feel a little bit better.

I am thinking that with all the modifications done to the bike I am simply going to have to trailer it up to Ducati Seattle, which is the most expensive, elitist, cutthroat operation in existance from what I have gathered so far (then again, its a Ducati, kind of asking for it).

Funds are super low for me at the moment and I don't like the thought of shelling out all that cash to get it a once over, but it is a family heirloom, I hope my daughter will be riding it some day.

Something about this oil issue is just giving me that gut feeling that something is wrong and I am terrified of grenading the thing.
 

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what magic do you think the dealer would perform exactly?

send the oil to blackstone labs if you want to know what's going on in the motor...

other than that, stop being mental... you have too much oil in the engine... fill it up to where it is supposed to be and move on...

btw a little condensation in the glass is fine, if you have tons of milky liquid in the oil when you drain it, that's another matter, i.e. you have a coolant leak...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
what magic do you think the dealer would perform exactly?

send the oil to blackstone labs if you want to know what's going on in the motor...

other than that, stop being mental... you have too much oil in the engine... fill it up to where it is supposed to be and move on...

btw a little condensation in the glass is fine, if you have tons of milky liquid in the oil when you drain it, that's another matter, i.e. you have a coolant leak...
Nothing milky about the oil at all.

Let me be a little more specific.

1) Is it normal for the oil capacity to be off to such extremes?

2) Do I check it on my pitbull stands vertical? Like the Haynes manual says? Or on the kickstand like the Ducati manual says?

3) How hot do I have to get it after filling, and how long do I have to let it sit and cool to get a good solid read?
 

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Nothing milky about the oil at all.

Let me be a little more specific.

1) Is it normal for the oil capacity to be off to such extremes?

2) Do I check it on my pitbull stands vertical? Like the Haynes manual says? Or on the kickstand like the Ducati manual says?

3) How hot do I have to get it after filling, and how long do I have to let it sit and cool to get a good solid read?
Here is the proper way to check the oil as far as I know.
With the engine cold stand the bike up straight (on the tires, no stand) and give the oil a few seconds to level back out (longer in cold weather) and check that it is between the oil level lines in the sight glass.
That is how I do it and it doesn't contradict my manual which says:
"Engine oil level can be checked through the sight glass (1) provided on the clutch cover. When checking oil level, the motorcycle should be upright and the engine cold.
Allow a few minutes for oil to settle to a steady level after stopping the engine.
Oil level should be between the marks near the sight glass."
Disclaimer: My bike is a 996 so yours COULD be different. (but I seriously doubt that Ducati changes this with each model)
Verification?: This method showed me that my bike was exactly full when I purchased it from the local Ducati shop (used) after they had checked it out.

Of course, I have been wrong before. :p

-Ducky
 

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1) Is it normal for the oil capacity to be off to such extremes?
Yes, if you filled it up too much.

2) Do I check it on my pitbull stands vertical? Like the Haynes manual says? Or on the kickstand like the Ducati manual says?
I always check on a flat, level piece of ground, both wheels on the ground, off the sidestand.

3) How hot do I have to get it after filling, and how long do I have to let it sit and cool to get a good solid read?
Run it then give it a few minutes for the oi to drain back in and equalise.

You are being far too paranoid, drain a bit of oil out of it and you're done.
 

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My apologies...just trying to be optimistic...I just changed mine yesterday, and 3.5 liters put it just below max line when on the rear stand. Sorry about your Dad, my day is coming.
I stand corrected...I went back and actually measured the amount of oil left in the 4L jug, and it was 0.8L, so I put 3.2L in and the level is just below the max mark cold (Ducati says to check it cold, upright). Decided it might be important here.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I really appreciate the replies guys. I will take it off the stands and drain it to the correct level later, run it a bit, and hope for the best.

Its just super hard to believe that after letting it drain for 2 days it only took 2.83 liters.
 

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I really appreciate the replies guys. I will take it off the stands and drain it to the correct level later, run it a bit, and hope for the best.

Its just super hard to believe that after letting it drain for 2 days it only took 2.83 liters.
Many peole are paranoid about oil volumes, when draining it ensure the oil is hot and drain until no more flows (5 to 10 minutes is enough). Then when you refill it, add oil until the sight glass says it is full (note the volumes but don't obsess over them).

There will always be some residual oil in the engine when draining and as a result if you refill using the exact amount listed in the manual, the new oil will combine with the undrained oil resulting in an over full situation.

The sight glass has two levels (low and high), as long as the oil level is between these levels when checking the oil LEAVE IT ALONE.

Too little oil will cause loss of oil pressure (very bad for engine life) to reach oil starvation to this level wil have then engine exceptionaly low. Oil overheating and breakdown shortening engine life is a bigger problem with low oil level. Too much oil will have the crank splashing in the oil (bad for power and will aerate the oil compromising lubricating properties) and the excess oil may also vent from the crankcase via the overflow all over the back tyre.

Andrew...
 

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When checking oil level, the motorcycle should be upright and the engine cold
Interesting.

My SS1000DS and 999R manuals (which I have in front of me) say "upright and engine WARM"!

So much for consistency in Ducati manuals.

As for volume, mine always take just under 3 liters if I don't change the filter (ST2, SS, 999R)

Tom
 

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If your aren't riding the Max mark cold vs warm shouldn't be an issue, right? If you could only check the oil when cold. Heaven forbid you have to check it during a weekend trip or something lol.
 
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