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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I'm new here having just purchased a great looking ST3 .

I downloaded the workshop manual and I've been reading up here on lots of things.
I read that the timing belts should be changed every 20,000 K's or 2 years.

I have spoken with the service guy who did mycambelts at 20,000 and it has now just clocked 32,000.
He told me it would be due at 40,000K's but I'm a bit concerned because as the bike is a 2004 model, if it had been done every 2 years it would now be on it's 7th set.
How concerned are the experts about this 2 year interval?
Obviously the local guy doesn't even consider it but I'm inclined to do it rather than be sorry at this point.

I have a few other issues as well. It has Carbon Fibre mufflers fitted but came with the original stainless pipes, never used since new. I find lowdown the running is a bit patchy and wonder if the original pipes would improve this? I read all the stuff about everyone drilling out their stock pipes but nobody mentioned the tuning results unless they just fitted a whole different ECU.
With other makes there's usually a trade off for increasing the sound against actual dyno readings if the manufacturer had it right or if the factory settings have been updated. I don't know much about this but I'm inclined to go original. Concerned that from new it may never have been properly tuned because of this. Thoughts please?

There are a couple of cracks in the body work including the front guard. I've bought another guard as I feel nervous with a crack that could potentially result in the guard cracking and getting fouled on the front wheel.
But the other crack is on the top of the middle fairing so I think I'll have a go at repairing it. I'll get some panel bond epoxy stuff from Blackwoods and take pics as I go. Hope to spot paint it too, rather than repainting the whole panel.

Then there's the choke lever which the previous owner told me could be used for a crude cruise control. The manual states firmly that it shouldn't be used with a warm engine, which makes sense to me as I thought it would overfuel, but there is controversy about whether it is simply a fast idle or whether it changes the mixture for a cold start?

Finally the noisy clutch is a little more than I expected and I feel it needs a looksee. Waiting till I've fully printed out the manual for that one.

So it seems the baby needs to be repaired before further usage just to get everything right. It will be worth the extra patience required.


Looks like a really great forum by the way.
Thanks.
 

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Hi,
I'm new here having just purchased a great looking ST3 .

I downloaded the workshop manual and I've been reading up here on lots of things.
I read that the timing belts should be changed every 20,000 K's or 2 years.

I have spoken with the service guy who did mycambelts at 20,000 and it has now just clocked 32,000.
He told me it would be due at 40,000K's but I'm a bit concerned because as the bike is a 2004 model, if it had been done every 2 years it would now be on it's 7th set.
How concerned are the experts about this 2 year interval?
Obviously the local guy doesn't even consider it but I'm inclined to do it rather than be sorry at this point.
Based on your numbers, the belts were changed at 20,000 miles — approximately five years ago. If you wait until 40,000 miles to change them, i.e., three-plus years from now, the belts will be over eight years old. Gates, the manufacturer, specifies a maximum service life of eight years under ideal conditions.

Ducati recommends a change interval for recent models of five years. Change your belts now.

The button (you call a choke) simply moves the throttle giving you a fast idle. The fueling is quite rich at 1,000 rpm idle so the fueling actually leans out a bit on 1,500 rpm fast idle.

The dry clutch gets noisy as the tabs on the friction plates hammer the clutch basket causing a gap to develop between basket and plates. Replace both and the clutch will be quiet (for awhile).

Slip-on mufflers are for a better sound and work just fine with the stock ECU/fueling. That said, the stock Ducati fueling is quite lean to get low exhaust emissions so an upgraded ECU or EPROM chip will give better performance with both the stock and aftermarket exhaust system. In truth, there's very little difference.
 

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Welcome to the forum dewcatty!

Pretty much what Strega said. I'll add that there is product called Plastex that I've had good luck with repairing cracked fairings. I filled the crack and sealed in from the inside of the part. Then I added a small piece of fiber glass tape and covered that with Plastex to strengthen the area. It's available in the States...not sure you can get it in Australia...but you must have something similar:
Fiberglass, Plastic Repair

I've tried using epoxy glue and fiber glass tape. Worked for some time, then the epoxy let go. Perhaps I didn't score the fairing plastic enough for the epoxy to grab. The plastex solvent melts the plastic and fuses the pieces together. Once fixed, it has stayed for several years now. You can also try "welding" the crack together with a soldering gun with a flat tip. There's a number of youtube videos on how to do this (I fixed my cooler with this method).
 

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How long exactly since last belt change?
From what I've read the time limit is not critical but as already mentioned I would replace it if it's more than 5 yrs.
I've had good success with plastic welding and imho it's the only way to go. It gives the same strength and flexibility as original. Lego blocks are the same type of plastic and make good filler material.
As for the running, sounds like it might need a TPS reset. Don't know if you're model has the idle mixture trimpot under the sticker on the computer.
Btw, I have a carbon fibre front gaurd and I believe they are still available on eBay, might be another option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your help guys.
Not positive but I think it's about 5 years on the cam belts so no riding till they're done.
I've had a bit of a play tonight managing to remove the fairing sides and lowers to have a look at what is there.
So I have the broken panel off now as well as the front guard. That was a disaster waiting to happen as the guy had taken out a big chunk with a disc lock misadventure and there was another crack almost right through that would have eventuated in a scrambled guard, not the best theory on the front wheel. I bought another guard which is winging it's way from USA as we speak.

I also tilted back the fuel tank and took the air filter out to find that the foam cover over the whole airbox has been breaking down and bits have been sucked into the filter.
I wanted to find the battery as till I followed through the manual I had no idea where it was hiding. Damn it's not even a gel.
I took off the clutch cover and almost immediately put it back on. There's a good eighth of an inche between the tags on the plates and the basket slots. Makes a godawful clunk. Never mind I'll live with that for awhile, it's not breakdown threatening material.
I've also discovered cracked and leaking fork seals so a fork rebuild is in my near future. I think I'll drop the clipons a couple of notches then as well and lwer the brake and gearshift levers for a more relaxed ride.
It's very interesting how easy Ducati made it for some things while others are a complete uphill fight. I'll definitely let the service guy do the belts first time as well as fitting new spark plugs all round. I mean those plugs on the right side of the bike are in really awful spots aren't they?
I think that's it for now. You guys are great, cheers.
 

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That cover over the air box is to deaden sound...it can be tossed.

Do a search in this section on front fork rebuild. There are two sets of bushings...on my '06 ST3 the parts fiche only had a part number for one pair. Had to get the second pair (which were a different size) from a different vendor. The post will have the correct dimensions of the two pairs of bushings.
 

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I'll replace my belts on my ST3 based on mileage not age. If they were actually date stamped I'd consider changing them based on age. My local Ducati shop has a set of belts for my 12 yr. old ST3 in stock. They cannot tell how long they've been on the shelf. Have they been there since the bike was current? Do other models use the same belts? When you go and buy new belts how do you know for sure that they are in fact newer than the one's being replaced. You don't.

"Gates, the manufacturer, specifies a maximum service life of eight years under ideal conditions." I take this to mean 8 years of use, not simply 8 years old.
 

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I'll replace my belts on my ST3 based on mileage not age. If they were actually date stamped I'd consider changing them based on age. My local Ducati shop has a set of belts for my 12 yr. old ST3 in stock. They cannot tell how long they've been on the shelf. Have they been there since the bike was current? Do other models use the same belts? When you go and buy new belts how do you know for sure that they are in fact newer than the one's being replaced. You don't.

"Gates, the manufacturer, specifies a maximum service life of eight years under ideal conditions." I take this to mean 8 years of use, not simply 8 years old.
Just to clarify the two year thing. It's not a manufacture date to end of life date. It's a once they are on the bike date. The reason I've heard most often, and really the most plusable IMHO, is because the much smaller diameter of our cam wheels compared to a car that uses rubber belts. The excessive bending of fibers back and forth under tension to make that tight turn around the cam pulley causes the accelerated wear and the increased recommended replacement schedule. This is even if the bike is sitting with the belts under tension and wrapped around the tight cam wheels.

A true concern or not, it is what it is. I don't think anyone is going to tell you "you'll be fine for X number of years" when the OEM says two years. I will tell you I have gone 5 years and had no concerns, but I don't think I could comfortably go longer than that. You have to do what you're comfortable with and with the understanding that if you loose a belt, the odds are very much in favor of catastrophic engine failure. Some have been lucky and survived a belt letting go, but it's pretty rare. It is also pretty rare to have a belt failure caused directly by the actual belt failing. Often the cause is somthign else. Seized tension bearing, too loose or too tight belt tension etc. There are aftermarket choices about half the price of OEM, California Cycleworks as the primary suppler, that take the sting out of the cost.
 

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I'll replace my belts on my ST3 based on mileage not age. If they were actually date stamped I'd consider changing them based on age. My local Ducati shop has a set of belts for my 12 yr. old ST3 in stock. They cannot tell how long they've been on the shelf. Have they been there since the bike was current? Do other models use the same belts? When you go and buy new belts how do you know for sure that they are in fact newer than the one's being replaced. You don't.

"Gates, the manufacturer, specifies a maximum service life of eight years under ideal conditions." I take this to mean 8 years of use, not simply 8 years old.
Gate's eight year service life limit includes the time that the belt is in storage prior to installation. It assumes that the belt is stored away from sunlight, moisture and ozone generating electrical equipment.

If the time spent in storage is lengthy then yes, it can be a concern.

But so is the whole sequence of proper manufacture quality control, storage, drive train inspection, installation and tensioning — and the people responsible for assuring each step is done properly. We rely on a number of people throughout this sequence to do their job to prevent premature belt failure.

The last step in this process is for the owner to follow Ducati's recommended maintenance schedule. If you don't, and you get a belt failure, you first have yourself to blame — before blaming others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've booked in for new belts next week and pleasantly surprised at the quote. [Belts $250, labour $250. What's not to like?]
I also checked out a place to have the fairing repaired but instead opted for a double/two pack tube of Permatex Plastic Weld from AutoPro.
That stuff is brilliant. Dries superhard and sticks like $h!t to a blanket. Glued the cracks no problem so I may end up living with those couple of small blemishes. If I can find some genuine Ducati red touchup paint, maybe at the dealer, I reckon I can pretty well disappear those cracks. I'm thinking I may even use the stuff to cast up the missing bits on the guard if I make a suitable mold. It has a very similar consistency to the original plastic in this bodywork.
So sitting on the verandah watching the bike without the side fairings [as you do, with a few beers] I'm checking out the radiator hoses.
Never owned a water cooled bike before.
I checked the manual but no mention of time scales for replacement of these.
Am I being too anal to think that 14 years might be a good time to replace them and their clamps?
They mostly have a small bulge at the junction with the flange and with my cars I see that as time to get a new one.
So I will anyway, but just thought I should mention it in the fettling list for a purchase of a 2004 machine.
I reckon there's not much original rubber still on the bike that doesn't need renewing.
Wot do yers reckon? I want to know your opinions please?
 

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Yeah. 14yrs is a long time for the coolant hoses. When pulling the main rad hoses off before I replaced mine years ago, I found coolant squeezing out of the fabric layer.

Have a good one.
 

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Yeah. 14yrs is a long time for the coolant hoses. When pulling the main rad hoses off before I replaced mine years ago, I found coolant squeezing out of the fabric layer.

Have a good one.
Same here. Replaced the hoses at 9 years...most were weeping out of the fabric after I took the clamps off.
 

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can a good set of hoses be had aftermarket somewhere online ? ..... Also I got touch up paint from a place online paintmatch.com or something , my dealer had directed me to auto supply store for touchup paint .... sorry , will add proper name when I find it
Craig
 

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thanks Mike ..... and yes I will ... not sure that link for paint is one I used .... it was touchupdirect.com .... I got the jar size $16.95 for the red plus another $16.95 for the clear .... worked great
Craig
 

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+2 on Samco hose kit and proper clips. Clips are a must too. Don't use the OE.

Pricey, but compare with overheat cost to engine, breakdown, and repair, not too bad.

After all these bikes are getting long in the tooth. With care, they will continue to perform extremely well.

Steve
 

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Never owned a water cooled bike before.
I checked the manual but no mention of time scales for replacement of these.
Am I being too anal to think that 14 years might be a good time to replace them and their clamps?
They mostly have a small bulge at the junction with the flange and with my cars I see that as time to get a new one.
So I will anyway, but just thought I should mention it in the fettling list for a purchase of a 2004 machine.
I reckon there's not much original rubber still on the bike that doesn't need renewing.
Wot do yers reckon? I want to know your opinions please?
Yep mine have just started leaking and look pretty cruddy after the 14 years of service. Looking at replacing at the next valve check. I would hate a stuffed hose to leave me stranded somewhere.
 

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You might also replace the top overflow tank while you're at it, mine split at the seam at around the 13 year mark, made a mess of the paint on the frame. There are ali ones to be had on motowheels, can't recall how much the oem was.
 
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