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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I drained the oil and found what can only be described as reddish-brown fiber-plastic swarf. Non-magnetic, not even metallic. Super thin, organically shaped. Pictures are worth thousands of words, so I'll let it do the talking. The piece on the left is one that I broke myself to check composition, the other two are how I found them in the drain pan. They were three loose pieces not stuck together.

Any ideas what these might be or where they came from?

On a related note, I'm pulling the clutch and clutch case off to swap in a DP vented clutch case and Ducabike clutch. Anything I should look for while I have that side open, related to this or not?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
As a secondary question, I want to replace the oil filter attachment nipple (81510281A) and bypass spring (79920772A). Currently on my bike is something purportedly installed by an undisclosed but "famous" Ducati performance shop in Canada utilizing what I assume is the original spring and a different attachment nipple that specifies a different filter, in this case, it's threaded for the universal GM filter that references to KN1001, Purolator L10111/10112, AC Delco PF40/47 and vehicle references almost every standard GM built since 1983.

It was explained to be by the PO that this performance shop did this routinely for their built 2V bikes because the filter media area was larger, the O-ring seat was the same, but specified a higher flow rate from GM while retaining the Ducati specified anit-drainback valve. This same unidentified shop is also the one who did the JE 11.5:1 pistons on the bike, and may or may not have done a 944/ST2 conversion at the same time (was told it may have, was not provided records). The higher flow rate was intended to help keep the oil temperatures in check.

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Here's the thing. I'm having a heck of a time getting a socket on the nipple currently installed, it's about 1/2 the thickness of the OEM nipple, made of brass, and my 12 point socket keeps threatening to round the corners. Not coming off easy has me anxious about making a running bike into a not running bike. Several things occur to me about this - I've personally put 4000 miles on this bike and not seen anything indicating this installation is an issue, the thread pitch is probably SAE on the outside and I am afraid it may have been re-tapped on the inside.

The oil is black at change time, but still smells excellent and retains significant lubricity on my finger tips. I do lose oil to the valve seals - another winter project this year; and the bike has used about 3 quarts over the last 3000 miles. The engine itself runs strong as hell, I just did a 300 mile day at 5k+ RPM through the canyons and 80 MPH to/from on the freeway last week. Some minor pinging at WOT is telling me to pull a few degrees of timing, but that's not really related.

Part of me says just keep it as it is because it's working well. The other part thinks I should go back to stock so there aren't any surprises if someone else needs to work on the bike.

What is the consensus here?
 

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After you said about the filter not being OEM...maybe the swarf you have is filter media?
 

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I pick up that kind of stuff every time I ride through Beaverton...

As far as the filter is concerned, that used to be a really great idea because you could get a Pure One filter without a bypass but they quit making them. Now, it is hard to find a filter that fits it without a bypass. Fortunately, I stocked up.

I wouldn't change it back if I was you. It's an improvement to increase capacity.
 

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what year is it? pre 97 or so the centre gaskets used to have a big panel section at the bottom of the sump. you can see it through the oil screen hole.
That's what I was thinking. My M900 engine had such gasket 'webbing' inside (same colour) and it's quite feasible that pieces could break off and once oil/heat/age hardened they don't feel like paper anymore...
 

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I would not mess with that nipple. At the very least it allows you to use cheaper , more common filters. Bypass will never come into play unless you never change your oil. But, if you MUST remove that nipple, grind a six point socket flat on the end to get rid of the beveled area and use a hammer driver to keep the socket seated as it turns the nipple.
 
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Bypass will never come into play unless you never change your oil.
That was my assumption at one time also. Unfortunately, that has been proven to not be true. Often the valve will crack open at start up, with the potential to dump previously filtered dirt into the system. That's because the valve operates differently when there is pressure on both sides of it. The logic is inescapable.

Many engine builders prohibit bypass filters or adapters on their engines, including my mentor, who during my first supervised build with him, showed me a clear lexan test set up he had built, to demonstrate to me that the valve can open at start up. This is especially evident if the oiling system has been enhanced from stock while a stock filter continues to be used, and that includes using race oils, etc..
 

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Yeah, I guess I didn't think that one through. My SS had an issue with the amount of oil fed to the rockers exceeding the ability of the oil to drain out. Modifications were necessary. I normally use heavier oils and additives if primary oil is not shared to help protect the transmission, but not on a Ducati.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you everyone!

Bike is a '94, to my knowledge the cases are unopened. It looks very much like the orange/brown gasket material but without the printing, and much darker. I'm going to go with that being the case and not worry particularly much about it. The sump screen looked good, no metal or fiber on it at all, and no metal at all on the drain magnet.

As for the nipple, on the advice here I'm going to leave it in place. It will be pretty obvious to anyone else who works on this bike what's going on when they pull the filter out, or hell - even looking at the filter while it's installed as it's about 1" longer.
 

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Late to the party but The collective appears to right on the money with center case gasket material, no big deal.

On the filter adapter If it does not bother and you can get filters easily I would not bother changing it during riding season. If you do want to go back to a oem style filter then swap it, the tip on grinding a 6 point is a good one ( fyi 6 point is less likely to round a fastener than a 12 point). If the cases are hot it will be easier to remove so wait for a oil change and get the motor up to temp first ( as you should for oil changes anyway), then remove it.

Yes it was most likely done back in the day when oem was the only filter and the famous tuner wanted to use filters found at an auto parts store. I am close to him and do have a bike that uses one so I do not stock a filter for that bike , the owner knows this and brings a filter if I need one. These days there are non-oem ducati filters from a few aftermarket companies, this allows cheaper filter changes and oem fitment. I would not convert from oem as there is no benefit these days but I might not convert back if I were you unless there is a need.

Sounds like you may be consuming a bit more oil than you should be, so you will soon be fixing the oil consumption as well as the blowby (why the oil turns black so soon). It may be no more than glazing of the cylinder but it could also be piston/cylinder wear. At this point it should not be a bother to keep running but it will not get better on its own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sounds like you may be consuming a bit more oil than you should be, so you will soon be fixing the oil consumption as well as the blowby (why the oil turns black so soon). It may be no more than glazing of the cylinder but it could also be piston/cylinder wear. At this point it should not be a bother to keep running but it will not get better on its own.
Should probably be a different thread but I'll ask here.

What do you recommend? Bon-Ami and cross my fingers, or will that kill the Nikasil? Or pull the barrels off for new rings? Had the shop check compression the last time it was in because I was concerned about the consumption, cylinders were within 10% of each other and over 200 psi IIRC.
 

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If close to 200psi it is probably not a stock piston in there. But it still could be a worn cylinder . A leakdown test may give a better idea as you can hear where the air is getting by. I have heard of people using bonami but it sounds sketchy to me so not something I would try personally..

Yes I would pull a cylinder and inspect it for crosshatch being gone in the cylinder, it may just need a glaze breaker run through or a new coating of nikasil to match the pistons. Check the other sources first before tearing it down but if it is not anything else the ring seal is probably the issue.
 
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