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Discussion Starter #1
My ST3s reached that point of needing service, the dealer performed the 600 mile check but I wanted to explore the valve adjust and belt change myself. Call me stupid. After a little research bought the desmo maintenance book and EMS shim kit. Both highly recommended. First the disassembly, not as logical as one may hope for. Ended up taking the tank off for better access, radiator as well, battery of course but left the intake system in place. First the belts, all pretty easy, no issues. Instead of buying the special took to turn over the bike, just used a socket on the counter shaft nut and 6th gear. A better TDC mark or sight glass would be great.. Then found that removing the plugs was not straight forward, the clearance on the two on the belt side is very small, sure there is a special tool, but I ended up grinding an extended socket down to a minimum thickness, and yes they are very proud of their plugs based on the price. Then the valves, the book offers a great bit of advice, go slow the first time and take it in phases. As I found each phase was a bit tricky for the first time, as an example the lifter on the exhaust valve would only move over when the rockers on the intake were moved over first, I know it makes no sense but worked for me. As it turns out, 5 of six valves needed adjustment, the opening shims are easy, but the closers are a bit of a pain. Not able to find any forceps easily so made my own valve holding tool from a pair of needle nose vice grips that I modified. These worked great. It is a logical system and was actually fun once the confidence was built up. Not something I want to do every month, but I will do again in around 6k. For those of you on the fence, give it a shot..it is rewarding when it starts back up.
 

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Right on. Nice job.

Yes, you need to pull the tank, oil cooler, radiator, battery - get all that stuff out of your way. I typically use a pencil or dowel in the plug hole to set TDC. How about changing the closer on the horizontal exhaust valve? Is that a bitch or what?

Lar.
 

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I kept my radiator and gas tank on, but it sucked. Your Ducati tool kit should have a spark plug socket that fits. Next time will be way easier!:D
 

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Retired Pipe Polisher C2H6O+
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You know that special tool for getting to the plugs behind the frame tubes? It's in the little tool kit that comes with the bike.
 

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Thanks for the review of your experience. I have been considering doing this. So all you needed for the valve adjust was the shim kit? I like your innovative tools, but I would probably pick up some forceps from LT at Desmotimes when I get the shims.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It seems some bikes were lucky to get the plug wrench, mine never had this wrench and my dealer confirmed it was deleted in the kit, or maybe one of their mechanics borrowed it;). I also used a pencil to determine TDC, but left the oil cooler connected.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Slhaggard, the only other unique tool for some is a micrometer. Desmo recommends a digital style (makes the job easier with the zero function) I used an older style, which works fine, just requires a little math. I had looked into buying the depressing tool on E-bay that holds the closer down to remove the shim (you need to try it to understand the fun involved) but was told by the maker that tool would not work on the 3 valve head. Desmo has a manual tool, but I just modified a screwdriver. Only other tool that would really be handy is a third hand!!!
 

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Mr Leakered
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The shim kit is only the full selection of shims. You will need several other parts and tools from LT to do it right, esp the feeler gauges and depressor tool. I plunked down close to $1k for the stuff (including $200 for ST4 belts) which included a couple small farkles (fender eliminator and clear signal lenses) to make me feel better about it.

Remember that since the bike will literally be torn apart, it is a fortuitous time to take care of the fuel filter, coolant, spark plugs, etc.

The upside is the next service only costs plugs, coolant, oil, and filter. After that, it is just those plus belts and the $10 replacement of any used shims, which I need to do.

Have a good one.
 

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It's tight, but pulling the airbox and unbolting the oil cooler is really all that's needed. It might take a bit longer to actually change shims due to the tight access (especially the horizontal cylinder), but less time overall than all of that. You just have to be very patient and realize that things will work fine once you get it all positioned correctly.

Probably the most valuable thing about the service manual over LT's book is that it illustrates how you can wedge a screwdriver in the closing rockers to keep them open. That makes it much easier to work on than having to depress the rocker with the tool and then trying to get the shimstack on there. The exhaust closers are especially difficult to manage with their stronger springs.
 

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Did adjust the valves on me ST3 last winter. Did take the radiator of and turned the engine by the clutch.
But the question is how do you guys adjust the belts ?
 

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Mr Leakered
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Did adjust the valves on me ST3 last winter. Did take the radiator of and turned the engine by the clutch.
But the question is how do you guys adjust the belts ?
There are a lot of recent threads on harmonic belt tension. Using a good PC guitar tuner and a $20 induction mic, you can pluck your belt to a perfect tension. Check the Hall of Wisdom forum here and search on belts. Tye did a good write up of this.

You will have to do some searching for the frequency necessary for your bike.

Have a good one.
 

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I appreciate all the experiences shared on the ST Forum, but this particular thread is of special interest. I too am about to drop a grand with LT for tuning tools, since I now have two 4-valve Ducati's en casa and the maintenance on them will soon exceed their value. Thanks guys!
 

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I wish they could have made the cams chain driven. It's not like it hasn't been done before. The dry clutch would drown out any rattle.
 
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