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Old Wizard
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Discussion Starter #1
Rear Wheel Removal

You'll need a six-point 46mm (1-13/16-inch) socket and a torque wrench with a handle extension. Most sockets this size are 3/4-inch drives so you also may need a 3/4-to-1/2-inch drive adapter. A 12-point socket will work too, of course.

Check your socket’s construction. You may need to machine down the hex end face of the socket if it has recessed flats. Otherwise, you'll only get partial engagement of the socket flats on the comparatively thin nut. There's high torque involved here so you'll want to anticipate slipping and damaging the nut.

The rear wheel is held on with a 46 mm nut cross-drilled to accept a safety retaining clip that is installed as a safety precaution to prevent the loss of the nut. If the nut was not torqued correctly when last installed, the nut may have loosened a bit and captured the pin. This will prevent the socket from being placed over the nut, so you may have to cut off or pry the pin out.

You can expect that the rear wheel retaining nut will be VERY difficult to remove, usually requiring the use of an impact driver (or a long handle extension) to get it off. Over time it seems to get tighter.

A good way to keep the wheel from turning while removing the nut is to have a helper apply the rear brake lever with a normal amount of force. Be careful, too much force on the lever can break the rear master cylinder bracket which is the pivot point for the rear brake pedal.


Rear Wheel Installation

A Ducati tech bulletin and their web site specifies 176Nm ± 5% (9Nm) torque requirement for the rear wheel retaining nut (normal thread direction). This converts to 130 ± 6 lb-ft. This value is based on using grease on the threads (this is not optional.) The manual calls for Shell Retinax HDX2, an automotive grease.

In general, a thread treated with either an anti-seize or a lubricant requires a lower torque value (than a higher-friction dry thread) to create the same tension in the fastener. So, if you have changed to a titanium nut, such that anti-seize is now needed to prevent galvanic corrosion, you’ll need to torque the fastener to a approximately 10% lower value to avoid over-tensioning the fastener. A new torque wrench is probably accurate to ± 3%.

When reinstalling, first make sure that the wheel is seated properly. Mount the wheel and tighten the nut to about 50 lb-ft. Then rotate the wheel and pound the side of the tire with the heel of your hand in several places around the circumference to seat it. Then tighten to about 80 lb-ft and repeat, applying the rear brake lever to keep the wheel from turning. Finally, tighten the nut to 124 lb-ft and check the retaining pin hole alignment. Torque again as high as 137 lb-ft to line-up the holes and insert the retaining pin.

If the nut is under-torqued it will allow the nut to loosen, allowing the wheel to rotate in its mount and be damaged by repeated acceleration/braking impact loads that will ovalize the four locating pins holes on the backside of the wheel. Damage to the axle spindle can also occur. Also, a loose nut will back-off till it's stopped by the retaining pin, then bend the pin and deform the nut. It's a good idea to mark the nut position with a marking pen, so that you can quickly see if the wheel has moved after a ride.

DURING INSTALLATION, YOU SHOULD NEVER LOOSEN THE NUT TO INSERT THE PIN. The range of correct torque values for the nut is 124-136 lb-ft so the correct procedure is to torque to the lower value, check for hole alignment and torque up to the higher value if necessary to align the holes.

Note that if you are installing aftermarket wheels, a small variation in wheel/paint thickness may make it more difficult to apply both the correct torque and also get the correct hole alignment.

Here's the important part. Ride the bike and recheck the nut's tightness. It's not uncommon to see it loosening up just a hair after the initial tightening. It's a good idea to mark the nut position with a marking pen, so that you can quickly see if the wheel has moved after a ride.


Front Wheel Removal

First take the big end nut off. Then you can loosen the axle clamp bolts on the forks.

There's a tool that fits inside the right hand end of the axle that comes in the tool kit. It looks like a short piece of tubing with a couple of holes in it and a couple of pins sticking out on opposite side.

Stick this in the right side of the axle and with a rod or screw driver through one of the holes wiggle and twist the axle out. The fit of the axle in the front wheel bearings is snug. It helps to support the weight of the wheel as you slide out the axle. If necessary, you can fabricate a dowel rod of wood or plastic to help tap the axle out from the left side.


Front Wheel Installation

If you don’t follow the proper installation sequence, you can incorrectly align the front axle in the forks. Also, be particularly careful when you tighten the pinch bolts - the Ducati axle is thin-walled and will ovalize if these bolts are over-torqued.

You can use a dowel inserted from the left side to hold the wheel in position. Put anti-seize or grease on the axle and then insert it from the right side (of the bike). To avoid damaging the thin-walled axle, tap it in gently and rotate it using the special tool from your Ducati tool kit. Once it is in, line up the holes in the axle with the holes in the axle clamps so that the through-holes allow screwdriver access to the compression valve adjusters.

The common mistake made here is to just tighten everything up at this point. Instead, here’s the proper sequence to assure that the forks are aligned.

Temporally tighten-up the two RIGHT side axle clamp bolts so you can torque the axle nut.

Put on the (left side) 28mm axle nut and torque it (63Nm.)

Then torque the two LEFT side clamp bolts (19Nm.)

Now, put the brake calipers back on using the proper torque setting (43 Nm.)

Now, loosen the two RIGHT side clamp bolts.

Take the bike off the paddock stand, and bounce the suspension up and down till you are sure that the right side fork has moved to the proper (neutral) position along the axle. (It makes it easier to compress the suspension if you hold the front brake on when rocking the bike forward.)

Once this is done, torque the two RIGHT side clamp bolts to 19Nm, reconnect the speedometer cable, and you’re done.
 

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Excellent write-up - thanks!
 

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The rear wheel nut is a MO-FO to get off. I don't think mine had been off in years, as the bike had not been ridden much before I purchased it(2002 998 with 2k miles in 5 yrs). Did the 998 come with pilot powers? If so, I think they were the original tires in winter '07! Only had 2k miles on it and the tires were hard as a rock!

1st attempt: 3/4" impact wrench and heavy duty impact socket. no go

2nd: 1" ingersoll impact wrench and heavy duty impact socket. no go

3rd: 8' breaker bar with 3 friends prying, me on the bike, in gear, with rear brake applied. kept turning over the engine. no go

4th: got a little pissed, had some beers, and slept on it. Next day heated nut with a propane torch for 20 minutes. 1" ingersoll impact wrench and heavy duty impact socket. spun right off!

Just saw this thread so I thought I would share my experience. If nothing else works, heat it up.
 

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The rear wheel nut is a MO-FO to get off. I don't think mine had been off in years, as the bike had not been ridden much before I purchased it(2002 998 with 2k miles in 5 yrs). Did the 998 come with pilot powers? If so, I think they were the original tires in winter '07! Only had 2k miles on it and the tires were hard as a rock!

1st attempt: 3/4" impact wrench and heavy duty impact socket. no go

2nd: 1" ingersoll impact wrench and heavy duty impact socket. no go

3rd: 8' breaker bar with 3 friends prying, me on the bike, in gear, with rear brake applied. kept turning over the engine. no go

4th: got a little pissed, had some beers, and slept on it. Next day heated nut with a propane torch for 20 minutes. 1" ingersoll impact wrench and heavy duty impact socket. spun right off!

Just saw this thread so I thought I would share my experience. If nothing else works, heat it up.
My fun tonight on my '97 916.

Agreed on the MO-FO part. Must have the Samsonite Luggage Gorilla putting these things on.

Thanks to Anthony @ desmoworks.com getting me the axle tool super fast (You da' man!). I was able to get mine off tonight after trying:

1. Harbor freight impact gun @ 250 ft. lb. (no go)
2. Ingersol Rand gun from the Ford assembly line that a friend "found" that I borrowed rated at 450 ft.lb. (no go)
3. I think the IR gun loosened it for me. Put the axle tool on there with a 24" breaker and jumped on it a few times. POW, it finally broke loose.

Now the fun comes trying to put this thing BACK on to the right torque spec once I get the new tire on. Not looking forward to that part at all.
 

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On is easier for sure .When ligning up for the saftey clip center the holes exactly so after a short ride and your Important Recheck. you can just wiggle the clip and it should move slightly in the holes indicating that it hasn't loosened
 

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Thanks for the info!
 

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very good info! one question, where can the grease be found? Ducati dealer only? or would Canadian Tire or Part Source carry it?
 

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Quick tip I can relay from dave moss.
When checking the right fork alignment by bouncing the suspension, don't use the brakes. They can introduce other forces to the alignment that could potentially throw things off. Just push done on the triple.
 

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Old Wizard
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Discussion Starter #12
Any name-brand moly-based general purpose automotive grease will work. The idea here is that, unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer, the components should be assembled and torqued dry.

When the manufacturer specifies a torque value that requires that a lubricating grease be used, like on the rear wheel nut, the specified torque value is 10% lower than what would be if it was assembled dry.

So don't grease any fastener unless required and don't torque any greased fasteners to dry values.
 

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Hi Shazaam. Great post! Just a quick question...

LT Snyder's manual is basically the same, but it says when putting the axle in to slide it "almost all the way in". I've got mine in with the ears of the tool into the slots of the forks and the axle, so it's all lined up. But, as far as I can tell, it's all the way in. What would be the purpose of not putting it in all the way?

Taken out of context, this post sounds wierd/creepy. Anyhow, you know what I mean.
 

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Thank You!!!

Thank the internetz, the web gods...whom ever you pray to if you're religious for Shazaam, the hall of wisdom and this forum.

I recently removed my forks and took them to a specialist for rebuild. I noted when I removed the front wheel that the axle was pretty difficult to remove. I got my forks back yesterday and after installing them in the triple clamps and torquing all the bolts I got back to the wheel and axle.

I had a very difficult time sliding the axle even part way in to the fork tube lower, much less the wheel bearing. I deduced that the axle had been struck by something during a previous disassembly or reassembly.

After thoroughly examining the axle, I could see where the shape of the hole in the fork tube lower had been impressed into the metal. Hmmmm.....pinch bolts must have been over tightened at some point also.

After going through the hall of wisdom, I happened upon this post and voila' everything is explained. I read through Shazaam's post about the proper torque and assembly sequence and everything became clear.

I fished out the axle tool from the tool kit and found THAT was what had been used to drive the axle either in, or out or both. It was mushroomed on both ends and would no longer fit into the axle.

I managed to correct the deformed axle with a mill file and a very delicate touch. It will now at least slide in and out of the wheel bearing and the fork tube lower. The tool on the other hand, I did not have nearly the same success with, and will likely have to either find a new one or go back at it further at a later date with a mill file. Or maybe find someone with a lathe.

About the only thing I didn't do was grease the axle up on install. Someone previous to my ownership applied liberal amounts of white lithium grease that had hardened up and gotten sticky. I got so much WD40 on the axle and the wheel bearing bores cleaning that out that I decided to just skip the grease for now.

In the end, I got it all done, and didn't have too much difficulty mostly due to reading this thread first. So, as I stated at the beginning, Thank You. Thank You Shazaam, as always, your sage advice is worth more than the words I can type on this page. If I'm ever down in the San Diego area again, I owe you a beer at the very least..............sean
 

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You want to put molybdenum grease on the axle. This makes putting the axle in much easier, and the same with taking it out. Using the axle tool I can get it by just twisting and gentle pressure - no tapping. I'm guessing it also prevents galling. Over time it dries to a powder coating so it won't pick up dirt and grit.
 
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