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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey forum,

I picked up a 1997 916 from ducati.ms forum member spitfire1776 on Saturday (made the 14 hour round trip in one day!). The bike has been sitting in a climate controlled storage for 7-8 years now, but has been started and run periodically (I am not sure how many times, but it was at least run once last year).

I'm no mechanic, but I try to do my own work, so I'll be trying to do all of the work necessary to restore this bike to tip-top shape, with the goal of taking it to some track days next year. After that, I'm not sure, I might try to sell it and buy a newer bike, or I may fall in love with the 916 as many others have and just keep it.

Here's what I know it needs:
-Heavy duty cleaning (the bike is pretty filthy right now). This probably means taking apart and cleaning the swingarm pivot axle and steering head bearing, and rear wheel axle (I've read about some bushing that can come loose and cause damage)...
-New brake lines, clutch lines
-Timing belts replaced (according to seller they have about 3k miles on them, but they are almost 10 years old now)
-Instrument lenses are all cracked and hard to read (might try to cut the lenses and replace with something... no clear plan yet)
-Tank fell off a trailer at some point and has some gnarly scratches on it. May repaint?
-Standard maintenance: Oil filter (and oil)/Fuel filter/Battery/Chain/sprockets (I plan to go 15/39)/Tires

The previous owner upgraded the rectifier and claims to have had no problems with electrical systems. I will probably want to put LED headlights in, not only for their lower power draw but also for the greater visibility.

I've also been told the rocker arms were replaced with some that do not have the chrome flaking problems, so I should be good in that area.

The engine was rebuilt around 10k miles ago, and there are approximately 36k miles on the frame.

I'm not sure what else I should be focusing on. This project will probably take me all winter as the bike lives at my Dad's shop, which is about 2 hours away, so I will only be able to get there every few weekends or so. Each trip I'll add updates and more pictures.

Anyway, I'd appreciate ANY advice, as I don't wholly know what I'm doing, and I'm very excited to get this thing running.
 

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Man you have your work cut out for yourself. Some very nasty corrosion on the aluminium parts that even after cleaning will look very ordinary. NOTE THIS. The swinger pivot could be EXTREMELY, and I do mean EXTREMELY, difficult to remove because of corrosion on the shaft. To top that off, ALL engine bolts need to be undone completely an the main frame at the pivot bolt SPREAD so the swinger spacers come out of the frame recess that hold it in place. If it were mine the first thing I would do is wash it down, blow most of the water off with compressed air then SPRAY THE BIKE HEAD TO TOE WITH WD-40. Lots of WD-40, then leave it sit for a few days then wipe down and start working. Have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Man you have your work cut out for yourself. Some very nasty corrosion on the aluminium parts that even after cleaning will look very ordinary. NOTE THIS. The swinger pivot could be EXTREMELY, and I do mean EXTREMELY, difficult to remove because of corrosion on the shaft. To top that off, ALL engine bolts need to be undone completely an the main frame at the pivot bolt SPREAD so the swinger spacers come out of the frame recess that hold it in place. If it were mine the first thing I would do is wash it down, blow most of the water off with compressed air then SPRAY THE BIKE HEAD TO TOE WITH WD-40. Lots of WD-40, then leave it sit for a few days then wipe down and start working. Have fun.
Yeah, that's good advice.

If you are talking about that white stuff on the front wheel, that's actually an industrial cleaner because while I was moving the bike I didn't realize the bleeder valve was open and the front brakes ejected hydraulic fluid all over the wheel. That stuff wipes right off. I've also got a set of Marchesini's that will be going on.

Near the swingarm itself, it actually looks fairly clean. I'll take some pictures next time I go down (which will be when I'm doing exactly what you said and just cleaning the crap out of it).
 

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+1 what xracer said but I would use PB blast instead of WD40. Works miracles on seized bolts in “half“ the time.


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PPS: send out the fuel injectors for a professional cleaning, such as witch hunter or others.


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Yeah, that's good advice.

If you are talking about that white stuff on the front wheel, that's actually an industrial cleaner because while I was moving the bike I didn't realize the bleeder valve was open and the front brakes ejected hydraulic fluid all over the wheel. That stuff wipes right off. I've also got a set of Marchesini's that will be going on.

Near the swingarm itself, it actually looks fairly clean. I'll take some pictures next time I go down (which will be when I'm doing exactly what you said and just cleaning the crap out of it).
it can be spotless but the pivot axle can and does corrode severely. just saying beware because ive removed enough of them to know better. same with steering bearings, seen plenty of corroded lowers on bikes that are apparently well looked after.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
it can be spotless but the pivot axle can and does corrode severely. just saying beware because ive removed enough of them to know better. same with steering bearings, seen plenty of corroded lowers on bikes that are apparently well looked after.
Ahh, I see what you mean. OK, I will be mentally prepared.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
PPS: send out the fuel injectors for a professional cleaning, such as witch hunter or others.


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Huh, this is really cool, thanks for the tip. I was just going to run the first tank or two with seafoam.
 

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Check wiring for hot spots, especially the two wires from the alternator onward. This stretch was underdesigned for amount of current and the quality of the wire was sub par.
 

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Please tell me that whatever you have stuffed into the velocity stack in the second pic is not a piece of sandpaper. If it is, remove it asap and put a rubber ball in each of the stacks. The last thing you need are abrasives falling into your engine.

Regards,
SM Ross
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Please tell me that whatever you have stuffed into the velocity stack in the second pic is not a piece of sandpaper. If it is, remove it asap and put a rubber ball in each of the stacks. The last thing you need are abrasives falling into your engine.

Regards,
SM Ross
HAHA yeah it does look a bit like sandpaper... It's old newspaper, nothing gritty or flaking off it. The PO had stuffed it in to protect the intakes. Rubber ball is a good idea, we had just thrown a plastic bag over.

I know the trumpets have to be removed so I can take the airbox off (to do the timing belt), so I'll make sure I plug it up with something better than some old, sandpaper-looking newspaper 0:)
 

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I had a similar situation this summer. Picked up a 916 that had sat as a garage queen for 12 years.

Easiest bike I've ever worked on. Strips down in 15 minutes. Did the following at home with basic tools:

- Belts (Gates 5192XS). Used chris Kelly's methods @ ducatitech.
- Clutch, brake fluids.
- Oil & filter
- Air filter (Pipercross MPX038)
- Coolant
- Battery
- Spark plugs
- Tires
- Upgraded fuel quick-disconnects to metal items
- Fuel Filter
- In-tank fuel lines

Bike started on third try <img src="http://www.ducati.ms/forums/images/Ducati_ms_2015/smilies/tango_face_smile_big.png" border="0" alt="" title="Laugh" class="inlineimg" /> Put 600+ miles on it in a month or so and it's an awesome machine.

My Regulator/Rectifier had been upgraded, but if yours hasn't I would check it as they can be the cause of a host of problems.

Consider changing the fork oil if there's no evidence it's been recently serviced.

Desmoquattros are designed to be worked on and are a pleasure to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I had a similar situation this summer. Picked up a 916 that had sat as a garage queen for 12 years.

Easiest bike I've ever worked on. Strips down in 15 minutes. Did the following at home with basic tools:

- Belts (Gates 5192XS). Used chris Kelly's methods @ ducatitech.
- Clutch, brake fluids.
- Oil & filter (Mobil1 15W-50)
- Air filter (Pipercross MPX038)
- Coolant
- Battery
- Spark plugs
- Tires (Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa II)
- Upgraded fuel quick-disconnects to metal items
- Fuel Filter
- In-tank fuel lines

Bike started on third try <img src="http://www.ducati.ms/forums/images/Ducati_ms_2015/smilies/tango_face_smile_big.png" border="0" alt="" title="Laugh" class="inlineimg" /> Put 600+ miles on it in a month or so and it's an awesome machine.

My Regulator/Rectifier had been upgraded, but if yours hasn't I would check it as they can be the cause of a host of problems.

Consider changing the fork oil if there's no evidence it's been recently serviced.

Desmoquattros are designed to be worked on and are a pleasure to deal with.
Nice, good to hear. Yeah, it appears like I can do everything myself, having worked on all of my bikes beforehand in some capacity.

The reg/rec is already upgraded, but I'll probably replace some wires if anything looks worn, or too small.

where did you get the in-tank fuel lines?

I'm planning on taking the bike to a shop to set the suspension for me, and will probably have them re-spring the forks. I could, I suppose, do that myself...
 

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I got the fuel line from my local auto parts store. Only needed about 6 inches.
Only OEM parts I needed were the chain sliders. Everything else was generic.
 

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I got the fuel line from my local auto parts store. Only needed about 6 inches.
Only OEM parts I needed were the chain sliders. Everything else was generic.
The fuel lines have to be immersion grade, not ordinarily fuel line.
 

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I get around 6 years out of ordinary fuel line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Finally got a chance to start taking a few more parts off. There's quite a bit of surface rust, and I also noticed when I got the timing belt covers off that the gears have a bit of rust on them. The clutch springs are also pretty rusty. I pulled one clutch spring out just to look at it and I've got a new set on the way.

Still haven't taken the swingarm off yet, but I think swingarm and shock linkages are next.

I also noticed that the seat and subframe plastics I have don't have holes for the brake lights?? I texted the PO and asked if he were doing something particular for the lights. May have to cut holes for the lights to go in, or mount brake lights and turn signals elsewhere.
 

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Judging solely from the amount of rust on the clutch I'd say that bike was washed more than ridden.

As you previously stated it was in a climate controlled storage for years....it should not exhibit that kind of rust if it was.

If/when you pull the clutch plates, check the basket for rust. Deep inside it, where the fingers meet the back, you may find a slanted line or even full on rust in the shape of an orange wedge.

That's indicative of the bike being washed and left to dry on the side stand. That or left in the rain.

Given that few owners leave their Ducatis out in the rain, I'd go with the washed and left on side stand scenario....sean
 
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