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Finished valve clearances on the Monster

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' at netrider.net.au started by brabs, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. This isn't a question, nor is it a how-to, but I can write one up if there is demand for it. Of any of you Ducati blokes in Sydney are thinking of adjusting your valve clearances yourselves I'm happy to give you a hand with business end of the job. It is something you need about 4 hands to do.

    I've always been very mechanically inclined and worked on my own cars and when I decided to get a bike I did so with the intent of doing all the work on it myself, especially if its a Ducati. So the other day, knowing a valve clearance was well overdue, I pulled the valve covers off. I knew they would be well out of spec, and they were. By a lot. The openers were a little tight but not too bad, but the closers were way the f%#k out. The clearances on the closers are supposed to be extremely tight (0.00-0.02mm). Mine were, on average, around 0.15mm.

    The general consensus seems to be that changing the shims on a 2v Duc isn't really THAT bad. I have to say I disagree. At least for the first time around. It is extremely easy to f%#k something up like dropping a collet down an oil return or dropping a valve into a cylinder. But as long as you are meticulous and don't rush it you'll be okay.

    I removed all the shims and bagged them in labeled sandwich bags for each valve, got the piece of paper I wrote the clearance measurements on and took them down to Mike at Gowanloch Ducati (really top bloke). He measured all my old shims right in front of me and gave me the right size replacement shims and a few good tips. Also got a bag of new collets as some of the old ones were broken. Only charged me 60 bucks for everything.

    Putting it back together is where it becomes a c#%t of a job. Installing the closing shims is where you need 4 hands. But I eventually got them in and rechecked the clearances. A couple of them were somewhere between 0.00mm and 0.01mm and the other couple were somewhere between 0.01mm and 0.02mm. In other words, perfect.

    Put it back together yesterday arvo and it fired up first go and sounds a lot less clattery. Success.

    Now I might head out up to the Old Road and give it a bit of a workout if it doesn't start raining.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Good job, I hear it's a nightmare!

    I'm about to do mine on the VFR project, luckily the engine is out & I have a shim kit :D
  3. Did you remove the cam belts & turn the camshaft by hand after re-shim to check for any binding or opening/closing rocker conflict?

    Reason I ask is because I have just recently checked a mates ST3 and found the closing rocker clearances were also very loose. But when I installed a thicker shim to bring clearance within spec, the cam was binding at the point where the ex valve opens. Ended up having to leave the closing rockers loose & just get the opening clearances correct. Apparently the cams aren't machined as precisely as they should be.
  4. Yeah did that. It seems that the newer (post EFI) motors are a bit better in that respect. Would have been a massive pain in the arse if you put the shims back in and discovered it was binding.

    If the binding wasnt too bad I'd be tempted to leave it and let the high spot on the camshaft lobe wear down (if it is the cam that wears down and not the rocker).

    At the time I was doing it I was bloody glad it's a 2 valve motor and not a 4 valve!
  5. I think the ST3 is about a 2004 model with EFI, which is a reasonably late model bike, so things haven't improved. It was a pain in the arse. The main problem was removing the spring clips on the rocker shafts, the thrust washers were the same diameter preventing getting a pointy rod in there to lever them out. Filed them back a bit while they were out to make it easier next time.

    If they are left tight, then they tend to chew out the rockers & damage the cam, so not a good idea.

    The ST3 is a 3 valve motor, So only marginally more fiddly than a two valver, but yeah I'd hate to have to re shim every valve on a 4 valver, after my experience with the ST3.
  6. This sounded like an interesting offer and after reading your post briefly considered checking the clearances on my DS1000 this morning. Then I looked at one of the youtube 'how to' vids on this and decided it was obviously well beyond me.

    Well done to you and your skills. It must be quite satisfying when its done.

    How often do you need to check these things do you reckon? Mines a 2010 engine with about 15 -16 K on it now. Can you hear when they are not right?
  7. Mine has 32,000km on it and I'm fairly sure this is the first time they have been done. They may have been checked before when the previous owner had it but they were probably still in spec considering how far out they were now. I think Ducati quote something like 12,000km for clearance checks but don't quote me on that.

    You will certainly hear if they're out, especially on a aircooled motor. You'll hear a metallic rattle coming from the heads, getting more and more noticeable over time, especially above 4,000rpm on light throttle.

    Provided the clearances on your openers haven't become too tight (therefore leaving the valve/s partially open) it's not really going to hurt anything. You will probably break the retaining collets that hold the closing shims but they'll still remain firmly in place and they're really cheap to replace. It'll run like shit at low revs when your closer clearances are really loose...that and the noise will be enough to prompt you to do it or get it done.
  8. I had fun doing my clearances on the blackbird.

    Feels so good taking it on and then the bike fires up when it is all back together.
  9. I didn't realise that modern 2-valve ducs have shims.

    Well that kills any thoughts of me ever buying one.