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Thread: 1980 900SS rebuild...

  1. #1
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    Default 1980 900SS rebuild...

    Summer is on the way and Spring has well and truly sprung so I am trying to get my backside into gear and get my bike back on the road and do some riding.

    This is the first of my two Dukes which came out of a twenty-three-or-so year slumber a couple of years ago. The good news was after a bit of coaxing the engine burst into life and ran really quite well; Although it looked a bit of a dog as it was running a dented orange tank and the cases needed a lot of elbow grease.

    I got the bikes out of slumber as I had had to get rid of my Gixer K8 for financial reasons and was bikeless. I used most of the Gixer money to 'deal with things' and what was left got the old girl back on the road. I had some really epic (but slow) rides on it, the Gixer became a distant memory and I remembered exactly why I had like this bike so much.

    In between times I lost both my parents and they were kind enough to leave me something; I think they had a pretty good idea what I might spend it on and both my Mum & Dad were great believers in thoroughness. That's my excuse for what is undoubtedly something I have always wanted to do properly but never had the means.

    So I decided to take it off the road last April and really sort it out in time for the V Twin Rally. I didn't quite make the V Twin much to the amusement of my mates who drank my portion of beer and all I can say is I hope they all had hangovers (FX: Mutter, mutter).

    When I finally got the whole thing back together a week after the V Twin, I was very disappointed with the stove enamelling on the frame; They had used red oxide primer, the paint was thick and so soft the cable ties were digging in. The black frame looked dark brown in strong sunlight. Also the guy who did the paintwork did a beautiful job in terms of quality of finish, however the tank stickers make the bike look like it is about to take off from Cape Canaveral; Needs fixing! Anyway, here it is running my spare wire wheels and missing it's fairing...


    Even worse, when I fired up the engine with the front head rebuilt by Pietro with new valves, guides and all bearings (including the self aligners), it was obvious there were deeper and darker problems with the engine.

    So I ripped it down again, it felt like all the hard work and family money I had put into the bike had been squandered - and I'd failed to reach the rally. Here is the naughty engine awaiting tear down...


    I took the engine to Pietro for dismantling & inspection. The news was 'really quite bad'. Big ends on the way out, pistons had some scoring (although not too bad) and the oil pump looking a bit sad. The engine was still on it's original 86.0mm pistons.

    The bill was going to be a stinker whatever I chose to do. Not wanting to repeat the rebuild for as long as possible I decided to address what I perceive as all of the main problems with the bevel engine, and do this without any external giveaways that this engine is one that might last. One that might last by design, not as a result of being the lucky engine assembled on Tuesday by the line's best engineer with a very fortunate set of accidentally blueprint perfect parts of perfect materials and running oil/filter changes every 500 miles by a diligent altruistic owner.

    Anyway, that's the plan.

    I am quite happy with the performance of the bike so no overt tuning mods going on, perhaps a quick gas flow and that's about it.

    Already quite a lot parts have been procured and work done, The changes are:-
    • new 3 dog gearbox - the old one was worn but not overly so. However the combined separate parts costs to make it close to as new made it a no brainer to replace the entire cluster
    • straight cut primary drive gears - nothing wrong with the clutch basket or gears however the helical gears try and move the crank from side to side and it has been said the incessant forces can disintegrate crankshaft end float shims. So goodbye helical gears but I am retaining the (new) wet clutch for aesthetic reasons. Excitingly the straight cut gear set is a lot lighter than standard which will help the engine spin up more quickly
    • every bearing in the engine is being replaced except the plain bearings for the lower bevels and kickstart shaft, they were fine. Yes, that does include self aligners/lower bevels & supports. All bearings
    • high capacity oil pump & full flow lubrication system. Doing this means I can use modern oils which may well be the single largest gift of longevity I can give the engine
    • chassis wise, the only real change is I have had new rods made for my original Marzocchi ET85 shocks, so the Fontana's will be used elsewhere and this bike will have it's original shocks back on
    • the frame is being blasted and re-stoved (again) by someone else.

    So this rebuild is really about the engine.

    I have been really interested in what Martin has been doing with Eelco's Darmah and although a late arrival I have been watching it come together; Martin is approaching the oil filtration from a similar direction as I. I have almost had enough apart from a few pickies so I'll bung in the oil filtration stuff into my next post as I have just made some really nifty progress.

    There is some good news in that the bevels all look good as do the cams & rockers. Both heads are getting new valves, guides, bearings & seals anyway. Here is the front head which has seen about an hour of use before being pulled off - at least it is completely done and re-shimmed so it can go straight back on.


    Bottom end has been rebuilt by Godden Engineering and uses standard SS rods with new pin & Lacey needle rollers. It hasn't arrived yet and I can't wait.

    Anyway, here is a nice new gearbox cluster from [email protected]

    And a nice new straight cut gear set from Nova Engineering

    And like many things, far more interesting from behind.


    That's it for now.
    Last edited by Vacant Possession; 24.04.2013 at 10:41 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Good to see it getting the treatment - keep it coming!

    Kenny.

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    Default Ducati 900ss Rebuild

    Hi

    As Kenny says keep it coming, there are many on here that enjoy these threads a little bit of inspiration below, not that you really seem to need that but nice to see all the same.

    Its also good to see the committee getting behind the classic events such as the Moffat Giro and the likes which is just around the corner by the way, especially when the number of participents have grown so much since last year, well done you.

    Sadly I will miss this years event but I would like to wish all a very safe and enjoyable weekend.

    Scott

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott 888 View Post
    Hi
    snip...
    Its also good to see the committee getting behind the classic events such as the Moffat Giro and the likes which is just around the corner by the way, especially when the number of participents have grown so much since last year, well done you.
    Scott
    I might have the engine largely in one piece by then - but I am not carrying it to Scotland for Saturday May 14th! ;-)

    Very nice bike, BTW.

    Paul.

  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vacant Possession View Post
    I might have the engine largely in one piece by then - but I am not carrying it to Scotland for Saturday May 14th! ;-)

    Very nice bike, BTW.

    Paul.
    Ooops

    Thats the Fri Night, and Sat 4th/Sunday the 5th May, Laddie.

    Francis

  8. #6
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    Ah yes, a typo before I have even reached the pub! Not bad, even by my standards.

  9. #7
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    Default Full Flow Oil Filtration on a Bevel Engine

    If like me you've been around bevels a long time you will most likely have developed belt drive envy for their lubrication systems. The Pantah has a full flow filtration system with the filter where it ought to be - nice and low.

    Their reliability was not lost on us otherwise happy bevel owners and many took matters into their own hands, coming up with many weird and wonderful interpretations including remote filters and all sorts of hackery and welding on crankcases; Mostly these were 'a very good thing' and bikes with one of these systems fitted properly like below are likely to be trustworthy machines. The most extreme seems to me to be by Kevin Bracken.

    Here are a couple of examples...


    Here is the remote filter, under the tank...

    And how NCR did it...

    I too trod this path and came up with a solution part devised by others and part home designed; I think the combination is one of the neater solutions and included nice machined from billet cam supports and a filter that screws in where you'd expect it to on a bevel. It kept one of my bikes running sweetly for many years. Here it is minus the pipework...


    However things change and my other Duke has standard unmolested crankcases and I'd like them to stay that way; So any changes can't be visible. A bit of research will result in the discovery that filtering the oil can indeed be done on early bevel engines without external modifications; The best news is the internal mods remain reversible should anybody wish to go back to a system which recirculates swarf.

    So hat-tip to Roland Steidle & Martin Dauble (The 'a' in Dauble should have an umlaut too) who I hope won't mind if I use some of their drawings if I give them the full credit they deserve. Another hat tip to Damien Birch of Bevel Rubber fame, an unknown bevelhead called Pete at micapeak referenced in this post. There are others too. However a modified oil pump, a couple of 1/4"BSP brass fittings, some 8mm Bundy pipe, two steel spacers and a couple of 'O' rings according to Roland Steidle & Martin Dauble's specifications constitute the parts needed for a complete full flow filtration system for a bevel drive Ducati. Best of all, the external appearance is retained. See, no sealing wax required.

    There is more good news. if you choose to re-use the existing oil pump, you will still achieve 15% extra oil going where it needs to because the original design bleeds off approximately 15% of pumped oil for parasitic filtration and return of cleaned oil to the sump. This can be further improved by restricting the flow to the heads to what they need rather than what they are fed as standard. The calculations and testing have already been done by others which means this is empirical data tested under harsh track conditions. What follows is my stab at translating the original German into English, The rough translations were done using Google Translate and Babylon 9 and then me trying to work out what they really wanted to say. So without further ado, over to Roland Steidle & Martin Dauble:-

    Measuring the oil flow on an unmodified engine.
    Measurements show that 16% of oil pumped flows through the oil filter. The vertical cylinder received about 22% and although using the same oil way dimensions the horizontal cylinder received approximately 27% due to being closer to the oil pump. The crankshaft received approximately 35% of the oil.

    The oil way openings to the vertical & horizontal cylinders and crankshaft were measured at 5.2 mm. The oil way opening to the oil filter was kept original at 2 mm diameter. The oil pump speed was approximately 2500 RPM corresponding to about 5000 RPM of the crankshaft; The delivery volume measured about 9.3 L/min at 20oC oil temperature.

    From above figures, it can be seen that 16% of the pumped oil is diverted through the passive filter and is lost for the lubrication & cooling of the engine.

    Measuring the oil flow after the full flow modifications:
    With the same arrangement as described above, the vertical cylinder receives approximately 35%, the horizontal cylinder about 34% and about 31% for the crankshaft. Since we are not losing 16% of the oil pumped back to the sump, 16% more oil is available for lubrication / cooling.

    The difference in supply to the heads is the point where where the oil enters the oil circuit. In the original unmodified engine, the oil line to the vertical head was the longest. After the conversion is the oil supply is from between the cylinders from the oil filter housing and thus the oil way to the crankshaft is now the longest.

    To restore the original ratio of the amounts of oil delivered to the crankshaft & heads, the feeds to the heads are reduced to 3.3 mm. The heads then receive about 30% each and the crankshaft approximately 40% of the oil supply. Since the heads are leaking too much oil in particular on the valve covers, we have further reduced the oil riser pipes between the cylinder and cylinder head to 1.5 mm internal diameter. This resulted in 25% to each head and 50% to the crankshaft (by calculation).

    Oil Pumps
    I had to buy a new pump anyway and the question for me was which one would best serve the needs of a full flow conversion. The next picture shows a standard pump and one of Andy's beautifully made pumps as backdrops, with three different oil pump gears in the foreground for comparison. From left to right, standard bevel gear, Monster 600 gear, uprated bevel gear from an Andy supplied pump.

    Another pump you can get from Andy is the Mario Sassi 'By Pass' pump. I was quite amused when I dismantled this one as the 'by pass' bit refers to Mario having built a brand new oil pressure relief valve into this pump, blanking off the old one. So now this pump - you guessed it - squirts oil out the side instead of into the main crankcase. So the spring, ball etc., went in the bin and I tapped it for 1/4" BSP, drilled the hole for the original oil pressure relief valve and I have a couple of holes to have welded up.

    Moving on (because it's late) the oil way under the oil filter does need to be faced off, recessed slightly and threaded with 1/4"BSP. Here it is done:-

    With that out of the way, it's time to make up the link tube between the oil pump and the oil way under the filter. This really isn't as easy as it might sound. 8mm Bundy steel tubing doesn't want to bend particularly, definitely not around a tight radius and certainly if at all possible with kinks. I believe I can do you a great service and show you what to buy and what to avoid. The correct tool should be about a tenner.

    The one you want is the blue one! The reason is the tight radius. I can tell you it is extremely hard to get the bends with the larger unit. I have done it but the pipe was a very tight fit hence quite difficult to put together. The blue tool is supposed to only go up to 6mm which means it is time to do some hackery...

    Bending the pipe was by far the hardest part of the whole process, I was beginning to wonder if the minimum order length of 3m of Bundy tubing would be enough. It has a slight compound nature to it's curves if you are using a high capacity pump in that the pump and access point are not in line with the filter entry. ideally you should be able to wiggle the pipe slightly and not so much feel movement as feel that it is 'not tight'. Then you can be sure when you are tightening up everything is properly seated. Here are a few of my failures...

    And here is success.



    That's enough for tonight, I'm bushed.
    Back again to finish off the post with a couple of relevant pictures I forgot because I was too knackered, the first being an outline of the tube...

    And secondly, a close up with a ruler...
    Last edited by Vacant Possession; 21.04.2013 at 11:10 AM. Reason: Added links...

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  11. #8
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    Ooo, so shiney. I've got oil-pump gear envy. I think that the next bit is going to get even better. It has been an education and a pleasure to benefit from Vacant's patient research with which he is very generous. Inspirational! if I weren't going away again tonight I'd be back out in the garage again myself....

  12. #9
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    when i built my NCR i went for a full external system and used a BL mini cartridge filter under the tank.



    Keep the story coming, very interesting

  13. #10
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    Neat full flow/remote and very tasty NCR rep too.

  14. #11
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    Default Part 2: Oil filter housing

    We've got the oil to the filter now, although the eagle eyed will spot that the oil is flowing the opposite way through the filter than both was originally intended and convention. Hey Ho.

    Old engines have a plug to control the amount of oil entering the filter housing. This needs to be removed which has already been done in this shot by me decades ago.

    New engines have a 2mm aperture as part of the casting like this

    which must be drilled out to enable increased flow. Don't worry, if you are convinced in future you'd like to reinstate the standard swarf re-circulation system, you can make up an ally plug with a 2mm hole as per the older 860 engines. It is reversible.

    The oil seals which come attached to new filters are superfluous with the mod installed, as is the large washer part #075949875 which sits underneath the filter in a standard engine.

    Note: The seals are both required in a standard bevel engine; The lower seal is sometimes compromised as people throw the baby out with the bathwater by accidentally throwing out the large washer underneath the filter when changing the filter. If you are running a standard bevel engine without the mod and that large washer is missing, no oil is being filtered.

    The seals are replaced with tried and trusted 'O' rings protected by spacers (Yup, Andy has 'O' rings and metal spacers already made up). The spacers protect the 'O' rings by limiting how much they can be compressed when the filter housing is tightened down. The result is the filter is pinned from the top and the bottom ensuring all the oil goes through the filter.

    This is how it is done:-

    And assembled...

    Revised oil flow is like this...

    Here are the parts lined up...

    The far right hand ring is a ring magnet, we will come to that later.
    In the meantime, let's start assembling. Here is the lower 'O' ring in the deeper of the two spacers too clear the lip on the bottom of the oil filter support shaft...

    Here is the next stage with the filter popped on and the slimmer of the two spacers encircling it's 'O' ring...

    And finally the underside of the filter with the ring magnet attached.


    Filter is pants

    Might as well face up to it, this is a stingy small filter and it's going to be doing a lot more work; So changing the filter regularly is going to become a priority.

    Aside from preventative maintenance, let's not rely on this excuse for a filter to do much except trap the boulders. Let's think about how to pick up and retain those sub 30 micron particles. Martin has glued some whopper neodymium N52 magnets into the filter cap - that will do the trick. I found this ring magnet at BevelHeaven, which will also trap the little sods. I gather Tony Brancato has something brewing too.

    What it does...

    I will be posting pictures of the build and hopefully won't be posting pictures of a subsequent failure (fingers crossed!). But that pretty much covers what I am up to with the engine; It's all about putting the engine together with an eye on reliability because as we all know in marketing, reliability breeds brand loyalty.

    With the ready availability of the parts to carry out the mod, as long as the engine is already torn down it isn't hard to do. If you need a new oil pump anyway this mod isn't going to add much to the build cost - and might just keep the next build cost at bay for a long while.

    Poor Andy.

    Credits
    I don't think this has been too hard as others have already done the research. So thank you to Ronald, Martin, Damien, Pete, MartinW and many others.
    Last edited by Vacant Possession; 28.08.2013 at 10:16 AM. Reason: Huge error re part #: 075949875, corrected.

  15. #12
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    I'm sorry i don't have any pictures of the instillation now but i found this that shows the oil feed to the alternator/bevel gear etc at the bottom of the front frame tube. also shows the twin plug heads. What you really need is a bevel gazer just to be sure its all pumping like it should :-)

    http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a1...cles/MyNCR.jpg

  16. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ducatipaddy View Post
    I'm sorry i don't have any pictures of the instillation now but i found this that shows the oil feed to the alternator/bevel gear etc at the bottom of the front frame tube. also shows the twin plug heads. What you really need is a bevel gazer just to be sure its all pumping like it should :-)

    http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a1...cles/MyNCR.jpg
    That's a great looking bike but I must admit the position of that oil feed or return is a mystery to me - especially since it looks like it comes off the alternator casing. It 's a shame you don't have more pickies; Do you still have the bike?

  17. #14
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    Hi there, have enjoyed reading about the work on your old 900SS. I look forward to seeing the finished product, also got to say they are great bikes.

  18. #15
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    Default Godden comes good! And other miscellany...

    Finally the crank turned up from Godden, brimming with Lacey Ducati bearings; Apart from new liners bored to match my new 86.0mm pistons, the crank is the final component I need before the engine can be built. (FX: Excited!)

    So today's exciting metaphorical postbox included:-
    1. 1 x crankshaft ready to go
    2. 1 x 10mm aluminium threaded rod and 1 x 8mm aluminium threaded rod to use as:-
      1. grub screws for blocking off entrances/exits for oil as needed
      2. grub screws drilled as jets to restrict oil flow to the heads
    3. 2 x new liners

    Yet Another External Full Flow Oil Filtration System - or YAEFOFS for short ;-)
    I was a bit stingy in showing what my original 1980 ish vintage full flow oil system looked like. I can't show it attached to the correct crankcases as they are currently receiving attention at an engineering works - but I will. In the meantime, here are the main components...

    It was quite simple although spec'ing out the fittings took me an eon and both the fittings and pipework cost a fortune being contemporary F1 stuff. I had the billet cam bearing supports machined up by a small machine shop between Kingston Upon Thames and Surbiton.

    The neat oil filter mount/distribution unit is not of my making, I bought it from Newton equipment; The drawback is the oil filter housing has to be machined down to take it. Also the oil ways to the heads and between the two crankcase halves were sealed with grub screws as the oil was piped externally. It didn't leak and the engine didn't go wrong and was a very tidy installation. When I build the next bike I'll put the installation to the bike and take some pictures for posterity.

    Having read Roland & Martin's work, I expect purely by luck 50% of the oil went to the crank and 50% went to both heads, i.e., 25% each. I didn't jet the oil supplies to the heads so I guess it is just luck that it all worked so well. the nice thing is the fittings apart from the banjo washers (which can be re-annealed) are re-usable.

    The New bottom end (TaDa!)


    Oil Pump - Finishing Off
    The arrival of my aluminium threaded rods has enabled me to fabricate blanking plugs for holes in the oil pump which are no longer required. You can see an 8mm blanking plug blocking off Mario Sassi's oil pressure relief valve exit hole and also the 10mm blanking plug closing off the main oil pump exit to the main crankcase oil way. I am going to have these tagged with a spot of weld because I am either very insecure or have a love for making sure things stay where they are intended.

    What you can't see is I have drilled a hole to accept the original standard oil presure relief valve ball.

    With the tagging done and the pipework complete so that it is easy enough to connect and swivel the pump into place, the internal part of the hidden full flow filtration system is complete. I have also meticulously cleaned the crankcases prior to dropping in the bearings.

    I have yet to drop the new liners into the blasted and thoroughly cleaned blocks and send them off to a trustworthy boring service who know about air cooled motorcycle engines. I am considering using Dave Tag from SEP in Kegworth, Leicestershire simply because they sounded knowledgeable as a featured company in Classic Bike issue #385 February 2012 page 88. If anyone has any better ideas, please pipe up.

    Oil Feed Restrictors/Jets
    My next trick is to jet the oil ways to the heads in line with Roland & Martin's guidelines. I think they restricted flow by changing the metal oilway spigots between the block & head however I find these metal spigots b*gg*!s to remove so I am going to use a different and easier method which will allow me to quickly change the restrictors/jets if I so choose or have need. the following picture is an older cam bearing support for my other older bike.


    The oil feed to the cam bearing supports is suitable for being tapped with an 8mm thread, enabling me to make up short aluminium grub screws containing for instance a 1.5mm drilled hole. They can be removed if someone decides to go back to the standard recirculating swarf system.

  19. #16
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    'recirculating swarf system' priceless (well, about 2k really). I like your site for the restrictors better than mine, which is in the case/barrel joint and so much less accessible.

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  21. #17
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    Default I am still wincing...

    I can't believe how much I have spent and it is still all over the carpet, office, garage and various workshops :-(

    It's the best off-road bike I have ever had.

    Looking forward to seeing yours going! I think you are way ahead of me - and just look at the weather!

  22. #18
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    Dont worry, i'm just up the road from you and the weather will break tomorrow :-)

  23. #19
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    I need to get the liners/pistons bored/sorted so I just spoke with Service Exchange Parts (SEC) in Kegworth, Derbyshire. They sounded knowledgeable, helpful and reasonable so the work goes to them. 25 per bore + p&p and the usual government VAT drink from my already taxed wages.

  24. #20
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    Great project and you are doing some nice work there

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