Project Super Sport or the PSS thread - Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R
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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 8-5-2018, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Project Super Sport or the PSS thread

The purpose of this thread is to document the restoration of a 1993 Ducati 900 Super Sport I bought around a month ago for the princely sum of $1800.



I intend to align the thread with three different sections, starting with the tear down, followed by the build process and finally the finish once I have the entire thing built and painted.



I'm currently entertaining farming out the paint to my son's shop so there won't be a section on that. Prep work is prep work, and goodness knows there is little, less entertaining than sanding and priming.



I would like the thread to be locked after each update post to stop any clutter from forming within it. Please, just be patient. If want to comment, wait until the end. Mods, can any of you help with this please?



Once the project is complete and presented, I'll have the thread left unlocked for those who want to comment or ask questions.



Once I figure out what upload method I'm going to use for the entire project, there will be a great many pics for no project thread is complete without them. That is my main reason for locking the thread after each update.


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My garage: 2000.5 Aprilia Mille R, 2000 Ducati 996, 1994 EX500 basket case, 1993 Ducati 900 SS, 2004 Suzuki GSXR600, 1992 GSXR750 oil boiler, 1983 Suzuki XN-85 Turbo

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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 8-5-2018, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Pick up day pics

Pics attached from pick up day. Just three so readers can see what it looked like when I picked it up and brought it home.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Project 1.jpg (130.7 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg Project 3.jpg (126.6 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg Project 5.jpg (118.3 KB, 28 views)


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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 8-5-2018, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Tear Down begins

First day I got it back home and took it to a shop where I rent space. This serves two purposes. I have no room in my garage, so I now have a place to keep the bike while it is under construction. 2nd, I actually will go work on it now. If it were in my garage and I had to move a bunch of bikes around just so I could work on it, nothing would get done.



Anyway, attached are some pics as I begin the tear down. First thing to go were the nasty corroded Cobra F1s exhausts. Firstly, they were not mounted correctly and because of this there is damage to the swing arm. This damage is severe enough that it will require removal and welding. Just a well, as it also needs new bearings and a new shock. That, and as it is aluminum, it will also get a full on polish too.


More pics and more tear down to follow. Have to transfer all the new pics from my phone. More to follow....sean
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Project 20.jpg (230.2 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg Project 21.jpg (259.9 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg Project 31.jpg (277.0 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg Project 22.jpg (356.8 KB, 11 views)


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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 8-5-2018, 8:14 PM Thread Starter
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Today's progress...very little. I took the rear wheel off yesterday during the swing arm removal process and demounted the completely worn Continental tire.



When I did, I noticed the valve core would not come out of the stem. The tire itself was flat and probably had been that way for some time. I was going to leave it on just so I could roll the bike around the shop but as the swing arm is coming off, no better time than now to work on the rear wheel as well.



Today I cleaned up the wheel and took a few pictures to share. I really want to point to the corrosion that was on the wheel surface where the tire bead rides. This comes from water intrusion or use of dish soap to mount tires.



Dish soap is alkali. That is the opposite of acid, but it is just as corrosive. When bare aluminum is exposed to it, it oxidizes at a rapid rate. That oxidation swells and pushes the bead off the rim allowing air pressure to escape. Here is a pic of what I'm talking about:

You can see how much the corrosion has swelled beneath the paint. That is certainly enough to push the tire bead off the wheel and allow air to escape.



My point in all of this is, if you do your own tires, inspect your rims before you mount your new ones. If you see anything like the pic above, clean it.



You might have to go at it with a wire brush or even sand paper. Once you do though, you'll need to protect that area to prevent further corrosion. Here is the same area after I scraped off the corrosion with an o-ring pick:



Further, if you use dish soap, stop. Get the right tire mounting goo that has corrosion inhibitors in it. Don't add more water than the directions state either, and use a distilled water.


Here is the same spot after a good scrub with a wire brush:

I'll ad more images in the next post as I have now been informed I'm going to dinner and dropping by my oldest kid's place first. Pics when I return.......sean


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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 8-5-2018, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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As previously discussed, here are some pics of the rear wheel and some of the corrosion I found.

First up, the valve stem hole. The wheel had a nice alloy valve stem installed. However, if you use these, you have to take good care of them. Otherwise the seals deteriorate and allow water to migrate in. That, and car washing liquids, salt from the road or sea spray in coastal areas.

This is after I went at it with a wire brush for a few minutes. Then I had to use an o-ring pick to get the really nasty stuff out. All that white powder is the oxidation I wrote about in the previous post. The pic below is the same spot once I got all the oxidation out.




Finally, here is a pic that shows you have the genuine article:

The Cagiva/Ducati elephant. The date of manufacture by Brembo of 05/92.


Originality can be important to some. It sort of is to me, but only to a point. I'm a huge fan of the motorcycles Ducati built during this era. Part of that is the elephant.



Riders like Doug Polen wore Ducati leathers with that elephant on the back. I have always associated it with Ducati. Imagine my surprise then to find out that it was only there due to Cagiva ownership.

The racing logo was apparently only used for motocross...I don't know why. I distinctly remember the blanket being in the colors of the Italian flag on someone's leathers (Polen?) First I've seen of the checker board one.

The elephant actually has a name though I am at a loss for what it is. I'll see if I can find it on the web. All for tonight.......sean


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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 8-6-2018, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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During the 1st day of tear down, I decided to prioritize what I discovered on my first walk around. The first item on the agenda for me was stopping the oil leaking out of the engine.



For one, I didn't want the shop manager getting mad at me for the oil dripping on the concrete. I'd temporarily solved this with some cardboard under the bike but I wanted a permanent solution.



I narrowed down the leak to the alternator cover so decided to start there.



I have the Ducati recommended alternator puller tool as it is the same used on my 996. I got down to business and removed all the stuff that would end up in the way. Side stand, oil lines, regulator/rectifier wires, shift lever and counter shaft cover....pretty sure that was all.


Quote:
This is what greeted me when I removed the counter shaft cover. The chain lube and debris is about a half to 5/8 of an inch thick.
I removed the timing plug and all the bolts on the alternator cover. Once done, I installed the puller and pulled the cover off. What a mess!

It was immediately obvious that someone with either no knowledge of Ducatis or just simply didn't give a sh!t about what he or she was doing had been inside this cover. I soon found out exactly why someone needed to be in there.


Quote:
This is the cover side. You can see the distortion from the chain derailment on the edge of the cover. Also one the of the cracks. The discoloration of the metal is distortion of the sealing surface. The gray areas were not actually in contact with the mating half of the crankcase. As moisture worked its way in, the aluminum began to oxidize. At least until it got coated in oil.
There was gray silicone all over the place. More of it inside the cover than out. There were pry marks all around the cover, but worse still, there were indentations in the crankcase half.



Looked very much like a #2 common screwdriver had been pounded in with a hammer to remove the cover.



I was prepared to find damage, but this was a bit more than I prepared for. Anyway, how to fix this mess. From the looks of things, the chain had derailed at some point. No telling when. The impact to the crankcase and cover had distorted the metal as well as cracked both.


Quote:
Crankcase half. Here you can see both the crack and the distortion quite clearly. Again, the distortion is evident due to the graying of the aluminum. You can also see from the build up of grime how easily this kind of damage is hidden.
The crack in the crankcase half didn't look too bad. It was small, less than a 1/4" in length and didn't look like it went all the way through. The cracks in the cover on the other hand were worse.

Quote:
Here it is all sealed up and cleaned up. I spent a while with a can of mineral spirits and toothbrushes to clean it all up to what you see here:
Not a lot worse but definitely worse. Two cracks one less than 1/4" the other more like 3/8" and it definitely went all the way through. Nothing I could do about cracks. That's either a weld it up or replace the part.



The cover is not a big deal. One can be had on eBay for not a great deal of money. The crankcase half on the other hand is a huge deal. Either repair or replacement means the engine has to be separated from the frame.



Replacement is not the desired fix as California tracks the engine in the bike on the title. Guess where the engine vin is? Yep. On this particular crankcase half.



More after my next session at the shop....sean


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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 8-6-2018, 6:42 PM Thread Starter
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Another day at the shop

Success! I managed to drill out the bolt head and snap it off without damaging the swing arm. The swing arm pivot came out easily after that.



Here is a pic of what I was confronted with AFTER I cleaned up all the metal that was smeared over the socket:



Even that doesn't show the extent of the damage to the bolt head. Anyway, I drilled out the center and once it got thin enough I managed to snap off the head so I could remove the swing arm. Here is the bolt head:



The squared up side is the side that faced the swing arm. The other side is what I was looking at from below as seen in the first pic.



Below it is compared to the opposite side bolt that was undamaged. The step down bit is what I used to snap the head off.



All for now. I won't be able to get back to actual work for a week or so. I have some other parts either on the way, or already here so if I get to working on any of them, I'll post the process of rebuild/recondition or just plain clean up if that's what I end up doing.....sean


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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 8-11-2018, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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I must fill in some blanks as I have not been as active on the PSS as I'd like to be. Work sorta gets in the way a bit. Anyway, this weekend, I'd planned to have the frame off the engine and the front suspension removed. As it stands, nothing will get done. I only have Saturdays to work at the shop. Monday too, if I'm off. I'm not off this coming Monday. So that leaves Saturday. Well, I'm off to the track Saturday. Moto America, what used to be AMA Superbike racing is racing at Sear's Point this weekend.



Sear's Point is the geographical location of Sonoma Raceway. Needless to say, nothing will happen at the shop this weekend. I do have a few things that *might* happen here at my garage.



As one might imagine, I spend a great deal of time scouring eBay and Craigslist for parts I need to complete my resto-mod PSS. I've found a number of the major components needed to complete the 'resto' part of things. I already either ordered them, or have them in hand now. That being said, I have a replacement rear shock that is going to need a rebuild. I've done this sort of thing before and detailed it in the "new life for an old gixxer" thread.



If I manage to get some time this weekend, and it isn't miserable hot I might get around to disassembly of the shock to get it ready for rebuild. I've also ordered a replacement front end from a 1996 900SS/SP. That has not yet arrived but will also need a rebuild. I have a suspension guy to go to so I may just hand off to him and pay out to get it done right. Have not decided just yet as I may go the Gixxer mod route on the internals. If I do that, I may as well do the rebuild myself.



Then there's the swing arm. It is now off the bike so I could go ahead and get that cleaned up and ready to weld. Also contemplating welding on a couple of bungs for swing arm spools. This would simplify raising the rear end for chain maintenance and tire changes. It is all aluminum so not the easiest stuff to weld correctly. All for now...sorry, no pics this update........sean


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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 8-13-2018, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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Okay so I decided to get busy on a few things. I took the shock apart last night...at least removed the spring and the pre-load collars. Still trying to decide whether I want to go all in on this thing and get it modded while it is being rebuilt or if I'm just going to leave it alone for now. Probably leave it for now though. Still needs quite a bit of clean up before I'd install it.



The rear wheel is now clean, though the rotor is still installed. It's garbage for the most part but I think it will work for pushing the bike around the shop once I get the rear end back together. I have a new set of rotors lined up...just haven't decided if I want to go for the full on ductile iron rotors or just stick with a set of stainless steel rotors. The difference in price is uh, significant. Anyway, here's a gratuitous pic of the rear wheel all cleaned up:

It is sitting on a 5 gal bucket so if you were wondering what the red thing is...now you know.....sean


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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 8-15-2018, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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Just a short update on the suspension. I received my new to me fully adjustable forks in the mail today. Complete with new triple clamp and steering stem. Bearings were included in the package but I'll be buying new ones before installing the new front end. Before anyone thinks "oh, just go with All Balls, I have a local bearing supply house I use for work.



They have pretty much every bearing under the sun, and are the SKF supplier for the area. All I have to do is give them a part number or take them the bearings and they can match it to what ever dimension I need. IE, if I have an outside diameter that fits one part, but an inside diameter for a different part, they can look that up and get me the bearing I need to make the parts fit together.



Also, on the suspension front, I did some research, and asked around on various forums I frequent and I found that I can, with a high likely hood for success, modify the rear shock I got on eBay recently. If what I have planned works, I'll post it here complete with pictures. Also if it works, another member or two might be able to benefit from the result.



I'm going to get the swing arm cleaned up here in a day or so, and get it ready for an appointment with a welder. That should take place soon, maybe as soon as next week. Once all the welds are ground back flush, I'll get out the polishing tools and see what kind of result I can achieve. Of course, there will be pics...but likely just before and afters....polishing is a boring endeavor. More later.....sean


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post #11 of 46 (permalink) Old 8-18-2018, 7:45 PM Thread Starter
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It got real today

Today, Project Super Sport, as my kid says, got real. I went in to the shop this morning and just started jobbing.



I got the front end dropped, and then separated the frame from the engine. In fact, the frame is still in my car ('95 Accord) sitting in the passenger seat as that was the only way I could transport it home.



All that's left of the PSS at the shop is the fuel tank and engine.










As I was jobbing out, all I wanted to do was get down to the engine as you see it there. Therefore, I took things off in major assemblies.



IE, the entire instrument panel, headlamp and upper subframe all came off in one unit. Same for the airbox, battery box, coil pack and brackets.



Hence, some readers with a sharp eye will note that the throttle cables and throttle are all still attached.



Luckily, the only real hiccup today was the rear engine mount bolt. Yes, there are just 2 engine mount bolts. The rear one was seized and the socket head was over grown with corrosion.



It was so bad, I couldn't get the allen wrench all the way in without driving it in with a hammer. I ended up using an allen socket on an extended length 1/2 drive ratchet to get it loose.



Even once it was loose, it still didn't want to come out:


More pics later......sean


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post #12 of 46 (permalink) Old 8-19-2018, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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More pics from today

After dinner this evening, I managed to get the frame and all the other parts out of my car and stowed somewhere in my over stuffed garage.





The frame is now sitting in my garage waiting for me to get time to go clean it up. After removal from the engine, I happened to try to turn the steering....bearings are completely shot. Crunchy noises emanated from the steering tube and the bearings felt like the races were notched in specific spots....like turning straight ahead, the bearings would settle there. Kinda like when you turn an adjuster on your suspension and it goes click? Just like that.






Also found the upper subframe was broken off. Looks like I'll be doing some welding here soon.






Front rotors were actually in quite good shape. No rust forms when your rotors get a daily bath of suspension fluid. Also, if you lubricate your rotors up, there is far less abrasion to them from the brake pads.




Rear shock pics in next post.......sean


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Rear Shock disassemble

I took the rear shock apart as far as the spring and keeper removal and the pre-load collars.



I did manage to make time to clean up the shock somewhat, so here is what it looks like now:



It'll need a rebuild, probably sooner rather than later so I thought I'd just go ahead with it. One thing though, I have to figure out how to take it apart. Sachs says it is not serviceable though there is plenty of info out there about how to take Sachs shocks apart. None seemingly for this particular model.




Once I get it apart, I have a mod that I've been pondering along with another that deals with the shim stack in the rebound and compression circuits. Between that, and the mod I have planned, it should give me the performance of a high dollar rear shock at a fraction of the price. A new Íhlins, Mupo or Nitron are roughly $900-1200.



If this mod actually works, I'll be out around $200 all in.



Also, I bled off the nitrogen charge in the reservoir.....well, what was left. I read somewhere that 180 to 250 lbs is what the charge is supposed to be. There was somewhere in the neighborhood of 35-40 lbs that bled off.


This shock was an eBay purchase. It is in far better condition than the Showa that came stock on the bike. Even still, the amount of corrosion and accumulated road grime that I cleaned off of this thing was immense. Probably could have filled a small dixie cup, like the ones you use for mouthwash at the dentist.


All for today. More tomorrow or Monday, depending on how much gets done.....sean


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post #14 of 46 (permalink) Old 8-21-2018, 9:19 PM Thread Starter
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Monday update

Sorry, no pics this update. After getting the frame off the engine this weekend, I took time yesterday to strip the parts and electrical off the frame. Drove out the bearing races from the steering head. The lower one was completely shot.



If you were to look at the steering head while on the bike, and using the clock, put straight ahead as 12 o'clock. That would be the leading point of the steering head. 6 o'clock would be the point nearest the fuel tank.



The roller bearing (cone) at the 6 o'clock position had worn a groove in its bearing race (cup). That's why it would drop into the straight ahead position like it was detente ball positioned.



At any rate, I was all set to head to the bearing shop when I got an unexpected surprise. My neighbors house was broken into Sunday night. I found the garage door broken into while I was out in my garage working on the frame.



Needless to say, police called, statements given etc. Took up most of my morning...well, all of it really as by the time I managed to get in the shower and get ready to roll out, it was already after noon.



I did in fact take some pics but I need to upload them to my shutterstock account so I can post them here. Therefore, I'll put them in the next post. More later this week.........sean


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post #15 of 46 (permalink) Old 8-26-2018, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Week end update....August 26, 2018.



Had a house warming party to go to this afternoon so I didn't accomplish much. However, while I was giving the carbs a cursory once over, and removing all the cables and such, I noted that the diaphragm screws had been replaced with stainless steel socket head cap screws. Nice, I thought.



After that thought stirred around in my pea brain for a bit, the thought entered my mind that "uh oh" what might have gone on inside those carbs? So, when we got home from said house warming party, I got busy with taking a harder look at the carbs.

I found more socket head cap screws securing the float bowls. "uh-oh" What have we here? I broke out my allen wrench set and loosened all 4 float bowl screws to have a peek inside.



Now, this entire project has been filled with discoveries of really amateur repair work....or disrepair work if you like. Some of it horrifying, like finding some one used a screw driver to pry off the alternator cover and completely screwing the mating surfaces up.



Entering into the carburetor float bowls was no exception. Upon removing one float bowl, I found a mass of some sort growing in the bottom of the bowl. It had plugged up the drain hole as I'd tried to drain the fuel out yesterday, and this particular bowl didn't drain much.


The darker mass of stuff is what it looked like when I poured it out of the float bowl and onto the concrete of my driveway.


I'm a diesel mechanic. I've seen plenty of microbial contamination. I was fairly sure from the classes I've been to, that microbial contamination was a diesel thing and didn't afflict gasoline engines. However, I have no other explanation for this stuff. It was a golden powdery sort of mass with clumped granular like forms in it. Never seen anything like it. It was probably a half to three quarters of an inch deep in the float bowl.



Then I took a look at the main jet and my disappointment grew. The screw slot was wallowed out. Like some monkey had gone at it with no clue how to get it out. Then I looked at the emulsion tube housing...and it looked it had been held with some cheap vice grips while the monkey with the screw driver went at the jet.






Carbs are not over my head. I've rebuilt plenty of them. However, this time, I'm farming out the job to our resident forum carb professional, ducatiman at Custom Carb Services. Why? Because I want them done right. Really and truly tired of the amateur work I keep finding on the PSS.


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post #16 of 46 (permalink) Old 8-31-2018, 12:19 PM
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If I may be allowed a correction.....the large, upper jet is in fact the starter circuit jet #70 , the smaller jet below it in the 2nd pic is, in fact, the main jet. It simply presses in, is "o-ringed" and slotted, held in placed by the metal tang pictured.

Any minor imperfection to the starter jet is just that...minor.

They'll clean up well, as my machines do spectacular work, though the mass growth in the float bowls may present a challenge, there may be some permanent damage to the metal. Lets see how we do, when the time comes.

And Sean, I do have salvage spares, I can offer up used bowls as replacements, if necessary. Again, lets see how they come out.

Custom Carb Service

**Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba.... Hunter S. Thompson**


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Last edited by ducatiman; 8-31-2018 at 12:27 PM.
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post #17 of 46 (permalink) Old 8-31-2018, 7:49 PM Thread Starter
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31 August, 2018 update

Friday update,

Dropped by Factory Pro today to see about getting carb parts for the PSS. Good news and bad news as with most things.



I was able to get the replacement jets and o-rings per ducatiman's instructions. However, the other parts he determined should be replaced were not available and there was no date on when new ones would arrive.



The cool thing is that they are so close. Took me around 40 minutes to ride over this morning. Probably would have been less had there not been a whole train of big rigs on Hwy 37.



The other cool thing is, the Red Whale coffee shop is just around the corner from Factory Pro. I loves me some Red Whale coffee!



The other cool thing was hanging around the shop shooting the bull with Marc and Temple. Really knowledgeable on tuning and everything related to it. They even knew the fueling wasn't quite right on my 996 just from how it ran when I rolled in.



So, once I get that ready to go for a dyno run, they'll pencil me in a date to take care of the 996. Nice. Also dropped by to see Saabnut over lunch. Then there was the long slog back to my place.



It wouldn't have been so bad but it's Friday. In the Bay Area. Thank goodness for lane splitting. Had I taken the car, I'd still be sitting in traffic.



On another note, last night I ground back the break I found in the front subframe. I made a gusset from some slightly larger, small diameter tube.



Then, after a tack weld to hold the two sides of the break in alignment I welded the gusset in place and welded the rest of the break back together.



It came out pretty good, and is structurally stronger now than before the break. Unfortunately, the break is between several welds so I was not able to fully gusset the subframe. Still, I managed to get about 180 degrees worth of reinforcement.



All for today. Might have more to write about tomorrow if I manage to get the belts changed and check the valve clearances....sean


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post #18 of 46 (permalink) Old 9-1-2018, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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September 1st Update

Today's update starts with pics from the last update. At least from the cracked/broken front subframe.

Here's what it looked like before:

And now, after welding in a gusset:



Today I went after the rear sub-frame that had a really poor repair made to the mounting lug for the tail light assembly.



The lug was welded on crooked and was tapped with a larger thread than the stock lug. In order to return things to the stock state, so that the rear bodywork will fit as intended (without gaps) I first had to grind off the garbage lug:

The stray grind marks are not mine, but should give you an idea of how poorly this repair was made. Here is the same spot after I cleaned it up:



Here is a shot of the mounting lugs for the front sub-frame:

This is pretty much the same sort of garbage I just dealt with on the rear sub-frame. You can see just how poorly aligned the upper lug is.



That is likely the cause of the broken sub-frame I just repaired. The misalignment put stress on the sub-frame due to loading from the twist required to mount the sub-frame to misaligned hole.



This will be taken care of the same way the rear sub-frame was. Cut off with a wiz wheel and then carefully ground back to the bare steering head.



Once done, I'll attach a pair of pre-drilled flat stock pieces on the factory lug to hold the new lug in alignment when I weld it back on. I'll get the spacing from the sub-frame itself for a perfect fit. I'll use the same method for replacing the rear sub-frame lug.



First though, I'll have to fabricate both the lugs. It isn't like you can just walk in to a store and buy them.



Last thing for the day, I had the grinder out and a scotchbrite pad on it so I thought I'd give it a go with the exhaust from the vertical cylinder.



The result is okay, not as good as I wanted but for 25 minutes of playing around the result is passable. For now. Here it is compared to the exhaust from the horizontal cylinder which is exactly as it was when I removed it a few weeks ago.




More later....after the long weekend maybe.....sean


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post #19 of 46 (permalink) Old 9-9-2018, 9:17 PM Thread Starter
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Weekend update 9 September 2018

Not much to update this weekend. Didn't get much done save for moving the engine.



Still awaiting parts for the carbs so I can ship them off to ducatiman.



I got metal to fabricate the lugs that I wrote about previously and paint for the frame but that's about all I've managed to do.



Some minor family crisis going on that put a damper on what I could get done but suffice it to say, that is now a done deal and I "should" be back on track this coming weekend. More later.........sean


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post #20 of 46 (permalink) Old 9-15-2018, 5:37 PM Thread Starter
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Update 15 September 2018

Another short update for this week. Not much happened on the PSS but I did manage to find a near new right side handlebar switch pod. It is now on its way from eBay UK.



Also, I found a set of axle adjusting blocks from a member on another forum. Those are already paid for and he sent me a pic of the tracking number so I should have those early next week.



Beyond that, I got the engine home from the shop so it is now on a furniture dolly in my garage.



Tomorrow I have plans to complete an engine stand for it that will also sit on the furniture dolly so I can wheel it around the garage when I need to move it.



Also, I am going to try to complete the bike bench. I have some more metal to cut but I'm ready to weld the stuff that is already cut and notched.



I'm ready to dig in and begin the build part of this project. Tired of looking at it, trying to prioritize what I need to order, when I need to order it and what product I want to use for a particular function. More later...tomorrow possibly if I make any progress......sean


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post #21 of 46 (permalink) Old 9-22-2018, 7:05 PM Thread Starter
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Update 22 September 2018

Today was just going to be an easy clean up day. You know, clean up dirty parts, get them ready for either paint or possibly minor repairs.



Took the oil soaked, nasty, filthy rotors along with the swing arm to my old shop to use the steam cleaner. This is an enclosed machine, it has a turn table inside and directs high pressure jets of 200 degree water and soap on parts placed on the turn table.



I did the rotors...and while they came out free of oil, they are still filthy. It is apparent that they also received a coating of brake fluid too as all the gold paint on the center carrier came off in large sheet like flakes.



The swing arm.....now that, that is a different story all together. I had previously considered just buying a new one, but they are dearly precious things to find, and buy. I have one prospect that I am still considering but that is a last resort as it is nearly half what I spent on this project to begin with.



I previously wiped the swing arm down with a rag and some mineral spirits with the intent of getting the broken bolt out of the pinch joint, and then taking care of the dings and scratches before painting. Then today, I found this:






Swing arm is now off with a colleague of mine who is a welding instructor. He's going to clean the break out with a bead blaster before grinding it back and TIG welding the whole thing.



More with my next update....sean


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post #22 of 46 (permalink) Old 9-23-2018, 9:45 PM Thread Starter
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Weekend update #2, 23 September 2018

Made a bit more headway today after yesterday's disappointment. I managed to finish fabricating the new lugs for the subframe mounting points as well as installed the steering head brace I bought from the UK.



I ground off the welds on the old front subframe mounting lug before installing the brace. I was going to tackle the fairing mounts as I already cut the metal for that but I had other life commitments to take care of so that will have to wait.



No further progress was made on either welding anything or finishing up my bike bench as I injured myself Friday before last at work so last weekend was a complete wash.



Anyway, here is a pic of the new lugs, the smaller one is for the tail light assembly. It isn't complete as I still have some minor shaping to do on it so it has the same chamfer as the larger one.




Here is the frame brace. I got it from a guy in the UK named Steve Bailey. His shop is linked from the Super Light registry. He advertised the brace to "banish the cracking".

As certain years of 900 Super Sport frames were prone to cracking, and mine currently is not, I figured why wait until it is? $85 or so all in, shipped to my front door. It will get painted the same color as the frame when I reach that point in the process.


In other areas of this project, I received a new to me, and near mint shape right side switch pod. The current one is completely trashed. Only the rotary switch might be salvageable. Also, I received a new front wheel to replace the bent to hell one that came with the project.



It is of a bit newer design as it came from a 2001 900SSie. It's also the lightest of all the 900SS factory wheels which is good for my intended project goal. I also ordered a new left side handle bar as the one that came with the project was bent to hell....all for now....sean


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post #23 of 46 (permalink) Old 9-30-2018, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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Weekend update 29 September 2018

Got quite a bit done today. Went to the old shop and removed the tire from the new front wheel I got for the PSS. Also drove out the bearings.



While I was there, I got the lower steering head bearing off the steering stem. That was a bit tricky but ended up being far easier than I thought it would be.



Heading to the bearing supply shop on Monday to get bearings all the way around. Speaking of Monday, I also finally got all the parts in for my carb rebuild. Tonight I got everything boxed up and ready to ship, labeled and all. Monday I'll take the box in to be shipped off to ducatiman for reconditioning.



Managed to get the welder out today also, and fabbed up a fixture for aligning the frame lug for the sub-frame. Once I got it jigged up I welded the bung back onto the steering head tube. That's only one of about 4 welding jobs I need to complete on the frame before I can even think of painting it.



I'm hoping I get a bunch more done tomorrow so I can concentrate on getting the bearings on Monday. Once I do that, and can start installing them, it should be a fairly quick process from there to a rolling chassis.



Focus for tomorrow is bearing removal for the rear wheel as well as the swing arm pivot on the engine. If all goes well, I might be able to get some more welding done....though there is still a bit of fabrication to do too.



More later...with pics..sean


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post #24 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-1-2018, 3:06 PM Thread Starter
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Weekend update 1 October 2018

Carbs away!! No, Apriliarider is not going on Adkins.


Seriously, today I got the carbs in the mail to ducatiman. That's a milestone in the PSS to be honest.



I managed to get all the bearings, save for the swing arm bearings out and stopped in at my local bearing supply. They were going to have to do some research on some of the bearings so I'm awaiting a call back on the availability of the parts.



So far, this has been a journey. One with far more twists and turns than expected when I began. Hopefully, the swing arm is not going to be an issue. I did not think it was going to be at the beginning and the work it needs has snowballed as I've gotten further along.



As it stands, I'm not super confident about it so I have a new to me one lined up. I'm hoping to not have to buy it.



That leaves the frame, which I honestly didn't think was going to need as much work as it has but thankfully that process is nearly complete. Once it repaired and painted, that marks the halfway point in my mind.



That means the build process can finally begin. More later........sean


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post #25 of 46 (permalink) Old 10-10-2018, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Weekend update 9 October 2018

Not much to report this update. If anyone has been paying attention to the comments thread, ducatiman has finished the carb refurb and is shipping them back in the near future.



Beyond that, about the only thing that has progressed is that I went to the local bearing supply last Monday and ordered new swing arm bearings and seals. Then today I ordered new steering head bearings.



There in lies a unique story. When I went to my local bearing supply, I was told that SKF no longer made the steering head bearing race. The cone was still available, just not the cup. (outer race=cup, roller & carrier=cone)



I told them that was ludicrous. Why would they still make the cone and not the cup? You can't use just half. I was assured that they did in fact no longer produce the cup, even under a different number.



I protested that I could find the part on the internet in no time. I was then told to just order it on the internet then. So, I'm done with them. They'll get no more of my business.



I did my research and found that the steering head bearings were actually wheel bearings from a 1950s-1960s Fiat 500. Yes, a Fiat 500.



So, I did more research and found that EVERYONE seemingly makes that bearing set. Both the cup and cone. National, Timken, NTN, *** and any number of others make them.



Funny thing is, when put in your search engine it is for an old Fiat from the mid 50s to early 60s you can find it for very little money. Enter that it's for a Ducati 900 SS and the price goes up significantly.



I found the bearing cup and cone from National on Rock Auto for a paltry $5.70 for the cup and $8.30 for the cone. I tried finding them using a google search for a Ducati 900 SS steering head bearings. They showed up at a whopping $79 each.



Guess where I spent my money? Shipment from Rock Auto should arrive on Thursday. So, that means I need to get my rear in gear and finish welding the frame parts on, get it cleaned up, primed and painted.



That also means I need to get cracking on the engine too, as the carbs should be here from ducatiman's magical, miracle laboratory fairly soon.



Well.....I almost forgot about the swing arm. I'm expecting that back from the welding shop in the near future too....just not sure when....more later...sean


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