It has been a couple of weeks since the last update; we received everything we needed to finish the valve adjustment and timing belt.
I have to say, I am amazed by how detailed and precise this guy is, most shops adjust the valves to an accepted setting but he had to get to the precise specs as per Ducati. You could ask the girl, she was there for a while helping and watching… and probably bored.
Once the engine was ready, we got going on the electrical. It was not difficult to get everything plugged in and ready to give the starter a shot; to be honest I was pretty hesitant, what if the bike goes up in flames!! We installed the tank, put gas in it and gave it a go.
It STARTS!!! HOLLY CRAP IT STARTED!! Then we realized it was running on one cylinder GRRR
After lots of trouble shooting, we came to the conclusion it was the ECU; “ah! Crap let’s find one I guess”. Shout out to Gotham Cycles for hooking us up with one!
So we received the new ECU, installed on the bike and started praying “please oh infinite universe, please get this thing to run!” aaaaaand nope, still the same. One of the injector showers was not working but the injectors were ok.
We decided to splice open the whole harness and start following wires. Every time we tried to start the bike, Keith would try to catch the great start (because we were so sure it would work this time) on video but we always ended up in disappointment. At that point I was ready to give up, put it together and park it in the corner for a few months.
After a while we, realized that maybe the TPS needed to be reset. The ECU was not communicating to my Tuneboy software so we had to do it manually; the hopes were so low that we just clicked the started without any hope… and so the least climatic start was the ONE!!! The 998 is officially running!!
I purchased this bike close to 2 years ago. The bike was a rolling chassis with an engine half taken apart, the idea for this bike was to get it running again and turn it into a track bike. Every time I looked at it, I kept saying tomorrow I will dedicate some time to it until one day I parked it on my living room and put a cover on it where it sat for a very long time.
Along the way, I started collecting parts for it. Buying things I knew it needed and things I wanted to upgrade; one day while on the phone with a dealership (ProItalia) on the other side of the country, the parts guy told me they had a new engine with 500 miles on it for a great price. It was a better alternative to having the old one rebuilt.
The engine sat around my storage for about a year until recently when a friend of mine and fellow Ducati enthusiast moved near me and we decided to share a garage just so we could play mechanics with our bikes.
I knew this was the right opportunity to start working on this bike, I had been wanting to build it but due to the many things going on in my life I just could not spend the money; we being the tinkerers we are we decided to give it a go and try to do it ourselves.
Once we moved the bike to the garage, I remembered I knew someone I could trade some work with to do the powdercoating on the frame and wheels (something I was not going to do due to budget).
While the bike was apart, I decided to sort out through all the bolts and wires.
Once we received the frame and wheels back, we got to work right away. The powder coating came out great! They did an excellent job at covering threads and important areas.
Keith did not waste any time and started working on the engine, I was only going to change the belts but he wanted to make sure all the valves were adjusted and I am glad he did.
While I was visiting European Cycle Services for their open house (Blog to come). I asked Steve if he could mount my tires and the bearings, I forgot the damn center spacer for the wheel bearings so they could not install those.
Installing those bearings was a bit painful, I hit my hand a few times and bleed all over the wheels lol
We ordered the new shims so we can close the engine and start working on the wiring; for now I am installing whatever little pieces and things I can.
The exhaust was painted with High Temp spray paint, I figured it would look better than the metal patina on it.
Stay tuned for more!