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Bike go Kaboom

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MightyDuc Racing

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Bike go Kaboom
« on: March 19, 2003, 05:07:33 pm »
Well...I tore the top of the motor apart tonight after it locked up this weekend.  I prepared for the worst, and hoped for the best.  Thank God I prepared. :(  If anybody has ever seen what I am about to describe before...please reply and make me feel better.  When we removed the top of the head, the three of us stood there looking dumbly at each other.  We all had the same puzzled look on our faces.  Finally...my father blurted out..."Where the F**K is the piston?"  That was a darn good question.  The rod was there with the pin still attached and intact, but there was NO piston!  It had shattered into a million pieces and was in the bottom of the motor/pan/everywhere.  I'm assuming this means that our original theory that I dropped a valve was incorrect, and that actually the piston must have been cracked or something and had failed.  The noise I heard on the bike that I thought was a valve must have been piston slap.  The pistons had three track weekends on them...maybe a total of 75-80 laps.  Any ideas, opinions, etc?  I guess we'll tear it out and all the way down and start making a very expensive list of what I gotta figure out how to pay for.  Please post your opinions and also whether or not you would contact the piston manufacturer (to remain temporarily anonymous) about the product failing and what they may do for you (they could at least give me new pistons).  Hopefully I'll find a way to be ready for Jennings in May...see ya there.  

Thanks.
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MightyDuc Racing
CCS AM #944 - Florida Region
Ducati 944 Superbike
www.mightyducracing.com
www.cycletires.com
Sponsors:
Tomahawk Tires, Dunlop, AGV, Superbikes & Ski, SW Medical Supply, BCM

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oldguy

Re: Bike go Kaboom
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2003, 05:18:48 pm »
Damn, Dude! Didn't you JUST start racing? That is some really bad luck. Expect the worst from the piston manufacturer. he'll probably tell you that you installed it wrong, put it in upside down, or anything except it's his fault. And now that it's in a million pieces he can't "analyze" it for cause of failure.
Goood luck and keep us posted
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MightyDuc Racing

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Re: Bike go Kaboom
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2003, 05:25:09 pm »
Quote
Damn, Dude! Didn't you JUST start racing?


Would've been my second race weekend.  I did get to learn the track, and at least when I get it put back together I'll be on new tires with only about 2-1/2 laps on them... ;D
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MightyDuc Racing
CCS AM #944 - Florida Region
Ducati 944 Superbike
www.mightyducracing.com
www.cycletires.com
Sponsors:
Tomahawk Tires, Dunlop, AGV, Superbikes & Ski, SW Medical Supply, BCM

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tigerblade

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Re: Bike go Kaboom
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2003, 05:37:21 pm »
I'd suspect sabotage from some of the other Novices you've been schooling.   ;)

Of course, you did choose to race a Ducati...  
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Younger Oil Racing

The man with the $200K spine...

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rick

Re: Bike go Kaboom
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2003, 05:40:32 pm »
Man, that's the third duc I've heard of/seen eat itself this year! What's up wit' dat?  :'(
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Bernie

Re: Bike go Kaboom
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2003, 06:00:51 pm »
Legendary reliability. :'(
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K3 Chris Onwiler

  • They were good gerbils, and they gave me much pleasure.
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  • Hours to build, seconds to destroy...
    • HIGHSIDE!
Re: Bike go Kaboom
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2003, 06:02:16 pm »
I could teach you how to build an FZR560...  That sucks.  Believe that your oiling systen has probably carried debris everywhere, and there is probably nothing left to save.  Sorry.  That's racing.  Can't think of anything to say that will make you feel better.  At least you don't live in Iraq.
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The frame was snapped, the #3 rod was dangling from a hole in the cases, and what was left had been consumed by fire.  I said, "Hey, we've got all night!"
Read HIGHSIDE! @ http://www.chrisonwiler.com

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MightyDuc Racing

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Re: Bike go Kaboom
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2003, 06:03:54 pm »
I'm planning on splittling the cases this weekend or next and finding out what else is actually broken.  Maybe I got lucky and didn't destroy everything.  Planning on fixing this motor, not replacing it.  We'll see.  Anybody got a fast 944 Duc motor for sale???
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MightyDuc Racing
CCS AM #944 - Florida Region
Ducati 944 Superbike
www.mightyducracing.com
www.cycletires.com
Sponsors:
Tomahawk Tires, Dunlop, AGV, Superbikes & Ski, SW Medical Supply, BCM

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Dawn

Re: Bike go Kaboom
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2003, 05:28:26 am »
Quote
 When we removed the top of the head, the three of us stood there looking dumbly at each other.  We all had the same puzzled look on our faces.  Finally...my father blurted out..."Where the F**K is the piston?"  


I am so sorry to hear about your motor.....  But when I read the above sentence I LOL!!!!

Growing up in a racing family unfortunately I heard that same comment several times (although it usually involved a 427 or 350 Chevy engine).  Thanks for bringing back those memories!

Dawn   :)
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motomadness

Re: Bike go Kaboom
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2003, 06:04:25 am »
I've seen similar failures on engine dyno tests.  Do you race in Florida?  If so, was the humidity especially high that day?  High humidity came raise your compression, supposedly suppressing engine knock.  If this happens your fuel octane level might need to be adjusted, or you might want to change the rating on your spaark plug, in addition to some spark timing adjustment (retarding direction) to lower your knock limit and prevent the destruction you saw.

I think what happened was:
- your compression was higher,
- your spark advance was very early in the rotation for your intake gas mixture,
- so the pressure during the expansion stroke rose,
- then any number of catastrophes could have occurred.  (pushed the head up, blew the gasket, water in the cylinder; loss of oil - piston siezure, or the dreaded detonation.)

If you have a highly tuned motor, you've got to be prepared to maintain that motor, which requires the close observation of several critical parameters.  Unfortunately you are trying to learn how to be a fast racer at the same time.  If you can expand your crew, and get someone to track some of these things for you, and don't let the race day end without doing some basic spot checks of your vehicle.  Maybe this could have been avoided.

As we live, we also learn.  I did almost a similar thing in Daytona last Fall on an SV650 superbike.  The corner workers gave me the debris flag prior to the incident because I was smoking when I got on the gas.  I was fortunate enough to save the motor.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2003, 02:03:39 pm by motomadness »
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MightyDuc Racing

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Re: Bike go Kaboom
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2003, 06:24:31 am »
Could you throw me a list of the normal checks that need to be made?  I have a crew of about 5 and we could surely check it all out if we knew what to look for.  I decided to ship the entire motor to Bruce at BCM for a complete rebuild.  If it gets to be more than like $2500, he's got a whole new 944 motor there for $3000.  What's hilarious is...I still love this bike!  I have the same setup that Jerry Wood runs, and he hasn't had this problem yet, so I hopefully won't be doing this again anytime soon.  Wish me luck!
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MightyDuc Racing
CCS AM #944 - Florida Region
Ducati 944 Superbike
www.mightyducracing.com
www.cycletires.com
Sponsors:
Tomahawk Tires, Dunlop, AGV, Superbikes & Ski, SW Medical Supply, BCM

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Dawn

Re: Bike go Kaboom
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2003, 06:31:31 am »
Good Luck!
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