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Discussion Starter #1
Hopefully this will help people decide if they want to change their own oil or not.

A few thoughts of my own about doing this and the things I encountered that bothered me a bit: Removing the exhaust requires a bit of finesse because you don't want to put undue stress on any part of the pipes. Having proper tools to do this will make your life easier and won't damage the bike. Ducati oil filters (and aftermarket ones) like to leak and you need to put them on tighter than other bikes. If you don't have a good way to put the filter on tight, beware. The factory torque applied to the side plug that covers the mesh filter and the torque applied to the mesh filter was excessive. To the tune of about 100 foot pounds. You WILL need a 1/2" breaker bar and 14mm socket to remove them. An L shaped Allen wrench will not work without a cheater bar.

OK, that's it. Everything else was straightforward mechanic 101 stuff. Have your bike somehow upright. I use a front wheel chock stand. You may opt to use a paddock stand on the back wheel or some other means.

Start by removing the 5mm hex bolt on the left side of the muffler that attaches it to the hanger. There are two top hat shaped metal spacers in either side of the rubber mount. Don't lose them. In my case they never came out.



Remove the spring that holds the muffler onto the exhaust pipe. I used Vise Grips to remove and reinstall all of my springs. There's probably a proper tool to do this, so if you have one, use that instead.



NOTE: You may want to put a piece of masking tape on the aluminum heat shield of your muffler OR remove it from the muffler so you don't scratch it. I didn't scratch mine, but it was a tight fit removing the bolt here.

Remove the 5mm hex bolt from the right side of the muffler and be ready to support the muffler with your hand. I was wearing leather gloves because the bike was still warm and the muffler was HOT.



Use finesse to wiggle the muffler back and away from the exhaust pipe. It's a double wall pipe fit, so it may be a bit stubborn. Don't bend it back and forth. Sit the muffler aside and collect those metal top hat spacers from the rubber mounting point on the right side so you don't lose them.



Remove the two springs from the exhaust collector pipe section. Note that they are two different lengths. The one closest to you is shorter than the one closer to the engine. I used a rubber tipped hammer to tap (gently) on the upper section to release the collector. This wasn't difficult or stubborn in my case.



If you have installed a belly pan or if it came with the bike, you need to remove it as well as the bracket that lives on the right side of the engine. Point A signifies the 4mm hex screw you need to remove to remove the bracket. The other bolts holding on the belly pan are also 4mm.



Here's what we're after. Oil filter A and mesh filter plug B.



Now get ready to drain the engine oil into a suitable catch pan. There will be 3+ Quarts / Liters of oil splashing out almost immediately, so prepare yourself. Make note that the drain plug is in the middle of the engine. I've marked it in the photo. Don't remove either of the two other plugs. This plug is 5mm hex and I used a 3/8" socket on a ratchet rather than my T handled hex driver.



Let the oil drain. It probably won't ever stop trickling out. Make sure not to lose the copper washer for the drain plug. Mine stayed stuck to the engine and I reused it. You may opt to use a new one if you're a stickler for perfection and want to safeguard against possible leaks. Examine your oil plug which has a magnet on it. Mine had some metal shavings on it which is to be expected.



Remove the oil filter and drain that oil into the drain pan. If you have the factory Ducati oil filter remover tool, use that. I just used a set of oil filter pliers and didn't have any issues. They only worked because I had the exhaust system removed. Not every oil change requires checking the mesh filter on the side of the engine, so you don't have to normally remove the exhaust.



Remove the mesh filter cover plug. It's 14mm hex and I had to use a 1/2" breaker bar with a hex socket on it. It was installed very tight. Make note that there's a thin nickel washer that seals the plug to the engine.



Sit the plug and washer aside and use the same 14mm socket to remove the mesh filter housing itself. It's also installed very tightly. I don't recommend putting either of these items back onto the bike so tightly. I also installed my new oil filter. K&N 153 does fit, but NOTE: It is longer than OEM and the nut on the bottom adds further length. My belly pan is now resting solidly against the oil filter. It doesn't seem to be an issue, but make note of it. Also make note that the Ducati engines seem to prefer the oil filter to be on TIGHTLY, otherwise the filter will leak. Upon refilling the oil and starting the bike, it was leaking so I had to tighten the oil filter more than I thought I would have to.



My mesh filter had a few chunks of unknown debris on it. Nothing worrisome, but I did take the time to clean it carefully and completely for the reinstall.





My oil looked a bit scary. Like a human brain sitting in the oil pan. Lots of metal shavings that look like brass to me. I've kept the oil in a clean container to possibly be sent to an oil analysis firm. I presume this is normal, but I'm not sure, having never owned a new motorcycle in my life.



Now that you have your oil filter in place, the mesh filter and associated cap refitted, and the oil drain plug back in place... Reassemble the exhaust system. It took a bit of finesse to get everything refitted and get the muffler back into place safe and sound. Fill the bike with oil. I'd recommend something like Motul 7100 10W40 fully synthetic. Fill the bike to the full mark.



Start the bike and watch the oil filter for leaks. Mine leaked. I had to tighten the oil filter more to stop it from leaking. (It has not leaked since I did it, 100 miles ago.) Once you're satisfied that the bike is building oil pressure and that it's running right, shut the bike down and let the oil level settle. Add oil to the proper full mark.



Finally, finish by putting the belly pan back on and you're done. Also think about the fact that your dealer may charge you 300 dollars to do all of this, but it may make sense to give you the peace of mind that it was done properly and that you didn't have to purchase all of the tools I already own :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ha, I've owned several bikes. This is the first new one, thus my comment about the horrors witnessed in the oil. I hope it's normal!
 

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Every new engine's oil I've seen after break-in has had lots of BS in it. Never seen "brains", though. I don't know what that could be, hopefully nothing. Oil analysis would be interesting. If you do that, please share the results.

In a perfect world with lots of money, I'd change the oil and filter within the first few hundred miles and continue to do so until clean.
 

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If you are going to mess with the exhaust you need a spring hook puller. Way better than vice grips. I have an old one that used to be my dad's. You can get them new at Sears for about ten bucks.

Sears.com, Spring Hook Puller.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Someone on the other forum wondered about the third hex plug under the engine. It appears to be a way to drain your oil completely if you've got the bike sitting on the kick stand. At least as far as I can tell from this photo of the internals of the left side engine case. The plug has no magnet on it, but it does indeed appear to be a secondary drain spot if you don't have a way to center the bike while changing the oil.

 

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No wonder the dealer charges 229.00 for the first service since they are supposed to pull and clean the mesh filter. Great write up, but I have to say out of all the bikes I've owned over the last 40 plus years there sure made a regular maintenance routine pretty convoluted when it shouldn't be.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I mean nothing complicated is really going on because all of the pieces come apart easily enough. The work I did isn't complex, it just involves more steps than on some other bikes. The only time I had to stop an consult the service manual was to check which drain plug I was supposed to remove. It turns out any of the three are OK to remove, so that's good! Also the oil and filter cost 80 dollars, so it just adds up at the dealership when they're also checking other functions of the bike AND resetting your service indicator. I noticed that Shell Rotella T 15w40 diesel oil (non synthetic) is JASO MA rated, so who's going to be the first one to guinea pig some 13 dollar/gallon oil in their bike?? :) Short service intervals of 2000 miles with an oil filter change every other time would mean drastically cutting your oil costs over the life of the bike. And no I'm not joking that the engine would die in 3000 miles :)
 

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I know a few owners of more exotic machines than an old air cooled lump like the Scramblers who have used nothing else but fleet multi-grade 15/40 diesel engine oil for many years without any problems. The reason, it's free oil from the haulage company they work for.
The problem I have come across more often is when magazine article readers use fully synthetic racing super-duper oils in a clapped out BMW in the mistaken belief that they are doing the motor a favour, first sign is rattling hydraulic tappets and other problems are quick to follow.

On the subject of dealer servicing, when all the overheads etc. are taken into consideration maybe it's not so bad, although I do find it hard to swallow sometimes. I also get the fact that a fully stamped up book increases the resale value, especially on the more expensive stuff.
The other factor is if the workshop is able to keep it's head above water with general servicing then it will still be there when needed to bail us out with trickier problems.
The DIYers will be the first in the queue needing specialist help when the mess up.
 

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This will be my first Ducati (owned a few other bikes before, awaiting the scrambler to come in). My boss has had dozens of Ducatis. Everything from titanium frame carbon wheeled 100% custom, to a bone stock monster. I do a lot of fabricating, and maintenance on heavy equipment at work, so after seeing this, I feel I can easily accomplish this.

Luckily I was able to negotiate that my first service is free. After that Ill be doing it on my own though.

Great write up, nice pictures, well done.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I made the mistake of over-buying oil. I put Motul 300V in not realizing until after I bought it that it's not recommended for street use. It's designed to be used to keep race bikes alive for a weekend rather than to keep a road bike alive for a year of riding leisurely. Shell Rotella T would probably be a better choice, honestly.

I purchased a socket wrench for Ducati OEM oil filters and bought an OEM oil filter for my next change. I didn't like the way the K&N is about 1/2" longer than stock and on top of that it has the nut sticking out. the nut is just a hollow helper nut to remove it, but it's butted up tight against my aluminum belly pan because the filter is too long.
 

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The exhaust on the FT is slightly different. There is no direct access to the 8mm headed hex screw that secures the Termi on the muffler side. A ratcheting box end 8mm wrench is the way to go to remove and reinstall that fastener. There is a threaded bushing that this screw goes into. It has a 21mm hex on the back side. I used a 21mm socket to assist in the reinstall.

Man, that stock system is heavy.
 

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Make sure not to lose the copper washer for the drain plug. Mine stayed stuck to the engine and I reused it. You may opt to use a new one if you're a stickler for perfection and want to safeguard against possible leaks.
If you are going to reuse copper or aluminum sealing washers, you really should anneal them (i.e., make them soft again).

Annealling Copper and Aluminium washers
 

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How many liters of oil does the engine require during a oil change service? And does anyone have thoughts or experience using Putoline 10/60 fully synthetic oil? Would it be good for the Scrambler?
 

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My understanding on the oil is that there is a list that Ducati has created of acceptable synthetics according to my local dealer. Since they reportedly cannot yet obtain drums of the Shell synthetic (the sticker on the motor) they are using Motul as a substitute.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have going on 20 years of 'doing this' and have not once had an ancient copper washer leak on me. Cars, motorcycles, lawn mowers, whatever. Crank cases, transmissions, differentials.. So there's best practice and then there's real life :) The first one that leaks will change my mind, but it's something I've never wasted time or money seeking out. I'll use new copper or crush washers IF they come with the filters of course, but I'm really lazy about it since it's never bit me in the butt. One danger is that if they DO leak most people are prone to simply apply more torque until they either don't leak or they strip the threads in the engine case. I was surprised that the oil filter leaked though but have read that it's common on Ducati engines. I've not ever had an oil filter leak that was on hand tight plus a quarter turn before this.

Cleaning the old parts of dirt and sand and being sane about what you can get away with in regards to torque have served me well enough, but your mileage may vary :)
 
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