Ducati Singles Engines


December 1995

An actual progress report (I can't believe I'm actually making progress!) on my restoration project follows... I got the best Christmas present imaginable! This week, my engine ('66 250 Single for my Mark 3) came back from Sids! Shiny and Beautiful!

When I recognized that I wasn't making much progress on my own I recruited professional help. I sent Sids a Scrambler engine back in late June, along with the hot cam, big valves, head, a new piston and honed cylinder from a Mark 3. And I asked Sids to go for it.

Here's what Sids did: Disassemble, inspect engine Bead blast and clean entire engine Polish all engine cases Disassemble, clean, reassemble shift box Disassemble, inspect, reassemble and true crank Polish rod, rockers, retainers etc Port, polish, match manifold etc. Refurbish oil pump Assemble cylinder head, shim, cam timing. etc Valve job, cut seats, lap valves, etc New valve guides New intake valve springs (saddle) Shim and machine transmission All new gaskets and seals 8 new bearings New points and condenser Rewind magneto Install 32 mm PHF Dell Orto carb with custom intake manifold All new case screws New spark plug

Malcom (Sid's son) did most of the work and said the best description for the work's result is a "hot race tune" for when the bike was current. He did the usual "cut around the valve guide" porting, and even clayed the combustion chamber. Claying is some arcane process that involves spraying the chamber with WD40, filling it with clay, and then turning over the engine. Examination of the clay then reveals the squish band. Sids also custom re-wound the magneto to provide spark with a dyna high output coil, as well as battery charging through a diode at 6V for lights and horn. Malcom estimates 30 - 33HP with a 9.3 to 9.5 compression ratio. He suggests a 8500 RPM redline and said it can be pushed up to 9000.

So far it looks great. Sid had warned me it would take a long time (he estimated 6 months) and it did. So he was true to his word. Now I really have to get the rest of the bike done so I can hear it run! But in the meantime I have installed the engine safely in the living room, where I can admire it at every opportunity. So I just ordered a de-humidifier from Sears, to try and keep corrosion at a minimum in the garage (it is very damp here by the beach) :-)

Roughly, It cost $2000. It was alot, but I wasn't going to complete it myself. Also long distance work didn't lend itself to my commenting step by step. And so I ended up buying some parts I could have furnished myself. But I did use a refurbished cylinder and the new piston I had (which resulted in the leftovers you may want), as well as the big head and valves for the Mark 3. There is also a new dell orto carb in that total. Itemization below.

* Parts seal set $ 20.00 new bearings (8) $ 117.84 points and condenser $ 39.90 rewound magneto $ 125.00 32 mm PHF carb $ 249.00 intake manifold $ 65.00 manifold adapter $ 20.00 intake valve springs saddle $ 50.00 allen screw set, etc $ 36.50 misc shims $ 10.00 spark plug $ 2.50 valve guides $ 50.00 Parts Sub Total: $ 821.74

*Labor polish engine cases $ 125.00 bead blast and clean entire eng $ 80.00 dis-reassemble clean shift box $ 20.00 disassemble, inspect engine, spare parts etc $ 90.00 dis, insp, reassemble and true crank $ 75.00 polish rod, rockers, retainers etc $ 30.00 port polish, match manifold etc $ 125.00 refurbish oil pump $ 15.00 assemble cyl head, shim, cam timing etc $ 50.00 valve job, cut seats, lap valves etc $ 40.00 shim and machine transmission $ 50.00 assemble and setup entire engine $ 400.00 Labor Sub Total: $ 1,100.00

TOTAL: $ 1,921.74

PS: I also bought a pile of goodies from Sids, including some cerani racing shocks, tapered steering bearings, a swing arm bracing kit, sprockets, some electrics and a megaphone exhaust with removable baffle. All cool, but the megaphone is a disappointment. It's very crude, with rough joints welds and bends - very much a racing part. I'll use it, but will look for something prettier.

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