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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to do a leak-down test after having a discussion with a buddy of mine and seeing some of the issues he was having. My 1st gen has about 23500 miles on the clock and I've had to reshim at least three times already. During this time I went ahead and pulled the valve cover as it had been at least 7k miles since I had checked all the valve clearances. Go figure that every single one is grossly too tight. After getting a good result from the leak-down test I was happy I wouldn't have to pull the motor apart. A 9% leak-down is a great result. Using the compressed air method I took the time to go ahead and since a set of titanium retainers. This was a bit of a challenge and I would not recommend doing this if you are new to working on engines.....

This is a common practice in the import car world that I have done in the past so I was fair confident I could make it work. I used a wrench and some other tools to lock the crank at TDC so it wouldn't shift when I applied pressure into the cylinders. One thing to note! When the piston is at TDC it is impossible to drop a valve! The piston to valve clearance is just too small to allow the valve to drop low enough.

Here is a short video I made. Again, do this at your own risk and be careful with your keepers. The exhaust side took some effort, if you have large hands you more than likely won't be able to change them out the way I did.

(3) ktm 390 duke titanium retainers installed without pulling the head - YouTube

I also went ahead and powder coated my valve cover. I have all the required equipment at home so it was fairly straightforward. Should you decide to do the same it should be noted that the baffle plate under the valve cover will need to be removed. There is a fiber gasket that will need to be replaced. One thing that I was surprised about we the amount of moisture that was behind this gasket. On top of that, you can tell that the gasket, over time, wasn't holding very well which seems to allow for that moisture to drip back into the head. There is NO replacement for this gasket so you will need to make yourself a new one. ENSURE YOU USE LOCKTIGHT on the baffle bolts, you do not want those dropping out. On a side note, for being 23k+ miles the internals look great and pretty much brand new still. Motul 300V oil is great!

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I wanted to do a leak-down test after having a discussion with a buddy of mine and seeing some of the issues he was having. My 1st gen has about 23500 miles on the clock and I've had to reshim at least three times already. During this time I went ahead and pulled the valve cover as it had been at least 7k miles since I had checked all the valve clearances. Go figure that every single one is grossly too tight. After getting a good result from the leak-down test I was happy I wouldn't have to pull the motor apart. A 9% leak-down is a great result. Using the compressed air method I took the time to go ahead and since a set of titanium retainers. This was a bit of a challenge and I would not recommend doing this if you are new to working on engines.....

This is a common practice in the import car world that I have done in the past so I was fair confident I could make it work. I used a wrench and some other tools to lock the crank at TDC so it wouldn't shift when I applied pressure into the cylinders. One thing to note! When the piston is at TDC it is impossible to drop a valve! The piston to valve clearance is just too small to allow the valve to drop low enough.

Here is a short video I made. Again, do this at your own risk and be careful with your keepers. The exhaust side took some effort, if you have large hands you more than likely won't be able to change them out the way I did.

(3) ktm 390 duke titanium retainers installed without pulling the head - YouTube

I also went ahead and powder coated my valve cover. I have all the required equipment at home so it was fairly straightforward. Should you decide to do the same it should be noted that the baffle plate under the valve cover will need to be removed. There is a fiber gasket that will need to be replaced. One thing that I was surprised about we the amount of moisture that was behind this gasket. On top of that, you can tell that the gasket, over time, wasn't holding very well which seems to allow for that moisture to drip back into the head. There is NO replacement for this gasket so you will need to make yourself a new one. ENSURE YOU USE LOCKTIGHT on the baffle bolts, you do not want those dropping out. On a side note, for being 23k+ miles the internals look great and pretty much brand new still. Motul 300V oil is great!

View attachment 53691 View attachment 53692

View attachment 53693
If you are not using oil to the air filter, dust and debris will wear the valve seats very quickly and you will be needing reshiming quite often. Check also if there is any hole at the air intake system (filter box, tubes, etc) and the air is not filtered well before entering the combustion chamber. Also check if there is any mud and dust into the air filter box

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We used to do the valve springs and/or valve seals change with the cylinder head in place often on the race track on my little V4 Lancia's 1.3/1.6.
We used thick (spark-plug size) cotton rope, fed this into the combustion chamber and turn that cylinder to TDC. You could then do the job with 2 screwdrivers if you needed to.
I am still looking to get/order the titanium retainers from Gray Area, wrote them an email to pay by bank transfer as here we can not use PayPal, waiting on their answer.
Did you also replace the valve springs?
Could be a good idea after 38,000 km.

I wanted to do a leak-down test after having a discussion with a buddy of mine and seeing some of the issues he was having. My 1st gen has about 23500 miles on the clock and I've had to reshim at least three times already. During this time I went ahead and pulled the valve cover as it had been at least 7k miles since I had checked all the valve clearances. Go figure that every single one is grossly too tight. After getting a good result from the leak-down test I was happy I wouldn't have to pull the motor apart. A 9% leak-down is a great result. Using the compressed air method I took the time to go ahead and since a set of titanium retainers. This was a bit of a challenge and I would not recommend doing this if you are new to working on engines.....

This is a common practice in the import car world that I have done in the past so I was fair confident I could make it work. I used a wrench and some other tools to lock the crank at TDC so it wouldn't shift when I applied pressure into the cylinders. One thing to note! When the piston is at TDC it is impossible to drop a valve! The piston to valve clearance is just too small to allow the valve to drop low enough.

Here is a short video I made. Again, do this at your own risk and be careful with your keepers. The exhaust side took some effort, if you have large hands you more than likely won't be able to change them out the way I did.

(3) ktm 390 duke titanium retainers installed without pulling the head - YouTube

I also went ahead and powder coated my valve cover. I have all the required equipment at home so it was fairly straightforward. Should you decide to do the same it should be noted that the baffle plate under the valve cover will need to be removed. There is a fiber gasket that will need to be replaced. One thing that I was surprised about we the amount of moisture that was behind this gasket. On top of that, you can tell that the gasket, over time, wasn't holding very well which seems to allow for that moisture to drip back into the head. There is NO replacement for this gasket so you will need to make yourself a new one. ENSURE YOU USE LOCKTIGHT on the baffle bolts, you do not want those dropping out. On a side note, for being 23k+ miles the internals look great and pretty much brand new still. Motul 300V oil is great!

View attachment 53691 View attachment 53692

View attachment 53693
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you are not using oil to the air filter, dust and debris will wear the valve seats very quickly and you will be needing reshiming quite often. Check also if there is any hole at the air intake system (filter box, tubes, etc) and the air is not filtered well before entering the combustion chamber. Also check if there is any mud and dust into the air filter box

Sent from my A80Pro using Tapatalk
I've recently replaced my entire intake setup. I'm running a Chimera Intake setup with the K&N dust shield. The normal shimming for first gen is around 9000 miles. I use top quality oil and change it pretty much on the dot. I guess time we tell, but everything you mentioned makes sense. As dust enters the combustion chamber it will get suspended in the oil and then basically micro polishes everything.

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We used to do the valve springs and/or valve seals change with the cylinder head in place often on the race track on my little V4 Lancia's 1.3/1.6.
We used thick (spark-plug size) cotton rope, fed this into the combustion chamber and turn that cylinder to TDC. You could then do the job with 2 screwdrivers if you needed to.
I am still looking to get/order the titanium retainers from Gray Area, wrote them an email to pay by bank transfer as here we can not use PayPal, waiting on their answer.
Did you also replace the valve springs?
Could be a good idea after 38,000 km.
Nothing on springs yet, from my understanding the valve keepers will fail with upgrade springs.
 
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