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This jeep was manufactured in March 96, and titled as a 97, making it the earliest tj I've seen.
Trivial fact #3756 - I designed the muffler for that Jeep. For a year or two at one point I could say that about every Jeep in current production. That was the job that completely changed my opinon on XJ Cherokees. Had zero interest when I started working on them, then ended up having one built to order cuz I liked them so much. Probably still my favorite car I ever owned. The guys at Ford used to get pissed when I'd tell them that. They'd say stuff like "I don't get it. Cherokees have a bunch of design flaws (door size, etc) but everybody loves them..."

Fun filled related story - I drove a pre-production TJ to lunch about a week before they were officially released. When I came out (Taco Bell in Columbus, Indiana) some guy was crawling all over it with his camera. The round headlights attracted people like moths to a flame.

Somewhat related Jeep story - I had (use of) a (ZJ?) Grand Cherokee before they were released. Rather than having camo on it, it was white with no badges or branding. Drove it to the Jeep dealer to check on something. The salesguy was leaning against it talking to me and never even noticed what it was. One salesman in the building was looking it over with a confused look on his face but wasn't curious enough to come outside... that was back when the job was fun and they gave you cars to drive rather than computer files to analyze. Contrast to my latest Cherokee story. I worked on that platform for a year before I realized it was a Cherokee. We had a pre-production test vehicle show up at work and when I showed interest in it one of the guys thought I was kidding. "You know this is what you've been working on this past year, right?" Well, no, in fact I didn't care enough to notice what vehicle I had been working on before that...


Sorry, I'm two hours into a conference call after a night of three hours sleep. Slap happy and doing what I can to stay awake... but at least now i'm on topic for the watcha doing today thread!


EDIT: Pop Quiz! Back in the '90s the place I worked added a prefix to part numbers that was based on what brand they were being designed for. GM parts started with a "G". FoMoCo parts started with an "F". Jeep parts started with an.... "N"

Why? Googling earns an instant disqualification... older guys will probably know but I'm wondering how you young pups will do...
 

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Today (well last night, but it was after midnight) I ordered a battery for my 996 so I can get it running and SELL the damn thing. I sat on it last weekend and realized it's still the worst streetbike I've ever owned and after 15 years of ownership it's time to move on. After that, I think my 907 will go on the block. It hasn't been registered since 2008, I think I can live without it. I managed to knock one of the rear turn signals off of it while moving it around though, so I have to fix that first. It's always something.
 

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Is this the direct descendant of the Paso, That brilliant fully wrapped vision from the Castiglioni brothers era? You truly are a Desmo dog...
That'd be the one. Here it is (foreground) in 2005 at the Mid-Ohio Vintage Motorcycle Days. I'm the original owner. I put money down on it in the fall of 1990 after hearing rumors and seeing a crappy faxed picture, and picked it up about five months later...



It was my first bike, against the advice of EVERYONE I talked to, but I knew what I wanted so there it is. Now I'm thinking it's not doing anyone any good stuffed in my basement, and I think I want another 900ss. Maybe a Superlight this time? (the yellow bike in the same photo)
 

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Some would say you should have learnt your lesson by now, DD.

I say go get an SV650 with some flatslides and all the good bits.
And this would make me happier than a 900ss with flatsides why?

I've owned and ridden Ducatis for 25 years now. Nothing people say can take away the experiences I've had, nothing they've seen or heard can change the history I've had with the brand. I have nothing against Japanese bikes, I've (briefly) owned a couple. I got my ass handed to me by a guy on an SV650 at the last track day I did, yet I have zero interest in owning an SV650 in any state of tune. I can understand the appeal, but to me, what's to gain? Where's the benefit? Lower cost? I'm a development engineer in the automotive world with 25+ years experience, no kids, and a wife that makes decent money. The cost difference is trivial. Less maintenance? I live in Michigan and I do my own work. My bikes have months of downtime each year anyway, who cares?

Back in the day I thought I wanted to buy a Honda. Then I went to Daytona to help out a friend who raced, and I saw/heard a Ducati F1 at speed. I've been hooked ever since. I like Ducatis. I ride Ducatis. It's just that simple. Though I do sometimes think I should have continued my quest to find an RC30 instead of giving up and buying a 996 instead...

Having had CRs and SPs at my disposal during those years, I do understand that yearning.
I've had one of each. My CR made more power but the suspension SUCKED. The SP was a better bike. There's a '97 SP for sale in Royal Oak right now that's interesting but perhaps a bit over priced. If it's still around in a couple weeks I might have to go see it.
 

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I'm anxiously waiting for two relays to show up in my mailbox so I can see if they're what's making my 996 refuse to start. I have my doubts but something's wacky with the current set up and they're a likely culprit. In the meantime I'll pull the headlight and clean the fogging off the inside of the lens.

Once it's running it's time to put it up for sale and start my search for a 1991 851. Yeah, I know the '92 is better, and an 888 is better yet. I don't care. I want a '91.
 

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This is more of a what I did yesterday post but so be it.

I continued chasing the non-starting 996. The issue is the fuel pump not running. A little background - on fuel injected bikes (well, Ducatis anyway) the fuel pump primes/pressurizes the system when you turn the key. So as soon as you turn the key you can hear a whirring/buzzing sound for a second or two. No buzz, no joy. The 996 hasn't been buzzing. I checked the usual suspects, replacerd a few parts just because, and eventually found that the ECU was sending a signal to the pump, but the pump wasn't responding. So what's bad, the wiring or the pump? I jumped 12 volts directly to the pump and it purred away. Hmmm... good news is I won't have to order a pump? bad news is... I still haven't found the damn problem!

Reconnected all the wiring. Turned the key. Pump ran and primed the system. Alrighty then. Bike is still in my basement but my wife was out so what the heck. Thumbed the starter. Bike fired and ran for a couple seconds until I shut it off.

Bolted down the gas tank, wrestled the bike outside, and put it on a rear stand. Turned the key, bzzzzzzztttttt.... sweet. Thumbed the starter and bang, fired almost instantly. Settled into a nice idle. Good throttle response. Oh yeah. Maybe one of the old relays was flakey. Or the old battery was on it's way out. Whatever, it runs.

Shut it off. Put the seat back on. Fired it up again to move it up into the garage. Ran for about three seconds. Died. Wouldn't restart.

Pump won't prime. Again.

Sigh...

Meanwhile, my 907 recently fired right up after about 7 years of dormancy, and ran like a champ. Ten year old battery, seven year old gas, whatever. Push the button and go. When I got it up to the garage door I noticed it was leaking something, but still. It fired and ran after sitting for seven years. That something turned out to be gasoline and the sizzling I heard was the gas hitting the exhaust system, but you can't have everything. Bottom line, THAT bike ran. Kinda proves something I've suspected all along. Two valve Ducatis are the old school, low tech, back alley brawlers of the Ducati family. They may not win but they'll show up and give it a go. The four valve bikes are prima donnas. When they're good they're great. But son of a bitch they're temperamental little bitches.

So tell me again why I'm planning on selling this four valve just to buy an even older one?

Cuz when they're good... oh boy... :p

(But I still want another '97 900ss too!)
 

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Today I put the fairings back on my 996 and took it out for it's shake down run after chasing an electrical problem. And by electrical I mean the fuel pump was toast.

Anywhos… as I'm pretty sure I already mentioned, I got the great idea to sell my 996 and search for an 851. I've had the 996 since new (15 years) and was a little hesitant to let it go. Today I finally buttoned it all back up and took it out. Fired up nicely. Ran great! And after riding it I am 100% sure it needs to go.

Holy crap. I put the stock clip ons and seat back on it for the sale. I can not believe I rode it that way for a few years. The riding position is HORRIBLE on those things. I put ten miles on it but was ready to get back off after four. When I got home I hopped on my Monster 1200S and can't for the life of me imagine why I would EVER choose to ride the 996 over that.

Yep, the 996 is going. And now I'm not even sure I'll look for an 851! Superbikes make horrible streetbikes...
 

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Michigan/ Ohio State.
Sorry for your luck (I'm not from around here!)


I'm chilling after the last of our houseguests (including two dogs) have hit the road for home. Wifey is napping, I'm thinking of either cleaning up the kitchen or putting some time into figuring out Forza 6... a Black Friday buy I'll probably mess with for a day or two then forget about until the next time my nephew comes to visit.
 

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It was actually yesterday, but what I was doing was driving to Chicago to pick up this:




Unfortunately it isn't mine, but I'll get to ride it a time or two before it's all said and done. It has bodywork, but it was removed for inspection/transport.

One "problem" is I promised the guy who bought it that if he went through with the deal, I'd do a track day with him. That means I had to buy new leathers since my old set seems to have shrunk a bit over the past 20+ years… and will also mean I have to buy appropriate tires for the 996, and boots, and gloves, and… "Honey, really! I HAD to buy all this stuff, it's for safety!" Dang, may as well look for a track bike too, right? :)
 

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FINALLY started working on my new toy.

Started pulling off the bodywork and belt covers to get ready for the general maintanence a new/used Ducati needs. When I pulled the belt cover off, something fell onto the floor. Oops... it's a nut. Where's it from? Note the stud on the starred area.

I haven't found any damage to the belt or pulley. The belts were going to be replaced anyway, but I'm hoping the pulley isn't tweaked.

Makes me feel better about not even starting the bike before checking things out first though!

In other news, I hadn't planned on starting a thread for this one but maybe I will. There have a been a few developments since I got it home.
 

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Making my 907ie run without spewing gasoline all over the engine/exhaust. Then fixing (replacing) the turn signal I broke when I pulled it out of storage after 8 years of slumber. All so I can try to sell it.

I also need to clear a path to my 160 so I can drag that out and try to sell it too.

The 851 purchase/rehab has destroyed my toy fund, I need to recover somehow!
 

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So yesterday I FINALLY got some Termi slip ons mounted on my 851. Fitting an old bike that's fallen over at least once with a newly built copy of an old system is not trivial it would seem. What should have taken an hour took weeks. Anyway.. I finished it up yesterday and moved on to putting the chip in to prep for antisocial mode. Ten minute job, right? Yeah... have you met the problem child that is my 851?

Took the cover off the ECU. No chip socket, I'm looking at the bottom of the circuit board. Ok, pull the ECU. WTF? Something is rattling around in it. Of course there is, why would this be simple?

Long story short, some sort of high voltage suppressor had liberated itself from it's leads. Probably related to the voltage regulator failing last year.

So my ten minute chip change resulted in sourcing an obsolete MR2520L gizmo and what the heck why not an NOS ECU as long as we're spending money?

First pic is the Termis in place after much struggle. Second pic is the rogue high voltage suppression device. Third pic is the device's home. Last pic... damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. Between the open clutch cover I finally installed (needed a bolt hole moved so it would fit) and the Termis, it will by flying the '90s Superbike freak flags high. I refuse to go all the way with an open intake, that's just too damn loud...
 

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I'm assuming with the length of time you have been riding Ducati motorcycles that none of this really came as a surprise to you. Had the tank off the V11 MG yesterday to sort out an intermittent no start. Think it was wired by the same fellow that cold soldered your doodad. What brand is that green lathe in the corner?
Even in the world of Ducatis this thing is possesed. Stuff that is no fault of Ducati just finds it way to it.

That lathe is a Sheldon. My dad bought it years ago from a school auction for scrap value, had hardly been used. Beat to hell now though...
 
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