1974 Ducati 750 GT Restoration - 2018.12.25 - Leo Kahng

1974 Ducati 750 GT Restoration - 2018.12.25

Getting back to it today, I started my morning with some breakfast and research. Understanding how to do things on this bike is quite a challenge since there are no current published shop manuals, and there apparently really weren't any good ones back in the day, so a lot of this is by feel and intuition - kinda scary.

Yesterday I got stuck at the swingarm. What I learned was that one has to take the frame clamp bolts all the way out, then wedge something in there to spread the clamping area, so I used large flathead screwdrivers that I tapped into place. I sprayed a bit of penetrating oil at the frame ends, which is where the pin was binding up, and then drove the pin from right to left using a socket attached to a long extension. I forget what socket exactly, but I knew it needed to be less than 29mm in diameter, but not too small, so it would push the pin, but not interfere with the channel it had to go through. I also applied a bit of heat to the frame ends with a blowtorch, then proceeded to tap/hammer out the pin. It took a good bit of hammering, but after all was said and done, there was no evidence of damage to anything involved in this process.

Between the screwdrivers and the blowtorch, things started to work in my favor.

Getting the pin out was good progress and I then proceeded to drop the swingarm and remove the center stand from the frame. After cleaning up the swingarm pivot pin, I noted some rather harsh wear marks and pitting from corrosion. Wonder if this means I'll be needing a new pivot pin?

Frame, swingarm, and center stand - separated.

The last photo is a bit out of sequence. After I got the swingarm off, I shifted focus and decided to tackle the front end of the bike. I started by undoing the bolts in the triple trees and freed the fork tubes. The right one was particularly cumbersome since the headlamp mount was really stuck to the stanchion tube and was a real bear to break free. I eventually got it free, but I had to take the top triple clamp off and then hammer the headlamp bracket upwards to get it to slide off. I think I bent it and will need to bend it back to its proper form.

Again, a bit out of sequence, but I also got the steering head bearing races out. This was a lot easier than I thought it would be and thanks to YouTube, I saw some people doing this job with some very simple hand tools. I happened to have a piece of steel rod with a flat end, but no harsh edges that would scratch the steering tube. Even if I did, it wouldn't matter since nothing contacts the inside of the tube, but it's always better to inflict the least amount of damage as possible.

I tapped out the bearing races and now have a truly stripped frame, ready for powder coating.

All the pieces laid out.

One thing that surprised me was that I was able to remove the lower steering head bearing off of the stem by hand?!?!?

I also noticed a crack in the bearing, but am now wondering if this is by design, as the "crack" is really straight and almost seems as if manufactured this way, but I can't imagine that to be the case. I've never seen a bearing with an intentional crack, as that would surely cause rapid wear and bearing failure in most applications.

I guess I'll have to ask the experts to really understand what is going on here.


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