900 ss cylinder studs

Hi everyone, I new to the club & looking for some help with a rebuild. I have a barn find 1994, 900ss.
The cylinder studs have never been changed and three have snapped. I have dropped the engine out & removed both cylinders. I bought a stud extractor & have removed 6 of the 8 studs. I have now reached the limit of my expertise. I simply can’t get the remaining studs out of the crank case. One stud is complete & the other has snapped off close to the engine block.
Can anyone recommend someone, in the south east, who can get the remaining two out. I’m happy to travel & drop the lump off.

I’m based in Hertfordshire on the borders of Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire.

Thanks in anticipation.

What is the length of the broken stud that is accessible above the engine block face?


Hi Tringrider
you could try Ducati proteam based in strood Kent, they are avery good independent Ducati spe ialist, I and a lot of Kent members use them for servicing. Alec is the man to talk there,they have a website if you google them you should find it.
Good luck

Hi Macer,

Sorry for delay in reply. The remains of the stud stick out about 8 - 10mm. Not quite enough to get the stud extractor on it. I think it will need to be drilled and the screw in type of extractor used. Just dont want to buggerit up any more!

Hi Graham,

Thanks for that lead. If there’s no one closer I will definitely give them a try

Thanks guys, the help is appreciated.

Hi Tringrider

8 - 10mm might be enough material for tools, other than a stud extractor, to get a hold on the broken stud.
Did you use heat when you extracted the other studs?


Talk to Geoff Baines, if he can’t do the job he should know someone who can.
Baines Racing used to supply their own aftermarket studs to replace the ineffective Ducati ones.
I had my 94 900SS done there in 1996 and they are still fine 20 years and over 50,000 miles later.


Hello, I am a new member here but i admit to being a ‘Lurker’ for quite some time as i have owned various Ducatis over the years including the old 70’s classic round case, 90’s 2 valvers and the modern 4 valvers. However i have never had to shout ‘HELP’ before so i have joined up in the hope that some of you more experienced Ducati mechanics can point me in the right direction.
I post my questions here on Tring Riders thread because i fear i am about to have the same problems with snapped studs on the rear cylinder of my 17000 mile 91 white frame 900SS; i shall explain:
The rear exhaust down pipe was blowing oil out of the joint where it meets the main part of the exhaust manifold just in front of the swinging arm, popular diagnosis was a leaking / split exhaust valve stem steal, so i removed the appropriate valve cover, moved aside the opening rocker etc. and removed said old seal, as i did so the valve slid down the valve guide until it contacted the top of the carefully positioned piston, i then used a magnet to drag the valve up and as i did so was horrified to see how much fore and aft play there was between the stem of the valve and the valve guide, i can literally rattle it fore and aft yet it is relatively tight side to side. So the reason for oil in the exhaust is a badly worn / knackered exhaust valve guide / valve rather than just the poor old much sworn at little green stem seal! Is this a common problem???
So off with the head!
i decided to read up on head removal and kept coming across the horrible curse of the snapped cylinder stud. I am certain this bike has the original studs judging by their normal steel colour.
At time of writing i have removed the frame off the engine to give full access to the motor and i have applied heat and WD 40 in several cycles over a period of a week, none of the four nuts has moved BUT i can see the studs turning within the nuts as the torque of the spanner comes on, i am petrified to haul on the spanner too much in case i snap the studs. I do not intend to touch the front cylinder!!! Now to my question, as it seems i face the inevitable situation that Tring Rider now faces, is there any company out there or individual that could be recommended by experience of the list to 1. remove old valve seat, supply / fit new valve guide / exhaust valve and insert / cut / lap in new valve seat and who 2. could possibly assist with removal of said studs IF / WHEN i snap them!! all at same premises??
Can anyone suggest, based on experience how i can get these furking nuts off without snapping said studs!! has anyone cut / ground off the nuts to save the studs / more work?? i note there are shaped washers under the nuts and all bar one are moving in sympathy with the nut/ spanner, now i know i am probably asking too much here but i am willing to listen and repeat any spells and drink any potions (several gallons of Old Speckled Hen doesn’t work) to assist in my quest to return this beauty to the road.
Sorry for such a long winded first post, any suggestions, cures / potions gratefully received.
best regards to all. john
PS Sorry to hijack your thread Tring rider but it seems we are up the same creek!!

Update for you guys…

MACER - Thanks for your help.

98 SPS - I called Geoff Baines & dropped off the engine today. Very helpful & very knowledgeable on all things Ducati. Thanks for the lead!

Desmojohn - I was advised to replace all the studs (front & back) in one go. This was true when one cylinder (with no apparent snapped studs) broke two studs with very minimal pressure when removing the barrel. It makes sense if you’ve dropped the engine out already!
There is a possibility that my engine will need to be split to have the short broken stud milled out. Hindsight is a wonderful thing & I should have taken the stripped down engine to Geoff Baines to have them removed. I heated the stud but it twisted off leaving a small stub. Good luck mate, keep us updated.

re seized nuts. Have you tried to weaken the nut with diagonal cuts using a reciprocating saw and a narrow blade? Perhaps a dremel type grinder may also be employed to trim off on one of the flats enough from the nut to enable tightening it and crack or split the offending nut and then undo it. Hopefully the stud remains undamaged. good luck. D

Tring rider - I’m glad that you have managed to find somebody to solve the problem for you. I’m sure Geoff will do a proper job on it.
I was going to offer my help as I had replaced mine last year. Luckily, I had no problems and the old stainless steel studs came out quite easily, using plenty of heat then using a stud extractor as close to the crankcase mouth as possible.

Desmojohn - Unfortunately, I’ve had no experience of replacing valve seats, so can’t offer help on that one. Perhaps Geoff could sort it for you.


Desmojohn - I would be careful either grinding or cutting the nuts. They are recessed & there’s a possibility you could damage the head! I bought an angled socket off ebay for £14. It worked a treat!

Tring rider - Pleased to hear Mr Baines is still fettling Ducatis, I wouldn’t hesitate to take mine there again if I needed to, but I am most happy with Neil at Cornerspeed for my engine servicing these days and he is considerably nearer to where I live.

Desmojohn - The valve guides are well known for wear issues as I was told by John Baines as he began to strip my 900SS motor many years ago. If I remember correctly he said that they are - from an engineers point of view - too short. I asked the question as he was checking for any movement on mine and it had only done around 14000 at the time so I didn’t expect it to be a problem.
My motor now has 67000 on the clock and had new guides fitted by Cornerspeed somewhere between the 40 and 50000 mile mark. I’m not sure exactly when without looking out the bill.

Hello again, Well a lot of blood, sweat and Old speckled hen has been expelled and consumed since my last post; foolishly or luckily i opted to tackle the removal of the rear cylinder head nuts by cutting / grinding through the nuts rather than risk snapping the studs by using force as the nuts were seized solid on the studs, no amount of heat and soaking in yaks milk would shift them. So over a period of two days i methodically ground, sawed and burned my way through the four nuts of the rear cylinder, (thanks DTanglewood) the last bit of each nut was burned through using a military grade laser and hey presto the cylinder head came off cleanly leaving four virtually undamaged studs still firmly attached to the crank cases. Praise be to the Dremel God.
My nuts were not recessed Tring Rider (i had started grinding before you sent me the caution!) my nuts sat on oval topped plate washers with no apparent mechanical lock which may explain why the nuts were solid on the studs - thread lock???
So i have decided to take the advice of all here and contacted Baines this morning for a quote to do the work replacing the valve guide and valve seat, i await a call back to discuss.
My engine has only done 17000 miles and i am surprised at the amount of wear in the guide, i mean the valve see saws up and down in the guide, i measured the diameter of the valve stem and found hardly any wear in the stem to speak of so all the wear would seem to be in the guide which it seems was honed from finest Italian play dough; 98SPS mentions this is a well known issue however the other three valves seem to be fine judging by the ‘wiggle test’ i performed by gripping the top of the valve and moving fore and aft, i wonder if i have a sub standard (play dough) guide fitted?? is it common for just one guide to be a problem? specifically the rear exhaust which runs hottest??
How i hate that little metal tube, it has caused me so much work and grief and i suspect the greatest pain in the wallet is yet to come.
I would have been reasonably happy with 40 to 50 thou on the clock before having to strip for a rougue valve guide, but 17000 miles is what i would expect out of a Chinese pit bike. I just hope i can get it all back together to catch some of the summer.