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  1. #1

    Please help--MFI dead not sure why???

    We were out on the lake today and rode around for a while. We have a 2002 Polaris Virage TX. After stopping to pick up a knee board the ski started fine. When we went to pull the rider the ski bogged down and the gauge panel went crazy. We puttered back to the beach (not far). A couple of weeks ago when washing the ski the control panel had some condensation behind it, so we started there. We removed the panel from the back of the gauge panel and unplugged it. We plugged it back in and the panel reset its self and the ski started and ran like normal. We headed out to pull the rider again thinking there was just a glitch, only to return to the dock after just a few minutes with the same thing happening. The only difference this time is the gauge panel will not reset if unplugged and plugged back in. The ski starts fine and if you unplug the panel after starting it runs like a champ--just no gauges now. Can you help steer us in the right direction for what went wrong?

    Optional Information:
    Make: Polaris
    Model: 2002 Virage TX

    Already Tried:
    Unplugging the gauge panel and plugging back in. Making sure all fuses are good. Making sure no water entered the black box in the engine compartment. Other than that not sure what to do as we didn't take on water and have no other detectable problems to our knowledge.


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Welcome

    Sounds like the moisture inside your MFI is causing problems. Others have also reported that a bad MFI can cause the engine to run poorly.

    You can bypass the MFI security, which will allow the ski to start and run without the MFI.
    How to unplug the MFI and still allow the engine to crank, start, and run

    Another owner recently cut his MFI open, in an attempt to dry resurrect it.

    Otherwise, you may need to go shopping for a replacement MFI;
    Polaris PWC Parts Sources

    There are four versions of the Polaris MFI display
    3280292 has a built-in Compass, Depth display, PERC reverse display
    3280371 has Compass, PERC reverse display
    3280370 has PERC reverse display
    3280365 does not have Compass, Depth or PERC reverse display
    Last edited by K447; 11-25-2013 at 12:57 PM.

  3. #3

    What is the difference between a MFD and a MFI?

    Under the front hood of our ski is the term MFI. Is the term MFD and MFI interchangeable? What is the difference between the two terms?

    Also, could you please direct me to where I could purchase a new MFI (MFD) if in fact I need one. Today the display has dried out and the condensation is gone from under the plexiglass cover of both analog and digital displays. Unfortunately, the analog is still stuck at 30mph and although this is new, the only sign of life on the digital side is some symbol beneath the oil and gas gauge read out. Cannot quite make out what it is. Before bed last night I had sprayed display area exterior with WD 40 to see if it would help.

    Still trying to determine if there is any way around just replacing the MFI or if there is some trouble shooting to still be done before dropping $400+ on a new one. Any ideas?

    Thanks so much for any help you are able to give. I appreciated the links in the last reply, though they didn't fix my problem they were good for better understanding what I am working with.


  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Arrow MFD vs. MFI vs. NGI - what models used what display type?

    NGI = Next Generation Instrument
    The NGI was only used on the MSX models for 2003-2004

    MFI = Multi-Instrument Display
    The MFI was only used on the Virage and Genesis models, from 1999-2004. It is the only display with an analog speedometer needle.

    There are several versions of the MFI, but all are electrically interchangeable.

    MFD = Multi-Function Display
    The Oval and Round MFD displays were used on all other models from 1994? to 2001 that had a digital display, either stock or as an upgrade.

    There are several versions of the oval MFD. The most important difference relates to differences in the Trim position indicator speed, to match the faster trim motors used on the Pro and SLX models.

    ---------------------
    I would first shop for a good used MFI, before spending the money on a new one.

    Your 2002 Virage can use any of the various MFI versions, so you can shop around.
    Polaris PWC Parts Sources

    Note that the MFI records and displays the engine running hours, so a replacement MFI will show the hours from the other machine, not your own.

    Make a note of how many hours your engine has (or what your MFI was showing before it failed), and how many hours the replacement MFI shows. Then you can calculate the difference between what the display shows, and how many hours your engine actually has on it.

  5. #5
    The mfi showed small sign of life. Could the low voltage regulator be bad and how would you check it out. Also would it hurt anything to run the ski with the mfi unpluged.

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2boysn2skis View Post
    The mfi showed small sign of life.
    Could the low voltage regulator be bad and how would you check it out?

    Also would it hurt anything to run the ski with the mfi unplugged?
    The LR voltage regulator module has nothing to do with MFI operation.

    If the battery voltage with the engine running (measured with a multi-meter) is stable between 13.5 and 14.5 volts, then the voltage regulator is working.

    As long as there is a good ground on the Black wire at the MFI connector, and full battery voltage on the Red/Purple wire at the MFI, the MFI should wake up and work.

    The only real problem when riding without the MFI is that you will not see any warnings, should something need your attention, The main concern would be overheat warning, but a missed Low Oil warning could also create a problem.

    The MFI does not control engine operation. Once you bypass the MFI security, the engine doesn't care about the MFI.

  7. #7

    Is there any chance at all the MFI causes engine to bog down?

    I read your last post. Thanks again for all the information.

    I am confused a little as your post reads that the MFI doesn't have any control over engine function. This weekend when this started, we had had a long ride with everything going great. When we stopped to get a ski and started again, the engine started and the MFI functioned correctly and we left shore. It wasn't until we gave it gas to pull our rider that the engine bogged; upon acceleration and consequent bogging the MFI went crazy. We made it back to shore unplugged the MFI and plugged back in and it reset fine (on a test ride it ran great as before). When we tried again to pull our rider--at which point we got similar response, however this time after unplugging the MFI and plugging back in it didn't reset it just stuck. Of course the engine was back to acting weird at about 3000rpm or 5-10 mph--after that it bogged down. Once home, we started the engine with the flush out valve hooked up, it started fine sounded great but bogged when reved. While running if we disconnect the MFI the engine performance improved, the MFI still dead never woke up.

    Today after drying out since Sunday, the MFI shows life when engine started though the display is hard to read all characters--still resembles the characteristics of getting wet though getting better.

    Does any of that change your mind?

    We are still perplexed as we never "hosed" down the MFI, it just had condensation that didn't go away after washing one weekend. We have never submerged or rolled the ski--at best it's been splashed. It's a boat--shouldn't it be able to take splashed water? If this is what is causing our problem we are bummed as we don't know how to prevent in the future.

    Also, we purchased this ski in May 2009. The owned told us that she had just had the gauge replaced--and that the ski had 60 hours on it previously. So now it has a total of around 100. Do you think Polaris warranties this part in case it is defective 3-4 months later?

    Thanks again for taking your time to answer my many questions.

  8. #8
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2boysn2skis View Post
    ... I am confused a little as your post reads that the MFI doesn't have any control over engine function.

    ...While running if we disconnect the MFI the engine performance improved...

    ...we never "hosed" down the MFI, it just had condensation that didn't go away after washing one weekend. We have never submerged or rolled the ski--at best it's been splashed. It's a boat--shouldn't it be able to take splashed water?

    If this is what is causing our problem we are bummed as we don't know how to prevent in the future.

    Also, we purchased this ski in May 2009. The owned told us that she had just had the gauge replaced--and that the ski had 60 hours on it previously. So now it has a total of around 100. Do you think Polaris warranties this part in case it is defective 3-4 months later?...
    While the MFI is not supposed to affect engine operation (other than the security function during starting), and the engine can run just fine without the MFI, a failed MFI can cause the engine to run poorly.

    It is not clear exactly how this is happening, and I have never had an MFI in my hands that did so.

    At a guess, the failed MFI is creating some sort of electrical 'noise', that affects the CDI. How that electrical noise signal is actually getting to the CDI, is not clear.

    My suspicion is that the Yellow RPM wire, which is directly connected to the MFI, is also directly connected to the LR voltage regulator module, and to the stator battery charging coil.

    If the MFI is somehow causing the LR module to reduce power flow into the CDI, that might do it.

    Or the MFI may be inducing electrical noise onto the Red/Purple main power wires.

    Or the MFI is possibly creating a fluctuation in the stator charging coil, which is affecting the CDI exciter coil in the stator (seems less likely).

    Try this test;
    - Engine off, confirm that the bilge button does indeed cause the bilge pump to run.

    - Plug the MFI in, start the engine, and confirm the engine is running poorly. Then hold the bilge button down, and see if the engine runs better.

    These MFI normally do not fail very often. The case is well sealed. Indeed, the only way to get inside is to actually cut the sealed case. A good MFI can be completely submerged, and will not leak water.

    In your case, I suspect a seal has failed, or the case has become cracked somewhere. Once that happens, moisture will work its way inside, and the electronics will fail.

    As far as I know, the factory warranty on a 2002 Polaris has long expired. If there was an extended warranty on the machine, you would need to investigate whether it was still in force.

    If you install a replacement MFI, either new or good condition used, it should continue to work well for years.
    Last edited by K447; 11-25-2013 at 12:51 PM.

  9. #9
    2001 virage tx bossdog67's Avatar
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    i have a 2001 virage tx , and just recently put in a new mfi . all issues have since dissapeared .
    i had a host of issues . started with condesation in the mfi . my speedo stuck at 30mhp , digital display was just weird . would die and take off again while driving . would not start for 2 minutes , and then fire up . i went thru everything till k447 told me to jump the 1 and 3 pin in the mfi connector .

    got a new one and all is fine now. sounds like it is the same issue . some guys had used ones for 150 - 225 . a new on set me back 750 cdn !!

  10. #10
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Arrow 2002-2004 Freedom Fuel gauge, includes LED warning lamp for HOT engine and Low Oil

    For completeness, here are my notes regarding the Polaris Freedom 2002-2004 Fuel gauge, which includes an LED warning lamp for HOT engine and Low Oil

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    Polaris Freedom 'Fuel Gauge' 2002 (3280392) and 2003-2004 (3280445)
    Includes LED warning lamp driven by LR-85 'Lamp Driver' module

    Deutsch DT06-6S 6 pin wire harness connector
    1 - Orange/White - 12 volt power via 2 Amp fuse (inside Orange wire splice connector in wire harness) 2003-2004 only?
    2 - N/C
    3 - Pink - Fuel level
    4 - Purple/White - LED Sync Signal from LR-85 Lamp Driver module
    5 - N/C
    6 - Black - Ground

    Lamp Check: Connect together Purple/White wire and Black wire (ground) from LR-85 harness to turn fuel gauge lamp on.
    Note: I think you can unplug LR-85 module from the wire harness for this lamp test, but it needs to be plugged in for the other tests.

    Low Oil lamp check: Short oil tank wires together (or use 100 ohm resistor) at wire harness oil sender connector (Blue and Blackw ires in Weatherpack 3-pin connector) to cause warning LED to light after six second delay.

    Overheat lamp check: Short Tan harness wire at Temp sensor wire harness connector (Weatherpack single pin connector) to ground to cause lamp to flash (1/2 second on, 1/2 second off sequence)
    This should also activate RPM limit if engine is running

    Notes

    • If engine is not running, press and hold Bilge button to power up the electrical system Orange circuits.
    • Overheat warning overrides Low Oil warning.
    • I do not know what the differences are between the 2002 3280392 version of this gauge and the 2003-2004 3280445 version. The wiring diagram connections look the same. Perhaps 3280445 is simply an improved version and can be used to replace the 2002 only part number.
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    LR-85 'Lamp Driver' module connections (4010615)

    A - Black - Ground
    B - Blue - Oil level sender (100 ohms to ground = Low Oil)
    C - Tan - Temp sender switch (grounded = HOT)
    D - Orange (Switched 12 volt accessory power from LR-505 Start/Stop module, or Bilge button)
    E - Purple/White - LED Sync Signal to Gauge
    F - Gray - 3500RPM Limit signal to CDI (triggered by Low Oil or HOT)

    The Freedom oil sender is just a float switch with a 100 ohm resistor, so unless the oil tank is nearly empty it should read open circuit. 12 volts on the Blue oil sender wire MAY be normal, since the oil level is sensed by the LR-85 module.

    The rest of the LR-85 is just an electronic switch that grounds or pulses the LED signal on Purple/White when it wants the LED to light up, or limit RPM during engine HOT condition.
    Last edited by K447; 11-25-2013 at 12:49 PM.

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