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  1. #1

    May buy a 1997 Polaris SL 900, Suggestions?

    I have an opportunity to buy a 1997 Polaris SL 900 (Red Engine), it has the following wrong with it:

    1. Owner said battery got overcharged or something and unit ran OK for the day, but as the day went on a single wire connection from the CDI got hot and then melted . I looked at this and the CDI has two wire runs (1. Bundle of wires, 2. Single Wire) The Single wire is the one that burned up, now unit will not run.

    I am wondering what the purpose of the single wire is and if the story given sounds OK. I am also wondering if the CDI is fried od just the wire. I assume a used CDI box for this ski in somewhere between $150 and $300 dollars.

    I would also be interested in any feedback on the 97 SL 900 models regarding speed and reliability and fixes necessary to make it so.

    It may also be helpful to know what I should be paying for the unit.

    Thanks,

    Keith


  2. #2
    Lake Mead Bum & BTLS Mark starflight's Avatar
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    What color is burn't wire? Black?
    If the ski has not had the update ign. kit (cdi and stator-circa $300) installed, it may be time to do so.

  3. #3
    1996 SL900 & SL700 turk0004's Avatar
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    The SL900 is a great ski. I have a 96 and love it. You can change the stator while the motor is still in the ski but it will be tough. Please reply with the wire color that is burnt. Take a pic and post it of the electrical box and CDI. I think the CDI in mine has the last 4 digits of 447 and mine has the update.

    With the ski running properly you should be in the mid to high 50mph.

    Turk

  4. #4
    Buy American or Learn To Read This: >^$"#[email protected]*$:?</
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    purchase price

    I just purchased a Mint 25.2 hour 1997 SL 1050 with really nice single playcraft trailer for $1200 cash and nothing wrong with it. Runs awesome!
    I also live In Phoenix,az metro area and is hardest hit construction state. Our economy is terrible due to fact that 60% of workforce is in construction one way or another, so may be why prices are so cheap here too. Just thought might be some sort of guideline for you.

  5. #5

    Here is a bit more information on the problem

    I talked with the owner again and he said that his buddy overcharged the battery (with a large car charger) put in back in the ski and then took it for a ride.

    The ride went well until the end when the single black ground wire (which he now says is the ground wire) from the CDI fried thus disconnecting the circuit. He mentioned that he spoke to a service place that told him it is most likely only the ground wire, but is not sure without bringing it in and checking it over. As I mentioned there seems to be a bundle of wires and a single wire (fried wire now) coming from the top of the CDI module (on top of the battery. Please remember that this is not the black wire going to the battery (-) terminal, but a single black wire coming out of the top of the CDI. Also the owner says it is a black wire and I seem to remember it being brown? The shop also mentioned that the bilge pump may be tied to the single, top ground line.

    Does the above sound plausible or does it look like major damage time? Without the ski in front of me I am relying on the owners description and my one time of looking at the ski.

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kxs View Post
    I talked with the owner again and he said that his buddy overcharged the battery (with a large car charger) put in back in the ski and then took it for a ride.

    The ride went well until the end when the single black ground wire (which he now says is the ground wire) from the CDI fried thus disconnecting the circuit.

    He mentioned that he spoke to a service place that told him it is most likely only the ground wire, but is not sure without bringing it in and checking it over.

    As I mentioned there seems to be a bundle of wires and a single wire (fried wire now) coming from the top of the CDI module (on top of the battery.

    Please remember that this is not the black wire going to the battery (-) terminal, but a single black wire coming out of the top of the CDI.

    Also the owner says it is a black wire and I seem to remember it being brown? The shop also mentioned that the bilge pump may be tied to the single, top ground line.

    Does the above sound plausible or does it look like major damage time? Without the ski in front of me I am relying on the owners description and my one time of looking at the ski.

    Thanks!
    What you are calling the CDI is actually the entire electrical box. Inside that box are several parts, including the actual CDI module.

    It would seem that the battery shorted to the shell of the electrical box, which can happen if those two things are not properly strapped down, or the plastic battery cover is missing.

    When the battery shorts to the electrical box case, the wire that typically over heats (burns, melts) is the Black ground wire in the cable bundle that goes to the stator at the front of the engine.

    Sometimes the black wire alone can be replaced. Sometimes the whole bundle of wires must be replaced.

    And sometimes the entire stator with attached cable must be replaced.

    The ground wires inside the electrical box must also be checked for damage.

    If the stator+cable must be replaced, then the best option is to purchase an install the Ignition System Update Kit.

    The Update kit contains a new and improved stator, and a new CDI module, for not much more than either one alone normally costs.

    You may even be able to sell your existing 'old' CDI module, and recoup part of the cost of the upgrade kit. Pricing of the kit varies, but is usually around $300-$400.

  7. #7

    Bought the 1997 SL 900, Fried Wire & Electical Problem left to fix

    Well I bought it!

    Here is a picture of the wire that fried (bare wire stub on right side pointed down). I cannot seem to see where it went too? If someone could let me know or post a picture of where it used to go, I was thinking of jumpering it with thick wire just to see if the ski would start. Good idea or bad idea? Also found slight corrosion marks from battery on bottom of electrical box lending some evidence that the plastic cap being off may have caused this.

    Thanks,

    Keith


    http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AR...d2t4dmZ0&hl=en

  8. #8
    1996 SL900 & SL700 turk0004's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Congrats Keith! Happy to have another 900 owner on the forum! Can't view that pic from my phone though...damn iPhone

    Turk

  9. #9
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kxs View Post
    Well I bought it!

    Here is a picture of the wire that fried (bare wire stub on right side pointed down). I cannot seem to see where it went too?

    If someone could let me know or post a picture of where it used to go, I was thinking of jumpering it with thick wire just to see if the ski would start...
    Have you opened up the electrical box to check the other end of that burned wire?

    I suspect it was a non-heavy black wire that went to the battery negative terminal, but you need to check the rest of that wire, as it may have burned things inside the electrical box.

    It only takes a few minutes to crack the electrical box open. Other than checking the burned wire, look for signs of moisture or corrosion inside there, and inspect the rim seal.

    Check to see if the original CDI part number is installed, or an update CDI. Part of the update kit installation process was to cut the thin ground wire. If your CDI is an update version, the thin black wire to the battery negative is supposed to be cut.

    If the burned wire really is connected to the Black terminal group inside the box, then you can try grounding the stub to the battery negative, for a start test.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10

    Cracked open the electical box and what I saw

    Thank you for the wiring diagram and advice to look into the box.

    As you said it was quick and easy, just the six screws on the top.

    I found that the wire that fried was bundled in a black covering insulation that housed two other wires. Another black wire (that connected to the PC board together with the now fried wire) and a separate yellow wire (?) that went to another connection on the board. It looks like the outer insulation melted on to a few other wires, but did not penetrate their insulation (visual observation). May need to test procedure for the board terminals to know for sure?

    When I take a meter it shows that there is a connection from the fried stub of wire left on the top of the case to both the other black wire and case (case may be due to insulation being burned off at case)

    At this point I am thinking of taking the burnt wire out of the top case entry point, making sure the other black and yellow wire have no insulation damage and running another suitable black wire to the negative battery terminal for a test start. OK?

    1. Should I go forward with the above?
    2. If the above starts the PWC, where does the new black wire go?
    3. Is there a service section on testing points in the electrical box as well?
    4. Should the black ground connect to the outer case? or is this due to the melted casing?

    Thanks again in advance!

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