Water Ingestion Repair

Monday, June 11th, 2007
Some will never have this issue, some will have it multiple times. Regardless it happened to me and I want to share what I have done to get back into the race. DO NOT WAIT, RUST IS STARTING THE MOMENT IT TOOK ON WATER.
First what happens during water ingestions.
More then likely water will get into your engine when flipping the craft. Hard to flip this monster but it can happen. The DUMB way of ingesting water is leaving your drain plugs open and sinking your boat while its in idle. My water ingestion came from a performance modification that was not properly protected from outside elements. I continued to run my ski until it died dead.
So what happens. The water will follow the air intake tube into the charger, then into the intercooler. Its in the intercooler that a good amount of water can collect and save the motor from ingestion. What you feel is loss in power and occasional bobbling. Its best if you shut it down then. If you must get yourself to a destination to avoid being stranded then idle to your destination.
If you ingest so much water that the engine will not start then do not try anymore. Water has more then likely made its way into the cylinder and has wet the spark plug and making it useless.
So you for sure ingested water?
Pack it up and head home. Do not attempt lake side repairs. If you have been running you ski for some time then do not attempt to remove the plugs until the engine has cooled. Donít listen to anyone that says you need to pull the plug to get the water out. If you do attempt to pull the plugs while the engine is still warm then you will run a huge risk of this photo.

What this photo shows is the thread that had snapped off the plug during removal from a hot 250 motor. This head on the 250 is aluminum and expands during hot running and locking in the plugs. You must wait till the head has cooled before it will release the plug. Trust me its a huge pain getting the threads out of the headÖ. Removing the plugs comes later.
As soon as you can, you need to pull out the intercooler from your ski. If you have never done this then follow the section on Intercooler removal here. Only get the info you need to remove the intercooler.
Once you have that out then drain it. Simply tilt it vent side down. Pick a side with a hole and poor it out till empty. Mine dumped about a gallon of water out. Leave it on end until empty. {If you did the ingestion in salt water then you will need to flush it out with fresh water as to avoid corrosion.} Once it no longer drains then set it on a table and use a blow dryer to dry it out. I stole my ladies hair dryer that can blow air with out heat. I stuck it in the intake hole and taped it in place. This allowed for air to flow throw the intercooler and dry it out. After a few hours I reversed the directs of air flow to get the other side. I left mine go all day.
Now for the air intake. Vary little will settle but some will as this photo shows from oil puddling.

This can dry out on its own but will take some time. If you need to then remove the air intake hose and dry this portion of the Super Charger out.
Your air box has a pink nipple for draining. Remove that and allow the water to drain from the air box it self. Aftermarket intake systems do not have this pink drain plug.
Now for the throttle body. I took a zip tie and zip tied the throttle open at the finger throttle. This allows the trigger to stay pulled open and allow the throttle plate to stay open. If your ski is on a trailer its now that you want to tilt it up as much as possible for the water to run out of the throttle body. Be sure you put a towel under the open throttle plate so water is soaked up instead of draining all over you hull.
Not all the water will come out. You will need to gentle push a dish towel into the throttle body in hopes to soak up the remaining water that has puddled in the throttle body. Once you feel its dry then you can move onto the engine itself.
First remove the plug wires and drape them over the side of the engine compartment and ďgentleĒ remove the spark plugs.

Ok so ensure all is clear. You might want to put a towel over itemís you donít want wet and messy. Better yet pull your ski outside to attempt the next step. You will need to run the motor on the starter. The plugs being out and the plug wires away from the engine you will want to run the start button for about 10 seconds at a time. This forces out water and air from the plug holes. Careful though because what will be coming out is a high volume mixture of water gas and air. So donít be looking into a plug hole when attempting the BLOW OUT.
You will notice no more water coming out after about 3 attempts. Be sure to dry off the head after each attempt. Once your sure that the motor has turned out all the water then clean it up and install a NEW set of plugs. NGK Laser Platnium PMR9B. Get them from your Kawi Dealer. Donít be fooled or tricked into a different plug. There is no better or cheaper plug that can be safely used. If you cant find a new set, then clean the old ones using a good amount of WD40 then allow them to dry some. They will look wet but as long as its wet with WD40 and not water you should be fine.
Once your components are clean and dry you can put them back into your boat. Reinstall all but the catch can. Check it for oil foam. See photo below, this is my catch can with a large amount of foam from the oil and water mixture.

Clean this in a part washer. Do not use water or soap. Use nothing other the heat or a parts washer. You donít want to contaminated you oil with residue. Once clean reinstall it.
No for the messy part.
Check the dip stick. If the motor oil is clear or a dark shinny black then you dodged this bullet. If it looks like coffee with a creamer in it then your in for some good old dirty oil changes.
Just a quick look inside of my motor before the oil changes. See how the pooling oil is effected by the water.

You will need to do a minimum of 3 oil changes. Run your motor on the hose flush kit for about 5 to 10 minutes varying the idle. Never hit the rev limiter or high RPMís as pump damage can happen from doing this.
On your third oil change you will need to change the oil filter. Kawasaki Part Number 16097-0003. Again there is no replacement or better filter out for this motor. Oil pressure demands this filter and any other will either slow your oil flow causing damage or the pressure will ensure the filter seal to fail.

Once you have completed this major task then take it back to the lake and do a simple lake testing. Be easy on it as some water may blow through as left over from some missed. Run it as if you are doing a break in.
Once completed then do a post work inspection. Insure all bolts are tight and all clamps are snug.
Check you oil and expect to do an oil change at 5 hrs and again at 15 hours after your ingestion.
This whole project is determined to be valued at or around $1000.00. So if you have the cash and donít want to bother with the mess then take it to the dealer but be warned that future issues can be blamed on the ingestion as the dealer will have record of it.