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  1. #1

    97 Polaris SL900 ignition problem

    I've got a 97 Polaris SL900. Bought it along with a 96 SL780 last year. Started having some ignition problems and read that they had problems with the old style stators and were upgrading them to the ones in the 1200's i believe. Anyways i buy the upgrade kit, box and stator, start tearing it apart only to find an already upgraded stator and box. Turns out one of the screws in the stator had came undone and the stator had moved throwing the jetski out of time. Went ahead and have the new stator and box installed regardless by a local shop and had it timed by them also. Now the jetski is back together and i'm still having problems but now just of a different nature. Sometimes it'll start and sometimes it won't, usually after i get it started and it's warm it'll fire right up no problem. But i had i tried putting it on our pond last year (bigger pond) before putting it on the lake to make sure nothing is wrong. After putting it on the pond i couldn't get the jetski to run over 15mph, it just wouldn't get going and plain out. Pulled all the plugs and it appears the front cylidner isn't firing? From what i've read the coils on these things virtually never go out and they were fine before the new stator/cdi box swap. From what i can tell the back two cylinders are still firing.

    Now to my question, what are the odds of just one coil going out when i hear when they go usually all 3 will go at the same time? And what are the odds that it's still not timed correctly? Jetski just didn't seem like it had any power compared to what it used to (15mph max speed obviously) and it's a pain the crank. Is it a timing issue or am i looking at something else?

  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada
    Was the shop that installed the replacement stator knowledgeable about Polaris engines?

    Has it ever run properly since the work was done?

    You can ohm test the coils - that will tell you if there is something obviously wrong with any of them.

    Also check that the ignition coils and CDI really are well grounded. Poor ground connections can cause all sorts of weird problems. Confirm zero ohms between the electrical box grounds and the engine block itself.

    You can also swap the coils and CDI channels around to see if the problem moves to another cylinder.

    Each cylinder has a separate Hall Effect sensor in the magneto stator. Each sensor triggers a channel in the CDI to send a spark pulse to the coil for that cylinder.

    If you swap the primary and secondary (spark plug) wires for a pair of coils (I suggest MAG and CEN), you can check whether the problem stays with the same cylinder, or moves to the other cylinder.

    If the problem does not move to the other cylinder when the coils are swapped, then the coils are OK. Put them back to normal.

    Next swap the MAG and CEN Hall Effect stator wires into the CDI, and swap the MAG and CEN primary wires to the coils. If the problem does not move to the other cylinder, then the CDI is OK, and the stator is the problem.

    You should also check the timing. You can do a static timing test with the engine off, or with a timing light through the inspection port at the top of the magneto housing.

  3. #3
    Well both the stator and the cdi box i installed were brand new so i'd assume both would be good. I'll check the grounds first, and as far as testing the ohms in the coils i'm assuming just a regular tester will do?

  4. #4
    ryandi2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    conesus ny!
    Quote Originally Posted by git_sum View Post
    Well both the stator and the cdi box i installed were brand new so i'd assume both would be good. I'll check the grounds first, and as far as testing the ohms in the coils i'm assuming just a regular tester will do?
    this might be too simple but.. take all plug boots off the wires...(they pull right off after you cut the zipties.. inspect the wire ends and cut the wires back a bit toog et some fresh wire showing then install boot back on and zip tie... try that and see what happens..

    my 1050 was onlyrunning on too but it would go faster then 15 and get on plain but was sluggish untill i cut the wire back..

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