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  1. #1

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    Trouble on the Water bogged down

    Hi all.

    First time poster long time reader.

    I own 2 1999 Polaris SLTH. I was out on the water yesterday and the one older ski started to what sounded like misfiring. The engine lost power within a second or two and the engine stalled once I let off the gas.

    Up to this point it was performing great and had top-end similar to my other ski. The pickup was kind of sluggish sometimes when I jumped on the throttle. I had to let off a bit and then get back on.

    I tried starting it back up and it sounded terrible so I towed it back in immediately to take a look. The compression was 120 front / 90 in the back. Which is not so good... I took off the head and the rear cylinder had metal shavings in the cylinder. The piston itself looked good no chipping or putting, the cylinder bore didn't have any gouges in it, but the head did. Nothing too serious but enough to figure out where the steel was from. The metal shavings had was looked like copper which I guess is from the rings.

    Do I need to replace anything other then the rings and the seals? And what would cause this? Just want to get down to the bottom of this so I can get back on the water. In the attached pictures the cylinder at the top is the rear one.

    Thanks

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

    Update your Profile with your location and PWC info

    My guess is that one of the crank shaft bearings has failed, and you are seeing pieces of the bearing.

    Hand turn the drive shaft coupler (you may need to remove the plastic cover first). Watch for the damaged piston to rise up, then reverse direction. If there is a spot where you can rotate the engine shaft back and forth and the piston doesn't move right away, then the bearing has failed.

    A better check is to remove that cylinder. Then you can visually and physically check for bearing damage.

  3. #3

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    Cool

    You are right on the money.

    Took off the plastic guard and turned the crank. There is vertical slop in the piston at the top and the bottom of the stroke.

    Realistically what sort of parts should I look at getting?

    Rings, seals, and crank shaft bearings?

    Is there an easier way of taking the cylinder? or I am going to have to take the exhaust off. I really need to get a manual.

    Thanks

    T

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    The crank shaft will need to be rebuilt. It is not something that can be done without special tools and knowledge.

    Do you want to rebuild the entire engine yourself (other than the crank), or purchase a rebuilt engine, ready to drop in?

  5. #5

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    I would like to rebuild it, but I would ask for the help of a mechanic that I normally deal with (mercruiser engines). Are their any specialized Polaris tools that he would need?

    Also would this kit have everything I would need to rebuild the crank? http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/POLAR...#ht_1303wt_941

    I would also look at getting new piston rings and seals for the head.

    You have been very helpful thanks. I see you live in Toronto. Do you do repairs on Polaris'?

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Arrow Polaris crank shaft rebuilding, engine rebuild overview

    That is the sort of crank rebuild kit you would need.

    Among the special tools needed would be a 25-35 ton hydraulic machine shop press. It really is much easier to send the crank to a reputable crank shop that is familiar with rebuilding Polaris cranks.

    The crank shop would also have the tools and jigs involved in pulling the crank sections apart, then pressing the crank back together with the new pieces.

    You can certainly tear the engine down and extract the crank shaft. Once the engine is apart, send the crank out for rebuild.

    At the same time, you can have the cylinders evaluated. If they need reboring, you can have that done.

    The usual sequence is to have the cylinders checked for condition, diameter and taper, and any cracks, scars or other damage. If reboring is required, you then take the cylinders home, and order the replacement pistons and rings.

    When the new pistons arrive, the shop will precision measure the new pistons. The cylinders are then bored and honed to match the new pistons.

    Separately, you can clean the rest of the engine up, and prepare for re-assembly. When the crank and cylinders are back, you put it all together.

    If your engine still has the original ignition system, now would be an excellent time to install the Ignition System Upgrade Kit. Much more reliable than the original version. Cost is about $300. Includes new stator, new CDI, new ignition coils and wires.

    Searching and reading around here, you will find lots of useful information.
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  7. #7

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    Thanks that was great advice. I have never really had a problem with the ignition. Starts right up within a turn or two. I bought it used. I'll check if it is original or not though.

    In terms of root cause of the bearing failure. Do you think it was just age or do you think that the cylinder may have leaned out? The carbon pattern on the piston looks good.

    Thanks again. Your posts are great.

  8. #8
    ryandi2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thiagoavila View Post
    Thanks that was great advice. I have never really had a problem with the ignition. Starts right up within a turn or two. I bought it used. I'll check if it is original or not though.

    In terms of root cause of the bearing failure. Do you think it was just age or do you think that the cylinder may have leaned out? The carbon pattern on the piston looks good.

    Thanks again. Your posts are great.
    do you know how many hours are on the boats? that could be a factor..

  9. #9
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thiagoavila View Post
    T...In terms of root cause of the bearing failure.

    Do you think it was just age or do you think that the cylinder may have leaned out?

    The carbon pattern on the piston looks good...
    Piston wash patterns (lean vs. rich fuel:air ratio) doesn't affect the crank shaft (not until something fails, anyways).

    Cranks can fail for a number of reasons. Often it is not possible to be sure why it failed, after the fact.

    One that comes to mind is improper storage practices. If the engine is not used for an extended time period, the steel roller bearings can be exposed to moisture from the exhaust system (mainly water sitting in the waterbox).

    The protection is to spray protective fogging oil into the air intakes any time the engine will be sitting for more than a few days.

  10. #10
    bowsniper's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=K447;
    One that comes to mind is improper storage practices. If the engine is not used for an extended time period, the steel roller bearings can be exposed to moisture from the exhaust system (mainly water sitting in the waterbox).


    Wow, Keith, You think of everything! Thats so true about water sitting in the water box. I never would of thought that was a way the bearings could get exposed to water..

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