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  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Talking Lake Erie Drop this Weekend

    It's finally time. Well...close enough at least. I'm ready to drop my 2002 Polaris Virage i in the chilly (42 degrees) Lake Erie water this Saturday. Weather is supposed to be 75 degrees and sunny, and I've been itching for this moment all winter long.

    I purchased the ski at the end of the 2008 season for a song, but it had some problems. I spent 2009 fixing minor issues throughout the machine and finally fired it up about two months ago. Sounded like it could use a good run with fresh fuel to clean out the interior components. But, overall, it ran well.

    To assist with this cleaning process, I was wondering if I should dump any fuel injection cleaner into the fuel? Or if there is anything else special I should do on this maiden voyage.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.


    [photos to follow]


  2. #2
    785xp's Avatar
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    Don't use fuel injector cleaner and have a buddy go with you in case you run into problems. Where are you launching?

    I was already in the water at Port Stanley on Easter weekend.

  3. #3

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    Oh yea, I definitely made sure a friend with a boat escorts me out. Stranded out on Erie in mid-April doesn't sound like much fun.

    I launch at the Cuyahoga River, right down in the Flats [Cleveland].

    So you wouldn't recommend fuel injector cleaner. Ok. Would you recommend anything? Or just run it?

  4. #4
    She likes the bike. But the ski gets her wet!!!! xlint89's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Hulk.

    You're a brave man.

    1. for riding in water this cold

    2. for launching near the flats

    I too am in Cleveland, but you won't be seeing me for a while out there yet.

    Some guys like to run Sea Foam through the fuel system, but I'm always leary of any additives in a 2 stroke.

    Maybe pump out all the old gas and use it in your lawn mower oiver the summer. Then fill it with fresh oil and fuel.

    Good luck with the maiden voyage.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by xlint89 View Post
    Welcome to the Hulk.

    You're a brave man.

    1. for riding in water this cold
    Aw common! We were out on April 2, 3, and 16 already.

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatLakesJK View Post
    ...dump any fuel injection cleaner into the fuel?

    Or if there is anything else special I should do on this maiden voyage...
    Skip the injector cleaner. These Ficht injectors work very differently from automotive fuel injectors.

    If the gasoline is old, siphon it out. Before refilling, remove the filler hose and look inside the tank. Look for any signs of water sitting under the fuel at the bottom of the tank. You may need to lower the trailer tongue to the ground to get the water in the tank (if any) to run forward. Or just drain the tank completely dry anyway.
    You don't want any water in the fuel tank

    Refill with fresh gasoline, at least 1/2 tank. I suggest non-Ethanol fuel, if you can find it. 89 octane or higher would be a good start.

    Don't be in a hurry to actually get on the water. Leave it strapped to the trailer front and rear, and back it down the launch ramp until the jet pump intake is submerged. Now you can run it as long as needed to verify that the engine really is running 100% correctly.

    Confirm that the engine warms up to a reasonable temperature. You should be able to put your hand on any part of the engine cylinders/heads/exhaust manifold for several seconds without burning yourself.

    The engine idle should be consistent and steady, right around 1150 RPM.
    Response to the throttle should be crisp and immediate.
    At any throttle position, the RPM should be stable, and the engine should not surge, miss, stutter, or hesitate.

    Leave the seat off while running on the ramp. Look for any signs of water leaks. Look under the drive shaft through-hull seal (use a small mirror and strong flash-light if necessary).

    Make sure all the cooling water hoses are not kinked, and are not leaking.

    Monitor the digital display for both red lamp, and warning messages.

    Check that reverse engages smoothly, and the 'Reverse' message appears on screen. Engine RPM should be limited to 3500RPM in reverse.

    Check steering left and right with engine running. Should be smooth and easy to steer.

    If it is not working as it should, do as much observation and diagnostics as you can, then pull the ski and trailer out and take it back home.

    Don't ride a PWC that is not working properly.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by xlint89 View Post
    Welcome to the Hulk.

    You're a brave man.

    2. for launching near the flats

    Good luck with the maiden voyage.
    Haha. The Flats isn't that bad of a place to launch...in broad daylight. You won't catch me there after dusk.

    Once you do drop in this season, and if you are looking for someone to ride with send me a PM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post

    Don't ride a PWC that is not working properly.
    Thanks for the write-up, K447. A lot of good information in here, but fortunately I have covered my bases with the fresh fuel. Dropping just the back end in the water while the ski is on the trailer isn't something I have considered before. I like that idea.

    Really appreciate the feedback.

  9. #9
    She likes the bike. But the ski gets her wet!!!! xlint89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatLakesJK View Post
    Haha. The Flats isn't that bad of a place to launch...in broad daylight.
    True....

    Good luck with the outing.

    I like to ride out of Fairport Harbor if you ever want to come out East.

    Got Mentor Headlands and Fairport beach within a 3 minute ride of each other.

    Got the open lake as well as the water inside the breakwall. Throw in the Grande river outlet, and you can get the best of both worlds alot of times.

    Smooth water on the inside with wave jumping on the outside. Oh, and some nice scenery too. :yay2::yay2:

  10. #10

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    Ok. Riding on Lake Erie at 44 degrees wasn't the smartest decision I have ever made, but it was a blast being back out on the water. Smile from ear-to-ear.

    The best part of the trip was that the ski ran great. Strong throttle response and sounded good. I got it up to about 50mph and held it wide open for at least a minute. Ran really well.

    Couldn't have been happier with the trip. Too bad I'm going to wait another month before I pull it out again. That water was just too d*mn cold!

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