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  1. #1

    1988 Waverunner 500 - No spark

    I'm trying to figure out why my 88 runner doesn't have spark. We just got it from a dealer that had it sitting out back for a year. They said it ran when they picked it up, but it doesn't now. Here's where I am and what I've done -

    -Drained tank, put in fresh gas and filter. The carb is pulling gas through the filter.

    -Charged battery, it turns over the engine just fine.

    -Previous owner took off the intake and filter - I'm getting them on ebay.

    -Fresh spark plugs - No spark. Tested with spark plug pulled and grounded against engine - no spark. Disconnected kill switch harness, same thing.

    So I'm at the CDI and Coil. The sketchy dude at the watercraft store "tested" the coil and said it was bad, but he also tried to rip the wires out of it. Not sure if he knew what he was doing. I'm about to go get a multimeter and test it myself. From what I've read, it's supposed to have 5 ohms on one side, 5k ohms on the other. Is there a good way to test the CDI? Any specific voltage I should be getting across the orange and black wires to the coil?


  2. #2
    Old Ski Insanity w/rpm500's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John's truck View Post
    I'm trying to figure out why my 88 runner doesn't have spark. We just got it from a dealer that had it sitting out back for a year. They said it ran when they picked it up, but it doesn't now. Here's where I am and what I've done -

    -Drained tank, put in fresh gas and filter. The carb is pulling gas through the filter.

    -Charged battery, it turns over the engine just fine.

    -Previous owner took off the intake and filter - I'm getting them on ebay.

    -Fresh spark plugs - No spark. Tested with spark plug pulled and grounded against engine - no spark. Disconnected kill switch harness, same thing. kill is a open circut when operating properly( grounding /closing shuts the cdi off)..very common to be bad (I have had to 'cycle' one quite a few times to clear the contacts suficient to stay open and start) So I'm at the CDI and Coil. The sketchy dude at the watercraft store "tested" the coil and said it was bad,did he load it and then discharge it? but he also tried to rip the wires out of it. Not sure if he knew what he was doing.the 500 coils dont rebuild like the newer ones do! ( least i havent been able to remove the high tension leads on any yet I'm about to go get a multimeter and test it myself. From what I've read, it's supposed to have 5 ohms on one side, 5k ohms on the other..15 ohms primary winding +/- 20 % / 3.5k secondary +/- 20 % Is there a good way to test the CDI? there is a ohm test out chart in the o/e manuel for the cdi Any specific voltage I should be getting across the orange and black wires to the coil? see above! orange /black is the primary at .15 ohm's +/- 20%
    send me a p/m and I can scan the chart for you

    YAMI manual says test out in this order... stop switch,spark plugs, wiring, ground's,charge coil, pulser coil,ignition coil, cdi

  3. #3
    Sent ya a PM with my email.

    I went ahead and ordered a coil so I'll put that it next week. Still concerned about that CDI since I can't really test it. PM me if you have one for a 1988 waverunner 500.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by w/rpm500 View Post
    send me a p/m and I can scan the chart for you

    YAMI manual says test out in this order... stop switch,spark plugs, wiring, ground's,charge coil, pulser coil,ignition coil, cdi

    My Ignition Coil on my 1988 WR500 also tested at 5 ohms exactly. I tried my other ski (same make and model, also non-running), and its ign. coil tested at 5 ohms. Are they both bad, or is that acceptable. I am using a Craftsman Digital Multimeter.


    THANSK!

  5. #5

    Similar issues

    Quote Originally Posted by w/rpm500 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John's truck View Post
    I'm trying to figure out why my 88 runner doesn't have spark. We just got it from a dealer that had it sitting out back for a year. They said it ran when they picked it up, but it doesn't now. Here's where I am and what I've done -

    -Drained tank, put in fresh gas and filter. The carb is pulling gas through the filter.

    -Charged battery, it turns over the engine just fine.

    -Previous owner took off the intake and filter - I'm getting them on ebay.

    -Fresh spark plugs - No spark. Tested with spark plug pulled and grounded against engine - no spark. Disconnected kill switch harness, same thing. kill is a open circut when operating properly( grounding /closing shuts the cdi off)..very common to be bad (I have had to 'cycle' one quite a few times to clear the contacts suficient to stay open and start) So I'm at the CDI and Coil. The sketchy dude at the watercraft store "tested" the coil and said it was bad,did he load it and then discharge it? but he also tried to rip the wires out of it. Not sure if he knew what he was doing.the 500 coils dont rebuild like the newer ones do! ( least i havent been able to remove the high tension leads on any yet I'm about to go get a multimeter and test it myself. From what I've read, it's supposed to have 5 ohms on one side, 5k ohms on the other..15 ohms primary winding +/- 20 % / 3.5k secondary +/- 20 % Is there a good way to test the CDI? there is a ohm test out chart in the o/e manuel for the cdi Any specific voltage I should be getting across the orange and black wires to the coil? see above! orange /black is the primary at .15 ohm's +/- 20%
    send me a p/m and I can scan the chart for you

    YAMI manual says test out in this order... stop switch,spark plugs, wiring, ground's,charge coil, pulser coil,ignition coil, cdi
    does it use the same method as the 88 wj500? I recently acquired one that won't start up but turns over. It appears to be getting spark but very dimly when grounding to the engine. Spraying starting fluid in the carb does nothing and spraying it directly in the spark plug hole does nothing either.

    When the plugs are out the starter turns the motor over quickly, but chugs when the plugs are in.

    also, the start button no longer works, although it did at first. We have to jump the solenoid in the power box to get it to turn over.

  6. #6
    Myself's Avatar
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    It has been my experience with older machines that sit a while and suddenly have no spark that the CDI is normally at fault. I believe the capacitors go bad internally.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Myself View Post
    It has been my experience with older machines that sit a while and suddenly have no spark that the CDI is normally at fault. I believe the capacitors go bad internally.
    Are the internal parts of these CDI's unique or special? If it ends up being the CDI, i've considered removing the rubber sealant on the back and replacing the components on the board underneath. I've got more than enough experience with soldering, the problem lies with if some of the components are programmed or pre-programmed or unique and can't be ordered.

  8. #8
    Myself's Avatar
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    No need for that. Guys have had success wiring up some chinese quad CDI's or something.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Myself View Post
    No need for that. Guys have had success wiring up some chinese quad CDI's or something.
    So Ive heard, but they are missing the rev limiter so it's really easy to blow the motor.

  10. #10
    Myself's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex0r View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Myself View Post
    No need for that. Guys have had success wiring up some chinese quad CDI's or something.
    So Ive heard, but they are missing the rev limiter so it's really easy to blow the motor.
    Only if you keep it pinned while the pump is out of the water. We unhook the rev limiter on the 550 standups all the time.

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