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  1. #1

    1997 ZXI 1100, one spark only

    Hey all, fixing a '97 ZXI 1100 with a friend. He purchased this ski with these problems; the ski is hard to start, the previous owner was using starter fluid to get it to start, and the ski didnt like to idle, but could be coerced into revving if you played with the throttle. After some initial troubleshooting, the carbs were all three loose (fixed), and the battery was drained down to 11 volts. Charged the battery, ski now has 11 volts while cranking and the carbs are properly secured with good gaskets. However, when cranking the engine, each plug gets one good solid spark when you hit the start button, then nothing...only one single spark. I havent been able to get the ski started since charging and fixing the carbs, so im not sure if it starts getting spark once the engine fires or not. The engine fires and tries to start when you first hit the starter but fails to actually start. The manual seems to point to a stator problem, but I plan on doing a complete diagnostic check tomorrow. Also, the manual mentions that running a compression check with all the plugs out without grounding the plug wires can ruin the coils, unfortunately I read this after making that mistake, so this may also be the problem?

    Has anyone experienced this problem before with the single spark when cranking? Just looking for some guidance on where to look. Thanks!

  2. #2
    steve45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    I really don't know, however I have a Yamaha jet boat that has done something similar. When I've tried to start it with the wrist lanyard removed, it will fire once and that's it. Perhaps this is the capacitor in the ignition system discharging and not recharging.

    I would check the lanyard switch.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the reply. The previous owner read this post and actually bought my friend a new battery. I had charged the old battery and it was reading 12.4 volts, but when we put the new battery in it started right up. After a day of riding, it wont start again. I read on another site that the BLK/YEL wire was the lanyard wire (The manual says it is for the temp sensor???) so I unplugged it from the CDI and the ski started right up. I plug it back in, it wont start again...I unplug it again, still no spark. Im gonna start checking the grounds tomorrow, and trace the lanyard wire and start eliminating things one at a time. Anyone know where I can find a good electrical diagram for the zxi1100? The manual doesnt have a complete one. Thanks!

  4. #4
    Figured it out. When I disconnected the plug in the CDI box that had a gray, black/white, and two white wires (plug for the key switch and kill switch) the ski would start right up. After starting it, I could reconnect the plug and the ski would continue running and the kill switch would work normal and could be used to kill the engine. This made me think that the white wire going from this plug to the key switch (switch was bad) was the culprit. The quick fix for now until we get a new switch was to simply cut the white wire coming from the key switch as this wire doesnt affect any other system in the ski. The ski now starts and runs normal, we are now getting ready to test the pop-off pressure on the carbs to diagnose the rough running issue.

  5. #5
    Ski still starting right up good. We tested the pop-off pressure in all three carbs and came up with 32psi ,33 psi , and 35 psi. We kept cutting about 1/2 coil at a time off the pop-off springs until we got all three carbs down to 23psi (was aiming for 24psi but cut too much off the last cut on all three). We then adjusted the low speed adjustment screws to 1-1/8 turns out and reinstalled the carbs and took the ski out. It runs a little lean still and idles too low since the low speed adjustment is leaner than before, so we need to turn the low speed adjustments out another 1/4 turn or more, but the ski ran good once it got up to about 3k rpm and started feeding off the main jets. A little more carb tuning and I think we will have her running great.

  6. #6
    Texan78's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    N. Texas
    Your pop-off is still to high for these carbs. You should be in the 12-15 psi range. That is why you are having to turn your mixture needles out more. One way you can tell if you have the pop-off perfect is if you are using the 70 gram 8.3 mm spring the needle arm will sit on top of the spring and sit perfectly horizontal to the jet plate.

    You need to set your pop-off perfect first. You can run your hi/lows richer because you can always lean them out. Once your pop-off is set then put it in the water and while still on the trailer adjust your idle. Should be between 1250-1500 rpms. Once you have the idle dialed in then you can work on your lows. Once they are dialed in then you can work on the highs. You might have to make minor adjustments to the idle once the lows are dialed in. When you check the highs and dial them in get it up to speed then pull the kill lanyard and let it cost in. Check the plugs and then adjust the highs. Don't start it back up once you pull the lanyard when dialing in the highs. So you will need to be able to coast in or have someone tow you to shore.

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