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  1. #1
    Ultra151's Avatar
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    Damaged Cylinder

    I just bought a used 2000 Ultra150. It had 91 hours on it when I took delivery. I put it in the water 3 times for a total of 2 Jet Ski hours (now up to 93 hours on the machine) and each time in the water the engine performance decreased to the point that it would not start.

    Each time in the water, except the first time, the battery light flashed frequently.

    So I charged the battery - still no luck.

    I bought a new battery and 3 new spark plugs. Afterwards, on the 4th time in the water it fired up right away but would not go above 25 mph.

    I took it in for service today and the compression test came back with C#1 = 145psi, C#3 = 145psi and C#3 = 0psi.

    So I had the mechanic tear the engine down to further diagnose the problem in cylinder #3.

    I am told the machine has a hole in the piston, needs new o-rings and a new head (it is an aftermarket head). The mechanic needs to look further at the cylinder tomorrow and also look at the carburetor.

    Couple questions:

    1. is it likely I got the machine already in this condition or did we do something to it to cause this problem? The first time out we got it to hit 70mph which is what the previous owner told me it can hit.
    2. what might I be looking at on a repair bill for this?
    Any insight, prior experience or help you can shed is greatly appreciated. I am new to PWC's and I bought this machine for my kids to use for the summer. I have no idea if the prior owner was honest here or what the mechanic may be looking for on a repair bill.

    Thanks
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    My 2000 Kawasaki Ultra 150 w/ Mods
    Last edited by Ultra151; 06-24-2010 at 08:40 AM.


  2. #2
    pokechop2006's Avatar
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    most likely oil injection line failure,thats common on the ultras if the oil lines have never been replaced.check for cracks in the lines.if you burned a hole in the piston an the cyl isnt scarred you can most likely put a new piston in an go.have your mechanic replace all oil lines while your there.

  3. #3
    Ultra151's Avatar
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    Thanks pokechop2006...I will have him replace lines too. Any ideas on repair bill here? It can end in 2-zeros...I am just trying to get a feel for are we talking 200-300 or upwards of $1000?

    Also, do you think the ski came this way or did we cause the problem?
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    Last edited by Ultra151; 06-24-2010 at 08:39 AM.

  4. #4
    btldigger's Avatar
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    Oil lineds are a known problem, replace them with tygon line. If the cylinder is bad then it can be replated. Since your having a shop do it 1k wouldnt suprise me.

  5. #5
    You need to make sure that cylinder isn't running lean. Running lean can result in a ventilated piston.

  6. #6
    steve45's Avatar
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    With an aftermarket head, I would guess that it would probably require higher octane fuel. If you ran regular gas, that would cause it to detonate and burn a hole in the piston.

    Hope your cylinder is OK.

  7. #7
    Ultra151's Avatar
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    the owner claimed to have always run high-octane fuel with synthetic oil. I have used only 93% octane and Amzoil Synthetic Oil
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    Last edited by Ultra151; 06-24-2010 at 08:39 AM.

  8. #8
    Ultra151's Avatar
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    I completely understand that the following question is very hard to answer and pin down, but I am very curious and concerned:

    Does something like what I have described above happen on 1 or 2 outings or does this occur over time (again machine now has 93 hours on it). I am interested because I believe the machine was in this condition before I took ownership. The 2 Jet Ski hours we rode it were very low-key type careful rides -- nothing wild and crazy.

    Part of my concern too is that if this can happen at any given moment based on the way someone rides the watercraft, then I have serious concern that we are even capable of operating this delicate machine (no sarcasm intended here).

    Thanks
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    Last edited by Ultra151; 06-24-2010 at 08:34 AM.

  9. #9
    btldigger's Avatar
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    Yes something like that can happen quickly. The key is regular maintinance and checks before you go ride.

    I assume you didnt do a compression test or take a test ride before buying. What we dont know about your ski is whether it the piston failed from not enough oil or from going lean. Since you say it needs a new head I would say it burned down in the exhaut port and the rings snagged the exhaust port. That usually means detonation, bad fuel or a clogged head fitting can cause that .

    The more info you can give us the better we can narrow down what happened. Do some reading on here and the ultra 150 board. There is alot of info on common issues and things that need to be checked. If you have a question and dont find an answer just ask. Ther are alot of ultra owners hear that can help you out. While it is broke down I would check the pump bearings.

  10. #10
    Ultra151's Avatar
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    So I took the Jet Ski to the shop. I am looking at $1,025 to repair.

    • parts (piston, rings ,etc) $230
    • labor (tear down and rebuild) $505
    • check and clean carburetor $265
    • shop parts $25
    Spent time on phone with shop trying to understand how and why this happened...they can't tell merely by looking at piston.

    Spent time on phone with previous owner -- of course he tells me the machine ran like a charm when he took it out of the water for the last time last year. (I am still convinced I bought it bad, otherwise I have no right to ride a machine of this delicacy and sensitivity because on the 2 machine hours we have ridden on it we were lucky to get it past 40 mph except for the first outing.) Every time we put it in the water -- 4 times int total, the battery light was flashing. I replaced the batter and 3 spark plugs (read my earlier thread)

    So I went to the shop to meet with the mechanic. He showed me the piston. Hole in top less than diameter of a dime (see this image http://scootinoldskool.files.wordpre...0/snc15909.jpg). I Googled some images and this one looks very, very close to the top of my piston both in the way the hole appears and the cleanliness of the piston.

    The mechanic did check the oil lines and determined no cracks. Someone here in this forum suggested checking the pump bearings but the mechanic said he did not take the pump apart and has no plans too. Anyway, I can barely afford this repair bill, so I need to cutoff the money drain right here.

    So I asked the mechanic more about how this could happen. He said he won;t know any more until he gets into the carburetor. He said there could be something in the "jet" where the oil/gas mixture makes its way into the engine and he showed me what a jet looked like. I tell you, the hole was so small in this "jet" that I am losing sleep over thinking that I can even ride the Kawasaski Jet Ski and not get anything in the "jet". It is frustrating to watch others on the water rev-up and fly in their jet ski's yet I have an high-performance overhauled machine and I feel like I need to build a trophy stand and set it on the mantle of my fireplace and not touch it.

    The mechanic also showed me 2 dark/black streaks on the side of the piston where he said the machine was cold started. He explained what that meant. I told him that the previous owner instructed me to start the machine on land and let run for 30-45 seconds before putting in water. The preior owner told me to feelthe cylnder heads and when they get more than warm but less than hot to shut it off and you are good to go. The mechanic cringed when I told him this. He said you start it on land, rev it twice and shut it off. The put it on the water.

    On my phone call with the prior owner he told me we probably ran the choke too long. I told him I have done everytihg he advised me to do -- I have always shut off the choke the moment the engine started up - never more than about 5 seconds afterwards.

    Then the prior owner told me that going down the path I am going down with the repair shop and the parts they will end up putting in this machine will just cause the machine to fail again real soon. He also said I need to observe break in time for the new pistin and I am not to run it fast and long for the first few hours on the new piston.

    Gotta tell anyone out there looking to buy their first-ever jet ski for the wife and kids to have some summer fun:
    Don't buy used and stay away from high-performance 2000 Kawasaki Ultra 150's that are red with white hulls!!!!
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    Last edited by Ultra151; 06-24-2010 at 08:34 AM.

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