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  1. #1
    boomanch1967's Avatar
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    Smile MSX 140, step by step, diagnosis, strip down and repair

    In the next few days I want to take the time for a step by step analysis of my MSX 140 and the final fix of my original ski.

    I just purchased another MSX 140 it has like 67 hours on the clock, and am documenting the full troubleshooting, disassembly and I mean complete disassembly, and reassembly of the MSX 140. This second ski, has exactly step for step the same issues as my original ski. So it is starting to look to me there is just an order of things to do to these units when you bring one home. Once done, this is a very nice ski, that is fast, handles and rides like a dream.

    At this point my second MSX is fully disassembled, the hull is empty... the only part not coming off is the rub rail, back grab bar, and the the thru hull assembly for the jetdrive, no need to mess with that. Other than that it is fully apart. Motor internals and rotating parts are perfect, so not taking that down. Just flywheel cover, flywheel, stator and Bendix... is as far as the motor needs to go.

    When we brought it home... just a quick run through to evaluate the game plan...
    Compression solid 120 across all three holes
    Code 11 on the reader.. no errors- really??? but it does not run!! Just part of the MSX's madness...
    NO spark
    -CPS 149ohm
    -Stator all open to ground
    -voltage and ohm readings on Stator good
    No fuel pressure
    Banging sound when turning over the motor--

    These were the symptoms... any sound familiar??

    So, we now have a solid plan for taking it apart, and have a good idea where the little bastard Gremlins are hiding...

    So when I look at the list the first thing I want to figure out is the banging sound... this could be expensive.....
    I looked first at the jet drive, because the sound was near the PTO side of the motor.
    What did I find??
    Not a crank bearing... expanded wear ring, corrosion in between stainless and aluminum, made a bubble, hits the impeller... bang bang. Gremlin Bastard #1 found
    Remove jet drive assembly, crank motor no bang.... Wear ring on the way!
    Moved to issue #2 no fuel pressure
    Removed handlebars, and internals for the steering assembly, pulled off hoses, wires etc, pulled fuel pump... pressure regulator laying in the bucket.... Gremlin Bastard # 2 dead
    Issue #3 No Spark
    Remove EMM from running ski, put 8 pin and 12 pin into it, crank, no spark... Take EMM from dead ski, put in running ski, fires right up.... If you don't have a second ski, send the EMM to DFI, pay for the diagnostics... saves time in the end, money well spent.(Don't mix up you EMM's in the process, specific to the injectors installed on your machine, you cannot swap and use, idle for troubleshooting is fine)
    Disconnected everything on the motor, pulled engine, got cover off flywheel, flywheel good, Bendix good, stator checks out... grease bendix, new gaskets, put back together. Tested stator and am confident stator is good.
    I am zeroing in on Gremlin bastard #3... CPS, bad ground, or dirty connections all are a possible, so one by one I will move through these.
    Rigging up a way to fire motor off the cherry picker, so I don't have to put it back in in case something is wrong that I might have missed. Stay tuned.... My money bet is that my CPS is not pulsing for the EMM, and EMM is ignorant to the fact that anything is happening, because if it does not see crank rpm, it does not know that the user wants something to happen, like maybe a spark, maybe a little fun on the lake, just can't handle that logic without input from the CPS. You can cuss at it talk to it all you want, no cps input no go...

    So anybody chime in here as we go, maybe you can add something from your experiences, when it is all done, I will compile it into one document that we can link new users to, and slow down the same line of questioning on this specific model. After reading these posts for the last 2 months, and working on 2 of these units, it is pretty evident there is just a set of things to do for an MSX 140, and that pretty much all the machines will experience the same set of issues... besides the obvious misuse abuse issues, there are just things that this ski does that are very perdictable as it ages...
    Anyway, felt like I was given a lot of help from folks on here, and want to pay it back with something new owners and existing owners could use.


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomanch1967 View Post
    In the next few days I want to take the time for a step by step analysis of my MSX 140 and the final fix of my original ski.

    I just purchased another MSX 140 it has like 67 hours on the clock, and am documenting the full troubleshooting, disassembly and I mean complete disassembly, and reassembly of the MSX 140.

    This second ski, has exactly step for step the same issues as my original ski. So it is starting to look to me there is just an order of things to do to these units when you bring one home. Once done, this is a very nice ski, that is fast, handles and rides like a dream.

    At this point my second MSX is fully disassembled, the hull is empty... the only part not coming off is the rub rail, back grab bar, and the the thru hull assembly for the jetdrive, no need to mess with that.

    ...Moved to issue #2 no fuel pressure
    Removed handlebars, and internals for the steering assembly, pulled off hoses, wires etc, pulled fuel pump... pressure regulator laying in the bucket....


    Issue #3 No Spark
    Remove EMM from running ski, put 8 pin and 12 pin into it, crank, no spark... Take EMM from dead ski, put in running ski, fires right up.... If you don't have a second ski, send the EMM to DFI, pay for the diagnostics... saves time in the end, money well spent. (Don't mix up you EMM's in the process, specific to the injectors installed on your machine...

    ...Disconnected everything on the motor, pulled engine, got cover off flywheel, flywheel good, Bendix good, stator checks out... grease Bendix, new gaskets, put back together. Tested stator and am confident stator is good.

    I am zeroing in on Gremlin bastard #3... CPS, bad ground, or dirty connections all are a possible, so one by one I will move through these.

    ...when it is all done, I will compile it into one document that we can link new users to, and slow down the same line of questioning on this specific model.

    After reading these posts for the last 2 months, and working on 2 of these units, it is pretty evident there is just a set of things to do for an MSX 140, and that pretty much all the machines will experience the same set of issues... besides the obvious misuse abuse issues, there are just things that this ski does that are very predictable as it ages...

    Anyway, felt like I was given a lot of help from folks on here, and want to pay it back with something new owners and existing owners could use.
    I applaud your project, and others will surely benefit from seeing and reading about the process.

    My own initial comments;

    Rebuild that through-hull bearing carrier while you have easy access to it. It is a lot more work to rebuild it later on, with the engine in the hull. They ALL need rebuilding every so often.

    For a machine that has an unknown history, it just makes sense to do the through-hull bearing carrier rebuild now, regardless of the hours on the machine.

    An alternative pressure regulator repair to pulling the Ficht fuel pump out of the fuel tank (which is a small project on its own) is to install a Kawasaki inline fuel pressure regulator, which was used on the Kawasaki Ficht PWC engines. This allows the Polaris fuel pump and fallen pressure regulator to stay where is, as is, un-repaired. Part numbers can be found through my signature links.

    I think it is worth pointing out that the main reason for pulling the flywheel is to confirm the condition of both the flywheel and the stator. Sometimes the magnets inside the flywheel become loose (more often with the red Ficht engines than the MSX 140). Any metal or magnet debris inside the flywheel housing can then damage the stator, in addition to the damaged magnets themselves becoming less effective.

    Before pulling the engine apart, it is worthwhile to check the voltage on the White/Red wires that power the injectors. While cranking, voltage should be over 20 volts DC within a few seconds of starting to crank. If the engine starts, voltage should jump up to around 45 volts (measured relative to engine ground). Measured with all injectors plugged in.

  3. #3
    boomanch1967's Avatar
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    Smile We are on the same track....

    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    I applaud your project, and others will surely benefit from seeing and reading about the process.

    My own initial comments;

    Rebuild that through-hull bearing carrier while you have easy access to it. It is a lot more work to rebuild it later on, with the engine in the hull. They ALL need rebuilding every so often.

    For a machine that has an unknown history, it just makes sense to do the through-hull bearing carrier rebuild now, regardless of the hours on the machine.

    An alternative pressure regulator repair to pulling the Ficht fuel pump out of the fuel tank (which is a small project on its own) is to install a Kawasaki inline fuel pressure regulator, which was used on the Kawasaki Ficht PWC engines. This allows the Polaris fuel pump and fallen pressure regulator to stay where is, as is, un-repaired. Part numbers can be found through my signature links.

    I think it is worth pointing out that the main reason for pulling the flywheel is to confirm the condition of both the flywheel and the stator. Sometimes the magnets inside the flywheel become loose (more often with the red Ficht engines than the MSX 140). Any metal or magnet debris inside the flywheel housing can then damage the stator, in addition to the damaged magnets themselves becoming less effective.

    Before pulling the engine apart, it is worthwhile to check the voltage on the White/Red wires that power the injectors. While cranking, voltage should be over 20 volts DC within a few seconds of starting to crank. If the engine starts, voltage should jump up to around 45 volts (measured relative to engine ground). Measured with all injectors plugged in.
    Fully agree, I agree so much so that I did not even mention that... get a good multimeter, and start probing, a lot can be learned in a hurry. What I see though is that you can have all the proper voltages, and still have a stator issue. My first ski was exactly in this position. The issue was debris under the flywheel magnet surface. I had proper voltages, just depended on where the debris was at the time of taking readings. This slowed my process down, because I kept talking myself into the fact that voltages were correct, stator must be ok.(any inconsistency in your readings should send you to pulling flywheel cover and flywheel off machine, any thing going to ground in 12 pin, after visual harness inspection, should send you to full pull of flywheel) My multi-meter also told me I had 4 pins going to ground on the 12pin, and still had good voltage. If any pin goes to ground, to me it is automatic, pull the motor and get after it.
    Looking back on my first experience with the MSX, a lot of time was spent chasing my tail. Just easier to read the code reader and look at the multi-meter numbers and form opinions. Reality was, all the studying in the world did not fix my problem, I had to get things that I measured verified before I could solve the riddle.
    4 pins going to ground, proper voltage, most of the time on the multi-meter, then sent me towards the stator, however I still had questions of the EMM, TPS and CPS, and connection corrosion. Sent EMM to DFI, they verified EMM was good. That helped a bunch because it focused me directly on stator and flywheel. Both bad, replaced them, no spark still, this then sent me to CPS and cleaning connections, per your advice, which was spot on, and now my original ski runs like a champ.

    I pulled the flywheel to verify magnets, metal scraps, etc... that was the whole reason to pull the motor out, and just make sure it is all good. You can waste a crap load of time trying to avoid a motor pull, when the reality is that you have to accept the fact that anything can go wrong, and these flywheel assemblies and stators are a weak link... actually the Bendix appears to be the thing that does the most damage to the machine. The Bendix is what chips and sandblasts the case, and stator, and will eventually work off the teeth on the flywheel, and then the damage really ramps up inside. The stator going to ground is simply a fact of scraps of conductive debris have found their way to the inside of the flywheel, and they are grounding the stator across the air gap, between magnets and stator pickup surface... oh and of course the CPS is also magnetic, and the debris will also erode the CPS surface... fun stuff. Again working on this PWC stuff vs. Sleds and ATV's it is all relative... what looks like an intimidating job, pulling a motor, really.... like 12-15 bolts, a few connections, fuel and oil lines, a cherry picker, lifting strap and the motor is swinging in the breeze. Once you get the exhaust off, some clamps, hoses and 6 bolts, life gets pretty easy....



    Now that is pretty cool finding an inline regulator, I was just in the shop yesterday morning discussing with my guys how ignorant it was to put the pressure regulator in the tank, and that Carter and the brilliant engineers at Polaris should be responsible for such a poor design... If you look at this site for anytime at all, you can see that the regulator falling off is gonna happen on any of the Carter fuel pump machines. I was searching last night in the automotive world for such an animal as an inline pressure regulator. Not only is it a pain in the butt to get to, the press fit design with effectively a weight on the end, left to the shock of busting waves, as we all know these PWC's are equipped with very good long travel suspensions, and just soak the bumps with no shock sent through the machine... oh crap, I got confused, this thing is a boat... and there is no suspension... not an ATV, not a snow machine... so it makes perfect sense to me to put the Kawi pressure regulator on board in line... oh and you can actually get to it without pulling everything off the top end of the ski, unscrewing the big top assembly, and then put a whole bunch of backyard ingeniuity into making a poorly designed regulator mount work.... brilliant!!!

    Yes to me it is an automatic to rebuild the bearing assembly... BTW, the 6205 bearing is used in volume on the snow machines, I actually have a few dozen of them in the spare parts box for the sleds. Seals can be obtained locally without issue, so it is one of those no brainer situations, and in the sled world, if it rolls it gets replaced off season, so no different on the MSX as I see it. Really how many bearings in a ski?? How many bearings in a sled?? The PWC maintenance compared to what we do on sleds is kinda just a big laugh. Sure the PWC is a pain to get to, working in a hole, however comparing rolling parts, fastner volume, I'll take the pain of the PWC vs. the volume of bearings on a sled anyday.

    Thanks K447, by the time we get this MSX back together we should have all the talking points figured out, I am snapping pictures of every step...
    There will be a slight delay in my posts, as I decided last night to add some custom paint to the new MSX, so please excuse my pause, as I personalize this machine.... Give me a day or two to wrap that, and I will be back on mechanicals.... So off to turn my tape layouts to the real deal...... and squirt some paint and clear.... love that fresh paint smell in the shop!!! Yes only smell it after it is dry!!! Smell it while you are painting... dead duck eventually!!!

  4. #4
    boomanch1967's Avatar
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    PS, I went through your links quickly did not find the Kawi part number for the regulator... if you know what model and year Kawi had this regulator, I will get the part number and add it to this post, so when I cut and paste all this info into a coherrent document, we can have everything in one place... We should title this document, " How to fix what should not need fixin, had everyone done their job at the factory"

  5. #5
    boomanch1967's Avatar
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    PSS and oh by the way the rub rail is now coming off so I can paint!! So as I see it the only parts that stayed on this unit was the FNR shift assembly, the bow hook, the thru hull fittings, ride plate, Intake grate, and the rear grab bar. One other note, I keep reading on here that the Jetdrive on 2003 will not come out without removing ride plate, I have taken 2 jetdrives out on 2003 models and the ride plate is still installed. There is barely clearance to get it out, but it comes out without issue.

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomanch1967 View Post
    PS, I went through your links quickly did not find the Kawi part number for the regulator... if you know what model and year Kawi had this regulator, I will get the part number and add it to this post, so when I cut and paste all this info into a coherrent document, we can have everything in one place...
    Alternative Ficht fuel pump repair using Kawasaki 16162-3701 inline pressure regulator

  7. #7
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomanch1967 View Post
    ...the only parts that stayed on this unit was the FNR shift assembly...
    How to repair a stiff or jammed Reverse lever on Virage, MSX, Genesis
    Relieves the binding inside the reverse handle mechanism

    Might as well do that while you have everything else out of the way

    When it is working properly, it takes only two fingers to move the reverse lever back and forth.

  8. #8
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    This was written for the Virage, but much of it also applies to the MSX 140.

    Some things to check - Virage

    These are the main Ficht related web pages;

    Polaris Ficht Fuel Injected Engines
    Virage i, Virage TXi, Genesis i, MSX 140

    Polaris PWC with fuel injected engines
    Maintenance, fuel pressure, things to check...

  9. #9
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    Here is what I did when I took a break from the mechanicals

    Waiting on pinstripes to show up via UPS... turned out pretty good, still needs a color sand and rub out, but waiting for clear coat to toughen just a fuzz bit more....

    The center section is actually a dark pewter color with a fair amount of metallic in it, does not show so well in pic, but looks way cool...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
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    I am zeroing in on Gremlin bastard #3... CPS, bad ground, or dirty connections all are a possible, so one by one I will move through these.

    From my original post...
    It is now running. Bad CPS, Bad TPS, TPS was actually bubbled from salt corrosion, and bad ground. So it was about impossible to diagnose without have spare parts laying around.
    So to recap:
    Fuel pressure was zero:
    No Spark
    Those were the 2 major issues
    Code read machine, 11- No problems
    Pulled motor because previous owner had removed flywheel cover, and it was easier to pull motor than to try and put the cover back together in the boat.
    I had a stator that I knew was good, I wanted to check flywheel anyway, so I pulled flywheel, replaced stator, and reinstalled flywheel, reassembled.
    Changed Drive bearing as I was already 90% there having the motor out.
    Fixed pressure regulator that had fallen in the tank.
    Cleaned every connection, and motor grounds.
    Reinstalled motor
    Reconnected all wires, hoses
    Bled oil injection system
    checked mark on oil injection pump
    Properly set free play on throttle
    Fired motor- no spark, disconnected TPS, still no spark, reconnected tps, swapped CPS off a running ski, no spark, unplugged TPS, 2 cyl's sparked....
    Cussed a bunch, bounced K447 for ideas, and as usual, good advice.... one thing he said was check grounds... hell I cleaned them all... then I walked out to the ski, looked at it, and dang, forgot to clean ground on battery. Cleaned it, fired right up.
    So how did I decided what the problem was, CPS, TPS, and ground.. it was all three.
    I took CPS off a running ski, tried to start it systematically. Only changing one variable at a time. At first I thought I had a bad coil on Mag, so I pulled coil wire off center, put on mag, mag fired, put mag on center nothing happened. Ground was causing the issue of no spark on all 3 cyl's. Cleaned ground, and it fired right up, and is sparking strong. I also checked voltage on red/white wire, it was about 30 on crank. So those things forced me to ground, and K447 slam dunked it for me.
    I am going to build a tester for CPS, and also a tester for TPS with a reostat installed to allow user to change voltage. We use these kind of testers on our auto steering for tractors and combines, pretty sure my ag electronics guys can gin one up in a few minutes. (we use linear sensors, to measure wheel position, and they have similar issues to a TPS. High failure rate, and make wierd things happen. The CPS tester will be a simple led in a box that tees in line, it will pulse, visually showing CPS function.
    We just finished a combine that steers off of RTK GPS(1"GPS), and has an overide row following finger tied into the same valve... linear senors, PWM hydraulics, satellite receivers, 9 axis gyros and potted rotary sensors, etc...(Holy crap, a lot can go wrong ) we had a cable bad on a linear sensor, as soon as we did a steer test, wheels canted full lock left. No feedback of where the wheels are they slam one direction full on. We used a known good sensor, and connected it at every connection until we got to the computer. Turned out last connection was bad, opened up, not soldered... made in mexico.... hey just like all the polaris parts in these MSX's!!
    It all relates... a good flow chart and a good troubleshooting rule book, and anyone can fix these things!! Thats what I am after, within the next 2 weeks I will have such an animal done. THANKS K447!! As usual you come through in the end!!

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