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  1. #1

    JetSki Chronicles

    JetSki Chronicles #1

    I bought my 1100 for $2000 from a shady mechanic that claimed he had put a new motor in it.
    Yes, he had put a new motor, TWO YEARS BEFORE he sold it to me.
    He bought the ski back from someone who had let it sit for about a year and patched it up so it would run and sold it to me at a bargain. Ha

    The ski would run OK for a few minutes, then stall out like it was starving for gas. I brought it home and hooked it up to a hose (ran in salt water) and started it.
    DAMN ! !

    The thing went CRAZY. It took off wide open throttle (WOT) and wouldn’t shut off. I pulled the key out, choked it, and cussed it. Like to have ruined my shorts – damn scary.
    As a last resort, I turned off the gas and it finally stopped.

    Well, after a lot of searching on the JetSki forums, I found out this is called a lean runaway. Good thing I didn’t ruin the motor.

    The fuel filter looked dirty so I changed it and took it to the water again….

    See: Jet Ski Chronicles 2 for the next problem

  2. #2

    JetSki Chronicles #2

    Back in the water with the 1100.

    Pulling the kids on a kneeboard, but ski kept stalling out and dying. I would restart the ski and it would get on plane, then stall out again. This went on for many times until the ski wouldn’t start.
    The starter sounded like it was turning, but the motor wouldn’t turn over. Well, all the forum geniuses said that my starter bendix was gone.

    Put the ski in the garage, removed the front cowling, drained and removed the gas tank so I could see the flywheel cover, and went to work.

    After I removed the gas tank and was draining what was left of the gas, I heard something clanking around in the tank. I turned it up-side-down and some big old globs of hardened black crap came out of the tank. It looked like crusty road asphalt.
    What it actually was is hardened oil/gas mixture that had dried up in the tank while it was sitting for a year. You see, the gas was pre-mix without oil injection.

    This crap was floating around and being sucked up against the fuel line and causing the ski to stall out. I looked in the tank and there was lots more of this crap stuck to various areas in the bottom of the tank. I got the power washer and cleaned it up.
    This should cure the stalling out problem – now for the bendix.

    See Jet Ski chronicles 3………..

  3. #3

    JetSki Chronicles 3 (the starter bendix mystery)

    Now I have room to work and I can see everything.
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    That’s one of the problems I have with the 1100 3 seater, you can’t do anything much with the tank in the way.
    The other problem is that it is hard to get to the motor and the tank because the access hole is too darn small. The 2 seater is much better, because the entire front cover tilts open. I pulled the entire motor from a 2 seat 1100 without doing anything but taking out the motor mount bolts and taking off the exaust hose. MUCH EASIER TO WORK ON.

    I believe that the reason the hourly rate to work on JetSkis is so expensive is because everything is so impossible to get to. You almost need to take the ski apart to work on anything.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Anyhow, back to the bendix problem.

    I got my digital camera and took pictures of where all the wires, hoses, and cables went so I could put everything back the way it went.
    Then I pulled the flywheel cover. Had to get upside-down to reach the positive cable on the starter – it’s hell to get to.
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    The inside of the flywheel cover was so dirty, I don’t know how this thing was firing at all.

    Then I turned my attention to the bendix………..
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    It appeared fine. No binding and no missing teeth. Hmmmmmmmmmm, now what?

    See JetSki Chronicles 4 ………………….

  4. #4
    Oh, and you are not entirely correct about the bendix.
    The problem was "not" the bendix.
    I was about to address this in the next post, but I guess nobody wants to hear about it because I am posting too much ......

  5. #5
    Polarisitis loonatik's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Tampa, FL
    If you only hear whirling sound when starting, that means the bendix is not engaging with flywheel. There's a cam mechanism inside the bendix gear that pushes the smaller gear forward to engage with the flywheel when your starter is turning. Sight of binding teeth does not mean bendix is bad and having full teeth does not mean bendix is function properly either. Like IEGPR said, you should take the bendix out for a thorough inspection.

  6. #6
    JetSki Chronicles #4

    I found the right size wrench for the flywheel bolt and grabbed hold of the flywheel so I could turn it, and guess what……….

    The flywheel turned freely in my hand.

    What The ….F???

    Well, I used an impac wrench and removed the flywheel bolt and the flywheel. Here is what I found………….

    A friggin sheared woodruff key.

    So, all the experts were wrong. It wasn’t the bendix, it was a woodruff key !!

    Looks like I solved the mystery.
    I put the new key in, bolted up the flywheel, cleaned up and bolted on the cover, hooked up all the wires, hoses, and cables.
    Put the tank and front cover back in and was finished after about 8 hours of labor.

    The good thing was, it was MY LABOR and it didn’t cost me a dime, well, other than the 2 bucks for the woodruff key.

    Back to the water with fresh gas, a clean stator, and new woodruff key.

    See Jet Ski Chronicles 5………..

  7. #7

    JetSki Chronicles 5

    JetSki Chronicles 5
    Put the ski in the water and started right up.
    Rode around awhile and lost my cap so I went back to retrieve it and killed the engine.
    Hit the starter, guess what, it wouldn’t start and sounded just like it did before when I sheared the woodruff key.
    There was nobody around, so I dove in and swam the damn thing to the dock, put it on the trailer, and cursed it all the way home.

    This is a salt-water ski, and I couldn’t even flush it out because it wouldn’t start. I didn’t care at this point so I just parked it in the back yard and forgot about it for awhile.

    About a week later I found a clean fresh-water ski for sale about 300 miles from me. I bought it cheap because it didn’t run. I got it home, pulled the motor out, and found out that it had pieces of roller-bearings all over the crankcase.
    Looks like someone was stupid and tried to continue to use the oiler on a 15 year old ski. One of the self-oiler hoses was badly crimped.
    Oh well, all the other parts looked fine.

    OK, now I was ready to tear my troubled ski apart.
    I took everything loose as before. It took me about ½ the time because I now knew what I was doing.

    Yep, it was another sheared woodruff key !!!! WHY ? That was the question.

    I decided to take out the motor mount bolts and slide the motor forward so I could turn the engine and pump separately to see what was going on. (another 3 or 4 hours)

    After I separated the motor from the pump, I grabbed the coupler for the engine and it turned easily, OK the motor was not seized.
    Then I grabbed ahold of the coupler for the pump and it wouldn’t turn at all. I couldn’t even turn it with a chain wrench. I mean, it was locked up solid.

    Problem found……….. now to try and isolate it and fix.

    See JetSki Chronicles 6 …………………….

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