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  1. #1
    deepwest563's Avatar
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    2002 Polaris Genesis losing power

    I just can't seem to figure out what is happening to my 2002 Genesis. Yesterday, I was running extremely low on fuel trying to get it back to the boat launch. I was moving along at about 60 m.p.h. All of a sudden, I felt it loose some power. It would not do above 40 m.p.h. after that. I thought that it was just out of gas. This is a carburated engine.

    This morning, I filled it full of fuel and hit the river again. It still did not have its normal power and only did about 40, and would not go above 4000 rpm's. Usually, at full throttle, it runs about 6 to 7000 rpms while in the water.

    I then decided to change the spark plugs and still didn't fix the problem. However, I started it out of the water and when running, I squeezed the throttle and it then reved up to 8000 rpm's. So something is restricting it from reving any higher than 3500-4000 rpm's while its in the water.

    How can I fix this problem please help. Think its a fuel issue? Or is it coincidence that it happened when running low? I just don't know what to check next.
    Thanks in advance,


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deepwest563 View Post
    I just can't seem to figure out what is happening to my 2002 Genesis. Yesterday, I was running extremely low on fuel trying to get it back to the boat launch. I was moving along at about 60 m.p.h. All of a sudden, I felt it lose some power. It would not do above 40 m.p.h. after that. I thought that it was just out of gas. This is a carburated engine.

    This morning, I filled it full of fuel and hit the river again. It still did not have its normal power and only did about 40, and would not go above 4000 rpm's. Usually, at full throttle, it runs about 6 to 7000 rpms while in the water.

    I then decided to change the sparkplugs and still didn't fix the problem. However, I started it out of the water and when running, I squeezed the throttle and it then reved up to 8000 rpm's. So something is restricting it from reving any higher than 3500-4000 rpm's while its in the water.

    How can I fix this problem please help. Think its a fuel issue? Or is it coincidence that it happened when running low? I just don't know what to check next.

    Thanks in advance,
    Troy,

    Start by checking cylinder compression. All spark plugs out, throttle held wide open.

    ... I would suspect lean burn piston damage. Running at full power with extremely low fuel can cause the fuel system to suck in air bubbles along with the fuel, which can greatly reduce actual fuel volume delivered to the carbs.

    BTW, the engine should never get up to 8000RPM, as that is well above the RPM limiter at 7200RPM. Normal in the water RPM at full power for your engine is around 6300 to 6800RPM, give or take.

    In the future, if you are running low on fuel, the most fuel efficient cruise RPM is about 4000RPM to maybe 5000RPM. That will take you the farthest on the remaining fuel.

    Quote Originally Posted by deepwest563
    ... Is there a process to bleed the fuel system to remove any air bubbles?

    I love to ride and I not much for doing repairs. The shop I took this to has moved and the closest place that will work on a 2 stroke Polaris is 3 hours away. So now I have to learn how to work it myself.

    Something is restricting it from going any higher than 3500-4000 rpm's while in the water....
    My worry is that you have seriously damaged the engine internally. That is why the compression check is important.

    The fuel system will self clear any air bubbles in short order. That is not the main problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by deepwest563
    ...So it is possible that I can damage the pistons and permanently lose half of its power just from running too low on fuel? I didn't even run out. I made it back to shore ok. plus I was on smooth water. WOW that's crazy.
    The best way to approach diagnostics is to collect the facts regarding the current state of the engine and fuel system. That will lead you to the most likely problem cause(s). Then you do further checking to verify or disprove each possible cause until you have identified the actual problem and the possible fixes.

    So check compression, since that is a very important check of the internal state of the engine.

    My signature links provide lots of info on how to do this, and other checks and tests.

  3. #3
    deepwest563's Avatar
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    This afternoon, I performed the compression test. All 3 cylinders measured 120 p.s.i.. I believe there isn't any piston damage

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deepwest563 View Post
    This afternoon, I performed the compression test. All 3 cylinders measured 120 p.s.i.. I believe there isn't any piston damage
    Good to hear.

    What is the service history on the machine?

    Have the carburetors been internally cleaned and rebuilt?

    Fuel filter replaced?

    Are the fuel lines transparent so you can see the fuel/bubbles flowing?

    Electrical - correct NGK spark plugs?

    Do you know if there is spark on all three cylinders?

    Can you test it in the water while still strapped to the trailer? If yes, what idle RPM do you have?

    Shut down the engine, then disconnect one spark plug and run it again. Note the idle RPM. Reconnect spark plug wire.

    Repeat for each of the other cylinders.

    If the RPM change is different for ONE cylinder, then that cylinder has a problem.

    You can also ohm test the magneto stator and the ignition coils. Details found through my signature link.

  5. #5
    deepwest563's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    Good to hear.

    What is the service history on the machine?

    Have the carburetors been internally cleaned and rebuilt?

    Fuel filter replaced?

    Are the fuel lines transparent so you can see the fuel/bubbles flowing?

    Electrical - correct NGK spark plugs?

    Do you know if there is spark on all three cylinders?

    Can you test it in the water while still strapped to the trailer? If yes, what idle RPM do you have?

    Shut down the engine, then disconnect one spark plug and run it again. Note the idle RPM. Reconnect spark plug wire.

    Repeat for each of the other cylinders.

    If the RPM change is different for ONE cylinder, then that cylinder has a problem.

    You can also ohm test the magneto stator and the ignition coils. Details found through my signature link.
    I have the machine serviced annually and winterized on schedule every Fall.
    Last time it was in the shop, last September, they had to pretty much take out the whole engine and put it back in because it had vibrated loose. Costed me almost $1000 in parts and labor.
    I don't believe I have ever changed the fuel filter. (I have only owned this machine for 1 summer. This is the second summer)
    I DO NOT have transparent fuel lines. I have the grey Tempo hoses. (I will be replacing those because I understand that they are junk) Last Summer, I poured a bottle of Sea Foam in the fuel tank.
    I run the NGK BR9ES spark plugs. However, I use the ones that DO NOT have the screw off tops. Any time I've ever used the the plugs with the screw off tops, they always vibrated loose on me and I would loose a cable while riding
    Yes, I have spark on all 3 cylinders
    I'm hoping that this is a dirty fuel system issue. If not, I will test the cylinders while in the water as you said


    Thanks again for your help

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    The newer gray Tempo fuel lines may be OK, but changing them anyway is a good idea.

    If the fuel lines have gone bad (or even if they haven't) rebuilding the carburetors is a good idea. Dirty carbs can cause engine damage, and may be contributing to the problem you are having.

    Replace the fuel filter while you are in there.

    The fuel selector valve will sometimes develop an air leak, which can allow air bubbles to get sucked into the fuel system.
    Last edited by K447; 05-26-2011 at 02:21 PM.

  7. #7
    If I can throw in my 2 cents. In the seadoo world... the Tempo hoses cause all kinds of issues. When they break down, they send green goo into the carbs, and plug them up.


    OK... try something for me. Go out and start the engine, and let it idle for about 10 ~ 15 seconds without hooking it to a hose. Once you've shut it off... feel the base of each of the spark plugs. Make sure they are all warm.

    When I was working on my Genesis project... one of the sparkplug wires was bad, and in turn, one of the cylinders wasn't firing. If it isn't firing... the base of the plug won't be getting hot.

    The symptom was a good running engine, that would only get to about 5200 RPM in the water.

  8. #8
    deepwest563's Avatar
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    I have tried all these tests and everything appears to be normal. I am just going to take to a shop 3 hours away and then sell this POS. I bought this thing in January 2010 for $3000, and I have already spent almost $1500 in repair bills just for 1 summer. I've rode it only once this year, and it already has to go back to the shop. Everytime I ride it, something goes wrong and it costs an arm and a leg to fix. Not to mention the gas money taking it to a shop. DO NOT BUY A POLARIS. My family all together has 3 Genesis and 1 Virage and they are all junk. This thing really don't deserve a spot on my double trailer. I had a Polaris ATV and it NEVER did run right. I will never buy a POLARIS product ever again.

    Once again- thank you for the help, but I am at my wits end with Polaris.

    But it sure does look nice

  9. #9
    deepwest563's Avatar
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    Sorry for the outburst. Frustrations got the best of me I suppose. I took my Genesis to Midwest Motorsports in Kielier Wisconsin this past weekend. Hopefully they can fix it and will let you alll know what the big problem was

  10. #10
    Hey... everyone is entitled to their opinion. At the moment, I own 3 Polaris products (Victory motorcycle, RZR, and my Genesis) I have had good luck with all of them.

    With that said... I got my Genesis cheap because it wasn't running right. (So I understand) I put $200 in to it, and I've had a reliable ski for over a year. (The time since I got it running) But face it... you bought a used ski, and you don't know how it was neglected before you got it. Hope you can get it running because that big hull is fun to ride in the chop. It will get up to 55~56 mph, and be very stable.

    That big hull makes my XP look tinny. But hold in there... it is a fun ski. and you can let anyone drive it, and be safe.


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