07-05-2011, 10:01 AM #1
1998 ZXI 1100 with intermittent/bad electrical power
Sorry about the long post, but I wanted to be as detailed as possible. I have a 1998 Kawasaki ZXI 1100 with an electrical gremlin that I canít figure out. Hereís the story:
My jet ski sank once last year. I went through all the hoopla of draining the engine, pumping oil through it, cleaning the carbs, etc. I got it running again and I never thought to check the electrical box because I wasnít having any electrical problems at first.
Late in the year, it started developing an intermittent electrical problem. I would turn the key on, and nothing would happen, no oil light, no gauge lights, nothing. Iíd turn it off and back on, sometimes several times, and it would eventually work. At the very end of the season, it got worse. It was getting to the point of where Iíd have to cycle the switch several times before Iíd get any power, then when I attempted to start the engine, electrical power would completely die again. When it did start, it would run for hours with no problems. I winterized it and put it away.
This year, I took it out of the garage, put a good battery in it, and the problem is still there, but worse. Now, no matter how many times I try to cycle the key, I get no power at all. Itís completely dead.
The first thing I checked was the key/switch. There are four wires going into it, white, black, red, and red/white. When in the off position, white-to-black shows a connection and all other pin-to-pin combinations show no connection. When in the on position, red-to-red/white shows a connection and all other pin-to-pin combinations show no connection. I assume this means the switch is good, but without a wiring diagram I really donít know. Should there be any special resistance levels in there? Are the pin-to-pin connections right?
I checked as many ground points as I could, they all checked out fine. There is no voltage drop across the battery terminals when I cycle power. I used my meter to check current draw and it didnít show anything.
I checked the fuses. Both were good and there was 12V across the terminals of the main fuse, so power and ground were good at that point. There wasnít any voltage across the KATS fuse, but I wouldnít expect any if the KATS wasnít being used.
I pulled the lid off the electrical box and there was definitely water in there. It was still damp and there was a lot of corrosion, especially around the voltage regulator. Inside the box, there are three main components, the voltage regulator, engine control module, and solenoid. Sitting through the winter with water in the box, especially in Michigan, probably didnít do it any favors. It was clean around the coils, but coils shouldnít cause this problem anyways so Iím going to rule them out for now.
The area around the voltage regulator had the worst corrosion, there was even some corrosion in the connector. I cleaned it all up, plugged it in, and still nothing. Would a bad voltage regulator cause this kind of problem or would it simply prevent the stator from charging my battery? Is there a way to test it?
The ECM was wet too, but it appears to be sealed well. Is there any way to test one of these?
The solenoid isnít clicking when I cycle power on, but that doesnít necessarily mean anything. Iím guessing it only handles current when starting the engine. However, I could be wrong.
Right now, Iím leaning towards the ECM or voltage regulator, but Iíd like some other opinions or information before I run out and buy parts.
07-05-2011, 11:42 AM #2
I called the dealer and he told me there is no way to bench test the components. I think I'm being fed a line because anybody can bench test the voltage regulator and power switch if they have the right specs, but I'm not sure about the engine control module. Can somebody provide me with the specs to the voltage regulator and power switch?
07-05-2011, 07:44 PM #3
Well, I came accross an electrical sheet for the voltage regulator, checked it out, and it appears to be bad. If it's not THE problem, it's clearly A problem. I'll post an update when I get the new part.
07-06-2011, 09:51 PM #4
With water in there, I'd bet that all of the plug-in connectors are corroded. You'll have to unplug them, clean them, and plug them back together. You probably have corroded connections inside of each plug in the wiring harness. The depending on how long it was submerged, you probably have corrosion in the starter and/or stator. Same goes for the electric trim.
07-07-2011, 10:02 AM #5
Worked on that last night, still waiting on the new regulator. It's supposed to be in on Friday or Saturday. Do you have a data sheet for the key/switch?
07-07-2011, 10:43 AM #6
I was thinking the same thing as Steve. My 2000 GTI had water in the electrical box and the plug in connectors had corrosion on the outside and on the inside. I took a very small dremmel tool with grit on it and just worked it in and out of the wire connector to rub the funk out of it. After that, she fired right up.
07-07-2011, 08:07 PM #7
07-08-2011, 07:51 AM #8
I was wondering if you know what connections I should expect from a good power switch (key switch, ignition switch, whatever you want to call it).
There are four wires going into it, white, black, red, and red/white. When in the off position, white-to-black shows a connection and all other pin-to-pin combinations show no connection. When in the on position, red-to-red/white shows a connection and all other pin-to-pin combinations show no connection. I assume this means the switch is good, but without a wiring diagram I really don’t know.
07-11-2011, 03:32 PM #9
I bought a new voltage regulator, still no power.
I broke down and bought a service manual. I checked the power switch, it's still good. I really don't know what to do next, does anybody have any suggestions before I call it quits and take it to the shop?
07-11-2011, 09:19 PM #10
I'm still betting you have a bad connection somewhere, like in the harness. Pull all the connectors apart and clean/inspect them. My bet is that you'll find a corroded terminal on a red wire somewhere.
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