Thread: 15F drivetrain vibration
08-29-2011, 03:52 PM #1
15F drivetrain vibration
I recently picked up a 2006 15f with 70hrs on it, was not able to test drive before buying, when I finally did, discovered the impeller was junk, leading edges beat up & all three blades trailing edges bent back, would only GPS at 55.1 with 3 bars fuel, anymore than 1/2 throttle appeared to be hitting rev limiter. 2 Pump statorviens had some minor damage, was able to dremel them up good. I replaced it with a Solas 14/21, very good acceleration now, but there is a buzzing-vibration which seems to be coming from the rear half of the machine, I did check the pump bearings when I had it apart, all tight & free spinning. This vibration occurs at any speed over 25mph, but the odd things is when making any turns at any speed the sound completely disappears. I don't think it made this sound during the first ride, as I remember really having to listen closely to hear the engine to see if it was hitting the rev limiter. New to Kawasaki, so I need some training on them. Oh, I also added an R&D plate at the same time.
08-29-2011, 04:00 PM #2
I would check 2 things.
1. Pump housing inner liner for any contact with the impeller. There might be a high spot or two on the liner which can be lifted inward due to corrosion. Or impeller dimension might not be in spec. Check for any kind of impeller tip to inner linger contact. With that many hours on, I would have replaced the pump bearings anyway. $20 bearing is cheaper than engine or pump.
2. Crank coupler to driveshaft coupler. Check for even gaps between the couplers (3-dimensional).
08-29-2011, 06:47 PM #3
I had a jet pump that the liner separated from the housing due to corrosion buildup. If the ski has sat in saltwater that is the first thing that I would check, but if you installed the new impeller I am assuming that you would have checked for any rough spots in the spin of the impeller.
08-30-2011, 06:45 AM #4
Might be something rattling in the rear storage compartment, steering rattling, re verse bucket loose, intake hose rattling on the storage bucket, etc all caused from normal vibration. If your pump spun fine after the impeller change on the bench I doubt the blade tips are hitting the SS liner. Could be a motor mount or drive damper rubbers but with 70 hours this is highly unlikely. To vibrate enough to hear the impeller would have to be out of balance by a large amount. Look for the stupid stuff first
08-30-2011, 01:42 PM #5
I did check the clearance when I replaced the impeller, it was good but was less in various spot around the pump, the liner could be moving, it was docked in a marina with fresh water, but lots of corrosion on the ride plate & pump. Great idea to check for even gaps around the coupler, didn't think of that, I did hook to the hose last night & run it, when I put my hand on the black bearing housing & rev it, lots of vibration there, may be the problem, dealer says $600 plus parts to replace ouch! I don't want to do more damage to anything so will have to address this. Does the motor have to come out or just lifted to get driveshaft out?
08-30-2011, 02:07 PM #6
Also check to make sure those 2 rubber dampers are correctly positioned between the ride plate and the hull. If they are missing or mis-positioned (when you did the impeller swap), there would be an excessive vibration from the jet pump area. If you have the service manual, see page 11-2 and look for those 2 pieces labeled "SS" just above the ride plate. They are glued from the factory but can easily come off on old skis.
08-30-2011, 07:23 PM #7
- Join Date
- Aug 2009
- Shuswap lake, Canada
We had a nasty vibration.....due to a very very small piece of wood caught between the liner and the impeller. Made the ski unrideable, till we discovered and removed the small wood-chip.
03-14-2012, 01:29 PM #8
The vibration problem is solved, I had the dealer replace the driveshaft bearing & seals, the bearing looked fine, the problem they said was the driveshaft/engine alignment, & it may have been that way since it was new. I just returned from a week in Florida & took the ski with me, hoping the dealers diagnosis was correct, it was, no more vibration.
03-15-2012, 10:19 AM #9
Your avatar is beautiful. Glad to hear you got your 15F all fixed. It is a great ski and with low hours should give you years of trouble free riding.
03-15-2012, 04:57 PM #10
Thanks, I do like my old Polaris, after sticking alot of money in upgrades it now sits on a pallet rack in the shed, the kawi is so much faster with incredible acceleration & uses about the same amount of fuel as the Polaris, in fact if I drive it at the top speed of the Polaris is uses less. One of the reasons I got the Kawi was that reliability is suppose to be its strong area, so now that I have the few issues worked out, I shouldn't have to worry about it.
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