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  1. #1
    Resident Coffee Addict Oshawapilot's Avatar
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    1996 800 XP slow crank. Starter? Cables?

    Looking at potentially buying a 1996 800 XP. The current owner advises that it runs great but is difficult to start. He attests this to the engine being built and compression being very high...so he suspects the starter just doesn't have the oomph to properly roll it over. It sounds like even with booster cables to his car it's still a slow cranker, but once started it runs like a champ.

    I did some reading around here and it seems like even with the stock engine/starter electrical issues were fairly common on these...so I'm wondering if there's a chance that it's not really actually the starter, but just bad cabling.

    Just wondering if anyone here has the "been there, done that" T-shirt and could share their experience.


  2. #2
    Does it have a good battey and connections. 12.5 volts.

  3. #3
    flyin' the friendly skies airbornexp's Avatar
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    yep take a compression tester, check compression. should be 155 +/- 5 psi. could be that the main ground has corroded and causing this. take a good battery as previously mentioned.

  4. #4
    Resident Coffee Addict Oshawapilot's Avatar
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    The machine is some distance away so I'm only able to go on what the seller is telling me.. I was just curious if there was any well known "Oh yeah, such and such cable always goes bad on these machines and causes slow cranking" type of situations that might give me a lead on where to start. He seems convinced it's cranking issues is due to a weak starter and an extremely high compression built engine, which could be the case I guess. His suggestion was to buy an aftermarket high-torque starter (I checked, such a model exists) and that it should fix the issue, along with a new battery of course.

    He also states it has an aftermarket rotary valve in it...purpose being, unsure - but apparently the engine is quite "hopped up" according to him. I don't know a whole lot about these engines - were they commonly easy to throw parts at and make cheap power?

    In a perfect world I'd like the starting issue to be something simple like a bad cable though, so I'm admittedly grasping at straws here.

    He assures me that once it's started it runs great, but it's difficult to start. Of course, I would pull the plugs and ensure it cranks freely with zero compression, and then check the compression with the tester, but the slow cranking issue concerns me.....I'm almost concerned that this thing is built with so much compression that even a high torque starter is going to have trouble with it, and if that was the case, what the heck IS the compression on this thing, and how long will it hold together?

  5. #5
    flyin' the friendly skies airbornexp's Avatar
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    its hard to say what he has in this motor. from what it sounds like its a rebuilt motor. most likely a hotrods crank or something of the like. it may have a high compression head on it. not a huge mod but adds throttle response. ive nver seen an aftermarket roatery valve. maybe a aftermarket cover? These engines are already built to preform at top end unlike a yami. they were made to race in the 1000cc class if i remember correctly. If it has a Factory Spec II pipe and Buckshot carbs in it I would find another ski or take it back to stock. those mods make it hard to stay running and in one piece.

  6. #6
    Electronics Guru Alpheus's Avatar
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    First off you will probably need a new voltage rectifier because you should NEVER use jumper cables on your ski... There is a warning label right near the battery that states this...

  7. #7
    Resident Coffee Addict Oshawapilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpheus View Post
    First off you will probably need a new voltage rectifier because you should NEVER use jumper cables on your ski... There is a warning label right near the battery that states this...
    Typically this is to discourage people from using high-output (super-boost or "engine start") chargers that push the voltages way beyond nominal, which I agree, can cause issues with small engine electrical systems.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with using an alternate 12v power source in order to start something so long as you are careful to ensure that the voltages stay within normal ranges. In other words, what you "jump" from should not be running - the alternator on a vehicle could (under the right circumstances) push voltages way beyond what the electrical system on many small engines is capable of handling, so in that essence, I agree with the warning.

    That said, you can run cables safely from anything, TO anything, so long as the voltage remains in safe limits (AKA, engine not runing on the donor vehicle) and obviously, you are not trying to boost a 12v system from a 24v donor, or anything obvious like that. Boosting your jetski from a car/truck/whatever that is not running is perfectly harmless - the jetski doesn't care where it gets it's ~12 volts from, so long as its ~12volts.

    DC electrical systems are something that I'm very savvy about. In many of those situations those warning stickers are there to protect those who just don't understand them.

  8. #8
    Moderator beerdart's Avatar
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    Have him pull the jetpump and check the bearings.

  9. #9
    Resident Coffee Addict Oshawapilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beerdart View Post
    Have him pull the jetpump and check the bearings.
    Ok, not something (based on our phone discussions) that he's going to be willing to do. He's at the "These are great machines at a great price" stage (and the price IS good) where he just wants 'em gone.

    Is a basic bearing inspection something I can do myself during the pre-buy inspection on this particular machine? I think he would be unlikely to grant me permission to start disassembling the machine a great deal before purchase.

  10. #10
    Moderator beerdart's Avatar
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    Pull the spark plugs and try to rotate the d-shaft by hand you should be able to tell if the pump spider is dragging.

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