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  1. #1

    Batt voltage required to start 97 SPX? And how does the batt charge?

    So I had an issue with the starter ground wire on my ski last weekend where the connector on the side of the ground wire that connects to the engine block snapped and the ground wire came disconnected, which prevented the ski from starting.

    We sort of jury rigged it to where it was re-connected under another screw in the same area and held in place with extra wire for tension, and it ran most of the rest of the day, but then towards the end of the day the battery 'died'. That is, the ski wouldn't start, the starter was going 'ker-chunk, ker-chunk, ker-chunk' etc, slower and slower until pressing the start button didn't do anything.

    I got home and checked the voltage level of the battery and it was still at 12.63 (full seems to be around ~13.68 on this particular battery). I would think that 12.63 was plenty high enough to start the ski, no? I charged it at .75 amps for a few hours and got it to 13.00 and then it just barely turned the starter enough to start the ski. Is it normal that the battery has to be >13.00 volts to be able to run the starter? Or could something else be wrong?

    Also I'm curious how the battery charges when the ski is running. I'm assuming there isn't a regular alternator or is there? We never really ran the ski last weekend for less than 10-15 minutes at a time, it doesn't seem like it should have 'died' unless it had something to do with the poor ground connection the entire day. Is it possible the bad ground (about 1/5 normal 'contact' for the ground wire for 4 hours) would prevent the battery from charging while the ski was running? Or could something else need to be replaced that would prevent the battery from charging quickly enough? Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!

  2. #2
    flyin' the friendly skies airbornexp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Mahomet, Il. USA
    that ski has a stator and magneto cup with a pickup style charging system. its on the front of the motor behind the oil pump. what you need to do is cut off the old ground wire. get a new one. put the connector on and there is a bolt on the front magneto cover (carb side) you can use to mount the ground to. make sure you have clean metal. then reconnect to the battery. these skis need 12.5V to get them to start...any less and they crank slow and eventually clunk. do this first then if the problem still persists post up.

  3. #3
    I basically cut the broken end off the ground wire (the cable seemed 100% fine, only the copper connector that was crimped on was broken and even that didn't look corroded, it looked like someone had bent the connector right at the eye to try to make it fit flush against the side of the block, and that became a weak point that broke), recrimped a new connector on, and reattached everything. The ground seemed fine at that point but the starter still wouldn't run, just beeped once loudly whenever I pushed the start button. I charged the battery from 12.63 to 13.03 and it started (but just barely, a single kerchunk then fired up).

    I will clean off the connection point where the ground cable was attached because it was a bit greasy, so not sure if that would affect the quality of the ground. Would the ground being 'not great' prevent the battery from charging while the ski was running? That's my main concern - it gets really tiring towing the ski back to the loading ramp

  4. #4
    Yes, a poorground will cause starter and charging issues..

    Get a good ground and test battery voltage at 3500rpm while running on a garden hose..

  5. #5
    Thanks! This is going to be a stupid question do I connect a garden hose to my 97 SPX?

  6. #6
    flush kit..

    Or go to auto parts store and purchase a flush "T" and cut it into your main outlet (cylinderhead) water line

  7. #7
    I think my Ski already has the T connector on it - at least one of the hoses going to the engine has a red thing sticking out with a cap on it. I can take a picture when I get home. I just am not sure how to connect a hose to that piece (assuming it's actually the right piece). I did a search for seadoo flush kit but there are a ton of bogus links and I can't seem to find any information about what I actually need :\

    For example I found this:

    I'm pretty sure my seadoo already has that T piece - so do I need an official hose like that one that specifically fits a seadoo or can I get something like that at an auto parts store for cheap? or should I just buy that entire kit 'just in case'?

  8. #8
    that is the flush T - you need the hose adapter..

    automotive will not have that adapter

  9. #9
    I see - a ton more googling and I am now seeing what all these parts are - was confused about the black threaded plug looking thing but apparently that is only for newer skis that have a threaded water inlet on the back - obviously mine doesn't. So it looks like I just need the hose that connects to the T-connector, and then I just vice-grip/clamp BEHIND the T-connector (towards the back of the ski), start the ski, then turn on the water, good to go.

  10. #10
    my 98 gsx has a threaded hose connection on the back of the pump for flushing and someone added a flush kit.. I guess not knowing that one was there stock..

    But yes you have the correct game plan..

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