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  1. #1

    95 SL650 performance issues

    So I've had a 95 SL650 for about a year now. Never had any problems with it. When I bought it I did a compression check and got 125 on all 3 cylinders.

    Anyway fast forward to today, had it at the lake for the day and after 3-4 hours of off and on riding the performance started sputtering a bit and then ended up dropping to next to nothing. It would go around 5mph and no faster and would die if too much throttle was given.

    After I let it sit for 45 minutes or so I had to take it back to the loading ramp so I fired it up and went about 33% throttle the 3/4 mile to the loading ramp - during this time the performance slowly increased to where the ski would eventually get up to maybe 20mph. Once or twice it would suddenly blip to full throttle and then back down.

    So, I get the ski home and intend to do a compression check first. As I'm taking the plug wires off, one of the plugs is missing the cap and I look inside the wire and the cap came off with the plug wire. I used pliers to pull the cap out, and will obviously replace the spark plug. Now, at that time I ALSO did a compression check and I get 122 on 2 cylinders, and 95 on the cylinder that the spark plug with the broken cap was in. My question is A) Could the spark plug cap being (I assume) loose cause the weird performance? And B) how bad will the 95 psi be on the middle cylinder - is this indication that something needs to be rebuilt on the ski or what should the next step be?

    I have 2 skis with a double trailer (the other is a 97 SPX) and had planned on selling both skis after today's lake trip (family reunion) anyway, so I'm going to sell either way, I really just need to know what to put in the ad on craigslist to inform potential buyers of any potential problems. Or if it's easy enough to fix I can fix it first before listing it. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada
    The significant drop in compression on one cylinder suggests that something is failing in that cylinder. Without visual inspection we would just be guessing what the problem was.

    Did you hold the throttle wide open while checking compression?

    Bad spark plug or broken wire end should not damage a cylinder. Engine would run poorly, of course.

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