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  1. #1

    Weird 2000 ultra 150 issue, seems to hate shallow water

    okay so I got this a few years ago and all was well. but lately when I take it near the ocean, where theres lots of sand around and dirty water, it doesn"t seem to have any power available.

    for example, I will put it in the water and it will run fine, no problems...then within a few minutes of riding, it will go into limp mode and sounds like its struggling just to stay on and won't go over 5 mph but will have spurts where it gets to 10-15 then go back to 5 mph. almost seems like its over heating or not getting enough fuel or air. If I let it sit turned off for half hour or so, it will accelerate fine for a few seconds then go back to limping.

    The weird thing is...if I take it to a lake where its deep and no sand around, it runs like a champ,hits 60 quickly, accelerates just fine, idles just fine, starts p fine, works 100% great. Soon as I take it to beach launch where there is sand / crap in the water, boom, instant limp mode and engine barely stays on without dying and it has dyed on me a few times too, where even though I have throttle all theway open, it will go 5 mph then shuts off.

    I checked cooling lines and rinsed them with water and they all semm clear. Also I noticed themiddle cylinder is REALLY hot when running on the hose and no water comes out of that pisser. The 1st andthird cylinder are fairly cool and I can keep myhand on it without it getting too hot while on the hose but the second one is reallyhot and if I left my finger on that one it would def give me a bad burn.


  2. #2
    Any ideas what it can be? I recently had carbs cleaned last year, jet pump repaired, and that's about it. I had both of those done by someone who is really good with jet skis so I don't think its those.

  3. #3
    TexasZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsnotgood View Post
    I noticed themiddle cylinder is REALLY hot when running on the hose and no water comes out of that pisser. The 1st andthird cylinder are fairly cool and I can keep myhand on it without it getting too hot while on the hose but the second one is reallyhot and if I left my finger on that one it would def give me a bad burn.
    "middle cylinder really hot" "no water coming out of that pisser"
    That would tell me that the cooling is clogged on that cylinder...probably at the pisser outlet on the head or under the head gasket itself. The head gasket only has a few very small holes in it to let the water pass through.

    You can pull the pisser outlet on the head first to see if there is an obvious clog there. If not, then it's time to pull the head to look under the head gasket and in the cooling passages in the head and engine block.



    Before doing that I would first check the compression on all the cylinders to verify that there isn't a problem there.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by TexasZ View Post
    "middle cylinder really hot" "no water coming out of that pisser"
    That would tell me that the cooling is clogged on that cylinder...probably at the pisser outlet on the head or under the head gasket itself. The head gasket only has a few very small holes in it to let the water pass through.

    You can pull the pisser outlet on the head first to see if there is an obvious clog there. If not, then it's time to pull the head to look under the head gasket and in the cooling passages in the head and engine block.



    Before doing that I would first check the compression on all the cylinders to verify that there isn't a problem there.
    I had compression done last year and all three were fine. I also checked the pisser outlet on the head and ran a wire through it and it was clear. I am thinking its maybe clogged in the head gasket area. I have never took this apart, is it hard to pull the head and put it back? Also where are the cooling passages in the head and engine block? I have the manual available but I am afraid of taking it apart too much. Usually I just bring it to a guy I know and he charges about $50 / hour to fix it.

    Any idea though why it seems to work perfect in clean water and struggles in sandy / muddy water? Also last time I cleaned the engine I found 2 metal pieces in the engine bay near the jet pump area...they were aluminum and about 6" long and 2-3" wide curved. They didn't look like they belonged to the ski...is it possible to suck up big metal pieces into the engine from the water? I also took out a bunch of old paper towels I seemed to have sucked up.

    Thank you for the help , it is very much appreciated.

  5. #5
    TexasZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsnotgood View Post
    I had compression done last year and all three were fine.
    That was last year. With just about any running problem, the first thing you do is gap a new set of plugs to install, and while installing them, you do a compression test after taking out the old plug and before installing the new one. I hope you already know about putting the anti-seize on the plug threads and tighten them with a torque wrench to the proper setting.
    before I also checked the pisser outlet on the head and ran a wire through it and it was clear. I am thinking its maybe clogged in the head gasket area. I have never took this apart, is it hard to pull the head and put it back? Also where are the cooling passages in the head and engine block? I have the manual available but I am afraid of taking it apart too much. Usually I just bring it to a guy I know and he charges about $50 / hour to fix it.
    If water isn't coming out of one of those pissers, you definitely have a problem that needs to be corrected now.
    Removing a head isn't any big deal at all, but ya gotta know what you're doing to get it off and more importantly, what to do to get it back on and torqued correctly with a new head gasket.
    When you have the head off and remove the head gasket, the water passages will be very easy to distinguish right before your eyes, can't miss it/them.

    Any idea though why it seems to work perfect in clean water and struggles in sandy / muddy water? Also last time I cleaned the engine I found 2 metal pieces in the engine bay near the jet pump area...they were aluminum and about 6" long and 2-3" wide curved. They didn't look like they belonged to the ski...is it possible to suck up big metal pieces into the engine from the water? I also took out a bunch of old paper towels I seemed to have sucked up.
    I have no idea, doesn't make sense other that it's borderline clogged and one place pushes it over the edge and the other doesn't.

    Thank you for the help , it is very much appreciated.
    You're quite welcome, that's one of the main things that this forum is about...helping others, paying it forward, giving back the help that was given to you when you first started out.

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    TexasZ's Avatar
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    Just wanted to mention...if it was my ski, I would take some hoses loose and blow out all the cooling lines by section...that clogging could be anywhere in that system, or several places, not just one. The Ultra is known for clogging up.

    The 1200 motor is a reliable one but you really really really have to stay on top of maintenance and preventative maintenance. Let something go and it will lead to the big meltdown or the big kaboom.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by TexasZ View Post
    Just wanted to mention...if it was my ski, I would take some hoses loose and blow out all the cooling lines by section...that clogging could be anywhere in that system, or several places, not just one. The Ultra is known for clogging up.

    The 1200 motor is a reliable one but you really really really have to stay on top of maintenance and preventative maintenance. Let something go and it will lead to the big meltdown or the big kaboom.
    thanks for the tips, i will change the plugs and check compresion this weekend. im going to also take it out and see if the second cylinder is hot when in the water and under load. i think because its on the hose, maybe its not getting enough water through to cool it. though i suspect i will have to remove the head and clear debris from inside. i will report back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dsnotgood View Post
    i will report back.
    Please do so we can all learn from this experience. Gook luck to ya man, hope it was all just a glitch and you have a fantastic time out on the water.

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    How shallow is this water that you're running in? From a standing start, you need about 3 feet of water. Sure sounds like you're sucking up sand to me (which will severely damage your engine if you continue).

    The aluminum pieces are braces that are glued under the top edges of your engine compartment. They are prone to falling off, don't know if it's worth the effort to glue them back on.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    How shallow is this water that you're running in? From a standing start, you need about 3 feet of water. Sure sounds like you're sucking up sand to me (which will severely damage your engine if you continue).

    The aluminum pieces are braces that are glued under the top edges of your engine compartment. They are prone to falling off, don't know if it's worth the effort to glue them back on.
    thats what i think too, its sand that I am sucking up. because after i left that place, i flushed with a hose nearby, then took it to a lake where it ran wih no problems. started right up and no issues. if its sand, how can i get rid of it? do I have to take heads off? i haven't bought the compression test but will do so soon. also my display now has water in it and doesnt work, just shows time. argh!

    Almost forgot to answer your question, its about 3 feet deep but there are a lot of sand bars in the area and a lot of times...you have to stay on plane because the water at some points is less than a foot and you can clearly see the sand underneath.

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