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  1. #1
    macdoo's Avatar
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    wood drift key out on 1998 GSX ltd?

    I have been told that the wood drift key has come out of my 1998 GSX ltd. It will start and then run fast then slow fast slow. Before this happen it backfired so bad that the exhaust pipe would blow off and water would come in. This happen 3 times first time too it in to the shop and they replaced the resonator because part of his had burned off. That was a $500 plus shop bill. Sadly it did it to more time but the shop had no idea why it was doing it but that it was time to buy something newer. I talked to a person that raced the GSX 951 and he said it sounded like 99% the wood drift key. Any thoughts?


  2. #2
    yamahadoo's Avatar
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    I am skeptical about the key way. simply because it runs at all and changes speed. I check the pulse line or power valve line ( crankcase leak ) or just jacked up carbs are to blame. its easy to determine a key way issue with a timing light and wire pointer. Now if it runs/starts differently every time it backfires then yes its probably the key way

  3. #3

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    First thing there is not a wood drift key At least on a Seadoo. It is a woodruff key. Named after the person that invented it back in the late 1800's. All you need to do is remove flywheel and see for yourself. Its not rocket science. But if you are at the mercy of having to having others do the work...well might not ever get it fixed correctly. The key is not known for coming out. It either fell out when someone had the flywheel off. Or it was sheered off because the flywheel was not tightened up enough to proper torque.

    If key is sheered the flywheel will not be indexed correctly. It will not cause the motor to run differently at differernt times. Simply because the woodruff key locates the flywheel in position to crankshaft. OK thats a given. But the flywheel is how the motor is spun to start up. If sheered and not tight on crankshaft, then motor would not spin over. If flywheel is tightened up and not located correctly, motor can easily backfire and other problems. But will be consistant in whatever it does. The flywheel has to be securely tight on crankshaft or will not be able to spin motor over. The key does not have to be in slot for it to run either. If tightened up enough will not move around, but no guarantee its timed correctly.

  4. #4
    yamahadoo's Avatar
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    still disagree with the Woodfuff Key (that was invented in the late 1800S), because you said "this happen 3 times first time too it in to the shop and they replaced the resonator because part of his had burned off." That Screams exhaust cooling to Me . and IT IS so much easier to confirm timing before you just assume and start pulling off parts just to find out...... Nope! not the wood drift key.. I say crankcase leak or jacked up carbs and lack of water into the exhaust.... And a woodruff key can shear and have enough bite on the crankshaft and change positions with every backfire .. I would confirm the pulse line is attached after the backfire as well as the power valve hose located next to it ( no tools required ) BUT if the engine ever had water in it... it could cause a woodruff key to break and go out of time. I'm just focused on the" runs fast and slow and burned "

  5. #5
    yamahadoo's Avatar
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    Perhaps the exhaust melted due to lack of cooling and the ski sank then someone sheared the woodruff key by trying to start it full of water and the carbs are full of water causing it to run rich/lean and the pulse line is plugged with whipped cream... thats My Best guess. Good luck Macdoo! Peace out seadoo timebomb
    Last edited by yamahadoo; 09-26-2012 at 05:05 AM.

  6. #6
    macdoo's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the input. Here is some more info that may help. when I got the GSX Ltd I was told that the motor had been rebuilt. It drove great but for the back fires and the hose coming off and water filling up the inside. I did take it in to have the resonator key changed and the carbs and fuel lines replaced. I took it out again and it backfired again. I got all the water out and ran it so all water in crank would burn off. I then took it out again and that is when it ran fast then slow seemed like it was not getting power even when I had gas full blast. As I recall at low rpms it would putts around fine but just not full gas. I did take it back to the person that worked on it and he took off the rave valve and he pointed out the pistons were scared. and that the oil was to blame. It has been sitting a year and I thought this fall I would get working on it again.

    Where is the pulse line on the 98 GSX ltd
    The water box has run hot, you can tell that it has bt the color brownish silver where the exhaust pip hooks to it.
    It did run great until the last time the pipe that hooks to the exaust hole in the back of the boat came off.
    Do I need to take the flywheel cover of to check the timing?
    I was also told if I use the seadoo oil from now on the I should be ok even with the scaring? The psi was 130 now I think it is 120 on both.

  7. #7

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    What the heck is a resonator key? Seadoo oil is not any type of miracle lube. If pistons are scored, they will just keep getting worse to the point of self destruction and require a complete engine rebuild. Sound like you need to do an in depth diagnosis of your motor. Otherwise you will have a totally dead ski that aint worth a wooden nickle.

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