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  1. #1

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    1997 STX 1100 - Low Budget Project

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    Well, I've already posted about this ski once, but I figured I'd make it it's own thread since it seems to be an ongoing bundle of joy keeping this thing up to par.

    I bought the ski non-running for $700 bucks with papers. had good compression across all 3 cyls, and everything appeared to be included (mostly in boxes) so I brought it home and started putting it back together, properly. I was told by the previous owner that the starter and battery were brand new, and all it needed was an accelerator pump for the carburetor assembly but he couldn't find one for it because they're a discontinued part. I found the pump, put it in, charged the battery and was hoping for a first start.... nope.. starter relay was fried. Replaced that, and I got it fired up!

    Excited to have it running, I took it down to the gas station and topped it off, brought it back home and it was dead.... come to find out the starter relay wiggeled inside the case a little because I forgot to remove a retaining ring from the old relay and put it on the new one, but regardless, it drained my battery down to zero. so I charged it up the next day and was hoping she'd fire up so I could lake test it... this is where my last thread picks up... I'm not going to go into a lot of detail on this little issue because there's a thread dedicated to it, but to say the least I ran into a few more electrical issues.... (search 1997 stx 1100 electrical issues) But anyway, I got that sorted out this morning, and took her to the lake to float her for the first time! it didn't immediately sink, so that was a good sign, however the drain plugs do not seal well and leak a little, but that's an easy enough fix.

    here it is in the water for the first time
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    Anyway, she floated, and she started, and she moved under her own power, but just barely, and with a LOT of vibration. So I pulled her back out of the water and started looking it over at the boat launch, fired it up out of the water for a minute and noticed a very very strong smell of plastic burning coming from near the jet pump. I turned it off and noticed there were some metal flakes sitting inside of the steering nozzle, so I peaked up in there and could see a lot of light coming passed one side of the impeller. I'm guessing I have a bad impeller, I ran out of daylight and incentive to keep searching tonight, but I will be back into it tomorrow turning wrenches seeing what's going on back there. Wish me luck.


  2. #2
    TexasZ's Avatar
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    Oh, I'll wish ya luck and more. Unfortunately on these older jet ski's luck doesn't seem to work out very good without a lot of thorough preventative maintenance up front. I go through a jet ski completely in detail when I get it to make sure every system is functioning right and then some.

    Sounds like your jet pump needs a rebuild along with an impeller.

    There is a huge amount of info here, along with a service manual to get you through all of these things one has to do to bring an older ski back to life. Lots of time consuming hours to get everything right but the end result is massive hours of fun.

    Good luck, hang in there, and by all means come back and update your project thread to let us know how things are going.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasZ View Post
    Oh, I'll wish ya luck and more. Unfortunately on these older jet ski's luck doesn't seem to work out very good without a lot of thorough preventative maintenance up front. I go through a jet ski completely in detail when I get it to make sure every system is functioning right and then some.

    Sounds like your jet pump needs a rebuild along with an impeller.

    There is a huge amount of info here, along with a service manual to get you through all of these things one has to do to bring an older ski back to life. Lots of time consuming hours to get everything right but the end result is massive hours of fun.

    Good luck, hang in there, and by all means come back and update your project thread to let us know how things are going.
    Thank you for all the kind words of wisdom. I was able to locate a pdf manual to download for the 1100zxi, which has the same motor, and MOST of the same wiring, I haven't come across one for the stx yet, but I haven't really had a need to put much effort into finding one yet as the zxi manual has done the trick up until now. I've ordered hull seals for the drain plugs, Im waiting to see what the pump looks like when I pull it tomorrow before I go and start ordering parts there, but I'm expecting the worst, I'm sure it needs a new impeller, I'm hoping the vibration didn't beat the hell out of the bearings too badly, but I'm pretty much expecting that they've gotta be replaced as well. have any idea what would be causing that burning plastic smell? What would be plastic in there? I've never had a pump apart before this is my first ski.

  4. #4
    TexasZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcknapp View Post
    Thank you for all the kind words of wisdom. I was able to locate a pdf manual to download for the 1100zxi, which has the same motor, and MOST of the same wiring, I haven't come across one for the stx yet, but I haven't really had a need to put much effort into finding one yet as the zxi manual has done the trick up until now. I've ordered hull seals for the drain plugs, Im waiting to see what the pump looks like when I pull it tomorrow before I go and start ordering parts there, but I'm expecting the worst, I'm sure it needs a new impeller, I'm hoping the vibration didn't beat the hell out of the bearings too badly, but I'm pretty much expecting that they've gotta be replaced as well. have any idea what would be causing that burning plastic smell? What would be plastic in there? I've never had a pump apart before this is my first ski.
    I have no idea about the plastic smell since there isn't any plastic in there as far as I know, except perhaps the thin covers that seal the grease in the bearings.

    More than likely that pump has never been rebuilt so if it were me, I would buy a rebuild kit and rebuild it. After this many years the seals are not flexible anymore and need replacing merely from age, even if the ski has very low hours. I would almost bet that the seals have let some water seep in that rusted the bearings too.

    I think your ZXI manual should have you covered on the STX pump rebuild too since they both use the same 148mm pump vane-guide assembly.

  5. #5
    TexasZ's Avatar
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    You need to also check the drive shaft bearing holder (part# 13091-3730). That's the approximately 5 X 5 inch rubber piece just behind the couplers at the rear of the engine. Those things can "look" just fine but they are notorious for having very small hairline cracks in them that leak only when running at speed. Some of them leak enough that water will come in while merely sitting in the water. Back the ski up into the water on the trailer with the rear of the ski still tied down to check for the leaks that don't need the extra pressure to expose themselves.

    Me personally, that ski is 15 years old, old stiff seals and a bearing that probably has rust from the seals leaking. I would replace it before it goes south all the way cuz' when they do, huge amounts of water comes rushing in fast....which brings one to the point of why installing a bilge pump is a very very wise decision.

    Wire the bilge pump up so it comes on automatically whether the ski is running or merely sitting in the water. They sell pumps with the auto float built in or you can buy the auto-switch separately. Buy a good name brand pump and auto-switch. Rule makes some dependable ones.
    I install the outlet to the bilge pump where I can see/notice it when it comes on...usually on the left side of the ski opposite the pisser on the right side...or on the same side as the pisser.

    The reason you need to know "immediately" when the bilge pump comes on is because on a leak free ski that suddenly has enough water to trip the bilge pump on usually has a big problem. As soon as the bilge pump comes on, head for the nearest shoreline to check out the water leaking in problem before you have so much water in the ski that it goes down.

    You can buy a aftermarket bearing holder as an assembly with the bearing and seals already installed.
    The downside of the install is that you have to lift the engine up and forward just enough disengage the couplers and to get the drive-shaft out to replace that bearing holder.
    After installing the bearing holder, leave the bolts loose for the time being. Let the engine down to reconnect the couplers, rotate the couplers a few times to make sure they are meshing correctly and then put a little sealant behind the bearing holder and tighten the 4 bolts down.
    To make rotating the drive-shaft and couplers easier, remove the spark plugs so you don't have full compression.

  6. #6
    My name is Sean and I am addicted to STXs smokeysevin's Avatar
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    Good luck with it, this is one hell of a fun ski, I grew up on a 900 just like it, I also found that turning the fuel tap off and letting it kill the motor, this keeps the carbs from getting gummed up and makes it easier to start next time out.

    Sean

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    TexasZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokeysevin View Post
    Good luck with it, this is one hell of a fun ski, I grew up on a 900 just like it, I also found that turning the fuel tap off and letting it kill the motor, this keeps the carbs from getting gummed up and makes it easier to start next time out.

    Sean
    Wow, surprised to hear you say that Sean. Running it out of gas, I would have thought that it would be leaning out the engine every time to kill it that way?

  8. #8
    My name is Sean and I am addicted to STXs smokeysevin's Avatar
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    Re: 1997 STX 1100 - Low Budget Project

    At idle I never had a problem. It just dies after about a second or 2. It actually wasn't my ski but a friend who always did it and it always started right up the next time. If you reved the engine up then killed the fuel supply it might damage it but at idle there isn't enough load to hurt anything and its only a short time.

    Sean

  9. #9
    TexasZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokeysevin View Post
    At idle I never had a problem. It just dies after about a second or 2. It actually wasn't my ski but a friend who always did it and it always started right up the next time. If you reved the engine up then killed the fuel supply it might damage it but at idle there isn't enough load to hurt anything and its only a short time.

    Sean
    Ah, ok, sounds reasonable to me, I was always afraid to do it that way. I'll use that method to winterize my ski's cuz' I would rather they not have gas sitting in the carbs for the few months they are down for colder weather. I also drain all the gas out of the fuel tanks because of the ethanol they put in gas nowadays.

  10. #10
    My name is Sean and I am addicted to STXs smokeysevin's Avatar
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    Re: 1997 STX 1100 - Low Budget Project

    I don't know if that's right or wrong its just how I was taught to do it.

    That ski was going strong well past 150 hrs with no rebuild in sight.

    Sean

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