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  1. #1
    Rev Ryder's Avatar
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    Troubleshooting 2003 FX140 Will Not Start

    Hey all. I'm relatively new to the ski scene and actually, I purchased mine more for fishing than for pure water play.
    I have pretty good mechanical skills (I have built a mess of race car engines; Chevy, Rodeck, Keith Black, etc. and I build turbo motorcycles; Kawasaki), I have minimal electronics and tuning skills (have Mega/Microsquirted a couple of bikes without assistance). But, this ski is making me crazy.

    Here's the deal.
    Battery is hot. ECU beeps twice, engine cranks decently, and ski only burps and farts through the exhaust. No intake sneezing, but no starting either. New plugs. Fire seems a bit weak, but is present at all cables. Wires on correctly. Air cleaner removed. Plenty of fuel. Pops and burps a few times then seems to flood out. I can smell fuel, but she quits trying at all. Let her rest ten minutes and she'll do exactly the same.


    She was running perfectly when cleaned up and parked in Mid-November. I've been trying to start her since January, but only recently went and got a set of plugs. I figured that's all she needed, but no joy.
    Thanks in advancefor the help.
    Last edited by Rev Ryder; 03-11-2013 at 06:55 PM. Reason: Missing spaces


  2. #2
    mudslanger's Avatar
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    Have you checked the compression. did you winterize it i am assuming it doesn't get that cold in El Camp Texas, does it have old gas or was it replaced.

  3. #3

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    I would get a long dropper and squirt a few drops of fuel in 2 or 3 cylinders. If it then fires for a second or two you know you have a fuel problem.
    Hope we're not jinxing my FX for first spring start.

  4. #4
    Rev Ryder's Avatar
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    That would be a "No" on winterizing. Yeah, not that cold here, but I didn't go out in December or January, so there were about two months.
    Gas is not too fresh, but my motorcycles are running on the same "vintage" stuff without issue.
    Have not YET run a compression check, but sealing a hand over the plug port won't hold it back so I'm not thinking a stuck valve... but... I do need to find a gauge that will fit so I CAN check it properly. These tiny little plugs don't help anything (except making room for more valves, of course).

    Reckon I'll try a fuel dribble next. I re-checked the spark on all four and it's not that weak looking. I sure don't wanna hold the plug and crank it. LOL

    I'm still mostly worried about a stuck valve I reckon. I can stuff a blue towel down the plug hole and cranking shoots it across the room, but it still could be low compression. This is an offshore ski that only sees fresh water on the hose. But the salt is NEVER really gone... so I worry.

  5. #5
    Rev Ryder's Avatar
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    Still haven't had a chance to try some fuel in the holes. Maybe tomorrow evening. I'll be on the road all day today and in the office all day tomorrow.

  6. #6
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    if you are smelling fuel, no need to throw some more in there.

    From your description, there is an ignition problem. The spark should be restart your heart strong

    I'd take a trip into the electrical vault to make sure all is good there.

    You'll want to use care going in there..lots of bolts and a somewhat finicky gasket.

    Ground stud inside the box could be loose. Or worse, water intrusion/corrosion/ruined day

    That's where I'd go if I had the problem

  7. #7
    Rev Ryder's Avatar
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    Well, I agree that the ignition box is the most likely seeming subject. I do smell fuel, so I don't really think it is a lack of it. While I do see a blue spark, it doesn't seem all that fat to me. What would be the most advisable plug gap for this engine? Barring a grossly misadjusted plug gap, I fear it's probably in "the vault" as you suggest. I was in there not too terribly long ago and noticed what seemed to be something akin to large crystals on the back (embedded in the encapsulation material) of the igniter/ECU. I thought that looked suspect. However, the ski has been running well since then (maybe 12-16 hours ago). Anything "wet" or corroded makes the most sense to me since the bike was running well when parked.

    Now, it IS firing the plugs (I see a spark), however, if the spark is weak that means to me that the triggering mechanism is likely OK, but the coil/wire/plug portion is suspect. Does that seem reasonable to you, Peter?

  8. #8
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    let's have a look inside the box..

    A bad cdi can provide a weak spark pulse to the coil

    There are measurements in the manual for coil resistance, but that's down the road a bit.

    plug gaps vary, check the manual for suggested 025 isn't a bad place to start if you have no manual..we can revisit that later.

    I want to know what's going on in the box.

    When stuff stops working after storage..there is typically water or something else found in there (applies to all skis)

    I had a gts in shop last month..water sat in the electric vault ( gasket not properly installed) all winter ( telltale rusty water mark inside). Toasted the CDI

    It came in because the key stopped working...

    to give you something else to think about..if the vault doesn't pan out..next stop...checking ignition timing

  9. #9
    Rev Ryder's Avatar
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    10-4 and Thanks for the help. With my current employment I have little free time and hate when the ski doesn't fly. LOL Of course, there's also less time to work on it too. I currently do NOT have a manual, but I reckon I need to be acquiring one pretty quick. I have manuals for all my other toys, just not this one. Plug gap has been set at .028, so not too far off there I suspect. I'll get the box open soon.

  10. #10
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    you're looking at about 30 minutes to get the vault off the bulkhead and opened. you'll need to take the three bolts off which face the rear of the ski and then wrangle the box to a position you can work on. You'll want to lay a good sized plastic bag under the box, as the bolts are pricey and if you drop one into the hull, it can be really tough to retrieve.

    most yam electric problems I've seen result from improper installation of the vault cover. There was some odd reason for using so many bolts and such a poorly designed gasket, but failure to get everything back correctly will eventually allow water to get in there and cause problems. shame you're a bit to far for a personal visit, but I see you're near the ocean..which increases the odds that there is indeed some corrosion issue in the box.

    I'll be back..when you are....

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