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  1. #1
    zardoz's Avatar
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    2001 XLT 1200 cavitation issue?

    Horray! Horray! Horray!

    Finally got the XLT 1200's out yesterday! They both (2001 & 2002) started, with a little prodding (no priming). They both ran well, and didn't bog down or quit and refuse to start! A great beginning to the season, even though we eventially got rained out.

    My issue is with the 2001 XLT. At the end of last summer it had the 2 & 3 cylinders replaced, the crank replaced, and the carbs rebuilt. Today was the first day out after the rebuild so it's on break-in oil and easy use, with cool-down. When I am the only rider, and I have a full tank of gas (in the front) I typically employ the "bow up" position on the trim. Did so today. I varried the speed, not getting over 20 mph, and when I increased the throttle the engine seemed to "kick in" but the XLT seemed to hesitate and not accellerate. It was as if the engine was spinning/freewheeling but not providing any thrust. The noise emitted by the machine sounded like a "whirl," but not a whine. When I let off of the throttle it would seem to "catch," the whirl sound would go away, and the XLT would begin to accelerate. I immediately suspected cavitation, as that was a potential problem I had not addressed when I bullet-proofed the XLT. I then adjusted the trim, so that the bow was down. Did not have a problem after that. Kept the bow trim down which resulted in no more whirl sound or lack of acceleration. I never did operate the XLT over about 25 mph/4000 rpm though.

    I'm going to try and take the XLT's out again before next weekend to let the 2001 break in a little more. In the meantime, does my problem with the 2001 appear at first blush to be a cavitation problem? Wouldn't increasing the throttle, the motor spinning, and no increased speed until you let off of the accelerator, all be symptoms of cavitation? What about the problem going away when the trim was adjusted? The 2001 still has the stock intake grate, if that makes a difference in this regard.

    Further, if it is a cavitation problem, what would be the best solution? A jet pump sealer kit, or filling the holes with rubberized sealer, or something else? I'm definitely going to try and track down the problem the next time I take the 2001 out, when I will increase the maximum speed, but any pointers that you could share with me would be appreciated. If there is a thread with how-to-seal-your-XLT-jet-pump instructions please let me know.

    Both XLTs worked when I put them in the water and worked when I took them out. No damage was caused and no one was hurt. I consider that a success.

    Happy boating.

    Zardoz


    former sea doo owner will never own one again.


  2. #2
    Crash Test Dummy Smitty's Avatar
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    You seem to have a good grasp on what the potential problems are. Sealing the pump is a no-brainer, but have you ever replaced the prop? I've pulled impellers off of that looked like they were sitting in an acid bath, they were so pitted. If it's getting old, sealing the pump with either a kit or 5200 is a good start, along with a new impeller; you should be able to find someone with a 12/18 for sale here. We used to trade these things around like baseball cards.

    One thing; if you ever decide to make the ski go faster than stock, get an aftermarket intake grate! It's a safety issue, and don't consider it an optional modification.

    Here's another recent thread about Cavitation.
    http://www.greenhulk.net/forums/show...ight=XLL%2FXLT

    And a XLL/XLT resource thread I started a few years back.
    http://www.greenhulk.net/forums/showthread.php?t=17389

  3. #3
    jstanfi1's Avatar
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    I actually think that ski is likely to cavitate pretty bad in the bow up position on takeoff because of the low end power of that motor. My guess is your power was pretty low before the rebuild, and now that it's running like a champ the low end power is stopping the thing from hooking up. I'd go ahead and get a feeler gauge on the impeller/wear ring clearance and see where you're at...0.024 is the recommended place to service, but if the ski is running real well you'll notice cavitation at lower clearances than that. Pump plug kit and a new intake grate aren't bad ideas either, but if it were me I'd start with the wear ring clearance.

    Also, make 100% sure that all 3 cylinders are firing...1200 has enough power that two cylinders will push the crank to some pretty decent rpms but you'll damage the engine running it that way for long.

  4. #4
    zardoz's Avatar
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    2nd time at the lake

    Thank you for the reply, Smitty. Just so you know, I'm a "Smitty" too.

    Here is the latest update on the 2001 XLT 1200. Took the XLT 1200 out to the lake again today. Wanted to keep breaking it in. The problem I had last Sunday reappeared. When I first put the 2001 in the water it ran well, with the trim "bow down." Then, after a while when the engine got to 4000 rmp and about 12 - 13 mph, it lost accelleration but the engine kept reving, up to 5500 rpm until I let off of the throttle. This was even with the trim bow down.

    I eventually kept fiddling with the trim lever, and the XLT began to accelerate OK. It seems like if you could get past the 12 - 13 mph level, to 15 - 16 mph, the machine would properly accelerate from there on. I eventually got it up to 45 mph, but not WOT because it is still being broken in from being rebuilt last summer. It even got so that it would accellerate OK even with the trim set for "bow up," because I kept adjusting the trim to see what effect it would have.

    When my son (185#) and I (192#) rode tandem on the XLT it again wouldn't get past the 12 -13 mph barrier. We tried and tried but it would just rev up but not accellerate. After I rode it again by myself, and got it past the 12 - 13 mph barrier, I went in and picked my son up, and the machine ran OK with both of us on it. I'm really curious to see what it would do pulling a tube, but of course that's not until after it's fully broken in. Hopefully I'll have the problem solved by then.

    Meanwhile, just to try and confirm if my problem is cavitation, I crawled under my two XLT's tonight and took pictures. The first couple of pictures are of the 2001, which looks cruddy underneath. The intake grate looks "pitted," almost like barnacles have been living on it. I've done no bottom work (just engine work) since I bought it last spring (most of last year it was in the shop). The impeller looks "dirty" like it's got a film of mud over it, but I didn't see any pits. The second couple of pictures are of my 2002 XLT, which looks clean as a pin in comparison. Its impeller looks nice and shiny. The more experience I have with the 2001, the more it seems that it was rode hard and put up wet too many times before I bought it.

    R&D will provide a pump seal kit and an Aquavein intake grate for $190.00 through eBay. You think I should go ahead and spring for the parts and get them on before I go on vacation w/ the 2001 and 2002 in two weeks? I think I can get everything off and on, properly torqued and sealed, on my own. Just looking at the intake grate on the 2001 may indicate that cavitation is rampant. I'd just like to be sure before I spend the money. I'm really not too sure that I can handle replacing the impeller though. How difficult is that?

    Jstan just posted a reply while I was composing this response. I'll get the wear ring clearance checked, just to eliminate that as a problem. After looking at the pictures, and how rough the intake grate looks, would you still lean toward the wear ring clearance as being the principal problem?

    Thanks for your responses. At least I went to the lake again and both machines started, stopped, and didn't break down.

    Zardoz


    former sea doo owner, will never own one again

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    Last edited by zardoz; 06-11-2013 at 09:34 PM. Reason: just got jstan's response

  5. #5
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    jesus what kind of water you riding in bro.....corrosive nuke plant shit?

  6. #6
    zardoz's Avatar
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    The 2001 came from Elyria OH. I think there may be a nuke plant around there. I bought this machine used last spring, and needless to say I didn't crawl underneath it before buying. I put too much trust in the seller's story that he was just selling in order to move up to a bigger boat for his growing family. Guy went bankrupt after I sued him and won. I'd like to see him floating in a vat of nuclear waste.

    It's like I asked, is it a wear ring problem, or "what difference does it make you need a new intake grate asap no matter what the wear ring gap is"?

    Zardoz


    former sea doo owner, will never own one again

  7. #7
    Just relax and enjoy the ride. XLT Chad's Avatar
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    Yes. Get the pump seal kit and intake grate, they will make a huge difference. The seal kit will cure your cavitation issues and the grate will increase the hook up and handling of the ski. after your vacation, I'd look into a new prop and wear ring.
    ---Have fun! I loved my '01.

  8. #8
    zardoz's Avatar
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    Thanks so much XLT Chad for your recommendation. After hearing from Smitty I thought it was a no-brainer to install the pump seal kit and the new intake grate, but it is gratifying to hear that someone else has the same thoughts as we do. What's your opinion as to the R&D Aquavein intake grate and pump sealer kit?

    I plan to take the XLTs out again this Saturday, if the weather cooperates, and see how the 2001 does. I'm almost through the first tank of gas so it is getting very close to being broken in.

    I will give serious consideration to a new prop and wear ring after I get back from vacation on 7 July. Camping at Kelleys Island Ohio from 27 June to 7 July if anyone else is going to be there. It will be the first time in two years that I will have had two working PWCs while camping at KI.

    Thanks again for the input, and I'd appreciate hearing from anyone else.

    Zardoz


    former sea doo owner, will never own one again

  9. #9
    Just relax and enjoy the ride. XLT Chad's Avatar
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    The R&D grate is excellent. The pump plug kit is convenient, but it can be done with casting resin or a good epoxy. Either way, filling the voids will make a world of difference.
    Last edited by XLT Chad; 06-12-2013 at 04:03 PM.

  10. #10
    zardoz's Avatar
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    Pump seal kit and intake grate are on order. Should have them installed before vacation. I'll let you know if there is any difference, and especially if there isn't any difference. Thanks for the advice.

    Zardoz


    former sea doo owner, will never own one again

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