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  1. #1

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    1996 SLT 780 Electrical Issue?

    Any advice is much appreciated...

    So this past Winter/Spring I bought a 1996 SLT 780 that had overheated and burned a hole in the rear piston. I cleaned up the inside of the hull and replaced the piston/ring that had failed. I considered my repair a success as I was able to hold compression in all 3 cylinders and also hook the ski up to the garden hose and get the engine running.

    Just yesterday I finally got the ski out on the water and it fired right up. I let it idle for 5-10 minutes and just tapped the throttle to see if I was getting any sort of propulsion. Needless to say the ski moved forward and the engine sounded great. I putted around at idle or 5-10% throttle for 10 minutes (letting the engine break in and warm up) before the engine died on me. I thought nothing of it and fired the engine right back up. After another 3-5 minutes at idle it died on me again. I pressed the ignition and again the engine fired right up, only to die in a minute or less. Upon getting it started again I decided to take a long-ish warm up ride at 5-10% throttle and keep the engine running as I figured I just was having a hard time at idle with a 2 year dormat engine.

    I got 50 yards from my dock and the engine died again, this time the engine would not start again. In fact, when pressing the ignition button, nothing happened. The engine would not move, the starter would not even try to turn it over. When the engine died, it did not sound like it had seized; it sounded like a standard shut down.

    I just confirmed the battery is good. I had it checked and found it to be 83% charged. I have to think it is an electrical issue as the engine was running just fine. All the spark plugs are brand new and things seemed to be performing just fine from a mechanical standpoint.

    I took the ignition switch apart and everything seemed to be ok; maybe some charring on of on the contacts, but that wiped right off.

    I would think the start wouldn't have just failed, I would have heard it fail and that would have caused the engine to stop working.

    Any ideas would be really helpful!!!

    Thanks


  2. #2

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    Could something be shorted? Or a kill switch that has failed?
    Last edited by bsouth19; 07-01-2013 at 11:18 AM.

  3. #3
    Tony's Avatar
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    Pull the spark plugs and see if you can turn the motor over by hand.

  4. #4

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    How do I turn it? Drive shaft coupler?

    Nothing sounded like seizing... I just don't understand why one second it runs fine and the next it won't turn. Without any sounds of a struggling starter or seized engine.

  5. #5
    BlueFishCrisis's Avatar
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    Based on your post, the engine started up and died 4 times, without explanation. I would not consider that "running fine". You will need to pull out the electrical box and start testing all of the grounds and make sure everything is intact. Run another compression test. What where the numbers from your previous tests?

  6. #6

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    I agree that I need to start buzzing things out. I need to find the wiring schematic.

    I also agree that it wasn't running fine, but at least it was turning over, right? Now it won't even do that, so I can't run another compression test just yet.

  7. #7
    BlueFishCrisis's Avatar
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    Mechanical failure typically will not cause electrical failure. But electrical failure, shorts in particular, will often appear as intermittent failures.

    Get that Ebox opened up and check all of your grounds. Leave one lead on the battery negative (after disconnecting the battery) then start testing all of the grounds in the Ebox for continuity.

    Th 96 SLT has its ebox mounted on a vertical bulkhead if I remember correctly, so there shouldn't be an issue with grounding the box to the battery.

    Does the Display work?

  8. #8

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    I agree I need to check all the grounds.

    The ebox is mounted vertically... You are correct. I can easily get to it.

    The MFD never worked when I bought it but i just discovered it was never plugged in. And I did replace the small fuse, so I am hopeful it will work once I get it up and running again. I think I should leave it unplugged for my diagnosing of my issue.

    I have the service manual, but I think the electrical schematic is missing. Does anyone have it? I have no clue which wires are which.

    EDIT: Found the SD.
    Last edited by bsouth19; 06-30-2013 at 05:37 PM.

  9. #9

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    I looked inside the CDI box back when I was fixing the engine and it looked like it had been jury rigged by the previous owner.

    Hopefully there will be something obvious once I get it open.

    I will take some pictures when I get time to tackle the eBox.

    Thanks for your help, and any other advice is always welcome!

  10. #10

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    so... I am an idiot. It was the circuit breaker that tripped. I couldn't see it from the water.

    Any typical reason for these things tripping? I have looked around and typically it seems that it takes an act of biblical proportions for the breaker to trip. The schematic shows the regulator and the starter solenoid in line with the breaker... I am not convinced the regulator exists in my CDI anymore... the entire thing is jury rigged. Wires have been cut and wire-nutted together, no circuit board is present.

    It seems like any advice may not be applicable because my electrical box is essentially custom at this point.

    Regardless, CB advice is always welcome... I reset the breaker and everything fired back up... I guess I will wait for a repeat event to be more concerned.

    any ideas?

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