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  1. #1
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Arrow 2004 Polaris Virage i, repair notes

    I thought it might be useful for future reference to document some of the work I did on this 2004 Blue Virage i.

    This is a Ficht fuel injected two cylinder engine, nominally 800cc (actual 777cc). I got it after a Polaris dealer's shop accumulated $1200 in service charges (mostly diagnostics, apparently), yet it was still not running.

    Short story is that the installed EMM had failed and needed repair, which Advanced Engine Electronics Inc. (nee DFI Technologies) did repair for me.

    Longer version;

    The original fuel pump had been 'repaired' by removing the fallen fuel pressure regulator, and a Kawasaki inline fuel pressure regulator was installed. In theory this should have been OK, except the fuel pressure when I tested it was nearly 30PSI. More importantly, pinching the fuel return hose flat did NOT spike the fuel pressure any higher. Best I could tell, the Kawasaki regulator was acting like a plug, preventing any return fuel flow.

    Since the Ficht injectors depend on the fuel circulation to cool themselves, the Kawasaki regulator had to come out. I drained the nearly full oil tank to avoid making a mess while working with the fuel tank. I then siphoned most of the fuel out of the filler hose opening, shifted the fuel tank forward, finished draining it. Removed the fuel pump, cleaned out the tank interior, then installed a good used Ficht fuel pump with the stock integrated pressure regulator. At least now the fuel pressure would be within reason and there would be actual return fuel flow. I noted there was quite a lot of 'dirt' on top of the internal fuel filter 'pad' in the old fuel pump.

    I tested the Kawasaki inline regulator and it was installed in the correct orientation, but somehow it would not actually open up and allow flow until the air pressure (tested using my air compressor) was just over 30 PSI. This is about 10 PSI too high to be useful in the Ficht system.

    The installed EMM was actually a replacement for the original EMM, which failed so badly that DFI was unable to repair it. The replacement was sourced (by the prior owner of this Virage i) through an eBay seller with a reasonable reputation, described as in good working order, and supposedly the EMM had been previously repaired by DFI. It came with two injectors.

    When I began my own diagnostics the primary symptom was that it would 'start' but then promptly shut down. It would not stay running. Someone had installed a bogus non-Ficht ignition wire (measured 5,000 ohms, should have been 500 ohms) on one of the cylinders. The correct NGK PZFR6H spark plugs were installed, but they were VERY wet looking. Cylinder compression was good.

    If I held down the Start button the engine would start, run for a second, stop running but continue cranking, re-start, run for a second...

    I connected a pair of neon glow type spark testers inline with the spark plugs. I could see the strong spark indication during cranking and engine start, then the spark would just disappear for a couple of seconds. Then spark would resume and the engine would again run for a second or two, then no spark. It would do this for as long as I held down the Start button. Hmmm.

    Swapped in another Start/Stop LR-503 module, no change to symptoms.

    When the engine did run (a couple of seconds at a time) the exhaust was heavy smoke.

    I now think the engine had been cranked and attempted start so many times before I got it that there was a significant accumulation of 2-stroke oil inside the crankcase. After I got it repaired, it smoked a LOT until eventually it was able to burn off the excess oil inside the engine. Exhaust outlet inside the pump tunnel was dripping a heavy oily blackish gunk, quite a mess spilling off the ride plate.

    I did not have another two cylinder EMM on hand (it is only used in the Virage i, no other model). I did have a spare EMM from a three cylinder Ficht engine. So I connected it up, except I disconnected the PTO fuel injector and grounded the PTO ignition through a spare spark plug, which I strapped to a bare metal bolt on the water manifold. So what I have is a Ficht engine with only the MAG cylinder able to fire.

    Pressed start, and it started and ran. Roughly, of course, since only the MAG cylinder was firing. I could see strong, continuous spark on the exposed spare spark plug (connected to the PTO ignition wire). Exhaust was still smoking heavily, but I could tell that as I revved the motor it was burning off the accumulated oil (in the MAG crankcase only, of course).

    That was enough to convince me the EMM was in need of repair, so off it went to DFI.

    While it was gone, I worked through the rest of the machine.

    I deleted the exhaust water injection solenoid, which I noted was the updated replacement version with Delrin plastic body. It was not leaking (yet, anyways) but the water routing is simpler without it hanging around. Water flows out of the stator cover top elbow and heads to the EMM, which in this 2004 Virage i is mounted directly above the battery on the right rear side. Another new water hose exits the bottom of the EMM and runs back to the exhaust hull fitting.

    Since the return fuel hose was now too short with the Kawasaki regulator removed, I replaced both fuel hoses from tank to the injectors. I routed the fuel hoses differently to allow easier access to the front of the engine.

    The fuel hose material needed to be warmed up before it would fit over the barbs of the Schrader tee, since the fuel hose is 1/4" but the tee barbs are 5/16". The rest of the fuel system hose fittings are all 1/4". Lubricated with a drop of 2-stroke oil, the new hoses slide right on, secured with McMaster-Carr 52545K53 ear clamps.

    I used Oetiker stepless style gap-free ear clamps from McMaster-Carr on most of the hoses I changed, and upgraded the clamps on some others to ear clamps. The stock bilge pump elbow hose barbs (for example) are secured with zip ties, which I distrust. 52545K56 ear clamps fit nicely.

    This machine already had an upgraded start solenoid (brown body version), which is good enough.

    The battery was a Deka made AGM ETX16L battery, which was nice to see. I added a battery charging ring terminal lead for easy battery charging, should the need arise. Mates to the Waterproof Battery Tender Jr. and other battery maintainer connectors.



    Someone had jammed the steering cable far to the right of the battery in order to force the battery into position. I relocated the steering cable to follow a straighter path forward past the battery and engine.

    During my initial water test of the repaired EMM (strapped to the trailer), I temporarily connected the EMM water exit hose to a small pisser fitting (formerly the battery vent fitting under the steering). I was impressed by the water flow/pressure when the engine was revved up. Significant water flow, so no problem keeping the EMM cool

    Subsequent open water riding test showed 6560RPM recorded peak RPM on rather rough water. I could not keep the jet pump hooked up long enough to really establish the actual maximum wide open RPM.
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    Last edited by K447; 08-12-2013 at 11:08 PM.


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    When deleting the exhaust water injection solenoid from the two cylinder Virage i, it is important to cap off the old water fitting on the exhaust pipe. 1/4" FIP brass pipe cap does the job.

    I also removed the old water hoses running between the stator cover and the EMM, including the now surplus tee barb that fed the water injection solenoid.

    Throttle cable slack was way too loose. I adjusted the throttle cable length so that throttle body shaft seats firmly on the idle stop, yet also fully opens the throttle valves when the handlebar lever is fully squeezed. There is only a narrow range of adjustment of the throttle cable adjuster that meets both requirements.

    Next I checked the oil pump cable adjustment, which was also quite wrong. I brought the alignment marks to just past exactly aligned, so the oil pump is slightly advanced when the throttle shaft is at idle.

    Checked the fuel hoses where they rub on the fuel injector bracket edges. Only minor wear noted, so added black plastic sleeving to prevent further fuel hose abrasion.

    Cleaned up the hull interior, of course. First I washed out the bulk grime and scrubbed the bulk of the dirt loose. Rinsed the hull out with the trailer tongue pointing at the sky. I then mixed some Simple Green with plenty of straight household bleach in a spray bottle and put on some very old clothes. Then sprayed the entire hull interior, including the foam and up under the hull seam and bottom of the upper deck areas. Be careful not to breathe in the bleach fumes.

    Let that bleach mixture sit for a while, then rinsed it out thoroughly with the garden hose. Much better looking now, and the moldy smell is gone.

    While I had the fuel tank moved forward, I was able to mop up most of the oily ooze that had accumulated under the tank. The rubber traction mats that Polaris uses under the fuel tank got pressure washed, then reinstalled.
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    Last edited by K447; 08-04-2014 at 07:03 PM.

  3. #3
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Antelco shut-off ball-valve turns off cooling water feed before being towed in water

    I also added a 3/4" (20mm) Antelco (irrigation) water shut-off ball-valve, which would be used before towing the watercraft with the engine OFF, should the need arise.

    I hope the printed labels beside the valve are clear enough to be understood.

    The valve is held in place via a zip tie to the waterbox hold-down, which tensions the rubber hose on both sides of the valve. Ear clamps hold the hose tight on the valve hose barbs.

    On the Virage, opening the small rear seat and lifting the small storage bucket out allows direct access to the shut-off valve without lifting the entire seat off.

    I also had to Reset the MFI Security Code.

    On this model, there is a water feed tee connection hidden underneath the exhaust to waterbox large hose, at the left rear engine mount. This is the small water hose that feeds forward to the flywheel stator cover water jacket. Almost impossible to see without a mirror, the hidden hose clamps should be checked for tightness, as should all other hose clamps.
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    Last edited by K447; 06-17-2014 at 08:00 AM.

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  5. #4
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    Shouldn't this be in the projects section? Could a moderator please move this to the appropriate place?

  6. #5
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BryanP View Post
    Shouldn't this be in the projects section? ...
    A repair is not normally a 'project' (although it can certainly seem that way), at least as that section was originally intended.

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  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BryanP View Post
    Shouldn't this be in the projects section? ...
    A repair is not normally a 'project' (although it can certainly seem that way), at least as that section was originally intended.
    Im just messing with you

  9. #7
    japhunter's Avatar
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    Is the water shut off to keep water from back flowing into the motor while towing?I never thought of this.
    Also nice job!

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BryanP View Post
    Shouldn't this be in the projects section? ...
    A repair is not normally a 'project' (although it can certainly seem that way), at least as that section was originally intended.
    Did you just buy this Virage? Looks pretty clean almost like new.

  11. #9
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    The outside of the hull got washed down, then cleaned up.

    We used water activated All-Off cleaner, made by Gaunt Service Products, distributed by Hutchings Marine in Canada

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    Upper deck areas needed some shine. 3M Marine Rubbing Compound 9004, followed by West Marine Premium Polymer Polish. Not a perfect shine, but pretty good overall.

    Oh yes, the fuel hoses had been abused enough to distort and partially crush the Schrader tee barbs and the barbed union in the fuel supply hose. Installed a new Schrader tee and replaced the union with a single section of new hose.

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    Through-hull seals seem to be in good shape. Pumped some marine grade lithium base waterproof grease into the Zerk fitting, until I could feel the resistance increase. That meant most or all of the air had been pushed out and the grease was now pressing against the shaft seals. Adding more grease would just pressurize the bearing cavity and force grease past the seals.
    Last edited by K447; 08-12-2013 at 11:53 PM.

  12. #10
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by japhunter View Post
    Is the water shut off to keep water from back flowing into the motor while towing? I never thought of this...
    Why you should clamp the water inlet hose before being towed - hose pinch pliers

    water shut off for towing

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