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  1. #1
    TNFama's Avatar
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    Angry 08 Ultra 250x - acceleration and top speed troubles - bad news from dealer HELP

    I have a 2008 Ultra 250x stock with about 100 hrs on it in brackish water. Normally runs about 64mph. Last weekend, I noticed the throttle was suffering significantly; I lacked any real responsiveness throughout the final 50% of the throttle and could only hit 55mph. Additionally, acceleration was severely lacking. I did my research on the forums, and discovered that the air horn was indeed misplaced, but a trial run after I corrected it resulted in no change in performance.

    At this point I brought the ski into the Kawi dealer. They changed spark plugs and came to the following conclusions:
    • Motor was severely corroded.
    • Water leaks on exhaust and several bolts were missing, broken or corroded.
    • Exhaust manifold gasket was corroded and leaking.
    • Supercharger was only putting out 6lbs of boost as opposed to 12-14lbs.
    • Intercooler was leaking
    • Popoff valve corroded
    • Compression test showed 1-150, 2-145, 3-140, and 4-150 (well below the desired 180psi he informed me)
    Now I know this is a LOT of bad news for me, but I'm looking for any way I may be able to salvage this engine, or at least reclaim some of the lost power. The dealer told me this would cost $10k minimum with labor to make all of the suggested repairs.

    Which of these repairs might be most attributable to the sudden loss in acceleration and power?

    Any help would be appreciated, I just got the ski paid off last month and as of now, I have a $7k paperweight.


  2. #2
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    Well first off 140-150 is not low compression. So sounds like your dealer is trying to stick it in ya or has no idea about an ultra. The sudden loss of power can be from different reason slipping sc belt bad sc an exhaust leak or any and all of the above. I doubt your ski is a paper weight but it does sound like maybe maintenance has been lacking. With out seeing pics or video of the ski it's hard to diagnose. Also how did they test boost did they water test the ski ? its impossible to do on land. Did you not notice missing bolts ? most likely dealer broke the bolts trying to remove them really the only way they break. I know one thing your dealer does not know what there doing stating your compression is low. And orher signs Tell them to get an updated manual. There most likely pulling specs from Early Manual that was for a 15f. Good luck.

    Also 10k. Really? run dude run. These guys are theifs

  3. #3
    gary's Avatar
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    Asuming the dealer really did find all that wrong.Would not suprise me that its not correct(dont know your dealer but most ive dealt with are not exactly up to the standards i would like to see if they were to touch my ski).But assuming their correct and you can do the work yourself,All that can been done for alot less than the quote they gave you.

    If it were me i would replace the gaskets,Remove the supercharger clean/rebuild/replace depending what you find,Remove clean/repair/replace the intercooler.Every tester will show different readings and yours maybe low but at least their close enough to the same (good sign).

    Any and all of what they told you they found will cause a loss in performance.Im kinda suprised givin all those problems that you were even going that fast.

    If doing it yourself isnt an option,you could always sell it off,putting 10k into a ski thats worth 6-7k when your done would be a bad option imo.For 10k you could get a brand new leftover 300X.

  4. #4
    TNFama's Avatar
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    I'm going to put it in the water shortly and test the rpms, speed, and boost at WOT. I know the ski wasn't ever put in the water, so I'm not sure where they got the boost info. The last time I took it out before putting it in the shop, the tac was reading 10psi. I'll also get a video posted... my main goal here is to identify the culprit of the sudden loss in power. While I agree all of these things could certainly attribute, there had to be a specific event or failure that caused the sudden drop, it didn't happen gradually.

    *I'm not an expert with superchargers... enlighten me. If the belt was slipping, would it show a loss of psi on the tac?

  5. #5
    TNFama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIRE0021 View Post
    Well first off 140-150 is not low compression. So sounds like your dealer is trying to stick it in ya or has no idea about an ultra. The sudden loss of power can be from different reason slipping sc belt bad sc an exhaust leak or any and all of the above. I doubt your ski is a paper weight but it does sound like maybe maintenance has been lacking. With out seeing pics or video of the ski it's hard to diagnose. Also how did they test boost did they water test the ski ? its impossible to do on land. Did you not notice missing bolts ? most likely dealer broke the bolts trying to remove them really the only way they break. I know one thing your dealer does not know what there doing stating your compression is low. And orher signs Tell them to get an updated manual. There most likely pulling specs from Early Manual that was for a 15f. Good luck.

    Also 10k. Really? run dude run. These guys are theifs
    What should be the correct range of compression?

  6. #6
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    Your in an acceptable Range 140-150 depending on how it was tested.

    If the sc belt slips your gonna loose boost. It sounds like thers quite a few issues from lack of care. Any one of those coukd happen suddenly and cause your issues. I wanna see pics of your motor.

  7. #7
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    if your exhaust manifold is leaking thats going to give you a problem, you need to replace the studs and broken bolts and clean the surfaces and replace the gaskets fora start. i have seen some poorly maintained ultras where the i/c and s/c alloy cast housings have started to delaminate sounds like your ski needs ALOT of TLC strip it down clean it up i say and maybe just maybe your problem will be fixed

  8. #8
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    Here are a few quick images taken today of the motor after the ride. As you can see, there has been severe corrosion. I have only owned this ski for a year, and flush and wash down motor compartment with fresh water after I ride methodically, but I can't speak to the care with the previous owner. I can get more shots of specific areas if it might help the diagnosis.

    As for the ride this afternoon; I will be posting two videos as soon as they upload to dropbox so that you guys can see what I'm experiencing out on the water. I also took a quick video of the unit flushing.

    The new spark plugs had no impact on performance. The ski starts right up, and purrs, it actually sounds like its running well most of the run. When I hit the throttle hard, I get a couple hiccups out of the hole, but acceration is not terrible, though still sub par. between 25-35 there is a major hesistation, and once it makes it past that speed it smooths on up to 55. At WOT, I am under 7k RPMs, around 6800 and running 55mph with 10psi boost. But still, there is little response from 50% throttle to wide open. I can hear the engine run a little louder when I go from 50% to 100%, but no real change in RPM or speed.

    I also ran it with the seat off to look for obvious leaks. I can see a leak from the gasket on the SC (pointed out in the image below)

    Will have the videos up shortly.... thoughts?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9
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    wow mate and you are wondering why you are having problems!!! one that isnt the s/c its the exhaust manifold, if its leaking its a problem which will cause what you are explaining. sorry to say this ski is in dire need of tlc i bet it has a number of problems and sure to have many more.

    your dealer is honest and being very thorough.

    this is where i would start.
    1. remove i/c, s/c, exhaust manifolds,
    2. strip and clean everything, incl checking and replacing rusted hose clamps, buffing what can be salvaged.
    3. possibly replace the bypass valve or asssure its not rusted inside binding up.
    4. clean the s/c, check the inlet and outlet pipes for delaminating, also do the same on the i/c.
    5. replace all exhaust gaskets and check waterboxes for broken baffles.
    6. oh and throw the s/c belt cover and dont re install it.
    mate if you dont do all this you are going to be chasing your ass forever as their are bound to be many more problems to follow.

  10. #10
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    Ride:

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