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  1. #1

    Help Needed - STX-15F Engine hard to turn and pump bearing failure

    First of all. I am new to the forum and jet skis in general. I was a happy owner of a Kawasaki STX-15F until a few days ago. This is the story:- I got the ski with 20 hours. It is a 2008 and was looking and running great. I was consistently getting 63-65 mph (speedo) and it was running like a charm. When I got it the oil was clear like new.
    - I ran about 15 hours on it and decided to do the 25 hour maintenance myself. I got most of it done in a few hours (there was a hose clamp below the intake manifold that there was no way to get to, so I left that behind.I did not check the pump bearings for lack of experience.
    - After another 3-4 hours on it, it started to make a knocking/tapping noise for a few seconds, coming apparently from the pump, but that was hard to say. The noise went away on its own, so I rode a few more minutes, then the noise came back for a few seconds, and went away again. at that point I decided to get it out of the water for precaution.
    - I looked at the pump/impeller and there was no debris, so I thought it was all ok.
    - A week later I put it in the water again. This time the engine would not get to full rpm (topping at around 6000-6500 rpm (top speed of 55 mph). I decided to keep going (probably that was a sad mistake). Another 1/2 hour or so the engine stalled and would not restart. The engine would crank weakly, as if the battery was discharged. I tried a few more times to no avail. I got the ski towed out of the water. It cooled off for a few hours and It started again, I ran for a few minutes in the water at moderate throttle, when I saw some water vapor coming out of the side discharge, then I shut it off.
    - Back home, I recharged the battery ant the ski started fine. I ran the cooling off the hose and it seemed ok. I turned it off and when I tried to restart, again it would crank slowly. I used my car as a booster but again it would not change the slow crank.
    - After some education from this forum, I decided to try to turn the engine by hand, and sure enough the engine would barely turn by hand, so the first conclusion: something is holding the engine, even after it cooled down.
    - More forum reading, and I decided to inspect the propeller: sure again, there was water and metal particles in the pump/propeller bearings. So the second conclusion: the pump needs a new bearing and gasket set (at least)
    - Now the sad part,even with the pump removed, the engine is still hard to turn. I looked at the oil and it has a normal color (as a used oil) and no particles in it.
    - My questions: is it possible that the bad pump bearings have caused damage to the engine? ( i read about it in another post, but there was no details) But would that not show in the oil? What could be bad?
    - If the bad pump bearings caused the engine to fail, then the Kawi engineers deserve an award , and I also deserve one. I have put 5 grand on it to buy my first big toy and now it is dead metal in my garage. Please help....


  2. #2

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    I am no expert like many are here, but I do know the engine is hard to turn by hand even with the plugs out. I can contribute this to the cams pushing on the tappets as I've replaced my head, and when it was removed you could easily turn things. When re installed I needed a long screwdriver.. I am not sure of your problem, however check out the sticky on here for the 12/15F. It has a boat load of info on these mostly reliable skis.. I will also say that most here, before they offer advice will ask you to do a compression check on all cylinders, and to check the plugs while your at it..

    If you feel its the pump bearings, you can easily recheck those again as these pumps come off and apart quickly and easily. I've got it down to 20 minutes with air tools..

  3. #3
    My name is Sean and I am addicted to STXs smokeysevin's Avatar
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    Check the "crank float" basically you take a screw driver and pry between the engine and coupler and see if it moves, then between the coupler and driveshaft.

    Sean

  4. #4
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    Start the ski run for 10 seconds then pull the oil cap off look straight down you will see where oil collects if the motor failed you will find metal particles there black gold silver

  5. #5
    RLACEMAN's Avatar
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    With the pump removed will the engine start & idle normally? If it does DO NOT rev the engine, the driveshaft is only being support by one small bearing, & only for a couple second, if it won't then you probably have serious engine issues. I have heard if the pump bearings go & you catch it right away there should be no engine damage, but running after for a period of time can cause damage. The only award the Kawasaki engineers deserve for designing it this way is the "knee in the groin award"

  6. #6
    If you feel its the pump bearings, you can easily recheck those again as these pumps come off and apart quickly and easily. I've got it down to 20 minutes with air tools.. [/QUOTE]


    Rescue 1, Thanks for your comments. I think you meant to place a link after "to check out the sticky", but it is not there.
    The pump bearings are completely shot, given the state of the grease and the metal particles present.
    Even with a long screwdriver, it is very hard to turn the engine. It seems like it is sticking, and removing the propeller made no difference.
    The spark plugs all look similar and good (not wet, no carbon buildup, proper gaps). Once the engine turns I will check compression, but for now it is just sticky.

  7. #7
    No, even with the pump removed the starter can barely turn the engine. I am now trying to gather courage and some friends who would work for beer to start disassembling the engine. My next questions would be :what are the parts likely to be shot? is it worth it? How much would it cost?

  8. #8
    Thanks Smokeysevin! I tried it and it turns, but it takes a lot of effort and it feels sticky, for lack of a better term.

  9. #9

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    Sorry, yeah I forgot to post that.... All credits go to it's author, who did an excellent job.


    http://www.greenhulk.net/forums/showthread.php?t=186939

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  11. #10
    My name is Sean and I am addicted to STXs smokeysevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newton View Post
    Thanks Smokeysevin! I tried it and it turns, but it takes a lot of effort and it feels sticky, for lack of a better term.
    Sorry I should have been more clear, you are going to pry forwards and backwards not clockwise or anti clockwise. You want to see if there is any play forward and backward in the crank. There should be almost none.

    Sean

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