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  1. #1

    2006 VX110 Rehab

    Just added another ski to the back yard. Bought it for a song so I basically got a nice aluminum trailer with a free vx110 on top. That's the good news. The other news is that the engine is locked up. The Multifunction gauge says 102 hours. It has had water in the hull as evidenced by the water line on the engine about half way up (just below the ECU) I borescoped all 4 cylinders and the piston tops have chunky carbon deposits and there is signs of moisture but there is no signs of damage. The starter does not move when pressing the start button and there is a random click every 4th or 5th attempt. All 4 mounts are broken and the engine is forward of the coupler and clears it by a 1/4 inch. The impeller and shaft rotate and the impeller does not have nick on it. I put a breaker bar on the coupler and tried to spin the engine with the plugs out and the coupler moved (counter clockwise) but the pistons did not so I believe I just unscrewed the coupler. Sooo....

    My plan is to remove the engine and disassemble it completely to see what the nature of the "locked" part is. Since the bottom half or more of the engine sat in water for who knows how long, I am guessing that the starter, stator, and anything else electrical mounted below that line should be replaced. I am hoping that the ECU and other electronics are still OK but who knows. I will be cleaning every harness coupler and all the related connections.

    Anybody got any suggestions for a different approach? Part of me says to soak the cylinders in some penetrating oil as it is likely that the rings are stuck to the bores. I could then attempt to "loosen them" but I know these engines are such high compression that this might just give me a poor running engine that just needs to be rebuilt anyway. There is no obvious exterior damage to the block from what I can see but there is very little oil in cooler at this point so I don't know if it was just burned off or there is a hole somewhere.


    I will take some pictures and share the project as I go along for those who need to get into the motor for other reasons will experience whatever carnage is discovered.
    Last edited by cnyman; 02-23-2014 at 12:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Got the motor out and apart. Good news and bad news. Did you know that someone can leave and engine in salt water long enough to rot holes in the sides? Literally, the corrosion ate through the side of block in two places. (and no, the rod did not try to "leave") Needless to say the block is toast. I got the pistons loose and moving and the crank and bearings are all pristine. Apparently, the oil sat in the bottom of the engine (there was no oil in the cooler when I bought it) and protected the crank. The head is pretty crusty and I will have to remove all the valves to see if the seats are destroyed but it looks like everything is together and the head looks like it is more recent vintage than the bottom of the motor.

    I will follow up with pictures as soon as get them up on a share site but for now, it looks like I will have to source a block since I have four good pistons, rods, crank and even the stator appears intact.

    I have a question for anyone reading this that might know. Each rod has numbers and letters cast into the cap. The sequence on the bottom of each rod reads 6D3 "J", 6D3 "I" and 6D3 "K" (two are "K"'s). I have searched this site and others and I am familiar with the "formula" to determine the bearing size. My question is related to the letter. Some have said that this is the weight of the rod. Since my rods have three different letters, does this mean that they each have different weights? What is the letter/weight tolerance? I have another crank that has B and C's on the caps, so are these incompatible?

  3. #3
    To answer my own question, the K rod weighs 346g as does the J rod and a D rod weighs 352 grams. (on my cheesy scale anyway) So it looks like the weight goes down with the letter designations as they go through the alphabet.

    When I rebuilt an HO motor, the rods do not have letters on them and the set I ended up with varied by as much as 3g. I lightened the heaviest ones so that all four were equal and that motor idled smoother and accelerated quicker than any MR1 I have ever owned. I am hoping to get the weights on these to be as equal as possible. Can anybody verify if my conclusion is correct on the lettering scheme? Thanks.

  4. #4
    Next update: (sorry, still no pics) I ended up using the crank from the "holy" engine block as all the bearings plastigauged within spec so all four rods were cool and weighed within a half a gram of each other.

    I bought a used block and head from a guy on craigslist that had sucked a valve and the cylinder involved in the carnage only had one small imperfection just above the ring line so I am going for it to see if it will hold compression with new piston and new rings. Since the cylinders in a VX are plated, the cost of getting all four holes replated is kinda steep at 450+. (If I lose the gamble, the worst I am out is a head gasket to take it apart and send the block off to be done correctly) I also got a spare head and a lot of other parts from a seadoo guy on the forum (Thanks to Joe Stang) and that head looked better than mine so I removed all the valves and cleaned them, switched out any sketchy ones and lapped them all in and adjusted them. This was a first time for me for messing with a multi valve head but it came out well.

    So I now have an 80 hour block with one hole with a new piston and rings. The head looked fairly low hour also. I spent the day reassembling the mess. My curiosity got the best of me so I installed the starter to see if I could check compression. The three original cylinders show 200psi. The one with the new rings shows 180. I am guessing that it will run and hopefully once the rings seat in, I might get better compression on that one. Even so, I have had engines with one leaky valve before and they still ran fine. It looks like my valve job held compression well so far. A few of the seats lapped in a little wide and might be out of spec but I still had some margin top and bottom. I guess a few hours running will tell if that was a smart move or not.

    I still have to come up with a decent PTO assembly as the one I got with the ski is mighty crispy on the outside. Anybody got a spare one laying around? The bearings seem fine but outside of the case is horrendous. I will probably rebuild the oil pump to be safe. The 80 hour block came with a pristine stator and cover.

    I have to replace the driveshaft bearing flange inside the hull as it was the source of the leak the let the water in to corrode the engine. I have a new plate but have to remove the old one and get the glue up to do it right. I understand this is quite common on these but my first one didn't leak at all.

    The steering was almost locked up when I got the ski but I removed the steering shaft and found that the aluminum had corroded so much that it barely could move inside the housing. I scraped the crud from the shaft, put some wheel bearing grease in with it and it is almost as good as new. A little bit of play but nothing too serious.

    So far, I have roughly 900 bucks in used parts and some new gaskets, rod bolts, rings and a used block and head plus the original 800 bucks for the ski and trailer. The wiring harness looks intact and most of the other electrics look OK but until I get it all together, who knows. I am hoping this will be the backup ski and the one the "friends" ride when we are out on the HO. If it all goes together well, I am considering retrofitting the trim setup from a an older GP to see if having trim will make a difference. Anybody done that to a VX?

  5. #5
    Keep up the good work!!

  6. #6
    Still collecting parts. I am getting some goodies together to install an xlt reverse bucket and cone so I can install the trim function. I have the twist grip, cables and the remote. I just got a trim cable from an xl800 and it looks like it should reach the area right behind the TPS. Should look like a factory late model xlt trim location. It took a dremel tool to get the cap off the driveshaft bearing. The past owner attempted to seal the plate but I pulled it off the tunnel with my bare hand. This was the reason the ski had water in it. Yet another vx with the now famous hull leak. I will be installing a new plate and bearing this weekend and hope to get motor back in next week. Pics are still coming.

  7. #7
    The leaky shor
    Pump only requires 5200 to fix. No seals or plates unless of course they are in such bad shape...this'll be one rockin ski when you are finished
    Last edited by kwtony; 04-24-2014 at 05:52 AM.

  8. #8
    You live and work in salt water but check out the pics on this one. Basically anything that was below the ecu is crispy/crunchy. The plate was massively corroded on top of the original sealant. (probably broke free early on and the salt water did the rest. The pictures are of the tunnel before I have attempted to clean the old stuff off. Also, a chemical engineering friend mentioned that when bacteria collect in dark warm areas they give off sulfer dioxide and basically can bore holes in anything. Check out the engine block. Finally, here are some really, really gnarly pictures of how to abuse a ski.

  9. #9
    OK, the retrofit for the trim function is alive and well. I got an XLT cone nozzle and bucket assembly from a member in trade for a vx version and began the project today. Took the old cone off and was very pleased to see that the transom plate has a hole ready to go for a trim cable so all I had to do (I thought...) was drill a hole in the hull and install the cable. Turns out that a hole saw for a door latch plunger is the perfect size.

    I got the cable in and found that the cable was too short. Essentially at the limit of the travel, the cable had the nozzle all the way up. So I had to design a cable extender. Went to home depot, bought a 3/8 diameter SS bolt, cut it to length, drilled and tapped it both ends to accept a 5mm x .80 thread pitch bolt (the cable threads are this size). The cable screws into one end of the adapter and I cut off a 1" 5x.80 bolt to go into the other. This way, the bolt threads into the cable end snap fitting and since I left the hex end on it, it gives a nice way to tighten it. Had to extend the reverse cable a little also. The trim cable was from an xl800. I guess it is different than an xlt 1200 as that is what the bucket and cone came from. Surprizingly, the steering cable seems to be almost perfect. It is mounted a little higher than stock so I had to adjust it for centering but just a few turns did the trick.

    So the xlt bucket still had the OE latch mechanism that is clunky on the best of days. I had a 760 that had it and never really got it to be smooth. You can lighten up the spring tension a bit but it still took quite a bit of leverage to get it to go up and down. The vx reverse lever is a two finger lever at best and this was not big enough to really make it work right. The OE vx bucket uses a spring that simply goes over center as the bucket goes up and goes down that way, it is held in the up or down position by the spring. I spent most of the afternoon trying to figure out how to retrofit a spring to the xlt bucket but then my daughter wanted to go the lake and ride so I gave in and took the FXHO and the vxr and had a blast on the smoothest water I have seen in years...But back to the bucket story.
    On my 08 FX, the bucket is an updated version of the vx bucket with the spring device. I measured the width between the brackets and the FX bucket should fit the xlt. Duh... So, if anyone has an 08 or newer reverse bucket from an HO, SHO or FZR, I could use one. The xlt bucket is not quite low enough to accept a pivot point to make it stay down properly. They are only 20 bucks new so I will probably buy one but if anyone has one laying around, I would pay 10bucks or trade for vx parts. (I have lots. Not the crispy ones from this ski but from others I have collected over the years. Electronics, engine parts, head, etc. No block though unless someone wants one with holes in it. I was guessing that a welder could use the good sides to patch one that had been broken by a rod that seems like a stretch)

    While I was working on the ski, I installed a new drive plate inside the ski. The OE glue was incomplete and they missed a 1/4 of the lower portion of the plate. No wonder it leaked. The cobb artist that attempted to seal it from the outside stripped all three mounting screws so I through bolted the plate. While not pretty, I did counter sink the bolts as much as possible inside the tunnel and since the front two are near the front and the top one just barely clears the driveshaft, I really doubt if the turbulence would be significant. Besides, this is a 110 hp 3 seater, who cares. If you attempt this job (cleaning the old glue off) the scraper I used (see pics) was the bomb. Go buy one. I got mine from harbor freight. Using the heat gun, you can get a 2" square area done with each heating session and the whole job took about 30 minutes.

    So here's the status so far, the driveshaft is ready to go back in the impeller. (I figured I'd wait until the glue dried) The bearings on the shaft and the impeller are smooth. For those that would like to comment on Yamaha engineering, think about leaving a sealed bearing assembly under water for what looks like a year and then see if the bearings escape harm. Pretty amazing stuff. I fully expected to have to replace one or both (shaft or pump bearings) but at least for now, they both appear serviceable.

    Oh, if anyone has a spare intake grate, I could use one. Mine is a little too far gone. OE or aftermarket. (might finally be time to have a nice scoop type grate...)

    Next up will be the fitting of the trim grip to the handlebars, the cover and mounting the remote. I have the long block together and can stick the motor back in at any time but I am waiting to get all this other stuff handled and want to clean up the inside of the hull before mounting the motor. I also have a custom seat cover planned that beats the crap out of what is currently available. More on that later.

  10. #10
    The "add the trim" project is going well. I finished up mounting the remote under the cowl above the gas tank next to the steering support bracket. I through bolted the unit through the body and the cable from the rear lined up perfectly as a straight line on the starboard side of the ski. The added cables coming through the steerer tube make attaching the bolt really challenging but not impossible.

    Adding roughly 2" to each side of the handlebars required quite a bit of fabrication but 1/2" conduit was the perfect outside diameter for the inside diameter of the bars. Retrofitting the attachment points for the bar ends required drilling and tapping the ends with set screws but not an insurmountable task. I still have to fabricate a spacer for the opposite side of the bars as there is now a gap since I added the same amount to both sides of the bar. I could have left the bars as is and chopped a part of the cover to accommodate the additional length of the trim unit, but I felt like the stock cover would look better. It is now 32" across which is the same as the FXHO so I figured it would be ok that wide.

    While I had the cowl off, I lubed and adjusted the reverse lever pivot point. Kinda a rough engineering design with a pivot bolt and a flat plate adjusted by the tension of the bolts. It worked quite a bit better with some fresh grease.

    The engine will go in this weekend so we will see if the trim is actually a usable option on a VX. More pictures coming soon.

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