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  1. #1

    2012 VX 1100 Cylinder not firing

    I am new to this and feel I have made a critical error. I did not correctly winterize my bike last year just put some fuel stabilizer in the gas and ran fresh water thru the bike. Well when I went to start the bike and change the oil it was hard to start and did not run well. I ran the bike after changing the oil, then changed the plugs, cleaned the injectors, and still had the same issue of not idling and running rough. I then decided to check my compression and found out that the rear cylinder has no compression. I did not have the proper compression gauge to fit into the cylinder had to use the one you hold with a rubber grommet. The cylinder next to it pressured up well and the rear cylinder did not pressure up at all.

    My question is, what happened? I am thinking a stuck valve and will pull the valve cover off in two days to check. Should I put some penetrating oil (marvel mystery oil) in the spark plug hole for the next two days to let it soak? I am hoping that I can free this up without pulling the head.

    Advice please....

  2. #2
    Oil in the spark plug wont do anything but help a stuck valve. Which is a very common thing with your 12 vx ski. Its not really a tough repair if you can get the head off, but that requires a motor pull. I would personally give my head to a local machinist, but thats just me. I am actually doing a head gasket today on one of my VX skis. I have 2 cyl side by side that have no compression so i hope its the HG.

    Any water in your oil.

  3. #3
    No water in the oil.

  4. #4
    Put marvel oil in the plug hole and it never got full. I heard it draining in the engine and ended up raising the oil level on my dipstick.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by mtm109 View Post
    Put marvel oil in the plug hole and it never got full. I heard it draining in the engine and ended up raising the oil level on my dipstick.
    MTM 109,
    What that probably indicates is that your piston has a hole in it from a piece of a valve breaking off and since there is no clearance in the combustion chamber, something had to break. Very bad news indeed. If the mystery oil just ran into the crankcase and you could hear it draining, there has to be a hole. Otherwise, the chamber would fill up and then slowly leak down over time. Taking the valve cover off will be non-conclusive. Nothing really to see and even if a valve was stuck open it would be difficult to see it as the cams are over the springs. If you plan to do the work yourself, then resign yourself to yanking the engine out and taking the head off. It really isn't that difficult and in an afternoon, you can have the engine out and the head off.

    The problem is a well known one on these and all MR1 engines as it is vital to blow all the water out of the ski when you finish using it. (not just for winterization). What happens is that the water sitting in the exhaust system is enough moisture to cause some surface rust on a valve that is left open. (one cylinder invariably always has an intake or exhaust valves open when the engine stops). Over the winter or whatever period the engine is not run, enough rust builds up on the valve stem and when you go to start it, the valve remains open. When the piston comes up, it bends or breaks the valve off and the next time the piston comes up, all hell brakes loose with the pieces of metal getting crunched between the head and the piston. I am rebuilding one for exactly this problem as I write this. If you are really, really lucky, your block and cylinder will not be damaged. You are looking at getting a new or rebuilt head, a new piston, rod, rings, bearings and a gasket kit. If you have to pay someone to do the work, it will be in the thousands. Sometimes the head can be repaired but only by a very good machine shop that can weld and replace valve seats and guides.

    So going back to the beginning, what needed to be done was just tilting the ski up at the nose and revving it up a few times. Then a few days later, do the same thing. Then a few more days later one more time. This has worked for me on a number of 4 stroke skis for the last ten years or so. It is not a defect in the engine or the design, it just requires you to do the procedure. Many people just start the engine once a month to make sure it stays "loose". Mine are dormant from roughly December through April. When I take mine out of the water during the season, I do the procedure while on the ramp. I get a few stink eyes as it is a little noisy, but it is worth it as I know I am keeping moisture from staying where it might do some damage.

    The one I am rebuilding came off an 80 hour ski but the guy that owns it, leaves it in a slip, floating, for 4 months a year. He made it two years before this happened. I "splained" that this is courting disaster and he has to figure out some way to clear the water out between usage. Even a floating dock is better than leaving it in the water.

    Sorry to paint such a bad picture. Let us know what it looks like when you get the head off. Best of luck.

  6. #6
    ^ yup, what he said.

    I pulled my motor today and got it all on film again, Give me a few days and I will have a pull out procedure up on so swamped with work I might need a few days plus a few days...monday the motor goes back together so sometime around then. SBT sells good motors from what Ive heard.

  7. #7
    Thanks for the update but I pulled the head last nite and the rear exhaust valve is stuck open. The piston looks good, I misread the dipstick. The oil that i poured went into the exhaust yesterday. Now the question how to free the valve. I also flipped the head over and all the caps on the valves came off. I put them back and noticed a spacer beneath all of them, are they all the same? I am also looking for a manual to put this thing back together to get all of the torque specs. Have to order new gaskets and need to know the best place to get them.

    Thanks in advance for the help, rookie mistake and I'm paying for it.

  8. #8
    No, you need to label all of those caps and keep them in perfect order. Dont get them mixed up and don't loose the pads underneath. Everyone is different or can be different.
    Last edited by kwtony; 04-17-2014 at 05:40 PM.

  9. #9
    im sending you the manual now. Also a few other photos to help with torqe specs and what not

  10. #10
    Kw that is the problem I did get them mixed up. How do I get them back in the right place. My email is for the manual.

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