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  1. #1

    2009 FX HO Engine Compression problems

    Hello, I am new to forums so please excuse my mistakes and provide feedback.

    I bought my 2009 FX HO used from a gentleman that only put 15 hours on it and took very good care. He only rode it for one weekend and broke up with his girl and she took hers and he didn't want his. I have only put 16 hrs on it and it's been stored the last two summers ('12 and '13). I took it to Florida in 2011 and ran it fine, it has alway ran very well no weird sounds or smoke. I religiously cleaned, drained and stored covered as per manual.
    I started it just to run with water hooked up to it last summer ('13) and noticed that it idled fine but was a little rough at higher rpm. I don't run it very much out of the water so I chalked it up to low water flow and turned it off and stored it.

    I, myself, had girlfriend problems fall of '13 and she poured sugar in my gas tank. Luckily I found this out before running it and took it to a Yamaha dealership to get the oil changed, lubed, and ready for this summer. I told them about the sugar and they said they could drain it. After draining the tank and removing the fuel pump, they checked the compression and found cylinder 1 to be 15 lbs, and 3 to be 50 lbs. 2 and 4 were normal. I was told that they didn't want to go any further and it was their opinion that it needed a new engine. So my concerns are, 1) I know I have been the only one running this ski cause I had the starter locked while I wasn't around, 2) the engine looks like new, no oil leaking or fuel, no oil in the hull, and I checked the oil and it was in level and looked new. I am now going to repair myself and am setting up a plan of attack. I have rebuild car engines before but never a boat or jet ski. I got the ski back from the dealership this weekend and will be working on it myself next. These are a few thing I was hoping existing members could help with:

    1) best place to get a service manual and how much, I'm seeing $50 on ebay at that seems fair.

    2) what size compression fitting does the engine take? I have a standard compression gauge with 14 and 15 mm fittings will this work?

    3) Any advice or experience anyone would like to pass on to me. I'm sure I will be posting questions as I progress.

    Thank you,

  2. #2
    Here's most likely what is wrong with the engine. When these are put away without making sure that all the water is "blown" out of the exhaust by revving the engine a few times preferably on an incline like a ramp or blocking the trailer up in the front, the moisture can cause rust on the valves that are open and they then stick open and the compression is lost. The good news is the 09 has some clearance between the piston and the valves so you may only need a valve job. (If you are very lucky). If you are not lucky, the valves have been smashed into the pistons and all sorts of carnage has occurred. Whether or not it was "properly" winterized and stored is beside the point, you now have a problem.

    The fitting for the spark plug holes is very small but most newer gauges usually have one to fit. I got mine at Harbor Freight. Yes, you should verify that two are low. After that, it is basically time to remove the head and figure out if there is any damage to the pistons and cylinders. As I mentioned above, if you are lucky, you just have a valve train issue that can be corrected without replacing the entire engine.

    Also, when you were running it on the hose, did you turn off the water before turning off the engine or did you cut the engine and then the water? If you did the latter, then that's how enough water got in the engine to do the damage. You mentioned the "starter locking up" when you were not around. Did it eventually "unlock"? You might have experienced a minor hydro lock with water in the cylinders causing the "locked" starter.

    Like above, the reasons for the failure are relatively not important. At this point, verify the compression. If low, then yank the engine out of the ski, remove the head and then you will know what needs to be repaired. Removing the engine seems extreme, but attempting to do any serious dis assembly inside the ski is and exercise in massive frustration. I don't have a link to an fxho manual but 50.00 seems way high. Do some more searching. Here's a free link to a manual for a VXR/S that has the same motor in it as yours.

    Good luck and let us know what happens when you get it apart. The 1.8's have not been around a long time and many have not had the exposure to the inner workings of the motor yet. Share the good and the bad!

  3. +1 by:

  4. #3
    Thanks for the reply. I am very lucky, here's why. Last night I siphoned all the gas out of my ski then poured 5 gal of water in to dissolve the sugar (sugar will not dissolve in gas). I then tipped my ski back and forth to wash around the water/sugar. Tipping my ski all the way back I siphoned the water/sugar out. I left it uncapped and opened over night in my garage. Today I reinstalled the fuel pump after checking the filter which looked clean, hooked up the hoses and filled the tank with a bottle of Heet ISO and 5 gal of supreme gas, then ran it for five minutes (as per the manual before you perform a compression test, I might add). I then did the compression test and got 155-160 psig on all cylinders. I also checked the diagnostics code by depressing rpm and volts button for a few seconds and got 01 which under the manual is NORMAL. So, nothing is wrong with my ski and if there is an residual sugar the fuel filter will pick it up, I'll check that again after a few tanks of gas. I don't usually name names but the assholes that gave me bum dope is Friendly Yamaha, of Baton Rouge in LA. I'm going by there Monday and asking for an explanation. The way I see it they either lied to me or are incompetent enough that they can't even perform a simple compression test correctly. All your above advice is correct and although I am aware of water back flow through the exhaust, it is a problem I hadn't thought of and a reasonable explanation when it seemed there was none. Thanks again for the answer back. Oh yeah and I got the manual for $30 and that included 2 day shipping.

  5. #4
    You are indeed quite lucky. Glad to hear that you don't have major issues with the engine. The girlfriend, now that's another conversation entirely.

    I have had the same kind of luck with having others work on my machines. The way I look at it, I can try a lot of things before I even spend one hour's worth of labor. Watch out for the Heet ISO, I think that stuff is basically alcohol. If you run all of that gas out and then start fresh you should be fine. The downside to alcohol is that it attracts water and can cause some significant issues if left in the tank for long. I take it your plan is to only do this once. Good luck

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