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  1. #1
    LVC's Avatar
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    Question 98 XPL Cavitation WHY ?????

    I've done the "search" thing and found a couple of posts on the same subject on here but no follow-ups with solutions

    So ..... Calling all experts ..... Help please this problem is doing my head in.

    1998 SeaDoo XP Limited.

    Bought 2012 and ran all year no probs - changed the prop and wear-ring in 2013 for a Solas prop and WSM OE replacement wear-ring and ran rest of season no probs (before and after I had the carb jets changed, Tau Cetis added and rev limit upped) - ran start of this year again no probs.

    I decided to retry the old prop as I'm not getting the top end speed I should with the Solas (my engine possibly isn't high enough spec for this prop) - so off with the pump and swapped out the prop for the original one.

    1st try serious cavitation/slipping clutch syndrome

    OK off with the prop and out with the wear-ring on the assumption that the Solas prop may have enlarged the ring (known to happen sometimes apparently).

    Compared ring with the original one with regards to prop clearance and although probably more than I'd like to have, not a drastic difference between the rings.

    So new wear-ring ordered (WSM OE replacement again) and fitted today with the same "original prop".

    Out to the lake and ...... serious cavitation......Brand new wear-ring and original non damaged prop

    The jet moves on tickover, you open the throttle, revs go up, more "bubbles" at the rear but no real forward movement, bit like dumping the clutch and spinning the front wheels on a car. Sometimes it grabs a bit and then drops off - I managed to get up on the plane and hit 57mph but slipping all the way.

    Not a happy Bunny ......a pal that "knows stuff" suggested that the main alu shaft with the couplings on it may be spinning without the couplings turning (has happened on 98 XPL before apparently) - so out with the shafts and both are true and no sign of any couplings spinning on the alu/main shaft

    The rear boot is not split and there's no water ingress into the hull so no air getting in there.

    No carbon ring on this model to wear down.

    There's plenty of silicone sealant between the pump and shoe.

    All the splines are good on the rear shaft, couplings and prop.

    There's no sign of any damage anywhere on any of the visible moving parts and no weird noises.

    Plenty of sealant between the grate and hull and ride plate and hull, no gaps nor leaks.

    What I really don't get is that all that I changed was the prop (put back the original SeaDoo one) and now it's got a new wear-ring and since then I've had this problem

    So ........................ Why is this happening .......I'm running out of logic (and patience) ??????

    Any/all advice welcomely received


  2. #2
    Derek45's Avatar
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    Jet pump rubber seal maybe? wow other then that Im as lost as you, has to be the old prop.

  3. #3
    blairwill4's Avatar
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    Correct me if Im wrong but doesnt this ski have a two piece drive shaft with a knuckle in the middle somewhere under the seat? I know a buddy that had that strip out on his hx. Had similar symptoms. It would slip all the way up until it didnt connect anymore at all.

  4. #4
    Mine has the carbon seal. Mine did exactly what yours is doing.
    Yours has another type of seal. Maybe it leaks just enough to suck air from the hull when under power but not loose enough to let water in when just sitting there?. I'd replace the seal.....its really the only thing left.
    As far as a possible stripped driveshaft......with the engine off, see if you can spin the impeller without the engine turning over??

  5. #5
    SURFnTURF's Avatar
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    98 xpl models skis had a problem with not enough sealant between the shoe and the hull, only fix is to pull the shoes out and reseal with sikaflex or something similar. I have done over 20 of these and they are a PITA to do, only way to fix it is remove and reseal.

  6. #6
    LVC's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies guys

    There's no rubber seal on the 98 XPL it uses the rear of the wear-ring against the shoe to make the seal and is doubled up with sealant - all good there.

    Note: Some Wear-rings have been known to spin as the 98 didn't have screws to hold it - mine has as I've modified it and the ring doesn't spin.

    Yes there is no carbon seal. Once the drive-shaft passes through the hull it has a rubber boot secured with two jubilee clips, one around the thru-hull "tunnel" and the other around the 1st shaft bearing - all looks good there and nicely sealed with plenty of grease. Milky white on the "wet side" and correct and clean on the "engine side".

    The "knuckle-joint" is indeed present and no signs of any slippage - there's rubber "stars" between the couplings and these are all in good condition and a nice tight fit one against the other: flywheel - 1st drive shaft and 1st drive shaft - 2nd drive shaft - all joints/knuckles/couplings in A1 condition and no signs of slippage - all teeth on the final drive shaft correct and not worn (no slippage there either).

    Impossible to spin the prop without the engine turning over and with engine running out of water as you accelerate you can feel the increase in air pressure coming out of the rear - so more revs = more turnage of the prop.

    I've heard about the "shoe to hull" seal and yes this is a possibility but one I doubt as judging by the amount of "extra" sealant that has been pushed out it looks like it was don by the previous owner prior and there is absolutely no movement anywhere on the shoe and certainly nothing that changed whilst swapping props over.

    I'm going to put it all back together and put back the Solas prop and see what happens. Logically if this works then the problem is the old prop (but again this worked fine before and has not been modified), if the problem, is still there then other than the shoe to hull joint (possible but I doubt it) I can't see what else there could be ........

    Maybe the XPL heard that I'm going to sell her to buy a Spark and this is her vengeance

  7. #7
    I've had this problem with wsm wear rings. I buy nothing but oem now.

  8. #8
    LVC's Avatar
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    Were the symptoms the same as mine "Wire4Money" as that seems to be a real possibility - I know the Solas is larger and therefore a bigger ring would not be a problem but maybe with the OE prop the gap is too much?

  9. #9
    LVC's Avatar
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    Had a thought whilst putting the solas back on ...... I'd modified the wear-ring to accept two screws to stop it spinning in place (a modification SeaDoo did to the XP from 2000 onwards). When I took the solas off one of the screws had come out and I can't remember if I put it back in or took the other one out. The wear-ring that was with the Solas and with the SeaDoo prop for the 1st try shows signs of it having moved/rotated and when I fitted the new wear-ring it was nice and tight so I didn't modify it to take the screws.

    On this basis if the wear-rings were spinning against the pump shoe with the SeaDoo prop in place then I believe this can cause bad cavitation.

    So I've modified the new wear-ring and added the screws and will test with the Solas.

    This at least has given me a bit more hope and logic as to why with the stock prop and new ring I was getting cavitation ..... possible spinning ring.

  10. #10
    LVC's Avatar
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    Update..............well today's test provided exactly the same results as before so it's either the "new" WSM wear-ring that's no good or something else (shoe seal maybe).

    My pal and I had a good look in the pump and he reckons the gap is way too big between the ring and prop, another pal had his XP at the lake today and as a comparison my gap does indeed seem way too big - not bad for a brand new wear-ring ^^

    For the millionth time (it seems) I've taken the pump off and this time put back the WSM wear-ring that was working with the Solas prop (albeit not giving me the top end speed I should have).

    Another test tomorrow - If it doesn't work tomorrow then it's not the prop nor ring - if it does work then its the WSM rings being "not quite right nor the same".

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