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Thread: "Cheap" MSX 150

  1. #1

    "Cheap" MSX 150

    Hi All,

    New to the forum, though I've read a fair amount of material for my other skis thus far. Thanks for all the helpful posts.

    Picked up a cheap Polaris MSX 150 this weekend, found it in a back yard at a yard sale. Had a few other things going on, so I only got to poke around it a little bit. Been reading about a few common issues (sticky waste gate, oil on the sensors, etc.) and I had a few questions. I've pulled apart plenty of Yamaha and SeaDoo 2-strokes, but not a lot of experience with 4 stroke skis or turbos. Curious if anyone has some experience before I dive into this thing.

    It seems like the ski was winterized the last time it was put away (last reg sticker was from '12) but there are a few things that are weird. Spark plugs were removed and left in the boots, just siting in the valve cover. coils were unbolted and sitting in place. Hose clamps are off the oil lines, but the lines were put back on the hose barbs on the reservoir (as if someone changed the oil and planned to change it again after the winter?) Battery is in place with both terminals disconnected.

    1. A few of the allen bolts are loose around the valve cover. Any reason someone would take this off / loosen them to winterize the ski? This seems like someone could have been troubleshooting a problem.

    2. There are only leads connected to one side of the starter relay (two 6ga red cables.) Only one has a boot, and from the looks of the wiring diagrams on the service manuals, it seems like one comes from the battery and one comes from the alternator/voltage regulator. I would assume the main harness is powered from there as well, right? I couldn't seem to find the cable coming from the starter motor, any ideas?

    3. There are two black 6ga cables with ring terminals disconnected from somewhere. Presumably ground cables, and they're near the starter relay. Does anyone know what these are?

    4. There is a small 18ga or 20ga purple wire disconnected and out of a wire loom around the top of the valve cover. Not sure where it goes or comes from. I'll have to trace it out and take a picture. Any way that's a common problem?

    5. Once all the electrical is back together an the valve cover is tightened back down, I planned on changing the oil and filter, throwing new spark plugs and some fresh gas in and seeing what happens. Anything else I should check before cranking it to get the oil out? Or before trying to start it up?

    Any comments are appreciated. I'll be out in the shop tomorrow, I'll take a few pics and post them. Thanks.


  2. #2

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    Check compression before doing anything.

  3. #3
    Matrix 4-Tec spannerspencer's Avatar
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    there are so many common problems with the weber. it beat me. i put ££££ into mine.

    put the kettle on, and read through the msx threads. so much great information on here.

  4. #4
    ripcuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpsole07 View Post
    Hi All,

    New to the forum, though I've read a fair amount of material for my other skis thus far. Thanks for all the helpful posts.
    Welcome to Green Hulk! I see "Cheap" MSX 150... and I laugh too. There is no such thing. Even if the ski is free... nothing about it will ever be cheap!

    Picked up a cheap Polaris MSX 150 this weekend, found it in a back yard at a yard sale. Had a few other things going on, so I only got to poke around it a little bit. Been reading about a few common issues (sticky waste gate, oil on the sensors, etc.) and I had a few questions. I've pulled apart plenty of Yamaha and SeaDoo 2-strokes, but not a lot of experience with 4 stroke skis or turbos. Curious if anyone has some experience before I dive into this thing.
    Nice find! Wish I could find another cheap MSX 110/150. Where are you located?
    I have a pretty good amount of experience with these Webers (4 stroke turbo engine is made by Weber)... hopefully I can help.

    It seems like the ski was winterized the last time it was put away (last reg sticker was from '12) but there are a few things that are weird. Spark plugs were removed and left in the boots, just siting in the valve cover. coils were unbolted and sitting in place. Hose clamps are off the oil lines, but the lines were put back on the hose barbs on the reservoir (as if someone changed the oil and planned to change it again after the winter?) Battery is in place with both terminals disconnected.
    This sounds like common winterizing to me. Leave plugs out or loose (gotta remove coils) so you remember to spin out the fogging oil sprayed in there before next firing. Unhooking battery... yep, good idea (better to remove) for winter. Could be they drained the oil before storing? Or have the loose hose as a reminder to change oil.

    1. A few of the allen bolts are loose around the valve cover. Any reason someone would take this off / loosen them to winterize the ski? This seems like someone could have been troubleshooting a problem.
    Yeah... can't think why you'd loosen the valve cover. Pop it off and inspect further.


    2. There are only leads connected to one side of the starter relay (two 6ga red cables.) Only one has a boot, and from the looks of the wiring diagrams on the service manuals, it seems like one comes from the battery and one comes from the alternator/voltage regulator. I would assume the main harness is powered from there as well, right? I couldn't seem to find the cable coming from the starter motor, any ideas?
    Correct... on 1 pole of starter relay is main positive battery wire and another red wire that powers the ski. The other pole is solely for the starter cable. Starter is under the intake manifold (right side forward)... feel for it and see if the cable is still attached

    3. There are two black 6ga cables with ring terminals disconnected from somewhere. Presumably ground cables, and they're near the starter relay. Does anyone know what these are?
    Check the ground lug on the rearside of the intake manifold... should see a threaded stud. The main battery ground hooks here... as well as 2 (or 3?) other ground wires coming off the wiring harness right near it on the right side.

    4. There is a small 18ga or 20ga purple wire disconnected and out of a wire loom around the top of the valve cover. Not sure where it goes or comes from. I'll have to trace it out and take a picture. Any way that's a common problem?
    Sounds like the lone wire that drapes across the top of the exhaust/turbo manifold going to the exhaust temperature switch (rearside, exhaust manifold, press on connector). Not a common problem. It triggers a too hot manifold. But it can be unplugged and ECU thinks all is well.

    5. Once all the electrical is back together an the valve cover is tightened back down, I planned on changing the oil and filter, throwing new spark plugs and some fresh gas in and seeing what happens. Anything else I should check before cranking it to get the oil out? Or before trying to start it up?
    I'd inspect more before rushing to try and start. I'd do this:
    - pull turbo to intercooler hose and intercooler to intake hardpipe and inspect for excess oil or gunk or water in there
    - move the throttle plate in the throttle body and pear down into the intake chamber... look for puddle of oil or water
    - check turbo shaft for excess wobble and smoothness of spin... and signs of blown seals (oily mess)
    - get known good, strong, fully charged battery and install. Hookup but don't start... tap blue display mode button (left handlebar) and see if display awakens and see what the hours read
    - with plugs out and battery in... perform a compression test on both cylinders. The results of this will determine what you do next. There are sadly notorious issues causing compression loss in the Weber.

    If compression is good (you lucked out!)...
    - pull oil reservoir return hose and pump the old oil out into a container... while this is cranking... it'll also blow out any excess fogging oil that may be in the cylinders. Also change the oil filter in the canister under the turbo
    - refill oil... but don't overfill! I'd personally use Rotella T 15w-40... only because you don't know if the engine is broke and you'll likely end up having to drain this oil anyways if you have a bad engine and need to pull the engine. Also... if there is any moisture in the oil... Rotella is cheap so would be good for flush. Once the ski is running well and you plan to fully use/boost/run it for hours... you'll need to change the oil again to full synthetic Mobil 1 15w-50 ($$).
    - sniff test gas in gas tank... see how full... best to drain and use in lawnmowers and put in some fresh HIGH octane (Premium) gas.
    - next, put in new plugs(NGK BKR7E or Champion 3068 RC7PYCB... nod to the Champions), install coil packs, button-up all wiring
    - attempt to start her up with the Reverse lever engaged... this will limit RPMs to 3400... which you want since Webers are known to rev sky-high when out of the water... especially if you give it any throttle.


    Any comments are appreciated. I'll be out in the shop tomorrow, I'll take a few pics and post them. Thanks.
    Pictures are great. Let us know how it's going.

    Cheers!

  5. #5
    RC - Thanks for the comments. I'll definitely run down that list after I take a look under the valve cover. Will update with pics a some more infer tomorrow.

  6. #6
    Yeah... can't think why you'd loosen the valve cover. Pop it off and inspect further.
    Pulled it to take a look, nothing seemed out of place, all very clean, no visible wear.

    Correct... on 1 pole of starter relay is main positive battery wire and another red wire that powers the ski. The other pole is solely for the starter cable. Starter is under the intake manifold (right side forward)... feel for it and see if the cable is still attached

    3. There are two black 6ga cables with ring terminals disconnected from somewhere. Presumably ground cables, and they're near the starter relay. Does anyone know what these are?


    Check the ground lug on the rearside of the intake manifold... should see a threaded stud. The main battery ground hooks here... as well as 2 (or 3?) other ground wires coming off the wiring harness right near it on the right side.
    Got the electrical sorted out. The ground cable from the engine lug to the battery was missing, so i made up a new 6ga cable and installed it as well.

    Sounds like the lone wire that drapes across the top of the exhaust/turbo manifold going to the exhaust temperature switch (rearside, exhaust manifold, press on connector). Not a common problem. It triggers a too hot manifold. But it can be unplugged and ECU thinks all is well.
    Took a photo of the wire I'm talking about. Hopefully it's no issue. I also noticed the air hose going to the wastegate relay is disconnected (see pic) and couldn't see an obvious place to reconnect it - Any thoughts?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    - pull turbo to intercooler hose and intercooler to intake hardpipe and inspect for excess oil or gunk or water in there
    Got both off (hose clamps were off already) - hard pipe and hoses were all clean.

    move the throttle plate in the throttle body and pear down into the intake chamber... look for puddle of oil or water
    Small bit of oil in the bottom of the throttle body, no water. Possibly fogging oil from winterizing? Photo attached:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    - check turbo shaft for excess wobble and smoothness of spin... and signs of blown seals (oily mess)
    Not sure where to look for this

    get known good, strong, fully charged battery and install. Hookup but don't start... tap blue display mode button (left handlebar) and see if display awakens and see what the hours read
    Display wakes, read 51.5 hours.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    with plugs out and battery in... perform a compression test on both cylinders. The results of this will determine what you do next. There are sadly notorious issues causing compression loss in the Weber.
    There was a loud shrieking sound from the jet pump when i first turned it over. I pulled the ride plate, nozzle, and cone and cleared some leave and debris from the stator and tried again - sound had stopped. I think this ski may be sadly notorious though, i read zero compression from both cylinders.

    I know the answer to this question, but the next step it to pull the engine, yes? Sounds like it may be the Nicasil cylinder issue? May also be the reason the bolts on the valve cover were loose.

    "Cheap" is never cheap.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    ripcuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpsole07 View Post

    Pulled it to take a look, nothing seemed out of place, all very clean, no visible wear.

    Got the electrical sorted out. The ground cable from the engine lug to the battery was missing, so i made up a new 6ga cable and installed it as well.

    Took a photo of the wire I'm talking about. Hopefully it's no issue. I also noticed the air hose going to the wastegate relay is disconnected (see pic) and couldn't see an obvious place to reconnect it - Any thoughts?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I think I guessed wrong on the wire. That looks like the oil pressure sensor wire. It connects down on a sensor off the exhaust side... sorta forward end of the block... under the turbo manifold. If you feel down there, you should find a round sensor threaded into the block... that wire hooks on there. I usually has some sort of protective wire cover on it... since it's on the hot side of the engine.

    The hose in you picture is the boost supply source to the turbo wastegate solenoid (the grey think on the small bracket off the valve cover). That hose connects down below your had to a barb off the turbo compressor housing.

    Got both off (hose clamps were off already) - hard pipe and hoses were all clean.

    Small bit of oil in the bottom of the throttle body, no water. Possibly fogging oil from winterizing? Photo attached:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yeah... could be fogging oil... or could be remnants of oil ingestion.

    Check turbo shaft for excess wobble and smoothness of spin... at the "air box" opening to the turbo... on the compressor side (forward side). If you unbolt the intercooler and raise it out of the way you'll find a single bolt holding the black plastic "air box/filter" to the turbo. Pull this out of the way and stick your fingers in the big center turbo compressor opening and gently spin/rotate the turbo shaft and check for wobble and smoothness.

    Display wakes, read 51.5 hours.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    There was a loud shrieking sound from the jet pump when i first turned it over. I pulled the ride plate, nozzle, and cone and cleared some leave and debris from the stator and tried again - sound had stopped. I think this ski may be sadly notorious though, i read zero compression from both cylinders.
    Ouch. Yeah... you'll need to pull the main jet pump and slide the driveshaft as rearward as it'll go... that should uncouple it from the engine driveshaft coupler.

    So, no compression... as in zero? You sure your hooking up the gauge correctly? Assuming you did... that's obviously not good. Sorry to hear.

    I know the answer to this question, but the next step it to pull the engine, yes? Sounds like it may be the Nicasil cylinder issue? May also be the reason the bolts on the valve cover were loose.

    "Cheap" is never cheap.
    Yeah... definitely sounds like it's engine pull time. That is a pretty big task. Could be Nicasil failure... or bad blown headgasket... gotta pull engine either way. Once you get it out... you'll be better able to assess the situation and decide if dropping $2k+ in it to fix right is what you want to do.

    Cheers!

  8. #8
    So, no compression... as in zero? You sure your hooking up the gauge correctly? Assuming you did... that's obviously not good. Sorry to hear.
    Yes, just double checked. It was a new gauge/kit so I checked it on my 1200. I also realized that there is a high-pitched sound (air escaping) on the compression cycle of the cylinder(s) if they have a spark plug or the gauge screwed into them. Sounds like air is leaking out the head gasket. Either way, time to pull it out.

    Any recommendations or other threads with a step-by-step for getting the engine out and apart?

    Any guys out there that do core-swaps on the Webber?

  9. #9
    ripcuda's Avatar
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    Yeah... that sound is probably a bad headgasket. Sounds like engine pull time. Read the service manual for removal details.

    I've pulled a Weber... 5 times, I think?... it's a PITA.

    - pull jet pump, slide driveshaft rearward, pull plugs, drain oil, drain coolant, unbolt IC and strap it out of the way(on top of gas tank), remove oil tank, remove coolant tank, remove battery, disconnect ecu/main relay and starter solenoid wires, unhook wires to speedo (rear most ones)... pull all wires out of holders along right side... pull all wires out the seat hole and drap over side of ski. remove intake manifold, remove heat xchanger, remove PITA heat xhanger lower bracket, undo engine mounts, raise (hoist/crane) slightly and rotate, remove exhaust/turbo manifold (it's on studs), now it's time to finagle the engine out the seat hole... good luck. You don't have to remove the IC bracket/voltage reg/oil cooler off the front... it'll come out with those still on.

    For all your Weber needs... contact Randy at WeberPower. He has blocks... not sure about core-swaps... but he's the Weber guru and parts guy.

    Cheers!

  10. #10
    Got pretty far along tonight. The whole intake side and heat exchange is out, missed the lower brackets, will have to pull them tomorrow. Pump is off, midshaft is back. Block is loose on the studs. Need to grab a chain hoist from my neighbor tomorrow to get some lift.

    Can I leave the exhaust pipe on the manifold and just take the entire assembly off? Either one of the bolts (pipe to manifold) are stripped, or I'm just having a terrible time getting it out. Also, service manual says to slide engine back and remove IC first, then rotate onto the intake side to take off the exhaust, then hoist the whole thing out. Not necessary?

    Click image for larger version. 

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