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  1. #1
    Policeman's Avatar
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    Starter Replacement

    I purchased another project ski for my daughter for $500. Its a 2001 Polaris Virage with the 700 carb engine in it. I charged up the battery and attempted to start it. It turned over ok the first few time and then stopped. Its started clicking and I could hear the battery sizzling. I disconnected the battery and replaced the solenoid and battery. Tried turning it over again and the starter clicked and started smoking.

    I am fairly certain that the starter is toast and I just ordered a starter and bendix to repair it. I also have a used motor in my garage that the cylinder is gone in and am thinking of using the starter from it until the new one comes in.

    So now my question, Is there an easy way to get to the starter? Its under a lot of junk and I have never replaced one on this model. Anyone have some tips for me before I dig in?


    Thanks in advance.

    Brad


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Check that the engine itself is not mechanically seized. If the engine is seized the starter motor will simply cook itself as long as you hold the Start button down. Remove the cover over the driveshaft coupler and try turning the coupler by hand. Take the spark plugs out to release compression resistance.

    Since you have a spare motor with starter, you can see how it is mounted. Just two screws hold it to the engine. Remove those (disconnect battery, of course) then the starter simply pulls backwards to slide out of the flywheel housing sleeve.

    That said, it is common for the starter to be really stuck in the housing. If you are lucky it just wiggles and slides back. If not so lucky, it can be a battle to get it to actually move at all.

  3. #3
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    Thanks K - I will double check the engine. It was turning freely prior to today so if it seized I will be surprised. I had to disconnect the battery from the ski to stop the smoking so I just guessed it was the starter.

    I just finished getting the starter off the spare engine and you are right. It took a hammer to tap it out. Getting finger space down to the engine with all the exhaust in my way is going to be a nightmare but I will try. Would it be easier to remove the exhaust or is that more work then it needs to be?

    Thanks again K! Ever thought about moving to Missouri..... its nice this time of year and I could use a mechanic!

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Policeman View Post
    ... I had to disconnect the battery from the ski to stop the smoking so I just guessed it was the starter...
    The original start solenoids on the Virage, Genesis and MSX (external mount type) are known to corrode internally and can fail at any time. It is not unusual for the solenoid to fail and stick in the CRANK position, continually feeding battery power to the starter motor even after you let go of the Start button. This of course is very hard on the battery and the starter motor. This non-stop cranking can completely cook a starter motor if the battery is strong enough.

    This is why I recommend always replacing an original start solenoid. These can be identified by the black plastic body with a metal backing plate. The newer/updated solenoids are either light brown/tan color or the newest version is all black plastic body, no metal plate at all.

  5. #5
    Policeman's Avatar
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    I actually scanned through your advice section earlier this May and ordered a new solenoid, bilge pump, gas lines, fuel shut-off. carb kit. I was putting those items on today when this happened to me. Maybe I got the wrong solenoid? It was brand new but was much like the one I took off. (Black with metal back to it.) Is there something else I should be looking at?

    Brad

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Policeman View Post
    I actually scanned through your advice section earlier this May and ordered a new solenoid, bilge pump, gas lines, fuel shut-off. carb kit. I was putting those items on today when this happened to me. Maybe I got the wrong solenoid? It was brand new but was much like the one I took off. (Black with metal back to it.) Is there something else I should be looking at?

    Brad
    Post a photo of the new solenoid. let's make sure it is the right part.

  7. #7
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    Name:  !B3kgBpw!Wk~$(KGrHqMOKicEyVlZcrYRBMmsV3GtBg~~_14.JPG
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    Name:  photo (1).jpg
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    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	!B3kg!mwEGk~$(KGrHqYOKjQEyT+JrE!(BMmsVzE!Rg~~_12.JPG 
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    This is the company and part that is on my ski. The plug fits perfectly and the solenoids look identical from what I can tell.
    Last edited by K447; 05-25-2014 at 07:52 AM.

  8. #8
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Policeman View Post
    ...Click image for larger version. 

Name:	!B3kg!mwEGk~$(KGrHqYOKjQEyT+JrE!(BMmsVzE!Rg~~_12.JPG 
Views:	42 
Size:	22.1 KB 
ID:	330269

    This is the company and part that is on my ski. The plug fits perfectly and the solenoids look identical from what I can tell.
    That is the correct OEM solenoid type.

    That photo is of the original version, black body with metal backing plate. A new replacement solenoid of the old type will work, of course. Eventually it too will corrode inside and fail. Which is why the revised newer version is preferred.
    Last edited by K447; 05-25-2014 at 07:52 AM.

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