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  1. #1

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    Dec 2013
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    Angry Bent exhaust valves on a 260x HELP!!

    I have posted the back story on my ski on this site before but have a new issue and have not seen this happen before.

    Quick summary:

    I bought a 2010 Ultra 260x at an insurance auction without knowing much about it. It had hit a rock and sunk and did not have keys. During the initial repair/ rebuild i did the following
    • I found a great guy in Australia who was able to unlock the ecu and program new keys for me.
    • I stripped everything out of the hull (eng, fuel tank, pump, etc..). I had the glass work done professionally. It looks amazing and tracks true in the water!
    • I found the rotors in the supercharger were peeling. I had the supercharger rebuilt by a guy in New York (new bearings, strip and coat the rotors, and fresh oil). I put a new belt on it and it pumps out 11+ psi all day long without issue (stock pulleys and blow off valves in place).
    • I had pitting on the intake valves that I was not comfortable with. I pulled the head, replaced all the intake valves, and all the valve seals (in & ex). I cleaned and lapped in all of the valves and then set the clearance.
    • I put it all back together with a new head gasket and did a leakdown test. Everything was almost exactly even around 5% max and leaking past the rings. I assumed it would tighten up once warm and "oiled" from running.
    • I had a starter bendix that was missing a tooth and would slip when cranking. I replaced the bendix assembly along with the PTO bearing and seals while in there.
    • I disassembled everything that water ran through and cleaned everything out. I primed and painted the assembled engine before putting it back in the hull.
    • I went through the pump. The impeller had some very small dings in it that i was able to gently smooth out with a wooden block and a hammer. I replaced all 3 bearings and seals and converted it to "oil bath".
    • I replaced the battery after the original one charged and load tested fine but then a few days later mysteriously gave up and would not restart the ski.
    I finally got it running and put at least an hour on it in the driveway on the hose alone! I checked and rechecked EVERYTHING on the ski! I had the ISC die on me within the first 30 minutes and hang at 2500 rpm. I replaced it with a used one off of ebay and it is great now!

    I have been out on it on several occasions and have had a great time with it!! The only thing i have had to do to it is tighten the belt after a few hours. My collection of "emergency tools" has shrunk as my comfort level with the ski has gone up (factory tool kit was long gone). I started out with almost every tool needed to rebuild the whole ski on the water if needed. As of last week I was down to a spare set of plugs and tools for that as well as a Leatherman and a collapsible paddle. I have put a few tanks of fuel through it at this point and have about 10+ hours on it since getting it back running.

    Now my issue........

    I was out on the ski last week with my 15 year old daughter (she was driving for the first time on the Ski with me and the SLO key). We were only out on it for about 30 minutes. It was getting dark and we were heading back to the trailer. We were just outside the "no wake" area by the launch. We were doing about 20-25 and slowing down. As we came in, a big boat was heading out and getting up on plane as we were coming off plane. She turned caught his wake at a weird angle and tipped us off. We ended up in the water capsized. I rolled it back over (Clockwise as per sticker on back) and we climbed on (I was going to drive to the trailer). I clipped the lanyard on and hit the starter and it just clicked. I knew right away i had hydrolocked the motor. We were close to the ramp and were able to get it on the trailer. it had water in the hull up to the middle of the crankshaft. I pulled the drains and about 30 minutes later I was home and pulled the spark plugs 3 of them were wet (2,3,4). I checked the oil level and it was right where it should be (it had not gone up at all). I pulled the intake drain and only had a few drops come out. I also disconnected the intercooler inlet and stuffed a towel down it to see if i had water in there. It was clean and dry. I disconnected the coils, put a towel over the holes and cranked it over. I had a lot of water from 2,3,and 4. Cyl 1 was dry. I repeated this a few times until I had most of the water out. I put the old plugs back in and fired it up (on the hose) It coughed and sputtered a few times as the cylinders started coming back to life one after the other until it was running smooth again. I let it idle on the hose for about 30 minutes. I did not rev it or anything else. I just wanted it to warm up. when it was fully warmed up, i shut the water off, cleared it a few times then shut it off. I thought it i heard it sputter funny but was not paying attention and just assumed it was from a long idle. I checked the oil again and it was still good (not milky and same level as before).

    The ski sat in the garage for a day. We were going out with our boat and some friends on saturday. I decided to bring the ski along. I started it quickly just to verify it would start and the battery was good (I do that to everything before I go anywhere just to save the surprises). I launched the ski and left the daughter sitting on the ski (not running) to hold it while i parked. We putted out of the no wake area for about 5 minutes and then i went to get up on plane and noticed it was running very weird. It had a strange vibration and no power. I figured it was bad plugs from them getting wet. I decided to nurse it over to a close sandy beach and change the plugs. I pulled them out and they looked good but cyl one looked like it was not firing. i decided to swap them around and try them before putting the new ones in. when I was tightening them down, one of them snapped off at the thread. I thought i stripped the head! I could not get it to come out or tighten at all! I started it and it did not blow out so we limped it for about 5 minutes at idle to the ramp. I took it home and was able to get the top of the broken plug out. I was relieved to see that it was only the threads stuck in the hole. I thought I had stripped the threads out of the head! I used an extractor and the rest of the plug came right out. I though that may have been my misfire all along. I was excited and thought i would be putting new plugs in it and heading right back to the ramp for a day on the water........

    I put all new plugs in it and put it on the hose. I fired it up and it sounds ok at idle but when you rev it or hold it around 3000, it will stutter and you can hear the misfire. I was able to kill the injectors one by one and isolated it to cylinder 1. I then swapped the injectors around. no change..... I then did a leak down on it and when it was hot, 2,3, and 4 were all even in the 2% range (the needle barely moved when I connected the hose). When I got to cylinder #1, I was looking at 30%! WTF!!

    It took me a while to isolate where it was leaking, eventually I traced it to the exhaust valves. I pulled the valve cover off and let the engine cool all the way down. I checked the lash on that cylinder and it was a "tight" .016". I had set it at "loose" .015" when I assembled it (not much change). I pulled the cams and valve springs off. I also pulled the exhaust off and used a tiny bore light in the sparkplug hole. With a mirror, you can see light coming past the valves as hold them closed and rotate them.

    How did this happen?

    Is it common?


    I have never seen a valve bend from water ingestion. I have seen rods bend, and rod bearings flattened from water ingestion. I never have seen a valve bend! I cant figure it out. Is it from the cold water hitting a hot valve? How common is it for water to get into these engines from the exhaust side when they capsize?

    Does anyone have 2 exhaust valves they would be willing to part with for a decent price?

    Thanks in advance for any help on this issue!


  2. #2
    nicjak's Avatar
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    yep common as, of course water will bend a valve under that kind of load, best you remove the i/c and drain the water from it or else you will bend the rest when you re assemble it something that many forget the i/c holds water in the bottom unil you increase boost of which then the motor injests it.

  3. #3
    I have a single unused exhaust valve left over from my 2010 260x. I no longer have that ski so I would be happy to send it your way, send me a PM.

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  5. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Houston, TX
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    Thanks for the replies and help!!


    What is everyone else using on their spark plug boots to keep them from sticking in the holes? I tried to use spray silicone. It worked awesome to install them but then after running for a while, they are almost glued in! I ended up having one of the boots tear when I was removing it (#3). It is right at the top and should not affect performance but now I would like to replace because the tear bothers me.

    I used one of those "blue" paper shop towels on a "retriever" claw to snake down the intercooler end tank on the inlet side. I was able to get it all the way to the bottom of the tank. I did not have any traces of water on it (or even much oil). I also ran it for a while with the supercharger hose disconnected to pump out any water that might be in the charger. That thing is LOUD! All of the water came in from the exhaust side.

    I did not think that the valves would be that hot at idle/light-load... I now know that they are!

    Where did the water come from? Does the water box hold that much water when running? I thought it stayed relatively empty as most of the water would be blown out with the exhaust while moving. I know when I have it on the hose in the drive, it will belch out a decent amount if I let it idle for a while and then tap the throttle... I just assumed that when running, it was pumping out most of the water and with the 2000 rpm bypass valve, the volume of water through the box was cut down even more. Could the valve be sticking open?

    How common is it to get water up the exhaust from rolling over? Should I expect this to happen every time this thing rolls over? Would adding the "exhaust filter" from a 300 help at all (I doubt it have to ask)?

  6. #5
    nicjak's Avatar
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    If you roll the ski expect water to enter the engine!! Like I said water would have been in the I/c and inlet manifold no amount of running the ski will get rid of that. You need to remove the I/c to drain it. Also remove the drain bung in the manifold to drain it.

  7. #6

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    When it was locked, I pulled the drain on the intake as soon as I got home and I took the spark plugs out. I was expecting water to pour out. I only got a few drops. All of the water in the engine came in through the exhaust.

    I will take the intercooler out while I have the head off. It is only two more bolts and a few hose clamps. I was planning on doing the head in the boat. It is a pain to get my hoist set up in the garage to pull the whole engine.

  8. #7
    nicjak's Avatar
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    You dont need to pull the engine to remove the head

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoostedV10 View Post
    Thanks for the replies and help!!


    What is everyone else using on their spark plug boots to keep them from sticking in the holes? I tried to use spray silicone. It worked awesome to install them but then after running for a while, they are almost glued in! I ended up having one of the boots tear when I was removing it (#3). It is right at the top and should not affect performance but now I would like to replace because the tear bothers me.

    I used one of those "blue" paper shop towels on a "retriever" claw to snake down the intercooler end tank on the inlet side. I was able to get it all the way to the bottom of the tank. I did not have any traces of water on it (or even much oil). I also ran it for a while with the supercharger hose disconnected to pump out any water that might be in the charger. That thing is LOUD! All of the water came in from the exhaust side.

    I did not think that the valves would be that hot at idle/light-load... I now know that they are!

    Where did the water come from? Does the water box hold that much water when running? I thought it stayed relatively empty as most of the water would be blown out with the exhaust while moving. I know when I have it on the hose in the drive, it will belch out a decent amount if I let it idle for a while and then tap the throttle... I just assumed that when running, it was pumping out most of the water and with the 2000 rpm bypass valve, the volume of water through the box was cut down even more. Could the valve be sticking open?

    How common is it to get water up the exhaust from rolling over? Should I expect this to happen every time this thing rolls over? Would adding the "exhaust filter" from a 300 help at all (I doubt it have to ask)?
    Use Vasoline on Boot ......hope on back riding real soon

  10. #9
    nicjak's Avatar
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    Yes on the vaso too

  11. #10

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    Dec 2013
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    We are well beyond the Vaseline at this point.... I am tore up and numb from this thing!.. Oh.. on the "boot".... I thought you said "boat".. From the repeated raping I am getting from this thing !

    I like projects and fixing things... but this is ridiculous!

    Two pieces of wisdom that I have learned from this project and will not soon forget....

    • Insurance companies usually "total" things for a very good reason!
    • If it is too cheap to pass up, there is usually a good reason!


    I was searching Craigslist the other day and saw a similar Ski for sale:

    2008 250x
    "New computer ($1500 value); new wire harness ($1500 value); new battery ($130 value); new steering cable; 12 hours on super charger; Riva Ride Plate; straight pipe; stainless steel ice chest rack. Had the whole bottom fiberglassed; had it running for 3 hours on the lake. Motor threw a rod."

    anyway...

    back to my question..

    Can I expect the ski to bend valves every time it flips over? Is there anything I can do to prevent (or at least minimize) that from happening other than "don't flip over"?
    Last edited by BoostedV10; 06-03-2014 at 09:43 AM. Reason: "issues"

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