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  1. #1

    1996 ZXI 1100 Q's

    I bought a 1996 1100 Kawasaki ZXI. I absolutely love the machine, but it's loud at idle. It's not a motor noise, the motor sounds perfect. It's whatever the motor is hooked to. Gear box? Pump? Impeller?

    Sounds like there's a bunch of marbles or rocks grinding around. Impeller bearing, something else? I'd rather take care of it now before it gets worse. If anyone knows what it is, could they also post some help or links as to how to fix it?

    It runs great on the throttle, everything works perfectly (even the trump pump), super fast, fun, quiet, etc. I just don't like how it sounds when it is idling.

    Also, does anyone know what year motors I can swap mine out with? I was looking at a 2001 that has a bad motor. Could I put my good running motor into that ski, and get a cheap upgrade/maybe even fix my idle noise issue? Are there any good resources to tell which motors mount and bolt up the same (750/900/1100, and years that fit)?

    Finally, the steering seems pretty sloppy. You can move the handlebars a good 10-15 degrees before it does anything. Any advice there would be great too.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    - Will


  2. #2
    DavidR's Avatar
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    Does it make noise in the water, or on the hose in your driveway? You will get some noise through the driveline when out of the water. There is a rubber damper between the crank hub and the drive shaft, maybe yours is bad or it could be the through hull bearing or pump bearings. You should pick up a manual off Ebay, they come in handy if you are going to maintain your ski.

    Your motor is the same as the 2001 accept for the carbs and maybe a variable rate oil pump. Yes yours would fit, but there is very little difference between the two boats and not enough to justify a motor swap, unless yours is just ugly and the '01 has nice paint and you can get it super cheap.

    Check your steering cable connections and make sure everything is tight.

  3. #3
    Thanks David, it makes noise in the driveway and in the water at idle, but it goes away in the drive way and in the water as soon as you bring it up past 1,500 - 2,000 rpm. It runs smooth and strong, I just don't like the noise at idle. It literally sounds like someone is rattling around a bunch of bolts or rocks or something.

    Do I have to pull the motor to check the steering components (looks like I may be doing that anyhow to check out that rubber dampener)? This is my first, it's been a blast. Super fun machine.

    Do you happen to know what year 1100s will swap out? I'd like to take my motor and throw it in a 2001, but I don't know how well that will work in terms of bolting up. I think I will have to swap my carbs and intake for the newer style, to get the throttle cable to hook up properly, but I'm wondering if there will be any other snafus.

    - Will

  4. #4
    DavidR's Avatar
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    First post edited.

    Both mine make a kinda sqwak/rattle when on the hose at idle but not in the water. I think that is the mechanical seal chattering because the hose doesn't provide any water to that seal.

    All zxi motors will swap, stx 1100 will too until it changes to the direct injection

  5. #5
    gary's Avatar
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    Except for the carbs its the same motor,paint with be a different color.the 96 is aqua motor paint,the 01 is that awful copper tone ish color.the oil pump is straight rate on all carb 1100's.the di did have variable.

    i would pull the pump and check the bearings,turn the prop by hand once the pumps out.if it makes noise rebuild the pump.you can slide the drive shaft back a little once the pumps out to check the rubber damper.If its bad do a good check of the couplers they may have worn down due to the metal to metal contact.

    While you have the pump out and drive shaft pushed back check the hull bearing drive shaft seal.Doubtful that would make noise and if bad you would be taking on water most likely at an alarming rate.But your there so it cant hurt to take a look.

    Also start the motor and insure the noise is not coming from the crank bearings.Again doubtful this is the problem but it cant hurt to check.

    My money's on bad pump bearings.

  6. #6
    steve45's Avatar
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    I would swap hulls. The '96 ZXi had the Air Induction hull that was unstable and would suddenly flip over at high speed. It was dangerous. Kawasaki had a fix for it, a triangular shaped plate that attaches to the front of the hull. If yours doesn't have it, either swap hulls or take it to a dealer and get it fixed before it hurts you. They should fix it for free, as this was a mandatory safety-related recall.

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  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    I would swap hulls. The '96 ZXi had the Air Induction hull that was unstable and would suddenly flip over at high speed. It was dangerous. Kawasaki had a fix for it, a triangular shaped plate that attaches to the front of the hull. If yours doesn't have it, either swap hulls or take it to a dealer and get it fixed before it hurts you. They should fix it for free, as this was a mandatory safety-related recall.
    Thanks Steve. Yea, mine has the triangle bow piece attached, but she is still a little sloppy. I have an opportunity to buy a 2001 with a bad motor with a trailer for around $900. If I have to tear into my pump anyhow and get out the wrenches, I may as well do the motor swap while I'm at it, and have a newer, nicer looking machine with less hours on it.

    I know it's not the crank bearings. It's not a squeal or grind, it's more of a loose grumbling of marbles. The pump bearings sounds like the right place to look.

    Thanks for the input and great advice guys. I'm sure I'll be back with more Qs when I'm swapping ish out.

    Is there anything I should do to the 2001 while I have access to everything? General hull/steering maintenance or crap I should just take care of while it's easy to take care of it?

  9. #8
    New thru hull coupler, fuel and oil lines and a good cleaning on the inside

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