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  1. #1

    Newbie problem... Any ideas

    I just bought two 2001 Polaris Virage TX's (with fuel injection). They both have very low hours (140 and 57) I test drove them both, then made the purchase and pulled them home. Tonight I took them to the lake. Both started and ran fine but then one while running just great, died abruptly. After a 30 nervous seconds, it started again. I headed towards shore, again running great, only to have it die abruptly again. This time it would not restart, the battery would engage the starter but wouldn't turn it over. The LCD display reported that it was out of gas and oil (which it was not). I got towed into shore. BTW the battery would run the bilge but still refused to turn the engine over. After I loaded them up and dragged them home I put them in the garage. Now while the battery still seemed weak, it would spin the starter and even started the engine.
    I am thinking the battery could be bad but it is more likely something like a ground problem. Any better ideas?


  2. #2
    fun rider's Avatar
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    Check wires on battery to be sure they are tight

  3. #3
    ben01251979's Avatar
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    Check and make sure your battery is good for sure cause for some reason it sticks in my noggin that the fuel injection systems are real finicky if the battery is not putting out the right voltage

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fun rider View Post
    Check wires on battery to be sure they are tight
    Remove and clean the engine end of the main ground cable from the battery. Also clean the engine boss and the grounding bolt, and the other wire harness ground ring on the same bolt.

    A weak battery will cause all sorts of diagnostic headaches. Unless you are sure the battery is internally healthy, it is better to install a new battery. My recommendation is the Deka ETX16 which is a sealed AGM type battery, much better than the traditional lead-acid batteries.

    The original factory start solenoids are known to corrode internally and can outright fail at any time. The current replacement parts are higher quality and more reliable.

    I think you model has an electrical box. Disconnect the battery and then open the box. Look for any signs of water or corrosion. Also look for damaged wires, loose contacts, burned wires, etc.

    See my signature links for a bunch more info.

  5. #5
    First off, thanks for your quick responses and for sharing your extensive knowledge.

    Negative cable on battery seemed less tight than I would like so I tightened it.

    A few further questions:
    How do I get to the engine end of the ground?
    I did pull the electrical box. There are signs of corrosion, but no burnt wires.
    Of the two machines, this one seemed to take on water faster and needed to run the bilge more... probably explaining the corrosion. Is there a likely culprit to look for to solve that issue?

    I should say, I am a complete novice when it comes to PWC maintenance and repair. I do some car and motorcycle stuff, but until yesterday had never worked on PWC.

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jose2292 View Post
    First off, thanks for your quick responses and for sharing your extensive knowledge.

    Negative cable on battery seemed less tight than I would like so I tightened it.

    A few further questions:
    How do I get to the engine end of the ground?
    I did pull the electrical box. There are signs of corrosion, but no burnt wires.
    Of the two machines, this one seemed to take on water faster and needed to run the bilge more... probably explaining the corrosion. Is there a likely culprit to look for to solve that issue?

    I should say, I am a complete novice when it comes to PWC maintenance and repair. I do some car and motorcycle stuff, but until yesterday had never worked on PWC.
    Normally there should not be enough water inside the hull to get up to the bilge pump. Typically a couple of cupfuls of water after splashing around on the lake. Not gallons.

    Plan to rebuild the through-hull driveshaft bearing assembly. There are seals and bushings in there. It is also supposed to be greased regularly.

    Negative battery cable is attached to the left rear of the engine case, tucked under the exhaust manifold.

    The key is to actually remove the cable ends and clean the cable end and the mounting point. Not just snug up the bolts.

  7. #7
    Update:
    I took them back to water so I could run and examine them more; just a shallow lake where I could back them in on the trailer and run them at idle. It is nice to have two so I can compare. "The good one" has 14.8 volts measured (with a multimeter) at the battery when running. "The troublesome one" had 12.8 which is the same as it had when it wasn't running (I charged the battery overnight). So does that indicate a problem with the stator?
    Re: the bilge, "the good one" had hardly any water to drain after running them on the trailer in the water, "the troublesome one" had maybe half a gallon.

  8. #8
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jose2292 View Post
    Update:
    I took them back to water so I could run and examine them more; just a shallow lake where I could back them in on the trailer and run them at idle. It is nice to have two so I can compare. "The good one" has 14.8 volts measured (with a multimeter) at the battery when running.

    "The troublesome one" had 12.8 which is the same as it had when it wasn't running (I charged the battery overnight). So does that indicate a problem with the stator?

    Re: the bilge, "the good one" had hardly any water to drain after running them on the trailer in the water, "the troublesome one" had maybe half a gallon.
    Not charging the battery when a Ficht engine is running involves just the EMM and the stator charging coils. And of course the related wire connections.

    Unlike the carburetor engines, on Ficht the EMM controls battery charging. There are actually five stator coils on a Ficht engine. All five are involved in firing the fuel injectors to start the engine. Since the engine starts it is unlikely the stator is the problem.

    That leaves the EMM. And possibly a fuse or circuit breaker. You would need to check the wiring diagram to confirm whether there is a fuse involved. Then again, the engine cranks and starts, so the fuse (or circuit beaker) is probably OK.

    That leaves the EMM as the most likely problem cause. Not charging the battery seems to be a rare failure mode on the Ficht EMM. Usually the symptoms affect other things. Nonetheless it seems like your EMM needs repair.

    Since you have two EMM you can try this test. Remove the good EMM and position it nearby the troublesome EMM. Transfer the 8-pin and 12-pin wire harness connectors over to the good EMM. Leave the big 40-pin connector attached to the original EMM.

    What this does is connect the electrical rectifier and voltage regulator section from the good EMM and use it to power the troublesome watercraft. If the battery voltage now behaves as it should and charges the battery, this tells you the problem is in the troublesome EMM.

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