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  1. #1

    Still breaking exhaust bolts on Virage I

    I am just about to give up and part it out! Here is the story.

    1. Due to a hole in the hull I moved everything to a different hull.
    2. Did a top end while engine was out. Did not align exhaust with jugs.
    3. used alignment tool to align drive shaft.
    4. First time on water ran poor.
    ring stuck on one piston and poor compression. Not sure if faulty piston or faulty install but honed and new piston and rings. 150 psi in each hole now.
    5. Broke engine in on lake one evening.
    6. Went camping for weekend. After about 4 hrs started leaking at exhaust/cylinder.
    7. Pulled jugs to drill out bolts. Aligned with exhaust before tightening down jugs. Used grade 8 steel bolts to put on exhaust. Didn't have torque wrench so just tightened bolts-- I am sure they were over tight.
    8. 2 Bolts broke again next time out on front jug.
    9. Got 4 new oem exhaust bolts (long ones were ok)and new gaskets. pulled front jug and drilled out bolts. put on exhaust before tightening jug. Torqued all bolts to correct specs. (22 ft lb on exhaust bolts)
    10. Broke again after a few hours of riding time.

    I am too the point of parting it out. Ski runs great but I have no idea why the bolts are breaking. All bolts are installed even the ones on the end of the pipe.

    Engine is not getting over heated.

    I don't notice excess vibration.

    Any suggestions? Thanks


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    I am posting the diagrams for reference.

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  3. #3
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    I am wondering if there is a misalignment or missing spacer/washer on the exhaust pipe. If the exhaust pipe is being twisted or torqued when the secondary pipe mounting bolts are tightened then it could put stress on the exhaust manifold.

    Next time you put it together, check with a feeler gauge for gaps between the exhaust pipe mounts. Everything should be able to settle into position with just finger tight bolts. If there is a gap it should be investigated.

    I recall* there was an issue with the three cylinder motors where a spacer washer was omitted at the factory. When the pipe mounting bolt was tightened the gap caused by the missing washer created stress.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the responce. I am going to try one more time. Will pull both jugs and start putting together from there. The funny thing is is that it is popping the heads off of 2 out of 3 broken bolts. The long bolts have never broke.

  5. #5
    Mighty Mouse's Avatar
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    Are these suppose to be shouldered bolts? Just a thought. Also do the cylinders have locator pins on them? IF so are they missing?

  6. #6
    the original bolts are shouldered. The list time I put it together I purchased new OEM bolts. I still think the bolts would fail at the threads where the exhaust and the jug meet not the bolt head unless the bolt is being stretched to the point of failure. This has me stumped.

  7. #7
    ben01251979's Avatar
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ID:	336917 are these 2 bolts tight they are by the back left motor mount if u looking at the motor while standing at the back of the ski.

  8. #8
    Mighty Mouse's Avatar
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    Also be sure your pipe bolts are tight and mounts in the correct locations.

  9. #9
    ya both bolts are tight but I have not checked if the bracket on the motor mount is exactly in the correct position. I am going to loosen the motor mount nut and re tighten it after I reinstall the exhaust. This has to be something that is getting overlooked but I am out of ideas. Thanks for the input. I don't ride the ski much but have 3 boys that do. I told them I was done with it but I have never taken defeat easy. It will drive me nuts not knowing why this is happening.

  10. #10
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    At this point I would pull the motor out of the hull. On the bench you may be able to see a problem that is obscured when in the hull.

    There are not that many parts involved, so something is just not right.

    Things I would look at, in no particular order;
    Shoulders where the manifold bolt heads seat are not quite square and flat.
    Exhaust manifold or cylinder exhaust mating surface is not square and flat.

    The exhaust pipe lower mounting bolts are twisting or pulling on the exhaust manifold. The exhaust pipe support bolts should not cause the exhaust pipe to shift or move, just hold it in place to resist vibration. If there is any gap between the pipe and the mount then it will cause tension when the bolt is tightened.


    Cylinders are not square to the crankcase or not flush. Gasket uneven or metal surfaces dinged?
    Crankcase is somehow distorted or not entirely square.

    On some domestic engines (1200?) there is no factory exhaust gasket, just a very thin layer of high temp sealant. My understanding is that Polaris discovered the exhaust gasket was allowing some form of cylinder warpage that went away when the gasket was omitted. I do not know all the details involved, but if you are using a gasket then try it without, just a very fine bead of sealant instead.

    A local machinist may have the tools and expertise to see possible problems that are tricky to perceive.

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