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Thread: Was I taken?

  1. #1

    Was I taken?

    I am not a mechanical-type person. I have never done my own engine work. I have skills, but engine work is not one of them. So I ask your advice.

    My Yamaha 2000 XL1200 engine has run fabulously for the last 10 years since I bought it - never a single problem. Then I stripped the spline on the driveshaft. While being replaced, they had to move the engine off its mounts and remove the exhaust. They reported that they found a piece of the exhaust valve in the silver exhaust barrel and that they found that the center exhaust valve needed to be replaced. I authorized the work and paid $2,000 for all of it. This is not my question, but just the background.

    I put the Waverunner in the water and ran it for 11 minutes when the engine died suddenly. It would not turn over at first. Then after a few minutes, it started and went 100 yards and died again. Repeat, repeat. Then I found if I opened the choke, it would turn over several times, close choke, then I would get about 400 yards. I got back to the trailer loading dock this way.

    Without looking at it, the repair shop said it was bad gas and bad plugs. Sold me new plugs, and fuel conditioner. AND THEN TOLD ME TO GO BACK OUT ON THE WATER AND JUST RIDE IT HARD. There might have been some water in the lines, they told me.

    I did this, but it would now not run more than 50% - 25 MPH max when I can normally get 50 MPH. At least I was able to get it to run for about 5-10 minutes. But I was doing what I was told to do. Then the engine died and nothing could get it going again. I had to be towed back to the dock by the sheriff.

    Now they tell me the engine is toast. The number one piston is melted. See attached photos. They state that it is because of bad fuel that plugged up the first carburetor and no fuel (and therefore oil) could get to the first piston. That is why the first piston head shows in the attached photos that there is no oil on it to provide lubrication, and therefore the #1 piston melted.
    This does not sound logical to me. Would Yamaha really build an engine that would destroy itself because of some bad gas? Does Yamaha build engines with carburetors that have filters that can get clogged from water in your gas (or something else that gets through the filter) such that the engine can be destroyed?
    I have several friends who work on car and snowmobile engines who believe that since this engine ran flawlessly for me for over 10 years, but failed after 11 minutes of operations post-repair by this repair shop, that the repair shop should have some responsibility. The engine only has 156 hours on it. And I just did what they told me to do.
    Naturally, the repair shop guy denies that he could have done anything to cause this problem.
    Who should I believe?
    I am not a lawsuit-happy type of person. I would love to believe their story that there is absolutely NOTHING they could have done to cause this problem. But, I donít really like the idea of being taken advantage of.
    Here are my questions to my fellow forum members:

    1. Is there a reasonable chance that the repair shop made a mistake that caused the engine failure?
    2. What is a reasonable life expectancy of a PWC engine (in hours)? Should I expect an engine to last more than 156 hours?
    3. Given that the engine needs to be rebuilt somehow, or replaced, do you have any advice for me on who I should contact? I found PWCEngines.com today in New York and I can ship them the engine to be rebuilt for $1395. What would you do if you were me?

    Thanks for your input!
    Vaulter


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  2. #2
    zach0075's Avatar
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    I had a 2001 gp1200r that when the crankshaft broke it also scored the 3rd cylinder. I was told to just get rid of the ski or part it out because putting in a brand new engine would be way too expensive and putting in a rebuilt one could cause problems and be unreliable.

  3. #3

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    Well first of all, if it is oil injected the carb filter does not have anything to do with oil. The oil flows anyway. However your lack of fuel, if the carb filter is clogged, can be a cause as that cyl ran lean and cooked that piston. Very poor advice to tell you to run a boat hard when it is running poorly. That is a classic sign of a potential deadly problem on a 2 stroke. Kinda like a doctor telling to you run a marathon when your heart has been skipping some beats.
    To answer your question about life span, with todays gas you have to clean/rebuild carbs every 4-5 yrs, especially on a 2 stroke boat. 300 hrs is not unusual on a well taken care of boat. Trouble is most people treat them like a modern car and just drive them. There are a couple of things guys here do, one is get wave eater clips for the power valves, and the other is to replace the catalytic converter with a D-plate. Clean the power valves every couple of years, and run name brand fuel. If you get a good mechanic it wouldn't be hard to rebuild that engine and replace/fix that cyl. Wouldn't use the shop that gave you that advice though.
    Another thought is they may have disloged an oil line when they moved the engine since they had to get near the oil lines to get the right front motor mount bolt. Was there some amount of fresh oil in the hull? That piston does look kinda different from most lean seizures I have seen.

  4. #4
    leejax01's Avatar
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    When was it last ran before going in for the initial repairs?

  5. #5
    big john's Avatar
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    did anyone catch that the shop said it had a bad exhaust valve ???? other than the PV's it doesn't have exhaust valves ????

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by big john View Post
    did anyone catch that the shop said it had a bad exhaust valve ???? other than the PV's it doesn't have exhaust valves ????
    Exhaust valve or power valve.....I can see how they would call it an exhaust valve. I thought the power valve was on the center cylinder that failed. My guess is that they popped an oil line when they were playing with the motor.

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  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by leejax01 View Post
    When was it last ran before going in for the initial repairs?
    I ran it last summer, and every summer for the past 10 years. Then this spring they fixed the driveshaft. It tested out fine both in the water and out. But when they finally gave it back to me, again it only ran for 11 minutes before it first failed.

  9. #8
    Are the oil lines separate to each piston? Because the #2 and #3 pistons had been getting properly mixed fuel... If this is the case - that would be the smoking gun.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by BryanP View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by big john View Post
    did anyone catch that the shop said it had a bad exhaust valve ???? other than the PV's it doesn't have exhaust valves ????
    Exhaust valve or power valve.....I can see how they would call it an exhaust valve. I thought the power valve was on the center cylinder that failed. My guess is that they popped an oil line when they were playing with the motor.
    It was the center cylinder that they fixed the power valve - they referred to it as both a "power" valve and an "exhaust" valve.

  11. #10
    Yellow93's Avatar
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    Yep sounds like you lost an oil line. They MAY have knocked one off while working on it but it also might have just worked its way off. They are notorious for doing this and should actually be zip tied on for safety, or convert to premix so it can never happen again. They are separate lines so you could lose one piston and not another.

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