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  1. #1

    '97 stx 1100 troubleshooting - brand new member

    Hi everyone,

    It's obvious why I'm here! My searching has lead me to this great forum and i've been doing my due diligence to read most threads before making a new post. Here is my situation:

    We bought a used 1997 stx 1100 as "novice riders/limited knowledge" of PWC. We have used it 3 times since owning, for a total of approximately 3 hours total. Before using it for the first time, we put in fresh gas and a new battery. It fired up instantly (although smoking a bit more that i was expecting) and off i went zipping around the lake. It had snap, power and great top speed over 50 MPH. Since it was new to us, we hopped on it a dozen times that day for 5 minutes at a time. Towards the end of the session, the temp light started flashing and we lost top end power. We could run it at 38 mph top and it almost acted as if it was governing. Idling and starting remained smooth and instant.

    This year, I took it out for the first time and the exact same thing happened where we left off. Top end of 38, no more. I started reading all the threads here and began trouble shooting. Here is what i've found so far. I need you're opinions please.

    Spark plugs: Pulled all the plugs - they were fouled up. However, the seller was running CHAMPION plugs in it. I thought this was the whole reason for top end loss, but after putting in NKG plugs, it tried running at 41 mph and then same thing - 38 mph with temp light flashing. I pulled the plugs and they look ok. I've bought a compression tester now and I am about to check all cylinders.
    Also, i accidently pulled one of the boots off the end of the #3 plug wire. Does this pressure fit back in? or is it now toast?

    Fuel tank: Here is something i've just noticed. A lot of people said to run it with the seat off. Well i haven't had a chance to do this yet, but i pulled the seat off in the driveway and the gas tank is seeping fuel into the hull from what appears to be coming from around the fuel pump area. Is this creating a lack of pressure? Is this going to be more than likely my problem?

    Also, my gauges flash off an on all the time. Is this just a bad computer and is this something worth replacing?

    The temp light that keeps flashing - do i worry about this? The pisser flows really strong so i dont think there is any blockage. I have touched the water coming out of it and it's fairly hot - I dont know what normal should be!

    Thanks for reading!


  2. #2
    steve45's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard, Sdawg33!

    When the temperature light is flashing, it means that it's OVERHEATING! If you've run it for a while like this, there's a very good chance that you've done major damage to the engine.

    You need to start with a compression test to see if there is damage. If so, you'll have to do more diagnostics to determine the extent of the damage. Sounds like you may be doing a top overhaul soon.

    The Champion plugs would not cause your problem.

  3. #3
    what causes overheating? sorry for my ignorance - seems to have good cooling flow, so this is obviously an internal issue?

  4. #4
    steve45's Avatar
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    The water goes to various places in the engine; the cylinders & heads, the exhaust system, and even the front cover to cool the stator. There are several outlets, too. The peehole on the side is only one of them, but that is where the temperature sensor is on your engine.

  5. #5
    I did a compression test this afternoon, I think my battery was strong enough to test it, but i'm throwing it on the charger to re-test this evening. ALL 3 cylinders tested 110 psi each. What range is acceptable? Am i looking for 125 psi?

    Also, the fuel tank continues to seep/sweat fuel into the hull. I'm obviously looking at replacing some parts there.

    Should i be buying a manual to check the cooling system to look for blockages?

  6. #6
    steve45's Avatar
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    110 is OK. If you're going to be working on it, yes, you need a manual.

    It's leaking gas into the hull??? Not good! That needs to be addressed before it blows up. Are you sure it's coming from the tank (and not the carbs?

  7. #7


    It appears to be coming from the general area where (Tap, ASSY. FUEL) ( taken from parts catelogue) inserts into fuel tank. It seeps down the rear of the tank, over the foam and into the bottom of the hull. I know i need to take care of this immediatley so it doesnt catch fire, but do i have to pull the engine to get the tank out?

  8. #8
    I am going to affirm that the fuel is leaking 100% from the area above that i described. I took some old rags and wiped the rear of the tank dry and it's leaking quite fast actually.
    Do i go ahead and order a new tank already as i'm more than likely going to need one, or do i pull the tank first and then see whats happening. Either way, its pretty bad.

  9. #9
    steve45's Avatar
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    So, it's leaking from the top of the tank? Are you sure the hoses aren't leaking? Make sure the hoses are secured well.

  10. #10
    I cant see the picture that you have posted. But I believe the older stx has the fuel selector switch mounted on top of the fuel tank? Ran by a cable assembly? Either way there an o-ring where the fuel pickup meets the tank. My guess is that o-ring has shrunk and is not sealing anymore. I would pull that assembly apart before of even thinking about ordering a new tank. Engine does not half to be pulled.

    I recently did a fuel tank swap on my stxr for a bigger 16.5 gallon tank and took out the 14 gallon tank. If you decide to replace the tank I would opt for the newer designed tank, engine has to come out tho

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