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  1. #1

    2001 Polaris Virage TX shuts itself off, should I buy it?

    Hey guys,

    really wanting to get a ski but have a limited budget. I found a virage tx 1200 on craigslist for $2,000 (hoping he will come down) but he says it sometimes runs fine and other times shuts off and won't start, leaving him stranded. He has a new battery and some mechanic told him it is coils, start/stop switch, or a bad wire. Says it has fuel but no spark.

    Would this his be a terrible buy? Somewhat easy to diagnose/fix? I have a 1993 VR4 that I had modified and raced so I know my way around cars but never had a jet ski or anything with a carb. Just don't wanna buy this and have to sink a ton of money into it.

    Any my quick tests I can do on it when I go to look at it? Other than inspect for bad wiring/loose grounds/etc? I've heard people mentioned using the bilge button and swapping wires but I'm not sure what all that eliminates from the circuit/etc.

    Last edited by K447; 08-27-2014 at 08:59 PM.

  2. #2
    Basically I just need some tips for quick diagnosis when I test ride it.

    With this year/model, will hitting the bilge pump eliminate the LR module as a problem?

    I've read about starter solenoid problems on these... Any way to check that out?

    What at about the CDI? I don't even know what this is but seems like a semi common problem.

    Thanks a ton!

  3. #3
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada

    Arrow Things that need doing on a new-to-you Virage carburetor PWC


    This is a carburetor engine, correct?

    Assume it needs a new LR-505 Start/Stop module, preferably genuine OEM. The original LR modules are known to go bad.

    Also assume the start solenoid needs replacement. Not expensive and available from Seadoo, Polaris and others.

    If it is an original solenoid do not wait for it to fail as it could burn out the starter motor or leave you stranded on the water. Just put in a new one.

    Other common maintenance items would be;
    Rebuild through-hull assembly with new seals and bushings
    Inspect and possibly rebuild jet pump with new seals and bearings

    Replace all original fuel hoses
    Rebuild carburetors with genuine OEM carb rebuild kits
    Replace inline fuel filter and oil filter with OEM parts
    Replace fuel selector valve with new

    A primary requirement is that the fuel system and carburetors be 100% good. Fuel system problems can damage the engine due to lean burn.

    Electrically most issues can be diagnosed with some careful testing and step by step work.

    The most expensive electrical part is the CDI, which is the core of the electronic ignition system. These are generally reliable but sometimes do fail.

    The 2001 Virage may have electric reverse, later model years have a manual reverse lever. Electric reverse is OK but sometimes gives trouble and needs repair. Hold the Bilge button down to power up the PERC electric reverse system when the engine is not running.

    Holding the Bilge button down simply forces battery power to the accessory electrical circuits. On most 2000 and newer engines this also powers up the CDI ignition system. A properly operating LR module does this automatically. A dead LR module may not, hence the trick of holding the Bilge button to override the power delivery to the CDI.

    A bad LR module can affect the ignition in other ways so just holding Bilge button does not guarantee that the engine will start.

    When an engine just quits by itself there are a number of possibilities. Cause could be electrical, fuel, or even mechanical. Without doing some hands on diagnostics I would just be guessing.

    Always assume any brand of older watercraft has multiple problems. There is the 'known' problem and there are likely several other problems that have been overlooked or not mentioned.

    In order to make the machine reliable all the problems need to be discovered and addressed, not just the current 'headline' issue.
    Last edited by K447; 08-27-2014 at 09:01 PM.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the awesome reply (your sig links are super helpful, as well).

    I am am perfectly ok with doing maintenance stuff as you mentioned. Just wanted to make sure my odds were good that I would be able to get the shutting off thing fixed without spending a ton of money. Really seems like the LR module being that it runs fine most of the time (wouldn't think a fueling or mechanical problem would act that way). They also said it gets fuel but no spark during these episodes.

    I plan of test driving the ski before I purchase it so hopefully it will run well other than the existing problem. I will do a compression test and consider bypassing the LR module at that time.

    What is a reasonable price for this ski with 130 hours if everything else is in good shape, with a trailer?

    Thank you so much!

  5. #5
    Electrical guy HiPeRcO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Upstate NY
    I'd be more inclined at $1000 ish for that machine and a trailer. IMHO $2000 is high even for one with no problems.

  6. #6
    Electrical guy HiPeRcO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Upstate NY
    Oh, and I'd hold out for a fuel injected one, but that's just me. Three carburetors, yuck

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