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  1. #1
    Dr. Evil's Avatar
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    New FX HO - How do you adjust the steering?

    Hi Folks,

    I just bought a new 2015 FX HO -- probably one of the first 2015's sold. I took it out on its maiden voyage and did the 1 hour 35 minute break-in as detailed in the manual.
    I noticed right off that the steering is a little off center. If you center the handle bars it wants to drift to the right. Also, if you hold the handle bars slightly left of center to keep the boat going straight ahead, it lists to the left instead of riding level. The listing seems to go away at higher speeds but it's definitely there until about 30 mph.

    I assume both issues must be related and it's likely a minor adjustment. If so, I'd like to do it myself because the dealer is an hour and a half drive each way. I don't know if this issue was from the factory or the dealer didn't adjust it correctly when they installed the handle bars.

    I looked at the exploded view of the steering parts on this website site and don't see anything complicated (looked at a 2014 parts view because 15's aren't up there yet but the steering should be the same).

    The only thing I can see is where the steering rod attaches to the jet nozzle it is threaded so there must be some room for adjustment. When I move the nozzle it visibly appears to go further right than is does left.
    Is that where I want to make an adjustment or am I getting myself into trouble?

    Any advice would be appreciated. If it's as simple as it seems I don't want to drive all the way to the dealer to fix it. Besides, they can't take it for a test ride to see if the problem is fixed so if they don't get it right then I have to make a second trip up there.

    Thanks!


  2. #2
    unscrew the ball link at the nozzle, loosen the jam nut on threaded side and twist in or out as needed. Tighten the jam nut and screw it back onto the nozzle.

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  4. #3
    LugNutLS1's Avatar
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    I had to do this on my new 14. Easy. Just as the above mentioned. Eye ball it close with hand bar straight and all will be good.

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  6. #4

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    Congrats on the new FX. Pity the dealer didn't double check that as a part of their pre-delivery inspection which I am sure they charged you for somewhere in there but atleast it's an easy fix.

  7. #5
    zone5's Avatar
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    I've had to do this on every FX, it seems to me that with use the cable compresses and shortens a bit.... Couple of notes, there is some kind of thread lock on the ball joint, support the solid metal part of the cable so as not to put too much twisting onto the cable itself... Also, leave at least 7 or 8 threads inside the ball joint to ensure adequate strength (you will have to screw it out).

    I actually want to screw it out a touch more, so I'm going to spot weld another SS locknut to the ball joint, then fit another locknut, so I can have more effective threads holding on... when I get around to it...

  8. #6
    Dr. Evil's Avatar
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    Hey thanks very much to all of you for your helpful replies. I did the adjustment just as you said, but as zone5 pointed out, the ball joint seems to be glued on there. I could not get it to turn without turning the threaded steering rod with it. I even gripped the steering rod as tight as I could with a plier while turning the ball joint with a 10mm end wrench. So I called the dealer and they put a tech on the phone with me who confirmed I was doing it correctly but he was puzzled that it didn't turn easily once the lock nut was loosened.

    Long story short, I think I got it turned a little, and when I took the boat back into the water it seems to be within reasonable tolerance of true center now. As far as the listing to the left, that seems to be better as well, though the tech at the dealer didn't think it could be related to the steering center issue, but rather more likely a sponson adjustment. I don't know whether those sponson retaining bolts are adjustable or fixed, but I did measure the sponson height on both sides and they're the same so I'm not gonna worry about it.

    I've got almost 6 hours on it now and I am enjoying it. I traded in my 2007 Kawasaki Ultra 250x (that thing is a whole story by itself!) on this one and the thing that really sucks is the inability to be able to test drive these things before making a decision. I did not want a dog compared to my Kawi and I did have a chance to drive a friend's FZR with the same engine as the FX SHO. I figured the acceleration and top speed have to be very close between the FZR and FX SHO. That thing would have eaten my Kawi for lunch and spit it out. Way more power than I really needed/wanted. Interesting since the Kawi is 250hp and before Yamaha stopped rating hp the 1800 SHO was supposed to be 210hp from what I've been able to dig up -- only 30hp more than the HO.

    Not being able to drive an HO without supercharging I started Googling and came across some test reviews by Boat Test.com. According to them, the HO is 0-30 mph is 2.0 seconds and top speed of 62.6. The SHO is 0-30 mph in 1.7 seconds and top speed of 66.7. So that lead me to believe the acceleration was a little better on the SHO and it was only 4mph faster at top speed. 62.6 mph is plenty for me. On the other hand full throttle gas consumption on the SHO was 19.2 gallons per hour vs. 13.6 on the HO, almost 50% higher fuel burn on the SHO wide open. We do go on some long trips -- Saturday was hot here in the Bay Area and we went all the way from the sloughs at Suisun out to San Pablo Bay almost to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and back which is about 75 miles I would guess. My riding buddy has a Sea Doo RXP and ONE throttle position -- you guessed it -- wide open. So I don't know if the SHO would have enough range for a long trip like that. Based on the Boat Test numbers and the fact that the FZR had way more power than I really needed, I had decided on the HO Cruiser.

    The jury is still out, though it's too late anyway -- I bought the thing and it's "used" now. I did download a really cool GPS speedometer app for free for my iphone and checked it in my car and it was spot on. It has a really big digital readout so I put it in the FX drink holder and tried it out. Very hot and totally calm water it wouldn't budge over 59 mph which is somewhat disappointing. But for some reason that day the speedo on the boat was also reading a little lower. Some days they just aren't quite as fast as others so I will try again and report back. (I want my 62-63 mph!) Tomorrow, I am going to test drive a friend's 2014 FX SHO (just found out he got it yesterday) and see how that compares. I'll try the gps on that and let you know what I get. I'm probably just setting myself up for buyer's remorse, we'll see.

    If it's of interest to anyone, I would also be happy to write up a complete review of my new WaveRunner. I'm very detail oriented, and I can tell you it definitely has its good points and a lot of bad points, too. I will be able to compare it to my friends 2014 FX SHO that I'm gonna drive tomorrow, as well as my Kawi Ultra 250x which still uses the same hull as the new 310's. There's a ton of things I'd like to point out if anyone cares. Big issue -- those Cruiser seats totally suck!! I didn't realize that would be an issue. Unless you're a midget, stay away from them. Unfortunately, mine are gold color and none of the non-cruisers are that color, they're all grey. So I don't know what to do about that. Anyway, let me know if you have any interest in a detailed report and I'll be glad to give you one.

    One last question for you -- I noticed that the FZR I drove and another FX SHO I ran on the trailer both had really crappy idles -- like a 2-cycle engine. Mine does too. It's really unacceptable. My Kawi was smooth like a Swiss watch or at least a car engine. Is this just the way these 1800 engines are? There's really no excuse for such a rough idle.

    Thanks again to all of you for being so helpful.

  9. #7
    volltrex's Avatar
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    The 1.8 HO does have a 'lumpy' idle.......due to the high lift cams it uses......the SHO is usually a little smoother.
    The cruiser seats you either love or hate them........I am over 6' & don't have an issue at all.

  10. #8
    zone5's Avatar
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    Hey Doc E, having owned all three of the FX's, I can say that your detail oriented findings are pretty much spot on. My wife used to ride the HO, and would tell anyone who would listen (even those who weren't!) that with her lesser weight versus me, she could get the initial holeshot on my SHO, at least until the supercharger started to boogie... (lower pitch impeller too..)

    Some points that may set your mind at ease:

    * All these motors tend to be tight. I reckon you have to get close to 20 hrs before they come really good.
    * You really have to do the ribbon delete to get the best out of the motor, it's very easy (and cheap) on the HO. Lots of threads about on this forum
    * The NA motor will really suffer from low air density, and high temps are a real killer for that. This engine tuning calculator can give you an idea: https://wahiduddin.net/calc/calc_hp_dp.htm

    This I why I progressed to the SVHO, our lake is up near 3000' AMSL, it has an effect near 10% power loss... (fresh water too...)

    * These motors are a bit lumpy down low, particularly the NA one you have. Once you do the ribbon delete you will hear a lot more induction noise escaping back up the larger diameter intake manifold (the supercharged engines have a smaller diameter manifold, and the 'charger seems to stuff a lot of the sound back down into the engine...) I liked the muscular feel it gave...

    Everything else you mention is pretty much what we found. Yes, I did move to the SHO, that was to enhance the 5% of the time, the other 95% of the time the HO is just as good. Interestingly, below about 6000 rpm the fuel consumption is not hugely different HO/SHO/SVHO... Of course, trying to do that on a supercharged ski requires more willpower than stopping at one Peanut M&M...

    Last edited by zone5; 10-07-2014 at 05:59 PM. Reason: typo's

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  12. #9
    Mursegeorge's Avatar
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    This is a great thread, I'm about to buy a 2015 FX HO and really didn't know if I needed to go with the FX SHO. I really appreciated knowing that 95% of the time it just doesn't matter. I can live with that especially when I'm going to have two kids on with me most of the time. I think I'm going to be plenty happy with the FX HO and I cant wait to play around with the RIDE system and see what all that maneuverability is like. I also agree with the part about the greater range of the normally aspirated. Being able to ride all day and not have to worry about fuel after just a few hours has its advantages to. Plus I really like the 2015 FX HO colors, the blue with he light green decals! lol...

  13. #10
    zone5's Avatar
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    Just an add to this thread, as I get more hours I think the cable is still compressing, I still need a touch of left on the bars. Nonetheless I'm concerned about further adjustment as it may leave insufficient threads on the fitting for security.

    What I'm planning to do is purchase another ball joint fitting from the online store and weld a stainless nut to it to lengthen the threaded part so I can wind it out a it more and still feel safe.

    To be honest, it has settled down and the misalignment is small, many might just live with it but I can be a bit anally-retentive (please remember the hyphen!) about such things...

    chrs jc

    ps True to form, as the SVHO got over 17-20 hours it seemed to loosen up a bit more..

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