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  1. #1

    How to replace the starter in a 2001 kawasaki 900 sts jet ski (JT900-B3)?

    Hi,

    I recently purchased two '01 Kawasaki 900 sts jet skis. They're in pretty good shape and I got an excellent deal on them. Both could probably use tune ups and they both need some ding repairs. Nothing major mechanically or body/hull. Except (I guess I shouldn't have said that they don't need anything major) one of them needs the starter replaced. Which apparently is a fairly major project. The local shop here said that it would take one of his good mechanics 3-5 hours. Possibly slightly enflated but after having the work involved summarized for me, it sounds accurate. I guess the starter is basically under EVERYTHING - engine, exhaust, etc. I haven't ever worked on jet skis - I had a couple and a boat years ago but didn't do much maintenance. Most people I think would look at this as a major pain(and bummer due to the cost) and have a shop do it. But I honestly look at it as a good thing. It will give me the opportunity to really get to know these machines and how to work on them. I will be using them for work in some very isolated locations and I won't have the luxury of jet ski mechanics. So the starter has arrived and (after a whole lot of difficulty) I have a service manual that should work for this model. Anyway, I'm about to jump into it and was hoping that some of you guys might have some advice, pointers, opinions, etc. Obviously, I would love any info on how to do this but I'm also curious if there's other things that I should do and/or check while I have it torn apart. Thanks in advance and I will be looking out for any replies. I have already learned some stuff from cruising this forum. Thanks again!


  2. #2
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    welcome aboard the hulk.

    One of my key bits of wisdom for the Do it yourselfer facing this would be:

    "It's never just the starter"

    While I couldn't get anybody around here to pay five hours + starter on a ski with a low book value, but rest assured, it will be a challenge.

    The exhaust manifold has to come off to remove the starter.

    Before you tear into this, tell us why you believe it's the starter and not the solenoid, or bendix?

    as far as the rest..provide some specs..like hours and overall look and feel of the ski maintenance. There is a whole lot of stuff to do depending...

  3. #3
    Thank you for the reply. And I'm stoked I found this board because I like to take good care of my toys and I am looking forward to getting the most out of these machines.

    The previous owner told me about the starter when I was looking at them. He also told me that he had taken it to a shop and was told the repair would be up around $600. I asked him similar questions as you suggested. He said that they had been jumping it and banging on it to get it to start for a couple seasons. I took them by the dealership here and when I called they suggested the same as you - solenoid, loose connection, etc. But they believe that it's the starter as well. But, really, the fact that the guy who sold it to me could have said that he didn't know if it was the starter and didn't need to offer up the potential expense was good enough confirmation for me.

    But, I definitely agree with you that it very likely won't just be the starter. So I am curious about what else to be looking for?

    The machines have a little over 200 hours each. No major repairs. No major damages to the hull. Regular service. Basically they were toys for a family that wasn't interested in going balls out. They weren't ridden particularly hard but also weren't spruced up with any performance parts. Seat and paint are good. And the engine and compartments are clean. Over all - well maintained but not loved.

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    steve45's Avatar
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    I had to replace the starter on one of my 1100s two weeks ago. I was not about to pull the exhaust, if at all possible. I finally hit on the idea of using a medium-sized flat pry bar to remove the old starter, similar to this: http://www.harborfreight.com/2-piece...set-60679.html

    Simply reach in from the front and slide the bent end of the pry bar between the starter and the front end of the engine case. Work the pry bar up & down to push the starter out (there is an O-ring that keep it from coming out).

    When you replace the starter, put some grease on the O-ring to make it slide in easier and push it as hard as you can by hand, then tap it with a wooden block and hammer to drive it home.

  5. #5
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    the replacement of a starter on a kaw triple gets more complicated if the cooling system for the stator leaks..then the bendix and possibly the oil pump shaft bearings come into play.

    Beating on the starter for a few seasons may have compromised it's water tight seal..so pull the manifold, pull the starter and let's see where it goes from there.

    You should crank the engine before reinstalling the exhaust manifold to assure that the bendix isn't screwed also.

    Beating the starter means the brushes are shot, which means there was likely water in the starter and the brushes are sticking.

    go slow, takes notes and lots of pictures and you'll come thru this ok. ( don't forget the bandaids)

  6. #6
    steve45's Avatar
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    I think that removing the stator cooling cover, replacing the O-rings and oil pump drive bearings should probably done on whenever a top overhaul is done.

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    steve45's Avatar
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    EDIT: The above link to Harbor Freight is no longer good. This works: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Dasco-Pro...e-91/202585548

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    i just picked up one of these skies and when i hit the started it just clicks clicks clicks lol where can i exactly bang on just to get it to turn over? before i decide its a starter replacement etc. i just picked 2 of these up at a real low price. im a Yamaha GP guy, but a good deal is a good deal. thanks guys

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    steve45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ndj22 View Post
    i just picked up one of these skies and when i hit the started it just clicks clicks clicks lol where can i exactly bang on just to get it to turn over? before i decide its a starter replacement etc. i just picked 2 of these up at a real low price. im a Yamaha GP guy, but a good deal is a good deal. thanks guys
    You may have loose/dirty battery cables, or a bad battery. If that's not it, pull the spark plugs, ground the wires, then see if the starter can turn it. If not, try to turn the drive coupling by hand. It's possible that the jet pump is frozen. Then again, it could be that the engine is frozen (you said it was cheap). If the engine/pump aren't locked up, hook a battery booster pack directly to the terminal on the starter. Hook the ground cable to a bare metal part of the engine.

    If the starter will crank the engine when you hook directly to it, you may need a starter relay.

  11. #10
    ndj22's Avatar
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    battery is good. i pulled spark plugs and couldn't get her to crank. the ski was water ready and running in 2015 put away and winterized at the end of the season. This issue was present from just sitting. where exactly is the drive coupling? Also where exactly is the starter located am i able to reach it to tap on it to see if i can get it free'd up? Below is a video of exactly what i am getting maybe someone can chime in

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