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  1. #1
    1996SLTX's Avatar
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    Hard Starting SLTX - Solved? Sick Starter

    Some may remember that I was having a terrible time hot starting my ski and would have to let it sit for several minutes normally before trying to restart.

    Well, a couple weeks ago I changed the starter and notice that with the replacement starter, the engine cranked with lot more enthusiasm.

    I put it in the water today (that's how we winterize in Ft. Lauderdale ) and starting was a breeze. The voltage drop was so much less with this starter so I'm guessing I was getting a better spark and it was harder to drop below 10.7v while cranking. I saw a lot more 11v+ today.

    More good news....one of my SeaPoos had a fuel issue that seemed to be solved as well. I found a spec of debris stuck in the fuel selector that I believe was randomly blocking or restricting fuel. Today that problem was gone!

    So you think I had a good day on the skis? Yeah, but it was eventful at the end....We took 4 skis way down the canal and after we turned back, 3 were dead in the water for awhile. By the time we figured things out, one had to be towed. That's all I'll confess for now! But all skis and riders are A-OK. Just a comedy of errors that all hit at the same time. A bonding experience!


  2. #2
    SPEED KILLS, BUT YOU GET THERE QUICKER Keddano's Avatar
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    Always make sure you have enough fuel

  3. #3
    1996SLTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keddano View Post
    Always make sure you have enough fuel
    Bingo! That was one of the three....the GTX was supposedly topped off and the fuel gauge doesn't work and then we found out the Reserve tank doesn't work either....we ran back to get a jug of gas...solved...

    The other two...my wife was driving the SLTX and loaded it up at idle and it stalled. She's not very good at starting a loaded up engine so I told her not to bother....to save the battery for now.

    The third ski was my XP. My kid was riding that and it stalled and he couldn't get it going....It's the opposite of the SLTX....that one needs WOT with a lot of cranking to restart hot. The Sea Poo's are new to us and we're getting the hang of their personalities. The friend of mine that I bought them from was trying to coach him from his all too sweet RXP but the XP's battery got too weak.

    I put my wife and two kids on the GTX and I got the SLTX started and ran if for awhile to charge the battery and clear the motor. It took me several attempts to finally get it going. It would fire okay but wouldn't take the throttle and die. But finally I got it going.

    Then I loaded four of us on it and headed back to base. I picked up the fuel and a driver for the GTX and headed back. The XP was towed to a closer ramp. Once out of the water, I swapped batteries to start the motor and clear any water that may have gotten in there from towing.

    Too freakin' funny...3 out of 4 skis dead in the water at the same time. One out of gas and the others out of commission because the drivers hadn't mastered the personalities of the skis. It all worked out in the end....

  4. #4
    ph2ocraft's Avatar
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    It sounds like you had a great time and when they break the learning experience prepares you for the next time. It's all good!!

  5. #5
    1996SLTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ph2ocraft View Post
    It sounds like you had a great time and when they break the learning experience prepares you for the next time. It's all good!!
    Does my sick starter theory have some merit?

  6. #6
    ph2ocraft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1996SLTX View Post
    Does my sick starter theory have some merit?
    Absolutely!! If the starter is shorted internally, the current draw can be staggering. Excellent find.

  7. #7
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Arrow Reliability; Is your ski reliable? How do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1996SLTX View Post
    ...the fuel gauge doesn't work and then we found out the Reserve tank doesn't work either...
    ...my wife was driving the SLTX and loaded it up at idle and it stalled. She's not very good at starting a loaded up engine....
    ....that one needs WOT with a lot of cranking to restart hot. The Sea Poo's are new to us and we're getting the hang of their personalities...
    Reliability on the water.

    That was, and is, a short list requirement we had when selecting our rides. Both of us have had enough experience with mechanical "personalities" on other people's boats (Polaris and other).

    Both of us can handle recalcitrant craft, and I have certainly had my share of fix-it-while-floating issues.

    These older, carbureted models certainly CAN be reliable, but I find that many owners do not, will not, or can not put the time, effort, and money in that is needed to make and keep them reliable. And I am not saying that injected motors are always trouble free, either.

    Reliability isn't about fixing it easily when it breaks while in use, or failing at the launch ramp or some other 'convenient' location. And it isn't about it not breaking on any given day (essentially, being lucky).

    It is about the entire boat being unlikely to fail. And not failing, regardless of who is riding it, or how they are riding it (short of collisions and too shallow water).

    How much work it takes to get a boat to be, or become, reliable is hard to predict. If it doesn't fail, for many rides, and then one day when it does fail, you discover that some component or installation problem was "ready to go at any time", then in reality was the boat actually reliable all that time, or did it just seem to be reliable.

    Even worse are issues that crop up, and you change or fix some things, but never really figure out what caused the original problem. Now it is running, and seems fine, but is it reliable?

    Reliability question for the group;
    What level of reliability risk, while on the water, do you consider to be acceptable for your ski(s)?

  8. #8
    ph2ocraft's Avatar
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    Excellent question!!

    If I'm at the lake, I'll take anything running or not as I like to repair them at the side of the lake while having a beer. I have all the tools and parts needed for virtually any repair.
    The next day I will test, dial in and have fun tearing up the water. Yes sometimes they come in on a tow rope but if you can't experiment and modify the PWC, why own it??

    On my longer treks such as up the river from Laughlin to Havasu or winding up the 1000's of miles of waterways , I will take NO tools and we usually have at least 6 boats and 2 tow ropes. We've needed a tow rope only once since 93 (failed stator).
    It's all about preparation, checking every nut bolt and screw. Knowing the fuel system and electronics are in top condition even if it means replaceing certain components earlier than most even think about.
    I will NOT take a trek without every single item in perfect working order. I know this still doesn't guarantee a trouble free outing but it works for me.

  9. #9
    1996SLTX's Avatar
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    To date, I've only stayed on the same canal since I started riding last June and have put on about 60 hours, mostly on the Polaris. While it gets mundane always being there, one of the advantages is that I've gotten a ton of seasoning (read: when fabulous world of jetski reliability issues AND my greenhorn status coming painfully together at the same time) in a fairly easy environment to work with when a "learning experience" pops up. I consider the canal my "training wheels" except for the fact that the canal banks do have a collision risk and sometimes, but usually not, there are other riders (but there's plenty of room to stay clear of them). But the canal is very wide.....most aren't this big.....so it's a good balance.

    Click on this link and look for Riverside Park where we launch at the left center. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...&t=h&z=15&om=1

    From there if you zoom in and travel east, you'll see a few more ramps. Figuring we'd have to tow at least one ski, the XP with the rundown battery and maybe the GTX if it wasn't fuel exhaustion, we had both trucks and trailers moved to the ramp furthest east. Our only real challenge was to get this all done before sunset as the parks are supposed to close then.

    The other challenge was the cool temps and chasing back and forth at 40+ mph trying to beat the sunset - a bit nippy!

    I wanted to get 2+ skis for myself so that we could start venturing out more into the Intracoastal and Everglades. After quickly finding out that skis have good and bad days, the buddy system seems to be probably the single most important factor in handling unexpected issues.

    We've got another good ramp picked out for the Intracoastal.... http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...,0.003803&z=18

    It's off the beaten path and next to some "make all the wake you want and have fun" areas. Further south are some islands to picnic on. We haven't gone there yet as I need to get the skis registered first.

    But we're making progress...we consider a successful day to be first a safe one, and then if we had fun, it's a bonus! The Polaris runs reliably but the starting issue made it frustrating.

    The bugs are being worked out of the SeaDoo's. Both SeaDoo's are fresh rebuilds and the XP was setup for performance versus all around ease of use and is well tuned but you have to know how to start it. The GTX had the fuel line debris in the fuel selector (fuel lines are all new BTW) and was rejetted for a better breathing air filter so now without the fuel blockage the carbs can be tuned finally. And I have to find out why the reserve tank isn't supplying gas or enough gas. Maybe the normal and reserve lines are reversed.

    That actually was the culprit yesterday more than anything. When the reserve tank didn't work in the GTX, that started a chain of events in the other skis that were being driven by good riders but riders that aren't savvy on sensing what the quirks in each ski. Had I been on the XP or the SLTX, neither would've become an issue. So we got some tuning to do which isn't easy for me being green on those skills.

    Everyone was safe and the skis are undamaged, so we've got a story to tell and hopefully since it's being told here, it helps my fellow greenhorns have more insight and less stories like this of their own.

  10. #10

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    sounds like you still have some carb issues or all of them were running so low on gas they were sucking deluted gas from the seperator ,

    does the sltx have any thing on the xp ? i got a friend that just converted to the poo s

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