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Thread: Jetski Virgin

  1. #1

    Jetski Virgin

    Hi guys, I'm new to Jetskiing and need some sound advice.

    I have been offered a Polaris Virage 700 (2002 model). The guy who is selling it claims it has recently had an engine rebuild, new starter motor and E.C.U.(or is it called a C.D.I.)?
    Took it for a test ride for 1/2 hour and the ski seemed fine. A week later when I picked it up, it would not start. Garage looked at it and said it was the choke stuck open.
    Put it on the water an hour later and had been riding for approx. 20mins when the engine suddenly cut out on its own accord. Tried to start it again but just got a loud click/clunk. I had a look to see if anything had worked loose or was broken but all seemed in place.
    Took it back to the garage and the guy said starter motor and the electronics are in good order. However, he said the battery was losing charge even though he had recharged it a few hours earlier and this would cause the engine to cut out because the battery provides power for the ignition.
    He replaced the battery with a new one and I went to test ride it, at the garages stretch of water. It started fine and all seemed well until I squeezed the throttle and the jetski didn't move, no propulsion whatsoever. Garage took it apart and found the driveshaft splines and impeller splines had completely worn away,(engine alignment incorrect)?

    The question is, shall I walk away from it because it may have underlying problems that are causing these faults or is it just unfortunate coincidence?
    Apologies for the length of thread but any advice from you experienced skiers would be massively appreciated.


  2. #2
    axgrider73's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Green Hulk Forums!!!

    If you think you can do any of the work yourself (from the sounds of your post you have a good idea of what is wrong with your ski) you should consider keeping it. If you have some mechanical ability the guys on this site are the best on the web. I am sure that they could help you work through your issues and get you ski running again. There is a repair manual for this ski in the Tech Section if needed and it can be downloaded from mattman's FTP site.

    The thing I would be worried about is what caused the engine failure to begin with? Did they fix the cause of the problem or just rebuild the engine and ship it down the road?

    There would be some things to be checked out, but the Virage is a really nice ski (I have a '02 as well). Generally they are very reliable and fairly easy on gas.

    Let us know what you decide

    P.S. Yes, I would say that you diagnoses is correct. You probably need a new battery and to have the motor aligned. If you need parts, ask on here. Someone might have some good used parts.
    Last edited by axgrider73; 12-06-2007 at 11:32 AM.

  3. #3
    SPEED KILLS, BUT YOU GET THERE QUICKER Keddano's Avatar
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    Your looking at drop some money right off the start,more if you don't do it yourself. It would come down to what are pay for it,and after repairs is it still a deal? There are alot of skis that don't need work for sell. So it's a call only you can make.
    Welcome to the forum.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the advice.

  5. #5
    ph2ocraft's Avatar
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    Hi Laurie, I'd also like to say WELCOME to the Green Hulk Forums!
    The driveshaft occurence is pretty common after an engine replacement IF they don't take the time to properly align the engine/pump assemblies.
    The battery going dead is either a junk battery or a charging issue. Make sure you have 13.5+ volts charging to the battery, if you do-replace it.

    With the engine out they may have also left the ground cable loose or a bad connection. A lot of the times there will be fresh paint where the ground attaches to the engine.
    I think your issues have more to do with the install than the reliability of the product.

    What I would do.
    Align engine/pump
    Check charging system
    Load test battery
    Check compression
    Check grounds and connections to engine.
    Repair as needed
    Go enjoy ride.

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    ...I have been offered a Polaris Virage 700 (2002 model). The guy who is selling it claims it has recently had an engine rebuild, new starter motor and E.C.U.(or is it called a C.D.I.)?
    Took it for a test ride for 1/2 hour and the ski seemed fine.
    A week later when I picked it up, it would not start. Garage looked at it and said it was the choke stuck open.
    Put it on the water an hour later and had been riding for approx. 20mins when the engine suddenly cut out on its own accord. Tried to start it again but just got a loud click/clunk.
    ...Took it back to the garage and the guy said starter motor and the electronics are in good order. However, he said the battery was losing charge even though he had recharged it a few hours earlier and this would cause the engine to cut out because the battery provides power for the ignition.
    He replaced the battery with a new one and I went to test ride it, at the garages stretch of water. It started fine and all seemed well until I squeezed the throttle and the jetski didn't move, no propulsion whatsoever.
    Garage took it apart and found the driveshaft splines and impeller splines had completely worn away, (engine alignment incorrect)?

    The question is, shall I walk away from it because it may have underlying problems that are causing these faults or is it just unfortunate coincidence?
    Apologies for the length of thread but any advice from you experienced skiers would be massively appreciated.
    Quote Originally Posted by axgrider73 View Post
    Welcome to the Green Hulk Forums!!!
    ...The thing I would be worried about is what caused the engine failure to begin with? Did they fix the cause of the problem or just rebuild the engine and ship it down the road?
    There would be some things to be checked out, but the Virage is a really nice ski (I have a '02 as well). Generally they are very reliable and fairly easy on gas.
    Let us know what you decide
    P.S. Yes, I would say that you diagnosis is correct.
    You probably need a new battery and to have the motor aligned. If you need parts, ask on here. Someone might have some good used parts.
    Welcome to the Hulk.

    I suggest you carefully look at the jet pump mounting; look for hull cracks or any signs that the jet pump has been abused or bent, possibly by hitting the ground (or the sea bottom).

    Having said that, it is entirely possible that when the rebuilt engine was put in, the alignment just was not checked (the original alignment shims may have simply been discarded).

    If the engine to pump alignment was wrong, it can stress the impeller stub shaft bearings in the jet pump stator. If you have the jet pump off, listen for bearing noise or stiffness when the impeller is turned by hand. Also check the impeller to pump wall clearances, and look for signs of rubbing or wear around the outside of the impeller.

    It is always preferred to have a known good battery, as Polaris do not like low battery voltage. Also check, when the motor is running, that the battery charging voltage is actually correct (about 14.5 volts), using a voltmeter on the battery terminals. Sometimes the volt reading displayed on the MFD is not accurate.

    The other big concern, from what you have listed, is that the carburetors were not cleaned and checked when the engine was rebuilt. If there is a carb problem, it can cause engine damage, even though the ski seems to be running OK.

    Check inside the fuel tank for any debris that could be clogging the fuel system. If there is a fuel filter or water separator on your model, be sure there is no water in it.

    If you can find out from the seller why the engine needed to be rebuilt to begin with, that can help to understand whether there is more to be checked, or fixed.

  7. #7
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ph2ocraft View Post
    ...What I would do.
    Align engine/pump
    Check charging system
    Load test battery
    Check compression
    Check grounds and connections to engine.
    Repair as needed
    Go enjoy ride.
    Perhaps in this order (just to be clear);
    Check grounds and other electrical connections to engine.
    (Bad grounds can cause other electrical damage, and make problem diagnosis more difficult)

    Load test battery (or just replace it, to be sure)
    Note: Reconnect the battery vent tubing, if the battery has a vent nipple

    Check charging system

    Check compression (if pump not yet connected to engine, otherwise align engine to pump first)
    Align engine/pump

  8. #8

    Jetski Virgin

    Guys, what can I say, seems like I joined the right forum and you guys really know your stuff, the advice you have given is great.

    Ph2ocraft, with regards to your advice the garage replaced the battery so that shouldn't be an issue anymore. Is the engine/pump alignment easy to do and is the ground cable visible, if so where is it located?

    K447 in response to your advice, the garage did grind a small section of the impeller housing/shroud when I took it in the 2nd time, so what you said is probaly true. When you guys mention the jet pump, do you mean the assembly around and including the nozzle?


  9. #9
    axgrider73's Avatar
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    Yes, and Yes.

    The great thing about the twin cylinder Virages is how open the engine compartment is and how easy they are to work on.

    To align the engine you will need an alignment tool. A member here (beerdart) rents and seels them. I am sure he will chime in with details. It is not a hard job, it just takes a little time.

    As far as the ground cable goes, just follow the black battery cable to see where it connect to the engine. Check to see that that spot is clear of paibt/dirt and that the connection is tight.

  10. #10
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    ...K447 in response to your advice, the garage did grind a small section of the impeller housing/shroud when I took it in the 2nd time, so what you said is probably true.
    When you guys mention the jet pump, do you mean the assembly around and including the nozzle?
    In the attached Water Inlet diagram (2nd image), the pump mount (part 8 ) is glued and sealed to the hull, and should never need to be removed. This is sometimes called the pump shoe, and directs the water flow into the jet pump itself. Located right under the jet pump is the large ride plate (part 14).

    The rest of the jet pump (1st image) attaches to the mount, with four really long bolts (#33), so the jet pump is the entire assembly from the nozzle back to where it attaches to the pump mount, or shoe. Everything in that diagram is the pump.

    What exactly do you mean when you say the shop did grind a small section of the pump?
    Do you have a picture, or can you describe it better?
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