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  1. #1
    1st time owner
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    Another starting problem

    Hello there. I am new to this site and it seems to be a great site and I have already had a few questions answered. I also have a starting problem as many other people have apparently had with my 1994 sl650. I had it out last weekend and it ran great all weekend long. Loaded it up on the trailer without any problems. We went to put it in the water today and all it did was "click" inside the electrical box. So I figured it was a dead battery cause it started to crank maybe once around until it started to make that clicking noise. I put a new battery in it, without charging cause the people at the marina who ripped me a new one on it and said it would be 70% charged with just the addition of the acid, and again had just the clicking noise. Needless to say I had a few very unhappy teenagers who wanted to ride. So we brought it back home and charged the battery to its full capacity. We installed it back in the ski only to have the same problem. All the connections are good with no corrosion. I guess the next thing would be to test the starter and relay switch. I have located the relay in the electrical box without testing it yet, kinda scared to LOL. But where the heck is the starter located on that thing for me to check it. The driveshaft spins freely cause I already removed the cover and spun it freely by hand. So any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Joel.


  2. #2
    ph2ocraft's Avatar
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    Hi Joel, WELCOME to the Green Hulk Forums.


    A quick test for the starter and by-pass the starter relay.

    Grab a jumper cable and attach one end on the +12 of the battery. Touch the other end to the starter cable attached to the starter solenoid (Large Red).
    If it works, replace the solenoid.
    If it still just clicks, verify the ground again.
    If the ground is good test the solenoid.

    Use a jumper wire from the +12 on the battery and touch it to the starter solenoid wire yellow/red (small wire). The starter should crank if NOT attach another ground (large wire or jumper cable) from the battery to engine ground. If it cranks, you have a bad ground.
    If it still just clicks, pull the starter and test it.
    Be sure to check for a loose wire at the starter.

    Tell us how you do with these tests.
    If it cranks, you'll need to test the starter solenoid and starter button

  3. #3
    She likes the bike. But the ski gets her wet!!!! xlint89's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Hulk verrettej.

    The starter is located towards the front of the engine, right below the exh pipe. Kind of a pain to get access to. Easiest way I've found is to remove the fuel tank to access flywheels and starters.

  4. #4
    1st time owner
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    Ok to update my problems here I go. I took the battery and had it tested and fully charged. 12.78 volt idle and 12.50 volt when the starter button is pushed. I checked the solonoid, if thats how you spell it, and initially had 12.78 volt coming into it and 0 out of it when the starter button was pushed. So I figure the solonoid was bad. Took it out and tried to find a replacement locally and was unable to do so. So the guy at the pwc shop here in town told me they were notorious for going bad and told me how to jump it. I installed it back in the ski and tried to jump accross the two top bars where the cable from, and to the battery are located and got nothing. I pushed the starter button and again it just clicked again. But after installing it back in the ski I had 12.78 volt coming into the solonoid and 12.53 volts coming out of it. I am probaby going to order a new solonoid just in case that one is bad but I cannot get the starter to engage no matter how I try to jump it accross manually. Any hints on how to do so and how will I know if the starter and bendix have gone bad. Like I said before the engine spins freely by hand at the drive shaft would the bendix keep it from doing that?? As someone mentioned earlier about removing the gas tank to get to the starter is that true and will the tank come out of the front compartment with ease or would the easiest thing to do be removing the exhaust side of the engine to get to the starter. I really appreciate all the help and hints everyone has given me so far and will greatly appreciate more. This is my first time working on my own ski so its all new to me. Thanks again.

  5. #5
    1st time owner
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    Oh yeah and how do you test to see if the grounds are good?? I took the connection off the block from the battery and cleaned it prior to attatching it back to the block. All the grounds inside the electric box are still good and have goo connection so with a voltmeter how do I check to see if their still grounded properly??

  6. #6
    1st time owner
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    Ok another update. I bypassed the solonoid and got the starter to crank. What gets me is that the solonoid has 12.78 volts coming into it and 12.50 volt still coming out of it when the starter button is pressed. So I got the starter to crank by jumping the ground wire connected to a battery pack and attatching the hot wire directly to the battery pack without any attatchment to the solonoid. So I am up in arms end with what to do now. I guess I will order one of those high dollar solonoids and install it to see if that fixes the problem. I would really appreciate all the help I can get. Thanks alot.

  7. #7
    She likes the bike. But the ski gets her wet!!!! xlint89's Avatar
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    OK, so you bypassed the solenoid and it cranked over? That's great.

    Not exactly sure why the voltage is going in, and coming out of the solenoid, but does seem odd that it isn't working.

    Try inspecting the starter button. You can unscrew it for inspection. I know a guy that had one get dirty and wouldn't start. Cleaned it, and all is good now.

    I guess you could use a jumper wire to test the solenoid if the start button is bad. Apply 12V to small gauge wire on the solenoid and see if that engages it. If so, it's the start button.

    And if it's the solenoid, try buying a used one from John Zigler. Much cheaper than a new one from Polaris. Hell, buy 2.


    And definately go through the hood when doing repairs at the front of the engine. The gas tank will come out through the hood opening on SL hulls. To remove the exh is a chore, not to mention you will need new gaskets to re-install it.

  8. #8
    1st time owner
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    Ok still confused on how to bypass the starter button. I dissconnect the yellow/red wire that goes to the starter and make a jumper to the out side of solonoid then jump accross the solonoid to make a constant connection?? Solonoid still shows good power going into, and out of it. I cant imagine the starter button being bad cause when everything is connected the starter button is what is pressed to make the "clicking" noise.

  9. #9
    1st time owner
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    Ok did some more testing. I again bypassed the solonoid and cranked the engine. It cranks real slow though so I am hoping that the starter is not bad. I am looking possibly for a used or rebuilt starter. I am going to try one more thing and see how fast it cranks and hopefully that will help me figure out whether its the starter or the solonoid. Either way I ordered a new solonoid and I guess I will have a new one of those on the ski and possibly end up with a new starter on the ski.

  10. #10
    She likes the bike. But the ski gets her wet!!!! xlint89's Avatar
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    There's a smaller wire connected to the solenoid besides the battery cables. Put 12V to that wire and the solenoid should crank the starter.

    Is the battery weakened from all the testing?

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