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  1. #1

    '96 XP Start Issue

    I was out at Lake Powell with friends last week. For 5 days several were riding the ski, and no doubt were rough on the starter. On the last day, I had been riding it, stopped to get in the water, got back on, and all I could get from pushing the start button was a single "clunk". After being towed in and getting it on the trailer, the starter turned the engine, but it didn't start.

    After returning home, I installed new fuel and water lines that arrived while I was on my trip. I charged up the battery, and at first the starter would spin the motor but it wouldn't start, even after priming the cylinders with fuel. Then, I would get a hard single "clunk", but nothing more. Verified that the battery is holding a charge. It is almost as if there is something preventing the motor from spinning. I can spin the PTO by hand with the plugs out, so there is no seizing.

    I thought that perhaps the starter was bad. I removed the starter, and it ran when connected directly to battery. It seemed a little hesitant, but that could have been me not making good contact to the terminals. I tried another used starter I have, and it spun strong and consistently when connected to battery. I installed that starter, and have the same issue.....one hard "clunk" when the starter is pushed, and that's it.

    Any ideas if this is a starter issue, or something else?


  2. #2

    Follow up question.....

    I opened up the starter I removed from the ski. Everything looked good. The brushes are within spec. However, I am having no luck getting the brush retaining clip and end cap back on. Is there a trick to doing this? Trying to keep the brush whose wire is connected to the end cap in its slot and getting it over the commuter is driving me nuts!

  3. #3
    Tool Bag water worx's Avatar
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    Probally a bad/rotted ground cable.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by water worx View Post
    Probally a bad/rotted ground cable.
    Ground cable and positive lead look to be in good shape. I cleaned up the fittings on the ends when I removed the starter, as well as the positive and negative attachments on the starter itself.

  5. #5
    Tool Bag water worx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Rat View Post
    Ground cable and positive lead look to be in good shape. I cleaned up the fittings on the ends when I removed the starter, as well as the positive and negative attachments on the starter itself.
    Looks can be decieving,I like to make sure & I have seen a LOT of rotten ground cables,they usually rot at the starter conn due to being so low in the bilge & getting soaked with water.

  6. #6
    What is the best way to check? Visual inspection? Voltage test?

  7. #7
    I had a similiar situation.

    Try pulling the plugs and cranking it. I found my rear cylinder was full of oil. I have since switched to premix.

    With the plugs out and cranking, front cylinder blew farly clean and the rear spewed oil spray,

    Good luck

  8. #8
    Spike's Avatar
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    Sounds like hydrolock to me. Take the spark plugs out, hold the throttle open and turn it over with the starter to see if liquid comes out.

  9. #9
    Turns out, hydrolock is the right answer. A fair amount of oily residue out of both cylinders. First time I have experienced this. Is this a failure or malfunction of the oil injection, or what else would cause this? I prefer to maintain oil injection if I can for simplicity. The ski ran great for most of the trip, but was difficult to start at times, even when warm. Just before the trip, I removed the carbs to clean them; could I have gotten them out of adjustment with the oil pump? I didn't think that I made any adjustments to the throttle cable.

    I blew out the residue, put the plugs in, and it started right up.

    Gotta love this board; always learning something new! Thanks.

  10. #10
    So, you never found the problem? Excess oil in the cylinders means bad crank seals. Have you run the ski in the water since you started it?

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