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  1. #1
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Arrow Virage TXi has strong vibration just above idle

    I am just getting started on diagnosing this problem, and I am hoping it does not lead me into the engine.

    Machine seems to run well enough overall. Last time I had it out before the trouble started, I was seeing 6900RPM and 60+mph. Quite happy with the way it was running.

    Then the rubber bonded coupler failed while I was running at full speed on smooth water. Engine revved, but speed dropped away. Ficht EMM is supposed to limit to 7200RPM, so I don't think I over-revved it.

    I replaced the drive shaft coupler with a used one from a 2000 Genesis. A few nicks here and there, but overall it looks fine.

    Next time we took it out, I was not riding it at first. Rider comes back in ten minutes with report of harsh vibration at low speeds. I ride it for a few minutes, and it does vibrate more that it should. More than it did before the coupler failed. Seemed to still have full power, but I didn't thrash it. Trailered both machines, and took them home.

    Strapped to the trailer in the water today, I watched the through-hull bearing vibrate strongly just off idle. At least 5mm of excursion each way from center!

    Brought it home, pulled the jet pump and drive shaft (which all looks good, and the splines are fine).

    Compression is fairly even across all cylinders. PTO is down maybe 4 percent from the other two.

    When I grab the coupler with the engine off, it turns smoothly, with no discernible motion up/down or left/right, and no funny sounds.

    Video clip is of the unloaded engine. It is very hard to hold the engine to the RPM range where the vibration is strongest, without any load.


    You can see the strong vibration as the RPM rises and falls (I am barely squeezing the throttle). The coupler shakes, as does the entire rear portion of engine, and the large cooling hose. It also shakes the hull enough that the cowling and hood make noise.

    I cannot move or rock the engine by hand, so I think the engine mounts are OK (what would be a good way to confirm?). When the engine is in the vibrating RPM range, the nuts on the rear engine mounts are a blur.

    The motor mounts don't appear to be broken or loose, but the remnants of hurricane Ike arrived from Texas while I was taking the video, and it started raining. I might have some time to get back to it tomorrow.

    What should I be looking for?
    Last edited by K447; 09-14-2008 at 09:50 PM.


  2. #2
    ph2ocraft's Avatar
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    Check to see if the driveshaft is straight and align verify the engine/pump alignment.
    Since you purchased it used it may have had an underlying problem or maybe the engine was pulled repaired and installed without proper alignment.
    It's worth checking anyway.
    Is the thru hull fitting tight?

  3. #3
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ph2ocraft View Post
    Check to see if the driveshaft is straight and align verify the engine/pump alignment.
    Since you purchased it used it may have had an underlying problem or maybe the engine was pulled repaired and installed without proper alignment.
    It's worth checking anyway.
    Is the thru hull fitting tight?
    This vibration is occurring with the drive shaft removed.
    Video clip is with just the coupler, no drive shaft.

    Hull fitting is tight. Checked it when I was replacing the coupler.

    The engine is shaking the hull and the drive line.

    The only servicing I am aware of was a starter motor replacement, and an EMM replacement. Both done at Atlantic Power Sports.

    I don't see any signs of the engine ever being out. No scratches or marks on the mounts. Looks like the exhaust manifold has been touched, but the starter replacement could explain that.

    I will re-check alignment, but since it is vibrating without the drive shaft, I don't think the problem is related to alignment.

  4. #4
    ph2ocraft's Avatar
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    I didn't watch the video but how many RPM's are you feeling the vibration at?
    As you know all the 1200 engines vibrate in that famous 2200 RPM range due to harmonics. Better to have it down low than in the RPM range we like to ride.
    I better go watch the vid.
    Last edited by ph2ocraft; 09-14-2008 at 11:24 PM.

  5. #5
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    After comparing the Virage TXi I have here, I have concluded the vibration is similar enough that I am going to call it normal, and stop worrying about it.

    The rubber bonded coupler that failed may have been coming apart internally for a while before the complete failure, and may have been affecting the way the vibration was felt.

    Took the jet pump and drive shaft out, took the coupler off, and could not see, feel, or measure anything wrong with the engine or crank shaft. The vibration was the same with or without the coupler present.

    The observed vibration occurs right around 2200RPM (as best I can tell, with no load, out of the water), which apparently is the characteristic peak vibration RPM for these 1156cc domestic motors.

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