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  1. #1

    Need help with 98 SLXH

    I took out my ski for run today. I was on the lake for more than 30 mins cruising. I got on it good for min then let off and the ski just died on me. I pulled the seat and checked the head jugs with my hand they were hot but not too hot, just about right. It started right up and i started cruising at 4000 rpm again. I didn't get very far and it died again. This time it didnt start up. I had to tow it back; about 5mph at most.

    So the problem; the motor will not turn over. It sounds like the starter is just not turning the motor over. Click with no turnover sounds; just like its stuck.

    How do I start to diagnoise this? I bought the ski from a friend that rebuilt the top end. The bottom end has 90 hours on it. The top end has 10 hours. It has WSM platinum pistons.

    Can you guys help point me in the right direction please?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    The depths of the south

    dead engine

    Had a very similar story with my 97SLX 1050. Mine ended up being very bad internal things like crank bearings coming apart, due to lube holes being plugged by piston partially coming apart. Hope this is not your issue.

    Anyhow, I'd start with checking the battery, make sure you have good voltage there since starter apparently will not turn. Take battery out and have tested at battery testing place if you are not comfortable with this. Should have a little more than 12V at rest, and greater than 10.5 or so with cranking starter.

    Also, check and see if engine will rotate by hand.
    1) disconnect battery negative
    2) loosen/rotate or remove coupler shroud at motor rear (PTO end) and attempt to rotate by hand. If this is difficult due to compression, may remove spark plugs to facilitate. If unable to rotate engine like this (as mine was) bad things may have happened inside.

    I apparently had a little water get in the engine at some time in the previous owner's term----> rust inside motor on bearing cages----> bad things start happening.

    There are a ton of things that you can do afterwards to diagnose, but this will get you started. Great group on here to help with quesitons. Just post what you find. We'll be here with answers (possibly even correct ones!)

  3. #3
    ph2ocraft's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Campbell, Ca.
    Like he said, remove the plugs and see if you can rotate the engine by hand.
    If it doesn't rotate, remove the pump assembly as maybe the pump bearing went bad. If it still doesn't rotate, pull the domes and check for the damage.
    If it rotates after removing the pump, inspect the bearings and impeller fitment.

    If you can rotate the engine by hand go to the electrical systems.

    If the engine seized, you need to find the cause before you put it together and it starts all over again.
    What was the reason for the upper end build by your buddy?
    Do you still have the grey fuel lines?

  4. #4
    The top end was rebuilt because it had low compression and some marks on pistons. I believe he told me that it was around 95 so he rebuilt the top end. I know he had all the machine shop work done right on the top end.

    I replaced the fuel lines to the carb. I havent replaced the lines on the carb yet.

    I will try to turn the motor by hand. my understanding is that you are telling me to turn the drive shaft? Does direction matter, clockwise?

    I have the clymer repair book for this ski so I should be able to figure it out. I am mechanically inclined; although I have never really torn into a motor. Any additional suggestions?

  5. #5
    ph2ocraft's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Campbell, Ca.
    Turn the engine any direction for testing.
    Check the items above first and let us know what you find.

  6. #6
    I could not get the motor to turn by hand. There was about 1/4 inch of play, with the plugs removed.

    I did not like the way the front cylinder plug looked. The electrode and end of the plug were black and rough to touch. I have not seen this before

    I am very disappointed. can you guys tell me anything good?

  7. #7
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Elephant Butte New Mexico


    I am very disappointed. can you guys tell me anything good?[/quote]

    uh, it's almost winter?

    you didn't have to swim back to shore

    the engine didn't grenade and put a hole in your hull

    actually, none of this sounds good, oulling the head is the next step

  8. #8
    So i guess i will remove the pump and see what there is to see

  9. #9
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by glockaddict7 View Post
    ...can you guys tell me anything good?
    Welcome to the Hulk!

    Click here for the Polaris 1992-1998 Service Manual.

    The SLXH is a lightweight, nimble and economical water machine, something you rarely find among the new models these days.

    Even with the costs of repairing your current trouble, you will get years of economical fun from it, and they are fairly easy to work on, especially compared to many of the modern 4 stroke machines.

  10. #10
    ok i took the top end apart some to check out the pistons. The accelerator pump was spraying fuel before i took it apart. I guess this is an oil issue. Here are the pics. Can you guys tell me what you think; and where i should start to find the cause?

    Attachment 100236

    Attachment 100237

    Attachment 100238

    Attachment 100244

    Attachment 100245

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