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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Gold Coast Australia
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    37

    Steering play in Kawasaki 250 X

    Hi

    I have a new 08 250X, the steering has some play in it. It has been getting worse over the last 10 hr's riding. I first noticed it with about 1/4" free play in the steering only when riding it. It now has about 1.5" free play.

    When it is out of the water and I fix the nozzle so it can not move, there is no movement in the steering, it only comes in when the system is loaded, when riding it.

    I can't find the problem, any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    Dave


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Gold Coast Australia
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    37
    Back again

    Just an update.......

    I went for a ride today with a few other guys, there was a 250LX which had the exact same play in the steering. There were a couple of others and they didn't.

    Anyone have an idea....

    Anyone

  3. #3
    Take it to your dealer. One of the steering shaft bolts needs to be readjusted.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Gold Coast Australia
    Posts
    37
    Hi Skips313

    I have had it to the dealer 3 times now and the boss was one of the guys on the ride yesterday, they have been back to Kawasaki who thought it may have been a loose fixing in the steering shaft as well.

    They have pulled the steering shaft apart and did find some play which they tightened but it has had no effect. Because one of the other skis had the play he now thinks that this is normal and I'm not.

    The only time there is any play is when the system is loaded. There is no play at idle but from about 6 knots and above the handle bars have over 2" of free play now. It's like driving an old car with a worn steering rack but there is no free play in the steering out of the water or as I said at idle.

    I think it must have something to do with the water flow through the steering nozzle, I haven't looked but I think the play comes in when the speed is enough so that the water has cleared from around the steering nozzle and out of the tunnel.

    The exit of the jet is smaller than the steering nozzle so if the water stream is smaller than the nozzle there will be some play until the nozzle turns enough to push into the water stream.

    Problem with this theory is that something must be changing to cause the play to increase as time goes by. I wondered if the water stream has become smaller, I suppose it's possible that the clearance between the propeller and the tunnel has changed which may cause a change to the stream size or shape ????

    Can anyone who goes on a ride soon check to see if their ski is the same.

    Thanks
    Dave

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Gold Coast Australia
    Posts
    37
    Thanks Waz

    Has anyone tried welding in a thin vertical plate through the middle of the steering nozzle.

    This would give immediate steering as it would run through the middle of the water stream ???

    I'm going out again on Sunday, I'll get one of the other guys to watch what goes on at the jet as I drive it.

    Dave

  6. #6
    texh20racer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    96
    Some of the play comes from the adjustable steering neck, slap a UMI on it or a 15F steering neck and it will make a world of difference.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Gold Coast Australia
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    37
    Hi all, thanks for everyone's input.

    Went for another run today and had a mate follow me and watch what was going on at the steering nozzle.

    There is no play in the steering, the nozzle moves with the handle bars just as it does when out of the water but the jet stream passes through the nozzle without touching it. It is not until the nozzle turns slightly that it touches the jet stream which gives the slack. So I'm going to go with the idea of welding in the plate through the nozzle and see what happens.

    I'm guessing the ski's without any play don't have as good alignment or their jet stream is wider. Anyway I'll post up a result next weekend.

    Dave

  8. #8
    nicjak's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
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    i think you are worrying over nothing

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Gold Coast Australia
    Posts
    37
    Hi All

    I welded in a 3mm (1/8") plate vertically in the nozzle and it made it much better, I can still feel when the water hits the side of the nozzle but the ski responds immediately when I turn the handle bars and I don't have to correct for what side of the wake I'm on. The only play I have in the steering now is the tiny bit of slack in the cable.

    I had a spark plug sh!t itself at the same time and it ran a bit sick all day so I can't be sure how much speed this plate might cause me to loose, but I've got new plugs for it now, so we will see what happens on Sunday.

    I realize this might not be something that everyone would want fixed but it annoyed me and the fix is good enough that I would do it again if I bought a new ski tomorrow. What ever the alloy the nozzle is made of doesn't weld too nicely but not so bad that is not strong enough.

    Thanks for your help
    Dave

  10. #10
    Moderator #985 lasportsmn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    I have been following this thread because my LX does the same. She also pulls to port at high speeds. Well high for an LX. What could cause that cause with the play I am allways "taking a right"

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