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Thread: 15F high hours

  1. #1
    elviswongg's Avatar
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    15F high hours

    Hello

    As i got the new 09 STX15F i would like to know about the reliability and longevity with good maintenance of corse

    i mean have you see some of this 15F with 500 - 600 or even 700 hrs without majour probs and oil comsumption?

    I dont many post with big problems as they are out there for 5 years or so except maybe on boost and race engine.


    Thank you


  2. #2
    mirror's Avatar
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    I have the 04 model and have owned it since new, I currently have over 300 hours on mine and haven't had any major issue that I haven't caused.

  3. #3

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    I would think you've got one the most reliable ski's on the market. Proven, bullet-proof, engine, somewhat economical, great overall ski.
    Also being on the market for several years now many bugs (if there were any) have been worked out.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    madtown_chris's Avatar
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    most reliable ski I've ever owned...

    0 issues that I haven't caused

  5. #5
    I see this is an old thread, but I have my $0.02 to add, given that we're using every 15F model year after 2005 in our "herd"

    - Some of our skis 2005 reached 700 hours this year. They go through heavy use and heavy maintenance.

    - Ever since Kawi lowered the price of the 15F from $9400 to $8400 (before raising it again for 2010), the skis have been less reliable. Not concept-wise, but definitely more glitches. I forgot when exactly the price went down, but yours is definitely in the group

    - Plan for jetpump rebuilds in average every 100 hours (seen better, seen worse). Kawie made some changes in the pumps in later years, but other than having to deal with different seals and bearings, reliability of the pump is pretty much the same.

    - Check the bracket that holds your meter. After 2006, 99% of them are a bit tight/crooked, and keep the meter under tension. Eventually the tension cracks the meter and the crack lets moisture in. The crack is on the back so you can't see it. Of course, it ALWAYS happens after the warranty expires. Eventually the meter fails. New meter is $500, buying a used one is lottery.

    - At high "mileage", the handle poles can break. Inspect for cracks.

    - Kawie changed the two piece nicely routed main wire harness to a one piece in later years. It is wrongly routed on the front, and rubs against a bracket. Forgot exactly which one, but it's easy to check. Eventually, it will strip the harness and will cause a nice looking spark fountain. Given its proximity to the fuel tank, it can get even nicer. This develops I would say around 200 hours if left unchecked.

    - Check your valves. I think the recommended 100 hour schedule is a bit overkill, but a check is required I would say around 200h. We had a burnt valve because of a lack of checking on a ski around 500hrs. That was definitely our fault. It kept running for the rest of the season, simply lost power.

    Other than that, in general I believe that ever since the first Ultra 250x was released (2007) - quality went down in general at the kawie plant as far as watercrafts are concerned. At the time I thought this is an Ultra issue, but apparently it was general. The wire harness rubbing and the meter cracking is not excusable. Not to mention the breaking handle poles. Those happened on older machines, though.

    You can also get "lucky" sometimes - we had a camchain tensionner going bad on an 2008 ski at slightly over 100hrs, making a mess in the cylinder head when the camchain jumped.

    We also had a $0.75 cents bolt falling off inside the engine on a 2007 ski with 2 hours on it. Small detail - the bolt was the one holding the gear to the oil pump. At least that opens your mind to new financial horizons, when you realize that a new crankshaft has to be bought with matched crankcases if you want to make things right. The ski being in a country with no official Kawie dealer, it was all out of our pocket.

    But other than these two, I would say it's the best ski ever. They see so much use and abuse with us, we've never expected anything different. Just be aware of what we found the hard way. In order of importance high to low - handle pole, wire harness integrity, meter, valve maintenance.

  6. #6
    04 354 hours no major problems havent checked the valve clearances or replaced the pump bearings yet. have had a hose fall off,loose batery cable and the sensor for the smart steer go bad .

  7. #7
    elviswongg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goblin View Post
    I see this is an old thread, but I have my $0.02 to add, given that we're using every 15F model year after 2005 in our "herd"

    - Some of our skis 2005 reached 700 hours this year. They go through heavy use and heavy maintenance.

    - Ever since Kawi lowered the price of the 15F from $9400 to $8400 (before raising it again for 2010), the skis have been less reliable. Not concept-wise, but definitely more glitches. I forgot when exactly the price went down, but yours is definitely in the group

    - Plan for jetpump rebuilds in average every 100 hours (seen better, seen worse). Kawie made some changes in the pumps in later years, but other than having to deal with different seals and bearings, reliability of the pump is pretty much the same.

    - Check the bracket that holds your meter. After 2006, 99% of them are a bit tight/crooked, and keep the meter under tension. Eventually the tension cracks the meter and the crack lets moisture in. The crack is on the back so you can't see it. Of course, it ALWAYS happens after the warranty expires. Eventually the meter fails. New meter is $500, buying a used one is lottery.

    - At high "mileage", the handle poles can break. Inspect for cracks.

    - Kawie changed the two piece nicely routed main wire harness to a one piece in later years. It is wrongly routed on the front, and rubs against a bracket. Forgot exactly which one, but it's easy to check. Eventually, it will strip the harness and will cause a nice looking spark fountain. Given its proximity to the fuel tank, it can get even nicer. This develops I would say around 200 hours if left unchecked.

    - Check your valves. I think the recommended 100 hour schedule is a bit overkill, but a check is required I would say around 200h. We had a burnt valve because of a lack of checking on a ski around 500hrs. That was definitely our fault. It kept running for the rest of the season, simply lost power.

    Other than that, in general I believe that ever since the first Ultra 250x was released (2007) - quality went down in general at the kawie plant as far as watercrafts are concerned. At the time I thought this is an Ultra issue, but apparently it was general. The wire harness rubbing and the meter cracking is not excusable. Not to mention the breaking handle poles. Those happened on older machines, though.

    You can also get "lucky" sometimes - we had a camchain tensionner going bad on an 2008 ski at slightly over 100hrs, making a mess in the cylinder head when the camchain jumped.

    We also had a $0.75 cents bolt falling off inside the engine on a 2007 ski with 2 hours on it. Small detail - the bolt was the one holding the gear to the oil pump. At least that opens your mind to new financial horizons, when you realize that a new crankshaft has to be bought with matched crankcases if you want to make things right. The ski being in a country with no official Kawie dealer, it was all out of our pocket.

    But other than these two, I would say it's the best ski ever. They see so much use and abuse with us, we've never expected anything different. Just be aware of what we found the hard way. In order of importance high to low - handle pole, wire harness integrity, meter, valve maintenance.
    What can we do with the meter to protect it and prevent it from cracking ? Thank you

  8. #8
    The list pointed out many correct issues and a "few" incorrect ones, such as following.
    > Having to buy matching crank and cases. Fact is Kawi doesn't offer them as a set and there is no P/N for such set. Instead, con-rod has a different suffix on the P/n and if you would be replacing only one or two con-rods, you should order matching con-rods with the same suffix P/N such as -JJ or whatever.
    > Oil pump bolt falling off. Fact is that it's breaking off not falling off.
    > Handle Pole breaking. Fact is that bracket is breaking not the pole.
    > 15F new meter is not $500, my stealership says MSRP is whooping $860.
    But like I said, OP described the problems correctly for most of them just little off on details.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by elviswongg View Post
    What can we do with the meter to protect it and prevent it from cracking ? Thank you
    Remove the meter from the mounting bracket of the ski. Reinstall the meter and see if you can relieve any tension between the meter and the bracket so that the meter housing is not twisting or bending in any direction. You may have to enlarge the hole diameter or bend the bracket or something to relieve the tension. Here is a diagram, red arrown pointing at the mounting bolt holes.


  10. #10
    Indeed, I'm describing stuff which happened over a long time line, details are fading. The fact is the as far as I'm concerned, the least problematic 15F's we had to deal with were the 2005 models.

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