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  1. #1

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    virage txi rough perf off idle to 5k

    Hello, first post for me, but I've been searching/lurking for a while. I have two '01 virage txi's, and until late last summer they ran just fine. Changing the batteries and plugs this spring hasn't seemed to help though. Last week at the lake they started after a few tries and took a bit to warm up and blow out the winterizing oil, but they ran (not great) and were fine for a day or so of riding. Then one of them started acting up like last year. After a few high speed spins and wake jumping my wife said it just started to bog down, and even with the throttle all the way down it would barely go over 3k. After resting for a bit it ran again, but was obviously fouling the plugs and missing a lot. The other tops out just fine once you're past 4-5k, but below that it's just a mess. My wife reported that the other was doing that as well before it REALLY bogged down. I had thought it could be a tps adjustment, because my bike acts this way when it's out of range, but I can't find info on actually adjusting the tps, just replacing it. Does this sound like a TPS problem for the one, and what does it sound like for the other (won't go over 3k, almost like it's in "safe" mode). Both had plenty of oil, so my one theory that the oil level sensor was telling the computer there's no oil doesn't seem to be correct. My other theory would be water in the gas, and somehow just the sloshing around from eratic movement caused some to be sucked up.. but I'm not sure. Hopefully you guys can help.


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Welcome

    I presume you have found the service manuals already

    Have a look at these pages.

    You need to figure out of there is one problem that both machines just happen to be having at the same time, or different problems that just happen to have similar symptoms.

    My suggestion is to diagnose each machine separately, rather than assuming that whatever is ailing one is also ailing the other.

    Give them each a name or number, so we can keep them straight.

    You do have the advantage of being able to compare between the two, and even swap parts to check things.

    Start with the basics;
    Compression, fuel pressure, injector voltage, correct spark plugs, ignition coils ohms, plug wire ohms, ignition coil ground to engine block, etc.


    Remove and clean the negative battery connection at the engine block. Remove and clean both ends of both cables while you are in there

    Figure out what isn't causing the problem, and we can narrow it down.

    TPS isn't adjustable, and it is good to have a spare on hand anyways. Cost about $100. If the problem doesn't get sorted soon, you might want to order a new one just in case. Never buy an old TPS.

    Any chance there is water in the fuel tank(s)?
    Was the gasoline stabilized before storage?

    Have you burned through the old gas yet?

  3. #3

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    I've now got the manual and I'm reading through the section on tps. The gas was stabilized with seafoam, but I think I'll try to pump out the tank anyway just to make sure it's not bad gas. I'm also going to check to see if the local dealer has a tps in stock. After speaking with my wife today, who was riding the one that had the more serious failure, she said it WAS running fine (even low end) before it went into slow mode. So it appears that one of them (Larry) has the rough off idle - 4k condition, and "Moe" is the one with the engine sputter and no-go above 3k when it gets tossed around a lot.

    Without checking any of the other items we've discussed, what ARE the symptoms of a bad TPS? Am I possibly on the right track? Larry still works just great at 4.5k+, and still tops out somewhere over 60mph I used larry to tow moe across the lake to take them out with no troubles (except a rough start up to plane)

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dosvirages View Post
    ...The gas was stabilized with seafoam, but I think I'll try to pump out the tank anyway just to make sure it's not bad gas.

    ...After speaking with my wife today, who was riding the one that had the more serious failure, she said it WAS running fine (even low end) before it went into slow mode.

    So it appears that one of them (Larry) has the rough off idle - 4k condition, and "Moe" is the one with the engine sputter and no-go above 3k when it gets tossed around a lot.

    Without checking any of the other items we've discussed, what ARE the symptoms of a bad TPS? Am I possibly on the right track?

    Larry still works just great at 4.5k+, and still tops out somewhere over 60mph

    I used Larry to tow Moe across the lake to take them out with no troubles (except a rough start up to plane)
    You know about clamping off the cooling line before being towed at any speed above very slow - yes?
    Otherwise you risk flooding the engine with water from the exhaust system.

    SeaFoam isn't a very good fuel stabilizer, from what I have been able to learn about it. Marine Sta-Bil seems to be a better choice, especially with ethanol blend gasoline.

    It sounds like Larry has good fuel pressure, or you would not have full RPM. Check it anyway, just to compare with Moe. Should be a little over 20PSI, anytime the engine is cranking or running.

    Bad TPS can have varied symptoms. Anything from no start to uneven RPM to no power. As a precaution, use slim needle nose pliers to slightly tighten the three metal sockets inside the TPS connector. Sometimes the sockets don't grip the pins tightly enough. There should be no corrosion or contaminates on those pins, not even dielectric grease.

    As an experiment, try swapping the TPS between the two. See if the symptoms change, or move with the TPS. Then put them back the way they were. See if the symptoms revert as before.

    Do not over torque the TPS bolts - they don't need to be super tight.

    Don't bother trying to bench test these TPS. They often can test OK when just sitting, yet on a running, vibrating engine, they are not good.

    If you do have water in the tank, the only fix is to slide the tank forward, remove the fuel pump, and completely clean it out. You just cannot get all the water and phase-separated ethanol goop out of the bottom of the tank otherwise. For now, lets hope you don't have any water in there.

    The tossed around comment makes me wonder if there is water in the tank. The fuel pump on these Ficht engines has an internal reservoir. It retains a small quantity of fuel inside the pump body, and pumps from that if there isn't any fuel coming into the bottom of the pump from the main part of the tank.

    The fuel pump has a water rejecting filter around the bottom, If there is water down there, it can restrict the gasoline flow into the pump interior.

    Check all the basics first (listed previously), before messing with the fuel tank and pump.

  5. #5
    way2much2do's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    f you do have water in the tank, the only fix is to slide the tank forward, remove the fuel pump, and completely clean it out. You just cannot get all the water and phase-separated ethanol goop out of the bottom of the tank otherwise. For now, lets hope you don't have any water in there.
    I have a 2001 Virage TXi with very similar symptoms. I have a feeling I have a TPS issue as well, but haven't replaced it yet.

    For what it's worth, my first attempt to fix it included draining all the fuel. I was able to clean my tank out with a transfer pump. I then used the same transfer pump to pull any remaining fuel from the lines via the shrader valve. Next, I tipped the machine forward on the trailer, and used paper towels on a stick (screwdriver) to sop up what wouldn't come out with the transfer pump. I left it open in the sun for a couple days to allow any remaining liquid inside to evaporate. Finally, I stuck the vacuum cleaner hose down in there when I was done to get any loose (dry) bits out.

    Maybe it's just me, but pulling the tank didn't look like fun. Some people call me lazy....I prefer to call it efficient! I have the engine out of it now, so in retrospect, pulling the fuel tank would have been a piece of cake!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by way2much2do View Post
    I have a 2001 Virage TXi with very similar symptoms. I have a feeling I have a TPS issue as well, but haven't replaced it yet.

    For what it's worth, my first attempt to fix it included draining all the fuel. I was able to clean my tank out with a transfer pump. I then used the same transfer pump to pull any remaining fuel from the lines via the shrader valve. Next, I tipped the machine forward on the trailer, and used paper towels on a stick (screwdriver) to sop up what wouldn't come out with the transfer pump. I left it open in the sun for a couple days to allow any remaining liquid inside to evaporate. Finally, I stuck the vacuum cleaner hose down in there when I was done to get any loose (dry) bits out.

    Maybe it's just me, but pulling the tank didn't look like fun. Some people call me lazy....I prefer to call it efficient! I have the engine out of it now, so in retrospect, pulling the fuel tank would have been a piece of cake!
    Just curious, but what problem did you have that was similar? the no-go over 3k, or the rough off-idle performance?
    I did some work today and the compression in all cylinders on both is fine, as is the fuel pressure. I haven't checked injector voltage yet, but considering they both top out just fine I'm guessing that's fine too. I'll check tomorrow anyway. I'm really thinking that I should drain the tank on Moe. If for nothing else it's the least expensive thing that could possibly fix the problem. I'm not soo sure that the tps on either is "good", but I'll try swapping them too since the local dealer doesn't have one in stock (and wants $120 for it)
    Unfortunately, I'm going back up to the lake tomorrow and don't have skiis that are "fixed", but I'll drag them up anyway if for nothing other than experimenting.. wish I had a new tps to try.

  7. #7

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    btw, can someone recommend a good place to buy parts? the local stealership wants crazy money for anything they sell (plugs were $17.99, and found them next door at the auto parts place for $14. A single replacement 3amp fuse for the bilge was $2.50, when a package of 6 anywhere else is less than $2)

  8. #8
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Parts sources are linked from this web page.

    Click on the PWC Resources link, then Parts Sources

    I often use Babbitts, but sometimes they ship quickly, sometimes not so quickly. I don't know who has the TPS in stock, and can ship fast.

    Spark plugs can be found less expensively online, of course.
    NGK PZRF6H - No substitutes on Ficht engines.

    Radio Shack is a good source for the fuses.

    And don't forget to try this;

    As a precaution, use slim needle nose pliers to slightly tighten the three metal sockets inside the TPS connector. Sometimes the sockets don't grip the pins tightly enough. There should be no corrosion or contaminates on those pins, not even dielectric grease.

  9. #9
    way2much2do's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dosvirages View Post
    Just curious, but what problem did you have that was similar? the no-go over 3k, or the rough off-idle performance?
    I did some work today and the compression in all cylinders on both is fine, as is the fuel pressure. I haven't checked injector voltage yet, but considering they both top out just fine I'm guessing that's fine too. I'll check tomorrow anyway. I'm really thinking that I should drain the tank on Moe. If for nothing else it's the least expensive thing that could possibly fix the problem. I'm not soo sure that the tps on either is "good", but I'll try swapping them too since the local dealer doesn't have one in stock (and wants $120 for it)
    Unfortunately, I'm going back up to the lake tomorrow and don't have skiis that are "fixed", but I'll drag them up anyway if for nothing other than experimenting.. wish I had a new tps to try.
    When it's cold, it has both the no-go over 3k (but NOT SLOW mode....just won't run over about 3000RPM) and the rough off-idle performance. It idles fine, but as soon as you open the throttle, it hesitates/falls on it's face. You have to drive it around for a while easing the throttle open repeatedly to make this go away. After doing this for a while (seemingly as it warms up?), it gets better. The first time I rode it, once it warmed up (after about 15 minutes of riding), it was totally fine once it got warm. I thought it was bad gas. The 2nd time I rode it (after cleaning out the fuel), it never quite cleared up once it got warm - even reducing peak RPM and top speed.

    With tons of help from lots of people on this site (especially K447 and Bernie) I have drained the fuel tank, checked fuel pressure, checked fuel injector voltages, checked compression, and bought new plugs. I haven't worked on this problem anymore yet because I also had a stator cover leak and loose engine bed plate bolts. The guys here suggested I fix the stator cover leak, since that might be leaking water into the stator area and possibly causing this problem that we are having. However, I have the engine out now and that appeared to only be leaking outside of the housing (it was actually leaking around the oil pump and there doesn't appear to be any path to leak inside the stator cover from this area).

    The only things I haven't touched are the TPS, (which I have since discovered has some issues) and possibly the fuel pump regulator that's known to fall off. FYI....When I wiggle the TPS connector with the engine running, the RPM varies by 300+ RPM, so something is definitely going on there. Bernie/K447 suggested I pinch the connectors tighter with pliers, which I AM going to do, but I'm also in the process of placing an order for some parts and a TPS is on my list.

    I'll keep you posted with my progress....hopefully, we share a common problem between the three machines. Whoever fixes it first might save the other guy lots of trouble. I'm certainly willing to share whatever I find.

    PS You also asked about where to order parts from. John Zigler is GREAT. I have ordered from Babbitts before too, but their shipping is pricey (my experience). You might want to try partsland.com - their TPS price is $80.25. I haven't gotten to the shipping yet...maybe that will be the deal breaker. Oh yeah, and those spark plugs - the BEST price I could find was $9.25/each. I bought them from an ebay store called speedcustommarine24. 3 plugs worked out to like $29.50 shipped and they arrived pretty quick.

    Good luck and please keep me posted if you find something.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by way2much2do View Post

    The only things I haven't touched are the TPS, (which I have since discovered has some issues) and possibly the fuel pump regulator that's known to fall off. FYI....When I wiggle the TPS connector with the engine running, the RPM varies by 300+ RPM, so something is definitely going on there. Bernie/K447 suggested I pinch the connectors tighter with pliers, which I AM going to do, but I'm also in the process of placing an order for some parts and a TPS is on my list.

    I'll keep you posted with my progress....hopefully, we share a common problem between the three machines. Whoever fixes it first might save the other guy lots of trouble. I'm certainly willing to share whatever I find.

    PS You also asked about where to order parts from. John Zigler is GREAT. I have ordered from Babbitts before too, but their shipping is pricey (my experience). You might want to try partsland.com - their TPS price is $80.25. I haven't gotten to the shipping yet...maybe that will be the deal breaker. Oh yeah, and those spark plugs - the BEST price I could find was $9.25/each. I bought them from an ebay store called speedcustommarine24. 3 plugs worked out to like $29.50 shipped and they arrived pretty quick.

    Good luck and please keep me posted if you find something.
    based on what you just said it sounds like the tps connector on yours definitely could be part of the problem. I'm going to do the same (make sure the connection is solid), but I also ordered a tps last night. I got it from partsland, and shipping was only $7. I'm heading to the lake tonight for several days, so hopefully I can do some trial and error and come up with something. Mine always seem to need a "warmup" as well, but it's more like they go from "super crappy" to just "crappy" once they're warm, although they still top out just fine. My neighbor who owns a dealership and is an evinrude mechanic says making sure the thermostat is working correctly (IE; the temp gets warm enough) on these ficht machines is critical. However, he works mainly on outboards, and the seadoos they service and sell don't use the system. But I think the advice still stands.

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