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Thread: Starter Problem

  1. #1
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    Default Starter Problem

    I have a Seadoo 96 Spx with a starter problem. The starter will turn over the engine maybe one or two times then stop. Battery and cables check good. Local Seadoo mechanic said if the engine turns over freely with the plugs removed that the starter is bad. Tried it with the plugs removed and it turned over fine, so I replaced the starter with one from eBay (not OEM). Well, it's still doing the same thing (starter engages, but it barely turns the engine over).

    So, now I'm thinking it's probably the starter selenoid. The Seadoo troubleshooting section says if the starter does not turn that it may be a defective selenoid (lanyard or starter switch), but if the starter engages to check various parts of the starter motor.

    Should I try replacing the selenoid?

    BTW, My Seadoo manual says the selenoid part number is 278000513. I've been told you can also use part numbers 278001376 and 278001802. Anybody know if this correct?

    Thanks!!

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    try another battery. sol usually will either crank or not. batteries have short lives. also, remove sand and reattach big black wire where it attaches to motor. a bad contact will let some, but not enough amps through.

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    Default Starter problem

    Derek,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Already sanded off the end-connections of the pos and neg battery terminals. Also used a nearly new battery (with a higher amperage rating than the OEM), just to be sure I could rule out any battery problems.

    The starter engages with the flywheel, sometimes it just clunks and doesn't turn the engine over; sometimes it'll turn the engine over a time or two before stopping. Anybody know if a bad selenoid will cause this? From past experience with cars, this seems to be the same symptoms as a bad selenoid, although the Seadoo manual kinda infurs that a bad selenoid won't allow the starter to engage at all.

    Thanks again,

    Ken

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    Default

    Welcome to the seadoo forum Ken. If the solenoid makes contact to the starter it is not the solenoid. I would check the connections or for a bad wire from the battery to the starter ground. It has to be in the wiring if the starter is the correct one, and not a used bad one also. Keep us posted on you progress.

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    did you also remove the neg wire from the engine case and clean? you have a dissimilar metal thingy going on there with the copper term and the aluminum engine case. that being said, the sol is in the grey box just north of the motor. jump the 2 big terminals with a screwdriver or a bolt. that'll tell you if it is the solenoid. without spending another 35 bucks-yet.

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    Default Starter problem

    Thanks, kustomKarl, derek!

    I guess I'll short across the solenoid terminals to check the solenoid. If it cranks ok, then I can assume the solenoid is bad (high resistance).

    If the symptoms remain the same (starter engages, but motor turns over very little), then I suppose I can assume there is a bad ground or battery terminal/cable somewhere and the solenoid is good.

    This is, of course, assuming the starter is good since I'm getting the same symptoms with the original starter and the new (non-OEM) starter I ordered off eBay.

    If I'm making any wrong assumptions please let me know

    Thanks again!

    P.S. I realize all these symptoms could also point toward a insufficiently charged battery. Just to be sure I didn't have a battery issue I tried using another/2nd battery that worked fine in another pwc.
    Last edited by waterman; 05-24-08 at 04:43 PM. Reason: to edit

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    Know for a fact that the other battery is good, check all wire conections from batery all ends of wires, jump across solenoid. if that does not work you may have bought another bad starter. good luck

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    Default Crankshaft....

    From the answers to your query, it seems there is one more thing you can do. If you've replaced the starter and you've tried with another battery, that you know to be good, then maybe you should see how tight your engine is.
    Remove the plastic cover on the back of the pto side of the engine. Take out your spark plugs. Then, with your hand, try and turn the shaft counterclockwise. It it's really tight, try to turn it with a set of channel locks, careful not to mar or bur the shaft. If it turns, feel how smooth it turns. If there is any catches in it, or you hear clicking sounds, you may have a bearing issue.
    The solenoid.....either it works or it doesn't, at which, you'll only hear "clicks".
    It does sound like your not getting enough power from the battery to throw out the bendix, but you seem to know what your doing and if you say you've checked and re-checked your power supply, cleaned the cable ends, then maybe it's time to see how tight your crankshaft is.
    I have a 787 and with the plugs removed, I can spin it over easily with my hand and it's really smooth. With the pistons in, I get 150 psi on my compression. So, you should be able to spin your motor over by hand.
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    Ever wonder what the inside of your 787cc engine looks like. Want to identify the parts, check out my thread on the 787. I'm sure there is something for everyone who want to learn about the internal parts.

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    Default Starter problem

    seadoosnipe & robin savell lloyd thanks for your replies!

    I shorted across the solenoid terminals. I get the same response from the starter as I do when I use/press the starter switch---sometimes it turns the motor over 1/2 to a full turn then stops or sometimes it just makes a "clunk" when the bendix engages the flywheel and won't turn the engine at all. I guess I can rule out a bad solenoid.

    I also took the gray cover off the rear of the engine housing. With the spark plugs removed I was able to turn the engine over 2 or 3 times in either direction with just one hand--hardly any resistance at all.

    FWIW, the starter spins the motor over very quickly and easily with the spark plugs removed.

    To rule out a bad ground cable (and/or bad/undercharged battery), I used a fully charged 12vdc car battery (turns over a Land Rover V8 engine just fine) along with some heavy-duty jumper cables and connected the negative side of the jumper cable to a threaded stud on the engine block right next to the starter and connected the positive side to the starter side of the positive terminal of the solenoid. Again, the starter either "clunked" or turned over the engine 1/2 to 1 turn on repeated tries.

    The only cable that I haven't ruled out as bad is the positive cable that runs from the starter to the solenoid. There just isn't enough clearance around the starter to connect the jumper cable to the starter's positive connector. Guess I'm gonna run down to the local auto parts store and buy a new positive battery cable just to be sure it's not the problem.

    Right now, I'm not feeling very optimistic that the positive cable is bad. It looks in really good shape. I've sanded/cleaned off both ends of the cable with no luck.

    Wow, could I really have two bad starters with the exact same symptoms??

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    I have read that these engines have alot of compression and need a very good starter. this is a 787 correct. if so and I am not remembering incorrectly they use the same starter as the smaller engines. the smaler engines do not need as much torque as the 787 so they do not have as many problems with them. I have also read that you do not want to buy a after market starter as this starter has to be in perfect condition to start engine.I can allways be wrong so good luck Robin

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    Default No Jump Starting Please!

    Sorry .. read it wrong... thought you were jump starting your engine.
    Take out your new starter and get it tested.
    Last edited by seadoolover; 05-26-08 at 09:23 AM.

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  13. #12
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    Default Jump starting....

    I've put this out in the forum several times and guess I'll continue until eveyone is informed. Jump starting your Doo isn't a problem as long as the vehicle you are starting from is NOT running. It's the equivalent of having two batteries in your boat with a selector switch.

    For the problem in your engine. When you spin the engine over by hand, do you hear or feel any obvious play. When you say the engine spins freely with the plugs out, but goes "clunk" with the plugs in, I'm wondering if you have a bad set of wrist pin bearings or crank bearings. Reason is, when you spin freely, with no compression, there's nothing pushing the piston head down, building resistance. When you put the plugs in, as soon as the crank starts to push up on the piston and compression starts to build, if you have a set of bad bearings, it'll lock up.

    You can try this test. With the cover removed and the plugs out. Take a pencil and put down into the spark plug hole. Now, rotate the shaft all the way down. If you can, use your other hand to put a bit of pressure on the pencil, then, after you bottom the piston out turning with your hand, see how much time the piston spends sitting at the bottom of that stroke. If they are bad, you may also feel some "un-even" movement in it.

    If your starter has been replaced and tested and everything works well with the plugs removed, I'm afraid you've got other issues outside a solenoid or starter.

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    Default 787 starter

    Hi WATERMAN,
    Just a little advice in the event you need to buy a starter. Robin is correct about reman starters having a bad reputation for not having much power and reliability. If you need a starter shop around for a good price on a new one.
    Also, the 787 starter only fits a 787. A starter from a 587, 657, or 717 will
    NOT bolt on to your 787.
    Finally, you'll need to know the number of teeth on your old starter before you can purchase a new one. Some starters have 8 teeth ......some have nine teeth. It's SUPER important the the number of teeth on the new starter are the same as the old starter!!!!
    Good Luck, DAWG

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    Hi Waterman,
    I had and am still having this problem with my 99 GSX, but I did find that I had bad bearing when I spun the shaft by hand. I could even start the ski with the plugs loose, and I am sure you could too. BUT CHECK EVERYTHING SEADOOSNIPE SAID ABOUT SPINNING SHAFT. I am still not 100% that the crank bearing was my issue, but I had to fix it obviously. You can search my post "1999 GSX not cranking". I am curious, so please keep us posted even if you find the fix.

    I should have the parts this week, and done by weekend. I will let you know if the problem stayed.

    Thanks Matt

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    Default Ongoing Starter problem

    Again, thanks for everybody's replies!

    Well, finally got around to bypassing all the ground and positive cables to the starter on my '96 Seadoo SPX. I placed a jumper cable directly to a ground stud next to the starter and the positive jumper cable directly to the positive terminal of the starter (via a solid piece of heavy gauge copper wire). Power was supplied by a fully-charged automotive car battery (plenty of power to start a Land Rover V8 engine). Did the same thing it's been doing all the while, the starter manages to sometimes turn the engine over 1/2 to 1 turn or you just hear the clunk of the bendix hitting the flywheel and nothing more.

    I also placed a rod through the spark plug hole and turned the engine over by hand 4 or 5 revolutions in both directions. I felt nothing abnormal at the bottom of the stroke or the top---very smooth transition---no noises whatsoever, just the sound of air leaking through the spark plug hole. Was able to turn the engine over with one hand easily.

    One would assume I simply have a bad starter(s)--and maybe I do, but I get the *exact* same symptoms with both starters. The original starter worked fine the last time the craft was used about 5 years ago (brushes and armature looked fine; didn't appear to have a lot of use). The replacement starter was purchased from a dealer in GA that sells new non-OEM starters and has a good reputation.

    FWIW, I noticed a *lot* of oil in the intake manifold when I removed the carbs for cleaning. Is it possible I have some kind of action involving the rotary valve and excessive oil in the crankcase causing somekind of over-the-top compression preventing the starter from turning the engine over? Both starters turn the engine over easily and quickly with the spark plugs removed. Again, FWIW, there was a *lot* of oil spray coming from the spark plug holes when I turned the engine over (with the starter).

    I guess I could take both starters to a local rebuild shop to see they're cranking at full output. It even crossed my mind to suspect the jumper cables I'm using, but they work just fine jump-starting other cars.

    Outside of trying a 3rd starter, not sure what to do at this point

    Thanks again for everybody's helpful suggestions!

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    Process of eliminiation...the engine turns over freely by hand...not the engine...shaft in plug hole...nothing felt funny or grinding or strange... starter seems to be the link that isn't doing as it should. Is the Bendix ok on the starter? it must be the starter based on process of elimination.

    Karl

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    Default starter

    Get the starters checked...

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    Default Solved Starter Problem!

    Finally got it started!

    My girlfriend's '96 SPX was shutdown about 5 years ago without any winterization or preparation whatsoever and left to sit outside. After spending quite a few hours removing the gas tank (and the 5 year old gas inside of it), removing frozen carb mount bolts with an 18" breaker bar, and disassembling and cleaning both carbs, I finally got around to trying to start it. That's when the "fun" started (for details see above).

    Long story, short, it turns out I wasn't getting a good electrical connection with my jumper cables (I had two pairs that I tried using). Even though I connected the jumper cables directly to the crankcase bolt and directly to the positive terminal of the starter for one of my checks (using a fully charged car battery), it appears it still wasn't good enough of a connection to overcome the initial surge current needed to turn it over.

    So, to remove ALL variables (including the jumper cables) I finally removed the battery from my car and wired it directly to the terminals on the SPX (I was lucky the cables were long enough to route outside the engine cavity). Lo and behold it cranked over fine! After priming the carbs 3 or 4 times with some gas, it fired up and fumigated the entire neighborhood with 5 year old residual oil in the manifold and crankcase

    Went down to Wal-Mart and purchased a new 16CLB battery for $41.98 (Seadoo dealer wanted $80). Would have done this sooner, but we decided to not put another penny into this 12 year old beast. Either it was gonna run as-is or we were gonna junk it In any case, after a few hours of charge time the new battery also cranks the engine over just fine.

    So, wanna thank everybody for their time and input. This was definitely a learning experience.

    Gonna take it out for a spin tomorrow. I'll be staying *very* close to shore until I'm sure all systems are a go

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