1996 Seadoo XP clicks, won't start... but what a journey its been! Please help

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I know there are countless other posts like this, but theres much more to begin with for this jet ski... and I need help.

I got this jet ski from my cousin who hadn't run it in 3 years... it was stored in a barn and dry of fluids and was winterized before being put away... I got it running with fresh gas and new oil. I took it out after that and it ran great on the water. next ride... all hell began.
My brother took his girlfriend out and never put the plug in... they fell off, couldn't get back on and then when they did, it wouldn't start... get towed back to shore, half the engine bay was filled. hydrolocked the motor... he tells me that night so the next day I go and pull the plugs and start blasting the water out... i get as much out and leave the top off to let the sun air it out... I couldn't get it started after and killed my battery. So i gave up for the day and went to go charge the battery...
my know it all uncle hooked the cables up to a booster box when i left even though it clearly says not to boost the ski... he burned up the starter... I took it to a shop and they rebuilt the starter in it and got it to turn over for me... it ran good once...then i went out again and it was surging...it wouldn't go more than 35 mph and it would go full board for about two seconds and then kick back whether taking off or cruising, when holding full throttle..
so i pull the ski again and I rebuild the carbs as i read that was a common problem (they were all gummed up) and changed all the fuel lines and filters as well. I also changed the rectifier in the computer as i thought that could be the issue..also the black box by the battery was filled with water so i drained that and cleaned the points in there and it ran ok on land...didnt get to load test before the winter. it sat in a garage for the winter.
I get a nice DEKA gel cell battery, fresh gas and it fired right up... last week i put it in the water to load test and it couldn't handle the pressure and idle was low... the second it came out of the water... it was fine.
So i take it to my guy and it wouldn't start... solenoid clicking, starter isn't humming, and i can't get the shaft to turn, with the plugs in or out... i don't know if its jammed or what happened but memorial day is coming and all i want to do is get this thing ready..
I figure a new starter and solenoid wouldn't hurt, as well as a new computer since it couldn't handle the pressure when it was in the water... I think boosting it fried that up real quick, even though i had it running after the fact last year...

I need thoughts, experience, opinions... anything that can be offered would be greatly appreciated... i am at a loss with this ski right now.. so depressing lol
So first of all welcome. That is a very popular ski. Did you ever get it running on the lake after it was filled with water? Did this happen last year? If so, and you didn't run the heck out of it for at least 20 minutes, there is a high probability that the bearings are now rusted and are toast. The motor may be completely rusted solid. That said, I wouldn't spend a lot of money on it before you do some testing. Don't just dump parts into it.

So to start, if you cant get it to spin by hand with the plugs out, then pull the pump and see if it now will spin. If it wont, then pull the starter off. If it still wont spin over, then you luck has run out I am afraid. You could pull the head off and see what the cylinders look like, but that may not tell you much. Do those tests and report back. Sorry for not the best news.
hi soccer dad,

thank you, and yes it was last year and yes... i took it out for a couple hours once after it was hydrolocked, as well as about 5, small ten-minute rides just trying to trouble shoot the surge issue as i had put a carb cleaner through it and wanted to run that through... i probably went through 2 tanks of gas after hydrolocking the ski

I had it running this year and got it to start quickly... and i put it in the water this year to load text it and ran it for about 5 minutes... it just couldn't take the pressure... the next time i went to do it is when all these problems occurred... thats why i was curious about the starter and solenoid issue..

how easily should that shaft spin once i get the pump off?

thank you again
Did you do a compression test? Low compression will do that: ski starts on the trailer but dies in the water. Sounds like my ski last year.

Did you do the fuel pump when you built the carbs could be under fueling could be your surge issue. With the plugs out motor should spin effortlessly with the pump off. Should pull the pump and check it out could be full off watter and seizing soccer dad said it if you go though those steps should find out if it's not the motor hopefully it's not good luck
If ever some water was left behind from last year, a new compression test is in order. That would at least clear out a potential engine issue. But I understand that it won't even turn at this point?

I ran into a issue with a hydrolocked motor that it pulsed water and oil /fuel into the fuel pump and I had to drain and clean the pump to get it to run right
i didn't think there was a fuel pump. I thought it drew fuel through as a vacuum from the engine turning over. I will have to address that issue next.
i ran it this year without plugs and nothing came out... if i get it to turn over, I will run another test on it and see if the pressure is still up.
The mag cylinder carb has the pump on it fuel in and pulse from the motor but you've got your work cut out for ya getting it freed up
So I pull the pump off last night. Super clean. I used a tool to get the shaft to turn... There was something in the prop blocking it and it wouldn't move. Once I freed it up... I hooked up all the electrical and it turned over fairl easily.
I still think a new, strong starter is in order but next step is to load test it again and get some fresh fuel through it and see if I have to just tune my carbs or address the computer
As I said before I went to load test it and it runs good on land but in the water it won't keep up the rpm and can't handle the pressure
I wouldn't do anything else but put the battery on charge overnight.

Then do a compression test with a good name brand gauge. You need to have a starting point with this engine. Your last test was last fall. I consider the compression test my "constant" in the diagnosis/repair. If compression is not good on both cylinders and pretty close in psi to each other then there is nothing else to do but get that fixed first.

It's your basis of a good running engine.

Compression still at 150 as of last night. I checked it when I put it all together again.

And I trickled the battery for 12 hours starting last night and took it off before leaving for work this morning.
time to go through carbs with oem mikuni parts, verify pop off, and when all assembled verify carbs pass bleed down test.

Load tested the ski again last night and ran fresh premium fuel through it. It got a little better but was not at 100 percent... It runs good and clean out of the water but as soon as it's in the water. Rpms drop and never pick themselves up again, even when I ease into it and am able to go full throttle... It's at maybe 30 percent.

Is it possible that this is a computer issue? As I said before my uncle used a jump box when it was hydro locked

Or should the carbs come off again?
you could install a cheap clear 1/4'' fuel filter in the fuel line about 6 to 8 inches from the pto carb with the pump on it and get an idea of how well its pulsing fuel if the carb parts are new like you said I would just check the filters and verify the pop off is correct. I would think the cdi is fine if you have it running and every thing lights up could try the rectifier trick good charged battery unplug the rectifier if the problem go's away you found the culprit
I have a clear one in and it gets fuel. I was thinking the pop off is wrong.. And I will definitely check the rectifier... Just pull the red cable right?
90% of the time it is the carbs on these things. Just take them apart and check. If you keep trying to run it on the water and it is the carbs you are going to destroy that engine. Just follow 1983's advise and check the carbs.

Also don't buy a aftermarket starter. Either rebuild yours or get a good used OEM seadoo one.
This model was designed to run on 87 octane fuel. 93 is a waste of $ unless you have aftermarket upgrades on the engine which require higher octane. You dont so 87 is the way to go.

Take carbs off, learn them, they are fun. You will have confidence in your ski on the water once they are right. Ski will start easy, and run better.

Like mikidy said, oem starter only. Find good used.


time to go through carbs with oem mikuni parts, verify pop off, and when all assembled verify carbs pass bleed down test.

You should be able to find a local shop that can rebuild you starter 87 is the way to go on stock compression with stock pipe should make better power on 87 than 93 and cost less
Ok so through all of this, I can't get this thing to run right.
I have a guy helping me out that has experience but has never seen anything like this before.
He went through and cleaned the jets, set the pop offs and everything in the carbs, bled the fuel lines and made sure the engine was getting fresh gas. It runs great out of water but the second I back it into the water, it drops and runs on one cylinder.
I swapped the computer as my friend had an extra one... And it did the same thing
We are both at a loss. Don't know where to go from here. He is thinking maybe it's the stator, or rev limiter.

Has anyone had this happen before?
And where do I go from here?
I did on land and noticed no difference, but not when it was under pressure in the water.
I'm just testing it while it's on the trailer so I don't get stranded!
So I didn't go back and read the thread again. What is the compression on each cylinder?

For the regulator you can just unplug the red wire for your test. You can test that while it is on the trailer in the water.
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