1997 GTX project, or not?

Status
Not open for further replies.

sharky300

Member
Hey all,

First I will apologize for asking questions I am sure have been answered, but I do try and look, before I post.... quick story on what I have, and a couple beginning questions.

I was given this 1997 GTX - rear electrical box was gutted, and missing the key. was supposed to have run when parked (2011) but starter not working. Looks like they started ripping stuff out and just quit...starter still there.

So- first of many questions I am sure... first thing I feel like I need to do is check the compression.... but every post I see says not to use harbor freight gauge... so what do you all suggest?

next, is there a way for me to do any electrical trouble shooting without the key? Or will it even get power back to the rear box without one?

Thanks for your time, look forward to talking with y’all about it!

jason
 
Hi Jason,
Welcome aboard....looks like you have your work cut out for you.
First off......you are kinda starting out sorta defeated without the proper DESS key....without that you can't start the ski. You can certainly DO things to the ski but your MPEM won't allow it to start/run.

You can manually check the compression...but you'll need to directly power the starter to get the engine to crank over.....but before doing that...make sure that you can turn the PTO flywheel by hand to know that the engine isn't seized from the get go...then you can decide if she's worth further investment in time and money....it's 23 years old so only YOU can decide if its worth the adventure....AND it will be an adventure for sure.

Eventually, you'll end up at a SeaDoo dealer to program a new key for the ski...if you get that far [and I'm hearing that some dealers won't even touch the older machines anymore]....fortunately my dealer does or you can also take out the mpem and mail it to one of the places that'll program a key for you....I forget who does that but someone will point you in the right direction soon enough.
 
Thanks for the response Ckrawiec! I did call local dealer about the key, they did say they would sell me the key, and program it... but he was very blount that he thought I was wasting my time. And he very well may be right. I know folks don't give away, or let good ski's sit, for no reason... But I figure since I am starting @ $0.00, I don't mind throwing a little money at it, to see what happens. I just don't want to spend $115.00 on key, if I can do some testing ahead of time... I will see if I can spin her over tonight, and go from there.... thanks again!
 
First make sure you can turn the engine over by hand.
Then even without a key connect a good battery and jump the two big terminals on the starter solenoid with a screwdriver and see if the engine will turn over. Do not use a running vehicle or a boost pack.

If it does you can get a loaner compression gauge from Autozone then go from there and you haven't spent a dime.
 
But I figure since I am starting @ $0.00, I don't mind throwing a little money at it, to see what happens. I just don't want to spend $115.00 on key

First off great ski, I have a 97' GTX, third season with it on the water, had it out last weekend and I was getting 52-53 on GPS. Priceless family fun with it, no regrets.. Mine was a total piece of crap when I got it, and it wasn't free, I paid $200 without a trailer. It took an entire year to restore and get it on the water. But I'm an exception, I over did it, down to bare hull and so forth. What I'm getting at, you're right people don't get rid of skis for nothing, unless they're worth nothing. Which nothing to some people means it'll need a lot of money thrown at it. In my case it needed a lot of $....and a lot time working on it.

Just be prepared, at a minimum you need to send off the MPEM and have a DESS key programmed to it. That's not terribly expensive and the turn around is usually quick. Westsidepowersports is a good vendor to get this done, he can supply the key, test the MPEM out and get it back to you quickly.

It can cascade from there, if it's sat for 9 yrs, it'll need the carbs completely overhauled, with good OEM kits and tested properly. As you go along getting the engine running, other things will need attention, new fuel and oil lines, and going through the jet pump. I'd anticipate the engine might need a complete rebuild, seals get hard, and rust could have set in on the crank bearings after sitting a while since 2011.

The more attention you put into it the less problems when you get it on the water later, but it can bleed you, just check out how my cost added up over a year and finally getting on the water. It's linked in my signature block.
 
but every post I see says not to use harbor freight gauge

Yeah, never use the Harbor Freight compression gauge. They are literally designed incorrectly so that every single one of them gives an incorrect reading. I used one on my snowmobile once and it was all over the board with it's readings, but consistently low. Then I got the loaner one from Autozone and tested the same sled, and got all consistent readings with good compression, which I was expecting since the sled started and ran fine.

Here's a good YouTube video that explains the design flaw in the Harbar Freight gauges:

 
Thanks for the response Ckrawiec! I did call local dealer about the key, they did say they would sell me the key, and program it... but he was very blount that he thought I was wasting my time. And he very well may be right. I know folks don't give away, or let good ski's sit, for no reason... But I figure since I am starting @ $0.00, I don't mind throwing a little money at it, to see what happens. I just don't want to spend $115.00 on key, if I can do some testing ahead of time... I will see if I can spin her over tonight, and go from there.... thanks again!
FYI....a couple years back....I bought 2 keys directly from BRP Candoo (online) ...think I paid $35.00 each and my dealer charged me $15.00 to program them it to my ski..... took all of 5 minutes time....he came out into the parking lot with a laptop and cable, plugged it in, did his thing....boom done.....checked both new keys and they started the ski......I was happy.
 
FYI....a couple years back....I bought 2 keys directly from BRP Candoo (online) ...think I paid $35.00 each and my dealer charged me $15.00 to program them it to my ski..... took all of 5 minutes time....he came out into the parking lot with a laptop and cable, plugged it in, did his thing....boom done.....checked both new keys and they started the ski......I was happy.
Unfortunately 99% of dealers will not do this anymore. They charge you $50 for the key then 1 hour of labor at about $75 and that is if they will even do it at all.
 
Thanks for all the input!!! Very helpful, and inspiring... me thinking I might can pull this off... hahaha

so, a question, and a few pic’s.

trying to rotate driveshaft by hand.... I removed spark plugs, and tried to turn it, She’s not moving... is there anything else I should do on the other end of the shaft, to let it turn, or is she locked up.... I expect it to be a little tough, since sitting so long, and I was leaning on it pretty hard... but do not know how hard it should be, and I did not want to start trying to get mechanical assistance, to try and help break it free... any tips?DEC332E1-C526-4657-966B-BC802FC5605B.jpeg7A19F10E-B85C-491B-A9F5-4CD1D9556954.jpegCEA2407E-AB9D-4543-81BC-5D04E78C9524.jpeg083D632D-D70B-49BB-959B-DAA407A50B68.jpeg
 
Unfortunately 99% of dealers will not do this anymore. They charge you $50 for the key then 1 hour of labor at about $75 and that is if they will even do it at all.
Sure, no doubt...but my Dealer INGLES PERFORMANCE - Phoenix, NY is a smaller dealer (where I buy my skis and misc parts)...and he's out in the middle of nowhere (his primary business I think is sleds and ATV's, but the skis are his Summer fill-in so he is a very agreeable dealer to take care of any "minor" issues if he can.....nice pleasant fellow and a family operation.....he came highly recommended and I've been going to him ever since I bought the '96 off him - years ago. Fortunately, he is on the way to the cottage and the water so it's not too big a deal to swing through on the way by...slight detour for me.
 
Thanks for all the input!!! Very helpful, and inspiring... me thinking I might can pull this off... hahaha

so, a question, and a few pic’s.

trying to rotate driveshaft by hand.... I removed spark plugs, and tried to turn it, She’s not moving... is there anything else I should do on the other end of the shaft, to let it turn, or is she locked up.... I expect it to be a little tough, since sitting so long, and I was leaning on it pretty hard... but do not know how hard it should be, and I did not want to start trying to get mechanical assistance, to try and help break it free... any tips?View attachment 47790View attachment 47791View attachment 47792View attachment 47793
Oh she's a beauty.....couple things.....LACQUER Thinner (I read) is very effective in helping to get the rear rubber pad glue off. Your REAR electric box is gutted as you stated......solenoid, ignition coil, ground wires and a 15 amp fuse go in there....make sure the top electrical connection is not totally buggered up with corrosion, etc.....Do you have the service manual??? - its a free download and the electric diagram will be in there to guide you through the electrics.
You can disconnect the driveshaft from the pump by going after the carbon seal assemble (that black bellows on the driveshaft in the bottom of the ski).

You ARE a brave soul.....but the ski is a great ride...I prefer my '96 over my '18 Spark anyday....the '19 GTI is pretty close though...we are cruisers though, not speed demons so bigger, heavier and "slower" machines are more to our liking (BUT they all move fast enough when necessary - hahaha).

I also see the handlebar pad is crappy....that's an easy mod fix if you take the front handlebar assembly apart - IF you need to replace the buzzer (which in all likelihood you will - they quit over time....mine wasn't working when I got it.) Of course, you won't know that until you get the key situation sorted out - IF!

BE VERY CAREFUL....in my experience...once you get a little seadoo grime under your fingernails....bad things start to happen, like a nagging and persistent feeling that overtakes you to THINK that "I will NOT let this thing beat me, I CAN do this - no matter what...she WILL RUN AGAIN". Been there....done that....totally WORTH IT....IMHO!:cool:
 
BE VERY CAREFUL....in my experience...once you get a little seadoo grime under your fingernails....bad things start to happen, like a nagging and persistent feeling that overtakes you to THINK that "I will NOT let this thing beat me, I CAN do this - no matter what...she WILL RUN AGAIN". Been there....done that....totally WORTH IT....IMHO!:cool:

That is what I am afraid of... I am bad to get that mindset, and blow all budgets to make it happen!!! lol - I'm going to try and start slow... evaluate as much as possible, before making the leap... cause once i start spending the money, I feel like I can't stop... til it's done! And being that I am only a mechanic in my own mind...I have been known to cause more problems than fix... speaking of, I did learn last night... don't drop anything, cause it goes into the abyss of the hull, never to be seen again:oops:
 
That is what I am afraid of... I am bad to get that mindset, and blow all budgets to make it happen!!! lol - I'm going to try and start slow... evaluate as much as possible, before making the leap... cause once i start spending the money, I feel like I can't stop... til it's done! And being that I am only a mechanic in my own mind...I have been known to cause more problems than fix... speaking of, I did learn last night... don't drop anything, cause it goes into the abyss of the hull, never to be seen again:oops:
Uh...not true necessarily.....yes things disappear under the engine....but (if the ski gets back on the water)...eventually everything will vibrate its way to the back of the ski and you'll "find" stuff near the bailers......I once "lost" a 5mm hex socket bit....found it a year later....all corroded to hell and worthless, but I found it. - hello my old friend I said, I've missed you....:)

PS....we NEVER talk about HOW MUCH WE PUT INTO THE SKI, especially to the significant other.....ONLY how much we got it for!:p:rolleyes:
 
I once lost a whole Nalgene water bottle in my hull lol. It had punched through the crack in my storage box in the front and fell into the hull when I hit a wave. I didn't even notice it in there until weeks later.

For non-water-bottle-sized bits, you can get a cheap grabber tool from Advance Auto or something that will be a lifesaver when it comes to getting things out of the hull. Mine is about 2ft long, flexible, has a magnet and a retractable claw at the end. It's saved countless bolts and sockets and random stuff from my hulls. I also used it to fish a fuel filter out of my gas tank for my sled once, would have been absolutely impossible without it.

IMG_20200507_104101.jpg

IMG_20200507_104116.jpg
 
The rusted spark plug and what looks like rust on the airbox are not good signs. It looks like that engine compartment might have been full of water at some point.

Make sure you remove the clip/o-ring holding the driveshaft seal stainless hat on before you remove the pump.
 
For non-water-bottle-sized bits, you can get a cheap grabber tool from Advance Auto or something that will be a lifesaver when it comes to getting things out of the hull. Mine is about 2ft long, flexible, has a magnet and a retractable claw at the end. It's saved countless bolts and sockets and random stuff from my hulls. I also used it to fish a fuel filter out of my gas tank for my sled once, would have been absolutely impossible without it.

Sweet- I'll be stopping on the way home!! Thanks
 
The rusted spark plug and what looks like rust on the airbox are not good signs. It looks like that engine compartment might have been full of water at some point.

Make sure you remove the clip/o-ring holding the driveshaft seal stainless hat on before you remove the pump.

Yeah, I noticed some debris in the bottom as well... not much... but enough to make me think the same thing... hopefully not a lost cause...

Will do on the clip- thanks for the heads up!!!
 
Well... got the jet pump off tonight, and still won’t budge.... I’m mean not a wiggle. And I and sure the shaft is not supposed to look like pic attached. not that it matters much, but the propeller looked good and that all seemed to be tight... so i guess it is decision time... the guy still says it was running when parked... so shouldn’t be from a failure, but I guess rust can be as bad, or worse.

DE33A7AF-E504-4540-8B0D-86BF8985D444.jpeg
18FD5A99-A3F4-48E6-89F3-94E7A3DCFDCF.jpeg
 
Well... got the jet pump off tonight, and still won’t budge.... I’m mean not a wiggle. And I and sure the shaft is not supposed to look like pic attached. not that it matters much, but the propeller looked good and that all seemed to be tight... so i guess it is decision time... the guy still says it was running when parked... so shouldn’t be from a failure, but I guess rust can be as bad, or worse.

View attachment 47815
View attachment 47816

The good news is that drive shaft will clean up nice under a wire wheel, the splines look fine. The bad news is at this point if the engine won't turn at all it's probably rusted solid, crankshaft, cylinders, etc. Pull the head off and have a look. Yes, decision time, rebuilding the engine, carbs, etc it'll bust $1000 in no time.
 
The good news is that drive shaft will clean up nice under a wire wheel, the splines look fine. The bad news is at this point if the engine won't turn at all it's probably rusted solid, crankshaft, cylinders, etc. Pull the head off and have a look. Yes, decision time, rebuilding the engine, carbs, etc it'll bust $1000 in no time.
Amen to that...BOAT = BREAK OUT ANOTHER THOUSAND
 
I hope you removed the clip/o-ring for the driveshaft seal before pulling the pump.
 
Ok- I’m back... I was going to start on the 92 XP first, Because I had at least seen it run, but after checking compression, one cylinder @ 90psi... so I figure if I’m going to dive into one, it will be this one..

First of all @mikidymac , I may have messed this up, I’m not sure if I did this correctly, or not. When I unbolted the pump, I did not apply much pressure at all, and the pump slid off the shaft. I did not feel a pop, or anything that felt like it was binding...where exactly, is that clip, and how bad am I messed up, if I did it wrong?

So on to the progress, and couple questions...(if I don’t learn that I killed it, by messing up the pump) I got the engine to break loose, rotating full 360 several times without any weird noises, or feeling like binding anywhere, so I decided to install the rear electrical Box I bought used, assembled. No power to gauges. Remember, I do not have key at the moment,so not sure how it is supposed to act. From what I have read, looks like even without a key, gauges should power up, when I hit the start/stop button... is this correct?
So, with no power, or key... nothing happened with switches... should it turn over at all, without key? Anyway, I jumped the solenoid, and starter engaged, and spins engine no problem.... checked compression, and was 145 on one, but like crazy high on the other... like bumping 200 high... i has sprayed with penetrating oil, so figure maybe that if the is extra fluid on top of piston... could cause high pressure? I immediately discharged gauge, and removed. I spun the engine over, with no plugs,several times through the day, to help get all fluid and funk off pistons... so we will see...

if I can get power to the gauges, and feel like electrical is working correctly. I guess I will go see about a key..
So one more question, on this horribly long post... the plug that goes into the top of the electrical box has a small black wire that comes off, outside the rubber boot... does this go to ground on battery?

Again- sorry for the long post....thanks for input!!

Jason
 
I think I can answer 2 of those questions

the plug that goes into the top of the electrical box has a small black wire that comes off, outside the rubber boot... does this go to ground on battery?

If it's the same as my SPX then yes, that short wire will go the negative battery terminal along with the larger black wire (so 2 wires on black, 1 on red). The engine will not start without the smaller one attached, but everything else will work including the gauges and the "beep beep" when you put the key on. We're talking about this guy, yes?

1595250552308.png
(photo not mine, just pulled from Google images)


When I unbolted the pump, I did not apply much pressure at all, and the pump slid off the shaft. I did not feel a pop, or anything that felt like it was binding...where exactly, is that clip, and how bad am I messed up, if I did it wrong?

Again, if it's the same as my SPX, then what you described would not have broken anything. I think what Miki was saying was that it's VERY difficult to get to the c-clip underneath the aluminum driveshaft seal without having the pump to hold the driveshaft in. When I did mine, I had to use an actual pry bar to push back the seal to see the c-clip underneath. If I didn't have my pump attached still, there's no way I would have been able to get to it.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Back
Top