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RyanH

New Member
Messages
12
Likes
1
Water Crafts
1998 Seadoo XP Limited and 1996 Seadoo XP
#1
I recently purchased a 98 xp limited about 3 months ago. It ran great and only had 54 hours on it. I cleaned it and put it up for a couple weeks only to come back to it not starting. I bought a brand new battery checked all the wires and all it does is make a clicking sound at the solenoid. I checked it with a tester and tried bypassing it but still nothing. Is it the starter or possibly something else I haven’t checked? Any help would be greatly appreciated I’m new to owning a pwc so I can admit I don’t know much about them.
 


GGuillot

Well-Known Member
Messages
873
Likes
127
Location
Alabama
Water Crafts
1997 GTX
1996 GSX
#2
I recently purchased a 98 xp limited about 3 months ago. It ran great and only had 54 hours on it. I cleaned it and put it up for a couple weeks only to come back to it not starting. I bought a brand new battery checked all the wires and all it does is make a clicking sound at the solenoid. I checked it with a tester and tried bypassing it but still nothing. Is it the starter or possibly something else I haven’t checked? Any help would be greatly appreciated I’m new to owning a pwc so I can admit I don’t know much about them.
When you came back a couple weeks later and it had the problem not starting is this when you acquired a new battery? or before then? And if you did get a new battery at this point a couple weeks later did you give it a full charge first?

Just trying to nail down the sequence of events, because it's not uncommon for the battery to die on the ski after it's been sitting a couple weeks, and it's not uncommon to get a new battery that doesn't have a full charge on it.
 

RyanH

New Member
Messages
12
Likes
1
Water Crafts
1998 Seadoo XP Limited and 1996 Seadoo XP
#3
I bought the battery fully charged it and then put it in. I tested it as well to make sure it had enough power. Iv honestly read and learned a lot from this forum and decided to join
 
Messages
137
Likes
18
Location
CO
Water Crafts
95 XP720 +3mm Bore
95 GTX657x +1mm Bore
#4
You could try to jump the solenoid and see if the starter cranks over. The solenoid could have just been on its last leg.

The same goes with the starter. Could just have worn out the brushes and in need of a rebuild.

You also need to check the battery cables they will rot ok the inside and even though they look fine on the outside might not be making a good connection anymore

If you try to spin the pto by hand does it move freely? I personally would suggest doing a compression test just to make sure your not looking at some much deeper problem.

Also when you put the ski up did you make sure to start it and blow the water that was in it from the last ride out?
 

RyanH

New Member
Messages
12
Likes
1
Water Crafts
1998 Seadoo XP Limited and 1996 Seadoo XP
#5
When I put it up I did the usual I flushed it out with the hose disconnected it and let it run almost 1 minute 45 seconds with the water turned off. It has compression and when I jump the solenoid holding the start bottom the screwdriver turn red and sparks but the starter does nothing.
 

GGuillot

Well-Known Member
Messages
873
Likes
127
Location
Alabama
Water Crafts
1997 GTX
1996 GSX
#6
When I put it up I did the usual I flushed it out with the hose disconnected it and let it run almost 1 minute 45 seconds with the water turned off. It has compression and when I jump the solenoid holding the start bottom the screwdriver turn red and sparks but the starter does nothing.
As suggested above, try to turn the engine by hand at the PTO. BTW - running it 1 min 45 seconds with no water running through it is way too long. Water off, blip the throttle a few times to clear out the exhaust, then shut it off, no more than 15 to 30 seconds.
 

RyanH

New Member
Messages
12
Likes
1
Water Crafts
1998 Seadoo XP Limited and 1996 Seadoo XP
#7
It turns but I gotta take out the spark plugs because the compression and I got it greased up really good. I’m gonna see if the starter tries to turn the motor over without the spark plugs. That won’t mess it up or anything will it? And I greatly appreciate the advice and will make sure I do that next time I take them out.
 
Messages
137
Likes
18
Location
CO
Water Crafts
95 XP720 +3mm Bore
95 GTX657x +1mm Bore
#8
Well if the PTO is spinning freely at least your not looking at a seized crank. A compression test would be the next thing to check, but I understand this is not an easy thing to do when the starter won't turn the motor over lol.

I would say your next best step would be to pull the top off the motor and look down into the cylinders and confirm that the pistons, rings, and cylinders are still in decent shape.

other than that the next thing you could do to troubleshoot the issue is to remove the starter and connect it to a battery to see if its actually functioning correctly. This isn't a great test because a lot of times the starter can "look" like its in working order, but actually not be.

The best thing you can do otherwise is to disassemble the starter. its likely that the brushes are beat and need to be replaced.

here is a picture of starter brushes. The red one is old and the black is new. *This is not the same starter that will be in your ski just the best I could do on short notice* The brushes in your ski are a little different shape, but you get the idea. it's just a piece of metal that wears down over time.

1568747877552.png
They are very easy to replace and only cost around $20. Even if this turns out not to be your problem it won't have been a waste of time. Once you replace the brushes the starter will once again kick like a mule.

Heres a link to someone tearing apart a Seadoo starter. The biggest thing to worry about is to mark the housing so when you put it back together you know it's going together correctly. If you assemble it in reverse of the way it's supposed to be the starter will work, but it will spin the opposite direction.

Also for the cost of a new solenoid, it might be worth just purchasing one and throwing it in to see if that does anything for you. They are cheap and unlike the starter non-OEM is fine for the solenoid
 

RyanH

New Member
Messages
12
Likes
1
Water Crafts
1998 Seadoo XP Limited and 1996 Seadoo XP
#9
What’s the easiest way to get to the starter if you don’t mind me asking? I believe your right and the starter needs rebuilt. I tested everything and it’s getting the correct amount of amps but the starter is the only thing that isn’t responding.
 
Messages
137
Likes
18
Location
CO
Water Crafts
95 XP720 +3mm Bore
95 GTX657x +1mm Bore
#10
Ive never personally worked on that year of XP so I am not sure exactly how the hull is laid out. In my 95 I have to use both my 1/2" extension which equal about 14 inches and a 13mm deep socket. I can then reach around the side of the motor and guide the extension to the bolt. The biggest thing is to be very cautious when getting close to the end of the threads and making sure to use the hand that guided the extension in to keep the bolt in the socket as you pull it out.

Removal is actually pretty easy its re-installing that can be a pain in the ass. From my experience the more you have to do this the easier it gets though.

Sidenote: Please heed my suggestion about pulling the top off and inspecting the cylinders and pistons. When I had a similar issue I rebuilt the starter and threw it back in and started cranking away. This most certainly caused a significant amount of more damage to the cylinders and pistons then there was. Ultimately ended with me needing a full engine rebuild instead of a bottom end rebuild
 

RyanH

New Member
Messages
12
Likes
1
Water Crafts
1998 Seadoo XP Limited and 1996 Seadoo XP
#11
I checked the cylinder and the look good besides the crack on the valve cover I had to fill and fix. I removed the intake and everything else to access the starter. One bolt came out fine and then I found what I believe is the problem. The previous owner stripped the bottom bolt so I I’m gonna have to find a way to get it out or I will have to pill the motor. I have a new starter I purchased from a junkyard for 5 dollars thanks to your information I successfully rebuilt it and fully tested it. Thank you so much for your input! Any other pointers on the situation?
 
Messages
137
Likes
18
Location
CO
Water Crafts
95 XP720 +3mm Bore
95 GTX657x +1mm Bore
#12
The head of the bolt is stripped? The best thing I can suggest is to get a set of these and go back to the junk yard and get the bolt to replace it
 
Messages
48
Likes
0
Location
Crawfordville, FL
Water Crafts
21' center console Mako
15' Ghennoe
2 kayaks
9' Dyer sailing/rowing dinghy
Milimeter sailboat
#13
I believe the problem is your battery and the clicking of the solenoid is due to low battery voltage, not all these esoteric things mentioned above.
Have you measured the battery voltage recently? Did you try and start the ski with a good, fully charged battery via jumper cables?
If you got a new AGM battery, even though the guy in the store tells you it's fully charged and ready to go, you must take it upon yourself and charge it up to make sure. An AGM will prematurely fail after only one or two engine starts if it's not fully charged to begin with, and then you are back at the store getting a new replacement. This is not only from me and personal experience, but from Yuasa, and if you bother to read the instructional booklet that comes with all new batteries, there is a warning to make sure it is fully charged before first use. I bet your brand new battery is toast, and the way to prove it is to fully charge it up and then get it load tested. Any dealer or batter seller will do this for free, because they want you to buy a new one. Take it back to where you got it and have them charge it then load test it.
 
Messages
137
Likes
18
Location
CO
Water Crafts
95 XP720 +3mm Bore
95 GTX657x +1mm Bore
#14
I bought a brand new battery checked all the wires and all it does is make a clicking sound at the solenoid. I checked it with a tester
the battery is definitely a possibility, but it doesn't rule out that the starter or solenoid on a 20-year-old machine may have gone out.. not sure what is esoteric about these very basic things that have turned out to be an issue for people 1000's of times. search these forums for "starter clicking" and you will find a ton of posts where it turned out that people just needed new brushes in a starter
 
Messages
48
Likes
0
Location
Crawfordville, FL
Water Crafts
21' center console Mako
15' Ghennoe
2 kayaks
9' Dyer sailing/rowing dinghy
Milimeter sailboat
#15
All I'm suggesting is to start at the beginning and check the battery as that is the first place the problem can be, new battery or not.
And, remember, do not attempt to charge the battery hooked up, you have to disconnect it first or you will blow the MPEM computer and have a much bigger, more expensive problem.
 

RyanH

New Member
Messages
12
Likes
1
Water Crafts
1998 Seadoo XP Limited and 1996 Seadoo XP
#16
It isn’t the battery Iv tested it multiple times with my fluke tester. So to get to the starter I had to remove the Exhaust, the oil reservoir, and the intake assembly. Come to find out both top and bottom bolts are completely seized to the motor. Neither top nor bottom will move at all period. Looks as if I’m gonna have to pull the entire motor to try and drill and tap the bolts. Absolute nightmare
 
Messages
48
Likes
0
Location
Crawfordville, FL
Water Crafts
21' center console Mako
15' Ghennoe
2 kayaks
9' Dyer sailing/rowing dinghy
Milimeter sailboat
#17
Not to be a hardass but you are going all the way to the end of the line to solve a problem that could be anywhere in the line leading up to that. It could be the starter but before you go to all the trouble of removing it, check everything leading up to there first.
You jumped the high amp terminals on the solenoid and the starter did not turn, so the solenoid is probably OK.
Did you try and jump straight to the starter with a good 12v source to see if it turns and spins over the engine? That checks the starter. If that works, then you could apply voltage to the high amp starter cable at the solenoid to see if the connection is corroded at that spot or at the starter not letting enough amps through to the starter. Check for corossion at all the connections, Pos and Neg. If that's not a problem, then it could be the starter itself.
And why do you think a solenoid just clicks?
Tell me how you are checking the battery, what the voltage reads, at rest, and when you hit the start button. If the voltage drops a few V after you try and start it, how long does it take to revert back to resting voltage?
A fully charged battery reads 12.6-12.8v at rest. And battery voltage may not reflect the charge capacity of the battery, it can still be partially depleted and read "norminal" voltage, but not have enough capacity to turn over the engine.
Just trying to make sure you eliminate easy things before you rip your whole engine out.
 
Last edited:
Messages
137
Likes
18
Location
CO
Water Crafts
95 XP720 +3mm Bore
95 GTX657x +1mm Bore
#18
get a can of PB blaster and soak let it soak on the bolts for a day or two.
 

RyanH

New Member
Messages
12
Likes
1
Water Crafts
1998 Seadoo XP Limited and 1996 Seadoo XP
#19
It’s the starter. It has a dead short. When I hooked a battery straight to it didn’t do anything but throw sparks. Unfortunately it’s too late for pb blasting. One bolt is completely stripped to where I can’t even get an extractor in it. The other broke off clean right at the head of it. It’s turned into a major headache
 
Messages
48
Likes
0
Location
Crawfordville, FL
Water Crafts
21' center console Mako
15' Ghennoe
2 kayaks
9' Dyer sailing/rowing dinghy
Milimeter sailboat
#20
Well that truly sucks.
Do you know if it was ever flooded? If the hull had water in it and the starter was under water?
Are you going to try and drill the bolts out and retap it, or are you going to pull the engine and bring it to a machine shop and have them do it?
 

RyanH

New Member
Messages
12
Likes
1
Water Crafts
1998 Seadoo XP Limited and 1996 Seadoo XP
#21
I’m gonna pull the motor and try to do it myself. It’s gotta come out in order to have room to drill it. I don’t know if a machine shop around here that would do it.
 
Messages
137
Likes
18
Location
CO
Water Crafts
95 XP720 +3mm Bore
95 GTX657x +1mm Bore
#22
Get a quote on the machine shop tapping it. I've tried to tap new threads into the mag cover before and it was damn near impossible with a basic tap set. The aluminum is too soft and of you can't keep constant pressure on it and keep it perfectly straight you will just tare the new threads out when your hand wiggles a little bit.

When I tried I ultimatley gave up and ordered a replacement mag cover

Also consider that the bolts are supposed to be aluminum so before you tap it for a new threading make sure you have the bolts and know the size you want
 

RyanH

New Member
Messages
12
Likes
1
Water Crafts
1998 Seadoo XP Limited and 1996 Seadoo XP
#23
After pulling the motor I found that the problem. had to cut the starter completely off the motor only to find the part that inserts with the seals had broken completely off. When I got that out used pb blaster and soaked the last quarter inch of the remaining bolt. got them out now and have the new starter bolted up. I’m gonna be putting the rest of the hoses and plugs tomorrow so I’ll let you know how it goes.
 

RyanH

New Member
Messages
12
Likes
1
Water Crafts
1998 Seadoo XP Limited and 1996 Seadoo XP
#25
Got everything together to. It fired right up no problem. Thank you so very much for all your help. I’ll finally be able to head to the water next weekend thanks to your help. So glad I joined this forum and would advise any ski owner to join. Can’t thank you enough
 

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