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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Rochester, NY

    SLTX - hard start, low idle, 5200 rpm max -Solved

    I bought a pair of SLTX skis end of July. 1996 with 54 hours and 1998 with 34.5 hours. Carbs and plugs were done last year (claimed spent 500 for carb work - diaphragms etc). They have been running great @55 mph max. The wifes ski is the 1998. Last weekend we think she ran out of gas - we took a can to her and put @ 1/2 gallon in and it took a little and before starting and that was pretty much our day as we were getting ready to quit soon. On the way to the lake yesterday both skis took @ 14.75 gallons. She complained about how hard is was to start but she had complained of that some before. Both seemed to need a couple minutes of warm up and some choking when cold and gas off starts.

    Yesterday she said it seemed a bit boggy. My cousin said the same today. I drove it for the first time, ever, and it was quite hard to start and took a lot of adjusting the choke and would die out a number of times before I got it running. Once running it seemed to be ok except maybe not as fast off the line and would only go 37 mph and @5200 rpms. A little later extremely hard to start and keep runniing. I noticed rpms at idle was just a bit over 700 and would ofetn cut out with initial acceleration but once running would max at 37 and @5200 again. My 96 would just pull away from it.

    Plugs look fine clean with a slight tan, 1 & 3 had slightly different plugs from the center which was stock bpr8es - I think the others were something like br8es - same reach but a more protected (not as extended)electrode. I replaced those with 2 bpr8es that I had with no change in performance - once I got it started. While trying to start it on time that it took extremely long as it kept stalling the HOT light started flashing but once it started and got good water flow that stopped. To keep it running it seemd that I had to leave it at 1/2 choke for quite a bit.
    The fuel seperator was clean with no water.

    Her fuel guage has not worked since we got them. She now has 44 + hours on it. I think it has grey fuel lines. It achieved 55 mph all the times out before runniing out of gas last week.

    I didn't and can't check more until next week as we left them at the lake due to a radiator problem with the truck. Rough day.

    Any help or suggestions are greatly needed and appreciated. She is quite worried about her ski but knows I can fix about anything.

    I am thinking fuel issue but have read some things that may suggest the jet pump. With the hard starting, low idle, low max speed and rpms I keep thinking fuel issues has got to be it. I was planning on changing the fuel lines over the winter.
    Last edited by ralt33; 06-20-2010 at 09:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canadia
    I would be concerned about engine damage from the weak fuel system. These engines do NOT like to be run hard when the fuel system is not up to par.

    Check compression, and have a look at the piston tops through the spark plug holes. A tiny flashlight with a flex stalk really helps. If you see a shallow crater in a piston top, that is not good.

    It is very possible that those old fuel lines have clogged up the carburetors.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Rochester, NY

    New info -pump gasket issue?

    The guy I bought the skis from said he had the carbs rebuilt the prior year. I don't believe he ran them on the water after that. The 98 did seem a little harder to start that the 96 after a few outings but we had no discernible issue until after it ran out of gas.
    I finally took the carbs off. I am going to replace the lines even though they look good -no gunk or breakdown. I checked the needles and seats they look good with no wear. Internal screens have little or no debris. I have not done a compression test yet but plugs and pistons visually look good and the same.

    What I have found is the fuel pump gasket assembly on the mag carb was wrong - they diaphragm was against the carb body, not sandwiched between the gasket and the o ring type that fits in the grooves on the pump housing. The rear carb had some gas present and the mag one had none.

    Could this be my issue?

  4. #4

    running dry

    probably sucked up crud from bottom of tank remvoe carbs clean fiters. good poss. fix

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2009
    kalskag, alaska, USA
    i think you might have messed up your rings, stick your finger on the spark plug hole and kick it over a few times, it should blow past your finger pretty hard, if you need a reference use your skis compression as a start.
    but running it out of gas could have created a lean condition where there was a loss of oil being transfered to the rings and cylinders with out the gas to act as a carrier. in short no gas, no oil, no oil is not good
    good luck though, you could also change fuel parts from yours to hers if they are the same to trouble shoot

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Rochester, NY


    Couldn't find my compression tester (BIL?) but cylinder #3 only had about 2/3rds compression of the other 2. 2 cylinder head bolts heads broken off and between them, I discovered on removal, had hot gases blowing by and actually melted some of the head and half the o ring was gone. I bought a head for under $29, o-ring for the head and 2 new bolts at almost $13 each. The wife's ski runs like a champ again. She is happy. My daughter and sister both claim they saw over 60 on the spedo. I know BIL and my self were doing comparable speeds 55-57 mph per speedo (prior owner ticketed once for 54.5 mph).
    The rear seat handle broke off my 96 today so now I need to find one of those.... I need to refinish the bottoms of 4 sailboats for the younger kids by the 4th.

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