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  1. #1

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    May 2015
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    New to Me 1998 GP 1200 - Questions on Throttle Sticking, Water in Hull

    Hey all- I have been lurking the forums for the past couple of weeks looking for advice/info on a few skis- this forum is a great resource!!

    This week I ended up snagging a 1998 GP 1200 in decent condition with 220 hours that had an engine rebuild last year at 210 hours (new carbs, new pistons, bored cylinder heads, etc.) and had new fiberglass applied to the hull with a fresh gel coat as well. The ski runs well (as far as I can tell) after it gets started the first time. As many here have stated- it is a PIA to get started for the first use of the day without a primer kit (already ordered). The ski was a decent deal as well relative to the high seasonal prices in my area (Massachusetts) and I ended up getting the ski, Yamaha cover, and a nice trailer for $1300 (not bad compared to the $1600+ engine rebuild receipt the seller provided!).

    Yesterday I had the ski running on the trailer (started it up, let it run for a few seconds, turned the hose on) and once I gave throttle the ski would frequently hold the throttle position and sometimes rev beyond it to the point I needed to kill it. The throttle cable mechanism is fine, so from what I gather here the throttle plate bushing is the issue. Despite the throttle issue, I ended up taking the ski to the lake that afternoon (my first run on the ski) and it ran completely fine- multiple starts and stops, sitting, and running for long periods of time with varied throttle with zero sticking and an immediate return to idle after letting off the throttle. Should I be concerned here? Seems the issues only occurs without load.

    After riding for about an hour I also noticed a bit of water in the hull. Both drain plugs have new washers and were closed. There was probably about a cup and a half of water in total (collected with a shop vac). Should I be concerned here as well or is a little water to be expected? Also none of the water in the hull was exiting through the drain plugs- how high does the water level in the hull need to be for those to be effective? I want to make sure the plugs are not clogged somewhere.

    Just as a general question, should I be taking it easy with the ski given its age or is it fine to throw it around, hit the occasional wave, and have some fun with it?

    Thanks in advanced for any help here! I am completely new to skis and want to make sure I am going about this the right way.


  2. #2

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    May 2015
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    Adding another question to my thread! I took the ski out again yesterday and used a GPS to track distance traveled and top speed. The ski ran great and topped out at 53 MPH (GPS indicated) on rough chop at neutral trim and traveled 22 miles.

    I did have one stall when I ran straight out into the lake and let off the throttle- I am guessing water back flowed into the exhaust? The ski ran fine after I started it again (for another 45 mins of riding before taking it in).

    However when I got home and attempted to start the ski (to flush out any water) the starter/solenoid just clicks once when the starter button is pushed and does not engage. The battery is new and the starter had cranked strong every time I pressed the starter button before this. Any thoughts here? I'll get a voltmeter and check all connections in the meantime.

  3. #3
    theprophet's Avatar
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    May 2013
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    welcome to the forums...as far as the throttle sticking issue, with a recent rebuild and the engine over revving/idle not settling down with no load, it could be a small air leak (very bad on a two stroke)- i ran into the same issue after reusing intake base gaskets...the issue of the throttle shafts binding in the carbs usually gets worse once the carbs get heated up...unhook the cable and try moving the throttles by hand on the carbs, they should be pretty smooth and 'snap' back to their return position...

    a SMALL amount of water in the hull is pretty normal for the GP and GPR hull from what ive read on here

  4. #4

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    May 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by theprophet View Post
    welcome to the forums...as far as the throttle sticking issue, with a recent rebuild and the engine over revving/idle not settling down with no load, it could be a small air leak (very bad on a two stroke)- i ran into the same issue after reusing intake base gaskets...the issue of the throttle shafts binding in the carbs usually gets worse once the carbs get heated up...unhook the cable and try moving the throttles by hand on the carbs, they should be pretty smooth and 'snap' back to their return position...

    a SMALL amount of water in the hull is pretty normal for the GP and GPR hull from what ive read on here
    Thank you for your reply. I'll check around for air leaks and try to manipulate the throttles. Wouldn't an air leak cause the issue in the water as well as on land?

    Regarding my second question, I just checked my battery and it read 12.5 volts. Shouldn't that be enough to engage the starter? It's odd that the starter and ski worked fine both days out and right after taking the ski out from water the starter stopped engaging (just clicks once now while holding the start button). Any thoughts here?

  5. #5
    Huntersthmsn74's Avatar
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    Apr 2015
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    Naples, FL
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    You have a dead starter. You can ebay one for like $43 shipped to home. Its kind of PITA to get out, but its just two bolts holding it to the engine (not the tiny ones on the back of the starter, they are a little further up. 12mm i believe and you need a 3in extension to get them out, and dont drop them lol maybe put a towel under them just in case) I am having the same issue with sticky throttle. I used a return spring but its still really slow to return when its warm, so this winter I will pull the carbs again and sand down the pins that hold the butterflys.

  6. #6
    I had "sticky throttle" on mine , one of the butterfly shafts had become tight, the little plastic sleeve they go through was full of crap. Plus check if the problem is not coming from the oil pump. The throttle cable extends to the oil pump, so if that is sticking , it will reflect in the throttle actions.

    As for water - totally expected, however , firstly when it is next in the water , check your water level , then leave the ski alone , free floating (anchored) for half an hour , then recheck the level - if it has risen , the you have ingress from somewhere.

    Battery - a healthy battery will read

    100% 12.7 - 13.2
    75% 12.4
    50% 12.2
    25% 12.0
    Discharged 0 - 11.9 - at this time and if this low - it is FUBAR. the plates are probably touching or it too discharged to ever charge properly again - get a new one.

    With the engine running - you should be seeing 13.3 to 13.8 volts.

    If your getting what sounds like a demented bumblebee from the electric box when pressing the starter button - the battery is too low or starter/relay is fubar.

  7. #7
    Mine does the same thing. If I reach down and push the linkage back at the carbs, it settles down. Maybe the linkage isn't adjusted properly?? help

  8. #8

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    May 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vifferrider View Post
    I had "sticky throttle" on mine , one of the butterfly shafts had become tight, the little plastic sleeve they go through was full of crap. Plus check if the problem is not coming from the oil pump. The throttle cable extends to the oil pump, so if that is sticking , it will reflect in the throttle actions.

    As for water - totally expected, however , firstly when it is next in the water , check your water level , then leave the ski alone , free floating (anchored) for half an hour , then recheck the level - if it has risen , the you have ingress from somewhere.

    Battery - a healthy battery will read

    100% 12.7 - 13.2
    75% 12.4
    50% 12.2
    25% 12.0
    Discharged 0 - 11.9 - at this time and if this low - it is FUBAR. the plates are probably touching or it too discharged to ever charge properly again - get a new one.

    With the engine running - you should be seeing 13.3 to 13.8 volts.

    If your getting what sounds like a demented bumblebee from the electric box when pressing the starter button - the battery is too low or starter/relay is fubar.
    Thank you for the information here. I put the battery on a tender and it's reading ~12.9 volts now. After charging the battery I reinstalled it in the ski and tried to start it- same issue occurred with a single click and no starter engagement. I held the starter button for a few seconds and a bit of smoke appeared from the starter area- so I definitely think it is fried (at least now it is ).

    I ordered a starter and starter relay from eBay and will have my local shop install them when they come in. Hopefully this remedies the issue!!

    Can anyone here chime in on my experience with the ski stalling? I rode the ski straight out into the lake at medium throttle, let go of the throttle (completely), and the ski stalled. This actually occurred twice under similar circumstances- both times were riding two up under low to medium throttle and the stales occurred when the throttle was let off completely after moving. Otherwise the ski ran perfectly fine for hours after both stalls. Could the back flow of water when the ski is coming to a stop be blocking the exhaust outflow? I'd imagine riding two up compounds the issue given that the ski/exhaust sits lower in the water.

    Thanks again!!

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