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  1. #1

    New to Me 1998 GP 1200 - Not Starting After Multiple Runs - Help!!

    All- I wanted to start a new thread to seek help with a few issues I am experiencing. I recently picked up a 1998 GP 1200 with 220 hours and about 15 hours on a recent engine rebuild. I took the ski out for the first time last Saturday and the ski ran great for the short amount of time I was out for (about 40 minutes).

    I took the ski out again on Sunday and ran it for about 20 minutes solo with no issues, brought it back to the shore, killed the engine, and picked up a passenger. I started the ski back up, ran straight out into the lake at about 1/2 throttle, let off the throttle completely, and the ski stalled (for the first time). I attempted to re-start the ski and the starter didn't seem to engage, so I flagged down a passing boater and got towed to shore. Once back in shallow water I unloaded my passenger and tried to start the ski again. The ski started right up with a little throttle and I took it out solo for another 30 minutes.

    I returned back to the shore again and picked up another passenger. A similar issue occurred when I riding with the passenger at about 1/2 throttle (riding pretty conservatively with both passengers), let off the throttle completely, and the ski stalled (for the second time). This time with the passenger still on, I pressed the starter and the ski started up with a bit of throttle. Rode for about 15 more minutes with the passenger and then brought her back to shore. I then fired the ski up again and went out solo. Rode for about an hour pretty aggressively with no issues (the ski ran well and hit 53 MPH on the GPS on fairly rough chop) before picking up the first passenger again. We then rode for another 40 minutes without any issues, brought the ski back to shore, trailered it, and brought it home. For the last two rides on Sunday the throttle was varied greatly (idle to full and every point in-between) with no issues. The ski even sat/idled at the proper level when pacing the shore waiting for the ramp to clear out.

    When I got home, I attempted to start the ski (hose off) and the starter/ski produced a single 'click' when the starter button was depressed. The gauge read 'START' when the mode button was pressed. I checked the battery and the voltage read 12.5. I put the battery on a tender overnight and the voltage reading increased to 12.9. I put the battery back in the ski and attempted to start again. The same single 'click' was heard.

    I then held the starter button for a few seconds and a bit of white smoke came from beneath the engine towards the front of the hull. I ordered a new starter and starter relay and plan to drop the ski off at with a mechanic this week. I was originally hopeful that my issue was specific to the starter and/or relay and that replacing both would solve the problem, however after (hopefully) overthinking this and reading through wayyy too many threads, I am fearful that the stalls might have been engine seizes and that my issue(s) could be far worse.

    The ski still has the oil pump and I did not notice any oil in the hull (about a cup or two of clear water).

    Please let me know if you have any input/advice!!! This is my first PWC and I am really hopefully I didn't just end up with a big issue

  2. #2
    I am scheduled to drop the ski off at a mechanic to be diagnosed this Thursday. Anyone think that this could be something minor or is the worst case scenario likely? I am going to try to remove the rubber cover and turn the drive shaft by hand tonight to check for seizure.

  3. #3
    Just wanted to add some additional color here as I had a chance to take a closer look at the ski. I verified that all oil lines from the oil pump to each cylinder are attached and that there is no oil spillage from the lines. I also pulled each spark plug and all have the same gap with no metal fragments. From what i can see, the tops of each piston look clean as well.

    I unfortunately do not have the right size socket on hand to remove the rubber drive shaft cover, so I was not able to manually turn the engine over. Any thoughts?

  4. #4
    Myself's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    North Central Arkansas
    It certainly sounds like the starter is bad BUT, it could just be a bad solenoid or bad wiring connection.

  5. #5
    butterbean_29512's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Bennettsville, SC
    Sounds like it could be a loose connection. If you can twist the wire it is loose. From what I understand you have to remove the exhaust to access the starter, so it is PITA to get the starter off. If you have already bought it.....might as well change it, unless you are tight on funds.

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