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  1. #1
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    Hard starts...once and for all....

    In the collective opinion of the forum membership, is the only way to resove the hard start issue on a ten year old+ kaw triple is adding a primer system?

    Was the original design that poor that if the engine lost 10%, it would become hard to start?

    Who has the real details on the legendary recall for hard starting?

    While I don't like telling people to use a small squirt bottle..I hate the idea of fuel filled primer lines of questionable quality sitting in a hot hull all day long.

    Perhaps the reed blades lose flexibility as they age?

    there has to be a real answer here somewhere. Almost every triple coming in this season has primers installed in every conceivable configuration

    and they all have low compression too..( mostly around 100-105)

    I'll likely buy one so I can experiment on my own dime, but I'd be pretty popular around here if I could apply some real fix for this problem.

    Oh yeah, the ones without primers are coming in with blown exhaust hoses and half full cans of starter fluid in the forward holds.

    Here's my thinking.....

    on the CV carb front, obviously an emission setting issue as they had to be lean back in the day to pass epa..so there are no outside adjustments for mixture on a cv carb and messing around with anything there tends to have negative results.

    On the standard carb side there are some adjustments, but it's pretty clear there isn't anywhere enough mixture getting in there even with the choke full on which leads me to the bad reed theory.

    fuel pump?..well I don't believe so, and it's an expensive guess. They don't seem to go out much and the lack of rebuild kits is a game changer for that.

    In any case I'm off to fight with a couple of these today and a zxi with some kind of air leak..I'm going to have to get around to making some block off plates for it to pressure test the crankcases, even though I suspect it's leaking badly from the front or rear main seal.

    So, what say you?

    I wouldn't be against a primer if:

    1-it was solidly built with normal fuel lines totally isolated from the main system
    2-it had it's own reservoir for premix
    Last edited by K447; 06-18-2015 at 10:00 PM.


  2. #2
    xxx2's Avatar
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    If i remember correctly, the hole in the choke plates was too big. I would use a piece of fiberglass reed petal and epoxy it over the holes covering them completely. Used fiber/epoxy in case it ever broke loose (never did) the engine would chew it up and not cause damage, that was the theory anyway

  3. #3
    A real fix would be nice. I actually like the idea of using a small reservoir in the front compartment for premix, that way the whole system is standalone.

    The choke plate fix seems reasonable too. I'm going to take a good look at mine when I'm up at the lake in two weeks to see if anything jumps out at me. It would be nice if I can get it to start easy, especially considering the rest of the ski is in really nice shape.

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxx2 View Post
    ... the hole in the choke plates was too big...
    If this is indeed the problem cause, is there an alternate choke plate that could be swapped in?

    Might not need to do all the carbs, perhaps just one would be enough to get the engine to fire up.

  5. #5
    SplishSplash's Avatar
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    Well, my Ultra is 15 years old, fuel system wise I have had to replace the fuel pickup (sender failed), the fuel tank check valve( stuck closed), the fuel filter(just because) and one fuel pump(diaphragm failed)
    But in all those years, its never had a hard start issue, be it hot or cold, Cold (sat for more than a day) it starts within 10 seconds of cranking (normal) and if it had started at all that day then it starts instantly.
    So no, not all are hard to start, just most for some reason.

  6. #6
    GGG's Avatar
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    I had the same issue with a super jet even after a brand new carb (old one was corroded pretty bad). Covered the hole in the choke blade with my thumb and it started instantly. Seems like there isn't enough vacuum to pop the needle open. Maybe lowering the pop off could fix it as long as it doesn't end up making the ski too rich for no wake cruising

  7. #7
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    Great response fellas. I'll start on the zxi that is impossible by putting some paper tape over the choke plate holes to see if it will start then.

    The engine melted a piston ( ther owner tossed a new piston in there himself, then brought it back for the hard starting issue) I did find one of the needle fixing plugs had come loose ( on the center carb of course),,still didn't want to start, even with a hot battery.

    Personally I don't have a problem with the squeeze bottle method..but I gotta come up with something better-er then that for my customers.

    Couple of other tricks I have to apply for tomorrows test:

    close plug gap a little
    requisite trim of the plug leads

    just to even the playing field and all.


    this zxi actually has an outboard primer bulb installed inside the hull AND a hole drilled in the flame arrestor for the application of said squeeze bottle

    maybe restrict the fuel return line too.


    I have a few hours in the morning before it gets too hot to touch anything left outside..we're in the 100's this week

    so if you think of anything else to throw at the zxi, post it. This ski can be our test bed for hard start mania.

    On my list for this year is to solve this no matter what.

  8. #8
    yes I was skeptical of the quality too, but after one trip to the ramp and not being able to get the ski to start (partially due to the fact I forgot to tuen the fual tap on for the first 10 sec of cranking, and not long after that the battery was toast) I decided something had to be done, so I had a single primer fitted when new engine was installed.
    Now it starts within 1/2 second of cranking. I would class 10 seconds of cranking as very hard to start.
    I run premix but still have the oil tank installed so as to keep the sensor there and stop the warning, could use that I guess but don't see the point, still enough fuel in there to start a fire if there is a leak. I agree the clear fuel lines look suss, will change them out for motorbike style fuel hose one day.

    Ive never quite understood the hard starting issues... all 2 stroke bikes Ive had have always started first kick when cold. The only thing I put it down to was the requirement of vacuum to get fuel up to the carbs, kinda off subject, but do these carbs have a bowl overflow? and if so where does it go?

  9. #9
    maybe try a EGV series plug? or an iridium. Finer electrode may help
    Has anyone tried running BR7ES plugs?

  10. #10
    steve45's Avatar
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    Well, Peter, I must disagree about hard starting when cold. EVERY PWC engine I've had was what I consider hard to start when cold, even when brand new. I've purchased 3 JetSkis and one Yamaha twin-engine boat new. I've put primers in all of them, plus 7 of the 9 PWCs I've purchased used. The only problem I've had with the primer is the ethanol fuel eats up the O-rings in the plunger. This means that it needs to be replaced every season. Pre-ethanol primers lasted longer.

    Instead of cranking 10-30 seconds to get an engine to fire, mine now fire on the second revolution. The fuel is not pre-mix. Is that a problem? No. I don't recommend using ether for starting these engines because it burns hot and it has a tendency to wash away lubrication because people spray so much of it in the carbs to start with. Gasoline has some lubricating qualities. The engine normally has an oil coating on the internal parts, and at idle, the oil injection supplies a fuel/oil ratio of about 300:1--not much oil.

    As far as leaks, I always use brass fittings and polyurethane hose. I've never had a problem with them in many years of use.

    Since I started installing primers, I don't have to replace starters anymore.

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