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  1. #1

    Need help with an SL650

    I'm a first time poster, long time lurker. Here's my issue:

    I have two SL650s that I bought 2 years ago. They have run well since I purchased them. I bought them both for $2300.00 including the double trailer.

    I started reading this forum after I bought them. I don't consider myself super mechanical but I'm willing to attempt the basics. A previous owner must have been aware of the weak fuel pump issues, because they had rerouted the fuel line coming out of the single outlet pump, split it into two lines, and ran each line to tees between the three carburetors so each carb got the same amount of fuel even if the pump got weak. I left it that way since they both ran fine.

    Recently, I was riding one and rolled it. I didn't have the wrist strap on and it continued to run upside down (I know, stupid!). I immediately righted it (about 20 seconds upside down). It hasn't run right since.

    Knowing how susceptible these are to fuel issues, I assumed I may have loosened up some crud that got stuck in a carb jet. The throttle wouldn't respond well, but if I choked it would plane out and run fine at top end, but as soon as I let off the throttle, it would fall on its face and I'd have to choke it again.

    I thought maybe I could brake up the crud by running some carb cleaner through the system. During that process the ski was running at 3/4 throttle and then fell on it's face. I limped back to the dock on 2 cyl's. Again, I know, it was a series of poor decisions.

    At that point, I had my concerns I'd done major damage. I took the spark plug out of the PTO cylinder and there was no gap in the plug. I re-gapped the plug and reinstalled. I also went ahead and rebuilt the carbs and installed a triple outlet pump. In retrospect I'm not sure why I thought that would make much difference, I just wanted to be sure that wasn't an issue. Now when it starts up, all three cylinders fire, but flames can be seen in the carb throat of the PTO carb. I took the carbs back off and checked the reed petals hoping to find chipped petals that could be causing that. No such luck. The reed petals looked good.

    After reading some more posts, I'm fairly convinced I may have introduced water into the cylinder when it turned upside down and forced the crank out of phase. I'm not sure I'm mechanically savvy enough to perform the cylinder index check. Also, if that is the issue, I know I'm not capable of a rebuild myself.

    At this point I'm thinking I need to take it to someone who is familiar with these engines. My question is do any of the Ohio people know of any good service shops in the Central Ohio (Greater Columbus) area? Also does anyone have any idea about how much it will cost to have it repaired if the crank was forced out of phase? Any other thoughts you might have?

  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada

    The spark plug gap being pushed closed and the flames down the carburetor suggest the piston and/or connecting rod may be damaged. A mechanical inspection of the engine is suggested.

    Do you have access to a compression gauge? If yes, check cylinder compression, all spark plugs out, throttle held wide open. Each cylinder should be within 5% of the others, as a starting point.

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