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  1. #1

    2014 Yamaha FZS SVHO Another Timing Chain Failure

    I thought I would share my story here as I am now part of the Yamaha SVHO snapped timing chain failure club. Since my timing chain broke back on 04/01/2016, I have discovered that this defect is well known to Yamaha but they are going out of their way to do whatever it takes to admit fault and enact a recall. This is unacceptable as I have discovered first hand that this timing chain defect is not only an expensive problem, it is a potentially dangerous one as well as both myself and my wife were injured when our FZS waverunner suffered a catastrophic timing chain failure at high rpm while traveling in excess of 60mph. The chain snapped right as we were crossing a moderate sized boat wake and a 45 degree angle. The resultant decelleration caused both myself and my wife to be violently thrown from the waverunner. Our injuries weren't life threatening, but months later they still have not fully healed. Now our circumstances were complicated by the boat wake, but I still feel this is serious enough that Yamaha should have sent all SVHO owners a written notification to be cautious due to possibility of timing chain snapping at high speed. What if I would have had a small child on the back?

    Right after I got home after this failed timing chain, I read on the internet about this same thing happening to dozens of other svho owners, one of them was also injured by the deceleration like myself. Some people who owned two or three svho powered jetskiis had multiple timing chain failures, and very few svho owners seem to have had their engines last past 150 hours before failure, with most failing like mine at less than 55 hours. My skii was pristine and serviced by the book. I could not have treated the machine any more carefully had it been made of solid gold. Yet it broke, sending both myself and my wife flying at 60mph. Here is a quote from Kevin Shaw from an article on the Watercraft Journal: In regards to the timing chain and supercharger issues that some SVHO owners are encountering, that is a matter that Yamaha’s legal department is addressing rather quietly and would like anything but the media to get involved (particularly considering all the grief they’ve just weathered over the Rhino class action lawsuits).Trust me, Yamaha is fully aware of the issue and is speedily working to find a solution that will satisfy all parties. Whether a recall is issued at all, or Yamaha makes an announcement through media channels or through a letter issued through each owner’s respective dealerships remains to be seen."

    Now...what does one do when this timing chain fails, as most will? Well for starters, do not let them rebuilt your engine...if under warranty. If they just restore the SVHO engine to the 2014 or 2015 design, it will fail again, as many other Yamaha owners have experienced on this very forum. No, you need your engine updated to the 2016 model, where they completely redesigned the new timing chain assembly. There is another issue as well, and that is if your engine fails in saltwater as mine did. with a broken timing chain, you cannot properly flush the engine and the engine will likely be further damaged from the salt. Fortunately my engine was so far gone that the salt damage was a non issue. However, Yamaha did send the dealer engine components to rebuild my engine rather than an entire brand new engine ready to go. By doing so, they delayed the repair process to such a degree that my entire riding season was lost! Further this kit they send did not include head studs and you cannot reuse the old ones due to stretch. So with myriad minor issues not addressed by Yamaha, something that could have been repaired in weeks has taken an entire summer and spring. And thus this was the insult that was added to the actual physical injury.

    Now, I am finally nearing the end of the tunnel, but the recent light at the exit was eclipsed by yet another ridiculous and inexcusable delay...evidently this new engine needs some sort of specialized puller that is so hard to get ahold of one, my dealership says that it is going to delay things up to another month or even two. The tool is on backorder and there is none in the whole country available!!! Really? And this is on top of a long line of previous delays....like when they finally realized that they should probably change out the badly corroded parts (I couldn't flush my engine due to broken chain) before slapping my engine back together.....they were initially just going to change broken parts and leave the corrosion.

    I have been dealing with the Yamaha Customer Care department directly this whole time. I can only imagine how much less progress I would have made if all of this was being done by the dealer without me constantly inputting energy to overcome the exasperating inertia and bureaucratic nonsense. I am just lucky I purchased the extended warranty as this repair would be costing in excess of 10,000 dollars had I not been covered. Yamaha should be treating this whole thing like the safety issue that it is. While my case of getting bucked at 60mph might be extreme, water is still pretty hard to impact at any significant speed. I hope this information helps someone as this process has been a long and painful learning experience.








  2. #2
    patsan's Avatar
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    That really stinks! I'm glad you and your wife weren't hurt badly. That's terrible to loose all that time getting the repair.

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    April fools

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    YoYamma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speak2joe View Post
    ...very few svho owners seem to have had their engines last past 150 hours before failure, with most failing like mine at less than 55 hours.


    Quote Originally Posted by speak2joe View Post
    If they just restore the SVHO engine to the 2014 or 2015 design, it will fail again, as many other Yamaha owners have experienced on this very forum.


    These failures have not been as widespread as you indicate, but I can see you are now busy dredging up the old threads anyway...

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    ptscon's Avatar
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    Welcome to the <1% club.

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    Things break that's why there is a warranty. I'm quite sure Yamaha paid any out of pocket expenses your medical insurance didn't cover. Everything is fixed, everyone is fine, bills are paid. I don't understand the soapbox.

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    ptscon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riick370 View Post
    Things break that's why there is a warranty. I'm quite sure Yamaha paid any out of pocket expenses your medical insurance didn't cover. Everything is fixed, everyone is fine, bills are paid. I don't understand the soapbox.

    Everything is fine? They got hurt when it failed, missed that part eh?

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    YoYamma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptscon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by riick370 View Post
    Things break that's why there is a warranty. I'm quite sure Yamaha paid any out of pocket expenses your medical insurance didn't cover. Everything is fixed, everyone is fine, bills are paid. I don't understand the soapbox.

    Everything is fine? They got hurt when it failed, missed that part eh?
    Or maybe they hit that wake a little too fast like thousands of other PWC riders have done, you weren't there. Why is it when we get one of these mystery members with 2 or 3 posts on here complaining about timing chains, you always seem to magically show up and start trolling?

  9. #9
    ptscon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YoYamma View Post
    Or maybe they hit that wake a little too fast like thousands of other PWC riders have done, you weren't there. Why is it when we get one of these mystery members with 2 or 3 posts on here complaining about timing chains, you always seem to magically show up and start trolling?

    It's fun to watch all the excuses that yamaha boys come up with on this non-issue

  10. #10
    YoYamma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptscon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by YoYamma View Post
    Or maybe they hit that wake a little too fast like thousands of other PWC riders have done, you weren't there. Why is it when we get one of these mystery members with 2 or 3 posts on here complaining about timing chains, you always seem to magically show up and start trolling?
    It's fun to watch all the excuses that yamaha boys come up with on this non-issue
    Like I said, troll.

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