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  1. #1

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    Electric or fuel issue - after replacing stator

    Hey guys. Interesting mystery I'm looking for help on. (1996 SLX 780).

    My ski ran perfectly (strong acceleration, 58+ MPH). Then a friend rolled it and it filled up with water. He hadn't secured the battery and electrical box, so the black (ground) wire from the stator to the box completely shorted (in the water) and fried. The wire got so hot that it completely melted and took out half the other wires. I was not there to witness this, so I'm only going by what I can see after the fact.

    I found a stator from a 1996 SL 780 which I'm told is a perfect match (can someone verify?). I had it installed and the ski fired up right away (success?). I took it out on the water, ran it slowly, then after about 20 seconds of near-wide-open-throttle running, the ski just died. It sounded perfectly normal until that point. It was as if someone had pulled the kill switch (just died, didn't bog). Then I started it right up, ran it slowly again, then pegged the throttle. Same thing - died. The RPM reading went straight to "000" on the MFD.

    A few things I'm wondering:

    1) could the stator be bad?
    2) might the CDI have fried? even though the ski runs fine at lower throttle inputs?
    3) could this be a fuel delivery issue? the guy who replaced the stator had to remove the gas tank so maybe did something with the hoses??

    Thanks!!!


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    You need to do some diagnostics rather than guessing.

    Check the electrical box and wire harness for other damaged wires, loose connection, anything that might not be quite right.

    Make sure the plastic battery cover is in place and the battery is actually mounted properly!

    Check the motor mounting. Sometimes the bolts on the very bottom of the engine corrode or become loose. try rocking the entire engine side to side, very firmly. See if it moves at all relative to the engine bed plates. The rubber engine mounts should flex slightly but the engine should be solidly bolted to the bed plate.

    Move the battery negative cable from the bed plate screw to one of the studs for the intake manifold (PTO cylinder). Sometimes the engine bottom bolts corrode and create electrical resistance or intermittent connection to the bed plate. Direct engine connection for the battery negative avoids this problem.

    Fuel tank was removed? Check that the fuel hoses are on the correct tank sender fittings. There are photos posted elsewhere on here showing the tiny hose markings on the sender top rim.

  3. #3

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    Thanks - will check all those things. Yes the fuel tank had to be pulled so that the mechanic could get the flywheel off the motor to replace the stator. My understanding is that the alternative would be to pull the motor. So you don't think this is a bad stator or CDI? (i.e. if they work at all, they are good?)

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by froeman View Post
    ... the fuel tank had to be pulled so that the mechanic could get the flywheel off the motor to replace the stator. My understanding is that the alternative would be to pull the motor.

    So you don't think this is a bad stator or CDI? (i.e. if they work at all, they are good?)
    One upside to removing the engine is it makes it much easier to inspect under engine, clean the hull interior, and most importantly, inspect the engine itself.

    Working down in the hull is a disincentive to check other things since it is mire difficult and 'takes more time'.

    The key to working on these machines and making them reliable (this applies to every brand and model of older watercraft) is to invest the time, effort and money to check, upgrade, inspect, service and maintain everything, from bow to jet pump. There are always going to be things that need attention, the only way to have a reliable watercraft is to look/find and correct/service as many of these things as possible.

    Electrical suspicions need investigation, just guessing can lead to a lot of wasted time. The ignition kill switch may be failing, or there may be an intermittent short in the wiring somewhere. sometimes a wire inside the electrical box is damaged, crushed in the box seam, or just bent over/broken. Inspect, test, monitor.

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