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  1. #1
    TimeBandit's Avatar
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    MR1 HO to 1.8L HO engine swap - gen 1 FX HO

    I've got an '05 Yamaha FX HO in need of a new engine. Rather than provisioning an obsolete MR1 HO replacement, I am going to swap-in a new-ish 1.8L NA engine. Likely not on anyone’s top-10 conversion list, but I'll go ahead and document process as I go.

    First, why the old gen 1 fx hull?? Well, I personally use this craft to augment my solo fishing excursions, and some LD cruising in the intercostal areas. Aside from the SUV couch, these older FXs are heavier, plowing through the chop better with their deep v-hull, almost offering a boat-like ride. Plus, mine is already heavily modified & rigged-up with rack and fish-gear. Plus, being older - not afraid to get it dinged-up a bit. They just don’t make ‘em like this anymore - she's a keeper.

    Conversion feasible ??
    Yes. I asked around, did tons of fiche research. Plus, its been apparently done already, using an SHO. Yet all you really have to do is appreciate the fact that manufacturers like cutting costs whenever they can - and re-using existing design is one such strategy. From 2004-2008, the MR1 HO powered the FX fleet. But there was also an over-lap year in 2008 when the 1.8 came out to power the FX SHO line. Same base hull design with either engine, therefor we know right off the bat that the new 1.8 was designed around the MR1 footprint. It also means we can retro-fit the 1.8 into the gen 1 FXs.

    Parts short-list:
    Complete 1.8 NA engine, with ALL the electronics – wire harness, security box, ecu, gauge/cluster, etc. . .
    Complete drive-train – IB assembly (coupler, bearing, mid-shaft), jet-pump stator/duct (which includes the drive shaft and impeller).
    Water-box/exhaust – maybe.
    Tank/Fuel pump - no

    Yup, lookin' like a complete donor craft will be needed.

    Speaking of donor candidates:
    Trying to keep the conversion very basic. My preference is no older than 2012. This is because the 1.8 went through some revision tweaks which came out in that year. Still need to do a serial number check to be sure.
    That said, I also don’t want anything younger than 2014. Aside from cost, the 2015-on all have RiDE. Not saying it couldn't be done, but I like the manual trim and reverse on my craft.
    As far as model types, I'm targeting the NA engine for the fuel economy. This includes all newer FX HOs, Cruisers, and the VXR/VXS fleet. Trying to find one with hull-damage, but a VXS would be the entry-level of them all, being the most vanilla offering of the 1.8 NA.


    UPDATE
    Donor Found !
    I just recently scored a 25hrs fresh-water 2012 VXS, with the newer 1.8 motor. The ski has a bit of a 'mark' (cough cough) on the front, but the water test was good. The OEM plugs were old, yet ok. Scoped the cylinders,oil was clean, and the YDS report came back clean, so we are good-to-go!

    Now the fun can begin. . .


  2. #2
    TimeBandit's Avatar
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    Gauge / Dash Cluster swap

    Let's get the easiest out of the way 1st!


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    { Installed on the '05 FX }

    The gauge/cluster swap is plug-n-play - bolts right up. The VXS cluster has exactly the same wires/connectors, LOL it even looks exactly the same as the old FX gauge from 7 years prior. The only real difference is the RPM readout is not so tall - aka for the slower spinning 1.8L.

    Throttle cable swap:


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    { '12 VXS throttle assembly & TPS sensor }

    The '12 VXS is 1st-gen fly-by-wire, so it still technically uses a steel-cable linkage to the TPS sensor located inside the hull, on the stbd front bulkhead. To extract it from the VXS, it's best just to unhook it from the throttle lever, and feed the cable end into the hull. Unbolt the TPS mechanism and detach the wire harness plug and the whole thing is freed.


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    { TPS sensor bolted inside the FX hull port side }

    Mounting it in the gen 1 FX was trivial. I followed the same legacy cable routing through the handlebars/hull, so just needed to find a home for the TPS mechanism. I decided to go to the port side bulkhead nearest were the security box mount is already on the FX - I'm gambling the VXS harness will make the reach. I pre-drilled 3 under-sized holes into the inner SMC liner, then used SS lag bolts with 5200 as added measure. Secure enough to take a wave-pounding for sure.

    UPDATE
    The engine is fully extracted from the VXS hull and resting on the workbench. Wire harness is completely out as well. I'm going to take some time here and replace a bunch of hose clamps for 316 SS Aba's.
    I'm noticing a little bit of coolant weepage/residue around the thermostat cover, and a lot all around the Water Jacket Manifold (WJM) cover. Sorry no pics, but looking at the fiche, I see this WJM cover has undergone some revision since 2012. Pondering if I should get the newer cover as it looks in the pictorial to be more formidable/reinforced.
    Another update:
    Part arrival. Turned out that "newer" WJM is of plastic. This means I need longer bolts to make up the thicker part. In the end, it work well.
    Last edited by TimeBandit; 08-24-2017 at 05:42 PM. Reason: fixed broken images

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  4. #3

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    Hey I have questions how fast u go suv and I have top speed problem is nose of suv goes up and down when is plane I move trim up down center I can't get dis to stop going up and down my swap is sho 1.8 help

  5. #4
    Just for others sake should see if the older cluster works with the 1.8 electronics.

  6. #5
    TimeBandit's Avatar
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    Drive-train:

    With the engines removed from both skis, I had a chance to examine & compare the two drive-trains.


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    { IB comparison : ‘05 FX HO – ‘12 VXS }

    First, I took a look at the IB, coupler, & mid-shafts. As you can see above (pic), the VXS (which shares the same p/n’s as 2nd gen FXs) is much more formidable. Larger diameter coupler & larger mid-shaft receiver. The receiver is a tad shorter, but the impeller drive shaft is equally longer. The bolt-pattern is the same, and the IB to partition-wall seal is the same diameter.


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    { Duct/stator comparison : ‘05 FX HO – ‘12 VXS }

    Next up, is the impeller duct(stator) assembly. The old FX shaft is a measly 20mm, while the VXS is 22mm splined. The stator housing, while hosting a larger shaft will bolt right between the same nozzle and impeller housing. This means this duct assembly is all you would need to swap - rest of the jet-pump can stay.


    .....
    To the old gauge/cluster question . . . if I were a betting-man . . . I’d say it would work fine, because the gauge cluster is simply a data receiver to the YDS protocol. i.e., if you look at the wire diagrams for either the VXS or FX HO, there is a unused plug for tachometer signal (non-analog models). Therefore, these fully digital clusters get RPMs from the data stream the ecu sends.
    Last edited by TimeBandit; 08-24-2017 at 05:50 PM. Reason: fixed broken images

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  8. #6
    TimeBandit's Avatar
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    I was able to successfully get the VXR impeller/duct assembly installed in the FX HO pump.
    The VXS's impeller was chewed-up some from the PO. Went with a Solas.
    Everything mounted-up perfectly with the FX's existing pump nozzle & impeller wear ring housing.


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    (Drive shaft splines peaking thru the mid-wall partition)

    All that is remaining with the drive train business is to grease & mount that VXR IB coupler.

    Next up - the hull's engine stop/bumper pads. . .
    Last edited by TimeBandit; 08-24-2017 at 05:57 PM. Reason: fixed broken images

  9. #7
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    Keeping it coming
    Last edited by dixon0001; 05-10-2017 at 02:05 PM.

  10. #8

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    Looking good lets see more pics

  11. #9
    Might have very slight issue, which I haven't verified is the water feed line size from the transom plate. Believe it's larger for the 1.8 engine compared to the mr1. You can take fitting out of old transom plate and open up your fx transom plate and press in fitting.

  12. #10
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    Engine Stopper Pads :

    Let's talk engine bumpers/stoppers. These are the two (fwd & aft) rubber "pads" mounted to the keel of the hull, just underneath the engine. They don't seem to directly support the engine per say, as there is usually some air-gap between touching the actual engine. I can deduce during situations of abrupt lateral and horizontal forces, these are intended to absorb, stabilize, and minimize the engine from severely shifting out of position, and without this added support it might make the craft more susceptible to breaking engine mounts and/or hopping out of the drive coupler. Regardless, Yamaha saw fit to have them, so it is only proper to also preserve their function in this engine swap.


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    (comparing the ‘12 VXR to the ‘05 FXHO stopper pads)

    As you can see in the above pics, there is an obvious difference. The aft pad seems like it may swap just fine, but the fwd pad is completely different, in both shape and mounting holes. Now remember, in this swap write-up, I'm dealing with a 2012 VXS donor, so I can't speak if FZRs or 2nd gen FXs will have more or less "compatible" pads.

    Aft Pad :

    Since it appears to be the easiest, let's address the aft pad first. . .


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    ( VXR aft pad test-fit into the old FX hull )

    The VXR pad will indeed bolt right in-place on the FX hull. Position/offsets seems good. Pic above is the pad test-mounted in my old FX hull. However, after meticulous measurements, I have determined the pad is roughly 10mm too thick (high). No, I did not drop the 1.8L in just to confirm, but all measurements indicate, at best it will significantly touch the engine, and at worst prevent the engine from being fully lowered into position. Therefore, the logical "fix" would be to simply shave 10mm off the pad (maybe with a belt-sander) and call it a day.

    Fwd Pad :


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    ( fwd pad kinda placed into theoretical position - not a good fit )

    There are two issues with using the forward VXR pad;
    a) for starters, like the aft pad, it is also about 10mm too thick. Being cupped/curved it would make shaving it a bit more a challenge to preserve original shape.
    b) the mounting holes don't line-up. Not a big deal to drill new holes in the pad, but then this means I'll need to find the exact position/offsets.
    Ok, perhaps more research is needed. . .

    Fiche Research :

    Before I go hauling-off modifying these VXR pads, I decided to scan fiche once more. I noted that in 2008 when the 1.8 and the MR1 was first both used in the same FX hull, the 1.8 has its own set of pad part numbers - no surprise. But what is interesting, is that these numbers are only used for '08 & '09, then another set are used from then on until the major FX hull change. So, these '08 legacy FX pads are likey THE best compatibility for my old FX hull and the 1.8L. My guess is that the inner FX hull liner dimensions may have changed when going to nano-Xcell hulls, which is why we see only a 2 year run on them. Perhaps I should order a set and see . . .

    Legacy FX 1.8L pads (2008 & 2009) :

    Hoping they are still in stock somewhere, I roll the dice and ordered a set.


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    ( set VXR pads compared to a set of ‘08 legacy 1.8L pads )

    Pic above are the 2008-09 legacy 1.8 pad set compared to the VXR pads. The aft one is a bit of a (small - lol) disappointment, but man, jackpot on that front one! Look how the underside contour matches the old FX hull hump. Cool, that solves the offset position issue too. And, yes, they (as I predicted from my previous measurements) are indeed ~10mm thinner.
    Not so fast . . . not a total win. The fwd bolt fasteners are still not lined-up. But given what I now have, I'm confident these will work fine moving forward.


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    ( installed ‘08 legacy 1.8 pads in the ‘05 FX HO hull )

    So, we finally arrive to point that the VXR donor pads are useless to me. Best course I have was to order the oem 1.8L pads that came with the ‘08/’09 Fxs. Pic above shows a promising install, but I can’t confirm until I get the motor dropped-in for the first time.
    Stay-tuned.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5ecu179
    Looking good lets see more pics
    Darn "pic whores !!!"
    LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by slociviccoupe
    Might have very slight issue, which I haven't verified is the water feed line size from the transom plate. Believe it's larger for the 1.8 engine compared to the mr1. You can take fitting out of old transom plate and open up your fx transom plate and press in fitting.
    Thanks for bringing that up. I have not had a chance to compare the size on my VXS donor yet, but I will post up when I do. My guess is that you are correct, likely just a slight issue - if any at all. It’s nearly at the source supply so the pressure might just compensate the volume. I’m guessing it could come more into play for those doing SHO conversions (due to the added supply demands to the intake cooler). For now, I think I’ll let it be, unless some issues arise during sea-trails.
    Last edited by TimeBandit; 08-24-2017 at 06:07 PM. Reason: fixed broken images

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