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  1. #1

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    Kawasaki Ultra LX (NON SC) Water getting into engine

    Hey Guys-

    Stumped on this one.
    Ski will run great all day long as long as you DONT shut it off. Good top speed, good holeshot, clean oil.
    Once you shut the ski off, wait 15 seconds, itll start back up again.
    If you let it sit in the water lets say an hour or two, itll crank quick for 1-2 rotations, and then slow down and stop, HYDROLOCK!
    It would almost seem as if the motor is sucking the water into the motor from the exhaust, hence why it cranks quick, and then slows down?

    I have tried to replace exhaust gaskets, as it had a mark in it, same result.
    I read the second waterbox adds too much pressure keeps too much water in exhaust and can cause this, So I put a RIVA free flow kit on it. Same Result.
    Tried to disconnect the header from the head, ran ski for a second in water, shut it off and let it sit for a few hours, it started back up again(No water) This told me that the exhaust was the problem, and not a cracked head or block, if it was a cracked head or block it would have hydrolocked with the exhaust disconnected. So being I figured it was in the exhaust,
    Tried to replace entire exhaust and waterbox with a used set up from a buddies ski, same result. Runs great, shut off wait hour or two it hydrolocks.

    I am really stumped here on this one.
    Things I noticed were those "Rings" on the exhaust end are non existent, but as far as I can tell, those just seal off the exhaust, so if I had an exhaust leak, that would be my culprit. Correct me if I am wrong but that should have no bearing on back flowing.


    What on earth would cause one of these to literally hydrolock while floating, not running, and not moving?!?!

    Thanks guys, any help is appreciated.


  2. #2
    deksea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisFiore15 View Post
    What on earth would cause one of these to literally hydrolock while floating, not running, and not moving?!?!

    Has the ski been overheated recently? How hot is the water coming out of the pisser at idle? Recommend you check for a warped head/blown head gasket or crack in the head. These things can occur such that the engine will still run fine below the limit but after a hot shutdown, the water slowly migrates into cylinders. Unlikely you are getting any of them close to filled, but certainly enough water to wet the plugs and prevent starting. Pull those plugs and check for signs of moisture.

    Also, you appear to have concluded that its not a head or block issue because there was no hydrolocking with the exhaust manifold removed during an engine run, but the manifold is what feeds cooling water to the engine.

  3. #3
    deksea's Avatar
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    Went back and read your message a little closer and I cant tell whether you are just assuming there is water in the cylinders or you have confirmed there is water in the cylinders. If no moisture, then warped/cracked heads become less likely a possible cause.

  4. #4
    Take the time to smile sirbreaksalot's Avatar
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    Need more info
    Saltwater or fresh water ski
    How many hrs

    My bet is the exhaust manifold in corroded onside the manifold, very common on saltwater skies that have a poor post ride flushing procedure...
    Corroded exh rings tells me that's were your problem lies and why

    Waz

    Won't be a warped head because while cranking there is no water being pushed around in the head , it's not till the ski starts and runs for a bit till water pressure happens.


  5. #5
    deksea's Avatar
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    Waz

    Chris indicates he replaced the manifold with a different one, then same scenario. Maybe two corroded manifolds? Stranger coincidences have happened. : ) Bu the symptoms here are very similar to what I experienced with my 12F, and it was a warped head and blown gasket in the end (thought it was the WTS issue). Engine ran fine but after extended shutdowns, apparently there is enough residual water retained in the the head to get a good amount of it into the cylinders. I pulled those plugs and looked down the holes and the pools of water on top of the pistons were very apparent. Counter intuitive to me, but that's what happened. Enough water to actually fill a cylinder and hydrolock? No way, but enough to steam up those plugs real good and run a weak battery down trying to start it afterwards. That's whats going through my mind here, but could be many other things.
    Last edited by deksea; 07-18-2017 at 11:50 AM.

  6. #6

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    It's 100% water in the cylinders. I can literally remove plugs after hydro lock and look down and see water on top of the piston.

    It's odd, I tried the riva cooling routine w the free flow. Same thing.

    I remove the lower cooling hose on the water box (bottom one) and the amount of water that comes out is crZy. It never actually stops. At first it's a hard stream like the box is full. Then it slows down. As if a hose is slowly still feeding into it.

    This is all with the ski floating.

    I tried putting the cooling hose that's connected to the bottom of water box (with riva cooling this is now the hose that exits into top of pump tunnel, I even put it up high, thinking it was back flowing and it still didn't solve it.

    I also looped the hose that comes off of the PTO cooling cover put it up high before it goes back to that center barb on exhaust thinking somehow that was back flowing.

    Anyone want a Kawi ultra Lx cheap ? You can run it to the Bahamas as long as you don't shut it off and leave it floating more then a short while.. ha.

    Any other ideas ?

  7. #7
    deksea's Avatar
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    CHris

    A c ouple of things:


    1. I can tell you from my own experience that with a single person sitting on a 12F ski in the water (yours is similar), the top of the output cover and any connections at or below that level are below the water line. My ski is not available right now to go out and check, but I believe the taps on the input side of the port waterbox, both top and bottom, are at or below that level. The three hoses on that waterbox tap assembly all share a common circuit, i.e., any water that goes through one connection can find its way to the others if it is the path of least resistance. I don't know how high you are looping those hoses but if you are testing it in the water after a run, its possible these lines are full of water and therefore might siphon back if the open disconnected end is being held below the water line no matter how high its looped. Something to think about.

    2. As far as the water in the cylinders go, is it multiple cylinders or just one? If just one, which one? Also, is the cylinder/cylinders FULL or somewhat full of water, or is it just little pools of water on the top of the cylinder? If we're talking cylinders full of water, I agree with Was, unlikely a head or head gasket issue, not enough residual water in the head/block after shutdown to do that, but if its just little pools of water here and there on the top of one or more of the cylinders, I would not rule out a head/gasket issue.

    Have you checked your oil very recently for milky color? (I know you said it was clean previously) Sometimes an indicator of head/gasket failure, not always.


    I'll ask again, have you ever had any issues with the ski where its overheated or even just gotten very hot, especially recently? Have you ever been in a situation with that ski where the pisser is shooting out steam rather than just water? Are you always extremely careful to never run the ski for more than just a few seconds on the trailer without the flush water on? Aluminum heads on any engine will tolerate almost ZERO overheating.
    Last edited by deksea; 07-19-2017 at 08:54 AM.

  8. #8
    djg123159's Avatar
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    My 2011 ultra lx is starting to do the same thing I am stumped cant figure it out some times good on long ride but no good on short ride have u figured it out I am getting to rip the motor apart
    Thanks,
    Dan

  9. #9

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    Dan...

    If you send me a plane ticket and have a spare bedroom, I'll come your way and stay as long as it takes to fix your ski.

  10. #10

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    But seriously... I just posted this on another thread:

    Take the ski for a ride with the seat off. See if you're getting any sort of spray. It might be feeding water right into your intake.

    A friend has a Yamaha FXHO that had water in the oil. Thought for sure the motor was shot. Rode it with the seat off and at high speed, one of the water inlet hoses was spraying a mist right up into the intake. Started out thinking he needed a new motor. Ended up replacing a broken clamp instead.

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