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  1. #1

    No spark on a 91 TS

    Hey, I have a 1991 Kawasaki TS that isn't running and it doesn't seem to have spark, but I saw it spark once or twice. I'm wondering if anybody know the order of tests to perform to figure out why? Preferrably with wire colors.

    The Ski has a strange history, it only has two rides on it. This is all just what I was told of course but I think the owner is telling the truth. The thing looks absolutely brand new inside and out. Supposedly it was bought new and taken out on the lake, it ran great for half a day and then just quit. They thought it had something to do with a diaphragm in the carburetor and they heard it was a common issue. They took it out one more day and it did the same thing, and the ski has basically been sitting in the back corner of a garage ever since.

    I'm fixing it as a favor for my neighbor (the owner) and when I got it, the carb was in a zip-lock bag of loose parts. I got it all put back together and gave it a shot of mixed gas down the throat and got absolutely nothing even though it cranks great and showed great compression just after that. That's when I pulled the plugs, and grounded them on the head caps and got no spark. Interestingly, one plug looks like it's got an hour of run time on it and the other one is completely clean like new.

    Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. #2
    Oh, and I already checked in the electrical box for corrosion and the fuse is good in there, I only saw one fuse.

  3. #3
    SplishSplash's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Belle River Ont Canada
    Are you using the OEM Kawasaki lanyard? Some aftermarket ones are too thin and don't operate the switch correctly. Thus no spark.

  4. +1 by:

  5. #4
    I'm not sure if it's the original lanyard or not but I just tried again with the switch pulled up all the way and I got one spark on the #1 cylinder but no spark after the one.

  6. #5

    Join Date
    May 2014
    New Jersey
    I have a TS so I’m familiar, but never did ignition work on mine. Now just worth mentioning, I just went through hell on my SXIs with an ignition issue so I have the 750 motor’s electrical systems down pat. I could have saved a lot of trouble had I went for the igniter first, but of course that is the one part you cannot test with a meter. I swapped it with another igniter and no luck so assumed that was not the case....well it was, I had not one but two bad igniters.

    So it seems that a common bad igniter issue is that it will fire up every time but only run for a second, maybe two, It fires to start instantly but then dies, and will do it as many times as you attempt to start it but will not stay running.

    You can pull the plugs and ground them to watch but you may need help to watch the plug and attempt the start as the plug will only fire like twice. If you stay cranking it will never spark again, but stop for a second and attempt again and it will spark again like twice initially.

    Definitely disconnect the kill switch and ohm out the wires at the plug end by the ebox to see if the switch is consistently working. I believe plug disconnected is “run” position so try to disconnect to take the switch out of the loop.

    I hear Kawi stators can be an issue but the manual has a pretty simple Ohm test to check them as well as the coil. If it does the “2 seconds” above and the kill switch tests, skip the coil, check stator, then replace ignition CDI igniter.

    Hope this helps.

  7. #6
    steve45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Start with the simplest things first, new spark plugs and trimming back the spark plug wires at the plug end. They vibrate a lot and the wires break internally, giving intermittent spark. Remove the boot from the wire and try pulling the wires out with some needlenose pliers. If wire strands come out, cut 1/2" off and try again. Make sure you leave enough wire to reach the spark plug.

  8. +1 by:

  9. #7

    Join Date
    May 2014
    New Jersey
    If one plug fires and the other does not, I would definitely suspect a plug wire or boot as Steve45 states above.

  10. #8
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Elephant Butte New Mexico
    on a ski close to 30 years old you gotta suspect the coil and the cdi box. one spark only is typical of a cdi failing.

    you are running off a battery and not hooked up to a car starter, right?..leaking a/c from big car chargers can confuse cdi's

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