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  1. #1

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    Question 1999 Kawasaki 150 ultra starter problem I think

    Hello everyone I'm new here just bought my first set of jet skis. Got a smoking deal on them two jet skis and trailer for only $500. The 900 ZXI is already running the only thing it lacks is to fix the trim. So I'm already up even if this ultra is no good I'm still off to a great start for the money.

    So I pull the plugs out of the ultra 150 and it turns over just fine but as soon as I put one plug in it starts dragging really bad like it can hardly turn the motor over. If I put all 3 in it won't even turn over at all. I have a good feeling it's the starter. I'm pretty mechanically inclined I've worked on my own vehicles all my life but I've never owned a jet ski and I also have never owned any type of 2 stroke so this is all new to me. I would imagine that most of my mechanic knowledge would apply to the majority of 2 strokes also but I'm still learning as I go.

    I hate to order another starter and that not be the issue. All three cylinders feel like they have great compression they blow my finger off the spark plug hole when I crank it over.

    The thing wouldn't even crank over at all only clicked like it was in a bind and I found out the bearings on the jet pump were locked up. I pulled out the jet pump today so I could try and get the engine started before I go ordering bearings etc for this ski.

    I also noticed that this ski has BR9ES(5722) plugs in it and I read online that some of these 1999 skis came with a different cdi for those plugs and some required the really expensive plugs R6918C-9. I'm assuming this ski has the cdi for the less expensive plugs since they were installed but you never know these days. When you look these skis up online most of the websites point you to the cheaper plug as being the plug for this engine.


  2. #2
    steve45's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard, RollinCajun!

    If you try to run the engine with the pump removed, make sure to pull the driveshaft back far enough to disengage the drive coupling. (Not sure if you can pull it back that far).

    If the starter will turn the engine over with the plugs removed, it's probably OK. You probably have a dirty or loose connection somewhere or a weak battery.

    If your hull identification number is 41803 or below, you need the special spark plugs, NGK R6918C-9. Otherwise, you can run the cheap ones.

    If you have to change the starter, make sure you get a service manual first! Removing the starter can cause loss of oil for the balance shaft bearings and you'll have to refill it. In fact, there are a lot of oddities about the Ultra 150. You really need a service manual if you plan to do any work on it at all. They are great 'Skis, but they require maintenance. NEVER allow it to run lean!

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    Welcome aboard, RollinCajun!
    Thank you I appreciate that!

    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    If you try to run the engine with the pump removed, make sure to pull the driveshaft back far enough to disengage the drive coupling. (Not sure if you can pull it back that far).
    I decided not to do that and I worked over the bearings really good yesterday and freed them up and used a lot of penetration oil in them to get a lot of the rust out. I got them working pretty good now will replace later but at least I was able to put the pump back together.

    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    If the starter will turn the engine over with the plugs removed, it's probably OK. You probably have a dirty or loose connection somewhere or a weak battery.
    The battery is fine it starts my other jet ski with no issues at all. The 1997 900 zxi. I only have one battery so I'm swapping them back and forth to get these things running. I also tried to run jumper cables from my truck to the ski with the same results. As soon as I install one plug it drags really bad when turning over. The more plugs I put in the worse it gets. I'll check the connections better and go from there.

    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    If your hull identification number is 41803 or below, you need the special spark plugs, NGK R6918C-9. Otherwise, you can run the cheap ones.
    Looks like I came out good! 42311 is my hull number so I'm happy about that. I figured it had to be since it had those type of plugs in it.

    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    If you have to change the starter, make sure you get a service manual first! Removing the starter can cause loss of oil for the balance shaft bearings and you'll have to refill it. In fact, there are a lot of oddities about the Ultra 150. You really need a service manual if you plan to do any work on it at all. They are great 'Skis, but they require maintenance. NEVER allow it to run lean!
    According to this service manual I just found it doesn't mention anything about any oil coming out. It says to pull the old one grease the o-ring on the new one and put it in.
    Reference here: http://www.skiworx.com/kawa-ultra-150-repair-manual.pdf

    By the way at some point someone did away with the oil injection on the 900 and had been mixing the oil with the gas. I seen that the hose to the back of the tank is gone and no where to be found. I don't mind mixing the oil myself to be honest I feel safer you can never go wrong and burn your motor up. What is the recommended oil mixture ratio I've been using 50:1 since that's pretty much normal for most 2-strokes and that's what the manual calls for break in period so I'm assuming that's normal for these skis.

  4. #4
    steve45's Avatar
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    Page 8-6 mentions refilling with oil after starter clutch gear or starter idler gear service, sorry about that.

    50:1 is good for the 900. Do NOT attempt to remove the oil injection on the 150!

    I would never consider running rusty bearings in the jet pump. They WILL fail and cost you a LOT of money to buy a new pump housing.

    Other things you need to check into include the Triple Pisser Mode, engine mount replacement, throttle cable fraying at the oil pump pulley, watch for corrosion & leaks on the exhaust expansion chamber and the water pipe between the cylinders. It's a really good idea to remove the display and seal the plug & wires on the back with 3M 5200 Fast Cure sealant. The gas spring on the front hatch is known to corrode badly and fail. The rubber boot around it traps water. Remove it and when the spring fails, replace it with a stainless gas spring. When you have to pull the engine out, it would be a really good idea to replace the driveshaft bearing mount (holder) with the Rhaas polyurethane holder.

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  6. #5
    Try starting engine with drive shaft pulled back and pump out. Sounds like your pump is trashed, is impeller hitting the wear ring? Normally starters works or it doesnt. I would not even bother running a pump like that, make sure you rebuild with the 3 seal kit from 03-05

    That repair manual is for an 03, just keep in mind there are differences in the electrical system from your 99. Mechanically they are the same.

  7. #6
    If the pump was locked up, thatís got to be why the starter was dragging. That being said, I have had starters decline in performance. Actually 2 seasons ago, I noticed my Ultra turning over slower. Beginning of last season I decided to swap it out with a spare I had and couldnít believe how fast it turned over after that. I donít ride it near as much as my stand up so I think it had slowly been declining and I just didnít really notice it.

    If for some reason you end up needing to swap it, Iím going to share some info with you thatís not in a repair manual. Apparently after 00, the starters were slightly larger in diameter so any replacement will most likely be the larger size unless you get a used one from a 99-00.

    I was using one from an 01. I did everything with the engine installed. Pulled starter out and went to install new (used) starter. I couldnít get it in place for the life of me. Finally gave up and started to pull the engine but just ended up rotating it so I could see. Realized the starter was hitting a boss on the engine case. Looked at the case from the 01 and realized it was different. Found through parts diagrams that the engine cases and starters are different from 99-00 and 01-05.

    So the secret is, you have to shave the boss down on your engine case and you wonít confuse yourself for hours like I did. I didnít take a pic before shaving it down for some reason but I do have an after pic as well as one of the 01 case.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #7
    2002 up have the bigger starters..

  9. #8
    Prove it! Just kidding, itís beside the point. Just something I wish I had known. Not that big of a deal, just wasted some time.

  10. #9
    My 01 has the smaller oem starter, my buddys 02 and my stxr both have the bigger oem starters.

  11. #10
    Weird, the 01 I bought for parts had the larger starter and different engine case.

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