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  1. #1

    Should i even touch it?

    So i recently purchased a 96 900zxi. Been chasing a slight compression issue. Per recommendation ive put some marvel in the cylinder to sit for a bit.

    Anyhow the question at hand here is. Ive heard these Kawasaki skis are bad about electrical connectors being dirty and needing cleaned. Well so far here is what i got. Skis electrical seems to work reliably ignition wise. Trims dead. (control module shot. inside trim box absolutely corroded but cleaned up) Tach works. Speedo dead. gas works?? kinda just does what it wants. Trim gauge does move when power is on but goes to the same spot everytime Neither warning lights are working. Not really sure where to begin with trouble shooting those lights.

    Now im not particularly concerned with getting the trim and speedo working. Though the speedo would be cool. Has anyone ever removed the trim gauge and say installed an aftermarket digital temp gauge in its spot? or any after market gauge swap for that matter.

    I really just want to gas gauge working right and warning lights to operate. and could that oil gauge just be wired separate from the skis electrical? i assume the sensor just opens and closes a circuit to trigger the light? if so it would be easy enough to do that.

    My charging system seems to work fine. started out the other day with a pretty low battery and after say an hours ride time it was nice and charged.

    But the main question. Should i even touch it? do i risk making a problem worrying about the ones it got?

  2. #2
    steve45's Avatar
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    The trim was a major problem on that model. Water could actually get in through the cable. That's why later 'Skis have rubber bellows on the trim cable.

    Gas gauge problem is probably due to the sensor in the tank.

    What sort of a temperature gauge do you want, and why?

  3. #3
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    working on the electrics is a nice winter project. I'd leave well enough alone for your occasional outing now, just do a visual on the injector oil tank before launch and enjoy the ride. Hulls are nasty damp places, Electrics without lots of grease eventually develop problems

    as far as a temp gauge goes, kinda like tits on a bull on a stock PWC, what you want is a buzzer/light. you really don't want much of anything that is going to draw your attention away from the water in front of you

    if you really want one, I'd install it under the seat so you could have a look at temps on the trailer, but a buzzer will let you know when its time to cut the engine like right now

    consider why Detroit went with idiot lights , and it wasn't all because of cost. My 98 explorer does have analog gauges, but it also has a red light to attach my attention when anything on the dash is out of order, like voltage or temp or low fuel

    a very short bit of pipe with some threads for the capillary sender cut into the water line from the head and some clever routing would let you put an actual water temp gauge up on the dash if you insist...

    good luck on the marvel. I've used it to help free stuck pistons in brake calipers among wother uses. When stuff smells nasty like MMO, it's your best friend sometimes

  4. #4
    Well if I knew what to hunt down to get the factory idiot light working I'd get it in order. And honestly I'll probably never bother to fix the trim. just keep it set in one spot. So I figured why not get the useless gauge out and put something useful in its place.

    But i do see where your coming from on the gauges being a distraction. Could just make little covers to cover up the trim and speedo so I dont see the dead gauges. Idk something about dead gauges just bothers me haha.

    And I do have one of those plastic fittings that goes into the ebox broke. Thought about just sticking it back into the hole with some marine silicone and fixing it later. How hard is it to get the ebox out of these? Kinda just looks like the oil tank is all that's in it's way.

    And this is a completely random thought. why dont skis require navigation lights such as a boat? Riding your ski in the dark doesn't seem like a good idea, but I could see where you might get caught out and be coming back in late. If there are skis with these lights I've not seen one lol

  5. #5
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    replacing those pesky fittings is really a super big pain, and once you start in there, they typically all need to be repalced. Putting silicone on it makes the job even tougher later on. To replace the fittings the individual wires need to be released from their connectors ( yeah, good luck with that too) and then threaded thru the new busing and replaced into the connector housing ( good luck with that too)

    Steve will certainly have something to add about that design mess. When water enters thru those fitting the bi metallic corrosion is causes eventually leads to a total melt down in the electrical box. If you plan on keeping the ski fix it right. if not spary a shot or two of wd-40 thru the hole to give the lectrics a chance at life and then apply the snake glue.

    running lights were never OEM equipment ( except on one specific seadoo specialty search and rescue model) as riding after dark is pretty much prohibited everywhere.

    --bonus content--

    a few years ago I added strobes and running lights for some yamahas the border patrol owns, of course they try not to run at night either because in the winter when the days are short the river is a death trap s the water is really cold and the river only runs in a few places. In the last couple of years they run far more blimps and RIBs on the river as there are far more people to pick up

    got an extremely rare Truth Or Consequences border station challenge coin along with the payment for that job. I collect things like that. Saw one on ebay a few years ago, it got $150!

    the border station is very rarely open as it turns out it's a mile or two outside of the legal 100 mile range they are allowed to operate a checkpoint

    It does open for a few days at a time a couple of times a year, since for a while illegals running "the old highway" from the border would slip thru and get on the interstate just south of town

    The President has quite a collection of challenge coins, you can see them on a stand to the left of his desk when they get a shot of him in the oval office. I'd love to get my hands on a space force coin

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  6. #6
    steve45's Avatar
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    Hmmm... I'm going to have to ask my brother-in-law (retired Border Patrol) about those coins... That's cool!

    A water temp gauge is pretty useless. These engines will blow up before the gauge starts to move. It only takes seconds. I've got a box of new Kawi electrical parts. Got the nylon 'joints', the nuts, the rubber grommets with an assortment of holes. If you're patient, it's not too hard to replace the broken joints. You have to use a small jeweler's screwdriver or pin (or the special tool) to get the plugs apart to get to the bad pieces. On the spark plug wires, you have to strip the outer covering off, but that's OK.

    As Peter says, don't run it with leaks in the electrical box. Water WILL get in somehow. Silicone sealant really won't hold up, either. Those things just break on their own due to age.


  7. #7
    Got me worried about the Ebox now haha. And I dont want to touch those connections if they are that bad. I'll definitely spray some wd40 in there and do something to keep water out. Can wd40 harm anything? Most of the harness under the seat looks practically new. Though I doubt it.

    On the marvel oil. I know you said 24hrs then get it out. Now do I need to leave the plug out for a bit or should I stick it back in and fire it up?

    And I've got an idea for fixing the ebox connections for good. Might be a horrible idea or a great one. But I guess we'll find out haha.

  8. #8
    And a question about the spark plug wires. I cut mine back (plug side) and noticed that most of the core was intact gone before I cut them back a half inch. And it looks like you stick the boot back on and twist it? I put them back in and gave them a turn or two. New ties.

    How likey is bad spark plug wires at the coils?

  9. #9
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bman View Post
    Got me worried about the Ebox now haha. And I dont want to touch those connections if they are that bad. I'll definitely spray some wd40 in there and do something to keep water out. Can wd40 harm anything? Most of the harness under the seat looks practically new. Though I doubt it.

    On the marvel oil. I know you said 24hrs then get it out. Now do I need to leave the plug out for a bit or should I stick it back in and fire it up?

    And I've got an idea for fixing the ebox connections for good. Might be a horrible idea or a great one. But I guess we'll find out haha.

    ground the plug wires and bump the engine a few times with a shop rag over the jug hole to blow out most of the mmo. then put the plugs in and spin it up

    don't go nuts with the wd a little spray goes a long way, very little

    yeah if that ski was ever submerged you've got some worry about the ebox. I've actually had to fully strip a couple of those boxes and have them bead blasted to make them usable again and repair lots of connectors. takes all day and then some

    the tell for submergence is the presence of grit in unexpected places btw. like underneath the e-box iof you pull it out and there is sand there, that means trouble

  10. #10
    Well the inside of the hull is pretty clean. And okay. and I realized I dont have gas or a filter so I guess I cant really start it haha

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