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  1. #1

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    XR1800 160hp MR1 Conversion

    I think Iím far enough along on my 4-stroke swap that I can start sharing my progress.

    Iíve owned my XR1800 for about 5 years, and while I like the boat, Iím just not a fan of either the obnoxiously loud, fuel thirsty 2-strokes, or the finicky carburetors that fuel them. I got to the point where I was tired of constantly having to tear into the motors or carbs, and decided to follow the lead of a guy on the YJB forum who swapped a pair of MR1 HO motors into his XR1800 jet boat. While I plan to copy most of the things he did, I also plan to do a few things differently. Such as, instead of running two fuel pumps, I liked @TuningForkMarine idea of running one pump into a dual port fuel regulator, and fueling both motors off that.

    Due to the nature of being married with two young toddlers and a demanding full time job plus National Guard training, progress on the swap is sporadic, and often there are long stretches where I make no progress at all. But I will post updates if and when they happen.

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  2. #2

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    XR1800 160hp MR1 Conversion

    I sold both of my 1200 power valve motors and a carb rack to fund the purchase of an Ď05 FXHO and an Ď05 FX Cruiser. I found these gems in Texas while on a jobsite visit for work. The skis had about 45 hours on them, and had been sitting in the Texas sun not being used.

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    Last edited by Robb235; 07-06-2020 at 09:22 PM.

  3. #3

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    XR1800 160hp MR1 Conversion

    I pulled the motors out of the skis, and realized I was going to need a new, beefier work bench. The bench I had before was left over from the previous home owners, and was much too small. I also built an engine dolly so that I could roll an engine outside and crank it to make sure it ran ok before putting it into the boat.

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  4. #4

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    XR1800 160hp MR1 Conversion

    I bypassed the Yamaha remote system by splicing together yellow to yellow, blue/black to black/blue, and blue to black. After those connections are made, need to run switched power to the yellow wires that are now spliced together. I used the Ignition pole of the universal key switch Iím using for bench testing to supply power to the yellow wires. So with Key On, the jet ski gauge cluster comes to life, and Key Off kills power (unless Iíve just recently bumped the starter, then it stays on on its own for a few seconds and then times out). Engine turns over when key is pushed to Start. Behaves just like a boat should, bypassing that Yamaha waverunner security BS.

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  5. #5

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    XR1800 160hp MR1 Conversion

    I rolled my engine dolly outside and cranked up Engine #1. What a beautiful sound compared to the 2-strokes.

    I have the fuel pump removed from the pump assembly and submerged in the red gas can.


  6. #6

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    XR1800 160hp MR1 Conversion

    So I went into this project not realizing I would have to cut up the engine bay a little bit to make these MR1 motors fit. When reading the other guyís thread on YJB, I knew the motor mounts would have to move forward about 3Ē, but I failed to realize the odd ball XR1800 engine bay would need some cutting to make them fit.

    Luckily I was able to study the guys photos a little closer and traced out the areas he had cut with a sharpie in my engine bay. After getting over the dread of cutting up an otherwise pristine engine bay, I went to work with my jigsaw and made the cuts for the left motor.

    My original plan was to follow the idea of @TuningForkMarine and use some aluminum angle and use those as rails, and bolt them down to the stock motor mount locations. Then bolt the motor to the aluminum rails.

    Quote Originally Posted by TuningForkMarine View Post


    I used angle because I figured the vertical leg would add rigidity, and aluminum to resist corrosion. But when I went to test fit the motor, the vertical leg of the angle conflicted with the exhaust manifold of the MR1.

    So I scrapped the aluminum angle and went with 3/16Ē flat bar steel to use as my engine rails. My next step is to test fit the engine again, mark where I need to drill holes in the steel to bolt the motors down, and then paint the steel with epoxy paint to resist corrosion.

  7. #7

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    XR1800 160hp MR1 Conversion

    Did some more test fitting this weekend using my 3/16Ē flat steel rails. That seems to be the perfect thickness for the rails; I was able to align the motor without any shims.

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  8. #8

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    Next step is to prime and paint the rails, since the rails are steel. I think Iím going to try this stuff.

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  9. #9

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    XR1800 160hp MR1 Conversion

    So I picked up a pair of a pair of SX230/AR230 HO tachometers. In addition to hooking up the tach signal, ideally Iíd like to also hook up the three warning lights: Check Engine, Low Oil, and Overheat. Problem is, Iím not sure which wires to run from the jet ski ECU to the tachs to make these warning lights work.

    When I study the FXHO service manual, it looks like there are basically three bundles of wires running to the jet skiís multi function indicator: the remote control box, the speed sensor, and the fuel level sensor. The jet ski multifunction indicator seems to get its information by ECU>Remote Box>Multi Function Indicator. I think the Blue/Black and Black/Blue wires control the buzzer. That leaves the Blue/Yellow wire as being, what I believe, the sole data connection telling the Multi Function Indicator the RPMs, engine trouble codes, low oil warning, and overheat warning. Which is information all coming from the ECU, through the Remote Box.

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    When I look at the AR230/SX230 HO service manual, thereís no such electrical diagram telling me how the tachometer receives its information for engine trouble codes, low oil, or overheat warnings. The only thing thatís in the manual is what appears to be the assembly instruction for the guys at the factory putting together the gauge cluster panel. It just shows 3 wires, Blue (check engine), Green (overheat), and Purple (low oil). Where those wires go after they leave the tachometer isnít clear.

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    So how to go from the one wire feeding the jet skiís Multi Function Indicator, to the three wire setup going to the AR230/SX230 tachometer isnít immediately obvious to me. Would love to hear if anyone has any insight.

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  10. #10

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    XR1800 160hp MR1 Conversion

    So I went browsing on the tach manufactureís (Beede) website, and found what appears to be the pin out for the exact Yamaha tachs I have, pictured in my previous post. From what I can tell, itís a different tach than whatís shown in the AR/SX230 HO manual thatís also in my previous post.

    The AR/SX230 HO manual shows 6 pins at back of the tach, with a harness and connector coming off the tach. What I have is an 8-pin connector, integrated into the tach (no harness coming off of it). These 8-pin tachs I have appear to match exactly to Beede model # 548012. Interestingly, the manual for that tach is labeled as being for Suzuki and not Yamaha.

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    So now I know which pins trigger each alert lamp (check engine, low oil, and overheat). My question is, where do these alerts come from?

    For example, the Low Oil alert. Is there a wire that should come from the ECU to that pin on the tach? Or do I splice into the wire coming off the oil pressure sensor and run that wire to the tach? I wish there was a better diagram in the AR/SX230 HO manual that told me.

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