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  1. #1

    1998 GTX Limited Pulsing Cranking but no start


    Picked up this relatively clean (on the outside) ski. this has the 947 Carb motor in it. I've been working on getting the carbs cleaned and the fuel lines replaced. I bought it and heard it run at a fast idle but ran terrible. I verified that it had 150 psi compression before buying. It had this weird symptom before I bought it. Sometimes the starter solenoid would stick and keep cranking. Other times it would do this pulsing cranking things where it would not crank continuously.

    NOW when I try to crank the ski over it cranks for less than a second, pauses, cranks a half a second, pauses, but never starts and never cranks continuously. Here is what I have been through so far.

    1. Thought it was the starter solenoid / relay. I've tried a cheap eBay Chinese relay and one and one from a Seadoo Parts Ski. . . .SAME RESULT with both. (weird pulsing cranking) I am able to back probe the positive side of the plug into the solenoid and energize it with my power probe. When I do this the ski cranks beautifully and continuously until I tell it to stop.

    2. Thought it was the start stop switch on the handle bar. Tried to change that. NO CHANGE. Currently I have two bare wires on the handle bar and I just hold them togerther when cranking.

    3. Thought maybe it was the battery. Had the battery tested and verified it was good. Also swapped out a brand new DEKA AGM from my 1996 XP which is runniong good . . . SAME RESULT with that battery.

    4. Thought maybe it was grounds. I have cleaned up a few grounds in the back but not everything yet. As a substitute for that I took a set of three text leads and tried to better ground the engine to the battery. No Change.

    5. I did unplug the plug to the starter relay and back probe it. It shows 12.3V as long as I hold the wires together

    Here is some food for thought . . .

    I put the key on and the beeper barely gives two muffled beeps. I played with the beeper the other day and sometimes it beeps loudly other times no. When I push my start wires together I do get spark at the plugs as the ski pulse cranks but I can't seem to get the ski to fire at all. TIMING MAYBE??? If I put the key on and manually actuate the solenoid I also get spark but no fire from the ski.

    The Maintenance message is flashing along with a red light flashing along with a 12v Low message. I have unplugged the MPEM and plugged it back in just to try to clean up the terminals.

    I'm going to try cleaning up some grounds but I don't have a great deal of hope for that. I did randomly crank the ski over without the exhaust chamber on it to see if it would pump oil through the new lines. The ski fred up immediately two different times . . . .scared the hell out of me. But I have not been able to repeat that since.

    I have a few ideas what to try yet but I'm realling getting stuped on this one. One thought I have is . . . .Does the ski think it has started and is therefore disengaging the starter???

    UPDATE . . . . .UPDATE . . . . . .UPDATE

    Unplugging the stator from the front of the motor now the engine will crank continuously. If I plug the stator back in suddenly it goes back to intermittent cranking. I think the ski thinks it has started and keeps pulling power to the starter intermittently.

    I checked the OHMS at the three yellow wires at the MPEM. I get right at 1.0 OHMs at each pair. SOme of them are a little higher depengin on the reading but generally I'm gettig just over 1 OHM back probing the wires. I also tested and found NO continuity to ground on either of the three of the wires???

    I pulled the ground wire on the front of the stator cover and cleaned it. I got a little spark putting it back on. I tested it a few times and sure enough I get a little spark there. ODD . . . .
    Last edited by arbogaster; 08-03-2020 at 07:09 PM.

  2. #2

    2000 motor in a 1998 ? ? ? ?

    OK looking back on things I now know that I have a 2000 vintage 951 motor in this 1998 GTX limited. Everything appears to plug up ok but now I am reading that there are differences in the flywheel that will make the ski not act right. I think I can install a 1998 flywheel and get this thing running. Anyone concur? My only other idea is an exciter / pick up coil. I had one go bad on my 1996 XP but I don't recall if I had no spark or what the deal was.

  3. #3
    Myself's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    North Central Arkansas
    You're getting 12v low message, pulsing cranking, and cranks over fine with stator unplugged.......sounds like the voltage regulator has crapped.......which is INSIDE the MPEM. There is a kit from OSD parts to mount an external one.

    With lanyard in place can you jump the starter solenoid and make it fire up?

  4. #4
    What I learned last night is that the flywheel from a 1999 and newer 951 has 4 magnets on it. The 1998 and older have 2 magnets on them. My 1998 Seadoo Ski is getting twice as many pulses from a four magnet flywheel and as a result the computer thinks the motor is turning twice as fast. This is beacuse the motor in it now was from a 2000 RX 951. What I hypothesize is happening is the computer thinks that the motor has in fact started and is pulling the power from the starter. Once it realizes that it has not started it re-engages the starter. This is why it cranks great once you pull the plug from the stator cover. It isn't getting any signal as to how fast the engine is spinning so it doesn't pull the power from the relay. I have a flywheel and stator cover with 2 magnets on the way to my house via ebay. I'm hoping that I can swap out the flywheel and get this thing rolling soon.

  5. +1 by:

  6. #5
    Myself's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    North Central Arkansas
    If, in fact, they left the flywheel from the 2 coil version with the single coil MPEM..............YEP, not gonna work.

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