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  1. #1

    MSX140 carb engine swap question

    Hello all. Just picked up an extremely clean 2003 MSX140 with a bad motor. Clean as in it has been garaged it's whole life and has little to no scratched or dings. Also freshwater and 128 hours.

    As for the engine. the jugs were removed and sitting in the ski. Mag piston has a hole and PTO side walls are scored really bad.

    I have a 2001 Virage TX which is a complete running ski, but have no title for it. Was waiting to find something with a bad motor and a clean title to put this motor in. Also picked up a fuel pick up/sender unit for a 2004 Freedom a few months ago for a just in case future project like this.

    Going back and forth about rebuilding the MSX motor or just installing the carb'd motor and call it a day. Leaning to the carb just for ease of service and future diagnostic issues. IF I had DW it would be a different thought process.

    One question about the 2 engines. Are jugs, pistons and bottom end the same between the 1200 DI and carb motors?


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Red engine 1200 motors, carb and Ficht parts are the same.

    Except for cylinder heads and the fuel pump pulse port on the crankcase.

    DW is not that hard to source. Although most of the time I didn't bother using it. Most Ficht diagnostics can be done without.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    Red engine 1200 motors, carb and Ficht parts are the same.

    Except for cylinder heads and the fuel pump pulse port on the crankcase.

    DW is not that hard to source. Although most of the time I didn't bother using it. Most Ficht diagnostics can be done without.
    Thanks, so just plug the pulse port if I use carb bottom end with the Ficht heads? I looked at sourcing DW a few months ago and reached out to a couple of people but didn't get much of a response or clear direction of how to source it.

  4. #4
    martincom's Avatar
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    Be sure to reinforce the fuel pressure regulator (FPR). It is known for literally falling off, inside the fuel tank. When this occurs, fuel pressure drops to near zero and the mixture becomes quite lean,burning holes through pistons. See the stickies for threads on how to reinforce the FPR. The best time to do so is while you have the engine out. The fuel tank can be slid back to where the engine was, making removal of the fuel pump canister much easier. Also, add O-rings to the oil tank sending unit. It is known to leak profusely around the neck. Also, check the reverse mechanism. More often than not, they are damaged as the original design had issues. See the stickies, again, on how to correct. The reverse mechanism is much easier to remove with the fuel tank slid back and requires the same upper hull console components removal.

  5. #5
    Myself's Avatar
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    I have double checked rod and crank snout part numbers. They are the SAME between Ficht and carbed.......meaning the flywheels will fit either bottom end. I couldn't get so lucky on my Tigershark project.....different snout tapers...boo-hoo.

  6. #6
    Moderator HiPeRcO's Avatar
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    Candoopro makes good diagnostic software. Links in my signature.

  7. #7
    personally I would just convert to carbs for a 20 year old ski. For fuel injection the ecu is expensive, the tps is expensive, the stator and flywheel are expensive, the fuel injectors need to be mapped to the cylinder which requires sending them to someone when one goes bad, etc, etc

    the keihin cdk2 carbs are cheap, easy and very tunable. i just got done rebuilding and rejetting mine getting ready for the season.

    gas mileage will suffer substantially but you're probably not going on 50 miles tours on a 20 year old ski anyway.
    Last edited by randys; 01-27-2021 at 06:29 PM.

  8. #8
    Myself's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randys View Post
    but you're probably not going on 50 miles tours on a 20 year old ski anyway.

    Why not? We take ours on 40-60 mile trips. Hell, I'll ride my old '89 650sx stand up on a 30 mile trip lol!

  9. #9
    martincom's Avatar
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    I disagree. The EMM can and likely will have age related issues--nothing that cannot be repaired affordably and will likely be trouble free for another 20 years. Carburetors are perpetually problematic with today's blends of gasoline. You'll spend far more resolving carb issues than EMM issues in a few years. The TPS was not expensive until they were discontinued. The second generation TPS units are reliable and not prone to failure. The stator is comparable in price to others. The non-MSX, 6 magnet, flywheels are known for magnets becoming detached. While this is a known issue, I wouldn't call it a chronic issue. The MSX has a 12 magnet flywheel. The smaller mass of the magnets makes them far less prone to becoming detached and I, personally, have never heard of such an issue. The fuel injectors are also very reliable and I, personally, also have never heard of one failing. As far as replacing them, you don't have to send them out. The software is available, here,in the stickies, at no charge, where you can update the EMM for the replacement injector.

    Replacing fuel injectors with carbs is a giant leap backwards in both performance and reliability. You'll also be making a Frankenstein out of the watercraft, destroying it's resale value.

  10. #10
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martincom View Post
    ... The EMM can and likely will have age related issues--nothing that cannot be repaired affordably and will likely be trouble free for another 20 years. ...
    A repaired EMM, even repaired properly with care and good components, should not be assumed to therefore be trouble free for 20 more years. All the still-original internal components will then be 40+ years old. The repairs themselves would be 20 years old.

    Five more years of useful life post EMM repair, seems quite possible.
    Ten years ... maybe?

    The Ficht fuel injectors generally do not seem to fail often. But they do live right on top of a violently shaking engine. The internal fuel seals will continue to age, and the plastic fuel line connectors probably will get more brittle with age. I cannot predcit failure rates 5-10-20 years from now. But I can suspect there will be degradation.

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