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  1. #1

    15F overheat issue. Any guesses?

    2009 15F history:

    Bought it with a drop valve, puncture in the head that caused water in the oil. I replaced the head with a remanufactured one, all brand new gaskets and five oil changes resulting in clean oil. Ran three separate times on a garden hose for 10 minutes on three different days. No codes, alarms or water in the oil.

    New symptoms:

    Sold the ski. Buyer lives on a very shallow, very silty and mucky pine needle and other organic debris filled freshwater canal. He launched the ski on the main Lake, warmed it up for 2 minutes then took off across the very small Lake and ran it up to about 55 mph. The ski was pissing. When he came off throttle it died on him so he brought it back to shore when he got it started back up.... Fired up quickly so he just went back to his muddy canal. Turned it off for a little bit then came back out and the ski would not start... Just crank. Pulled the battery and put it on a charger and the battery which was almost 3 years old was very low voltage. Bought a new AGM battery and left it on a charger overnight for at least 16 hours.
    This process reset the computer so I have accurate record from there of the time on the computer and mileage run. The next morning he stated that it started right up but now it was no longer pissing out the pisser hose after a 2 minute idle out of his monkey debris filled canal. Claims he took off on it and it basically immediately went into overtemp alarm so he shut it down. Computer says it was running for approximately 10 minutes that day and 1.2 miles. At some point he started it back up and idled it back into the mucky canal. I showed up at his place a few hours later to investigate.

    When the ski was sold two days prior it was spotless. The ski was now covered with a medium thick ring of mud line... No doubt from floating overnight in that canal. The pine needle debris floating on the surface of this very shallow water was very thick. I reached around the top area of the pump and pulled out a small handful of pine needles immediately. Then I pulled the dipstick and found clean oil but when I pulled the oil fill cap there was blow by in the cap and clear signs of moisture in the oil. I took the ski home with me to look into it and after verifying every hose was clear only found one that was at least three quarters clogged if not even a little more. That was the main water inlet on the back right side of the ski coming from the pump that heads immediately over to the bottom inlet nipple on the oil cooler. I tried blowing into it and only a little bit of air would pass. I pulled the other end of that hose off of the front of the muffler where it goes after it leaves the water outlet on the oil cooler and found that the same restriction in air was still evident meaning that the obstruction was somewhere between the beginning of that water hose and the end of it where it connects into the muffler. I put a cup on the muffler and of the hose and blue into the other end until it blew out the water and muck that had settled somewhere in that line or the oil cooler itself. That cup of mucky water smelled exactly like his canal with the decomposing organics. Now all of the hoses in the system were clear. I then looked inside of the pump itself and it was absolutely packed with pine needles, grass clippings and other green Lake weeds and brown leaves. I cleaned the blow-by oil out of the air box, cleaned out the catch can by sloshing around unleaded fuel inside and then air drying that area out using a air compressor over the course of an hour to eliminate all the fumes. The catch can did not have anything in it noteworthy. There was a little bit of blow by oil water mixture sitting right at the entry of the intake manifold in front of the butterfly for the throttle body however there was no oil beyond the butterfly. Should be noted that the jet pump was completely clear of all debris and the throttle body and air filter compartment or all ultra clean before this incident.

    I cleared out all of the lines and other components, siphon pumped 3.9 courts of the water oil mixture out of the 4 quarts that I had previously added with the nose of the ski in the downward position over the course of a 18 hour extraction. Basically there was a tiny residual of oil left inside and apparently very little water in the system. The system was completely clean before I added the original 4.2 quarts of oil because I hung it from a shoplift for 24 hours with the oil dipstick tube removed and drained it all out... Then changed the filter before installing that new head. Then I did a series of four more oil changes in order to make sure that the oil was completely clean inside.

    My question for the group is, for those resident experts out there in the group I feel pretty comfortable saying that with a blockage in the oil pump side that the small amount of water that mixed with the oil probably migrated through one of the o-rings inside of the oil pump due to the back pressure from the pump forcing water to that blockage. Since the run time including a minimum of 3 minutes that it would take him to idle out of his canal and 3 minutes idle back into the canal I cannot imagine that the head gasket would be compromised or had warpage with such a relatively cool run. After all, after the original alarm he turned it off and would have let it sit for a minute or so scratching his head and then once in idle mode the system would demand very little water and probably was pushing a little past that blockage to keep things from overheating again?

    After my initial oil change last night I put it on the garden hose and ran it for 10 minutes straight in 98į Houston Texas temperatures without any alarms. The oil is now clear but I will be doing at least one more oil change including a new filter.Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    steve45's Avatar
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    Has he ever owned a 'Ski before?

    I admire your patience. I would offer to buy it back and sell it to someone that will take care of it. Otherwise, he may keep coming back expecting you to take care of it.

  3. #3
    Thanks Steve,
    Yes, I offered to buy it back if it was something that I did, mechanically speaking, to cause the overheat alarm. As soon as I blew in the oil cooler input line and found it to be clogged I thought for sure it was just a calcium or corrosion clogged oil cooler. Then when the muck came out and found the pump packed with canal debris I knew it wasn't my fault any longer. The negative lead on the battery that he replaced on morning #2 was also very very loose due to it being hard to get a screwdriver into that area under the solenoid and apparently he couldn't figure out that you can tip the battery to make a good connection. That was causing me more head scratching when it was giving me a bit of a hard crank and the LED on the gauges was flickering and not giving a complete display. I thought for sure the gauges were going out. Then, poof....a little white smoke came out o the battery side of the seat and I found the loose HOT ground wire. Some people deserve a refund and some break their toys because they think these things can just ride in any water condition. I've got 14 free hours in this one already, 5 oil changes and I replaced a flat tire because it had a crack in the rubber...on my dime and time. Oil does run clear on the garden hose now after a 10 minute 1400 rpm run. Gonna return to sender on this one.

  4. #4
    steve45's Avatar
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    Probably better change your phone number...

  5. #5

  6. #6
    I doubt water would pass through the oil cooler internal seals.Water pressure is about 60 psi on one side and oil pressure about the same on the other, give or take. On hose pressure rinse, oil pressure is way higher than water and no cross contamination occurs. The real test of overheat is in the water as I have seen them run fine on the hose with normal bypass flow, while in the water its a different story. Take the sucker out for a few hours and verify overheat and oil condition would be my take on it. And buddy did abuse it which could have caused overheat damage.

  7. #7
    Got the ski back and i've never been so happy to buy something back from someone. Glad to just have this man child and his daddy out of my life. Lessons learned.

    Pull the oil out and there was no water in the oil. Just a little bit of vapor moisture mixed in the head which is likely residual since after it had water in the motor the first time he never really did run it hard enough to steamthe residual moisture out. I blew out the oil cooler lines again and captured a little bit more muck but not too much.

    He said the problem was after 5 minutes of riding on clean water it went into alarm and said, HEAT"so he killed the motor and paddled it back to shore. Generally speaking I believe this is what did happen. I decided to replace the exhaust temperature sensor and the oil temperature sensor with some off of my 2013 15F. Also decided to pull the oil cooler and this is what I found. Looks like a bunch of corrosion or lime/calcium build up as well as slimy nasty funk. My guess would be that there was not enough cooling water flow in the oil cooler and because of the build-up on the sides of the cooling walls the water that did get through could not penetrate everything like it should have to cool the aluminum housing. Compound that with restricted water flow from the mulch in the jet pump and sediment in the cooling line from the muck it was the perfect storm. Two separate problems complimenting each other for a net bad result. Like I said, i'm glad I bought this one back from him because I hated dealing with him but also I don't want to sell something to someone that actually is needing immediate repair.

    Is there an easy way to test the oil temperature sensor and the exhaust temperature sensor on a bench? If this thing runs well now I certainly do not want to just throw away the other sensors if they test well. Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
    Put it in the water today again and it overheated. I am almost 100% positive that I figured out the problem with the extreme assistance of smokin sevin Sean. Among other things he recommended pulling the exhaust manifold and sure enough, the last exhaust section that the blue rubber coupler connects to had a hole on the inside diameter that is allowing cooling water to leak into the exhaust about 3 in rearward of the gasket between the two manifold sections. I was able to plug off all of the water lines and try to fill the manifold with water but it was just leaking out of the exhaust. Took a super clean fresh water manifold off of another ski and tested that one and there is no water leaking out of the exhaust like it is on this one. I am positive this is why my exhaust manifold and cylinder head cannot cool properly. Thank you so much Sean!!!!!

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