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  1. #1

    Help with my Kawasaki STX-12F starting

    Bought a 2004 Kawasaki STX-12F with service manual. Has new battery and will crank but not start so I pulled fuel pump and it was clean. Bench tested with battery and it spins fine. Hooked up the fuel lines and attached leads to spin the pump and fill the fuel bar until gas came out the port and fuel flows ok. Next, did a spark plug test while cranking. No spark. I installed a new Starter Relay Solenoid. 20V fuse is good. Still no spark or fire. When turning on the orange key (and key in kill switch), no sound or sign of the fuel pump spinning up. When cranking, no power comes from the leads to the fuel pump verified with my meter. Digital gauges are no good and I plan on replacing, but don't want to until I'm sure it runs. Do those need to work to start? Checked the Vehicle Down Switch and took it apart and seems fine. Is the next step an ECU or a harness? Is there an area in the wiring I should inspect? Is there a way to test the ECU? Thanks!

  2. #2
    steve45's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard, Jeff!

    Why did you replace the starter relay if it was cranking?

    Are you getting fuel out of the injectors? Pull the fuel rail/injector assembly off and crank it. You should get small amounts of fuel spraying every other crank rotation. You 'Ski has a high pressure fuel filter below the glove box (black cylindrical thing). It may be plugged.

    The display must be hooked up to start, but the display doesn't have to actually work--or at least on mine it didn't. There may be a problem inside that is killing it. When you buy a display, be sure to get the one for your model year. They are different and not interchangeable.

    Carefully pull apart all of the electrical connectors and harness terminators and inspect the pins with a lighted magnifier for burn marks, corrosion, loose or missing pins, etc. The old Kawi connectors were bad about getting water in them, and there is one on the forward part of the hull that lays on the bottom that gets water in it. Check it and tie it off up higher in the hull.

    Read this: ttp://greenhulk.net/forums/showthread.php?t=105268

  3. #3
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    multiple issues at play here:

    you're getting no fuel pressure or pump noises or power to the pump when the ignition key is turned to the on position
    there is no spark as you crank the engine

    the chain of command here involves getting a signal from the crankshaft position sensor which in turn is used to fire the ignition
    so with no instrumentation, you risk having to play a guessing game

    and perhaps it gets more expensive then you intended, as good gauges are hard to come buy and command an astonishingly high price

    new gauges are just explosively wallet flattening

    do you know anything about the history of this new to you ski?..anything at all?

    a 2004 12stf isn't the most desirable of the "f" skis ( for reasons well discussed on the forums) with a book value of $3400 sans trailer I hope we have some room to spend

    check all crank sensor ( or is it cam sensor on that model) resistance and possible unpluggage

    do a compression check and report back be a shame to put a lot of effort and expense in to find she has a bad jug

  4. #4
    Hi Steve,

    Hey man...thanks for the reply. Huge help. I'm mechanical and have owned a couple of boats that I worked on but I'm new to the Jetski world. I got this ski and trailer for $900. She was asking $1500 but I talked her down with no knowledge if it runs....but she said it ran last summer. I see evidence that the motor may have been worked on with things like new hoses and clamps. Im no expert on that though. Having the manual helps. I decided to change the relay because it's a $27 part and thought that might make the fuel pump cycle when the key was on. Ok, on to more questions:

    1) I have not checked the injectors for fuel but the fuel bar is getting gas when I supplied external power to the pump. What should I check first ...fuel flow or spark?

    2) The instrument panel is hooked up but doesnt work at all. Should that matter? I found one for $650 (ouch) but wont buy until this thing actually turns over to make sure I didnt buy a lemon.

    3) I can check all the connectors. Some of them look like fun to try and get to.

  5. #5
    Hi Pete!

    Thanks for the reply. Yep...hoping I didn't spend $900 on a dud....got the trailer too but yeah...would love to get this thing running. I bought it not knowing the history other than her telling me it ran last summer. Nasty divorce caused a fire sale but I might have bought some problems. Have owned a couple of boats but new to skis. Onto a few questions:

    1) You said: "the chain of command here involves getting a signal from the crankshaft position sensor which in turn is used to fire the ignition
    so with no instrumentation, you risk having to play a guessing game". Is this true for spark as well as the fuel pump running? I can check the service manual but is the position sensor something thats easily changed? It has the digital gauges hooked up, but the display is old and doesnt work. I see a few things that make me thing the engine has been worked on but not sure.

    2) Is the crankshaft position sensor the first step? You mentoned compression check. What does that do besides tell me if I have bad rings or a hole in a piston? The oil is also very clean.

    3) I get fuel to the injector bar when I use 12V leads to test the pump. Do you recommend finding out my no spark issue first before looking further into the fuel delivery?

    4) Have you heard of the ECU causing these issues? Another post suggested I take the wire connectors apart and check for corrosion or missing pins. Some are hard to get to so for ease and process of elimination /minimal expense to find the issue on the front end, should I start with the crankshaft sensor first? Like I said,I replaced the relay as it was only $27 but from this point forward parts will be more!

    Thank you sir!

  6. #6
    steve45's Avatar
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    Start by checking everything you can that doesn't cost anything. Check the battery voltage. Try a known good battery.

    You can pull the fuel rail and check the injectors by removing just two bolts. Be careful not to drop the spacers down underneath the engine. Check all the electrical stuff you can check with visual inspection and/or a meter.

    Read this: http://greenhulk.net/forums/showthread.php?t=281195

    Read this: http://greenhulk.net/forums/showthread.php?t=186939 (Sorry, this is what I meant to link in my first post).

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  8. #7
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    when I'm tasked with getting a ski with unknowns running:

    checking compression tells me if I should even bother writing it up, engine repairs on this model are pricey and used engines at a good price are all but impossible to find
    checking fuel pressure and then injector output clues me in on fuel system condition
    checking for spark comes to me as part of the compression check

    $900 gives you the room you need to get this running, assuming its not a mechanical problem

    compression is unknown
    fuel pump appears to run on the bench..but no idea if you have any fuel pressure during starting
    skis that have trouble are often jump started top the point of damaging the ecu and that could kill the spark

    luckily ecu's for this model are not wallet killers

    check the compression first
    then establish fuel pressure
    then check for spark, if no spark rather then dig around in the harnesses, I simply drop in one of my known good ecu's, not an option for you
    if there is no spark with a known good ecu, then the fun begins checking the sensors, including the down switch, which appears to fascinate you.

    keep in mind ( yes folks here it comes) that the ski is 17 years old, so almost anything is possible

    did I mention you should be wary if you see ANY evidence of mice, they can sometimes chew wires open that are very hard to see

    IF the compression checks out, get a set of fresh plugs in there then drop a teapoon of fuel down each jug, spin the plugs in and see if she coughs when you crank her

    fouled plugs/injectors are a distinct possibility and the fuel drop test is a good way to tell whats up.

    establishing that the expensive function of the engine ( compression) is good as it gives you the green light to pull out your wallet.

    do not be the guy that ends up with the five oclock surprise of a bad jug after dropping in a console and an ecu and whatever else

    expect to see 150-175psi across the board

    don't have a gauge?..some auto parts store will rent/lend them on the cheap

  9. #8
    Thanks Pete! Will do what you listed and report my findings. Appreciate the help!


  10. #9
    Thanks Steve45! Appreciate it and will check it out and report my findings

  11. #10

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    Could it be ignition switch or kill switch problem?

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