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  1. #1

    2001 XLT 1200 just dies in the water

    I have a 2001 xlt 1200 that I got new. Had cavitation problems with it the day I bought it. After I talked with several people about the problems I was having with the ski and the fact that I am also a heavy man. I wanted more punch and the ability to pull my friends skiing behind the ski. So I called Riva and got the stage II kit and a 13/18 prop. Installed it, man what a difference, it ran great for the last three years with no problems.

    At the end of last year my son and I were out on the lake and the ski died on him. He did get it started and drove it back in. Come to find out that the #3 piston broke apart, a near disaster. I had that fixed and it ran fine for about three hours of run time. #2 piston went out and I pulled all of the cylinders down to inspect them like I wanted the Yamaha Service to do. They said nothing else needed to be done, that was a lie. #2 was not ceased but had scared the cylinder. The rings were ceased and needed to be replaced.

    Here is what I replaced this time around.
    • All three pistons (complete)
    • #2 cylinder (new from Riva)
    • Gaskets all the way around

    $1200.00 dollars later and I had two problems after the build that were not there before.
    • Cavitation problem was back.
    • Ski was running well but after 20 min or the ski getting to operating temp it would just die in the water.

    Problem #1. Was easy, prop was chewed up a little so I replaced it with a new one and a Riva cavitaion kit. This has fixed that problem now. I only get a little cavitation around 12-15 MPH. I Donít know what else I can do to help with this problem.

    Problem #2. The last two times out that I have taken it to the lake for a test run it has died on me in the water. When it dies in the water, speed is not a difference. It runs great and with no warning it just stops running and we float to a stop. If I try to restart it, it acts like the motor is ceased or vapor locked. Within a min and several tries it will start to turn over and just before the battery is dead it will restart reluctantly. Depending on how far we have left to go, it may or may not do it again before we get back.

    I have no problems with the ski sitting in the driveway at the house on the hose. I thought this might be a problem with over heating or the water pump was out. I did notice in the drive way that the right side, front drain did not pump water out unless I plugged the left side up to start it. The water pump is my next step but I donít even know if they have one or it just uses the prop. I plan to run it on the driveway and use a laser heat gun to see what the temp is out of the water. Then take it back to the lake to so that it can die on me and see what the heat on the motor is at that point.

    We did have the problem today and brought it back to the shore. We let it sit after having the problem and it seemed to run ok back to the doc. I am going to go with over heating at this point. If any one can think of something different let me know.

    Any help on what could be causing this would be great.

  2. #2
    spud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Oceanside, California
    Did you rebuild the carbs? Do a compression check and when you fix it the next time rebuild the carbs and put a new filter on. It unfortunately sounds like you fixed the symptoms without fixing the root cause. Your dealer should have known better.

  3. #3
    I suffer from waverunneritis!!!! PWCManiac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Miami, Florida, United States
    U know, these XLT's are warriors. I just messed up the 3rd piston on mine after an entire 192 hours. Before that, it never gave me a problem. Your problem sounds electrical to me. It ticks me off that the dealership fixed what they believed the symptoms were but didn't look any further. I had a similar problem with a GP 800 I had & it turned out to be a rusted stator/flywheel. After running it for a while, it would die & forget about starting it. I might as well tow it in because it wouldnt start for hours & that's if I was lucky. That's from water(humidity) that settles inside the enclosure where the stator is. Go figure! When the ski is cold, the water settles at the bottom, as it gets warmer, the water starts to evaporate inside the enclosure there messing with the stator. I wish I could tell u exactly what was wrong with it because when you go to a mecahnic with the solution, the mecahnic knows not to stiff you because you are savy. When you go wiht a (?) mark thye notice it right away & abuse your wallet.

  4. #4
    Carbs are good, I have taken the oil injection out and added individual tunning to each for bottom end and top end. I had a thought that it might be the fuel filter but have not located it on the ski. I will have to get with riva on the location for that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Baytown, TX
    There are individual screens in each carburetor, as well as one big one underneath the little glovebox thing in front of the seat.

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