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  1. #1
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada

    Arrow How to repair a Ficht fuel injection fuel pump - pressure regulator has fallen inside

    Update: While the following repair method does work, there is now an alternative that does not require removing the fuel pump from the tank.
    See ==> Alternative Ficht fuel pump repair using Kawasaki 16162-3701 inline pressure regulator
    Second update: Kawasaki regulators seem to be inconsistent.

    Newest update: Click here ==> The current preferred method uses a threaded hose barb adapter instead of the cotter pin method.

    A common failure with Polaris Ficht fuel injected engines is a sudden loss of fuel pressure. Symptoms include rough mid-range operation, engine surging, and lack of power above idle. Red light and 'Check Engine' message typically appear on the display.

    If the engine is run hard with low fuel pressure there is significant risk of engine damage. Typically the PTO (rearmost) piston will suffer lean burn quickly and can burn a hole right through the piston. This can happen in mere minutes.

    You can confirm the loss of fuel pressure by connecting a fuel pressure gauge to the schrader valve, located at the tee in the return fuel line. If the gauge reads zero or near zero fuel pressure (normal fuel pressure is above 20PSI) with the engine running, then there is a problem with the fuel pump.

    Clamp the fuel return hose between the schrader valve and the fuel tank. With the return hose clamped flat and the engine cranking or running, fuel pressure should rise to around 30PSI. This indicates that the actual fuel pump is running and flowing fuel, just has no pressure regulator to maintain back pressure.

    You can also run the fuel pump without running the engine. Find the Brown wire going to the fuel pump, and short the Brown wire to ground. You should hear the fuel pump running in the tank.

    The fuel pump always has 12 volt power. The fuel pump is controlled by the Brown wire to the pump.

    When the Brown wire is grounded, the fuel pump runs.
    If you want to force the fuel pump to run with the engine off, you must ground the Brown wire.

    Find a very thin pin or needle. Gently pierce the Brown wire that goes to the fuel pump, so the tip of the needle is touching the copper wire inside the Brown wire.

    There are no factory splices or convenient access points in the Brown wire. An alternate method is to slide a thin sewing pin alongside the Brown wire into the back of the fuel pump connector. Try not to damage the water seal around the wire. Wiggle the sewing pin around to make contact with the connector pin inside. Then use a jumper wire to ground to activate the fuel pump.

    Now use a jumper wire to connect the sewing pin/needle to a bare metal spot on the engine block. Do this such that the wire ends will stay connected and not create any sparks. A small alligator clip lead would work well for this.

    You should hear the fuel pump running. If the pump does not run, make sure the pin is actually touching the insides of the brown wire, and the connection to the engine block is good.

    With the fuel pump running, check the fuel pressure.

    If fuel pressure is near zero, remove the pressure gauge, and press in on the tip of the schrader valve. Have a cloth rag handy. Fuel should flow out of the valve, with modest pressure. This confirms the fuel pump is actually moving fuel, and the only problem is low pressure.

    Clean up any spilled fuel, and dispose of the rag where it can not catch fire.

    High fuel pressure with the return line clamped flat, and low pressure with the clamp removed, indicates that the pressure regulator inside the fuel pump has fallen off.

    If clamping the return fuel line does NOT cause the pressure to rise, then you are clamping the wrong hose, or the fuel pump has some other problem, or no power to the pump.

    Here is how you can repair your Ficht fuel pump, if the pressure regulator has fallen off.

    A 2002 Virage TXi was used for is example. For the MSX 140 the handlebar steering gear must be removed to make room.

    1) Safety first.
    You are going to be opening the fuel tank, and gasoline is explosive and flammable. Take precautions to avoid sparks and other sources of ignition. Work in a well ventilated area.

    If you are not comfortable working with an open gasoline tank, then don't do this repair yourself.

    2) Disconnect the battery negative cable at the battery, and move the cable end well away from the battery.

    3) While it is not 100% necessary to drain the fuel tank, I suggest you remove as much gasoline as possible from the tank.

    4) I also removed most of the oil from the oil tank, just to reduce the possibility of a big mess should the oil tank get tipped while shifting the fuel tank.

    5) Open the front hood, remove the storage bucket.

    If your model has the EMM located above the fuel tank, you may need to unplug and remove the EMM and bracket to gain enough working room above the fuel tank.

    Disconnect and remove both fuel and oil filler hoses. Stuff a clean lint-free rag into each hole to keep dirt out.

    Remove all fuel tank retaining straps (three on my Virage). Make note of how they were installed, as they can be tricky to reinstall later.

    Unbolt and remove the forward mounting bracket for the fuel tank.

    Disconnect the oil level sensor connector, and the fuel tank fuel pump electrical connection. The fuel tank connector has a small red tab that must be shifted sideways (just a small 1/8" or so) before the connector release can be squeezed and the connector can be unplugged.

    Shift any large ventilation hoses and other wiring out of the way, making note of how they were originally routed.

    If you decide to remove the factory hose clamps at the fuel pump, beware that the plastic pump nipples are fragile. The factory clamps are Oetiker style ear clamps which are removed by cutting off the ears or prying (gently) the metal band end, then unwinding the metal band. If you decide to cut off the fuel hoses near the pump then you may need to replace the shortened fuel hoses.

    Other methods;
    Unclamp and disconnect both fuel tank lines at the Schrader valve (mark which is which)
    OR unbolt and remove all the fuel injector brackets (the injectors themselves can stay on the engine), and wiggle the injector hoses out of the injectors. Be ready to catch any gasoline that leaks out with a rag. Don't forget that the rag is now going to be very flamable.

    If you do remove the fuel injectors, mark each with the cylinder it came from. Each injector must be returned to the same cylinder.

    Reach in and squeeze the tabs to allow the fuel tank vent hose to be disconnected from the fuel pump top.

    Lift the oil tank, and shift it rearwards a little. As the fuel tank moves forward, you can shift the oil tank farther back to give you more room. Be careful you don't spill oil from the tank.

    Now lift the front of the fuel tank, and wiggle it forward in the hull. It is a snug fit. You need to get the fuel tank forward enough to allow you to lift the fuel pump out of the tank.

    Unscrew the large retaining ring around the top of the fuel pump (it should be quite snug), then wiggle it off the pump. Don't pry or stress the plastic nipples as you work the ring off.

    You can now lift the fuel pump up and out of the tank. You may need to squeeze it past the hull edge. Be careful not to snag the delicate fuel sender arm, which sticks out from the side of the pump. Rotate the fuel pump as necessary to allow the sender arm to follow the fuel pump out of the tank opening.

    There will be some gasoline trapped in the fuel pump, so be careful not to spill it.

    Look inside the fuel tank. If you need more light, use a sealed flashlight, NOT a wall powered shop light. Look for dirt or loose bits. The tank should be clean inside. If it isn't, you should remove the remaining fuel, and wipe it out with a lint free cloth. Cover the tank openings with a cloth.
    Last edited by K447; 09-05-2014 at 10:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada

    Arrow Polaris Ficht fuel pressure regulator repair, cotter pin method

    Update: The preferred method now uses a threaded hose barb adapter instead of the cotter pin method. Do NOT use the cotter pin method - use the threaded hose barb method instead.

    Click here for the recommend repair method, using a threaded NPT-27 hose barb.

    Using the attached photos, look at the pump, and locate the pressure regulator. If it has fallen off the underside of the top, it is probably down inside the pump body.

    There are a few ways to repair the pump. You could just press the regulator fitting back into the hole, and hope it stays there.

    I have tried two different methods to ensure the regulator does not fall out again. For my first repair I drilled a hole right through the metal fitting, and through the plastic sleeve, and pinned it together with a Stainless Steel cotter pin. It was difficult to get the small holes to line up, and it may leak some pressure if the pin is not a tight fit in the holes.

    I prefer the second method, where the SS cotter pin engages a groove in the side of the metal fitting. No pressure leak concern, and it was easier to do than the through hole repair. This is the method outlined here.
    Update: I no longer recommend any repair using a cotter pin. Use the threaded hose barb instead.

    Dribble and smear a coating of 2-stroke oil around the rubber sealing ring, and work the oil down the sides (just wiggle the plastic piece around). Use a heat gun to evenly warm the rubber ring so it is more pliable. Do not overcook this, you just want to nicely soften the aged rubber without melting or burning anything.

    Using a flat bladed screwdriver or similar, work the round plastic hose fitting up out of the rubber sealing ring. Once it is free, work it far enough out that you can flex it over and work on the side of the fitting.

    Locate the fuel return hose nipple. It has an 'R' arrow molded on top, pointing towards the fitting.

    The fuel pump SUPPLY hose nipple has an 'S' arrow pointing away from the pump, and you can see the fuel pump hose still connected (I hope) to the bottom of the supply nipple.

    The VENT hose nipple has a plastic (blue) tab retainer. Make sure you are NOT working on the 'D' vent hose fitting. You must install the pressure regulator under the return hose nipple.

    File a groove into the side of the steel hose fitting on the end of the short pressure regulator hose. The closer you can place the groove to the upper end of the metal fitting, the better.

    As shown in the pictures, drill a small hole (I used a 1/16th drill bit) through the outer plastic flange, and through the plastic sleeve that the metal fitting will press into. The drilled hole needs to just skim across the side of the opening.

    It is important to plan the location of the filed groove and the drilled hole, so that the regulator piece faces into the pump body, not sticking out the side.

    Be sure to clean all the metal filings off the fitting, and from inside the metal tube. Any junk left in there may get stuck in the pressure regulator itself, or end up in your fuel system.

    It is also important to have the drilled hole line up with the slot in the metal piece, and have the hole drilled as high up as possible, to maximize the amount of plastic material below the pin.

    Use a larger drill to enlarge the hole through the outer plastic flange, so the head of the cotter pin will be recessed. Don't drill too deeply, just enough to accommodate the cotter pin head.

    Update: This careful drilling and cotter pin alignment is just way too fiddly and easy to get wrong. Do not use this method. It was an early experiment.
    THIS NEW METHOD works much better.

    Insert the metal fitting, and test fit the cotter pin. When the drilled hole is just right, the cotter pin should engage with a modest amount of force. If it takes too much force to insert the pin, you will over-stress the plastic. I had to enlarge the groove/hole in the plastic a bit to get the cotter pin to fit nicely.

    Once the pin is fully inserted, bend the ends open to retain it.

    Again, be sure to clean all plastic and other contamination out of the pump. It needs to be clean when it goes back into the tank.

    (Of course the fuel tank should also be clean inside. Do not depend on the fuel pump filter if there is significant dirt or debris in the fuel tank. If the fuel tank needs cleaning, then the fuel tank needs cleaning.)

    Now reassemble the fuel pump. Check that the fuel sender arm is not bent or damaged, and no plastic shavings or other debris remains inside the pump body. Entire pump should be clean and dry by now.

    Inspect the fuel filter ring around the pump metal bottom for rips or tears. There should be no gaps, as this filter is what keeps water in the tank from getting to the engine.

    There is another filter inside the pump body, down around the base of the actual fuel pump motor. It should also be clean.

    This filter cleans the fuel from the return line, and the pump body acts as a reservoir for the returned fuel when the level in the main fuel tank level gets low, or is sloshing away from the main pump intake. Fuel is drawn from the inside of the pump body any time the main intake doesn't have enough fuel under it.
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    Last edited by K447; 08-09-2017 at 01:11 PM.

  3. #3
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada
    Put the pump back in the tank (make sure the float arm is positioned properly), tighten the sealing ring, and re-attach the hoses.

    Return tank to proper position, and reinstall everything you took apart.

    The hardest part may well be putting those rubber straps back over the tank. Make sure all six strap ends are fully seated into those hull clips.

    Check every hose and hose clamp before you refill with clean gasoline.

    Hopefully you now have a working Ficht fuel pump, and good fuel pressure. It will take a moment for the fuel pump to purge the air out of the fuel lines and injectors, so give it some time while monitoring the fuel pressure at the schrader valve.

    While you are working on the fuel system, check that you have the updated fuel injector hose abrasion protection in place (Service Bulletin PWC-04-01);
    Ficht fuel injected engines; fuel hose abrasion at injectors, possible fuel leak
    Last edited by K447; 06-18-2009 at 02:35 PM.

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada
    For the curious, here are some more pictures of the parts inside a Ficht fuel pump.

    In total, there are three filters, including a small mesh filter right inside the intake of the metal Carter pump motor (marked 3101C 253, Made in USA).

    Be careful with the rubber one-way flapper valves. They are fragile!

    Everything must be clean and dry when it is put back together.
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  5. #5


    AWSOME work!Many thanks for your taking the time to go thru this!!>Marvin

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada
    It has been suggested that an alternate repair would be to splice an external pressure regulator in-line with the fuel return line to the tank, and just leave the original regulator loose in the tank.

    I am not familiar with such an external regulator, and have not found one that is suitable for marine operation in a PWC hull.

    If you find one that would fit, work properly, and not create a safety hazard, let me know.

    Deprecated: Alternative Ficht fuel pump repair using Kawasaki 16162-3701 inline pressure regulator Do not use this method, see note below.

    Note: The Kawasaki inline regulator repair is no longer recommended.
    Use the NPT-27 threaded hose barb repair method instead.
    Last edited by K447; 07-18-2017 at 08:59 AM.

  7. #7
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    I have been asked to post a photo of what the pressure regulator itself looks like, when it has fallen inside the pump (first photo).

    The small round brass fitting on the loose end of the short hose section is the actual pressure regulator. The reason it falls off is that there is nothing supporting the regulator itself, it just hangs on the end of the hose.

    In rough water riding, the weight of the regulator swings back and forth, and eventually the metal hose fitting works itself loose from the plastic hole in the top of the pump.

    The other photos show an undamaged, original condition Polaris Ficht fuel pump.
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    Last edited by K447; 07-28-2014 at 10:28 AM.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Sudbury, Ontario
    I agree with mrjetski...great post on the fuel pump. Well, I purchased a fuel pressure gauge, hooked it up and jumped the brown wire to make the pump run, fuel pressure read close to 20 lbs, when I clamped the return line rose to nearly 30lbs of pressure. NOTE: ( Using a small sewing needle, I was able to slide it along side the brown wire at the connector without actually piercing the brown wire, worked great)
    I did have the cylinder removed and had a rag under the injector, while doing the test, the injector sprayed constantly. Not in a really equal pattern, but I did not want to continue running the test while fuel was coming out.

  9. #9
    Moderator RX951's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    San Antonio, Texas
    great post

  10. #10

    Smile Carter Fuel Pump on Ficht system

    This is a great post. I am hoping it is still active after several months. Has anyone tried to cross reference the Carter Fuel pump. I noticed in the thread you had a pump number of 3101c 253. Mine says 0511B 253. I would guess either one would work. The Federal Mogul web site was not so usefull and they only sell the complete module for $400+ bucks if you buy the Polaris replacement one.

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