If you own a jet ski or are thinking of purchasing a new or secondhand personal watercraft you have to be aware of some of the common jet-ski problems and their fixes.
This way you can save yourself time and money from having to visit a mechanic for something easy. Let's check out some problems I have encounter either on my own PWC or others out on the water.
The Way to repair your Jet ski yourself
Many problems happen out that's the last place you would wish to be repairing your watercraft and to the water. Ensure you have the following tools on hand in your Jetski's front storage compartment for crises.
- Sharp lengthy knife
- 3/8 Drive socket set
- Shifter or wrench
- 40cm long metal bending rod
- Tow rope and shackle
- Suaoki Pocket Jump Starter
- Anchor and rope
- Water and spare life jacket.
- Fire extinguisher
This is something I come across all the time while I am out riding at the river or lake. Many jet-ski owners think that it is ok to ride across a ski rope because they do not have an exposed propeller. This is totally wrong and can lead to significant damage to your PWC.
The intake grate to a Jet-ski was made to ingest large amounts of water in force. This has the capacity to suck in a rope in addition to other foreign material. What then happens is that the rope starts to get wrapped around the jet pump shaft until it stalls the motor.
A negative effect is that it could bend the shaft or harm the bottom jet pump hull. Never ride across a ski rope from the water or allow a rope go slack close to the rear of the Jet-Ski.
So how can you eliminate a rope or canning stuck in your intake grate?
Well, the only way is to tow the ski back to shore and place it on the trailer. After that you can use a knife to cut the rope away from around the shaft. If you still can't get to the rope you'll need to remove the three bolts holding the intake grate on. Then you will have more space to work in this area.
There would be A DIY alternative to use a pool noodle which has been cable attached to the ski rope's conclusion. This keeps it afloat and off from the pump intake .
Seaweed, plastic totes, and rocks will clog up your intake and attract you.
Jet-Ski Wont Start
Another jet-ski difficulty that is frequent is that in the start of the summer season a lot of Jet-Skis won't begin. This is usually because of a weak battery. There is only enough voltage from the battery but insufficient to provide a spark to ignite the gas.
The battery voltage drops so low that the ignition system will not fire up.
Top up your battery through the winter months with a smart charger tender and then again at the start of the summer season. This may keep your battery in peak charge which can slow down the desulfation process which all wet cell phones are prone too. Should you keep it fully charged, you will not have any problems with your battery.
Learning how to desulfate a battery ought to be high on every automobile and ship owner list of preventative maintenance.
They don't take a lot of room up and are light. Just wrap it up in plastic to keep out the rust.
Another problem can be loose battery cable links. This will cause a difficulty starting and charging your PWC -- clean Check, and tighten.
Engine misfires, and runs irregular
- Sea-doo three cylinder 4-Tec motor
- Fouled /faulty / worn spark plugs. -- Replace.
- Water inside the sparkplug well, or about the ignition leads.
- Fuel amount too low, older or water-contaminated. -- Siphon outside using a fuel pump and refill. -- Try using an injector cleaner and if still clogged replace them.
Hinge busted on Jet ski front storage compartment
Most personal watercraft will have a compartment to store fire extinguishers, safety gear, water bottles, and gear. What often occurs is people slam the lid shut and pack as much equipment in the front compartment.
Because of the angle of the hinge, this is often a weak place and the lid or the hinge will crack and break. Do not overload the front seat and if you do pack it completely close the lid slowly to be sure there isn't any added pressure with this lid.
The little glove box lid near the handlebars on some Sea-doo's can suffer the identical issue. Only package them 3/4 with gear and you won't have a problem.
You are able to repair a broken hinge by buying the replacement parts on the internet or trying to correct the hinge using a fiberglass repair kit.
Reverse door wont operate
Sea-doo IBR forward/reverse drop down gate.
Depending on Jet-ski's brand some inverse grates will be operated and a few will be operated with a cable.
Sea-Doo uses IBR which stands for smart brake reverse was known as by an auto-reverse operation system. On occasion the IBR reverse terrace can get jammed using a stone or a branch from a tree. Remove and try again.
You could have a blown power fuse, if your forwards reverse gate still won't move. Replace the fuse and try again.
- At speeds below 8km/h (5MPH), yanking the iBR lever in will engage reverse.
- At rates over 8km/h (5MPH), yanking the iBR lever in will engage the brake.
- Yamaha includes so check for you or a gate could have a busted cable that is reverse.
Sea-Doo start key isn't being recognized.
D.E.S.S Start key plugged .
Sea-Doo uses a smart system to recognize that the owner is riding the jet-ski. So the PWC will not start, each key is programmed into this Sea-doo's memory. Its known as the
Digitally Encoded Security System or (D.E.S.S.) Don't even attempt to use your buddies key as this will not work.
When you place the key on the post of this Sea-Doo the craft won't recognize that key. Attempt to push against it harder as occasionally it could be on an angle.
Make sure if you are experiencing problems to dry them in case the key or the DESS article would be wet. I have yet to observe a Sea-doo start key neglect, but occasionally I see folks having D.E.S.S key article problems. This key post then needs to be replaced. Saltwater tends to corrode the internals.
If you do not want to visit a dealer and pay hundreds of dollars for a replacement D.E.S.S start crucial, you could always program on yourself. For this, you will need a Candoo Pro. These can also diagnose common problems in your Sea-doo, Kawasaki and Yamaha jet-skis.
Top speed not being achieved
Your PWC will probably be slower than usual. Examine the intake grate for ropes, rocks rubbish, and sometimes even . If the inlet greate is all apparent then check to find out whether you are using a learner key as this will restrict the RPM as well as the speed. Another problem might be that the speed mode might have been changed from sports/normal into ECO mode.
Impeller or A worn wear ring may cause cavitation and top end speed. Be certain if this is the cause to replace these. In the end, check the gate is fully in the position.
If all else fails your Jet-Ski could be in limp mode due to an engine sensor problem. An may put you. You will need to take your PWC to diagnose the precise problem.
Primarily you have to work out if your jet-ski is filling with water if conducting or if static sitting in water.
When it is filling with water whereas stationary use a torch and take the chair off. Often it's a seal on the shaft or there's a compression fitting onto a hose that will need tightening and is loose. Or someone forgot to put the drain bungs back in.
Its much harder to check for a water leak, under running conditions. The simple method is to keep the PWC on its own trailer and put it in the water. You have to reverse the whole trailer until the bottom of the intake grate in beneath water. Leave the chair off and start up the Jet-ski. Look where the water is arriving in to see. Often it'll be from the cooling circuit or the pump seal.
As it could increase 13, never utilize a PWC and fill your hull with water. If it happens your craft will start to sink and the motor will fill with water. The Sea-doo RPX was saved by getting return into the boat ramp.
Spark plugs difficult to remove
If a Jet-ski hasn't yet been serviced in a couple of years it may be challenging to remove the spark plugs. This is only because the plugs can be caused by rust to bind into the motor head. Utilize some fluid and leave.
Try and get rid of the plugs using the socket and a long extension bar. If the plug breaks the plug can be removed by you with an easy out extraction tool. Be sure to check to make sure no particles fell inside.
On replacing the spark plugs use a small amount of not seize to make them simple to remove next time. Torque them up into the spark plug's specifications. Spark plugs that are seized are a common Jet Ski difficulty because of the environment they are employed in.
Mold and Mildew on the seat and in the engine bay.
Mold inside a Yamaha FX Engine bay
If you do not allow out your Sea-Doo, Yamaha, or Kawasaki Jet-Ski atmosphere after every use you will start to draw mold and within your engine bay.
This mold fungus is challenging unless you use a toilet mold remover, to eliminate. Spray it on and let it go to work. Make sure to wash the area with fresh water following treatment.
Drain any water within the watercraft and one way to guarantee that mildew and the mold doesn't return would be to eliminate your PWC seat. I go as far as to sponge out any water which may pool in hard to reach areas.
Hopefully, a number of the problems and fix ideas will assist you in receiving your PWC back in the water quickly. 9 times out of 10 it is a fix which you can do yourself.
If you are looking to buy your initial PWC or trying to buy another then have a look at our article on what to look for while buying a secondhand Jet-Ski. It's full of specialized checks that you perform to be certain you don't get a lemon.
Having the tools on hand will make the job simple. You don't have to bring the entire workshop with you. But every watercraft should have the basic tools I said at the start of the report.
Ride safe and let me know in the comments below the way you have fixed it yourself and what problems you have with your Jet-ski.
The Repeller Grate
The Repeller Grate is a rugged and reliable stainless steel intake grate designed to enhance the performance of jet drive watercraft. The Repeller Grate inhibits the accumulation of weeds and debris on the intake grate, which may interfere with the performance of the watercraft. The Repeller Grate is scalable and can be designed to any configuration, to fit any jet driven watercraft. It is designed to replace existing stock cast aluminum intake grates. Being manufactured with Stainless Steel makes it stronger and less likely to break than a cast aluminum grate.
The Repeller Grate consists of 3 models, the Hydraulic Repeller, the Stationary Repeller, and the Internal Repeller. They can be used independently or together as a system. To date, methods of clearing debris consists of stopping the boat. With the Repeller Grate, there is no stopping.
It is important to note that the Repeller Grate does not interfere with the efficiency or performance of the waterjet. There is no induced turbulence or restriction of any kind. In fact, because the screen and impeller remain clear, performance will be very consistent at peak levels. The Repeller Grates are designed to enhance the jet drives performance in debris laden water.
Benefits of The Hydraulic Cutter
- Enhances the performance of jetdrives
- No stopping to clear the grates
- Does not interfere with the jets performance
- Rugged and reliable
- Can be run at anytime, at any speed
Be sure to click on the individual tabs to learn more about each model. Contact information is in the Contact Us tab. Call or email with any questions you may have.
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Minijet INC Die Cast Intake Kit
Choose between our debris clearing HD stomp-grate package or an HD fixed intake grate. Both options work with all modern PWC donor setups.
With our High-performance upgrade package we include an intake loading plate that evenly distributes water to the impellor. The flow is increased by using 3/16 inch chamfered intake bars instead of standard rectangular 1/4 inch intake bars and we re-surface the internal flow path to reduce drag, optimizing efficiency.
**The High-performance grates will allow more debris through so for extreme shallow operation the HD grates may be a better suited product
Designed for all mm PWC pumps.
Fixed-grates and Stomp-grates are made from T1 steel and come with all required hardware for installation.
NEW UNITS WILL SHIP WITH OUR EXCLUSIVE DRAIN PLUG SYSTEM (NOT YET PICTURED) UNLESS OTHERWISE REQUESTED VIA EMAIL AFTER PLACING YOUR ORDER.
Picture 1 : Intake and stomp-grate ($)
Picture 2 and 4: Intake only ($)
Picture 3: Intake and fixed-grate (does not hinge) ($)
Current available adapter plates for this casting:
Seadoo , and mm
Yamaha early model , current model and mm
Kawasaki , and mm
Honda mm (cc motor)
If you do not see your PWC make/model listed we offer a custom intake/grate service to suit other models. Please contact us with all your details for a price.
The way a jet boat works is the same as how a jet ski works. In fact, most jet boats use jet ski engines.
To demonstrate how a jet boat and their engines/drives work, Ive compiled pictures and described them in this article.
How A Jet Boat Works
As we can see from picture 1 above, the rear of a jet boat is quite different than other boats. We have the intake, nozzle, and the reverse bucket. This is also a twin-engine jet boat, but a single-engine is very similar.
When you turn the engine on, the impeller that is tucked away starts to spin. Water is sucked up from the intake and pushed out the nozzle.
The nozzle can be moved left or right; this is how you steer the jet boat.
The reverse bucket is what controls the forward and reverse direction of the jet boat. Right now, the buckets are in a neutral position, which is between forward and reverse. If the bucket is up, it would be in the forward position, and if the bucket were down, it would be in the reverse position. You can read more about this in our article about jet boats having reverse and neutral.
This system is much simpler and has less to go wrong when compared to a regular boat. A typical boat will have a transmission that shifts in and out of gears. Thus a regular boat has more moving parts and more things to go wrong.
Jet Boat Intake
Picture 2 above gives us a better look at the intake and pump of a jet boat.
The impeller sucks in water from the intake grate which is the 3 metal bars. The intake grate is for keeping big items like rocks from being sucked up and destroying the jet pump.
Why No Protective Mesh Screen?
Something I get all the time is the question of why dont they put a mesh screen in front of the intake to stop sand and rocks being sucked up? Since a jet boat is essentially a super powerful vacuum, anything in front of the intake will get sucked up.
The reason why they dont do a mesh screen is that it would significantly slow down the boat. The more stuff you have in front of the intake, the harder the engine has to work, and the slower you go. Even the slightest of mesh will significantly slow down the boat. The intake grate they have on there is the best compromise they can make.
When The Engine Is On
In picture 2, you can also see part of the drive shaft. The driveshaft is the metal rod that connects the engine to the jet pump.
When it comes to jet boats, if the engine is on the impeller is spinning.
Since jet boats are a lot simpler, they dont have transmissions that slip the propeller in and out of gears. Jet boats do have neutral, but its the sweet spot between forward and reverse. Its so fine-tuned that most people dont even realize their jet boat doesnt have a true neutral.
We can also see the jet pump in picture 2 above. The jet pump is about the size of a small bucket. The jet pump contains the impeller, wear ring, and bearings.
The Wear Ring
Its a very tight fit between the impeller and the wear ring. It needs to be tight to make a perfect seal to push water through.
The purpose of the wear ring is to protect the jet pump housing from damage as Its cheaper to replace.
Some manufacturers go with plastic wear rings because its cheaper than metal. But some go with metal because it holds up better than plastic. Both are right, but the plastic ones are becoming just as strong as the metal ones, so theyre starting to take over.
Unlike the name wear ring, its not a wear and tear item. Its not like your tires on your car that need to be replaced every so many miles. You only replace a wear ring when it gets destroyed. Youll know you need to replace it when the jet boat doesnt take off like it used to or shakes like crazy.
At the top of picture 2, we can see a metal plate that is right above the words Driveshaft.
That metal plate is unique to Sea-Doo and Scarab jet boats. That metal plate is the radiator as those two boats use a closed-loop cooling system.
This means they dont take in lake or ocean water to cool the engine. If theyre supercharged, they will still take in water to cool that and the exhaust too, but the engine itself never sees water.
The engine uses coolant, much like your car, to keep it at the perfect temperature. Yamaha jet boats and many other older jet boats use lake or ocean water to cool the engine. This is not bad unless you drive in a lot of saltwater. Saltwater corrodes engines and parts quicker than regular water.
Can You run a jet boat out of the water?
Since all jet boats take in water to cool the exhaust, you cant run them out of the water for too long.
You want to stay under 30 seconds max.
Going above 30 seconds without having your jet boat in the water will destroy and melt very critical parts.
Note: Sea-Doo does not make jet boats anymore since Scarab bought the Sea-Doo Jet Boat division and still use Sea-Doo watercraft engines. If you ask me, Scarab is nicer than the old Sea-Doos, and they get the perks of Sea-Doo engines, which are the best. Yamaha jet boats are not bad; they do lead in the jet boat market, its just that I find Sea-Doos engines and tech a lot better.
Boat grate intake jet yamaha
Aftermarket companies have sold things for the jetskis and those are really a different animaleven though they may have the same engine/pump. Because of our boats being twin engine (except /), the intake is in the deadrise either side of the keel. That creates some major differences on how well or bad the pumps flow. I am no engineer, but I am analytical, and my take is that almost anything in front of the existing pump/intake will disrupt the flow through it. A piece of fishing line, a twig, grass, almost anything will cause cavitation. Guys have talked about this and claimed they were going to redesign or mod their grates since the advent of this forum and I have never seen any follow thru or follow up even. There has been recent discussion on a mod to have a release lever so that you could open the grate tines to allow grass/weeds to flow off of the grates. And personally, I find that I really don't have issues sucking up anything unless the water is full of debris. Then it would be a good time to avoid boating with this boat. It is also my take, that at cruise speeds, you have little to worry about on ingestion, it is mostly at no wake or idle that you tend to suck up stuff. It is true that these pumps are like underwater vacuum cleaners, so avoiding being too shallow with engines rev'ed is a good policy, never powering out of the beach, or operating in water less than 3 feet deep. If you come up with a viable solution for your situation, post about it! Were all in this together!
txav8r - Mel
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