Jet Ski Carburetor Rebuild + Photo’s!

Summer is almost upon us with beautiful, glistening, lakes waiting for you to jet across! But first, you’ll want to rebuild that carburetor on your jet ski.

We’ll be working on the Yamaha 2000 XL 700.

Carburetor rebuild kits for your Jet ski on Amazon!

Rebuilding a carburetor is easy work if you follow a few very simple, yet seemingly obvious rules:

  • Work in a clean area. Decide where you plan to work on the carburetor and clean up the area. Get rid of any clutter. Wipe everything down. The cleaner the better. One errant piece of dirt can screw up the whole rebuild process.
  • As you remove parts, mark and label them. Have several bowls or cups set out to put screws in with a label. The sizes of the screws in a carburetor are as various as where you will take them from. This is really important.
  • Have a good light set up where your going to be working, along with lint free towels and paper towels.
  • Don’t remove anything until you have your rebuild kit in your hand. If you take the carburetor all apart while your waiting for the rebuild kit pieces have a good chance of disappearing.

Decide where your going to work on the carburetor, order or pick up your carburetor rebuild kit specific to your jet skis carburetor type. When you open the carburetor kit be very careful because some of the pieces are clear and very hard to see. You don’t want to lose them!

You will also want to have rags (lint free), spray carb cleaner, some Q-tips for the tiny passages, and compressed air, a screw driver (one pan and one phillips head).

Remove the Carburetor From the Jet Ski

You will need to remove the carburetor from the jet ski to work on it. Disconnect the negative from the battery terminal to avoid accidental starts.

1st In the engine compartment locate the air intake. The carburetor is below it. There are 6 screws attaching the air intake.

I removed the hoses while the carburetor body was still attached to the engine. It gave me leverage to get the hoses of and I didn’t risk removing a hose by accident and not seeing where it came from. As you remove the hoses label them! A piece of tape with a note written in black marker is all you need.

Label the hoses as you remove them! You can use tape to label them or write directly on the hose with a marker.

Now it’s time to remove the carburetor from the engine. Remember the throttle cable is still attached. It’s easier to remove it once you pull the carbs out.

These are dual carburetors that work in sync. Pay attention to how the carburetors are connected. Take a picture of it if you need to help you remember how they link.

The bolts attaching the carburetor to the engine have red arrows pointing to them. The yellow arrow, bottom center, is where the two carburetors connect.

When you are ready to pull the carburetors out lift them up together until you can access the throttle cable on the front side (looking down, the right hand side) of the carburetors.

The throttle cable has a barrel on the end of it that is set inside the throttle lever. To get the barrel to come out of the side of the hole you must line up the throttle cable wire with the slit in the throttle arm. Then the barrel will slide out of it’s home.

Now you have the carburetors out it’s time to rebuild it! Take it to your work area and grab a handful of paper towels or something else very absorbent because the first thing you’re going to open will have standing fuel in it. Just carrying the carburetors to your bench you may notice fuel leaking from passages. That’s okay. It’s supposed to have fuel in the passages.

Lay out your carburetor rebuild kit pieces and the instructions if any were provided. Rebuild kits will have extra pieces in it usually. These rebuild kits are assembled with multiple types of carburetors in mind. Your particular carburetors may, or may not, need all the various pieces in your kit.

As you work, do not change any of the adjustments on the carburetor or you will need to re-tune it when you are done! If you leave the screws on the outside where they are, you won’t have to re-tune it.

Start by selecting one of the carburetors to start with and separate the carburetors. Turn the carburetor over and remove the four screws on the bottom. These may prove to be difficult to remove. The screws on mine were so tight I ended up using vice gripes to get them started unscrewing so I wouldn’t ruin the phillips head on them.

When you separate the bottom this is what you will see inside. Look at your carburetor kit pieces and anything matching, replace. For example: The black diaphragm will definitely need to be replaced. The clear plastic piece will too. Any “O” rings as well.

Systematically go through each section of the carburetor cleaning all surfaces, spraying out all passages with carburetor cleaning then compressed air. Set the pieces aside in the order you removed them. There may be some white chalky material or goop the consistency of jello in it, wipe it out. Gasoline turns into a jello type substance when it sits for a while.

Once you have every surface and passage cleaned you will start putting it back together just as you took it apart. Look in your carburetor kit pieces and replace all “o” rings, gaskets, clear and otherwise, springs, float needle, etc. Your carburetor kit will most likely supply every gasket you need but not all the screws and springs. Some springs, etc., don’t need to be replaced so they are not provided.

When you have it all put back together pay attention to how the two carburetors link together. Mine were not liked properly, or at all I should say, just linking them properly made a world of difference in performance!

The main carburetor is supposed to actuate the second carburetor at this junction. As you can see the second carburetor wasn’t in the correct position to be actuated!

Make sure to tighten the last four screws really well or they will leak for sure! That is the main gas area where the float is. It has gas in it constantly so make sure you tork them down well.

You’re ready to put the carburetors back in the jet ski and you’re done! Good Job!

Amazon has every carburetor rebuild kit available right here!

Replace the Starter On Your Jet Ski

Are you experiencing the no start with your jet ski? You insert the key on your lanyard, you push the little button and…….nothing. Replacing the starter motor is a straight forward procedure you can do yourself. We can get you back on the water in no time at all.

More often than not, the cause of the no start is a dead, or weak battery. These batteries don’t last long. Every season I have to get a new battery. I’ve tried going with the previous seasons battery, only to have it die when I was out on the water! Be safe and invest in a good battery every season.

Before working on a jet ski it’s a good idea to make sure it is on a solid base where it cannot move sideways or tilt. The jet ski trailer can work for repairing a jet ski, but it is far from ideal. The reach to gain access to the engine compartment is tall/high, you will probably need to mount the trailer to get to the starter, which can cause a tilt of the jet ski. If you can make a stand, or borrow one, I recommend it.

Jet Ski Starting Sequence

There are four steps the starting system goes through to activate the starter motor in a jet ski. A no start situation can be one of the four part starting sequence, or a couple of the parts.

  1. The first part is the lanyard key and the push button assembly on the handle bar. When the lanyard key is inserted and the button pushed it allows a signal to go to the electrical box which.
  2. Second, if the signal passes through the fuse, the battery will be allowed to send voltage to the starter solenoid.
  3. The third part is the starting solenoid located in the electrical box under the seat, attached to the back wall, allows the current to pass through to the starter motor.
  4. The starter turns over and the jet ski comes to life!

If all goes according to plan the power from the battery, through the starting solenoid, reaches the starter, located under the exhaust manifold, that is located under the seat, and turns the starter motor, and off we go.

If there is any break in the wires from the push button on the handle bar, all the way to the starter, the starter won’t turn over.

Check the System

The following steps will help you to determine whether the wiring, or the actual starter, is the problem. If any of the following continuity checks fail, then it is not the starter:

  1. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A GOOD CLEAN GROUND ON THE BATTERY NEGATIVE CABLE (The black cable from the battery. It should be attached to the engine with a bolt). Something as simple as a dirty, corroded, connection can cause a no start.
  2. Is the battery FULLY charged? A battery with a low charge will not start a jet ski.
  3. Start at the push button. Open the front cover and remove the bucket insert to access the wire connections below the steering wheel. They are attached to the left side wall (left side as when you are sitting on the ski). Disconnect the connector with the wires from the push button. With your meter, check if there is continuity when the key is inserted and the button pushed?
  4. With the connector still disconnected, use the meter to check for continuity from the connector to the fuse in the electric box. Don’t forget to reconnect the starter button connection wires when you are done.
  5. Inside the electric box, is the fuse still good? Check it with your meter.
  6. You can test the starter solenoid by removing it and then directly touching the positive and the negative (respectively) to the positive and negative on the battery, it should immediately click. This little solenoid is often the reason for a no start. You should hear a click from this little device when the contacts touch each other in an attempt to start.
  7. Last, but not least, the red, positive cable from the electric box to the starter, what condition is it in? Check the continuity with your meter. Check the post it attaches to on the starter for corrosion, and a clean connection.

Did it pass all inspections? If it did, then it’s probably your starter, so let’s replace it.

This Is What You Can Expect To Pay For A Starter

Remove the Starter

Disconnect the negative battery cable from the terminal. Personally, I remove the positive and the negative when I’m playing with the starter, or the electric box. Both of these can give you one heck of a jolt! Disconnecting both will prevent any accidental starts, or electrical shock.

Under the seat, at the very bottom of the engine, is where the starter is located. There’s no need to panic. It may look daunting, but it is quite simple. There is an internal and an external exhaust on these engines (See photo). Once the external is unbolted, the internal needs to be de-tached. Refer to the accompanying photo’s and follow along:

  1. Remove the exhaust: There are bolts attaching it to the motor on the inside between each manifold and to the top of the engine. In addition there is a hose clamp on both ends of the exhaust. Once these bolts and hose clamps are removed the boot on each end must be slid off. This can be difficult. Use a screwdriver to pry it.
  2. Under the front boot is an additional hose clamp. This additional hose clamp is holding the inner exhaust in place. Loosen it by unscrewing it until the inner exhaust is free.
  3. Carefully maneuver the exhaust from the engine. It is about 15 lbs altogether so it can be trying on your patience to get it out. I slid mine towards the back, lowered it down into the cavity, then the front side was able to clear the lip and it came out.
  4. Once the exhaust is out of your way, unscrew the four bolts on the front side of the starter (See photo). You can’t get a clear view of the starter because of the engine mounts and the engine blocking a clear view. Use a mirror and feel for the four bolts on the front holding the starter and remove them. Then, remove the two on the back. The starter will now be free of the engine once these bolts are removed.
  5. You can now lift the starter out by sliding it towards the rear to disengage the splines, and then up so you can remove the red, positive, battery cable.

Install the New Starter

  1. Get your new starter and attach the red, positive battery cable to it.
  2. Lower the starter down into position and press forward so the splines mesh into the motor splines nicely. Do NOT force this part or you can break the starter.
  3. Once you have the starter seated, install the bolts on the back side.
  4. Now install the bolts on the front of the starter and torque them down.
  5. After cleaning up the contact ends of the exhaust manifold, wedge it back down into position, and attach the inner exhaust with its hose clamp.
  6. Then push the boots back into position and tighten the hose clamps.
  7. Replace the rubber hose on top of the exhaust.
  8. Hook up the battery cables to their appropriate terminals (positive/red to positive battery terminal and negative/black to the negative battery terminal).

Now fire it up!

Good Job!

The Jet Ski Starting Solenoid

The starting solenoid, or starter solenoid, is a small part; it measures about two inches by one and a half inches. It resides in the electrical box, in-line to the starter just after the fuse. It can be temperamental, tricky to diagnose, and a general headache, until you understand how simply it operates.

I have a couple of articles, now linked to this one, explaining the starting system in the Yamaha jet ski. People reading these articles have a lot of questions pertaining to the starting solenoid; to understand repairs, they need a better understanding of the part. Personally, I can’t read an article that merely says “put this part here” without the knowledge of how exactly that part contributes to the whole system.

This article will delve into the specifics of the starting solenoid for those of you who need to know.

Above is your typical wiring for the starting system. This diagram was developed from the Yamaha XL700 engine, but they are all very similar.

  1. The source of energy to start the engine is the battery. A good charge on the battery is imperative. If the battery is dead or has a low charge it won’t produce enough energy to start the engine.
  2. As you can see in the diagram, the positive, or hot, post of the battery has a good-sized wire attached to it that routes through the firewall and goes directly into the electric box, or E-box. This is where the wire connects to an inline fuse and then connects to the starting solenoid.
  3. The hot wire coming out of the other side of the E-box goes straight to the starter motor.
  4. The negative wire runs from the negative post on the battery through the firewall and is attached to the engine. Where it connects to the engine it must be shiny clean! This connection can, and does, corrode. Many starting problems, especially intermittent starting problems, happen because this connection is not clean. Simply remove the bolt attaching the ground to the engine and take some steel wool or 600 grit sandpaper and clean the surfaces until they shine. Then reattach the bolt. I can’t stress enough how important this connection is for your engine to start!

As the wire leaves the battery it enters the E-box. Next it passes through an inline fuse. This fuse usually has enough wire attached to allow it to be pulled through the capped screw hole in the box for easy changing of the fuse.

After the inline fuse, as you can see in the photo above, the starting solenoid breaks right into the hot wire. The black wire goes to ground of course, and the green wire is routed to the rectifier/regulator. When the rectifier/regulator is in good standing, when the start switch is activated the starting solenoid is activated and the bar rises up and makes the connection between the two positive battery wires at the top. This is the clicking noise you may hear when you push the starter button. When the connection is made, the battery power can finish its journey to the starter motor and start the motor which, in turn, turns the jet ski engine to start.

The internal workings of the starting solenoid are very simple as you can see. It doesn’t matter which post you attach the hot wire to coming in and going out, just as long as one is on one post, and the other is on the other post! Easy.

There are several things that can go wrong with the starting solenoid:

  • The contacts can become fused. This is rare but it does happen. Fused contacts are shown in the drawing below. When activated by the starter button, the bar fuses to the contacts and the starter starts to turn and does not stop. When you release the start button, the contacts don’t release and the starter goes on and on. The battery’s positive, or negative, connection must be removed as soon as possible to avoid burning out the starter.
  • Sometimes the spring mechanism can’t push the bar up to the contacts when the starter button is pressed. This can happen if the spring mechanism is entangled, broken, or can’t move for some other reason. This problem can be caused by corrosion on contacts or a loose ground wire.
  • If the rectifier/regulator isn’t working properly the starting solenoid may not activate.
Fused contacts.

There is an easy method to test the solenoid. Personally, I’m over-cautious: I remove the starting solenoid before I test it.

Attach the positive to one contact at the top, with the screw on it. Just touch the negative onto the other contact with a screw on it. The starting solenoid should click. That is the bar rising up and making contact with the contacts.

The starting solenoid is a simple component, but has such potential to beach your craft when it doesn’t have to.

One last thought for you. If you order a starting solenoid from a jet ski dealership or jet ski website you will pay anywhere from $60-100 for it. If you purchase from a general market you can purchase the exact same starting solenoid for only $10! So shop around!

Vent the Jet Ski Engine Compartment

An important step a lot of us skiers forget to do is vent the engine compartment before starting the engine. If you read your owner’s manual carefully you will remember the section that warns us to remove the seat and vent the engine compartment every time we go out.

Venting allows the engine compartment to release the gas fumes that have accumulated.

I’ve been guilty of skipping this step. A minor explosion reminded me how important this step is that I’ve been skipping! A jet skier unloaded his ski at the dock, got on it and fired it up, and got way more fired up than he wanted! The fire extinguisher made short work of the problem, but if he had removed the seat and vented the engine compartment it may not have happened.

This is the only jet ski you don’t have to worry about venting! This is for our lil jet skiers, the champion skiers of tomorrow had to start somewhere, right! Under $10 I had to pick one up for my kids.

Jump Start a Jet Ski

I’m an avid jet skier. I’ve been jetting for more than ten years every summer. I ski as far into autumn as possible, until the waves are bigger than me! Then, it’s into the garage for maintenance work until next summer.

I can’t even remember how many times I’ve had to jump start my skis. It usually happens during the winter when I work on them every few weeks. The battery simply can’t sit for that long and be expected to turn the engine over.

Jump starting has become very simple for me ever since I picked up a portable battery booster. They have several on the market now and they are reasonably priced as well! Mine cost less than $100 (at the time of this writing, 2019). The battery booster has become my constant companion.

Before I had the battery booster I had to use alternate methods to jump start the battery. I’ve jumped the ski battery using:

  1. Another free-standing battery
  2. Another jet ski or another vehicle
  3. And now, my portable battery booster (Stanley has a bad boy that I love, pictured down at the 3rd Method)

1st Method

Let’s start with the simplest method: jump starting from a free-standing battery. “Free standing” just means it’s a battery not connected to anything else. When you buy a battery new in the box, it is a free-standing battery until you put it in something.

NEVER BE IN THE WATER WHEN JUMP STARTING A JET SKI!

The free-standing battery needs to have a full 12-volt charge or it won’t work. That should be obvious, because the battery with the lesser charge is going to try and drain the one with a charge.

  1. Take your red (positive) jumper cable and attach it to the free-standing battery.
  2. Do the same with the black (negative) cable.
  3. Attach the other ends of the cables respectively: red to positive and black to negative.
  4. As you can see, the free-standing battery is merely an extension of the battery in the jet ski.
  5. Start your ski as usual.
  6. Detach the jumper cables from the free-standing battery and then from the jet ski battery.

Your jet ski is fired up now!

2nd Method

Jump starting a ski from another ski or vehicle is basically the same method, basically. But jumping from a vehicle comes with serious precautions.

do not recommend this method.

First let me say, if you need to jump start your jet ski at the lake, it’s best to just go buy a new battery instead! When the ski engine stops for whatever reason out on the water, which it will, you are dead on the water. It’s not fun anymore. Just get a new battery.

If you choose to jump start at the lake—in the hope that maybe the battery just has a low charge and isn’t totally shot—do it out of the water!

NEVER BE IN THE WATER WHEN JUMP STARTING A JET SKI!!

Back the jet ski trailer near the water. Jump start it, and immediately back it into the water. The time it takes to jump it and back in will not harm the engine, but be quick about it! And remember, the jet ski will want to propel forward! Take this into consideration when you put it into the water running. Detaching the jet ski from the trailer without having it propel out of control can prove challenging!! I’ve never done it, but I’ve watched it. It didn’t look fun to me at all!!

Now, let’s get back to jump starting from another ski or car. Here are the steps:

  1. Place the working ski or vehicle near the dead ski, so the cables will reach, but don’t let the vehicle touch the jet ski.
  2. Attach the cables to the battery, on the car or on the jet ski with the good battery. Red to positive, black to negative.
  3. Important! On the dead battery attach the positive jumper cable to the positive on the terminal. But attach the negative cable to a source of ground such as a bolt on the engine. Usually a bolt on the engine makes for a good ground. Make sure the cables are where they won’t interfere with moving engine parts once the engine starts running.
  4. When jumping from jet ski to jet ski: You can start the jet ski with the good battery, the one you are jumping from, so that water can run through its engine while jump starting the dead jet ski battery. Running the engine without water running through it can destroy the engine within a few minutes. The other option is to jump start the dead jet ski without starting the other jet ski. If the other jet ski is not turned on, it will act like a free standing battery. A jet ski with a good battery should not have a problem starting the other jet ski and then later starting itself. Batteries can start engines multiple times on one charge.
  5. When jump starting from a vehicle: DO NOT start the engine of the vehicle. The volts that will pass from the running car to the dead battery can fry the electrical system on the jet ski! There’s already plenty of juice in that car battery, it does not need to be running to charge the ski. You can just hit the starter button once you have the cables hooked up between the car and the jet ski.
  6. Once the dead jet ski is started, remove the jumper cables from the jumper vehicle first, and then from the vehicle that has been jumped. This will reduce the chance of sparking that could start an engine fire.

Make sure that the newly jump started jet ski has water available as soon as possible. A jet ski can idle for a few minutes without water, but not for long without risking engine damage.

3rd Method

OVER 1,000 VARIETIES OF BATTERY BOOSTERS ON AMAZON!

This is the easiest method.

Like I said above, my battery booster is my constant companion. These things can start anything from a jet ski to a motorcycle to a car, they are that powerful. Besides jump starting, depending on the model you purchase, they usually will have a light source and a USB attachment slot. and some have an outlet plug like a generator! Pretty cool.

Make sure the battery booster itself is charged, whether from an outlet in your home or the cigarette lighter in your car. Yeah, you can charge the battery booster off the cigarette lighter in your car! Cool again, I know.

  1. Set the charged battery booster on the jet ski where it won’t fall, for example on the front seat.
  2. Access the battery compartment on the ski.
  3. Attach the red clamp to the positive and the black clamp to the negative or another source of ground on the jet ski.
  4. Turn the dial to “On” and “Jump” (depending on the model, it may be separate dials or one dial).
  5. Press the start button on the ski. If it can, the jet ski will fire right up!
  6. Turn the battery booster off and remove the clamps, first negative and then positive.

Happy skiing!

Replace the Wear Ring – Jet Ski

The wear ring is exactly what it implies. It’s a ring located on the inside of the impeller housing that wears out over time. The more you use your jet ski, the faster the wear ring will wear out.

Before we dive into replacing the wear ring, let’s go over some jet ski safety and remind you how the jet ski works.

Your jet ski is essentially a small boat. Boats don’t have a brake to stop them. In order to stop, you release the throttle finger pull and the jet ski stops accelerating and eventually comes to a stop. Any object, boat, fellow jet skier, dock, what ever, that is within thirty feet is a potential danger if you don’t stop accelerating soon enough.

When approaching an object, direct the jet ski to the side of the object, not directly at it. This way if the jet ski does not come to a stop before the object, it will merely pass by it.

When the accelerator is released, or the jet ski’s power is shut off, the ability to turn the jet ski is reduced to zero. The jet engine must have water propelling through it in order to turn.

The first time you take your jet ski on the water, practice. Practicing to maneuver your jet ski, at a slow speed will be a great asset for when there is a loss of power. Most accidents on jet skis happen within the first HOUR of a novice rider entering the water. The concept of no brakes takes a little bit of getting used to, so practice for your own safety as well as others.

How Jet Propulsion Works

A basic understanding of jet propulsion is necessary if you plan on doing your own work. It’s different from other powered water vessels (except jet boats) in the manner you turn and stop.

As you can see from the photo above; when the jet ski is running, the impeller draws water up from the surrounding water underneath. The water then passes through the impeller and expelled out the back through the venturi. The nozzle on the end, attached to the venturi, directs the water stream. The nozzle is controlled by the rider via a cable attached to the handlebars and the nozzle. This is the flow of propulsion.

The photo below shows an example using a gallon of water. The venturi narrows the water down super fast and forces it through a smaller hole. Think of a gallon of water, and you put a large straw into it, then force the water as fast as possible out of the gallon through the straw. You can imagine the force the water would come out the straw would be much higher than going into the straw. That’s the venturi, the straw, narrowing the water down to increase the force!

When you accelerate the impeller draws water up and through itself, which forces the water out at such a high rate of speed you can turn the handle bars and it will cause the jet ski to move in that direction from the water pushing it. If you decelerate suddenly, or lose power, you loose your ability to steer because you no longer have the forced water to push the jet ski.

Just about anyone with a toolbox can replace a wear ring. A few parts must be removed to access it first. For this hub a 2000 Yamaha XL700Y was the model used. Other jet skis are similar. A manual for your particular model is always helpful. There are some sites that offer the manuals free.

If you’re asking yourself where does the wear ring come into play, the answer is: every step of the propulsion process.

The wear ring is one of the vital components to the propulsion process of a jet ski. Tucked snugly inside the impellor housing it is often overlooked. If you know what you are looking for you can see it readily. If not, you would be hard pressed to believe there is a vital component that needs replacing.

The wear ring is a liner on the inside of the impellor housing. The impellor grazes along it when it spins. The wear ring…

  • Allows the impellor the maximum drawing power to suck up the surrounding water into the jet motor by providing very little dead space.
  • Forces the drawn up water to pass through the impeller providing maximum impeller thrust.
  • Seals the impeller housing, around the impeller, to provide you, the rider, with maximum speed!

As the jet ski is used the wear ring slowly wears down. Sometimes rocks or fishing weights will be drawn up by the impeller causing dings and scratches in the wear ring. Wearing down or dings in a wear ring will cause a gap to appear between the impeller and the surrounding wear ring. This gap should not exceed 0.10″.

When either regular use or foreign objects reduce the capabilites of the wear ring you may notice:

  • Reduced turning abilty. Because the wear ring can’t seal the impeller in the housing, there is random water sprayed out by the jet, as opposed to directed water.
  • Reduced power. The impeller cannot draw the water up and force it through the jet at maximum efficiency causing the jet ski to run slower.

Accessing the Wear Ring

Put the jet ski on a hoist or table made to hold a jet ski, somewhere you can easily access the back-end where the jet is. Remove these items in the order they are listed.

REMOVE…

  1. …if equipped, the reverse gate cable and assembly.
  2. …6 screws retaining metal plate under the jet pump assembly.
  3. …steering cable connection. This is usually sliding sleeve or a nut and screw.
  4. …hoses connected to the venturi.
  5. …four long screws retaining venturi through pump housing, through impeller housing, to jet ski hull.
  6. …venturi. The impeller housing may come out with the venturi and pump housing as one unit. Also, you may need a fiber or rubber hammer to tap on the housing to loosen it for removal. A puller would be even better but not everyone has a jet pump puller, so tap gently.
  7. If the jet pump housing, and impeller housing, didn’t come out in step six, then remove it now.

Now you are ready to get that ring out!

Remove the Wear Ring

Reference the photo’s to remove the wear ring from the impeller housing.

  1. Locate the wear ring inside the impeller housing.
  2. Use a saw, dremel or any cutting device that you can control well. When cutting the wear ring it is critical that you do not penetrate the wall of the impeller housing. That kind of damage could be critical in a housing, so be sure your cutting tool is under your control.
  3. Cut a groove anywhere inside the ring. This is when you will want to pay attention to the depth. The wear ring is about 1/4″ thick or less.
  4. Once you have the groove cut, bend the wear ring down bit by bit all around the edge.
  5. Slide the ring out of the housing and you’re done.

Now let’s put the new one in!

Insert the New Wear Ring

Set the wear ring just inside the lip of the impeller housing. Lay a two-by-four across the top. Press down evenly on the two-by-four to get the ring started into the housing. Then use a hammer to tap on the board. Turn the board a quarter turn and tap again. Turning the board every other tap or so. The wear ring is supposed to be very snug. Once it is seated inside the housing you can put everything back as you took it off paying attention to the torque specifications and grease specifications. The impeller may prove to be difficult to slide back into the housing once the new wear ring is in. If it is really difficult; grease the inside of the wear ring to assist the impeller in sliding in.

Now that the wear ring is seated inside the impeller housing it’s time to put everything back together. Follow the steps for removal in a reverse order. The impeller will be a snug fit when you insert it into the impeller housing due to the new wear ring. Take your time and it will slide in. Make sure you use lock tight on bolts and torque them as specified in your jet ski manual.

Your new wear ring is ready to go. You’ll be very happy with the speed and improved handling you’ll experience with the new wear ring!

Ski Safe!

Troubleshooting the Yamaha XL 700 Starting System

Your jet ski won’t start. All is not lost! We can fix this. If you have a bit of mechanical know-how and some tools, we’ll have you back on the water in no time!

I have two older jet skis, a 1992 and a 2000. The 2000 has issues more often than the 1992 one does (probably because I ride it harder!) But they’re jet skis; they spend their time directly submerged in water! There are bound to be regular repair issues when your toys spend this much time in the water.

Electrical and mechanical devices do not mix well with water. The results: rust, sediment, corrosion. It’s all part of the world of jet skis.

If you take your time and go through the proper steps you’ll be able to narrow down the problem fairly quickly. The starting system can be daunting, but certain components go bad pretty regularly. Those are the ones I’ll go over, here today, with you.

We’ll go through troubleshooting starting with the most common problems and end with the least common. In this way, hopefully, we’ll have you back on the lake a.s.a.p.!

Start At The Battery

Before we can do anything it is imperative you have a good battery. Last season’s battery will not do. Every year I have to replace the battery on both skis. Sure, last season’s battery may have one, maybe two, starts left in it, but I don’t want to find out how many it has left when I’m out on the lake. Have you ever had your ski use its last start when you were way out in the lake? It is not a good time in the least.

It may be useful to know, if you are caught by surprise this way, that if your jet ski battery is dead, you can jump it with your car battery.

And once you start working on your jet ski, trying to identify the problem, there’s almost nothing worse than going through the whole system, trying to pinpoint the issue, only to find out the battery was old!! Batteries run about $80 as of this writing in 2016. Get a new one this season. Take it home, read the label, add the acid and charge it up. That is where we start.

Try starting the ski with the new battery. Anything? Yes, right on, you’re on your way. No? No problem, let’s look at the wiring.

Next, the Solenoid

After the battery, one of the more common problems with the starting system lies in the starting solenoid.

If you’re hearing a “click, click, click” from under the seat when you push the start button, it is your starting solenoid trying to pass electric current to the starter motor. The clicking sound is coming from inside the solenoid, and it’s a good thing. It means the contacts are making contact when you push the button. If the solenoid is working well enough to send that current, that means the electrical wiring is just fine.

But if there is no click, then there’s a problem. Let’s look through the wiring.

If you have installed the battery, disconnect the cables while we check the wiring system. Removing the negative battery cable will work, but personally, I remove both positive and negative, I don’t want to take a chance of being zapped! The components that we’ll be checking have a high probability of zapping if the battery is not disconnected.

We’ll need a multimeter for checking the wiring. They can be purchased at hardware stores and automotive parts stores for usually less than $20, or your neighbor probably has one if you don’t already.

Continuity is defined as being unbroken and consistent. Due to the plastic sheath encasing the wire, we cannot see where there may be a broken wire inside the casing. When we check for continuity we are setting the multimeter so that it will indicate whether a wire is unbroken and consistent inside the casing.

The major components of the starter system are pictured. This will give you an overview of what we’ll be checking.

If you have no click, then we know the problem is:

  • somewhere between the starting solenoid, which is inside the electric box, and the starter button, or
  • the solenoid itself.

Removing and opening the electric box will take more than a minute with all the screws it has, so let’s do a quick check of the wiring at the handlebar.

As you work keep an eye out for electrical wiring that is exposed, or wire touching metal, any bent, crimped or pinched wire and broken or disconnected wire. Any of these can cause the system to not start.

The Start/Stop Switch

Follow the wires along the handle bars, through the cover, and into the engine compartment. You will need to open the front cover and remove the storage container under the hood to access the couplers. You’ll find two couplers along the line (photo). The white coupler goes to the Start switch and the black coupler belongs to the Stop switch.

Probe the Switch

Let’s start with the white starter coupler. Testing the side that goes up to the switch:

  1. Set the multi-meter to “continuity.”
  2. Place each probe into a slot (one in the red and one in the brown wire slot).
  3. Is there continuity? No? Good. Yes? That’s a problem.
  4. Keep the probes in the same position, insert the lanyard key into the lock plate, and press the start button. Is there continuity? No? That’s a problem. Yes? Good.
Insert the lanyard and probe the other switch.

Repeat the steps for the stop switch coupler (photo, black coupler with white and black wires). The results should be the same. With the lanyard key out there should be no continuity on either one. When the lanyard is in, and the button pushed, it should have continuity. If you have continuity when the buttons are open, or no continuity when pressed (make sure the lanyard key is in!), then there’s a problem with the button or with the wire between the button and the coupler. Replace—or open and clean—the appropriate button.

A good ground is imperative to an electrical system working. I can’t stress this enough. All the connections in the world won’t fix the system if the ground is poor or non-existent. Everything that has a positive connection must also have a negative (ground) to complete the circuit. As you’re checking wires, check the ground as well. If you see the slightest hint of corrosion (it’s a jet ski, it happens), pull the ground off and clean it up, as well as the bolt, any washers, and the mounting surface ,with sandpaper or a wire brush. Make it shine! When you put the ground back together make sure it’s snug! A loose ground bolt is like no ground at all.

If you have gotten to this point, it means the switches and wiring between the handlebar and their coupler are fine.

With the battery still disconnected, reach down to the starter positive terminal (photo 7 above). It’s not easy to see, but it is easy to feel. Is the connection good? How about the ground? The ground on the Yamaha 2000 is on top of the motor, very easy to check. Are the connections secure with no corrosion?

Electrical Box

If that’s all good, it’s time to pull the electric box (photo 8 above). The electrical box is located in the engine compartment, under the front seat, on the back firewall. It is held up by two bolts, one on each side.

After removing it from the firewall, pull it up and out without breaking the wires coming out of it. They are still attached to their components. Just lift the box up high enough to set it on the seat ledge.

There are 14 screws around the perimeter of the electrical box. It’s important that this box remains water tight, so be careful with the screws you remove. Put them somewhere safe.

Check all the wires inside the box. Make sure the wires did not get pinched when the electric box was closed by the last person, and make sure the ground wires are firmly attached. Make sure the couplers are secure, everyone of them, in the electric box. I’ve had all three of these issues at one time or another! Once the ground was crushed in the lip of the box, and another time the ground screw had eroded and needed to be re-tapped. The last one was a random no-start situation that turned out to be a connection that had become loose.

The Solenoid & The Starter

The starter solenoid is pictured above; that’s what you’re looking for. The two large screws are for the large (red) positive battery lead and the large (red) positive lead going to the starter. The small wires are ground (black) and the other one runs to the start switch. The large positive lead has a fuse that comes off of it. This runs up to the rectifier/regulator. These components can go bad, but not often.

If you think it’s the solenoid, at this point let’s test it:

  1. Hook up the battery cables.
  2. Using an insulated screw driver, cross the two red wires (one coming from the battery and the other going out to the starter).

If the starter turns over and tries to start, then the solenoid needs to be replaced. If it clicks then it’s the starter that is bad.

Here’s another way to check the solenoid:

  1. Un-hook the battery!
  2. Remove the four wires attached to the start solenoid.
  3. Attach a wire to each one of the large screws on top of the solenoid.
  4. Take the other ends and place one on the positive battery terminal and the other on the negative terminal.
  5. Did the solenoid click? If it clicks, it’s fine. If it doesn’t click then it’s no good.

If the solenoid is clicking, and your battery is strong, then the problem lies with the starter most likely. The starter is not difficult to replace, but accessing the starter can be a pain. Just remove the exhaust to replace the starter. It can be replaced without removing the exhaust but it really isn’t worth the headache.

Further Testing

If by this point, the ski still won’t start, I’d be surprised. But if it still won’t start, then you’ll need to test the CDI unit, rectifier/regulator, and coil.

The coil is responsible for the spark. Remove the spark plugs. Put one into its boot. Set it near the engine. Push the start button and you should see a small, blue, spark jump from the spark plug to the engine. Do the same for the other spark plug(s). No spark? Make sure the wires to the coil are good, and if they are replace the coil.

Here’s a good in-depth article on the ignition components, like the cdi and coil, and how to test them.

Like I said, jet skis are water toys. If you ride yours like I ride mine, everything in it is going to get wet! When I’m jetting, I head for every boat wake, ripple and curl. My ski takes a beating and it gets soaked doing it. Besides getting wet, components and screws come loose, and there’s going to be corrosion. Be meticulous about checking the wires and connections; many times the problem is something simple.