Hi,
I was having problems with a 650 Kawasaki X-2 with about 60 hours on it running poorly. It would not rev up past 3500-4000 RPM though it started great on the trailer and in the water. Based on what I read at this site, I figured it was the carb.

So I rebuilt the Mikuni Super BN carb, adjusted the pop off pressure to 20-22 PSI, etc. To be safe I pulled the head and it was clean as new inside. The head gasket looked great so I copper sprayed it and and may have made a big mistake by using it again. I did a compression test and got 175 PSI on the back and 180 PSI on the front cylinders. Thinking that the CDI could also be the problem I swapperd that out as well. I also cleaned the entire exhasut system to get all the carbon out. Another mistake may have been to reuse the gasket from the exhaust manifold to the head pipe, but the flange on the head pipe is solid so so water can flow from the head pipe jacket back into the exhaust manifold.

When I took the ski out on the water it ran for about 5 minutes at about 4400 RPM max then quit. I tried starting it on the water and no luck. My Dad towed it off the river at slow speed, less than 10 mph if even that fast.
Back at the ramp, on a stand in the water, I tried to start it several time running the starter for up to 30 secs each time. Then I pulled the plugs and put my fingers over the plug holes and turned it over. The way water sprayed out of the plug holes I thought I had a water pump instaed of an engine. There was water in the crankcase and it was coming out of the spark plug holes as I turned it over. As luck would have it, since I had never used the crankcase drain before, while I was working on it, I had blocked off the crankcase drains so I had to pull the engine out of the ski to get the water out.

There was no water in the hull so I am assuming that the water either came in either through the exhaust system or through the head gasket.

I took the engine out of the ski and took it down to the short block. During this process I found that one of the reeds was broken and missing a small piece approx. 1/4 " square.

To get the water out of the crankcase with the head off, I doused and drained the case inside both by pouring it though the intakes and through the transfer ports with WD 40 and there is no signs of rusting. With the head off I filled up the water sides of the clyinder block and the exhaust manifold with water and let it set for an hour. No water left the upper cylinders or exhaust manifold so I do not think they are cracked. Though I will pressure test it once I reassemble it.

So here is the questions:
1) Will a broken reed pull water into the engine from the exhaust system?
2) Do you think the head gasket is the culpret for water getting into the clyinders and case?
3) I have a new head gasket, but it is not marked for the exhaust port or up, so how do you know which side goes up? I noticed that one side has embossings on it where it was stampped out, do these embossings go up or down?
4) Should I split the cases to find the missing piece of reed or just keep flushing the cases with WD 40 and blow it out with air to get out any debris?
5) If I split the cases, what type of rubber sealeant can I use to put it back together? Is the Permatex black RTV acceptable?
6) If I spilt the cases can I change the seals by just lifting up the crank enough to get the seals out without pulling the cylinders off the lower cases?
7) Can you direct me where I could find the proper type of ring compressors?
8) On the top of the pistions in the number 1.0 is this the size over the standard bore?
9) Based on some other threads on this site, is it possible the water got in the engine as it was being towed or as I was turnin it over for long periods of time and it backed up in the exhaust system?

Any help you can will be greatly appreciated.
Dick Owen