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Thread: 99 GSX RFI?

  1. #1
    Joined
    Feb 2001
    From
    Glendora, Ca.
    Posts
    5,204

    Post

    I have never seen a used flywheel that did not have chewed up teeth on it.
    Each time you shut the motor off, it stops in approximately the same position. The starter gear engages the flyweel gear in approximately the same place each time, wearing away the teeth on the flyweel ring gear. It takes hundreds of starts, maybe thousands, before it wears out the ring gear completely.

    What I described above is normal wear and tear.

    If you have a low battery, bad connections, wornout starter motor or starter clutch (some call it a Bendix), the wear can increase or even start causing the clutch to stick into the ring gear, or not engage at all. Also, a faulty MPEM ( some 1998 951 models) can cause them to break teeth off of the clutches or break splines on the starter motor itself.

    Sea Doo uses two types of starters and starter clutches. One has a simple clutch, about $85.00 (clutch only) new, or starter motor and clutch, new about $285.00. These are in all models except the 951 powered watercraft.

    The other is the type of starter motor used by most manufactorers of pwc's. The motor is seperate from the clutch, and costs about $250. The clutch is a more complicated type of clutch, and it sits in the mag housing and is independant of the starter motor which has splines that slip into the clutch when you install the starter motor. This type clutch cost about $185.00, and is installed from the front of the motor, under the mag cover. It comes in all 951 powered watercraft from Sea Doo.

    When gear teeth break off, the starter will sometimes try to engage, but will not engage the clutch teeth correctly. It may just kick back out, or it may just spin freely. If this is the case, some teeth may be allready broken off and moving around in the mag housing. If you continue to keep depressing the start button, it may eventually catch and start, but those broken teeth can cause major damages and expenses to the flywheel magneto, pickup and stator.

    If your starter is acting up, fix it before you really do some damage to the magneto parts. The difference will cost you anoyher $600.00 or so, over and above the price to repair/replace the stater motor or clutch.

    DO NOT ASSUME IT WILL FIX ITSELF.

    HERE IS A TIP. USE OEM STARTER MOTORS. NOT ONE AFTERMARKET STARTER MOTOR IS WORTH THE TIME TO INSTALL IT, IMO.

    This is not a place to try and save some money, unless, like a used car dealer, you will be selling the pwc without ever trying to use it again yourself. I do not know why any of the aftermarket starter manufactors cannot make a decent starter motor, but so far, they haven't. Every time I try one, I end up doing the job twice and buying another starter motor after a very short lifespan of the aftermarket starter motor.

    I have gotten to the point that if my customers want an aftermarket or used starter installed, I send them to another jetski shop. I have eaten the labor too many times, and even though I warn them, I'm still "the bad guy" when it fails, and it will fail.

    Starters can be a pain for me. Just yesterday, a customer came in all upset that his starter failed when they went to the lake over the weekend. He demanded that I fix it for free.

    Here is the deal. He brings me two of the most wornout old 1989 SP's that I have ever seen. One with a locked up motor. He pays me to rob the starter motor out of the bad one to install into the other. I do it. I also installed a new battery because his was junk. The robbed starter motor seems to work fine and engages good and starts the motor with each depression of the button. I show him that it works when he picks up the ski after complaining about the price of a new battery. He goes to the lake and it won't start, the clutch will not engage. Now he wants me to do the job again for free, and he wants me to buy the parts. He claims I must have screwed up the installation...... Yeah right.
    Bill O'Neal WCM
    <a href="http://www.watercraftmagic.com" target="_blank">www.watercraftmagic.com</a>

  2. #2
    Joined
    Aug 2002
    From
    Waterville, Washington
    Posts
    1,390

    Post

    I agree with Bill...

    Always put an OEM STARTER IN.

    I bought an aftermarket starter and it lasted about a day....it stuck in the flywheel and i actually had to tap in out of the housing and the company wouldn't warranty it.

  3. #3
    Joined
    Jan 2002
    From
    Morgan city La.
    Posts
    323

    Post

    What would cause the starter gear to chew up the flywheel teeth. Low Battery? Bad Ground?

    785 RFI engine

  4. #4
    Joined
    Aug 2002
    From
    Waterville, Washington
    Posts
    1,390

    Post

    I had a bad starter and it was sticking in the flywheel and not dis-engaging while running....caused metal shavings in the front cover.....could be it.have the starter tested and make sure you have the right gear on the starter.

    I have no clue if a bad ground could do that..is it starting ok? Does the starter gear lock up in the flywheel sometimes?

    Could be a warped flywheel. Could be the bendix shaft on the starter.

    Hope this helps a bit.....still learning, but starting to figure this stuff out

  5. #5
    Joined
    Jan 2002
    From
    Morgan city La.
    Posts
    323

    Post

    This ring gear looks like it is chewed up more than just normal wear. It needs a new flywheel definately, The starter appears to be in good condition but it could have a problem that I am missing. I was just wondering if this is a common problem with the 785 or the RFI engine.

    Thanks for the input

  6. #6
    Joined
    Aug 2002
    From
    Waterville, Washington
    Posts
    1,390

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    just a suggestion...but the way i figured out the starter clutch was shot on mine.....was i took it out and shook it.....you could hear it moving around.

    And the funny thing is, it always bench tested fine.

  7. #7
    Joined
    Feb 2001
    From
    Glendora, Ca.
    Posts
    5,204

    Post

    The 785 uses a friction clutch. The clutch gear should only be able to be turned in one direction. When wornout, you can turn it both ways. Also, when rotating a good clutch with your hands, it should have some friction against the turning motion, and not be turning freely.

    If you connect a battery to the starter motor, it should throw the clutch away from the starter motor and it should extend to the stop, depressing the spring.
    Bill O'Neal WCM
    <a href="http://www.watercraftmagic.com" target="_blank">www.watercraftmagic.com</a>

  8. #8
    Joined
    Nov 2004
    From
    Southwest Florida
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: 99 GSX RFI?

    Bill,

    Thanks for the info. I was just about to order a rebuilt for my seadoo 720, then I found this thread and I'll take your advice and get an OEM.

    Thanks again for the heads up.

    Pat
    (Smokey Joe)

  9. #9
    Joined
    Apr 2004
    From
    Illinois
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: 99 GSX RFI?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey Joe
    Bill,

    Thanks for the info. I was just about to order a rebuilt for my seadoo 720, then I found this thread and I'll take your advice and get an OEM.

    Thanks again for the heads up.

    Pat
    (Smokey Joe)
    A rebuilt starter (reputable company) would still be OEM and would work fine.
    An aftermarket starter on the other hand I would not touch.
    I bought a Goki starter for my GP1200 years ago and i think it only lasted about 10 starts.
    I have never tried any other aftermarket starters but after this experience I would never buy anything but OEM or rebuilt OEM.
    SCOTT...

  10. #10
    Joined
    Feb 2004
    From
    New Jersey
    Posts
    2,601

    Default Re: 99 GSX RFI?

    dang Bill you broke the poor guys ski . better get him a new RXP to replace it , it is close to Xmas ya know :-)
    PRIDE IN SERVICE<br /> <img src="http://www.sbtontheweb.com/images/forposts/4609/1.jpg" alt=" - " />

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