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  1. #1

    Default 1996 zxi 1100 speed ?

    I purchased a 96 zxi 1100 last year and put a new top end kit on it. Finally got it running this year. I put it in the water and noticed at top speed it only went 48 mph. I have heard these things run 60's so i am concerned that i have an issue. Does anyone no what the problem could be or what i can do to make it faster for cheap. Also, i broke it in already and should it go faster after the break in period? Thanks

  2. #2
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
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    Default Re: 1996 zxi 1100 speed ?

    You will have to put money into the pump, like getting it blue printed which means they take your pump and install and match up a new impeller, shim and overhaul you bearings and stream line the whole assembly. Then its ride plate and intake grate, you should check your speed against a GPS as PWC speedos are normally set to read higher then you are actually going.

  3. #3
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
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    Default Re: 1996 zxi 1100 speed ?

    I don't know about "set to read higher" - but the speedo pickup is just a little set of cups that catch water and spin as the ski moves forward. Not very accurate and those of us that ride and wrench on skis don't call them "dream-o-meters" for nothing.

    as far as your ski is concerned, 48mph even per the speedo sounds low. I believe an 1100 zxi is capable of mid-50's (stock) and lower 60's with some mods done on it.

    I think ride plate and intake affect handling more than speed, but they all kind of go together. To get more out of your zxi you can increase engine compression by either milling the head or installing an aftermarket head like an ADA, change the exhaust system (Coffman's is a good choice if you can find it), advance timing, and finally port the cylinders and/or cases. Replacing the impeller is a good idea, and if you can find a set of "Beach House" adjustable sponsons - they'll help with handling also. Do some internet searching for James Crone and Performance Engineering - he was a zxi guru for years and squeezed every bit of performance out of them.

    be aware that the more you start modifying, the more chance you take that you'll be rebuilding or replacing that motor sooner.

    If you really want to go fast - sell it and buy a more modern ski with a turbo or a supercharger. Some of those are capable of true speeds near 70 mph right out of the box.

    and you should know that the zxi hull is not very stable at high speeds - it will throw you when you least expect it...which is why mine stays in the garage.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 1996 zxi 1100 speed ?

    I did a compression test and theres 150 psi in each cylinder, so compression is good. Is it possible that my impeller is worn out, could that effect speed?
    Also, what do you mean by throw me? I read something about a buble in the hull?

  5. #5
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
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    Default Re: 1996 zxi 1100 speed ?

    I might still have my zxi manual at home, but that sounds about right.

    yes, and yes. a worn impeller will effect your speed and "hook up" to the water.

    look into the pump through the jet nozzle with a flashlight and you should be able to see the edges of the impeller. Not as good as taking off the pump and looking, but will give you an idea.

    Also - what RPM's are you running at when at WOT? you could have an issue with one of the coils not firing and you are actually running on 2 cylinders instead of 3.

    throw you - as in pitch your body off the ski for no apparent reason. I don't remember when the problem was "fixed" but there was a "bubble" installed on the front of the ski by dealers that helped with the problem. Post a pic of the front of your ski below the bondline and I can tell you if it was done. I don't think it was fixed by Kawasaki with a proper hull modification until the 97 or 98 production year.

    Mine pitched me when I was at WOT running in a straight line. Landed on my kidneys. Did not feel good.

  6. #6

    Question Re: 1996 zxi 1100 speed ?

    ok where exactly is the jet nozzle and how will i know if the impeller is worn? And at wot i am running about 8,000 rpms . Also, at 1/4 throttle im running about 4,000 rpms which seams high but it idles at 1500 and 2000.

  7. #7
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Default Re: 1996 zxi 1100 speed ?

    jet nozzle is the spot in the back where the water comes out.

    look in it at the impeller. There should be very minimal space between the edges of the impeller and the circular wall around it, and the leading edges of the impeller vanes should be straight and free from nicks, chips and dings.

    stick a camera down there a take a pic and post it.

    I haven't had time to find the manual that I think I have. maybe by this evening.

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