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  1. #1
    Commander studlymandingo's Avatar
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    Default Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    I just became the owner of a 1996 Kawasaki 1100 ZXi. This is the first time I have owned any kind of PWC. The guy I got it from couldn't get it running; he said it ran great last year but he couldn't get it started this season. I checked the compression and it looked great, had spark, but the gas smelled awful! It has a 2003 trailer with brand new tires and a new battery.

    I brought her home, siphoned off the old, very stale gas, put in some fresh gas, topped off the oil resevoir, cleaned the carbs with some deep creep, put in a new set of plugs, hooked up the hose then cranked the starter and it hit a couple of licks!! Cranked it again and she fired up, was running rough at first but started to smooth out after a minute. It still is a little rough at idle, and sometimes I have to "pump" the throttle to take off from idle, but once she takes off, it's flying in seconds!

    The motor has an aftermarket head on it from Ocean Pro as well as 3 "vortex" carbs from Ocean Pro as well. Does anyone know anything about the Ocean Pro stuff? On the head it is stamped "Use 92 octane fuel minimum" I assume these are performance upgrade parts, the ski will peg the 70MPH speedo, and holy crap is that fast being that close to the water!!!

    Any information you guys could give me on this ski would be greatly appreciated; I haven't located a manual for it yet, and know little about the jet skis.

    The wetter, the better.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    Ocean pro heads are pretty good. It probably has the interchangeable domes so you can actually change the compression by changing domes. the carbs are probably stock the ocean pro are the flame arresters which took place of the factory air box. Maybe he has aftermarket carbs on it. if they say Kehin then theire stock carbs or maybe reworked factory carbs. the rough idle is probably due to the carbs being clooged/deteriorated from the stale fuel. The Ocean pros are performance stuff. if your compression is over 150 you need to run 91 if its lower than that 87 is fine.
    As for the speed its not 70 MPH. the speedos on skis are really optimistic. Stock kawi 1100 were about 56 MPH skis. the parts that were added on there helped with the bottom end/take off from a stand still a lot.
    Since it sat for so long I would definately look at getting the carbs rebuilt.
    rebuild kits are abotu 30$ a carb

  3. #3
    Commander studlymandingo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    I haven't identified the carbs as of yet, really hard to see down in there. Here is the carb:

    A- I'm not sure of
    B- I'm assuming these are the adjustment screws; the bottom one affects idle.
    C- This is the idle stop.
    I don't think these are the original carbs, the choke cable is disconnected and there is nothing for it to hook to at the carbs. It's a little hard to start cold, I have to pump the accelerator several times to dump some fuel into the carbs. Once it is warmed up, it will start easily the rest of the day. Taking off there is hesitation, and you have to rapidly pump the throttle until it takes off, once at operating speed, the throttle is very responsive. It is only from a dead stop that you have to pump the throttle; I don't know if this is it being too lean at idle and pumping the throttle dumps fuel into the carbs or what.

    Here are the flame arrestors:

    (The water is from washdown, there was less than a cup of water in the engine compartment after riding all day.

    Here is a shot of the ocean pro head:
    The wetter, the better.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    the T looking screws are your low and high speed carb jet adjustments.( B)
    the nipple thats on the top of the carb body (A) is a primer kit fitting. Looks like at one time the original owner removed the choke system and installed a primer kit. Looks liek the choke plates were removed to install a primer kit. is there a plunger looking thing somewhere on the ski. it should have a silver chrome body and two nipples one straight out and one at a angle right at the tip? then you have?had a primer kit hooked up. Hook it back up it will make starting easier when cold. your carbs are factory kehin carbs. shoudl be 38 mm carbs. the carbs on the Kawis changed over the years but they were all good carbs some were better design than others.
    Either way rehook up the primer kit.

    The hesitation could be due to the low speed misadjustment. i forgot what the factory settings were on kawis. You can probably call the local Kawi repair place and they can tell you. I would go 1/8 turn past the factory setting due to the arresters. you really shoudl go through the carbs. probably die for a rebuild.

  5. #5
    Commander studlymandingo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    Thanks for the reply!

    I just found the keihin carbs on the hotproducts website. There is a primer on the side of the ski; it has been completely disconnected. Where does the primer pull fuel from to dump into the nipple? Do I need to "t" into the fuel line?

    I ordered a manual on CD ROM for the ski, I hope it is informative. I assume each carb has a high and low adjustment; how do I get to the other two carbs? Man that engine compartment is tight!!!

    I plan on getting carb kits for the ski, anywhere in particular that is recommended for the kits?

    Thanks for your help!
    The wetter, the better.

  6. #6
    Commander studlymandingo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    How is the timing set on these motors?
    The wetter, the better.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    That could be the hesitation problem. Depending on where the previous owner T into the fuel line. Usually the primer gets Teed into the reserve line but some people put it on the On line and really not a good idea. if the other guy never capped off the old T fitting then thats part of the hesitation problem. the t should be on the reserve line ( at least thats where I always install them)

    I personally liked to run a primer and then connect it so each carb got a squirt of gas when I primered the ski. some guys do it on one carb i did it on both carbs if it was a 2 cyl or all 3 if a three cyl.

    As for getting into the other carbs to adjsut the high and low screws I usually used a long screwdriver. if youre working on the carbs you need to sit on the left side of the ski opposite to the carbs to get your hands in there.
    A long screwdriver helps. Also pull the flame arresters off when you work on it. Either that or hope you have skinny fingers or your girlfriend REALLY REALLY loves you.


    I dont have a specific kit. Just make sure that any rebuild kit you get has all the needed rubber gaskets, filters etc. I woudl fix the primer first then go drive it. it could fix the problem. Also look around for prices on the rebuild kits. Ive seen price differences up to 10$ per kit. When youre buying three kits thats a substantial amount.

    The timing is set. it really shouldnt be changed but you can take off the stator and have the hold down screw holes machined in a oval shape. Once thats done you can turn the stator to change your timing. personally my buddies and i experimented with that and decided its not worth it due to the headache involved in getting the ski to run right.
    the timing is basically set from the factory and cannot be changed without mods. We did it in a few skis and were not happy with the results. The headache involved werent worth the minimal minimal gains
    Rob

  8. #8
    Commander studlymandingo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    Thanks for all the help Rob; I wasn't sure about the timing thing, good to know I don't really need to mess with it.

    I'm going to check out the primer and carb situation tomorrow. A guy here in town has a reasonable price for the carb kits, just a couple of dollars more than what I have found on the web, close enough where it is worth it not to pay shipping and wait for it to come if I need them.

    I'll let you know how it progresses.
    The wetter, the better.

  9. #9
    Commander studlymandingo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    Got the carbs off.... I no longer think I/Os are tight!!!

    I'm going to do the rebuild today after the cramping goes away in my hands!
    The wetter, the better.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    Quote Originally Posted by studlymandingo View Post
    Got the carbs off.... I no longer think I/Os are tight!!!

    I'm going to do the rebuild today after the cramping goes away in my hands!


    yeah you havent worked in tight spaces till you work on a jet ski. kaiws are easy try it on a sea doo. Youll invent new swear words. Your foul language vocabulary will expand tremendously
    Rob

  11. #11
    Commander studlymandingo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    That was DEFINITELY the problem. Rebuilt the carbs this afternoon, got it idling in the driveway at 3K, then took it to the ramp and dropped her in the water.

    Man what a difference! No hesitation whatsoever! Just takes off and flies; if I let it idle for awhile then hammer it, there is a bit of stumble like it is loading up, I guess I need to back off the idle adjustment a little. There is no hesitation if I only idle for a short while. Picked up a little on the top-end too.

    Now I need to work on the porpoising. The trim system works fine, but even still this thing really likes to porpoise on anything but glass; I understand a longer ride plate will take care of this.
    The wetter, the better.

  12. #12
    Fleet Admiral Gary H NC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    I bet that thing is fun Studley!
    I just got my Seadoo on the water yesterday for the first time.It has been sitting since December. It started and ran fine but did not seem that fast.
    I brought it home and got looking under it and found 6 foot of rope wrapped up around the impeller shaft..
    Took it out today, nailed the gas and about went off the back.
    I never thought i would like a jet flea but...it is fun..


    1981 ChrisCraft 210 Scorpion K,175 Johnson SeaHorse

  13. #13
    Commander studlymandingo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary H NC View Post
    I bet that thing is fun Studley!

    I never thought i would like a jet flea but...it is fun..

    Yea, me too! I am going to try and do some wakeboarding behind it this weekend.
    The wetter, the better.

  14. #14
    Lieutenant Commander Jeff Walkowiak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    forget the ride plate do some manual adjusting on the trim and get the nozzle down more. if you plan on pulling boards etc you will definitely need to put on the steering mod, it will make a world of difference

  15. #15
    Lieutenant Commander Jeff Walkowiak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    also look for an extended after market nozzle for that ski, those stubby stock nozzles are part of the problem.

  16. #16
    Commander studlymandingo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    Jeff, thanks for the tip. I didn't know there were adjustments for the trim, and I didn't know there were longer nozzles. If I get an aftermarket nozzle, will the same CJ steering work on the new nozzle? or should I wait until I get a new one to get the steering upgrade?
    The wetter, the better.

  17. #17
    Lieutenant Commander Jeff Walkowiak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    either way //

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    Personally I feel the ride plate will help. the extended steering nozzle will help on turning quicker. the ride plate will drop some top speed but I think its well worth the added stability.
    Either way
    Rob

  19. #19
    Lieutenant Commander Jeff Walkowiak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    if you use a ride plate you can't use the steering mod, and as mentioned the plate will scrubb top speed,, if you use an extended nozzle , adjust the trim down to the proper position, and add the steering I guarantee it will out handle any stock ski you encounter and do it with ease. and not loose any top end.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    hi i bought a kawasaki zxi 1998 1100 took it out twice and everything seem to be fine took it for a service and found out that the impeller was catching the vanes off the pump and eventually cause it to ceize up.costly to repair.when it is repaired i am thinking of putting a few performance parts on it just wondering what is best impeller intake grate and stuff and do they make a big diffrence any help thanks simon email addres is wilkins_89@hotmail.co.uk

  21. #21
    Captain JUSTINTIME's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    skat-trac prop are the best
    HUMAN BUILT = HUMAN FIXED
    CERTIFIED MARINE TECH

  22. #22

    Default Re: Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    hey guys hope you can help me out , seems like lots of guys have some knowledge of the zxi 1100.. i have a 96 1100 that has run fine for sooo long. then couple weeks ago , it over heated. made a sound like back firing , and died!! some of the wiring was on the exhaust manifold ,and bare/ melted. this has been fixed , and machine was restarted , and runs fine , but it still over heats!!! i think it is a water pump problem , but don't know exactly where i should flush from ?? and is this pump mechanical or electrical?? where do i find it?? also where does this pump suck in from?? i see a small tube coming out of the jet nozzell , but i am thinking it is the out line?? i have checked underneath , and dosn't appear to be anything in the impeller housing. where does this suck in from???

  23. #23

    Lightbulb Re: Kawasaki 1100 ZXi, What can you tell me?

    I have a similiar problem. I have owned a '98 kawasaki 1100 zxi for over ten years. The entire engine and everything was just rebuilt, or replaced this spring. It seems to have a bunch of minor problems but nothing major.

    -Right now it is experiencing a loss of power/speed. At new top speeds reach anywhere from 60 - 70 MPH. At full RPM(7-8000) it only reachs 35.

    -Reguardless of the speed issue it has been on the water a couple of times this year. Last time it was out, a hose connectted to the water pump popped off during riding. It was pulled it onto the beach and the hose was reconnected hours later. On the last run it seemed to take on water and run very sluggish. We repeated to drain the water and the same results. Checked the entire hull and there doesnt seem to be any physical damage or tears. ANY THOUGHTS OR SUGGESTIONS

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