'90 Phazer ll Excessive Smoking/Won't Rev Higher than 7000 RPM - Snowmobile Forum: Your #1 Snowmobile Forum
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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'90 Phazer ll Excessive Smoking/Won't Rev Higher than 7000 RPM

Just purchased a '90 Phazer ll, 1800 miles, new paint, really clean condition, engine compartment nearly spotless, supposedly just serviced (new fluids, belts, plugs), haven't ridden it in the snow yet, but with the track propped up it seems to blow a lot of white smoke and won't rev above 7000
RPM/tops out about 80-85 MPH. Idles ok (a little low about 1000 rpm), starts right up, PTO plug light tan, slightly oily, fanside plug dry and whiter than other plug but still shows a tinge of tan color (lean?). I get the feeling the speedo should top out around 100 without a load on it. It doesn't really bog, just kinda feels like there's a throttle governor restricting it. Should I have more top end speed from this sled? Worried I may have a bad crank seal (plan on checking it tomorrow before my first actual ride in the snow). Or thinking it might need a top end job (plan to check the compression as well). Whaddya think guys? Guess I'll know more tomorrow, hope nothing bad happens.
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Your looking for a cardboard/chocolate brown. If you continue to run it that lean, your in danger of a piston melting. The crank seal could be the problem, but also check the carb boots. Cleaning the carbs never hurts! Also when in the carbs check for proper jetting.
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Agreed, I would definitely clean your carbs and make sure everything is set to factory recommendations. And like yamaha said, check carb boots because its obviously getting too much air into one cylinder. It could be the crank seals (lets hope not) but I'd start with those two things first!
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Old 12-23-2010, 05:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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was the engine fogged?
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Old 12-24-2010, 01:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hit up some snow near Mt Rose NV (northeast Lake Tahoe area), and much to my relief and surprise, the little Phazer did well. I checked for air leaks by spraying carb cleaner (thought I had some ignition fluid on board but couldn't find it) around both ends of the engine, the carb intake and air box boots; no signs of any airleaks. Was gonna adjust the idle (was idling really low at about 800-900 RPM), but realized the idle screw was missing. Went ahead and raised the idle by adjusting the throttle cable barrel. Cruised around the lower meadow near the highway for a bit, checked the plugs. Fanside plug looked pretty close to good, 1/2 the insulator was chocolate colored, other half medium tan colored. Slightly oily. Clutch side was lean, slightly tan with a silver-gray ring at the tip of the insulator. A couple adjustments to the carb pilot screws and a couple plug chops/checks ( turned screws out/counterclockwise to richen the mixture) and sled seemed to run better and plugs were about a perfect chocolate brown. Motor seemed to stop smoking excessively after being ridden for awhile. Also noticed that plugs were BR8ES instead of the recommended BR9ES. If I'm not mistaken, the 8's are a hotter plug. Might try some new BR9's.

Nevertheless I had a blast riding today. I rode the sled hard for hours and it performed admirably. Still seems like it should have a bit more punch, but it had reasonable power, and climbed hills surprisingly well, much better than I expected. I got it up to 60, but I still don't know what it will top out at as my speed was limited by the roughness of the geography. Hopefully I can tune it to get a bit more power, but I'm just happy that there's no major apparent problems (knock on wood) with this snowmobile. A big thanks to all who took the time to offer their advice.

View of Lake Tahoe from top of big hill near Mt. Rose NV (caution: incline is much steeper than it appears )
[IMG][/IMG]





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Last edited by cutlass440; 12-24-2010 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 12-24-2010, 11:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Very glad to hear your sled is working for you! I would actually recommend going back to the 9's if you want to, the 8's are a hotter plug, but if the 8's work fine, then just stick with em'. Very nice pictures also!
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Old 12-26-2010, 04:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Decided to install some BR9ES plugs in the sled today, noticed carbs were leaking gas. Not good. So I replaced a bad clamp on a fuel line which seemed to help, but both carbs were still slightly oozing gas from around the float bowls. Decided to pull the carbs for disassembly/cleaning & inspection. Carbs weren't that dirty, needle valves looked good, but float bowl gaskets looked pretty worn. The most interesting thing I found was that the size 120 main jets are way too lean for my riding conditions. According to my service manual, I should have at least 130 mains for my elevation and temperature. That coupled with the fact that I had the hotter BR8ES plugs could account for the lack of top end power and initial lean looking plugs; but it still seems weird that after adjusting the primary screws I was able to get it to run better and the BR8 plugs are a perfect chocolate color. I'm gonna try rejetting with 130 mains and, because I'm too impatient to wait for new gaskets to arrive, will reseal the float bowl with some gas proof gasket sealer. Probably have to re-adjust the primary screws and idle of course. I'm hoping it will run better and stop oozing gas. We'll see.
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Get a new idle screw, it's a good idea.
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Old 12-26-2010, 01:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah, thanks, that's a good point. I'll order the screw when I buy my jets (hopefully the shop will have the jets in stock); I can live without the screw for awhile. I just can't wait to go riding again. I wanna learn how to carve powder and catch air. It's definitely addicting!
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Some disappointing news: checked the vin, it's actually an '87 model and not a '90 as I had been told by the PO. Also, tore down carbs and cleaned out w/spray cleaner, installed larger 130 mains and sealed float bowls w gas proof gasket sealer, installed BR9ES plugs. Fixed gas leak, but sled seems to run slightly worse now, tops out at 6500 RPM/75 MPH no load w/ track on stand. Sprayed around obvious air leak areas w/ ignition fluid and can't find any leaks. Throttle is responsive at takeoff and low end, kinda hangs a bit at about 5000 RPM for a second or two, then slowly tops out at 6500. Shifts about right at 6500, but won't accelerate any further. Jetted for 6000-8000 FT, tested in Reno at about 4500 ft. Frustrated. Tempted to remove drive belt to see how much higher motor will rev without clutches. Will this tell me whether or not problem is in clutches or motor? Or is this a bad idea? Still haven't checked compression, will do that next.
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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You don't have a registration card in Nevada that you have to carry with when riding? Year should be on that, or, did the card say it was a '90 too. I have a '93 Phazer II that I just bought this fall. The reg card says it's a 340. Not! I just registered it in my name and changed it to 480..... Not sure where it got messed up.......
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Don't have to register OHV's in Nevada. Seller didn't have title. Have to buy non-resident permit (a $20-$30 fee) in order to ride in California. Whether or not the person did it knowingly, I hate it when seller's give out false information. Sled had also supposedly just been serviced and allegedly was in perfect working order before I bought it. Yeah right. Oh well, my bad for not checking it out more thoroughly before buying. Could have bought a better sled for my money and be riding instead of wrenching right now......only got myself to blame. Just hope it's not going to be an expensive and/or more time consuming repair.
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:31 AM   #13 (permalink)
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More bad news: checked compression, was only about 115-117 both cylinders. Checked plugs: both looked a little on the rich side, decided to re-install the BR8ES'. Removed drive belt, revved briefly to WOT, cut ignition. Even with the belt removed, it still only barely reached 8000 RPM. PTO side plug was a little fouled and oily, fanside looked pretty good. Noticed a little puddle of oil below oil pump (that was new, never saw that before). Couldn't find any obvious leaks coming from the oil lines, though. Adjusted oil pump cable, re-installed drive belt, started it up again; still couldn't get it to rev more than about 7000 RPM/ 79 MPH. Oil pump stopped leaking though, and both plugs now looked good with a nice deep chocolate color.

Really frustrated, not sure what to make of this, but I'm guessing that it should hit more than 8000 RPM without drive belt and the fact that it doesn't means that I have a motor issue and not a clutching/powertrain issue. Yet the plugs indicate that the fuel mixture is spot-on. Could the motor just be tired? Don't know what the compression should be, but something tells me that 115 PSI is a little on the low side. Yet it only has 1800 miles, and engine is spotless, and seems to pull hard to about 5000 RPM, then it kinda hesitates and slowly rises to about 6500-7000. Shouldn't I be able to get more top end out of this sled, or is this normal?

And to top it all off, the secondary clutch has about 1/4" play on the jackshaft (can move it side-to-side about 1/4" in either direction). The bolt that holds it on the jackshaft is as tight as can be. Even tried to loosen it so I could remove the secondary to get a better look at what was going on with the setup, but the damn thing's on there so good it just spins the track even with the brake on, my weight on the running board, and a pry bar on the clutch in an attempt to keep things from moving. Bolt won't budge. Also noticed drive belt is developing deep cracks between the "teeth". Belt was like new when I bought it, had little to no wear. Why would it start cracking like this (looks dangerously close to the breaking point in some places)? Could the rubber just be old? Or could the clutches be out of whack? Belt is a 8K2-17641-00, seems to be the correct size.

Finally, to make my day complete, bitchy neighbor called the cops on me for revving up snowmobile while I was working on it. Perfect.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:01 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Actually, that engine is hitting it's peak rpm.

Clutch secondary is supposed to "float" on the shaft to aid in belt alignment.
If the belt looks like it is losing teeth, replace it. A new belt will also gain back some of that lost performance too.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks RJ, I hope I've been worrying for nothing. The belt isn't losing teeth, it's developing deep cracks in the gaps between the teeth, which is puzzling considering it looked practically brand new when I bought it and I've only ridden it on the trails once. Same thing happened with a '79 Polaris TX440 that I owned which had sat dormant for years before I brought it back from the dead. It still shows almost zero wear except for the cracking. Maybe the rubber is old? Guess I'll just buy a new belt and see how she does in the snow.
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:38 AM   #16 (permalink)
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'87 Phazer Excessive Smoking/Won't Rev Higher than 7000 RPM

A lot has happened since I last posted about my Phazer, I thought I'd update you all on the latest news.

The 130 mains were too big, made the sled run too rich at Mt Rose (turns out it's about 8-9000 ft in elevation, a bit higher than I thought). It took off well, but bogged at about mid-throttle and above and I couldn't go faster than 30. Plugs looked wet and fouled.

Then it started leaking oil and fuel again, had to replace another fuel line clamp and tracked oil leak to the tachometer cable clamp. Gasket was good but screws had loosened a bit. Couldn't find any lock washers the right size, and I didn't have any blue loctite, so I found a couple flat washers that fit the screws and squeezed a layer of RTV silicone sealer over the gasket and screwed it down as tight as I could. Seemed to take care of the leaks.

Next I installed a new set of BR9ES plugs (the recommended plug) which are a bit colder than the BR8ES' that I'd been running. Pulled the spark plug caps and trimmed 1/4" of insulation off the leads for better contact.

Then I installed size 122.5 main jets and moved the rubber circuit plug from the outer hole to the pilot jet hole as has been suggested by several other members in other posts even though the manual tells you the plug goes on the outer hole. Apparently there is a lot of confusion as to where these plugs are supposed to go because it comes up frequently in this forum. I have a hunch switching the plug to the pilot jet hole is part of tuning for high altitude (the diagram floating around here that contradicts where the manual tells you where to put the plugs even says "High Altitude Recalibration Program"):



According to my manual, the carbs for the '84-'89 Phazer's has only 1 rubber plug and it's placed in the center hole. But when I took my carbs apart for the first time, the carbs had 2 rubber plugs placed in the holes where the manual says they go if you have a Phazer ll ('90 and up model):


So I'm guessing that I got Phazer ll carbs in my '87, and that the manual schematic for plug placement is correct if you're not riding at high altitude. What constitutes "high altitude" however, is unclear to me (above 3 or 4000 Ft maybe ?)

Anyways, I take her for a test ride at Mt Rose today and it's immediately obvious that the tuning changes I made are having a fantastically positive effect on the sled's performance. With the track on a stand the machine responds instantly to the throttle and quickly pegs the speedometer at 100 MPH at 7000 RPM and still seems to be accelerating.

I ride it and there's a noticeable bog or dead spot off idle, but once past that it takes off like a rocket and has tons more power than it ever had before. Plugs look lean though. So I adjust the fuel screws a few times, and at one point it seemed to be running damn near perfect and plugs looked pretty good, maybe a touch lean especially on the PTO side. So I enrichened the fuel screws a little bit more, and it started bogging off idle again. So I reset the fuel screws to about where they were, and did circles around the meadow area near to the highway (was riding alone, and didn't want to venture into the backcountry just in case something went wrong). And something would go wrong in a BIG way.

So I ride for maybe 15-20 minutes more, and it seems to be running great: throttle response is good throughout the whole range, maybe a touch slow still off idle but the "dead spot" is gone and once it hits a certain RPM (maybe about 5000) just screams like a bottle rocket. So I hold it at WOT for a bit and cut the ignition to do a "plug chop". Pull the plugs and to my dismay they look pretty lean again, inspite of how well it seemed to be running. So I enrichen the fuel screws a bit and the off-idle "dead spot" is back again. Damn. I let the motor cool down a while (at this point it felt pretty hot) and then rode around a bit more hoping that the plugs would get some color on them again.

I'm getting a little bored of circling around the same areas so I ventured farther over to a rougher area that had some woody, leafless, shrubbery obstacles. It getting late in the day, dark and stormy, poor visibility with big gusts of wind blowing flurries of snow into your eyes.I was going pretty slow (maybe about 20) up a little slope and I came across a shrubby area and I steered the sled to what appeared to be a gap in the shrubs. When I got upon it I realized (too late!) that it was a hole in the snow and I fell into a five foot deep by about 7' wide trench. It was a section of a creek that didn't get fully buried by the snowpack.

I plowed the front end of the sled hard into the hole, slammed my helmet on the machine, and bent the hell out of the steering stem. The nose of the fairing now points downward into the hood, the throttle lever snapped clean off, and I can no longer turn the skis.

Fortunately for me I was pretty much unhurt (sprained my left thumb a bit, strained my right shoulder blade), and with the help of three other snowmobilers was able to dig the sled out and limp her out to the parking area.

Only the second time I've ridden the sled and already effed her up. Haven't had a chance to assess the damage yet, but I'd be surprised if I didn't bend more than just the steering stem.

I was so stoked to pick-up that free sled the other day too...

Damn. No way I could have seen that hole. I was right on the edge of it too: had I been about a sled's width over to the left I would have missed it.

Oh well, could have been much worse, and I'm so grateful for the help I got from the guys who got me out of the hole. Just wished it hadn't happened.

Sorry for the novel.
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:50 AM   #17 (permalink)
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eeeps glad you are okay!

your struggles with that sled sound all too similar to my dads with our old 80 SRX440 yamaha when i was a kid. i'm now in my 30s, sled still runs... sort of. and still driving me insane.
good luck and thanks for the updates. wish i had insight to offer.
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