81 Surf Jet No Spark
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  1. #1
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    81 Surf Jet No Spark

    Just picked up a 81 surf jet that isn't getting spark. It's the 81 model without a cdi. So it should be something simple. Im not seeing any spark from the plug, or my spark tester, but I do get flashing lights on my test light when attached to the plug caps. Any idea where to go from here? I can't find any info on pre 84 models online.

  2. #2
    I dream skis
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    Re: 81 Surf Jet No Spark

    try cutting the plug wires back about 1/4" and see what happens.
    2009 Kawasaki SXR800 / FPP dry pipe

    1989 Kawasaki JETMATE 750BP swap

  3. #3
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    Re: 81 Surf Jet No Spark

    Already did that. The spark tester is showing spark when connecting directly to ground, but not through the spark plug. It did for a short while on one plug, but then stopped. That was a plug without a resistor. I'm not sure if its just weak spark now, or no spark.

  4. #4
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    Re: 81 Surf Jet No Spark

    I'm pretty sure it's just weak spark. Anyone know how to improve spark strength on these? Do I do something with points?

  5. #5
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home wmazz's Avatar
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    Re: 81 Surf Jet No Spark

    I have never worked on one, but here are some point/ignition tips
    that may help.

    Possibly clean the flywheel magnets if they are rusted, dirty, or oily.
    File and clean the points.

    Good possibility the point gap has just decreased. If possible add some
    grease or oil to the brush that lubes the points cam. Then locate the
    timing mark, and set the points to open at the timing mark.

    If the point cam lobe is rusted, it will wear down the rubbing block and
    the point gap.

    3 basic ways to set the points. 1. the correct point gap will get the timing
    close. 2. Unwrap a cigarette filter paper and slide it between the closed
    contacts. Rotate the engine and keep in eye on where the paper slides
    out as you rotate the flywheel. You want the paper to slide out at the
    timing mark. 3. Get a battery powered beeper to set the points.

    You can double check the timing with a timing light if you want too.


    Bill M.

    One other thing. Use a new spark plug and reduce the gap to .025"
    Last edited by wmazz; 05-14-2019 at 05:01 AM.
    Horsepower == Speed, RPM != Speed



  6. #6
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    Re: 81 Surf Jet No Spark

    Thanks Bill, I think that's exactly what I need to do. Now I just have to get the flywheel off. It uses M6 bolts, and all I had on hand were stainless, they kept stretching to the point of breaking. I'll have to get some higher grade and let it sit in some penetrating oil.

  7. #7
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    Re: 81 Surf Jet No Spark

    If the flywheel is difficult to remove, start with the spark plug
    gaped @.025" and adjusting the points to open at the timing
    mark.

    On all the small Kawasaki enduros the flywheels had just enough
    access to the points, to allow a screwdriver room to make adjustments
    to the points.

    Initially, try to keep it simple.


    Bill M.
    Horsepower == Speed, RPM != Speed



  8. #8
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    Re: 81 Surf Jet No Spark

    Found the flywheel had a removable cover to gain access to the points, they look ok, I'm not sure what the gap should be. The coil however does have some damage to the top where someone over-ran a screw into it. Anyone have any idea what ohms these should be at?

  9. #9
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    Re: 81 Surf Jet No Spark

    Contact point gap was down to .005, I adjusted them to .020 as that seems to be the most typical for contact breaker engines. I also cleaned the contacts, but I still don't get spark. I had weak spark for a second or two. Not sure what else to try.

  10. #10
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home wmazz's Avatar
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    Re: 81 Surf Jet No Spark

    It might be caused by a bad condenser (and the narrow point gap),
    but since these tests are easier than removing the points and
    condenser, I recommend trying these steps first.
    ================================================
    Get some contact cleaner and spray the open points. Then
    stick a clean strip of white paper in between the points. With
    the gap closed, pull out the piece of paper. Repeat if the paper
    has a dirty residue from the contacts.

    Remove the spark plug cap and test the spark by holding
    the plug wire close to an engine ground.

    Older coils often had replaceable spark plug wire (HT lead).

    Also inspect the spark plug wires core for broken wire strands.
    Sometimes the copper wire core breaks. You can test this by
    exposing the copper wire (you need to do this to test spark at
    the plug wire anyway) then use a needle nose or side cutter to
    grab the wire, then give it a tug. If the wire slides out, the HT
    lead is bad.

    Primary coil should be near .5 to 1 ohm (The damaged coil might
    have a significantly higher ohm reading if the coil was damaged).

    To measure Primary coil test continuity between the primary wire
    (possibly black) and the laminated core or the engine.

    Secondary coil should be a few K ohms

    To measure Secondary coil, test continuity between the primary wire
    and the spark plug wire core.


    Bill M.

    ================================================== =
    If none of these steps work out, replace the condenser.


    Bill M.
    Last edited by wmazz; 05-17-2019 at 03:22 AM.
    Horsepower == Speed, RPM != Speed



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