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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1988 Kawasaki 550. It has a weird problem I can't fix.

It runs and idles great at low rpms, but when you give it the gas, it is real sluggish and has a lot of water/steam in the exhaust. It never gets up to full speed and runs erratically. ALSO, there is a LOT of steam coming out with the exhaust. (I have another 550 so I know there is obviously some smoke in a 2-cycle.)

I have tried replacing the head gasket guessing it was blown. (it was perfect, but put a new one in anyway.)

What else can it be? Water is getting into the exhaust at high RPMs.

I am taking the exhaust apart right now, but all the gaskets look great. And this model doesn't have reeds...right?

So where should I look now. Thanks for any advice!
 

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Is water coming out of the spout on the left hand side of the ski? That has to have water coming out, and could be part of the problem
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, a steady stream of water comes out of the spout on the left. It can get pretty hot when idling, but it is a steady stream. Is that normal?

The weird issue is the "cloud" of water vapor coming out with the exhaust and the lack of upper end power... it is definately bogging down.

Any idea how the water can be getting into th exhaust?
 

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Water comes in at the exhaust manifold. The gasket there could have a problem. If it does, that could contribute to the lack of high end power. If too much water is running into the exhaust, the engine has work harder to crank because of the increased back pressure. However, this could potentially put water in the cylinder which would kill the engine. If the leak is in the right place maybe? It could also be a carb setting (for the lack of power). If it is missing then you are too lean. If it is bogging then you are rich.
 
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