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I'm a newbie to this forum and checked some posts after my son swamped my Jet Ski (97 1100 ZXI). :( Got all the water out and the engine running, but it will NOT idle. It shuts down under a rough idle, or any less than 2500 RPM.

Noticed that only the front cylinder gets very hot after running for 15 minutes with cooling hooked to garden hose. I have two theories:

1. Cooling system blocked to front cylinder
2. Extreme friction in front cylinder causing overheating, due to ???, I'm afraid to ask and probably expect an engine re-build or worse.

Any suggestions from an experienced motor head?
 

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Not sure I have an answer but I have a 2000 ZXi 1100 that just ate the middle cylinder. I have heard talk about the oil injectors going bad on these skis, which may be my issue. In your case I wonder if it could be a carb issue or plugged water passage? If its running lean, its going to run hot. Hope you dont have to do a rebuild!
 

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What are you using to judge this temp?..a non-contact(infa-red) thermometer?..

What does the spark plug look like?..

You can see a lot of engine problems coming by looking at the plugs..

Black n sooty can mean a loss of compression, over-rich fuel, failing ign., etc.

White or tan means good burn..

Black n wet means ign. failure, injector failure, etc..

Grey/ flaky can mean improper heat range/cyl. overheat..

Take a look at them and lets see what the engine has to say about all this..
 

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I just pulled my 97 with burnt piston and found a block in the water port- due to when repaired prior using too much gasket sealer- not sure if thats why it got super hot but it could have been- either that or had a clog in my #1 oil injector-
 
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