Sea Doo Sportster 155 Project One

2006 Sea Doo Sportster 155
The boat after we bought it

Sea Doo Sportster 155

This was our 1st project boat. It is a 2006 Sea Doo Sportster 155. The idea was to start small and work our way to bigger. We got a great deal on it. The owner said it just wouldn’t start.

The Reality of what happened

Apparently, the 2006 Sea Doo Sportster 155 was sunk, in fresh water. I was insistent seeing if there was water in the motor. the motor was full of water. Also when you put the lanyard on the “DEES” (Digitally Encoded Electronic Security) port there was just a very long beep. Its the same on their Sea Doo Jet Skis. They were jumping the starter relay to turn it over. This is not a good idea, but at least the motor was not seized.

The motor turns over and the oil is good!

I checked the oil, in the Sea Doo Sportster 155. Appeared to be good. We did a compression test and there were some odd readings so I gave him less than he was asking. I figured some electrical and some motor work. I did not know how long the water had been in the engine. With my luck for at least a year!

The Sea Doo Sportster 155’s Back Story

The back story about the guy who sold me the boat was rather interesting. He bough the boat sunk at the beginning of 2017. His intention was to repair it. He reached an impasse and brought it to a Dealer a hundred miles way. It took them two months to look at it. They said they fixed it. It still did not start, when he went to pick it up. They took more time and then said it had a bad motor and some electrical issues. He asked the dealer to put in a used parts. They would not, so he picked the boat up and listed it on Craig’s list for sale. That’s when my wife found it. As she always finds me my deals.

We bought the Sea Doo Sportster 155 now the funs starts !

We bought it for cash the Sea Doo Sportster 155 boat, trailer, title, service manuals he bought to fix it and and hauled it back home two hundred miles on a Friday while I worked mobile in August. Now just to make a point here, I have had projects that are years in the works and they never go anywhere. This may be one of them my wife says. She wants the boat for the 2018 season.

My Driving Helper Pippi
Pippi Helping Me Drive

Sea Doo Sportster 155 Troubleshooting Starts

This is where is I learn all about Sea Doo’s and the complications of boats vs skis and working on them. So I cracked open the service manual and start the process of trouble shooting. Always start with getting a service manual. The boat came with a service manual. I also looked on the seadooforum.

Getting water out of the Rotax Engine

First thing I do is purge the motor of water by spinning it over. There is no water in the oil as stated before. But there is water in the cylinders. If there is water in the oil, you are going to tear some stuff up so drain it a refill it if you are going to be spinning it over.

Jumping the starter relay to turn over

I’m still jumping the starter solenoid because all the boat because all it does is beep really long when you put the key on the DEES port and the start switch does not work. So after I get the water out. First of all keep in mind this is a modified drown mode! I start the process of the beeping an no start. The warning gauges light up but and the tachometer and speedometer don’t do a needle swing as they should. So it says it the key or the fuel pump relay. The key seems to be right, so I’m going to assume it’s the fuel pump.

Key on, long beep, pump has no power. That’s a not a good sign. Connection is good no corrosion. I don’t hear the pump energize, Either. I power up the pump manually and it comes on. Now I start looking at MPEM as they call it. It’s basically a fuse box at the back of the boat is what it looks like. There also is one in the front of the boat to.

Sea Doo Sportster 155 MPMEM
Sea Doo Sportster 155 MPMEM

I test the fuses. They are all good. The mystery deepens. So I now start suspecting they DEES key is not working, or it’s the DEES port. All based on the diagnostic guide for the boat. Now this require a key to be programmed.

It’s not a Ski Its a Sea Doo Sportster 155 Boat!

So I call the local Sea Doo dealer and ask if they can program a key. They said sure, but I need to buy the key, they won’t use the existing one. As a result, I take to boat to the dealer, buy the key. They tell me a guy will be out to program it. I might be done I’m thinking! Boy that was a crazy idea. So the guy come out with his programmer and asks where is it. I point to to boat.

Wait it’s a Sea Doo Sportster 155 Boat

After all of this he stops dead in his tracks and says, I can’t work on that we are not certified to work on the Sea Doo boats. Consequently, I ask him how is that different from a Ski. He say if they find out they will get into trouble. I tell him I won’t. He say he won’t but he knows a guy that can. As a result, hey refund me the price of the key. He gives me the name of Jimmy and a phone number. So I call him and he shows up thirty minutes later.

We don’t usually work on boats!

As a result of this outcome this how I met the person (Jimmy) who had faith in me and my abilities as part of this Journey. Jimmy shows up. He looks rather puzzled and says, hey I usually don’t work on boats, but they are just a big Ski.

This is a big Jet Ski ?

He puts the key on the DEES post, it makes a long beep and says he It’s probably the ECU. I tell him what I did, and he says lets hook this up and see what the ECU tells us. He hooks up to the Diagnostic port and gets nothing. He does a few things, and says its probably the ECU. I ask him how much that is, he tells me it’s a thousand dollars for new one. I tell him the boat is used and ask him if he has a used one. He say no, not for this motor.

He also says that I seem to know a bit about this Sea Doo Sportster 155 and want to limit the expense. I do, I told him the value is not putting new parts in unless I have to. He tells me to drop the boat off at his yard and he will start looking into it when he gets a chance.

Sea Doo Sportster 155 Dropped Off at Jimmy's
Dropped Off at Jimmy’s

Jimmy tells me he might be able to borrow an ECU off a customers boat to find out if its the ECU. The motor in the boat is a 155 HP Normally Aspirated Three Cylinder , four stroke Rotax. It

The works begins

So about two weeks later Jimmy calls me and says its more than the ECU. Step one , he borrowed and ECU and when he connects it and the fuse for the ECU blows. As a Result, he Suspects it the wiring or the MPEM. Additionally, my ECU does no work at all on the other ski, so it has a bad ECU. I tell Him I’ll find a used MPEM and an ECU.

Be careful of who you trust on the internet

This is a story about how Jimmy and I got taken advantage of. There is an out fit in Ohio that got a bunch of Jimmy’s ECU’s and my money. He robbed us of ten ECU’s, my ECU and a new MPEM. This was to the sum of several thousand dollars. He really got us good. He ran the clock out on the credit card dispute, saying he was going to get it right. The first time you hear an excuse cancel the order and go else where. We have run into him for other things he says he can fix. Do not buy anything from this guy. I wish I googled him before I bought anything from him. I hope Karma gets the best of him. Here are the list of things we had to buy or re-buy.

  • MPEM 2006 Sea Doo Sportster ($650) – Never Delivered
  • MPEM Sea Doo Sportster ($600/$70 Shipping) – Parts Supplier he was supposed to get it from
  • ECU Sea Doo 155 ($400) – Delivered non operational
  • ECU Sea Doo 155 ($600) – eBay
  • Ten various ECUs Jimmy Supplied – $1000

Lesson learned, he took Jimmy and I for a little over two thousand dollars. He got a bunch of ECU’s that he probably sold to others. This guy says he does ECU, Speedometer and performance ski stuff. He is a charlatan at the best! Stick to companies like Riva, SBT. If you have a question as to the validity of where to get parts reach out to me directly

Fixed ECU, NOT!
This looks and ECU with the label removed. He said he would send me a file and cable to reprogram it, NOT!

In the end we got the boat running by October. We had it out on the water and we were successful in getting the boat running. As stated before we did not rebuild the motor. We replaced what was defective with either new or used parts.

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