Seadoo Supercharger Repair
The Sea-Doo supercharger design originally utilized ceramic clutch washers. While the addition of a supercharger to the 4-TEC engine significantly improved performance, it did add to the maintenance requirements and had a negative impact on reliability.
The supercharger clutch washers, by design, allow slip between the supercharger impeller and the supercharger drive shaft. They are designed to absorb the difference in speed (energy) of the supercharger impeller and the drive shaft under deceleration conditions. The more deceleration, the more energy must be absorbed by the clutch washer, which is why riding habits significantly impact the life of ceramic clutch washers. Chopping the throttle, from full wide open, or jumping waves causes increased stress on the washers.
Ceramics have very good heat dissipation properties, but are brittle. As the ceramic clutch washers become stressed over time they begin to fail. When they fail completely in this application they can shatter, resulting in ceramic debris being spread throughout the engine. Most dealers simply change the oil and filters after a ceramic clutch failure; however, we believe the engine should be completely torn down and thoroughly cleaned to remove any ceramic debris. It is a very expensive repair.
Sea-Doo came out with a new design on 2008 supercharged skis that utilized metal clutch washers. We highly recommend that anyone owning a supercharged SeaDoo with ceramic clutch washers update the washers to metal. In addition to a updated supercharger rebuild kit from Sea-Doo, there are several aftermarket metal clutch washers available.
Even with the updated metal clutch washers, routine inspection and replacement is highly recommended. They are clutches by design and, while much improved, even the metal washers will fail over time.
Below are some pictures of failed supercharger washers and the damage that they caused to the supercharger. The picture of the metal piece the size of a penny went through the engine...Ouch