Care and Feeding of the iBR

Seadoo's Intelligent Brake and Reverse system
has brought a new level of safety to the sport

You are no longer at the mercy of momentum

Now you have a variable power reverse thruster

And

It's computer controlled so you have a fully functional brake lever
that allows you to slow down a little or a whole lot in a hurry
The more you pull in the "brake lever" the quicker you lose speed

Still not as good as a car...but
It can cut valuable inches from your stopping distance
wait!...all of this for inches?

Right
Those last 6 inches between a REALLY close call and a serious encounter.

Nuts and Bolts

The system itself is pretty slick.
The "brake lever" sends a signal to the skis network of computers
(there may be as many as 4 depending on the specific model of your ski)
and the computers decide on the "right amount" of braking thrust to apply as you pull the lever.
The iBR computer is in communication with the other so it knows
if you pulled the brake lever fast or slow, how fast you are going, how far the handlebar is turned
and the current engine rpm for starters
From this information, a gate position and throttle setting are selected.

It's going to prevent some accidents, and maybe save some lives too.

Distance and speed judgments are often wildly inaccurate
on the water due to the lack of reference items
It often results in severe injury due to collision
You will see the same effect at a rail crossing accident
You hear about it all the time
"it came out of nowhere"

not even a freight train comes out of "nowhere"
things happen fast on the water when you are moving 50+

OK, so the iBR is pretty slick

There are some pretty significant downsides however

The system as a whole is simple.
A motor, a computer controller and some stuff that looks
like a set of bifold door tracks gone wild.

The motor/computer is a real concern. It is expensive. There are no unit repair parts available
There is no exchange/rebuild program. In short. Expensive
ANY kind of electrical problem on an iBR equipped ski should be dealt with correctly
This is one ski you certainly do not want to jump start
Never jump start a ski, bad things always happen.
Disconnect the battery from the ski and charge it with your jumping vehicle for at least 15 minutes
THEN reconnect the battery and start the ski. DO NOT use your jumping vehicle for "help"
bad things will most certainly happen.

The iBR motor/computer, sells for over $1000 by the way
 

The iBR system thruster control mechanism does not mix well with sand and gravel.
There are several rollers and tracks to help the iBR thruster gate to reach the
correct position, even if the pump is at maximum thrust

It is more important then ever to not beach your ski
the iBR has a number of moving parts that do not mix well with sand and gravel.

Purchase a sand anchor and keep your iBR equipped ski a few feet offshore. Don't let sand and gravel
get pushed up into the pump area.

Speaking of sand and gravel ( got that now?)..it's happened to all of us, we're cruising along and suddenly
we find ourselves on a sand bar we could have sworn wasn't there last season or maybe even last week!

If you RUN AGROUND
GET OFF AND PUSH!

If you have to push backward use your paddle (those are required btw)
to "flush" some water around the jetpump as there is
no doubt you've got some sand and gravel in there now
If you attempt to use reverse you will drive a
whole lot of sand and rock into your jetpump AND the iBR system

Then it gets expensive.

At best you'll damage your wear ring, prop and perhaps break parts
of the iBR as you engage and disengage the reverse thruster.

When an iBR fault is detected, the ski goes into low power mode,
so you'll be making about 2 knots back to your camp.
If you decide to tow, please have a look here:
Towing Your Ski

It's simple.
DON'T USE REVERSE
WHEN GROUNDED!

If you see the iBR light illuminate on your console, there is an iBR fault
which could be electronics, mechanical, or both.
Your ski will shift to low speed mode or "limp home" mode
A message will be displayed on your console

The iBR "motor" and it's on-board computer are only sold as a single unit.
There is no aftermarket.
The unit retails for over $1000
and then the labor.

The iBR drive motor on some models are so inaccessible that the labor costs are high to replace the unit
You need very long arms to reach the iBR electrical connectors on some models

Some Seadoos with iBR have an access hatch to allow access to the iBR. IF you open this hatch
Make certain that it is properly sealed when you close it.

Then there is the update during service issue.....

The earliest iBR systems had some problems and of course Seadoo made a whole lot of changes along the way.
According to my sources, we're on the fifth or sixth revision of the iBR, which means that if you happen to have one of the first models that came out and you need repairs, you will have to replace a number of parts to maintain compatibility with the currently available parts.

Seadoo has also specified that a number of bits of hardware be replaced every time the iBR system is serviced
and also replaced at service intervals of 100 hours
This can lead to delays and some higher then expected charges if some parts are not available
With these items being replaced at every service, it will always be a challenge to keep them on hand
When possible you'll receive an extra set of repair hardware so you can be sure you
won't be sidelined in the middle of the season waiting for a bolt.
 

And lastly the issue of safety.

See that dreadful warning sticker on the rear of your ski?


"Moving Parts Can Crush Or Cut"

The jetpump can put out over 1000 pounds of thrust
The iBR motor/gate have to direct this thrust
The iBR motor is pretty strong.

The iBR will NOT be able to detect that your hand is in the way if it starts moving
Let me be 100% clear here. YOU CAN LOSE A FINGER or TWO

Always disconnect the battery before going near the iBR gate

Seadoo service documentation is pretty clear on is.
during live troubleshooting tests, there are some five minute wait periods indicated before continuing
This means that during those five minutes, the iBR might move on it's own

You'll find some information in the skis owner manual on operating the iBR gate using
The manual override feature that can be accessed from your dashboard.

After moving the iBR gate to the desired position disconnect the battery
before you stick anything bigger then your nose near the jetpump

Your late model Seadoo is a pretty sophisticated machine
we've come a long way from a simple "i'm overheating" buzzer

It's expensive to service

One of the reasons you want to follow all the advice here is that any kind of service on
the iBR system is going to be costly.

Why?

Have a look at the Seadoo shop manual for an iBR system
Take note on how much marine grade hardware has to be replaced
every time it is removed

 

Captain Pete doesn't have much choice in the issue
Seadoo says replace, and it is for a good reason
A bolt failure will cause a whole lot of trouble
The iBR has to deal with the full force of your
jetpump, especially when you get on the "brakes" hard.

The average price of the hardware is around $5 a bolt

Bottom line
Get a sand anchor and do not beach your iBR equipped ski

 

 

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Last modified: August 06, 2015
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