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  1. #1
    PWCToday Regular
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    SBT engine reliability?

    How well are they built? How is the reliability and life span compared to oem?
    http://www.pwctoday.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=66311&dateline=1250621671
    Farm to live, live to SKI! At least 3 months of the year.


    -96 XP w/solas pump
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  2. #2
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home justforfun's Avatar
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    Re: SBT engine reliability?

    SBT builds a good engine for a replacement and a good price.It's all on how you take care of a engine as to how long it will last. Can't beat the OE but the price can be beat.
    SBT warranty can not be beat, I would say the best IMO

  3. #3
    Frequent Poster marty_rk's Avatar
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    Re: SBT engine reliability?

    Quote Originally Posted by justforfun View Post
    SBT builds a good engine for a replacement and a good price.It's all on how you take care of a engine as to how long it will last. Can't beat the OE but the price can be beat.
    SBT warranty can not be beat, I would say the best IMO
    Depends on what end you are standing on, if you have a blown engine from SBT that SBT denies a claim on, then I guess you would be saying they have a pretty crappy engine. If you run 10 years without blowing the engine, then yea they make a great engine.

    When SBT has to tear the engine down and determine if it was a manufacture fault, I see conflict of interest
    I personally wouldn't buy their engines just for fear of the warranty, you can rebuild the engine for half the cost, you also have to remember, about $200 is just in shipping and thats for a 2 stroke 2 banger engine. Right there you are already at half the cost of the rebuilt engine just stuck in shipping
    Last edited by marty_rk; 06-04-2010 at 01:36 PM.
    The Big Lebowski:
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  4. #4
    PWCToday Guru
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    Re: SBT engine reliability?

    When it comes to my own stuff, I do the rebuild because I like to do the work, I am not worried about a warranty on my stuff, and I take better care, and keep a closer watch on my own engines. If I want to pull the head to check something, or split the cases, I don't want to worry about voiding a warranty. I did use an SBT motor in the first XPL I owned, and never had any problems with it, and did not regret it.

    when it comes to a customer I will always use SBT. You can't beat the price or the warranty. And there is nothing worse than a customer who takes his XPL out, fills it with water, throws a rod through the case, and expects the last person that works on it to fix it for free. It saves a lot o time not having to do the rebuild yourself.

  5. #5
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home justforfun's Avatar
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    Re: SBT engine reliability?

    Quote Originally Posted by marty_rk View Post
    Depends on what end you are standing on, if you have a blown engine from SBT that SBT denies a claim on, then I guess you would be saying they have a pretty crappy engine. If you run 10 years without blowing the engine, then yea they make a great engine.

    When SBT has to tear the engine down and determine if it was a manufacture fault, I see conflict of interest
    I personally wouldn't buy their engines just for fear of the warranty, you can rebuild the engine for half the cost, you also have to remember, about $200 is just in shipping and thats for a 2 stroke 2 banger engine. Right there you are already at half the cost of the rebuilt engine just stuck in shipping
    Quality and performance are the main features of every SBT STANDARD PWC ENGINE. In 2002, SBT was the first in the industry to offer an unparalleled one-year, fault-free warranty against failure of any kind — with absolutely no questions asked!
    Add to that our guaranteed ship date or it's FREE program and you have the foundation of a warranty program unmatched by the competition.

    There it is in writing from the web site. No questions asked.

    PREMIUM ENGINE has 2 years.
    Last edited by justforfun; 06-04-2010 at 03:06 PM.

  6. #6
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home 10mm's Avatar
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    Re: SBT engine reliability?

    I am running a sbt 701 and so far have no complaints. It is a very strong motor. I bought this ski with it already installed so I have no warranty but the ski rips.



  7. #7
    Frequent Poster GSX202's Avatar
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    Re: SBT engine reliability?

    I bought a SBT951 Silver engine for my 99GSXL 3 yrs ago and I havent had any problems out of it. I think it is a very reliable engine and they ship fast, customer service to me was great and all in all it had been a very good experience!!
    GSX202
    Rockville MD
    1999 GSX Limited
    "Live to Ride"

  8. #8
    I dream skis mirror's Avatar
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    Re: SBT engine reliability?

    Quote Originally Posted by marty_rk View Post
    Depends on what end you are standing on, if you have a blown engine from SBT that SBT denies a claim on, then I guess you would be saying they have a pretty crappy engine. If you run 10 years without blowing the engine, then yea they make a great engine.

    When SBT has to tear the engine down and determine if it was a manufacture fault, I see conflict of interest
    I personally wouldn't buy their engines just for fear of the warranty, you can rebuild the engine for half the cost, you also have to remember, about $200 is just in shipping and thats for a 2 stroke 2 banger engine. Right there you are already at half the cost of the rebuilt engine just stuck in shipping

    I have never had to use one of their engines and hopefully I don't need to. As far as I have read it is a fault free warranty so there shouldn't be an inspection to determine anything. Someone else can speak up here but as far as I know they just replace it. I have read a lot of complaints but as I know the ones that speak the loudest usually are the ones complaining, the ones satisfied don't really say much. It is nice to actually have a few favorable responses here already. I actually did do my own rebuild but I can work on engines but the 4 stroke I was rebuilding decided I didn't know enough so even though I saved a lot on the rebuild it cost me in the end because it just let go somewhere else I hadn't worked on. The STXR we have would be at least 1,000 in parts to rebuild and there is no warranty so why not spend the extra and be covered. They are located near me so I do know some of the people and have had business with them and they have treated me good so I don't really have any complaints.
    Ken (Treasurer)
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  9. #9
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home Mr. Bill's Avatar
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    Re: SBT engine reliability?

    I have probably installed more SBT motors than I care to remember, spending in excess of $20K with them in a bad year for engine rebuilds.
    SBT is my most trusted supplier of any pwc business I have dealth with since starting out 20 something years ago. If they screwed up an order, I see what I need the very next day postage paid. If a customer brings his broken motor back here and it is within warranty, they send another motor immeadetly no questions asked. Anybody interested in when I had to get a warranted motor from them last ? About 5 years ago was the last one and like all but two or three over the years, had nothing to do with the quality of the engine they had provided. The few others were almost exclusively from owner induced problems, or problems created at some bozo pwc shop or dealership.

    Why do I have such good luck with SBT products when other's preach they are junk ? I'll tell you why. I clean fuel systems, check oil pumps and oil lines, double check all clamps involved with water hoses and oiling systems, replacing alot of worn out clamps with very good quality stainless clamps and other hardware. I use quality sealants, not the cheapest stuff I can buy. I make sure all electrical components are clean and well grounded. Driveshaft seals and bearings are inspected and fixed if need be, every engine gets aligned properly. Viturally everything is looked at, measured and replaced if out of spec. I won't install bad carbs, wornout RV covers, cracked intake manifolds, stripped out bolt holes or pipes that need welding done to them until it gets done. I check voltage readings to see if the charging systems work correctly, and I replace any battery that will not pass a load test after being fully charged on a slow charger. I tell my customers up front that doing all this extra stuff is going to cost them extra depending upon what we find wrong and need to replace or repair, starting with a phone call to them explaining the problems and the costs.

    I want my customers to leave knowing we tried to do a good job for them and I want them to call me if something is not right the very first time the pwc hits the water. I inform them that PWC's are complicated and very vunurable to any sort of problem and to go directly back to the trailer and call me before allowing it to be used so I can figure out what it is before they destroy another engine and add weeks to their downtime.

    This is how you make an SBT motor or even an OEM motor last a long time trouble free. I learned years ago that if there is a manufactuers defect, or a mistake made by me or my mechanics, the product usually fails within the first few minutes or hours of use. Motors do not fix themselves because you think it needs more break-in time. A proper motor will blow full compression numbers before ever starting it up. One hundered hours later, if treated right, that compression will be within a pound or two of where it was when you got the motor. Contrary to popular belief, if a pwc engine loses a full 5 psi or more of compression, some damage has occured to the rings or the clyinder walls, as long as the testing proceedure is nearly identical with equal density altitude and tempeture readings, using a calibrated compression tester. They take forever to wear out the rings or even wear off the cross hatching of the bores if well lubricated and water is kept out of the motor, and it is a well sealed up engine that is not overly rich or overly lean.

    But if a motor is detonating, you might as well have a little man inside using a very powerfull jackhammer on every part of the engine and it will not last but minutes before something lets go.

    Bill O'Neal
    WCM
    Last edited by Mr. Bill; 06-04-2010 at 04:41 PM.

  10. #10
    I dream skis -aL-spx's Avatar
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    Re: SBT engine reliability?

    Amen

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