3 Sea Doos - New to PWC
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  1. #1
    Frequent Poster XT-73Camaro's Avatar
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    3 Sea Doos - New to PWC

    Hey everyone, just wanted to say hello from Iowa (where's the water in Iowa, right?). I am awe struck at all the threads and posts and helpful knowledge in this forum. I am over 50 and last Fall told the wife we should get a boat because we could now (barely) afford it. But after much thought I did not want the bulk, expense and maintenance of a full-size boat. We have always ridden motorcycle and even snowmobiles back in the day (when we had reliable snow) so I said hey, maybe we should try some PWC. Without any knowledge of brand or cost or quality I stumbled on a pair of Sea Doos on my local Craigslist. I bought the pair for $2400 (incl. Trailer) not knowing if either ran (stupid me right?). The guy said they just needed batteries and hadn't been started since the year before (I see that phrase has been used a lot now...lol). Both skis turned over though with the weak battery he had on hand and both looked very well kept and clean. Well one started right up (with new batteries) and the other cranked over well but would not start. I spent $ 120 just to find out that both cylinders were low compression (what a noob). That was 5 months ago. I really felt like I had been swindled and went after the guy for a refund. Of course he lied and would not cooperate so I went out and bought a 3rd known good ski. In retrospect I am glad this happened as I decided to tear into the 98 SPX to see if I could figure out how they worked and what was wrong so that I could take better care of the good working skis. I am now awaiting the return of newly bored cylinders from my local machine shop and plan to re-assemble the ski over the course of the winter (pacing myself because I don't want it to end...lol). After learning a ton and working with these skis, I feel very lucky having landed on the Sea Doos as I really like the way they are built and put together.

    I joined PWC Today to ask a specific question (separate thread) and everyone has been so knowledgeable and helpful so far. I'd just like to say "thanks" to everyone who has helped and I look forward to reading new and old threads in this forum.

    97 GTI
    98 SPX
    98 GTS

    3 Skis.jpg
    Last edited by XT-73Camaro; 12-31-2015 at 05:23 AM.

  2. #2
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home john zigler's Avatar
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    Re: 3 Sea Doos - New to PWC

    Happy new year, and Welcome to the site. You have some great machines there.

    I may have already told you this, but IMO it is a good idea to get a shop manual for your machines, so you can read up / learn about needed maintenance.

    Couple of things about SeaDoo's....

    They have oil in the jet pump, should be changed every season

    They are known for fuel related issues. Go through the fuel systems COMPLETELY on each machine. Rebuild carbs, fuel pumps, replace all lines, replace the fuel select switches, etc. Keep good fuel (non-ethanol) in them. Doing this they should give you years of fun.
    RCJS also doing business as WATCON
    608-743-1305 9am to 5pm CST m-f
    email watcon@watcon.com

    Please visit our web site

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  3. #3
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home john zigler's Avatar
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    Re: 3 Sea Doos - New to PWC

    Should add, be sure to use genuine Mikuni Brand parts, and replace the needle and seats in the carbs....
    RCJS also doing business as WATCON
    608-743-1305 9am to 5pm CST m-f
    email watcon@watcon.com

    Please visit our web site

    new parts / products / services www.watcon.com
    thank you

    Please check out and like WATCON on Facebook

  4. #4
    Frequent Poster XT-73Camaro's Avatar
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    Re: 3 Sea Doos - New to PWC

    Hey John, Happy New Year to you and thank you very much for all the suggestions. I did use the helpful links that you have on this site to grab the Shop Manual first thing a few months ago, but it can be really daunting to a newbie. I'm glad you mentioned the fuel system. I was going to ask if you guys thought I should re-do the carbs (see below). I have replaced all the major fuel lines and removed and checked the fuel selector switch, but was going to try to start the new motor with the old carbs intact. An old (car) Mechanic friend of mine told me to try them first before re-building because they probably would work fine and opening them up may cause more issues or at minimum force a complete re-build. They look pretty good and I'm not well versed with re-building carbs so I was going to just try to re-mount them first. Let me know if you think that's a bad idea. I guess I could always tackle the re-build with all the great instructional videos that are out there, it just scares me. I don't want to make something that works worse.

    Carbs With Old Fuel Lines.jpg
    Last edited by XT-73Camaro; 12-31-2015 at 10:38 AM.

  5. #5
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home john zigler's Avatar
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    Re: 3 Sea Doos - New to PWC

    The carbs are really pretty simple. If you are mechanically inclined, I am sure you can easily handle it.

    IMO it is one of the most important things to do.

    I would say, here in my shop, easily 90% of the engine failures we see are fuel related. The SeaDoo's had the grey tempo lines that deteriorate from the inside, and deposit gum and crap in the small internal fuel filters behind the fuel pumps. Carbs can look perfect / mint on the outside, but be clogged / gummed up inside.

    2-stroke engines really need fuel to help keep them cool. Running lean will end in a piston seizure. Fuel system maintenance (rarely done until it is too late) is a big part of keeping your machines running reliable. If you do not know the history, and or if they have been sitting, the carbs NEED to be gone through completely.

    If you are still against doing them, I can rebuild them here for you. (people send me carbs all the time, from all over) but again, I really think you can handle it.

    Good luck, keep us posted on your results.
    RCJS also doing business as WATCON
    608-743-1305 9am to 5pm CST m-f
    email watcon@watcon.com

    Please visit our web site

    new parts / products / services www.watcon.com
    thank you

    Please check out and like WATCON on Facebook

  6. #6
    Frequent Poster XT-73Camaro's Avatar
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    Re: 3 Sea Doos - New to PWC

    Hi John, I really appreciate your "strong" opinion/urging on this matter. I wanted to avoid this if at all possible (chicken) but I will heed your warning and do the work based on your experience. Both pistons had seized rings and scorched sidewalls with only minor damage to the cylinder walls - for which I still do not know the actual cause. I am converting to Pre-mix (at SBT's recommendation) in case the failure was oil-shortage related, but re-building the carbs will add a layer of security/prevention. I hope you realize (and this forum can handle) the additional questions that I will have for this project .

    Thanks for the kind offer to send them to you for rebuild. That tells me what kind of a person you are. And I see that you are from Wisconsin (very cool!) I am mechanically inclined and just need to man-up and do it myself. Unfortunately I don't have anyone local to assist or check my work anymore. All my local friends are soft and stupid. LOL

    Engine_Bad Pistons.jpg

  7. #7
    Resident Guru Doug997's Avatar
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    Re: 3 Sea Doos - New to PWC

    Welcome!
    2017 Kawasaki SXR 1500
    2019 Suzuki DRZ400SM
    2020 Yamaha YZ250

  8. #8
    Frequent Poster XT-73Camaro's Avatar
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    Re: 3 Sea Doos - New to PWC

    Thanks Doug!

    Can anyone tell me if the goo that I see on this carb fuel inlet is from the degraded grey fuel lines, or is this just leftover silicone (or something) from the original assembly process?

    Carb_Inlet_GreenGoo.jpg

  9. #9
    Frequent Poster Aust the Boss's Avatar
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    Re: 3 Sea Doos - New to PWC

    Welcome! That is definetely from the fuel lines degrading.

  10. #10
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home john zigler's Avatar
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    Re: 3 Sea Doos - New to PWC

    Quote Originally Posted by Aust the Boss View Post
    Welcome! That is definetely from the fuel lines degrading.
    Yup! I promise your internal fuel filters are clogged.
    RCJS also doing business as WATCON
    608-743-1305 9am to 5pm CST m-f
    email watcon@watcon.com

    Please visit our web site

    new parts / products / services www.watcon.com
    thank you

    Please check out and like WATCON on Facebook

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