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  1. #1

    Failed pump bearing

    Looks like the aft pump bearing on my '97 SLTX failed yesterday.

    The outer race was still firmly pressed into the stator, so I ruled out a "spun" bearing. Also, all the seals look good so I ruled out water injestion. Of course it tore up a bunch of stuff. I rebuilt the pump assy. only 30 hours ago (new bearings, seals, etc.).

    Does this happen often? Could this have been caused by "operator error"?


  2. #2
    Bing-A-Ding-Ding-Ding, Brrrrrap! Brrrrrrrrrap!!! Polaris_Nut#1's Avatar
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    was there water in there when you took it a part? if so check your tail cone for cracks.

  3. #3
    I had a similar problem last month. I rebuilt the pump in my 96 SLT700. I was in a hurry to put it back together so I bought seals and bearings from an autoparts store. They were stainless bearings and seals. However they were not sealed bearings. It lasted all of about 3 weeks. Turns out the seals I put it were incorrect as well. The seals that came in the kit I ordered had a rubber coating on the outside of the seal. I think water got passed the seals and wiped out the non sealed bearings. Hope this helps

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kl7741 View Post
    ...I rebuilt the pump assy. only 30 hours ago (new bearings, seals, etc.)...
    What type of failure did the bearings have?
    Rust, or just mechanical failure?

    A rebuild jet pump stator should last a long time - years.

    Mechanical failure with no water present
    Were the new bearings fully seated in the stator?
    Did you use the oven+freezer method to get the bearings to seat?

    The long spacer that sits between the bearings needs to just fit in there, with no slop, but also no side pressure on the bearings.

    If there was water/rust in the bearings
    Did you replace, or at least carefully check, the large diameter O-ring that seals the tail cone inside the stator?

    Did you install a flat rubber seal under the tail cone?

    When you installed the front seals, did you put any waterproof grease in between the two seals?

    Is the short spacer that the stub shaft front seals ride on in very good condition?
    No rough spots or grooves?

  5. #5
    Thanks for all the replies!

    After further (closer) investigation i now believe it was water damage. There was water in the pump when i disassembled it, but i just assumed that the water entered when it started to come apart.

    As i said, the aft bearing came apart, but the fwd bearing was still in tact (although loose in the stator). I popped the seals off the fwd bearing and there was rust on the rollers and retainers. Obviously it had been subjected to water for some period of time. In fact, what was left of the aft bearing also showed signs of rust.

    I'm baffled. I used all new "jet ski" seals and o-rings. Checked the tail cone for cracks. Used the oven/freezer method to install the bearings. Made sure the bearings were fully seated. The short spacer looked good, no significant grooves (i even polished it with emory cloth).

    K477- i greased the sealing lip of the front seals, but i did not specifically put any significant amount of grease between the seals. Also, what do you mean by "...a flat rubber seal under the tail cone"? My parts manual only calls for the tail cone o-ring which is recessed inside the stator.

    What is the purpose of the large spacer?

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kl7741 View Post
    ...what do you mean by "...a flat rubber seal under the tail cone"? My parts manual only calls for the tail cone o-ring which is recessed inside the stator.

    What is the purpose of the large spacer?
    5811984 Tail cone seal (item 28 in diagram) used on the 2000-2004 models. Seems to add a second line of defense against rear water entry.

    The O-ring must be in good condition, and both the machined groove and the tail cone surface the O-ring seals on must provide a smooth sealing surface. Grease the O-ring in the groove, and lightly grease the tail cone sleeve.

    The large spacer between the two bearings is intended to prevent the bearings from suffering axial forces when the stub shaft is torqued down with the impeller. The impeller torque clamps the two bearings together with the long spacer into a single rotating unit.

    Those two bearings rotate as one inside the assembled jet pump, which is why both bearings must be fully seated and be exactly parallel with each other. When compressed by the tightened stub shaft, those bearings must not suffer from static side loadings, which would shorten the bearing life.

    Emery cloth - that short spacer needs to be quite smooth surfaced. If it has surface roughness from the emery cloth, that could wear away at the seal lips.

    Was the impeller torqued to spec last time?
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  7. #7
    K447- I followed all of the items that you mentioned. I'm thinking the cause might have been a worn impeller spacer.

    The 5811984 Tail cone seal sounded like a great idea, however, when I tried to order one at a Florida Polaris dealer the parts sales guy said his technicians recommend against using them for some reason (he didn't elaborate).

    Is there any controversy regarding using this seal? I also wonder if maybe a small bead of RTV wouldn't be as good or better?

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