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  1. #1
    urugol's Avatar
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    Pre-Startup Checklist

    Hi All,

    The good folk of greenhulk have carried me to the point where I'm about to do the first fire up of my SL900. So far, and with much knowledge that can only be learned here I have:

    Replaced most of the propulsion system, SS Stator Pump, New Impeller, New Wear ring. Changed the fuel float (it works now!!) as well as installation of the Odyssey PC625 battery. I also replaced the old broken primer system and all fuel lines to new spec.

    Now time to start the thing (at least I hope). The situation with this ski is that I purchased it from someone who had it sitting around for 3 years so I don't want to avoid any precautions when attempting to fire it up. Engine wise I have replaced the NGK plugs for brand new ones but that's about it.

    I have spark from the leads and great engine compression, already tested that so tomorrow I would like to hear it running for the first time.

    If anyone can provide any useful tips before I do this given the amount of sit around time, I would once again be very appreciative.


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    I would suggest you mix some 2-stroke TCW3 oil into the gasoline, just in case there is an issue with the oil injection system. 50:1 should be enough.

    Dribble a teaspoon or two of 2-stroke oil down each carb throat, along with a little gasoline to prime the engine.

    Is the gasoline in the fuel tank fresh?

    I presume you are starting it on the trailer. If the engine is is cold, you can run it for maybe 20-30 seconds without water cooling. I suggest no more than 20 seconds, and don't bother with the cooling water for the first engine start.

    After it has cooled down for a few minutes, you can run it for another 20 seconds.

    If you have not done so already, remove the thermostat housing, and verify that there is no clog, sand or other issue in there. If the actual thermostat is present, you can test it in a pot of water on the stove. It should open around 140F.

    There may also be a spring plunger assembly in the housing. Make sure it is not jammed, or excessively worn. It operates when the engine RPM (and cooling system water pressure) climbs, to allow water flow even if the thermostat is not open yet.

    At low RPM, the thermostat controls the engine temperature. At higher RPM, the pressure bypass plunger opens, allowing more water flow.

    In later model years, Polaris deleted the thermostat. Apparently, in anything but the coldest of waters, the engine will run just fine without a thermostat. For this reason, some owners of older models feel comfortable removing their thermostats.

    If your thermostat and by-pass are working properly, I would suggest leaving them in place. Make sure you re-position the figure 8 seal when re-installing the thermostat housing.

    If you now want to test the water cooling system, hook up your garden hose.

    I prefer connecting the hose to the main cooling water inlet hose, which is the 3/4 inch hose down low on the right side (when looking forward) of the jet pump base, inside the hull. This connection provides the same water flow as when the hull is floating in the water.

    The other option is to connect the garden hose to the water manifold bar, at the reverse flush fitting. Not all engines have the reverse flush connection installed, as it was an option. The reverse flush connection is more convenient, but it does not provide the same cooling effect. The front cylinder is often less cooled than the others, and if the thermostat and by-pass plunger are not installed, you must clamp off the water exit hose to force the water to flow through the engine in the reverse direction.

    Sequence is always as follows;
    Engine start
    THEN start the water flow
    Maximum 2 minutes run time on the garden hose
    Water off FIRST
    THEN engine off (burp the throttle to clear excess water from the exhaust system)

    The reason for this sequence is that the exhaust system has water injected into the exhaust flow, to cool the exhaust and prevent the rubber exhaust hoses from melting.

    When the engine is running, the exhaust blows the injected water away from the engine. If the water is allowed to run with the engine stopped, the water can accumulate in the exhaust manifold, and flow back into the engine itself. This would be bad for the engine.

    While the water is flowing, check for proper cooling, and leaks. You should be able to hold you hand on any non-moving part of the engine. It should feel quite warm, but not burn your hand.

    The two minute maximum is imposed by the drive shaft and jet pump bearings and seals. Out of the water, they are not cooled properly, and you run the risk of melting the seal lips if you allow the seals to run for too long.

  3. #3
    Hayabusa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by urugol View Post
    Hi All,

    The good folk of greenhulk have carried me to the point where I'm about to do the first fire up of my SL900. So far, and with much knowledge that can only be learned here I have:

    Replaced most of the propulsion system, SS Stator Pump, New Impeller, New Wear ring. Changed the fuel float (it works now!!) as well as installation of the Odyssey PC625 battery. I also replaced the old broken primer system and all fuel lines to new spec.

    Now time to start the thing (at least I hope). The situation with this ski is that I purchased it from someone who had it sitting around for 3 years so I don't want to avoid any precautions when attempting to fire it up. Engine wise I have replaced the NGK plugs for brand new ones but that's about it.

    I have spark from the leads and great engine compression, already tested that so tomorrow I would like to hear it running for the first time.

    If anyone can provide any useful tips before I do this given the amount of sit around time, I would once again be very appreciative.
    If it has been sitting for 3 years and not started during that time frame, I would not start the engine untill the carbs have been at least cleaned and inspected or preferably rebuilt. The rubber parts inside the carbs will have dried out and the evaporated gas leaves a gummy deposit throughout the carb. If fuel flow is not correct, you run a fair chance of damaging the engine. It may appear to be just fine idling however, the true condition of the carbs will be when you're out there on the water at a much higher RPM and there's a load on the engine. If even one carb is not working correctly, you can burn the engine down in a very short time frame.

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hayabusa View Post
    If it has been sitting for 3 years and not started during that time frame, I would not start the engine until the carbs have been at least cleaned and inspected or preferably rebuilt....

    If even one carb is not working correctly, you can burn the engine down in a very short time frame.
    Absolutely correct on not loading the engine without knowing the carbs are good inside.

    I assumed he had worked through this post, and found the info on carb rebuilding.

    Since he has never had it running, I was focusing on the on-trailer initial start and run, not the in-water testing and riding.

  5. #5
    Hayabusa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hayabusa View Post
    If it has been sitting for 3 years and not started during that time frame, I would not start the engine untill the carbs have been at least cleaned and inspected or preferably rebuilt. The rubber parts inside the carbs will have dried out and the evaporated gas leaves a gummy deposit throughout the carb. If fuel flow is not correct, you run a fair chance of damaging the engine. It may appear to be just fine idling however, the true condition of the carbs will be when you're out there on the water at a much higher RPM and there's a load on the engine. If even one carb is not working correctly, you can burn the engine down in a very short time frame.
    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    Absolutely correct on not loading the engine without knowing the carbs are good inside.

    I assumed he had worked through this post, and found the info on carb rebuilding.

    Since he has never had it running, I was focusing on the on-trailer initial start and run, not the in-water testing and riding.
    I was also focusing on an initial ďon the trailer start upĒ. However, I was not assuming that he had done anything to the carbs or fuel system. I was more concerned that he would make the common mistake of thinking that if it seems to idle fine, then itís good to go for a test ride. That can be a fatal mistake and I wanted to alert him before he does his test ride. It seems to me that itís more important to have the carbs right than do maintenance on the cooling system before an initial start up. After all, itís not in the water or on a flushing hose so thereís no cooling water present. However, it is good information for him to have and maintenance for him to do, before he goes for a test ride or flushes his engine.

  6. #6
    urugol's Avatar
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    Hey guys, did the start up this morning!!! Thanks for the tips, I did everything suggested but errr, I didn't pull the carbs apart. I got as far as removing the carb rack from the manifold and all looked pretty good but I didn't go further.

    Engine started beautifully! It is idling at 3,200 rpm so I turned it of within 8 seconds or so. I will take a look at the idle screw after work which I assume is the prob.

    I hit the water this week yeeehaaaa!

  7. #7
    Hayabusa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by urugol View Post
    Hey guys, did the start up this morning!!! Thanks for the tips, I did everything suggested but errr, I didn't pull the carbs apart. I got as far as removing the carb rack from the manifold and all looked pretty good but I didn't go further.

    Engine started beautifully! It is idling at 3,200 rpm so I turned it of within 8 seconds or so. I will take a look at the idle screw after work which I assume is the prob.

    I hit the water this week yeeehaaaa!
    No need to adjust the idle yet as they always idle high when there's no load on the impeller. See how high the idle is when you have it in the water. Then you can adjust it if necessary.

  8. #8
    urugol's Avatar
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    Really that high on the trailer? I better find the exact spot for the idle screw so I don't go looking for it in the water!

    I just had a thought on the oil pump, is there a way to correctly check it is working fine? Other than see it go down on the mfd of course.

    Awesome guys thanks!!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by urugol View Post
    ...is there a way to correctly check it is working fine? Other than see it go down on the mfd of course...
    Don't limit yourself to your own thread

    Lots of useful info to be gleaned from reading other threads, even if the model specifics are different from your own machine.

    1995 SLX780 Oil Pump

  10. #10
    urugol's Avatar
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    Well the maiden voyage was a success yesterday at the lake. I was particularly happy to hear the idle at a nice 1270 rpm, did a few heat checks along the way and the engine was very warm to the touch but I could easily keep my hand on the engine for 10 seconds or so before it got too hot suggesting I don't have an overheating engine (at least I think from reading related posts).

    I was a little surprised by the power of this thing, and maintained 62.8-63.1mph on the mfd WOT for short 10 second bursts (I will have to try the GPS but it feels damn quick!).

    The next tank I will run without adding mix to the fuel, I noticed that on near full tank the oil reservoir used around 700ml or so of oil suggesting a ratio around the 1:40-1:50 mark.

    I'm incredibly impressed and satisfied with this machine, there was another guy with a Yami 1300 and I had no issues at all keeping up!

    One question I do have though is regarding these seats, the SL900 is a 2 seater but I would like to hear from anyone with a similar hull/seat config trying to get 2 180 pound guys on it. We found it impossible, the back would just sink when the passenger tried to get on so we had a few falls on the day.

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