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  1. #1
    bowsniper's Avatar
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    Newbie questions before you rebuild or buy a ski.

    As this site continues to grow, I see more and more Interested jetski enthusists Purchasing a ski without really knowing whats up with the polaris line in general..ie... they dont make skis anymore, no mechanics to wrench on them and theres only a few places to find real info..

    So with that in mind, Heres a few questions every Newbie should ask themselves before buying a ski or repairing one to get it running..


    If you already bought a ski and your excited about fixing it, and you would like help,, answer these questions about your ski for the rest of us..

    Where u from?
    what kind of ski
    what year
    what kind of engine
    how many hours on the meter?
    how long did it sit
    any new/modified parts on it
    recent tune-ups or rebuild
    general history of the ski if you know
    price
    comes with trailer?
    live on water?
    did the ski run on saltwater or normal lake water
    compression numbers?
    does it run?
    Pictures,videos?
    mechanical knowledge
    tools


    At this point, we can direct you to your best options given experience,tools,motivation, time and money..

    If anyone else has questions to add/delete from the list, copy n paste the new question sheet if you update it..


    It's possible someone excited about buying a ski can end up spending 1000's to get it up n going.. where a ski now a days can be had for under 1000.00 running and looking good. With no wrenching or painting..


  2. #2
    Will Learn For Food unenergizer's Avatar
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    Does the ski (and trailer) have a clear, clean title?
    How many owners?

    Did women drive the ski? (jk)

    -Andrew

  3. #3
    -Shinyside shinyside's Avatar
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    Newbie List as requested!

    As requested...
    So...I'm a prev boat owner, never owned a Ski. I've found a 1997 Polaris SLT 780 which owner states has never been ran in Salt Water, runs well, just needs a battery which I have to bring to him to test, and possibly new plugs. (PS what plugs do these use, possibly a service manual link?) Is there anything specific I should look for upon start? Is there anyway to detect major issues? I've got owner talked down to 600 dollars but want to know if it's going to be worth it as a 1st Ski? Are these units problematic? Constant Maintenance? Future issues that are not worth tackling? I've seen many posts on these Skis and is that because they constantly break down, or just due to 13 years old? Sorry for the abrubt borage of questioning, but I'd like to act on it quickly if it's worth it.

    The Questions As Asked:

    Where u from? Daytona Beach, FL
    what kind of ski- Polaris SLT 780
    what year- 1997
    what kind of engine- Fugi
    how many hours on the meter? 50 I believe
    how long did it sit- last 6 months
    any new/modified parts on it- def not
    recent tune-ups or rebuild- not stated
    general history of the ski if you know- prev to last 6 months was in Texas, all fresh water
    price- 600
    comes with trailer? yes
    live on water? no
    did the ski run on saltwater or normal lake water- will be, not prev
    compression numbers? unk
    does it run?- states yes needs battery
    Pictures,videos?- how do I upload??
    mechanical knowledge- cars excellent, boats-enh, skis-zero
    tools- full red craftsman...good to go

  4. #4
    bowsniper's Avatar
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    Yes, sounds like a great deal. any pics of it? with the trailer incleded and it runs is a big bonus. trailers are 100-350 all day long. so that alone is good if its in great shape

    Welcome to the hulk if you havent been welcomed yet! Your in a great spot finding this site, everyone is helpful here and always willing to help.

    Depending on the year ski and what type n stuff, different members will chime in as they read your requests and will help you if they can..

  5. #5
    -Shinyside shinyside's Avatar
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    So here's a couple pics..and yes seat is almost as white as it appears. apparently lost cover in a storm.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
    -Shinyside shinyside's Avatar
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    cpl more

    couple more
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    bowsniper's Avatar
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    The Questions As Asked:

    Where u from? Daytona Beach, FL- ----Sweet. Keysbum on here lives in the keys!-

    what kind of ski- Polaris SLT 780 nice powerful 3-seater for the time.. nice ski! about 52 mph
    what year- 1997---nice,,not sure on updates on this ski, you will have to do a search on here for that info. dont know right off hand..
    what kind of engine- Fugi basic fugi motor. parts readily available for rebuilding,repair,modding,or bling!
    how many hours on the meter? 50 I believe--that would be great if its true. sometimes they reset to zero. so dont believe anything at this point.
    how long did it sit- last 6 months-- not too bad if it was flogged with fogging oil --the bearings in the crank can rust easily and can cost you hundreds to fix.
    any new/modified parts on it- def not--well thats ok for now, we can sweeten up the machine later if you want
    recent tune-ups or rebuild- not stated thats ok. try to borrow a comp gauge and test it with a new battery fulley charged
    general history of the ski if you know- prev to last 6 months was in Texas, all fresh water--fresh water is good for the ski. salt needs a lot of attention usually if the ski grew up in that envirement
    price- 600-- great deal! esspecially with good compression numbers, the pump and impellor in good condition and a straight looking ski. and runs!
    comes with trailer? yes awesome>>> Pictures? shorelander or homemade?
    live on water? no thats ok you have a trailer!
    did the ski run on saltwater or normal lake water- will be, not prev///maybe a salwater member here can answer that one''lol how to keep clean
    compression numbers? unk - check asap
    does it run?- states yes needs battery great
    An odysesy pc-265 is the best battery for a PWC. about 89.00 buy well worth the investment, holds a charge great, no hydrogen gas, safe for pwc's. great reputation
    Pictures,videos?- how do I upload?? Umm.. I go to my facebook page. upload the video, then I hightlight the html code and select all, then I copy that and paste it back into my green hulk thread I'm typing in. then hit submit reply like usual. If it appears twice,, just hit the edit, then subnit apply real quick and it will take the 1 vid out of the thread.. I think! lol
    mechanical knowledge- cars excellent, boats-enh, skis-zero Cars? sweet. boats? Hmm not much on a boat.. just like a car.lol and 0 well start reading threads! spend hours reading and getting to know your ski before you buy it,,a little time now will pay off later.

    Are you looking for a 3-seater? they can carry 2 people and a tuber behind the ski. it weighs more than a 2-seater. they are longer. Just depends what your looking for..


    tools- full red craftsman...good to go[/QUOTE]
    Last edited by bowsniper; 10-28-2010 at 08:37 AM.

  8. #8
    bowsniper's Avatar
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    And it runs? BUY IT! lol that ski is sweet and in great shape. you can get a seat cover to go over tha seat for 89.00 or send it to jet trim and have them pimp it out for ya!.

    Man, you need a compression gauge like yesterday! lol That tells the tale.

    I have a 95 slt 3-seater myself, same idea. little bigger engine in yours.

    Is it close to your house?


    I see the previous owner has a flush kit installed on the water rail. HMMMM.. either he used it in salt water and used it to flush it out, or....he's a good owner and installed a flush kit for running the ski out of the water the correct way. Although, you shouldnt run the engine more than 15 seconds dry.. the driveshaft has to come out if you want to run it on the hose for 2 mins ..that involves pulling the pump. which is fairly easy to do.. but dont worry about that now..
    If you put the new battery in it to test it, the rpms of the motor will be high at idle because of no load on the impellor, so 2500 rpm's is ok..lol should be 1250 in the drink.

    Any tell tale signs of salt water use? white corrosion anywhere?

    how many owners? a clear title? If the compression is around 120 and close to each other, your good to go. plus or minus 5% between cylinders, no more than 10%. all plugs out, wide open throttle, 3 tests on 3 cylinders with starter turning fast with new battery at least 5-7 revolutions per test. some say leave the other plugs in, but I dont.

    if your like 122,120,118, your fine. if your 90,120,120, you have issues..

    Check the plugs too. you need BR8ES plugs from NGK.

    if ya have a boroscope to check the top of the pistons out, that would tell you something about the condition of the engine ie..piston wash, condition of pistons, walls..

    Hows the bottom of the hull? all wasted or pretty mint? Theres a intake grate, a rideplate and and a pump underneath the ski for propulsion.

    Inside the pump, there are 2 parts, an impellor, and a pump. they both have fins or blades on them. the impellor turns, the pump vanes stay still. the water swirls thru and thats what pushes your ski.

    You need to look in there and see if the prop has a tight clearence gainst the walls of the ring, and check the blades for being chippped or bent, that could cost 25-150 depending on the prop. repaired or new or used.. the pump vanes should all be mint looking with no breaks in the, or else that would cost 50- 150 to fix or buy new.
    If the prop is wasted or the pump has broken vanes, maybe offer a little less and see if he bites at it. just a thought.

    As always is the case in an older ski, be prepared to rebuid the carbs, replace fuel lines, replace stator bearings,driveshaft coupler bearings and seals, and do the updates for this particular make and model. If you do proper maintenance, you will have more time riding instead of wrenching or breaking down on the water. this isnt a brand new ski. heck, even new dont run right sometimes.. be prepared to spend a little money on it. dont expect it to just run perfect forever. it wont..

  9. #9
    -Shinyside shinyside's Avatar
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    LOL Check!

    Yes, bout 15 min away. And he CLAIMS it runs w/ a charged battery. Suppose I should run and get a compression gauge when I'm picking up some plugs too eh? Would a well charged Motorcycle Battery Suit me for the start? You're help is super appreciated!

    Shinyside

  10. #10
    -Shinyside shinyside's Avatar
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    Corrosion

    There is minimal, minimal what I would consider to be corrosion on what you refer to as the "water rail" could that be problematic? perhaps suggesting more "salt water" use than stated.

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