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  1. #1

    951 xpl im going to buy needs pistons and rings

    Ok so i talked to a guy thats a couple hours away. I can get a 98 xpl for a great price. He says it needs new rings and pistons. What else goes bad in this motors and what should i be asking him to send me pictures of so i can check it out before i go up there?


  2. #2
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    potential money pit..check book vlaue vs. not so nice stories about 951'.

    on the other hand if it's a really good price....

  3. #3
    i can get it for 900 with a newer trailer. Pistons and rings are like 200 as long as it dosnt need to be honed or anything. Do you think thats a good price?

  4. #4
    Work Harder, Millions on Wellfare Depend On Us! ultramaxracing05's Avatar
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    98 were known for blowing up engines, cause of water intrusion, after the 99 or so, they changed the air vents from the very front of the ski to near the filler nozzle, I like mine, its a good reliable, ski and I'm sure there is plenty of ppl that can back that up.

    Captain peter for some reason has a grudge against the 951's once tuned right it will run like a champ.

    as long as you take care of it, it will take care of you.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ultramaxracing05 View Post
    98 were known for blowing up engines, cause of water intrusion, after the 99 or so, they changed the air vents from the very front of the ski to near the filler nozzle
    Changed it on the '00 Models close enough though mate

  6. #6
    KrunchovXPL-GTX-RX's Avatar
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    The water intrusion issue is a red herring, IMO. I have taken my '99 into the surf a number of times and have NEVER had that problem. 951s suffer far more from neglect and poor repair/maintenance procedure than from any inherent design flaws.

    If you look at it, you are getting 130 HP out of less than a liter of displacement in a package that weighs 110-ish pounds with the pipe on it. The 951 demands some TLC. It is not an engine that you can never lift the hood (or seat) on and ask it to start and run every time. Eventually, you are going to pay for your lack of vigilance.

    Yes, the front tubes are not the best design, but they can be lived with.

    Now, as to your potential buy.

    If it needs pistons and rings it will need a hone. If the pistons can be re-ringed it will need a hone.

    Worn pistons/rings are not a big deal. A damaged piston is. If there is any discoloration or deflection of the rod the crank will need to be replaced. It might be ok, it might not.

    If it has the gray fuel lines on it you will need to replace them and clean the entire fuel system before putting that boat into operation. The carbs will probably need to be cleaned/rebuilt anyway. 2-strokes are sensitive to carb operation. If they are not right things will go very wrong.

    You also need to note if the VTS (trim) works and the condition of the pump. Both of these items are prone to failure from neglect (and are often neglected). While the VTS can be lived without the pump is critical and neither one of them is cheap even used.

    IMO, the '98 XPL is inferior to the '99+ versions in a couple of ways. In particular the drive shaft/coupler design and the ignition system (not to mention the green in the graphics, wth?). '98s are easier to put an aftermarket pipe on than the latter ones, but that is it.

    I would offer the guy 500 and take a walk if he will not take it.

  7. #7
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultramaxracing05 View Post

    Captain peter for some reason has a grudge against the 951's once tuned right it will run like a champ.

    as long as you take care of it, it will take care of you.
    I wouldn't exactly call it a grudge, but the facts stand out for themselves. There are better buys out there for sure, but @500 you can't go too worong as long as you take the sage advice provided here....

    Specailly about the crankshaft

    Betweent the difficulties in getting the pipe to seal correctly, the amazing shortage of salvage parts and the brutally high cost of replacement engines. It's not a ski I would suggest for a first timer.

    The number of engines I've come across with broken cases while looking for a replacement for a 951 I picked up last year makes me a bit leary that's all.

    Not to mention the higher cost of parts compared to a 787 powered ski, which can get you in plenty-o-trouble for far less then the price of admission on a 951 powered ski.

    I am looking forard to eventualy getting this 951 back on the water, but the funds for that work have to go into a new roof for the shop I'm sorry to say ( we had a mother of a spring windstorm here..and I lost a good part of the roof..as did quite a few new homes around here)

    For $500 + a bore job and a top end kit + gaskets it could be a decent project..but not one I'd get into on a pre 2000 ski..the value just isn't there..unless the hull is as cherry as they get, the trailer is in really fine shape.

    If the engine has over 250 hours you could easily be looking at a crankshaft..and that 's $500+

    I'd rather buy a good running later model GTX for $2500 and enjoy the season riding.

    Like Krunchov said...these boats suffer more from neglect, but they don't do too well if they've taken any water at all.

    For me they are just at what I consider the top edge of reliable engineering and the cost/performance benefit just isn't there.

  8. #8
    I've blocked those two pipe holes off in my engine bay with some Black rubber will get photos and put up. Stops water coming in that way.

    Must credit SurfNturf for this mod, not my thinking but his!

  9. #9
    Work Harder, Millions on Wellfare Depend On Us! ultramaxracing05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidafa View Post
    I've blocked those two pipe holes off in my engine bay with some Black rubber will get photos and put up. Stops water coming in that way.

    Must credit SurfNturf for this mod, not my thinking but his!
    I recently resealead my tray with some of that that thresh hold tape, it makes a better seal and keeps the water out, this was recommended by RQ

    I also removed the service port cap, on top of the gas tank, it gives it a little more air and I can hear that engine screeeeaaaam

  10. #10
    KrunchovXPL-GTX-RX's Avatar
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    The number one rule on a 951 is that if it does not feel right get it shut off RFN! Then figure out what is wrong. Number two is check your pipe mounts after every ride. If a bushing looks worn it is and must be replaced ASAP.

    You can deal with just about anything but having to fix/replace cases is a royal PITA and EXPENSIVE (they are just about worth their weight in gold).

    787s are much more forgiving and you almost have to try to kill a 717 before it gives up the ghost (like put gas in the oil tank or leave the drain plugs out in Destin Fla-you can ask my wife about that one .

    I love the 951 and really do not care to mess with any other engine, Rotax or otherwise, but they, and really the XPL, are not good first engines/boats unless you have the cash to get it fixed, and maintained, correctly.

    Though I think the XPL is the easiest to work on, it is not a forgiving hull and absolutely sucks trying to ride two up regardless of rider size unless they are both good.

    IMO, one of SD's absolute best is the '99-'02 GTXL/GTX (carbed) both from an operating and maintaining standpoint (though digging the pipe out of one without splitting it can be a challange, it can be done, though). That gives you 951 performance in a hull that is very stable but still fun to ride and almost impossible to put water into the engine unless you sink it.

    The RX has a lot of the same advantages, but I am not a big fan of the ride or the handling. The best thing about the RX is that you can not hardly flip it and it has reverse.

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