Thread: Opinion on potential jet ski?
12-19-2010, 08:27 PM #1
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
Opinion on potential jet ski?
Looking at getting a ultra 150. Going to ride in the summer and in lakes only. Probably average 30-50hrs/year.
Found a 2000 ultra 150. Guy is asking around 1700 with a trailer.
He listed it has 148hrs, been rode in salt water for 20hrs but flushed every time. He said he just put new rings, new oil pump, and rebuilt the carbs. It has 0 hrs on the new rings and pump. It is located in north carolina.
I noticed it has FL registration tags which is questions how long this owner has owned it. I am waiting for a reply back and I also asked if I could compression test and test drive prior to sale.
He said it has some light scratches and what not since it is 10 years old. In the pictures I noticed a little rusting on the trailer end.
So questions is do you think it is a good deal or should I pass considering it has been in salt water and is from FL.
Also what are good compression numbers and anything else I should be on the look out related to salt water use or ultra 150s in general? Thanks.
12-19-2010, 10:41 PM #2
I LOVE my Ultra. I would never run it in salt water, but those that live near the coast say it's not a big deal if you flush and clean it properly every time out. I went to the coast on vacation last month and took a couple of old 'Skis to play on. Had fun, glad I didn't take the good one.
That said, I'm curious about the repairs. Did he replace the pistons, too, or just the rings? Pistons need to be replaced before about 200 hours (IMO). Why did he replace the oil pump? They virtually never fail, but the oil lines can crack or fall off. Are the cylinders original? You really don't want steel sleeves, you want Nikasil cylinders.
You should insist on a test ride, but I'd prefer that it be broken in first. You really don't want to run a newly overhauled engine very hard. It may need to have the jet pump overhauled. Also, look for water entry at the driveshaft seal if you put it in the water. Also, make sure the display works. They're expensive! Same with the electric trim.
If it's really in good shape, it's a good deal. If there is anything wrong with it, it can get expensive quickly.
Do you have experience with other PWCs?
12-19-2010, 11:13 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
Yea I have a little experience with jet skis. Worked on a 94 waveraider a few times and lots of 2-stroke dirt bikes and atvs. Kinda noob at the jet propulsion system but I know a little bit. I asked why he replaced the oil pump cuz I also read they dont fail. He just responded it was 10 years old. Not sure why he replaced the rings and not anything else like the cylinders or pistons. How will I tell if the jet pump needs overhauled? I guess inspect the impeller and bearings right.
12-20-2010, 12:11 AM #4
Sounds like a 1000 dollar (tops) machine to me.
Anytime I get a description like that, I'm thinking its been ridden in salt way more than the stated 20hrs. Maybe it was flushed, but nobody ever bothers to clean inside the engine compartment and spray down with silicon or similar. You can expect a black moldy corroded mess in there. If he didnt say he did the pistons, he probably didnt. Probably used RTV and duct tape to put it back together as well.
You can tell which ones were put back together right based on how much info you get. Something like that means it wasn't done correctly - and your average joe who doesn't know these forums exist will think the 'new rings' thing is enough to suck anyone in.
As far as jet pump - here's the deal on a 99-01 vintage Ultra.
There are two types out there.
The ones that NEED the pumps rebuilt, and the ones that have already had them done. There is no in between. The bearing seals used prior to 04 or 05 were inferior, and allowed water intrusion. They were not a good design.
Replaced oil pump 'just because' means - something wasn't right in the oil system so someone said hey - lets replace the oil pump.
Want to kill or seriously hurt an Ultra - starve a cylinder for oil.
That sounds like a parts machine - and not a very good one having been in salt.
1000 bucks tops unless he can cough up a complete gallery of photos of all the innards of that thing, showing it's been cared for.....some good reasons why he only did the rings, and just the oil pump.
Shop around. There is some good stuff out there right now but you have to dig through all the junk.
Good compressions kinda depends on your gauge. They all read a little different. 110+ and equal across all three is generally decent. That is at wide open throttle, the remaining plugs installed (wires all grounded on the grounding bar), a GOOD healthy battery, and a cold engine.
Change any of those variables and YMMV.
Mine has 110's across the board and is healthy. Runs 65mph gps.
12-20-2010, 08:20 AM #5
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
Yea I think I will pass on this one. Im just trying to get one during the off season but there arent too many around me (nc). I might have to travel to a nearby state to get a deal on a good one. I defn want a 2000+ ultra 150 as I have heard of the early problems with the 99s. I dont really want to spend more than 2500 tops. If ultras have all these problems you recommend another ski, what about a gp1200r? Also what is the best year for the ultras 03+?
I mainly want to stay with yamaha or kawy as hondas are too much and heard nothing but problems with sea-doo.
Mainly solo riding (90%) with the occasional tube are my uses.
12-20-2010, 04:14 PM #6
- Join Date
- Sep 2007
Ultra 150s are selling so cheap mow it's hard to go wrong with one for the $2000-2500 everyone is asking for them. If the ski was properly taken care of, salt water use isnt as bad as everyone makes it out to be.
12-20-2010, 09:38 PM #7
Yeah, except I haven't met anyone yet who takes care of it properly - salt or otherwise.
There are no issues I'm aware of with the 99' Ultras. Early ones had different ignition and required expensive plugs. Big deal - you can buy an updated ignition box for 100 bucks from somewhere and solve that problem.
Later machines have smart steering, but I'm not sure if there is any value to that.
Nothing wrong with a well cared for 99 that is priced right, was actually taken care of, and has had a pump rebuild.
If I were to spend 2500 on a pre-2002 Ultra right now, it would have a fresh pump rebuild with 04+ seals, the oil lines would have been replaced by someone since new, and the carbs would have been rebuilt or at least cleaned at some point in it's recent life. The seat would be in good shape, compressions would be 110+ and equal across the board, and the engine would not be a corroded POS. Everything would work and it would be on a trailer. Anything other than that combo I would pay less.
I'm sure the GP1200's have their trouble spots too. I like the Ultras because I know all the weak spots and what to look for. There is a ton of info on the net - a dedicated forum even. Parts are everywhere. Answers to questions are everywhere. Service manual can be found online for free. I tried to help my buddy with a GP800 this summer and that stuff is not as available.
12-20-2010, 10:51 PM #8
I've got a '99. As mentioned, the earlier '99's had advanced ignition timing that gave 150 HP and required the expensive plugs. Mid-year, they retarded the timing slightly, switched to cheaper plugs, and changed the horsepower rating to 145. There was also a cylinder change very early in 1999.
There are actually some other changes, such as fuel gauge sending units, starter housing, (and the jet pump seals), etc., but they are essentially the same.
I'd be happy with any year that was in good condition.
12-22-2010, 10:00 AM #9
Starter housing change, if you are referring to the case boss, was 2001.
Pump seals were 04 or 05 IIRC.
What was changed on the cylinders, I vaguely recall it mentioned, but can't remember. I don't think it was to address a problem area was it?
12-22-2010, 10:51 PM #10
The service manual calls out different length cylinder base studs based on engine serial number and stampings on the cylinder. Not really sure what the deal is.
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