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  1. #1

    Modded 96 Seadoo XP questions

    Hey there, this is my first "official" post here, although this forum has helped me out a lot in the past. I am thinking about buying my first sit down jet ski (up until now my only ski has been a 750sx). I care much more about hole shots and handling than top end, so I've decided on what I've heard is the best of the best, the 96 XP. I recently found one on CL that intrigued me, so tell me what you think.

    First of all, I'm an extreme newbie, not only to this forum but to PWC modding in general, so I'm sure some of these questions are going to sound dumb. Feel free to make fun of me all you want as long as some sort of answer is supplied as well.

    Here is the AD in a nutshell (with my commentary in parenthesis): 96 Seadoo XP Hydro-Turf Race Version (all I found searching that were floor mats and hot girls, but I could use some of the second one ), painted blue and white with blue and black seat cover (much better than yellow and pink), motor has about 20 hours on rebuild, ADA racing head and cylinder (does this help top end, out of the hole, or both?), Fischetti's Rocket Ship Expansion Pipe (I know this is exhaust, but I couldn't find anything on it, not in the way of jet skis at least. help?), jet dynamics tail (I'm assuming this is the ride plate? but it doesn't say if its extended or not. aftermarket I assume would be), hot tach race pack (searched this and mainly found parts for snowmobiles, not too much on skis. what i did find cost about $150 though. what does this part do?), tiny tach digital tachometer and hour meter (pretty self explanatory), 2001 Load Rite Trailer.

    I have read that newbies in ski modification shouldn't have highly modded skis because of the maintenance that goes into them. My question is, would this be considered a "highly modified ski?" What level of modification would you consider this? Also, with these upgrades would it drink gas?

    He is listing it, including the trailer for $3000, but I'm pretty sure I could talk him down. He received it in a trade and has no interest in water sports. I was thinking about starting at $2200 (KBB says 96 XP's are worth $1550). Is this a reasonable price considering mods and recent engine rebuild? Sorry for all the questions, I'm just trying to go about getting a kick ass ski right the first time around. Again, I'm more interested in handling and hole shots, however, it doesn't mention a scoop grate which I know is an important handling mod. Thanks in advance for all your help, this forum I'm sure will continue to prove invaluable to me.

  2. #2
    seems awful pricey to me... my 96 xp with a spec1 pipe,otherwise stock was $1200 (no trailer), the ONLY mod I did was upgrade the prop and added prok flame arrestors (mainly for convenience, getting to the carbs for adjustments)
    my first question is how comfortable are you with the mechanical end... every mod add's a new variable that might cause the ski to break down, a kick ass ski sitting on a stand in your garage is no fun. If your not in "tune" with your ski you might not notice a problem until its too late.. and poof.. new top end... or worse...
    a stock ski with minimal mods can be adjusted once, dialed in, and never changed again, you start adding lots of extra's and your going to have to keep in mind that little changes in temp/humidity will require minor adjustments in carb jetting, water jetting, speed screws, etc to make it run 'right'
    I love the 96xp myself, and stock its pretty much kick ass imo. so if your relatively new to ski's I'd avoid a heavily modded ski. but,, if your still thinking its right for you....
    whats the compression, is it so high that your looking at race gas instead of 93 ?
    if I was new to ski's and wasn't a good mechanic or have a buddy that was.. i'd go with a 96xp thats bone stock and less expensive, then make mod's slowly as you feel you need them.
    it will have a nice hole shot and handle great either way.
    if I had a stock 96 in my garage right now i'd start cheap and work my way up.
    replace the big ugly hood with a single gauge hood
    add flame arrestors
    change prop
    then consider a spec1 pipe if your not happy
    I would only get into exhaust changes, extensions, big carbs, race pack if your REALLY into working on ski's.
    with that said
    depending on your location, he's overpriced....
    but i have no idea where your located..

  3. #3
    Thanks Spimothy. I'm not too worried about the "upkeep" of a modified ski if it was neccesary. I live in a community of jetskiers, most of who have older skis and do their own work on them. My old roommate is takes apart skis and parts them out on ebay for a living, and my father is a pretty seasoned mechanic. My main question was with the amount of mods listed would the ski need constant tuning? What upkeep does a ski with a racing head and cylinder need? Will the mods on the ski listed cause the carb jetting and water jetting and speed screws to constantly be maintained? Also, Is an expansion pipe an exhaust upgrade or just a pipe? I know these are probably juvenile questions but I would like the answers, even if I don't buy this ski. Just trying to weigh all my options.

    P.S. I thought it was very overpriced as well, considering all the other 96's were going for $1300-$1500 with a trailer.

  4. #4
    i'd probably say its going to Need constant tuning if its full blown mod, especially if you break away from stock carbs, you didn't mention carbs, so maybe this won't be as troublesome.
    my suggestion might be to take one of your experienced buddies with you when you go look at the ski, if your going to have to lean on them for maintenance down the line, its probably a good idea to start leaning now, before you buy. But if your running high compression, when things go wrong, they go very wrong...
    your old roomate that takes things apart for a living is a good start, assuming his wrench turns both ways. Anybody can take a ski apart
    my point in the matter was that if a non mechanic, pwc newbie is going to own a modded ski, he better have deep pockets, or a real good buddy that will help out. I highly recommend keeping it simple, less things to go wrong, and since your a mechanical noob, you probably won't notice if its running slightly lean, or slightly rich, or if the rpm drops off a tad, or if its running hotter than it was before, etc etc, and any of those things can quickly turn into a major overhaul, and more money.
    I'd probably keep looking for another good looking 96 that is nearly stock, buy it on the cheap, and then gradually make some modifications as you feel comfortable.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Maasin, Southern Leyte, Philippines/CA
    and also invest on handling kits,makes the xp more fun to ride.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by nikko mercado View Post
    and also invest on handling kits,makes the xp more fun to ride.
    what exactly is a handling kit ? Handlebars and sponsons ?

    I'll admit, I replaced the stock steering myself, just went with handlebars and I was very happy, not quite as tight as umi but I was never a fan of the "super tight" steering, things get a little crazy at 40mph if you move those bars with tight sterring, and of course, I got rid of that dam triple gauge hood and put a single gauge on, looks SO much better.
    I left the stock sponsons on for now, I like the way she spins !

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Northern Illinois
    So just out of curiosity how much money and work would it take for a 96 xp to go 60's and how hard would it then be to maintain it mechanically? I'm a newb here too, but I'm hoping to get some experience under my belt ::P:

  8. #8
    hmph... the 60's or just 60... HUGE difference...
    i'd say if you want to be in the 60's your figure has a comma in it... just step up to the pay window.
    high 50's then maybe a prop and spec1 (600 ish)
    low/mid 50's.. well your already there !!!

    as has been said many times here on this site...
    "Speed is expensive, how fast do you want to spend?"

    imo, if your a recreational rider with nothing more than a socket set and a laptop, and have a 53mph ski and you want to make it go 60+ the most effective way is to sell the 53mph ski, and buy a 60mph ski.. Voila problem solved.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Northern Illinois
    Haha, I already have one! I'm selling it to get an x4 hulled seadoo! but I'll have about $3,500 free to do whatever I want to the seadoo. I think 63mph would be a good number but I also want it to be able to handle so I'm looking for recommendations for mods and opinions on if I'll have enough money, I've already decided on getting a new impeller and intake grate but not sure what ones. I've done some work on my 96 gts before so I'm not completely unfamiliar on how to work on a ski, just not really experienced

  10. #10
    63 is pretty damn fast for a X4 hull... A lot of people just remove the stock grate. Look for a set of WORKS or Beachhouse sponsons, they are WELL worth the money. They are a big PITA to install but the bike will be able to throw you off in a heartbeat at the medium settings. The sponsons usually scrub 1 or 2 mph but like I said, being able to turn on a dime and cut through the water is fun as all hell.

    Honestly if you want speed I would look for a different hull. The X4 upsides are handling and acceleration, not really speed. With that said, going 60 on one feels a lot faster than 60...

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