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  1. #1

    Unhappy new SLT 780 owner and new PWC owner... help!

    ok, here's a bunch of stuff, but any help would help

    so picked up a 97 polaris slt 780 today for 400 (auction), decent asthetic condition.... 3 things:

    1. center jug only has 50 compression.... i figure just replace the cylinder (50 bucks ebay) or have it honed (50 bucks) depending on the damage.... can anyone chime in if there is a bigger problem with this model, or if i should just sell the thing or part it out before i lose my ***? (if running, they craigslist for around 1400 to 1700 (with trailer). we put it in the lake today on the trailer and it ran, but its been sitting for a year or so but i believe was winterized before that back in 9/2010...

    2. the winterizing tag thats on it says 250 hours.... is this the life span of this machine (or any pwc for that matter), or does it have some life left?

    3. i've owned boats, but what do i need to do to winterize this thing for outdoor storage (wisconsin). do i have to drain water from certain places, or what? thanks for the help and i'm sure i'll be around this forum quite a bit over the winter

    thanks for any info guys!

  2. #2
    Banned User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Milwaukee WI
    Spending onlo 400 bucks on it I can't see any way you lose on this ski, even if you end up doing a full engine rebuild. I would start with the bad cylinder. A bore or hone and a new piston should make it good again. What is the compression on the other 2? All 3 need to end up within 5% of each other. Doing a full top end would run you roughly 400 bucks. Where in Wisconsin are you? I am in Milwaukee, and we have a great resource for parts and info with John Zigler, who is in Janesville.

  3. #3
    i am in lake geneva. like i said above, this is my (and my father and brothers) first experience with a wave runner. I've found cylinders on ebay for 40 bucks, but until i know if mine is able to be honed, i'll wait to purchase.

    What does a full engine rebuild consist of, and is 235 hours near the end of this skis life span??

    here are some pics, the front is the worst shape, must have crashed under the pier a few times lol, but from what i've researched, the last owner was the one who bought it new in 97, so thats always a good sign, and he just sold his house for a million, also good

    is there an on/off switch that turns the electrical on and off, because when we hooked the battery up, the speedo cluster was always on and we cant find any other switches. And the little red light kept blinking next to the up/down arrows *with pictures of the ski) above the speedo (is that for tilt?) thanks

  4. #4
    Banned User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Milwaukee WI
    I would recommend getting your existing cylinder honed or if need be bored to the next oversize. At 235 hours it might not be a bad idea to just do all 3. John Zigler at Rock County Jet Ski can help you get what you need to get running, including having your cylinders machined. A full rebuild would also include a rebuilt crank for somewhere around 400 bucks more or less depending on quality of the crank you buy. If you reassemble it all yourself you should be able to do a full rebuild for 800 to 900 bucks. However if your crank is still good you can just use it.

    The gauge will turn off on its own after 5 or 10 minutes and just display the clock.

    Other than getting the engine mechanically sound, the carbs should be disassembled and cleaned/rebuilt.

    Remove the jet pump and check all of the bearings and seals, as well as condition of the impeller and stator vanes.

    The decal on the nose of the ski can either be removed, or it may still be available from Polaris. If you can't find a replacement, it might look better to just remove it.

    I know these Polaris skis very well, and since I'm not far away I am willing to help if you would like. The SLT 780 is a great ski and I know you will like it when its all done. Runs 50 to maybe 52 top speed and handles waves well. If you will be riding on Lake Geneva its a good choice. Might be a little too choppy out there for a 2 seater. We ride SLTs on lake michigan all the time and it handles anything we come across out there.

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