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  1. #1
    elmatta's Avatar
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    First time Seadoo GSXL 951 project

    Hello everyone, names Eric from CT, this is my first post here but I've been looking at these forums ever since I started to gain interest in jetski's a few months ago. Besides seeing them on TV, I have actually never seen or touched a jetski up until I went to look at a cheap one on craigslist a month back. I didnt want to spend 1-2k+ on a ski so I was looking for a fix-er-upper that I can work on it with my free time. I also figured that the more I work on one, the more familiar I will get with it and learn a lot rather then buying one that works and just riding around. I read up on different types of skis and I wanted a pretty powerful, but not too powerful of a jetski so I can also start learning to ride one. I decided on a 951 but couldn't decide on the model. I did a lot of research and some random google searching with images and found a really nice looking and powerful ski and there my search began. I went ahead and bought a jet ski stand to lay it on and threw it into my storage unit. Within weeks, I found a really good deal (I think/hope) on a 99 SD gsxl with no trailer for $300. A seized engine is probably one of the worst types of repairs to deal with because it almost means you need a new engine, be extremely hard to rebuild or nearly impossible for a few hundred before you started to spend the same amount as a newer 951+ but...I decided to buy it anyway because I thought otherwise! First things first, is picking up the jetski which was quite an adventure since I do not own a truck or a vehicle with a hitch nor do I have a trailer to throw it on. I decided to rent a truck and beast that bad boy on top of it and tie it down. We managed to tilt his ski trailer at a 45 degree angle-ish and we just pushed it on top of the truck. Sadly, I didnt take pictures of that lol but I plan on taking lot more pictures soon. So here it is!

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    After I drove to my storage unit to drop it off, I jumped right in and started to take things apart. I tried to turn the engine over by hand like I read around but no luck, nothing budged.

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    Granted I have never worked on a jetski, it wasnt that hard to take things apart, I just worked from the top down. I bought a box of sandwich bags to put nuts and bolts into after I take things apart and wrote where they went. After taking the spark plugs out, I wasnt sure what to think when I pulled them out, I thought they were pretty dirty? But I had no idea to look for.

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    I took the head off to see if I can find out whats wrong but I don't think I found much. The head was pretty dirty and burnt looking but I didnt think it was the problem.

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    The gunk around the head I believe is the sealant stuff you put on gaskets. The gasket was falling apart and literally fell apart when I tried to peel it off. I started to think that may of caused the unknown problem but I wanted to know more. I looked down the cylinders and noticed a small amount of rust near the cylinders and frowned because...rust in cylinders means crank is most likely rusted...arr! Noticed the tiny amounts of water on top of the cylinders...yea...

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    I attempted to take the cylinders off with the studs still on but I quickly found out they wouldnt come off without hitting the hull. I removed the studs using a double nut method and removing the studs fairly easily. After the last stud was removed I gave it a few whacks and the cylinders moved...hmm...I thought they were stuck to the wall? Anyway, the pistons had scratches on the sides and there were patches of rust on the rear cylinder but I didnt think that would cause the sieze. I took off the rave valves and cap and noticed they were very dirty?

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    To remove the bottom end, I needed to remove the manifold, exhaust, carbs so I started to remove those as well. It took me awhile...but later found out the carbs had to come out first since a stud from the manifold hits the exhaust to prevent it from gettign removed. I removed the carb filters then went for the carbs. They took me a while to remove but I used a flashlight taped at the end of the hull and a small mirror to remove the hex screws at the bottom that I couldnt see.

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    I forgot to mention, I also removed most of the oil/gas/air hoses and used a squeeze clip so they wouldnt leak all over the place.

    After exhaust, mani, carbs were removed, I started to take off bolts and squeeze clips and what-not to take the drive shaft off the flywheel. I unbolted the engine mounts and tried to take out the crank case by reaching down...yea...not going to happen...I took a bunch of rope and tied the motor and stood over the engine and just lifted it out and layed it on a box with some foam. I took out studs and bolts and whatever from the crank and found a nice little surprise inside waiting for me...a rusted crank! And what the F$%^ is that small gouge/hole doing on the crank? Not sure if thats supposed to be there...

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    The the front side bearings were perfect but the rear bearings only spun 1/2 rotation and the rod was very sticky. So i thought I found the problem but I was like hmm...low compression maybe? Not a siezed engine. For shits and giggles, I tried to turn over the driveshaft and it wouldnt spin. After looking online I was told they were supposed to spin freely. I then removed the jet nozzle and found another nice little surprise...

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    Impeller wedged into the wear ring! I went ahead and tried to take pieces of it apart and saw something else that made me wonder...

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    Dirt, mud, water, rust and rocks inside the little cone thingy? Yep, but the rocks looked more like cracked, rusted and worn out bearings rather then rocks. I guess I'll need a impeller housing as well. So I thought to myself...siezed engine caused by the impeller being wedged into the wear ring due to rusted bearings that failed from a leak? Ski then leaked water into the cylinders and dripped down to the crank due to decaying gaskets? Exhaust reeds had rust on them and I noticed drops of water in the manifold, so maybe water entered the reeds, into cylinders and crank?

    Anyway, I started my first purchases towards the ski by buying new fuel line and replaced every grey line I saw.

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    I cleaned the carbs using the carb cleaning thread I saw here and also cleaned the fuel filter (I think, it was a bottle with 2 openings) and found little bits of dirt inside. After spending so much time outside of the hull, I found one of my oil clips fell off and spilled oil inside the hull!

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    I scooped the oil and threw it into a small container of all my nastiness.

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    So now that everything was removed, I figured I would need a crank rebuild, complete gasket kit, sealant and a new impeller housing. I started to clean the gasket sides of the crank cases, cylinders, mani, head and reed valves. So I turn around to reach for some PB-blaster and....

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    Son of a [email protected]#$%...I stepped on some kind of rod thingy. I later found out its the VTS rod for the trim. Not too expensive of a part if I look around here and found one pretty fast (thanks mark b!).

    Lots of bad luck for a while. Until I found a longblock 951 motor for CHEAP! I figured...if I sell my old longblock + core crank, I could save money by not getting the crank rebuilt, not buying gaskets and pistons, and get the engine for free by essentially trading my engine for another one. Except I have to now sell my old longblock + core crank before that happens. More luck! I found a nice low hour and cheap impeller housing! 3 down, 1 to go (exhaust valve caps, they were melted). More to come!


  2. #2
    elmatta's Avatar
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    My engine came in a few days ago

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    Except...whats that? A dolly? Yea...the bottom fell out when removing it from the UPS truck and the guy gave me a free dolly. Thank god no damage occurred...

  3. #3
    elmatta's Avatar
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    More parts that are coming in hopefully this weekend or beginning of next.

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  4. #4
    elmatta's Avatar
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    So a quick update from today...ive been soaking my crank in a mixture (warning: very dangerous) of pb blaster, gasoline and WD-40 and the crank is rust free and the bearings spin freely now. For a few hours, i was spraying wd 40 and spinning the bearings and got them to now spin perfect! (I think) So now i think i have two engine and may use one for modding

  5. #5
    Word of advice; don't use that crank! 951's are hard on cranks and pistons and they both must be perfect. Even though you have it spinning OK, it invariably is pitted and won't last long.

  6. #6
    Work Harder, Millions on Wellfare Depend On Us! ultramaxracing05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmatta View Post
    So a quick update from today...ive been soaking my crank in a mixture (warning: very dangerous) of pb blaster, gasoline and WD-40 and the crank is rust free and the bearings spin freely now. For a few hours, i was spraying wd 40 and spinning the bearings and got them to now spin perfect! (I think) So now i think i have two engine and may use one for modding
    Acetone and transmission fluid is better, I freed some pistons with this mixture.

  7. #7
    big john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Dood View Post
    Word of advice; don't use that crank! 951's are hard on cranks and pistons and they both must be perfect. Even though you have it spinning OK, it invariably is pitted and won't last long.
    +1 make sure your carbs are dead right or you will be doing it again !!!!!!!!!!!

  8. #8
    elmatta's Avatar
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    Thanks sea dood, i was actually going to test it out and see if it would give me a good compression

    Big john, even if i used the good condition crank and not the rusted one, what do you mean by dead right for carbs? The only thing i thought was off with the carbs were the metal throttle flaps that moved when i was cleaning them, should they be fully open or at a certain angle?

  9. #9
    big john's Avatar
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    make sure they are clean, the pop offs are right and jetted right, the internal filters are clean and adjusted right, i learned the hard way after buying a ski that was sunk and i sunk again, it coast me two motors !!!!!! 951s are very temperamental when its comes to the carbs !!!

  10. #10
    elmatta's Avatar
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    Everything should be clean, i took out the filters and cleaned them. I sprayed the carb cleaner all according to the carb cleaning thread. The jetting and adjustments werent changed so i dont think they need to be readjusted. What about the throttle valves that were moved? What position should they be at? Right now theyre at an angle just like the picture i have, or should they be open at a 45 degree angle?

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