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  1. #1

    Buying second ski... am I heading in the right direction?

    A few months ago, I purchased my first jetski, a 96 SLX 780. I am still getting it ready for the spring riding season, but while I have been at it, I've decided to search around for a second jetski to allow someone to come riding with me. I found a 96 SLT 780 for a reasonable price, but was curious, if maintained correctly, will these last for a while? Or am I getting myself into a maintainance nightmare with these older skis?

    Thanks for the help!


  2. #2
    Banned User
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    With proper maintenance these skis run a long time and are not that expensive to own. The only variable with buying a used ski is not being able to know the internal condition of the engine. Lots of members here have these older skis and ride them a lot, including myself. I put 40 to 50 hours per year on mine. Check everything over and keep up with the proper maintenance, especially proper storage procedures and it will be fine.

  3. #3
    ThrottleOut's Avatar
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    I'd recommend running through the standard fuel system updates/maintenance items. Rebuild the carbs with new genuine Mikuni diaphragms, replace fuel lines (gray tempo lines), replace the fuel select switch and on those 780's you should have pentagon pumps so you can just get rebuild kits for those. I'd recommend keeping an eye on piston wash as the Fuji engines are pretty well known for lean-burn downs and things like that. But, if you keep up on maintenance and get the tuning dialed in for good wash I don't see any reason why you shouldn't have a good reliable machine.

    I'd also recommend pulling the pump (stator) to make sure there is no (or at least minimal) play in the bearings and replacing the small 1/8" oil lines from the pumps to the carbs/intake manifold. Hope that helps!

  4. #4
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    One other good check to do is a leak down test on the engine itself. It involves pressurizing the engine to check for air leaks. If you have no air leaks in the engine and the carbs are clean and functioning properly, there should be no issues with the engine. I really like the SLT 780's. Decent performance and a pretty good ride.

  5. #5
    john zigler's Avatar
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    Welcome to the site!

    I am sure you will find this to be the BEST polaris forum on the intranet.

    Any ski, that is 15+ years old will need some "love". We find here, in my shop, usually problems could have easily been prevented, with some easy maintenance. Problem is, people typically do not do this, they have the "don't fix it until it is broke" attitude, and this can, and will usually cost more.

    Like stated above, the fuel system is usually needing attention. i would STRONGLY recommend completely rebuilding and cleaning the carbs, and also the fuel pump. I recommend using only genuine mikuni brand parts. Replace the fuel select valve, all fuel and oil injection lines. Clean the fuel filter / water seprator. Be sure to grease your dive shaft carrier every so often, cables, steer bushings, etc.

    Grab a beer, coffee, soda, etc. Sit here do some searching, reading, and so on. You should find everything you need to know about your polaris machines, and fuji engines.

    If you take the time, to go over everything, your machines will run, and last a long time. they will start, and run, when you want them to. ( like in the middle of the lake, on a HOT saturday afternoon).

    I stock most any part you would need here, and would be happy to help in any way I can.

    Please feel free to call, or email

    Zig

  6. #6
    She likes the bike. But the ski gets her wet!!!! xlint89's Avatar
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    That's all good info.

    Some guys have over 200 hrs on their 780 motors without an issue. IF you maintain it as previously mentioned.

    The gamble you're taking is, DID the previous owner maintain it???

  7. #7
    Thanks everyone for the advice! I kept at the jetski search last night, and now I have my eyes on a 1998 SLTX 1050.

    Are these just as good as the regular SLT's, just a bigger, different style engine? Are there differences with the hulls?

  8. #8
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    same hull just a bigger more powerful engine. Some simple mods can get that ski near 60 MPH

  9. #9
    ThrottleOut's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that the 98 won't have the 'ignition update kit' unless it was done by the owner. The domestic 3-cyl kits are cheaper than the 2-cyl kits but will still cost a bit and requires you to pull the engine to install. Do some searching for ignition update kit and I think you'll find plenty of information. Still a great ski but i'd go into the purchase knowning that at some point you'll likely have to install the kit. It can be a good price negotiating point too...

  10. #10
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    Find out if it has the update. Unfortunately on the 3 cylinders, the only to tell is to check the CDI inside the electric box. They can be had for around $320 shipped if you look online. Having to do the update is not a bad thing. When I bought my 700 it had the original ignition, and it worked fine. But just to be safe I bought the update and replaced it anyway. Just for good peace of mind and since I had the engine out anyways. SLTX is a great ski.

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