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  1. #1

    1996 seadoo SPI 3 seater 587 rotax motor has water leaking into the piston chamber

    My 1996 GTS has water leaking into the piston chamber/s. I took the head off the motor and the piston walls do not look rusty but the pistons themselves have some like uh pits in them. Everything seems ok but when you put it in the water it leaks water in the pistons then does not run of course.

    What could be wrong? I see 2 rubber O rings around the pistons that the secondary cap thing sits on. Could it be a simple O ring as I saw a site online selling them for 3 bucks per ring.

    It has the 587 motor. Little tike haha

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Coast California.
    Some pictures would be helpful. The 587 has a 2 piece head. There is to top part with all the little alan bolts and that uses two o-rings around the spark plug and another one around the outside but these only seal the upper part to the lower part. If you have water in the cylinders it is the lower part of the head and uses two orings around each cylinder and one on the outside. the head and cylinder could be warped or the orings could just be old. If you are just leaking water the pistons should be nice and clean because they get steam cleaned by the water and heat of the engine. What has me concerned is you stated the pistons have pits in them. Pictures would help us diagnose the problem better. I am in the process of rebuilding a 587 so i wil try to help.

  3. #3
    I would be grateful
    I did something even better, I took a HD video. Here it is on youtube with me talking about and showing the issue.

    Piston walls are super smooth.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Coast California.
    Well...... I have some bad news for you after watching the video. BTW you have a GTI not an SPI if it is a three seater, the SPI is a 2 seater. I have a 1996 SP that is the same motor just a different pipe and impeller.
    Back to your issue, I bought a non running 2003 GTI with the 720 and it looked the same as yours. All those little pits in the head are from pieces of metal going through the engine. There is no quick fix and I just got started installing all the new parts on mine so I have a good idea on the cost. First you need to decide if you want to put the time and money into the ski and can you do the rebuild yourself. You have no option but a full rebuild and that metal did get into the crank bearings so it needs to be replaced as well. Once I got my engine down those metal pieces turned out to be bits of the wrist pin bearing gollers and they went everywhere. the worst part was they got under the rotary valve and gouged the cases beyond repair so I had to buy new cases on ebay. Your options are as follows.....

    1. (Good) Exchange your engine for a complete SBT reman. $495 but watch out for their shipping it is almost $100 each way and you have to use their shipping even for the return. 1 year warranty. Their parts are from china and their quality control is questionale but many have had good luck with them and I have seen a few in friends skis do just fine. I wanted better for my piece of mind.

    2. (Better) FullBore Online. He will also exchange your engine for a rebuilt one. $950 shipping is on you. He also offers a 2 year warranty and uses only quality parts and you can even request oem for a little more. He has a great reputation and every time I called he took the time to answer all my questions presonaly.

    3. (Best) This depends on your mechanical ability and I chose to do it myself for piece of mind but is more expensive and I know everything has been checked and done correctly. I bought cases on ebay for $100. My head looked like yours so I sent it to Group K and had them clean it up and do their swift mod on it for $99. I bought my crank from SeaDoo $500 but all oem german bearings and oem seals. (They do not offer the 587 crank but the SBT ones are $295 and Chinese bearings but many have not had a problem with them). Cylinders were resleeved by FullBore including all piston parts and gaskets $450. I needed a new rotary valve $29 and the resurfaced rotary cover from SBT for $100. Total $1200. As you can see this option is more expensive but to me it is justified because it is back to stock with good parts and I only paid $500 for the entire ski.

    I do not take my skis to shops because I have had and seen too much idiot mistakes. There are good shops but you will need to do your homework and find one. Where are you located? Are you comfortable doing the work yourself. You need to get that engine out and torn down so we can see how fare gone it is and what is salvagable. Remember to take pictures or video during the process so you have a reference to get it back together. Get the manual. BIG ONE, get ziploc bags and label each bag with all bolts like "exhaust maniforl", "head bolts". this saves so much time and headache. Good luck and keep us posted.

  5. #5
    Well it is the 3 seater, I said the wrong thing in the title but corrected it in the first line of the post

    Here is my question, how much is this thing even worth when its running? Its more a cruiser than anything else since it has a top speed of 40mph and is a big 3 seater.

    I mean is it worth fixing or could I just sell it for 500 bucks and take a loss on it?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Coast California.
    Probably can only get about $300-$500 not running and only $1000-$1500 running depending on the condition. You will have to decide if the money works for you.

  7. #7
    Well I think I might sell this one. See I do not have the title for it and its not gonna sell for a lot running unless it goes to a non title state. Thanks for the info! Should be helpful even in future purchases

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Coast California.
    You have plenty of time till summer so take your time and get a good one.

  9. #9
    SideFX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    BC Interior
    +1 SBT
    Have had great success with their products on 3 skis to date. (top ends and blocks)

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