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  1. #1
    Joe Stang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Durham, CT

    Red face Why a low original hour isn't always mint.

    Note: I had plans for this ski well before I owned it. I want to make this post to be informative for new people coming into our sport and to be careful.

    Over the winter, I decided to part ways with my 1986 Kawasaki X2. I only had it cuz it was a mint original, and looked good in my home office. However with life maturing and things happening I knew this summer I would be losing my office to kids. Not riding x2's and knowing I didn't want it taking up space in my shop, I felt it was time to move on. I said to myself "boy, if I could find someone with an HX that wants to trade, I would do it.". The next day I find someone selling an exceptionally clean 97 HX looking to trade for a running X2. Perfect! So we come to an agreement, I drive 8 hours (since x2 is worth less, I made the drive) and pick up this beauty:

    The guy has no idea the hours but figures somewhere near 100 cuz they took it out a bunch. It they were only riding like 5 mins. One way and 5 mins back. Looking at the engine bay, I knew there was wayyyy less than 100. Out comes the Candoo, and I almost fell on the floor when I saw the hour line come up:

    Immediatly at this point, I knew the engine must be torn down. You might be saying "joe, how do you know at this point you need to tear the engine down?". Well I'm going to tell you

    Upon getting to the ski, I noticed the fade of NY reg numbers. I got the ski from PA where it was registered. At 100 hours this might be ok. Slight fade, no biggie. But at 33 hours, I knew if the machine has this much fade from the reg numbers, the chances of the NY. Owner keeping this machines engine coated in oil was slim to none. Not to mention the crank seals might not be healthy at this point. Why risk destroying an entire engine when this one can by saved by doing the proper maintenance now? I did run 1.5 tanks through the machine so the rebuilt engine would have nothing but fresh gas. Here is what was found when I pulled the engine apart for rebuild:

    I was right. This ski sat unmaintaned for a long time. I don't even know how the rings held 140psi. They were so compressed from years of sitting. New crank seals, a fresh bore with pistons and gaskets and this engine will be ready for years of riding.

    So let this be some very useful info for all the people looking to get into the sport, or wanting an older clean ski. Just because someone has let their ski sit and decide after 5-6 years they wanna sell it, it doesn't mean it's ready to ride!

  2. #2
    Very good post, thanks for sharing. A lot of people also don't realize that the exhaust chamber is always at 100% humidity, and a two cylinder 2 stroke will always have at least one of the cylinders exposed to this humidity due to the port being open.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Interesting This helps me out. Is there a write up about what to look for in a used ski?

  4. #4
    jamesbern's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Southwest, CT
    That shit is narrow!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2012
    did the other cyl have the same corrosion?

  6. #6
    Myself's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    North Central Arkansas
    I too traded for an HX over the winter. Mine is a good looking, low hour '96. As you did I decided I better teardown to do maintenance before riding and screwing something up. Mine apparently only LOOKED low hour. My rear crank bearings were so worn out they had about .032 up and down play! I'm not sure how it still ran. My stock cylinders were polished to an almost mirror finish and the ports were all knife edged. It is now ported and bored and almost back together. You just never know what you'll find until you tear into one!

  7. #7
    wow joe, thanks for sharing!
    I too picked up a used boat, good looks don`t always tell the story, but upon further inspection and replacing many many parts I`m slowly getting to the truth of what happened and why...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Pale Rider View Post
    I too picked up a used boat, good looks don`t always tell the story, but upon further inspection and replacing many many parts I`m slowly getting to the truth of what happened and why...
    Yeah - me too...

  9. #9
    I am very jealous of your HX! Would love to find one in NYS. If you lose interest, or find something else you would prefer to play with, please let me know. I assume if I find one I'll have to do a rebuild or crate motor.

  10. #10
    I was looking for them in Ca for awhile but every one was either way overpriced or had bad compression. One had good compression as advertised, but when i took out the plugs , one cylinder would squirt gas when i had the gauge on the other. ( can you say carb rebuild ?) I gave up.

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