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  1. #1

    Thumbs up Buying a 1996 Seadoo XP 787, any tips on what to look out for?

    I'm going to look at a 96 xp 800 this weekend, is there any tips anyone could leave me with? And per-cautions, things to look out for? I was told to take out the spark plugs, remove the PTO cover and rotate the shaft and alistem for any knocking or grinding.

    If anyone could provide information that would help me purchase this watercraft in good reddens, please let me know!


  2. #2
    and listen for any knocking or grinding*

  3. #3
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    if the ski has gray fuel lines that have the word "tempo" on them, the ski may need extensive carb work real soon...that's $500+ all day long. Doing a compression check is a MUST ( buy/borrow a quality gauge ground the plug wires to the little orange posts and hold the throttle wide open and crank for a 5 second count.

    Watch for injector oil in the hull..this model had a problem wit the tank leaking..that's $200 all day long

    look for water stains around he exhaust pipe.

    If possible have a tech check it out..could be the best $50-100 you EVER spent.

    Check the bottom of the hull for raw fiberglass showing..ask about any service records.

    best strategy..be prepared to walk away if you see something you don't like. More people get suckered this time of year as they want to be on the water tomorrow and let their common sense take the back seat.

    had a seadoo twin engine boat show up yesterday... purhcased on the word of the seller it was "good" not only was this "perfect condition" boat leaking from a blowout plug on the exhaust... the engines were TWO DIFFERENT SIZES! ( a 717 and a 657)..not only that the seller "forgot" the trailer HAD NO TITLE..and for all of this she got snookered for book value ( granted the cosmetics were nice) oh ueah..the oil injection system was gutted too.

    Buy with a hard heart..there will be time to love a ski later on this season.

  4. #4
    DaveC's Avatar
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    I will give you some suggestions from what I found last year when I was looking for a '96 XP & '99 SPX.

    As posted above by Pete, there are many things on the older skis to check prior to purchase and here are a few items that I have found.

    The gray fuel lines, a few that I looked at had the lines between the carbs changed but the rest of the gray lines were in place.
    Low compression, was a bit lower than the others that I looked at, but it had a SBT rebuild.
    Damage to the hull, people must love to run these things up on the rocks. At least half of the ones I looked at had fiberglass hanging out from being abused. One was even had oil leaking from the hole in the hull.
    Various stages of dicked up modifications- lots of bolted on crap that either did not belong on that model or not correctly installed.
    Improper replacement impeller- stock XP with a Solas XII impeller- another waste of time ran like hell.
    Titles- I was amazed at the number of people that did not have the title, could not find the title or had never titled it in their name.
    Expired registration- someone gets to pay all that too.
    "It just needs a battery, spark plugs, lanyard- all signs that it has major engine problems and they want you to purchase without telling you it needs major repairs or parts.
    If it comes with a trailer- check the trailer bearings. Seen one that had a ruined hub due to the lack of repair.

    And under no certain terms, do not buy it if they will not allow you to test ride.

    These items just come to mind quickly, some I learned the hard way. I purchased a pretty nice looking '96 XP & '99 SPX and they have been nothing but problems since. I take them in for repair, pick them up for a test ride, now they are both in for another round of repair. So far to date I have spent $800.00 for parts and repair and still have not had a good lake trip with them yet. I am basically one more trip for repairs from a complete part out.

  5. #5
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    on the subject of test rides..not many folks with half a head will let a potential buyer run the piss out of their ski..it's not a wise practice. I often advise sellers that they should take the buyer for a ride if they are insisting on a water test. I have a strict "no test ride" policy ( I get an amazing number of people who think I will hand them a ski I have for sale so the can ride it for the day to "check it out"

    Hey folks, the ski rental place is 10 miles up that road....

    BUT for a really serious buyer I'll dunk the ski in my skanky tank and run it full throttle for 15 minutes with various throttle and start/stop to demonstrate it's cash worthiness. I don't sell junk, so my reputation for having good iron is known around town.

    I'll say it again...have the ski checked at a shop...best money you are going to spend

    NEVER buy a ski where you can't see the engine run or something that looks like it was a prop in an unfinished Mad Max movie.

    A water test can be running it on a trailer in the water to see if it holds full thottle for a couple of minutes, then restarts easilyy after a minute or two wait.

  6. #6
    DaveC's Avatar
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    And those are some good points about test rides. However, I got burned on both of the ones I bought from two different people. So I will never pay for another used ski without at least a short test ride so that I know it runs correctly.

  7. #7
    We as owners run these things at WOT - that is what they are made for.. Ok so he wont let you ride - have him show you it runs while in the water and floating..

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by nmpeter View Post


    had a seadoo twin engine boat show up yesterday... purhcased on the word of the seller it was "good" not only was this "perfect condition" boat leaking from a blowout plug on the exhaust... the engines were TWO DIFFERENT SIZES! ( a 717 and a 657)..not only that the seller "forgot" the trailer HAD NO TITLE..and for all of this she got snookered for book value ( granted the cosmetics were nice) oh ueah..the oil injection system was gutted too.


    Buy with a hard heart..there will be time to love a ski later on this season.
    I`m all to familiar with this scenario! trusted the person who claims they did not know. All the years I gave advice on what to do, I didn`t head my own bc I trusted the source... well guess what, the source was not entirely forthcoming and honest and total lack of concern after the sale...

    People, please check out machines thoroughly!, test ride or ask to see it run as mentioned... don`t be in a rush, there are many ski`s out here...
    Don`t get FOOKED like we did...

  9. #9
    WOW! I appreciate all the information given. I definitely would not have checked 2/3 of those, do you guys know what the compression should be like in 787, is it 150psi?

    I am speeding with this gentlemen in hopes to get it out on the lake. Just to see it run, start, make sure the thing doesn't bog or act like a POS.

    My friend works at a motorcycle shop, and deals with snowmobiles in the winter of course, so I thought hat I would bring him along to check it out with me.

    Once again...I appreciate all these replies with in hours. I just signed up yesterday because I always find my self looking here when I need something.


  10. #10
    all good advice, i've sold a few ski's myself, i'm surprised as hell how many of them don't want or ask for a test ride, heck I spend a ton of time cleaning up the hull & engine and sometimes they dont' even lift the seat,its quite amazing actually. out of 10 sales, only one ski were in the water for the sale, one guy that met me at the house, and after we settled on a price, headed to the ramp, I held the cash while he took a 10 minute ride (on a 700 wave venture, and it was so cute when he came back and told me how surprised he was that it was soooo fast), then to top it all off he didn't have a hitch on his car, so I had to deliver it to his driveway for him... , who the hell brings cash to a ramp but no hitch ? )

    had another buyer on my XPL and asked me to meet him at the ramp, I did, but he didn't bring the cash, so I said, "well, i brought the ski, you didn't bring any cash so your not riding anything today", i proceeded to take a nice little ride myself since I was already there, i never heard from him again, not surprising...

    to the OP, i'd do exactly what the boys above stated, and i'd ask a lot of questions also.

    where does the owner ride mostly, ask specifics
    what kind of oil is he using, ask to see the dam jug
    look around the garage, is it full of misc ski parts and shop tools ? he might be a flipper and then i'd worry that he just Frankenstein'd stuff together, painted it and called it a day.
    the last 96xp i bought for personal use, was out of a pickup truck 250 miles from home, 150 comp, but fortunately we tore it down for inspection before taking it out on the water and it was a good dam thing we did,,,, it was absolutely full of greasy, grimy, sandy, dirty disgusting goop inside... the guy had literally thrown it together, maybe did a 1 mile test ride somewhere or maybe just tested it in a tank, called it a day and put it up for sale... the engine was ONLY saved because we decided to tear it down vs take his word for anything, it wouldn't have lasted 15 minutes on the water.

    lastly.,,, as a buyer,,,, please bring cash, (nice crisp 100's) and be prepared to lowball,,,(if your not good at lowballing, bring a ponzi with you to talk down the ski)

    also... as a seller i can't tell you how many people show up with no cash (and still have the nerve to lowball)... I've had several times i'm asking $2200, and he says.. will you take $1800 cash, and I say.... "show me the $1800 first before I answer" and they don't have it... so now i literally won't budge a penny off my asking price until I actually see the cash..

    chances are that your seller has had similar experiences, and he'll be willing to work out a deal now when you actually show him the cash and say "we can settle this now and i'll be driving down the road in 5 minutes with the ski behind my truck" lay the cash out all pretty and let him stare at it, and if he gets stubborn on the price, pick it up and put it back in your pocket, sellers hate that !

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