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  1. #1

    1998 SLTX 1050 possible engine seizure... what to check?

    I have a 1998 SLTX 1050 that I've owned for 8 months. Last week, I was at about mile 20 in my day trip up lake when all of sudden the engine started to lose power out of nowhere while running at about 4500 RPM. I burped the throttle a couple times, nothing changed, so I shut the engine down and coasted to a beach. When I went to refire, the starter clicked as if the engine was frozen.


    Battery had a full charge at shutdown. I replaced all fuel/oil lines after I got the ski, and I confirmed the oil pump was working. I pulled the jet pump off, and the starter is still clicking. The block is perfect with no oil in the hull.


    Is my engine seized up, or could something in the "driveline" be bound up?


  2. #2
    I'm addicted to Polaris PWC ghostinstallations's Avatar
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    If the pump is out, grab the coupler and try to spin the engine by hand. If you cant, there is an internal problem. At that point, pull the heads and I would imagine it would be evident which cyl(s) locked up if any.

    Report back what you find.

  3. #3
    I was finally able to get some pliers around the coupler. I am able to turn it about an inch back and forth. There is a knock when it stops as if there is something jammed. I got the PTO head pulled so far, and the piston moves a tad bit when I move the coupler. I will get the other two heads pulled and report back.
    Thanks for the help and quick response!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by ghostinstallations View Post
    If the pump is out, grab the coupler and try to spin the engine by hand. If you cant, there is an internal problem. At that point, pull the heads and I would imagine it would be evident which cyl(s) locked up if any.

    Report back what you find.

    Alright. I got the heads off. The front and rear pistons both look good, and they still move slightly when I turn the coupler. However, I believe the center cylinder broke a rod. Not sure if right off the crank or what. The piston itself looks good on top, however, there are a bunch of metal pieces sitting on top of the piston, and it definitely is moving freely inside the cylinder.

    I will pull the jugs off to further inspect the lower end. Cost wise, should I rebuild or look for a new/used engine? My worry is that there are metal pieces throughout the engine now.

  5. #5
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    A used engine will cost you as much as rebuilding one yourself. Even if the rebuild is a few hundred more, its money well spent. Me personally, would never buy a used engine, unless it was cheap enough where having to rebuild it wouldn't break the bank. I recently rebuilt a 1200 and it cost me roughly 1000 dollars. There are morons selling used engines for 1500 or more on ebay.

    If you discover its a bad rod, I would just pull the engine, and assess it from there. To do a rebuild you would need a rebuilt crank, a top end kit with gaskets, and to have your cylinders machined. There are a few places we can recommend to get this work done.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by BryanP View Post
    A used engine will cost you as much as rebuilding one yourself. Even if the rebuild is a few hundred more, its money well spent. Me personally, would never buy a used engine, unless it was cheap enough where having to rebuild it wouldn't break the bank. I recently rebuilt a 1200 and it cost me roughly 1000 dollars. There are morons selling used engines for 1500 or more on ebay.

    If you discover its a bad rod, I would just pull the engine, and assess it from there. To do a rebuild you would need a rebuilt crank, a top end kit with gaskets, and to have your cylinders machined. There are a few places we can recommend to get this work done.
    Would you recommend a engine rebuild or just a straight engine swap from say, SBT?

    If I were to go with an engine rebuild, what would be some good performance mods? Oversize pistons? I don't care too much about acceleration upgrades, but I'd really like a noticable speed gain. Is 65-70 with a 1050 engine possible without spending thousands?

  7. #7
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    I would recommend doing the rebuild yourself. Where are you located? People can probably give you some suggestions on who to go to near you. The SBT engines have plenty of detractors out there. I personally have an SBT engine in a ski I bought last year, and it has been fine, but there is enough negative out there to make me wary. If you are looking for more performance, you could look at cylinder porting, higher compression heads,etc. If you get a OP ride plate and a 6 degree wedge, that could be worth 3-4 MPH right there. Add a 6 vane stainless stator to that was well. Those hull mods are easy speed. 65-70 MPH is not really realistic unless you plan to spend big bucks. 60 is a very achieveable number however. The 1200s only go a little over 60.

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