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  1. #1

    New guy here with an '88 Waverunner 500

    Hey guys,

    Picked up a 1988 Waverunner 500 about a month ago, this is my first ski. The guy I bought it from used it as his second ski, so it hasn't seen much use. Included with the ski was a brand new Mikuni Carb, I installed the new one recently and the ski seems to start and run better than when it had the old carb on. I'm now going through it and making sure everything else is as it should be.

    I have a few questions;

    -K&N makes an aftermarket flame arrestor. I'd obviously need to buy the carb adapter plate, is it worth the upgrade?
    -I need to winterize the ski (I live in PA) and i'm not sure how to go about doing that. I will search on here as i'm sure there are numerous threads on that.
    -What other aftermarket upgrades are there? I'd like to get a little more pep out of the ski.
    -Any other maintenance I should be doing before I take her out on her maiden voyage in the spring?

    -Brian


  2. #2
    Myself's Avatar
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    Welsome to the HULK. The WR500 is a great beginner ski. Should top out around 34mph on GPS. It's also nearly bulletproof. That being said, ride it....enjoy it......get familiar with a PWC.....don't waste money trying to upgrade it. That's right, the motor is basically an old outboard version and there just isn't much in the way of mods to help it. They do have a tendency to porpoise so an extended ride plate will help that. When you've had all the fun you can stand and need more power you should then upgrade to a newer ('95-up) more powerful ski.
    As for winterization, add fuel stabilizer, shut fuel switch off and tilt ski nose high. Start it up and blip throttle a couple times. This will purge any water from the exhaust system and help drain fuel out of carb. Don't run it long enough to get motor hot. If there is still fuel in carb after the motor cools down, start it back up and run it a little more, I like to run all the gas out of the carb. I also usually pull a cooling line off the head and dump in a little anti-freeze. Then ground your plug wires, spray fogging oil into the intake and crank it over. Then remove plugs and spray fogging oil into the cylinders. Now is also a good time to go ahead and grease the drive bearing behind the engine under the black cover. Good to go.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Myself View Post
    Welsome to the HULK. The WR500 is a great beginner ski. Should top out around 34mph on GPS. It's also nearly bulletproof. That being said, ride it....enjoy it......get familiar with a PWC.....don't waste money trying to upgrade it. That's right, the motor is basically an old outboard version and there just isn't much in the way of mods to help it. They do have a tendency to porpoise so an extended ride plate will help that. When you've had all the fun you can stand and need more power you should then upgrade to a newer ('95-up) more powerful ski.
    As for winterization, add fuel stabilizer, shut fuel switch off and tilt ski nose high. Start it up and blip throttle a couple times. This will purge any water from the exhaust system and help drain fuel out of carb. Don't run it long enough to get motor hot. If there is still fuel in carb after the motor cools down, start it back up and run it a little more, I like to run all the gas out of the carb. I also usually pull a cooling line off the head and dump in a little anti-freeze. Then ground your plug wires, spray fogging oil into the intake and crank it over. Then remove plugs and spray fogging oil into the cylinders. Now is also a good time to go ahead and grease the drive bearing behind the engine under the black cover. Good to go.
    34mph, I figured it would top out around 35mph or so. Glad to hear it's bulletproof! Sad that there aren't a ton of mods to help, would be nice to get her up to 50mph or so...oh well.

    Would a ride plate like this help with the porpoising? http://www.ebay.com/itm/QUADRA-FIN-R...77a5bf&vxp=mtr

    I did some more research on winterizing, and they all say basically what you just wrote. Thank you.

    I just have a few more questions;

    -What octane gas should I use? 91?
    -What does the drive bearing look like, and is it easily accessible?
    -Which cooling line do you pull off? Pics would help.
    -I did a compression test and got right around 150psi per cylinder, is that normal?

  4. #4
    Myself's Avatar
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    Actually there isn't exactly any easy place to access that particular engine. On the front of the head there is a cover with 3 bolts, it's a thermostat. I guess you could take that off and funnel some in there. I think if you just take the lower cooling line under the rear exhaust plate loose and make sure the water is drained you'll be fine. Check this thread out. http://www.greenhulk.net/forums/showthread.php?t=150075 You should find that interesting.
    That tiny pump would never allow 50mph. The cheapo 87 octane will run fine in that machine. There should be a plastic cover at the rear of the engine covering the drive coupler (PTO), there is a grease fitting for the mid-shaft bearing under it. 150 psi is good.
    Yes, that ride plate will help it looks to be a couple inches longer than stock.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Myself View Post
    Actually there isn't exactly any easy place to access that particular engine. On the front of the head there is a cover with 3 bolts, it's a thermostat. I guess you could take that off and funnel some in there. I think if you just take the lower cooling line under the rear exhaust plate loose and make sure the water is drained you'll be fine. Check this thread out. http://www.greenhulk.net/forums/showthread.php?t=150075 You should find that interesting.
    That tiny pump would never allow 50mph. The cheapo 87 octane will run fine in that machine. There should be a plastic cover at the rear of the engine covering the drive coupler (PTO), there is a grease fitting for the mid-shaft bearing under it. 150 psi is good.
    Yes, that ride plate will help it looks to be a couple inches longer than stock.
    Awesome thank you for all your help!!

  6. #6
    I have a wr500 parts ski if you need any stock parts let me know. Has a nice seat on it also. Im in NJ

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