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  1. #1

    So I just purchased an SUV

    And I have a few questions

    The guy I purchased it from either lied through his teeth or he did not know, so i am wondering how long i have until it explodes on me.

    It is a 99 SUV with 119 hrs. it is supposed to be stock and "nothing" done to it.

    I bought it earlier this week from the 2nd owner and had hesitation when i looked at it, but I have been wanting an SUV for a while.

    for starters there was oil all over the engine compartment area, but Watching him start it cold, they poured 2 cycle very messy down the carb holes. It started right up (dry land no hose) so I justified the oil residue as 2 cycle being poured over it.

    i did a cold compression check #1 was 118 2 and 3 were 110

    As I have gotten it home and cleaned it up this week it is obvious that at least the runners shell has been apart at some point due to several missing screws in body parts.

    I had it on the water today for a quick run (it was cold out there today, but I wanted to check it out) I ran it for about 15 minutes and it seemed ok it toped at 48mph on the dash speedo.

    Idle speed on the dash was about 1200-1250rpm

    As I dig into it and clean it up I find what looks like part #19 the shim

    I am thinking it may have already been rebuilt, but if it had, why lie?

    Do these shims fall out? is it hard to get back in without pulling the motor?
    potential damage if run without it?

    the plugs looked original when i pulled them, (rusty case)

    I wiped a lot of old oil out of the compartment.

    the # 1 spark plug wire pulled apart from the boot It is in sections according to the parts list and held together with zip ties, is this the norm? I put it back together and it had spark, so i ran it

    I am thinking I prob should have passed on this runner., but I figured with 119 hrs what could be wrong?
    My wave venture 1100 that I sold to get it had 210 hrs and ran great

  2. #2
    From my experience you cant judge a 2 stroke ski by the hours as I found out with my 2000 SUV i bought several months back. It has 80 hours and the engine was shot, crank was gone 2 & 3 pistons were toast and had a hole on both sides of the case. If there is oil in the bottom of the engine compartment I would be suspect that there is a a busted case? I would inspect it very closely and maybe even pull the head just to have a look at the jugs and pistons. Its very easy to do. I am not as experienced as some the guys one here, but I have rebuild two skis this winter with great success. There is alot of good folks on here that will be more than willing to help you out, but I would use the search function as a starter to gain some knowledge. Also you want to do the oil block off plate and convert to premix as the Oil Injection system on these Yama's are prone to fail. Just my 2 cents and good luck with your SUV. I havent had mine out since the rebuild as its very cold, but looking forward to spring.

    Also, its fun to mess with the Game Warden on these SUV's. Load up 4 people on it and you are guaranteed to get get pulled over. My buddy did with his and when he asked the Game Warden why he pulled him over he said because you have 4 people on this ski. When he pointed to the sticker on the side of the ski that says rated for four people the Wardens face turned white as a sheet.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Welcome to the Hulk.
    Your motor is the most common Yamaha 2-stroke out there. Here you will find fourteen years worth of advice and instruction from the most knowledgeable waverunner guys in the world. Spend about six/eight hours with the search function. Everything you need to know is here somewhere.
    With compression numbers you have and a 48 mph top speed I doubt you have a hole in the case or even bad seals.
    Put a primer kit on it to start in cold. Prior to that pull a plug or two and squirt a few drops of fuel in the cylinder(s) and she'll fire right up. You may have to do it up to three times to keep it running but it's a lot cleaner than dumping oil over the thing.
    Enjoy your new toy.

  4. #4
    What about the shim I found in the bottom?
    Any thoughts on that?

  5. #5
    yamahadoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Gulf Breeze, FL
    Someone replaced a Motor mount... Very common

  6. #6
    so the shim does not need to go back in?

  7. #7
    lazsrxp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Does this motor come with the cat ? If so, you should remove it and like Theheisk said switch to premix for starters

  8. #8
    yamahadoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Gulf Breeze, FL
    Only if you have your tires rotated and get a front end alignment every 10k miles on your car The (stock) Oil injection lines are the 1200 killer

  9. #9
    Yamaha artisan Cutlass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Madison, WI, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by fencer View Post
    so the shim does not need to go back in?
    Find a service manual if you haven't already. Then check the coupler alignment as described in the manual. That'll tell you if you need to shim the motor mounts or leave it as is.
    Except for the oil everywhere, so far you've described a healthy sounding SUV. The SUV has the 65U non-powervalve engine in it, which is the same as the '97-'99 GP1200, '98 XL1200, all years of the SUV, and some yamaha jetboats around those same years. This info will help you as you research through threads here. To keep this engine alive you need to keep the fuel system and oil system up and running good. So start researching reliability upgrades for the carbs and the endless threads on premix vs. oil injection.

  10. #10
    From my own experience, your crank seals are probably bad. From what you describe, I had the same issue on my current 99 right after I bought it. The compression was around 110 in all three with 107 hours. My top speed was 48 via GPS. I had a ring snag the exhaust port on #3 so I replaced it with a reman short block (SBT). I too noticed oil on the bottom of the engine up to that time but couldn't immediately tell where it was coming from until I removed it and then it was pretty obvious. There was a small stream of oil coming from the rear seals. The inside of the stator housing on the front of the engine smelled like gas and oil was coming from that seal as well. After 30 hours and 2 years running, all three cylinders still have 125psi.

    If the ski is cosmetically in good shape you did really good as these are hard to find any more. You can either fix or replace the engine and have many years of trouble-free enjoyment. Of the two I own now plus another 99 I had, all three had blown their original two-strokes at some point between 100 and 150 hours. Like theheisk mentioned, low hours doesn't necessarily = good. In fact, lack of use rather than too much seems to be the main enemy of these because the fuel system suffers. Someone had over 500 hours on one of his before the engine just got tired and others blow up with less than 100. Anything that causes a lean fuel condition will blow these engines eventually. In your case as with mine, bad crank seals don't just make an oily mess, they also leak crank case pressure that operates the fuel pumps. Low fuel pressure = lean = boom Just keep in mind what the others have mentioned and also do the following:

    • After you rebuild/replace the engine, rebuild the carbs. Use new needles/seats too. This isn't cheap (~$200 if you do it yourself) but neither is another engine
    • Check/replace the oil lines. The original lines were good quality but were barely long enough to start with and they tend to shrink a little over time. They end up getting tight, pulling off the fittings and starving the cylinder(s) for oil. Yes, going pre-mix would take care of this issue but 2-stroke SUV's are not easy on gas so you'll spend a lot of time mixing For me, the injection is very convenient. I just inspect the lines with an inspection mirror every time I take it out.

    If you're really in the mood for a project, several of us have done 4-stroke conversions. You can see my thread along with the others over in the conversion section if interested

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