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  1. #1
    Ryguy425425's Avatar
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    Opinions on buying a project 1200

    After putting a deposit on a seadoo last weekend, and then having the deal fall through doe to problems with the seller, I've decided that I'm not going to compromise on a replacement for my '89 Waverunner 500, I'm going to get what I want. Ideally I'd like to have a GP1200R, but I'd have just as much fun with an XL1200. The problem right now is that there is literally nothing for sale within a 10 hour drive from here (Northern ME/Southern NB), even when I expand my search to include GP800Rs and XL800s. Within 4 hours of me, however, there is a '98 XL1200, and an '01 GP1200R, both with one bad cylinder. My plan was initially to buy them both, and combine them, but I've realized that the XL1200 uses a non PV 65U engine, so parts would not be interchangeable. Right now I'm trying to ballpark the cost of repairs, which is proving difficult seeing as neither seller seems to have the ability to remove the heads. Depending on my further research, and responses here, I may still pick up both. I'll have quite a bit of free time in between school ending and the water being warm enough to use either machine, so I'm planning on doing the labor by myself. A bit more about each machine:

    First up is the XL1200. The seller took it into the dealership and was simply told that one cylinder has zero compression. The other cylinders have 130 PSI (according to the seller), but the machine does have close to 200 hours on it. Everything on the ski is entirely stock. Where this ski doesn't have powervalves, I'm assuming the failure was either caused by an oiling system issue, or from running lean. In either case I would rebuild the carbs, and examine the oiling system (and likely just pick up the block off plates to switch to premix). My biggest question on this machine is really just what the standard fix would be. Should I do a full top end rebuild, or could I get away with just replacing the cylinder and piston with a used matched set? I don't want to cut corners, as I would likely have this ski for a few years, but if the other two truly do have 130 PSI then they must be in pretty good shape, meaning I'd be wasting money by doing a full top end rebuild. I'm also wondering if it would be necessary to split the case and inspect the crank (Assuming I don't find a huge chunk of the piston missing). I'll also mention that the hull seems to be in very good shape, no major scratches and the turf mat is there.

    Next is the GP1200R. I haven't talked to the seller much yet, but it is listed as needing the middle cylinder replaced. This one has had the carbs recently rebuilt, and has a Solas 13/19 impeller as well as a few other mods ( r&d extended jet nozzle, and r&d intake grate). This one also needs the turf mat replaced, I don't have pictures of the hull but I will try to get some tonight. My biggest concern on this machine are the power valves. I'm thinking that where the carbs were recently rebuilt it likely wasn't run lean, and the oil lines typically fall off the third cylinder (from what I'm finding). This leads me to believe that the powervalve has likely fallen into the cylinder. In this case I'm assuming I'd have to split the crank and inspect it, as well as replace the powervalve and add waveeater clips. In a typical powervalve failure what would need to be done? I'm assuming I'd need to find a used cylinder and piston (assuming the other two pistons don't justify a full top end rebuild kit), and I'd need a used powervalve. Is crank damage typical in this case, and would I likely need to find a new head?

    After considering that the GP1200R includes a trailer where the XL1200 does not, both machines would likely cost me roughly the same amount. Although I haven't worked on 2 strokes before, I don't think a top end teardown and rebuild would be beyond my ability. Even if I got stuck and had to send my engine away to a company like SBT, I would still have less money tied up in either then just buying a used machine in running condition. Every time a GP1200R comes up within a day's drive from me they seem to go for $3500+ with 120+ hours. Of course if I could fix either of them for a few hundred dollars that would be ideal, and give my something to keep me busy until the season starts!

    If you've read this far I want to thank you! Any advice on what would likely need to be done to either ski, as well as a ballparked cost, would be greatly appreciated! Any advice on which of the two skis I should lean towards is also appreciated! (assuming I don't get overly energetic and end up picking up both!)

    Thanks!


  2. #2
    mudslanger's Avatar
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    When buying a blown ski always assume the worst possible damage and cost. always assume the crank is bad and the cylinder is toast. that way if it is you would have figured replacing it into the cost. a lot of time the previous owner was riding it when it started giving trouble and kept running it to try to get back until it completely shut down.

    The GP1200R is a blast to ride and play around on. the xl1200 does have mirrors and is good for pulling tubes and more stable with more riders.

  3. #3
    Worst case is that you need a fully rebuilt motor and extra parts not typically included in a rebuild (such as cases). That said you could get lucky. A friend had the oil line fall off his first cylinder and thus far (~40 hrs later) has gotten away with just replacing that jug and piston. If you are planning on keeping it a while though and have the money now, you might just want to do a full top-end rebuild.

    Another consideration is price, if it is a good enough price buy just to investigate. I got my 02 XLT1200 with a blown motor for far less than the parts were worth, the previous owner simply didn't want to deal with parting it out. The motor turned out to be pretty trashed (would have needed new cases, crank, 1 new jug, other 2 jugs re-nicked, 3 pistons, carb rebuild) so I picked up a full replacement instead and will still be in for substantially less than the value of the running XLT.

  4. #4
    Ryguy425425's Avatar
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    Excellent advice! I'll make an offer that reflects the possibility of having to send in the motor to pwcengine. Going that route, where the XL1200 would likely need a carb rebuild and the GP1200R wouldn't, they would likely cost roughly the some to replace (assuming no major case damage in either) as the non-powervalve engine is $300 cheaper. If either machine had case damage, would it be visible without pulling the engine, and how much more would that drive the cost of repair up?

    Just out of curiosity, what would you consider cheap enough to pick it up just for investigation? I'm honestly very tempted to bring both home, and hope to get relatively lucky on one. I'm really not sure what the break even point would be for parting one out though.

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    mudslanger's Avatar
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    The shape of the hull, mats, instrument, seat,fading, does trim work, is choke cable stuck.is there deep scratches or busted spots in hull. the overall look of the hull factors in on price. if the hull is in good shape with a bad motor the most i would pay would be around 800 to 1000 depending on looks of ski and engine compartment. is there a lot of corrosion in the engine compartment whats the pump look like. look them over very good check everything that moves. the less you have to replace the better off you are. also look for stickers like SOLAS, R&D,RIVA, that would suggest aftermarket parts. and look for aftermarket parts.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryguy425425 View Post
    Excellent advice! I'll make an offer that reflects the possibility of having to send in the motor to pwcengine. Going that route, where the XL1200 would likely need a carb rebuild and the GP1200R wouldn't,
    Thanks!
    Not true I would rebuilt them in the gpr as well. You never know the skill level of the person that rebuilt them unless they have proof that reputable company did it. Would not trust them as they are. They could have leaks or the pop off might not be right. Causing problems with a new motor you put in it.

  7. #7
    Ryguy425425's Avatar
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    Awesome! That's what I wanted to hear. If you take out the cost of the trailer, the price of the GP1200R falls well within that range. Where it has the Solas impeller and R&D nozzel and grate I'll probably jump on it if the hull is in half decent shape.

    Where the hull looks to be in good shape on the XL1200, I'll probably put an offer on it (assuming the jet unit and little things are in pretty good shape). From the pictures it looks like it has been taken care of fairly well to me, and if I can get lucky with one of the two motors I'd basically be able to have both running for the cost of buying a used one with well over 100 hours up here.

    Thanks! The two pics are of the XL1200, still waiting to hear back on the other!
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  8. #8
    Last 1200 I has with 0 compression in a cylinder had a broken connecting rod, case was pushed out, quite a mess.

  9. #9

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    Oh and if you have any sort of mechanical know how you can rebuilt these motors. Just have to take your time.

  10. #10
    Ryguy425425's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 992door View Post
    Not true I would rebuilt them in the gpr as well. You never know the skill level of the person that rebuilt them unless they have proof that reputable company did it. Would not trust them as they are. They could have leaks or the pop off might not be right. Causing problems with a new motor you put in it.
    Good to know. I'll make sure my offer reflects rebuilding the carbs, and I'll have my mechanic double check them (as well as any work I do), as he's a family friend.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wire4Money View Post
    Last 1200 I has with 0 compression in a cylinder had a broken connecting rod, case was pushed out, quite a mess.
    Ouch. Were there any visible signs from the out side of the case or will I be taking a complete gamble until I get it home and tear it down? Looking at the cost of cranks, they aren't too bad. I'll have a lot of time to kill before the lake warms up after I get out of school, so if it was a matter of a crank, top end kit, and a set of seals I could handle it. The condition of the case worries me though as I'd have no way of sourcing one locally, so it'd be a lot of surfing online classifieds.

    Quote Originally Posted by 992door View Post
    Oh and if you have any sort of mechanical know how you can rebuilt these motors. Just have to take your time.
    Good to hear!

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