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  1. #1

    Looking at an 04 MSX 150... Bad water pump?

    Hey everyone, currently fixing up a 94 sl750. But my buddy just got a newer ski, which means I want one too

    Saw an 04 MSX turbo online up here (Canada), but the add says "Watercraft need a waterpump - can be fixed or used for parts - engine runs perfect under 90 hours on unit."... So I'm a little worried.

    I read through the knowledge section on the shorturl site, I didn't see anything really related to the water pump being an issue.

    Can anyone give me some insight here. I could probably pick it up pretty cheap, and am fairly mechanically savvy to change out the pump. I'm guessing overheat may have come into play (how else would you know the water pump was bad), so would a standard compression check show any warpage of the block, etc.


  2. #2
    ripcuda's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Newman Lake, WA
    Hi Kris,

    I have an MSX 150... and have rebuilt a few of these engines recently. First things first... everything about these engines is expensive. And there are a number of common failure points that are expensive to fix. And you'll have to do your own work... which sounds like your okay with.

    The common waterpump "failure" is when the plastic gear that drives the waterpump breaks. This happened on my ski. It is a poor design. One that Weber updated to an all metal gear in their later versions (not just the gear but counter-balance shaft, drive gear, and waterpump shaft). When this gear breaks the waterpump stops spinning and the engine overheats. On my ski... it overheated bad enough to warp the block (aluminum open-deck block) and compression went to crap. This is where it gets expensive. Gotta get a new block or have warped block sleeved (~$1k).

    Also... it is very common to have nicasil plating failure in these engines. This plating flakes off in the cylinder and compression goes to crap. This requires a block sleeving or replating... also expensive.

    If I were you... I'd absolutely NOT buy the ski without first doing a compression test. Bring your own battery... or you'll get there and the seller will be like... "sorry my battery's dead"... and you won't be able to do it. Have seller start it first (always in reverse out of water) and see if it'll start and idle (1550 rpms). Only idle for 20 seconds or so then shut it off. I'd then pull oil tank dipstick, wipe, insert (don't screw it in), pull and read. You want to see the oil somewhere on the stick at the MIN mark or below. Above this and it's too full for a cold engine that's only idled for 20 secs... and likely means the level has always been too full and likely has oil ingestion issues = bad. Next, I'd pull the plugs and do a compression test. You want to see 125# or better in each. Less than that and something is bad... either warped block or nicasil failing. Either way... it's going to get expensive. You can't just buy piston rings... gotta buy the whole piston assembly to get new rings ($150 each). And headgaskets are $70. It adds up very fast.

    If compression was down... I'd walk away. Unless you got $2k to drop in it to fix it "right" with some needed upgrades.

    Oh... and you will have to pull the engine to replace the broken plastic waterpump drive gear. No way around it.

    So give it some serious thought.


  3. #3
    Thanks for the info!

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