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  1. #1

    1996 SLT700 Water leak problem

    Had the ski out a couple of weeks ago for the first time this year. Pulled the seat back just to check things out while riding and noticed water coming from the exhaust manifold and exhaust port on the magneto end. Assumed it was a bad gasket, so after some not so kind mutterings towards Polaris engineers while removing the exhaust pipe and manifold, then breaking one of the exhaust manifold bolts, causing me to remove the engine, I replaced the gaskets, torqued all bolts to spec and still had a leak. I had a spare manifold and pipe (checked for blockages before installing) so I installed them and still had a leak. Checked the rest of my lines and water manifold and all are clear. I removed the thermostat and I "think" I still have a very minor leak but not 100% sure as I have a little water in the hull from inspecting things, pulling hoses, etc. and water could have splashed up. Is it possible that the exhaust port on the cylinder wall is cracked? I inspected it while the engine was out but could not see anything. Other than that engine runs great even with the thermostat out. Any suggestions are welcome.


  2. #2
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    Chances are that by removing the thermostat, you reduced water pressure in the cooling system, and thats why your leak seems lesser. I would closely inspect the cylinder and the manifold where the 2 surfaces join. Make sure there are no cracks or and burrs that may not allow the gasket to seal properly. My other thought is that the cylinders may not be aligned properly. When assembling an engine, you have to attach the exhaust manifold to both cylinders before torquing down the cylinder base nuts, to ensure that the manifold bolts up tight to both cylinders.

  3. #3
    Yes I figured removing the T-stat would do that. Engine has not been disassembled in 13-15 years. Any real harm in running without the t-stat?

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vwztips View Post
    Yes I figured removing the T-stat would do that. Engine has not been disassembled in 13-15 years. Any real harm in running without the t-stat?
    Yes, if you don't fix the actual water leak.

    Fix the core problem, regardless of the thermostat.

    As discussed in other threads, the thermostat is considered optional by some owners.

    My own perspective is that a working thermostat and adjacent pressure bypass valve helps maintain an optimal minimum engine temperature and avoids over cooling during low speed operation.

  5. #5
    Thanks K447. Yes I want to fix the leak for sure and I like for the factory installed items function as designed.

    My main question is, were there any common issues with the cylnder exhaust port cracking or leaking?

  6. #6
    BlueFishCrisis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vwztips View Post
    Thanks K447. Yes I want to fix the leak for sure and I like for the factory installed items function as designed.

    My main question is, were there any common issues with the cylnder exhaust port cracking or leaking?
    I tend to agree with the last half of bryans comments. If the cylinders aren't properly aligned, the manifold will not bolt up correctly and it will leak......

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by vwztips View Post
    Thanks K447. Yes I want to fix the leak for sure and I like for the factory installed items function as designed.

    My main question is, were there any common issues with the cylnder exhaust port cracking or leaking?

    None that I have heard of here.

  8. #8
    So is it possible to slightly loosen both cylinders enough to bolt up the exhaust manifold to hopefully self-align and then re-torque the cylinder nuts or do I have to pull the cylinders, put in new gaskets, and reset cylinders to manifold?

    I know the anal retentive answer is the latter but.......

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