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  1. #1

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    New to ski's but keen to give it a go! MSX 150

    Hi Guys,

    Firstly, a big thank you for this forum! It's already been quite helpful.

    A mate of a mate has a MSX 150 unfinished project that I'm contemplating buying and (hopefully) finishing. The ski has 70 odd hours on it, a new seat, new trailer and is in perfect visual condition, and I mean perfect. He's rebuilt the engine but hasn't yet fixed the turbo. Apparently it's got warn bushes, scouring on the mouth of the compressor and a broken turbine shaft so it's basically cactus. The guy is a mechanic and has been working on it as a hobby and now his Mrs wants babies and the ski has to go!
    He's asking for $2600 AUD (about $2500 USD) which sounds about right but I have concerns I might be biting off more than I can chew. After spending many hours reading this forum I'm led to believe that as long as you keep up the maintenance the MSX 150 can be quite reliable.

    With all that in mind I guess my first question is.... should I buy it?

    I've been working on Cars, 4x4's and motorbikes since I was a kid and I love the idea of getting my hands dirty on something a little different but I have concerns after a bloke from Gold Coast Polaris warned me off this particular model. Any help/advice you could give would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers
    Matt


  2. #2
    BlueFishCrisis's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Hulk! I am sure someone with MSX experience will chime in shortly....

  3. #3
    ripcuda's Avatar
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    Welcome to GH!

    The MSX 110 (lil bro) and MSX 150 are one year wonders... 2004 only. They are the only Polaris 4-stroke skis and have a german-made Weber built, twin cylinder, 750cc, turbocharged engine. Polaris got out of the PWC biz after 2004, so there were no follow-up years to fix/improve/perfect the MSX-110/150 skis. That said... the same engine (w/ slight differences) was used in a number of Polaris snowmobiles after '04 and other manufactured watercraft (Hydrospace).

    Plan to work on the ski yourself. There are very few Polaris dealers who will even bother with them anymore. They require the dealer-only Polaris Digital Wrench (DW) diagnostic software and a specal MSX-specific wire harness connector to read and reset the trouble codes. While Polaris dealers still use DW... hardly any have the MSX-specific connector anymore.

    New parts are still available... though tend to be pricey. There are a few Weber specific parts houses. Randy at WeberPower being a great one. There are usually a few parted out on fleabay as well when looking for used parts... used parts are very pricey too.

    Likewise, with so few sold/left... there is a pretty small online knowledge base for these skis. Basically what you find here in the 'MSX/Matrix' section. But there should be enough if you decide to make a go at it.

    That all said... I wouldn't pay $2500 for a non-running, bad-turbo one. A new turbo is not cheap... so factor that in.

    What was done to the "rebuild" that your friend did? I've rebuilt many Webers myself. Why was it rebuilt? Nicasil plating failure (very common)? Overheated? Blown headgasket?

    What is the compression on the engine? That's an important thing to know. Nicasil failure will cost $1000 minimum to fix right.

    Food for thought...

    Cheers!

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Welcome

    There is also some MSX 150 related info via my signature links.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the replies and all of that information.... even though I chose to ignore it :P

    I went ahead it bought the thing yesterday after spending the weekend moving other project vehicles around to make room... my god it is HUGE! I'm going to build a jig to mount everything to outside of the ski this week so I can study the mechanics of it.

    When he originally bought the ski it had a stuffed turbo and the only reason he had the engine rebuilt was a fear of a ticking time bomb. The rebuild was basically just new pistons, rings, bearings, head gasket etc, no machine work. He had both the bore and the head inspected for wear and it all checked out within tolerances. Compression is about 130 on both cylinders and it all seems to be in pretty good nick.

    To be honest, I like the idea of a rareish ski as I usually come up with my best workarounds when I can't find parts, I'm looking forward to the challenge and again, a big thank you for the information.

    Cheers
    Matt

  6. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Well, I expect we shall be hearing more from you as the project proceeds.

    Just to make it a little easier for us, please update your Profile so we don't have to remember where you are located. Add any other info you feel comfortable sharing, such as the watercraft model

  7. #7
    Banned User
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    You will love the ride when you get it running.

  8. #8

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  9. #9
    ripcuda's Avatar
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    Well... can't say we didn't warn you! haha!

    At least your starting with a known good engine block. 130# compression is good plus a rebuilt engine is nice.

    If it's a keeper... and you want to make your Weber MSX "bullet proof" (insert joke here)... you should consider the following:

    - remove the emission recirc hose from oil separator (cyclone) to airbox and plumb cyclone off to a catch can. This hose will suck oil vapor, foamed oil and gunk back through turbo and coat the intake tract (especially bad on rollovers or water in oil foaming). This is a PITA to clean and fix.

    - upgrade the oil tank to the new plastic (lighter) version that has a better oil separator built-in. Old ones fail and leak water into the oil... causing foaming and lots of issues.

    - get rid of the plastic water pump drive gear... these are common fail points. To upgrade to 2nd gen parts... you need the counter balance shaft, the metal water pump drive gear and the matching water pump shaft (plus new water pump shaft seal kit). This upgrade requires splitting the block to put the counter balance shaft in... so pretty involved.

    - Precision Sports ECU Stage2 reflash. Not only does this give you more boost... higher rev limit... thus more power. It also remaps the overly rich fuel maps that are excessively rich at idle and low rpms (for attempted cooling) that contribute to premature Nicasil plating failure.


    Best of luck to ya... we would love to hear how your project goes!

    Cheers!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Brisbane, Australia
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    I definitely want to do a LOT of upgrades but considering this is my first ski I'd rather get it together and running standard first to gain a proper understanding of the intricacies of this beast. Saying that, I don't think I've ever owned a vehicle that I've kept standard for long!

    Time to create a build thread methinks!

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