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  1. #1

    Problems with the shop that rebuilt my engine

    Sorry that my first post here comes with a long negative story, but I thought it worth the read for others. I've been lurking here for a while but post on the PWC forum and TheMalibuCrew.

    Bare with me on this long story. I don't want to leave anything out.

    I bought a 99 Seadoo XPL late last August with engine problems. I took it to a guy that was recommended by word of mouth, Mike over at World Wind Motor Sports in Antioch IL.

    He called me up after looking at it and said there were 2 problems. The clamp on the pipe came loose so the exhaust was choking out the engine and the top end was making a pretty bad rattling noise. He told me it was now running better with the pipe fixed but will need a top end (and possibly bottom end) soon. Instead of waiting I decided to pay him to do a rebuild.

    I'm a fairly mechanical guy (recently rebuilt my own big block chevy) so I was interested to see it when it was apart. He told me to come by and showed me how the bottom end was going out and the piston skirts were really worn giving it the rattle. The deal was then $1700 to rebuild both the top and bottom end and he would warranty it for a year. I received the boat in October running well and started to break in the newly rebuilt engine. I ended up paying an extra $40 for a special gasket for the after market head that was on it.

    Got through 2 tanks in the beginning of this summer then the problems started. There ended up being water in the engine and I burned through a piston. I never rolled or sunk the thing. We came to the conclusion that because there was an after market head on it, water may have gotten in there. He said I should have noticed the water in there and brought it to him right away. I purchased a new head and new piston through Mike ($265), and he got it running for no charge (I tipped $35). I broke in the engine again.

    About 4 tanks through the boat the reeds went. At the same time we found the flame arrestors popped off and the boots torn. I asked if it was a back fire and Mike asked back if I heard anything. I didn't think so, but wasn't sure. He replaced the reeds ($140 for parts-replacing the existing carbon fiber reeds and gasket through him again) and I tipped $20.

    20 minutes into the next run... pop. Definitely heard a back fire and the engine is acting the same way it did when the reeds blew. I called him up and he said he's not working on it any more. He said "Go away. I'm not working on it any more"

    That's where I'm at. I've tried to be patient but Mike just isn't having any more of this engine he built. Throughout each step of the problem he's been complaining about the fact that there are after market parts on the engine. I have a tough time being sympathetic when he knew that going into the job. I understand he's done some work at little or no cost, but that's why a warranty exists.

    I personally think that I shouldn't have needed to pay for the parts that had problems, but was trying to work through the situation.

    I will say that he does work fast and I was almost never without the boat for more than a few days.

    There are a couple other things I saw and heard while at his shop (that have nothing to do with my boat) that reinforced the inevitable conclusion that happened. I can't say I didn't see it coming.

    I'm curious if anyone else has had any positive or negative experiences with World Wind Motor Sports in Antioch IL.


  2. #2
    steach's Avatar
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    Welcome to GH.

    I'm wondering, did you ask him to rebuild the engine or to "fix the ski" ?

    If you can tell me what color the fuel lines are (grey or black) I can help answer your question.

  3. #3
    The fuel lines are black, so not the old grey ones that cause problems.

    Once he fixed the pipe problem, I gave him the go ahead to rebuild the engine after we agreed on the price and warranty.

    This was the first ski I've ever purchased and was quite a novice going into this last year. Now, I've done a lot of research so I know more about what's going on but still don't understand why he hasn't backed up his warranty. Yes, there were aftermarket parts on the engine before he started the job, but he didn't even mention that at the time of our rebuild discussion. When putting the engine back together, he charged me an additional $40 for the aftermarket gasket (couple o-rings) he had to order for it. Outside of that he never mentioned the aftermarket head until there were problems.

    Once there were problems he said "That's your F*ing head and not my problem." To which I thought to myself, he never mentioned it earlier and saw the head before he took the job. I just don't get it. And one question about that. It's an R & D head. Does it only use 2 o-rings? No standard gasket?

    At this point I guess I will start working on it myself. I have some mechanical background (rebuilt 1 big block Chevy) and don't mind learning/researching. I'll start researching into going back to stock reeds. I don't need carbon fiber and they are too expensive to me. Can I just pick up used stock reeds and cage? Do I need any gaskets when replacing them? My main concern is the inconsistent back fire. Think it could be just bad plugs?

    I still have this old A/M head, but don't want to sell it to someone if it's going to cause water intrusion problems. Thoughts?

  4. #4
    suck my wake's Avatar
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    Jim I would dump that R&D head, they were junk on the 951's at least in my opinion, a milled stock head with the cooling mod would be better. There were a couple good aftermarket heads availible for that motor, don't know if any are still around though.... I had a 97 GSXL and an 01 XPL and had alot of motor work done, they can be tricky motors but honestly once you know them they aren't bad. Alot of guys stayed away from them because they were prone to a few issues and if you didn't know what you were doing with them you'd have an expensive mess on your hands. Do some research in the 2 stoke section, there used to be alot of helpful info on here........If you need any help ask away, I'll try to remember best I can....

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by suck my wake View Post
    Jim I would dump that R&D head, they were junk on the 951's at least in my opinion, a milled stock head with the cooling mod would be better. There were a couple good aftermarket heads availible for that motor, don't know if any are still around though.... I had a 97 GSXL and an 01 XPL and had alot of motor work done, they can be tricky motors but honestly once you know them they aren't bad. Alot of guys stayed away from them because they were prone to a few issues and if you didn't know what you were doing with them you'd have an expensive mess on your hands. Do some research in the 2 stoke section, there used to be alot of helpful info on here........If you need any help ask away, I'll try to remember best I can....
    Thanks for the feedback. I just looked at that AM head and It says RE on it, not R&D. It really doesn't matter to me now that I have a stock head on it. I'm not too interested in modding at the moment, just trying to get it running consistently. Any idea why it would backfire after about 20 minutes of riding? Could bad plugs do that?

    I'll be tearing it apart to at least replace the now broken reeds once I get some in. I'm also going to be going back to stock reeds. Carbon fiber is too expensive especially if I don't know what's causing it to backfire and may blow out another set.

  6. #6
    suck my wake's Avatar
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    Check out this link, lots of excellent info here http://www.greenhulk.net/forums/showthread.php?t=14242
    Your back fire could be a lean condition or bad reeds, I know you said you had them changed but that doesn't mean they didn't go bad. Your better off with the stock ones....

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by suck my wake View Post
    Check out this link, lots of excellent info here http://www.greenhulk.net/forums/showthread.php?t=14242
    Your back fire could be a lean condition or bad reeds, I know you said you had them changed but that doesn't mean they didn't go bad. Your better off with the stock ones....
    Thanks for the info. I've ordered some stuff to bring the ski back to stock. That means getting rid of the FAs, and carbon fiber reeds and putting on a stock air box. I'll change out the jets to the stock sizes and check pop off while I'm at it.

    Do I need to get a new carb to manifold gasket or can I reuse the old one if it's in good shape? Are there any other gaskets I'll run into when replacing the reeds?

    Thanks!

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