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  1. #1

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    May 2015
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    To rebuild or not to rebuild...

    Greetings all! First off, thank you for this forum. There is a ton of great information on here and much of that information influenced the purchase of a 96 and 97 SLX and SL 780 respectively last summer. Each ski boasted around 65 hours when I bought them and I only paid $3k for the pair on a nice Shoreland'r trailer so I'm not too deep into these money-wise.

    I blocked off and run premix in each ski. Otherwise they are stock.

    Last weekend, due to an apparent clog in one of the carbs, I seized a piston and snapped a connecting rod in the SLX. Expensive failure. I have looked around at what SBT has to offer from complete crate motors to parts to rebuild the crank. The crank case is sound as only the crank was damaged, the cylinders are fine (aside from needing a resleeve).

    My ideal situation is to find an original crank and rebuild my crank case, then resleeve, do a new top end and Mikuni rebuild and get it back on the water.

    So if you're in my shoes, what would you do? I'm in no huge rush, so time isn't really a factor. Also, as I said, I'm not buried in them cost-wise so I can probably justify the cash it will take to source the parts with about $1200 to 1500 being my budget, so at this point, I'm down to trying to decide if I source parts and rebuild, buy a crate (I have heard mixed reviews on the SBT crate), or keep it as a parts ski for my SL and go buy another mid-90s ski on the cheap.

    Thanks for reading and let me know your thoughts!


  2. #2
    Banned User
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    I think you would be better off rebuilding than buying another ski of that vintage. The supposedly running ski you buy might only last a few hours and blow up. You start fresh with a new motor, and you will know that with care it will be good for years to come.

    Where are you located? That may help us point you to shops that can do the machine/crank work for you. There may be other members local that could help you out with parts.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Matrix View Post
    I think you would be better off rebuilding than buying another ski of that vintage. The supposedly running ski you buy might only last a few hours and blow up. You start fresh with a new motor, and you will know that with care it will be good for years to come.

    Where are you located? That may help us point you to shops that can do the machine/crank work for you. There may be other members local that could help you out with parts.
    Thanks so much Mr. Matrix. That is what is so great about these forums.

    I am in Northern California and more specifically, greater Sacramento area. So far finding a shop to assemble the crankcase is where I'm having the most difficulty. I think I can do the rest of it.

    You made a good point with spending equal money for something that could go grenade on me just like this did and then i'm really set back. Sourcing parts now at almost 2AM on a Saturday.

  4. #4
    BlueFishCrisis's Avatar
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    If what you really need is a new crank and one cylinder/piston/head combo, I would go to SBT for the crank, and find a good used Cyl/piston/head combo on Ebay. That should run around $300 for the crank, $125 for the used cyl combo, and add $165 for a carb rebuild kit. Will need a gasket kit as well for around $90. Throw in $100 for misc parts, sealants, etc and you have a fresh motor and carbs for around $800.

  5. #5
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFishCrisis View Post
    ... carb rebuild kit.
    Will need a gasket kit as well for around $90.
    ... $100 for misc parts, sealants, etc ...
    I would recommend John Zigler for the genuine OEM carb rebuild kits.

    He can also supply many of the other things you will need.

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