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  1. #1

    Question Advice on my new 96 Yamaha Wave Runner III

    Hello,

    I am a proud new owner of a 1996 Yamaha WRA650U Wave Runner III. Iím brand new to this forum and I thought I would ask for some advice on my new toy since there are lots of knowledgeable people in this forum. Iím planning to take it out to a reservoir for the 4th of July weekend and I want to make sure it doesnít breakdown and runs optimally.

    The previous owner told me that the last time it was used was summer of 2007. He also indicated that they replaced the prop and battery last summer. Beyond that I have no other history on wave runner. When I inspected the engine compartment I was amazed at how clean the engine looked. The only thing I noticed that needed to be replaced was the spark plugs. I purchased new plugs and made sure to get the same ones thatís print on the engine NGK BR8HS.

    I donít have the owner or repair manual for the Wave Runner so I search the Internet for the correct gapping of the spark plugs. From what I can tell the spark plug gap should be .024 but Iím not 100% sure so maybe somebody can confirm this for me? I have a 650cc 2-stroke Yamaha engine.

    The oil tank had plenty of 2-cycle outboard oil but I purchased extra just in case we need it during our trip. I filled the wave runner up with high octane (92) unleaded. The previous owner suggested I put high octane gas in it, but my question to everyone is does it make a noticeable difference?

    After changing the spark plugs and filling it up with gas we took it out for a test run. I first put it in the lake and inspected it for leaks. No leaks were observed so I took it for a 15 minute test drive at full-throttle. Few things I noticed during the test drive. It never stalled but it seemed to run a slightly rough, maybe I need to adjust the carburetor or regap plugs? If so does anyone have any advice to give about this? Also when I took sharp turns it didnít seem to respond as well as I expected, not sure if itís just the way it was designed or if there is something that needs to be replaced or adjusted.

    For the most part it drove and handled quite well considering it an older inexpensive wave runner for our family. Before we head out the end of this weekend with it, does anyone recommend any minor tweaks, standard maintenance or enhancements I can make to make it run better?

    And down the road if I wanted to increase speed and/or handling are there any inexpensive (under $200) upgrades that I can do?

    Thanks,
    Scott


  2. #2
    Paradise rider aruba yamaha's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Congrats on your purchase and welcome to the sport itself.
    You bought an craft that with proper maintaince will give you a lot of years fun. We used to rent those crafts and it was the best fleet we ever had. The yamaha 650 engine seems bulletproof. As for the rough on the top it can be an carb adjustment or mabye even the need for an rebuild. The rebuild kit is cheap and it is easy to do within an hour or so. As for the spark plugs, personally I never saw an increasement is speed or response. I used to run BR7HS ( a little hotter) in mine without problems. I would recommend to you to ditch the oil injection system. especially for a craft 12 years old. Buy a block off plate ( about $10) and run pre mix (40:1) Trust me you don't want the oil pump to fail since it destroyes the engine. As for the premium gas it's a waste of money. As long you don't use a high compression head, pipe etc it's not neccesary. About you turning problem. Check the steering cable if it's in good shape. If it is, then you may need to adjust it a little. Altough don't forget that the WR III is a cruiser and not an race ready machine. For more speed I would to replace the intake grate for better hookup and the rideplate for better traction in the water. I believe pro tec still sells them. You can also check on E bay for an riva pipe. They used to make good power for those machines in the day. Also for looks and better grip I would replace the mats and put an hydro turf mat on it. I wish the best of luck with your new toy and let us know how it worked out.

    Brian
    Last edited by aruba yamaha; 06-30-2008 at 05:49 PM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by aruba yamaha View Post
    Hi,

    Congrats on your purchase and welcome to the sport itself.
    You bought an craft that with proper maintaince will give you a lot of years fun. We used to rent those crafts and it was the best fleet we ever had. The yamaha 650 engine seems bulletproof. As for the rough on the top it can be an carb adjustment or mabye even the need for an rebuild. The rebuild kit is cheap and it is easy to do within an hour or so. As for the spark plugs, personally I never saw an increasement is speed or response. I used to run BR7HS ( a little hotter) in mine without problems. I would recommend to you to ditch the oil injection system. especially for a craft 12 years old. Buy a block off plate ( about $10) and run pre mix (40:1) Trust me you don't want the oil pump to fail since it destroyes the engine. As for the premium gas it's a waste of money. As long you don't use a high compression head, pipe etc it's not neccesary. About you turning problem. Check the steering cable if it's in good shape. If it is, then you may need to adjust it a little. Altough don't forget that the WR III is a cruiser and not an race ready machine. For more speed I would to replace the intake grate for better hookup and the rideplate for better traction in the water. I believe pro tec still sells them. You can also check on E bay for an riva pipe. They used to make good power for those machines in the day. Also for looks and better grip I would replace the mats and put an hydro turf mat on it. I wish the best of luck with your new toy and let us know how it worked out.

    Brian
    Brian,
    I really appreciate the detailed response it was quite useful. I do have some additional questions from what you mentioned.

    Question 1:
    Do you know of a place where I can purchase this block off plate you are referring to?

    Question 2:
    Is this the intake grade you are talking about? http://www.pro-tecperformance.com/intakegrates.htm

    Question 3:
    Is this the ride plate you are talking about? http://www.pro-tecperformance.com/rideplates.htm

    Question 4:
    What exactly is a Riva Pipe? Can you point me to the manufacturer website or where a place on the web that sells them that fit on my wave runner?

    Question 5:
    What is the typical top speed on the Wave Runner III? I was told they do around 38-40mph on glass at full throttle with somebody weighing around 100-160lb.

    Thanks,
    Scott

  4. #4
    Paradise rider aruba yamaha's Avatar
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    You hit the right website about the rideplate. The Pro Tec intake grate ain't bad, but I would buy an R&D Aquavein intake grate. I do do my riding in the occean with very choppy water so I have always good results with their product. It's shaves mabye a little on the top speed, but gives you so much better hook up and control in the water. this their link: http://www.rd-performance.com/catalo...Scoop%20Grates.
    I assume that you ride in a lake so mabye the protec grate will do for you. You can order all of these parts, including the block off plate for the oil injection, on www.atlanticjetsports.com The owner of the place (Jim Polmico) give you a great service and can help you out with any question you may have. Regarding the Riva pipe, sadley they don't make them anymore, but you can find them easly on E-Bay. I don't remember that factory pipe made a pipe for you craft in the past, as they are the best you can get. Also check their website at www.factorypipe.com. To buy one of those I refer you also to E-Bay. You said before that the previous owner replaced the impeller last summer. Check out what brand it is. If you got an solas you'll on the right track.
    The top speed you mentioned is correct. This is what Group K gave on their website:

    633 WVRNR 3 Stock: 34.7 mph Sleeper: 42.1 mph 658 sleeper kit: 44.2 mph hamer96: 45.2 mph

    . Remember you don't got a race oriented hull, but they where fun to ride and I, at least, had a blast with them in the days. There a lot of mods you can do on the engine to make it fast. Not as fast of what is offerd today, but still to have a good time with them. You can also check group K for info about mods. www.groupk.com Hope this helps you out. By the way it's nice to see old school craft being used today. I own an 1996 sea doo XP 800 that I picked up two weeks ago in almost showroom condition. The newer craft are great, no doubt about it, but it becomes harder for the at home mechanic to work on them since they got so much electricial stuff on them. What you can do too is buy an 701 engine. It fits right in. It uses the same carb, pipe and electricial. You can get them for a good price on E Bay. Let me know how it all worked out. By the way, who needs a cupholder on their craft. Get on the water and have fun !!
    Last edited by aruba yamaha; 07-02-2008 at 06:33 PM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by aruba yamaha View Post
    You hit the right website about the rideplate. The Pro Tec intake grate ain't bad, but I would buy an R&D Aquavein intake grate. I do do my riding in the occean with very choppy water so I have always good results with their product. It's shaves mabye a little on the top speed, but gives you so much better hook up and control in the water. this their link: http://www.rd-performance.com/catalo...Scoop%20Grates.
    I assume that you ride in a lake so mabye the protec grate will do for you. You can order all of these parts, including the block off plate for the oil injection, on www.atlanticjetsports.com The owner of the place (Jim Polmico) give you a great service and can help you out with any question you may have. Regarding the Riva pipe, sadley they don't make them anymore, but you can find them easly on E-Bay. I don't remember that factory pipe made a pipe for you craft in the past, as they are the best you can get. Also check their website at www.factorypipe.com. To buy one of those I refer you also to E-Bay. You said before that the previous owner replaced the impeller last summer. Check out what brand it is. If you got an solas you'll on the right track.
    The top speed you mentioned is correct. This is what Group K gave on their website:

    633 WVRNR 3 Stock: 34.7 mph Sleeper: 42.1 mph 658 sleeper kit: 44.2 mph hamer96: 45.2 mph

    . Remember you don't got a race oriented hull, but they where fun to ride and I, at least, had a blast with them in the days. There a lot of mods you can do on the engine to make it fast. Not as fast of what is offerd today, but still to have a good time with them. You can also check group K for info about mods. www.groupk.com Hope this helps you out. By the way it's nice to see old school craft being used today. I own an 1996 sea doo XP 800 that I picked up two weeks ago in almost showroom condition. The newer craft are great, no doubt about it, but it becomes harder for the at home mechanic to work on them since they got so much electricial stuff on them. What you can do too is buy an 701 engine. It fits right in. It uses the same carb, pipe and electricial. You can get them for a good price on E Bay. Let me know how it all worked out. By the way, who needs a cupholder on their craft. Get on the water and have fun !!
    Again thank you so much for this information very helpful to me. They install a stock impeller and I was thinking about picking up one of those solas off eBay the quesiton is how difficult is it to swap out a impeller? And there are different types of solas impeller which one is the best for lakes?

    I don't think I want to touch the engine right now, but the other things look like a good investment for this summer. Maybe during the winter if I really want to I can upgrade to 701 engine and get a few goodies if its not too expensive. I don't mine putting $600-$700 if I can get another 10mph out of it. I'll keep an eye out on eBay for goodies for the Waverunner maybe I can find some good deals.

    Thanks again,
    Scott

  6. #6
    Paradise rider aruba yamaha's Avatar
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    Strange that they placed an stock impeller since the aftermarket is cheaper and performs better. For you craft you can use the IJK series from solas. This is what solas recommends

    Wave Runner III91-96
    YB-SC-S(14-17)stock
    YB-SC-I(14.5-18 )limited
    YB-SC-J(14.7-18.5)modified

    Stock speaks for itself.
    Limited is an milled head, pipe, waterbox and an flame arrestor (airfilter)
    modified is the same like limited but with an exotic carb setup, ported cylinders high compression race head. You should think about racegas. I don't believe that you want a setup like this tough. It's a full blown race engine where speed is everything and reliablity is lost. I'll use the YB-SC-S (14-17) impeller. To swap the impeller isn't a big deal to do, but if you never done it, let someone who knows do it. All you really need is and driveshaft holder and a impeller wrench, that most of the manufactors will give for free with the impeller. The basic tools, ratchet and socketset is neccesary to remove the pump from the hull. Try this link to download the service manual. http://greenhulk.net/forums/showthread.php?t=9546
    Hope this helps you out.

    Brian
    Last edited by aruba yamaha; 07-07-2008 at 02:12 PM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by aruba yamaha View Post
    Strange that they placed an stock impeller since the aftermarket is cheaper and performs better. For you craft you can use the IJK series from solas. This is what solas recommends

    Wave Runner III91-96
    YB-SC-S(14-17)stock
    YB-SC-I(14.5-18 )limited
    YB-SC-J(14.7-18.5)modified

    Stock speaks for itself.
    Limited is an milled head, pipe, waterbox and an flame arrestor (airfilter)
    modified is the same like limited but with an exotic carb setup, ported cylinders high compression race head. You should think about racegas. I don't believe that you want a setup like this tough. It's a full blown race engine where speed is everything and reliablity is lost. I'll use the YB-SC-S (14-17) impeller. To swap the impeller isn't a big deal to do, but if you never done it, let someone who knows do it. All you really need is and driveshaft holder and a impeller wrench, that most of the manufactors will give for free with the impeller. The basic tools, ratchet and socketset is neccesary to remove the pump from the hull. Try this link to download the service manual. http://greenhulk.net/forums/showthread.php?t=9546
    Hope this helps you out.

    Brian
    I just ordered the Pro Tec ride plate and grate and I'm working on purchasing the YB-SC-S impeller if I can find a cheap deal on one. Another question do you know if anybody sells an aftermarket mirror you can add to it so I don't have to turn my neck when I'm pulling a tube?

  8. #8

    My 1990 WRIII 650...

    Congrats on the purchase. My reply may be a bit too late for you, but I wanted to comment on the top-speed thing. I am not sure how modified my ski is, but it's top speed crushes every other ski around me on the river. People who were lying and said their ski does "70" were left in my wake. No boat was able to catch me (until today.) Mind you, I am 285lbs. The ski performed the same with my daughter on with me. My ski needs a paint job, has a home-made seat (although looks some-what professional,) and little pieces of floaty noodles in place where the speedometer and Tachometer would be. I know, ugly, but it performs, and I love it.

    Gas, I have found out (on my ski today,) makes a HUGE difference. I could not hit the top end power band at all. (Besides the collage of other issues I have been dealing with,) I have brushed off today's performance to lower-octane fuel.

    I bought mine in Sept. of 2009. Seat was eaten by dogs, and I was told it runs Great and the owner (10 years prior) was prepping it for racing. Engine was Bored out (Supposedly,) K&N racing air filter, chrome (can't remember the name) exhaust, Stainless prop, big ugly green ride plate, Mikunni Super BN48 carb, etc. I am not sure how much is non-stock, but the jet flies (now.) I spent many months getting it running. had to rebuild carb, replace all lines, plugs, wiring, needles, springs, etc, but spent less than $100.00 total. I feel I am close to being a master mechanic on it. Yesterday, I somehow got a 1"x.75" piece of metal stuck in the reed valves. I Could not find any place inside or out it could have come from. Their were numbers on the piece (M89 or something.)

    Anyway, long story short, Gas makes an enormous difference on my ski, and testing the theory on my neighbors tomorrow. His has yet to hit Top end power band, but is extremely impressed with my ski. We clocked him in the water yesterday doing 42mph (est.) Everyone still agreed that his ski is way slow in comparison. Shouldn't a WR500 have a power band? Does everyone else's WRIII 650 have an insane power band?
    I do not know how common my scenario is, but after I plane off, if I let the throttle out to 1/2, the ski takes off, and I can pull it all of the way open, almost throwing me off (yeah, all 285lbs of me.) Nothing catches it after it takes off. Without the power band (like today,) I can only top off at 38-40 mph, as it runs identical to my neighbors... response is like "yay..." but not really all that fun. With the power band, the ski is just totally addictive.

    I will make a post tomorrow after adding OCT boost to the gas and let you know the difference. I already know what the outcome is. I do not know if it were bad or not, but when I first began testing/riding, I used 93 + oct boost.

    Do not plan to go ski. Your day will be ruined (in my opinion.) Plan to work on it in the water; bring tools. You will need to adjust your hi/low adjuster (with new plugs.) Follow the manual on Mikuni's web site. (Again, I am not sure if the Super BN48 carb is stock or not.)

    Have fun! I hit 3 feet of air for the first time today (even without power band.)

    I really am impressed with my WR 650. I see these huge, macked out skis dilly dallying all around me, look 2 and 3 times as big as mine, all prettied up...but they can't hang when my power band hits. It reminds me that numbers don't mean all that much. If my 650 dusts the 1300's and such, then it's more number-marketing than actual power.

    Any comments on why my ski is so fast? Let me know, as I am still a newbie. I must say that I work on it daily, and love to do so. I want to find more, buy them, and build a fleet. They are cheap (got mine for $300.00) and see them on Craig's list daily. I love how they really take little money, other than gas and oil. It may just be my current experience though. I took it from not running at all to Holy $*&#!

    Thanks for reading.

  9. #9

    Yamaha WaveRunnerIII

    Hey!,

    I recently started renting a beach house (surprisingly cheap too) and by the fence there is a 96' Yamaha WaveRunnerIII 650. It apparently hasn't been used for a few years but I want to get it

    running. I took the seat off and there is a battery so I took a look at the engine and its perfect! Completely clean, the gas tank should be cleaned as well as the oil tank. Along with needing an oil

    change and some new gas I'm thinking of putting it it in the lake soon! But first i have one question, should I check some other things on it? Just in case it might need some new spark plugs or

    something? (Also I'm new to using jet-skis I know how to drive them and stuff I just don't know crap about the engine and fixing it.)

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