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  1. #1

    New to PWC's, New to Polaris'

    Hey guys, this afternoon I picked up my first PWC, or rather my first two. I only wanted one, but it came with another ski and a double trailer. I got a 1990 Yamaha waverunner 500 and a 1995 Polaris sl650. The Polaris is in fair shape cosmetically and runs pretty strong, but it has a tough time starting up and takes some serious finesse to get it started, it also doesn't idle well, it needs to have gas when not moving. I got such a good deal on the two skis and trailer that I couldn't pass it up (the Yamaha runs flawlessly and the trailer is a 2006.) I'm dropping it off in the morning at the local cycle and ski shop out here to give them both a full tune up. Is there anything I should look out for? I'm considering flipping them in the next few weeks and picking up a 2000 or so Seadoo, but the Polaris seems much lighter and more agile than my buddy's '98 Seadoo GTX I usually ride. Any input or advice would be great, guys!

    Thanks,

    Eric


  2. #2
    ph2ocraft's Avatar
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    ERIC, WELCOME to the Green Hulk Forums.

    Read up on the lean running issues, hoses kinking over, fuel valves, pumps etc. More than likely solving those issues will take care of the hard start/poor running condition.

  3. #3
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Green Hulk!

    This is THE place online for PWC information and people, Polaris and the other brands.

    There are a number of common things that need to be looked at or updated on these early Polaris PWC. Your SL650 has a Fuji engine, which can be very reliable, IF the proper maintenance is done BEFORE you cause major engine damage.

    You are on the right track having them serviced before riding the SL650.

    Do some searching on here regarding the Fuji engined models (650, 750, 780). Common issues include;

    - Replacing ALL the fuel lines, including those inside the fuel tank.

    - Upgrading the fuel pump to a newer triple outlet design. Low fuel pressure, or inadequate fuel delivery, is the number one way to damage these things.

    - If there is one installed, remove and discard the auto-cock device beside the old fuel pump.

    - Clean and/or rebuild the carburetors. They get gummed up over time, and may not be able to deliver enough fuel at wide open throttle to keep the engine running without damage. Surprisingly, the PWC can seem to be running just fine, when in fact it is right on the edge of self destruction.

    - Make sure you are not running old gasoline. Gas starts degrading within a month or two, so last year's gas is no good.

    - Buy a new, high quality battery (I like the AGM type batteries myself). Save yourself some possible grief, and just have a really good battery in there. Lots of others wished they had done that up front, rather than wasting time later trying to figure out what was causing trouble.

    - Check, or even better, remove, clean and reconnect the connections for the heavy battery cables, at both ends of both cables.

    - Make sure all the bolts and clamps throughout the engine area (and the rest of the machine) are tight, and that nothing is loose or swinging around when it shouldn't be.

    You can download the 1992-1998 Polaris Service Manual here.

    I am sure there are some other common things to check or fix. Do some searching and reading.

    There are a good number of riders here who like the light weight and nimble handling of the early Polaris PWC. The SL650 is not the fastest thing on the water, but they are inexpensive to own, provided you take care of the maintenance issues.

    Quite a lot of the above would apply to other PWC brands as well, especially the older carbureted models.

    If you do decide to sell your current fleet and buy something newer, Polaris did make a nice range of products, right up to modern fuel injected 2-stroke (I have three) and turbo-charged 4-stroke machines (1999-2004 model range).

    Pictures of the newer Polaris models.
    Last edited by K447; 07-07-2008 at 11:40 PM. Reason: Remove auto-cock device

  4. #4
    Moderator RX951's Avatar
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    welcome to the forum

  5. #5
    Thanks guys! I'm not sure what all they'll do at the shop, but I'll let them know to do that stuff. Any clue on how much all of that would cost?

  6. #6
    She likes the bike. But the ski gets her wet!!!! xlint89's Avatar
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    Service costs are outrageous. (usually around $50 + a hr)

    Do yourself a favor and do most of it yourself. It's not hard and you'll save some $$$$, believe me......

  7. #7
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The1amradio View Post
    ...I'm not sure what all they'll do at the shop, but I'll let them know to do that stuff.
    Any clue on how much all of that would cost?
    If you would like to get comfortable working on your own PWC, one of these early Polaris models is not a bad place to get started. The machine is cheap to buy, parts are not expensive, and there are lots of used parts out there.

    Advice and guidance are here to help you along. If you do manage to cause damage, you aren't financially at risk for a whole lot of money.

    By 1995, Polaris had worked some of the early model kinks out (1992 was the first year). You have a modular jet pump in your 1995 SL650 (the 1992&1993 models did not), which gives fairly good performance, even with the modest 650 engine. Some modular jet pump parts are interchangeable right up to the 2004 models.

    And because they are reliable but not expensive, the early Polaris are good for yourself and others to learn on, and make beginner mistakes with. Running a $500 PWC onto some rocks, or scraping a dock, is way less painful than doing the same thing with a $5,000 PWC.

    You can have a lot of fun, and yet not worry so much about hurting yourself, when the top speed is well under 50mph

  8. #8
    SPEED KILLS, BUT YOU GET THERE QUICKER Keddano's Avatar
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    HIT THE BRAKES NOW! Do your wallet a big favor,Don't take it to a dealer. 99% of dealers don't know jack about a polaris.And will have no idea what needs to be done to one,unless they have personally owned and loved one. You'll find all the info you need to fix and get that ski running right here. The big question is..do you want to pay $85.00 a hour for some bonehead to try and figure out were to start to find info on the Polaris. Even if it's a Polaris dealer,do you think they still have a mecanic that was there before 2004 when they service them and still remembers the quirks?

    By the way Welcome

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    Digital clock

    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    Welcome to the Green Hulk!

    This is THE place online for PWC information and people, Polaris and the other brands.

    There are a number of common things that need to be looked at or updated on these early Polaris PWC. Your SL650 has a Fuji engine, which can be very reliable, IF the proper maintenance is done BEFORE you cause major engine damage.

    You are on the right track having them serviced before riding the SL650.

    Do some searching on here regarding the Fuji engined models (650, 750, 780). Common issues include;



    - Replacing ALL the fuel lines, including those inside the fuel tank.

    - Upgrading the fuel pump to a newer triple outlet design. Low fuel pressure, or inadequate fuel delivery, is the number one way to damage these things.

    - If there is one installed, remove and discard the auto-cock device beside the old fuel pump.

    - Clean and/or rebuild the carburetors. They get gummed up over time, and may not be able to deliver enough fuel at wide open throttle to keep the engine running without damage. Surprisingly, the PWC can seem to be running just fine, when in fact it is right on the edge of self destruction.

    - Make sure you are not running old gasoline. Gas starts degrading within a month or two, so last year's gas is no good.

    - Buy a new, high quality battery (I like the AGM type batteries myself). Save yourself some possible grief, and just have a really good battery in there. Lots of others wished they had done that up front, rather than wasting time later trying to figure out what was causing trouble.

    - Check, or even better, remove, clean and reconnect the connections for the heavy battery cables, at both ends of both cables.

    - Make sure all the bolts and clamps throughout the engine area (and the rest of the machine) are tight, and that nothing is loose or swinging around when it shouldn't be.

    You can download the 1992-1998 Polaris Service Manual here.

    I am sure there are some other common things to check or fix. Do some searching and reading.

    There are a good number of riders here who like the light weight and nimble handling of the early Polaris PWC. The SL650 is not the fastest thing on the water, but they are inexpensive to own, provided you take care of the maintenance issues.

    Quite a lot of the above would apply to other PWC brands as well, especially the older carbureted models.

    If you do decide to sell your current fleet and buy something newer, Polaris did make a nice range of products, right up to modern fuel injected 2-stroke (I have three) and turbo-charged 4-stroke machines (1999-2004 model range).

    Pictures of the newer Polaris models.
    Help i have a SLT750 but when the ski is turned off the digital clock stays on there is no ignition just a switch but even when i turn the switch off it stays on which means i have to disconnect the battery each time.
    I am in Belfast Northern Ireland so there is not to many places where i can get help or advice.This is my first ski and i dont want to mess about with it im sorry i dont know the year just thats its a 3 seater slt750 the guy i bought it from didnt even know the year.

  10. #10
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueboy557 View Post
    ...SLT750 but when the ski is turned off the digital clock stays on there is no ignition just a switch but even when i turn the switch off it stays on which means i have to disconnect the battery each time.

    I am in Belfast Northern Ireland so there is not to many places where i can get help or advice. This is my first ski and I don't want to mess about with it
    I'm sorry I don't know the year just thats its a 3 seater SLT750...
    Welcome to the Hulk.

    I suggest you start your own thread in the General Discussion forum, and we can guide you along from there.

    Look at the HIN number plate on the rear deck. The last two digits are the model year. Update your Profile with where you are, and what you have.

    Normally the MFD display continues to show some information (Clock, fuel & oil levels), even when it is 'sleeping'. Download the 1992-1998 Service Manual, it describes how the display should be working.

    Normally, a healthy and charged battery can keep the MFD running for several weeks. Longer than that, and you should disconnect the battery, or connect a battery maintainer (not just an automotive trickle charger) to keep the battery fully charged.

    Be sure you have a good quality and healthy battery - too many people have had problems using a marginal battery. I prefer the AGM type (Absorbed Glass Mat), which cost about $100 in the US, but are very reliable and a good choice for a PWC.

    Normally, when the engine is stopped, the LR voltage regulator inside the electrical box shuts down the accessory loads, and the battery power draw drops to near zero. Just the MFD display remains powered (but in 'sleep' mode after five minutes), and that is about it until you press the start button.

    You can add an aftermarket switch or remote control to fully disconnect the battery, and perhaps add a degree of security so that unauthorized persons cannot start the engine.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by K447; 07-10-2008 at 06:30 AM.

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