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  1. #1

    96 sea-doo challenger impeller problem?

    Hello everyone,
    I purchused my first sea-doo put it in the water and somthing doesn't seem right. I'll try to be quick with my problem.. Put it in the water and it struggles to get out on acceleration, engine runs good lots of rpm 6000-7000 all the time revs hard no laging. Once i'm above the water it goes good but I have to keep it wide open to keep any momentom. After some research I attributed it to be the wear ring or impeller. I am mechanically inclined so i removed impeller housing as per instruction manual but the wear ring doesn't look bad, no nicks or chunks missing, clearance .015 and impeller has a couple dings and edges are beveled alittle but nothing that I would call serious, back lash is .040?? The only other thing is when i pulled the cone off for the oil pump there was only alittle oil that drained out maybe 3-4 tablespoons i'm wondering if that isn't my problem doesn't that have somthing to do with the impeller or am i incorrect. Any help would be great before i start throwing parts at it, thanks for your time..

  2. #2
    i have a 96 speedster twin and it was also my first jetboat i had the same problem at first it was very sluggish out the water but ran good top end and i looked at the impellors and wear ring too and found nothing but at the same time i also went through and did a tune up , cleaned the carbs, and all (4) fuel filters and other little maintanace items and after that my low end sluggishness went alway ..... also i found out these boat are very picky about weight placement ... two people is no problem in the rear seat but if you add a third or fourth it is better to have one sit in the very front (the o so comfy seat ) .... just a few suggestions maybe they will help

  3. #3


    If wear ring and impeller are healthy and in spec, you need to look at
    maybe resealing the ride plate and pump, and engine alignment/carbon ring condition.
    There are only so many places that pump can leak, causing what you describe. Good Luck!

  4. #4
    cyoungesq's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Bridgeport, CT
    hard to believe that you've got difficulty getting & staying on plane with those rpms going to the impeller. If you can rip up to 7k no issue, then what else could it be than cavitation caused by leaking shaft seal, pump/plate seal, or damaged impeller or worn ring? Dings and beveled edges on your impeller sounds like the cause of at least some of the problem.

    Dunno about the oil ... I thought there was supposed to be grease in the cone.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    St Clair Shores, MI
    sea-doos run oil in the pump and that oil has to be changed at least once a year, the manual probably says twice a year.

    I didn't change it, got water in one, eventually wore the step off the shaft that holds the impeller, the impeller slid forward and started chewing on the hull.

    That was about the time the warranty expired (98 challenger 1800, many years ago now) so i figured out how to fix it myself. Cost a few hundred bucks in parts and stank up the garage with that damn oil.

    I don't know if that's your cavitation problem or not. Before it went, we'd get a nasty metal on metal screeching on startup that went away after a minute, and that motor seemed to contribute a little less to getting us moving.

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