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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Constructive Advice and Gotcha's of modding a ski

    most of us have been at it a while now, we have at the very least been through the fun of doing mods like the pump tunnel, ride plate, sponsons etc.. some of us have gone all out as well and done conversions, tripple pipe boats, big bores ported etc... oh the fun we all have but there is also heart break that comes with it to, heart break that is caused by mistakes and not the sort that you make on the water and nearly sink your ski and or break things which i have done twice of late ( dont ask)

    what i want to do is get everyone that has experience in the modding area to post one gotcha to be careful of when modding ones ski, it can be a saftey tip, a design tip, buying parts tips, build advice or any other type of pitfall to be wary of with an aim of creating a detailed thread of things to either be careful of, take into consideration or plain avoid like the plague when modding or building your ski.

    we have many veterans on this board and we are extremely lucky to have them as members so its very important to listen to these people when they speak as they know what they are talking about and for the most part (90%) of these tips are already on the board but not all in one thread making it hard to find them, yes we have a speed tips database on sticky in the performance section but i was thinking that perhaps we could have a thread detailing what i have just described above....

    if you think this is a good idea please post your tip in this thread.

    I will go first.

    Tip 1. Always plan your build/project in advance before you start buying anything, do it on paper or something and map it all out then revise it very closely ( a few times) and start researching what you have come up with. There are a few reasons i recommend this, one is it helps rationalize your project into steps as well as define a clear path towards your goal. It will also help you identify flaws in your approach or design and peer review will certainly help in this area. Best of all it will save from you wasting money on go slow mods and help/try to protect you from the heart break associated with failure and bad design. Identify what your real aim is, speed, handling, hookup etc... as part of this process and then base your project around meeting these aims by way of design. Also always remember the best results come from testing, testing and more testing and don't be afraid to follow the leaders, you need to make it to their level before you can exceed them

    Tip 2 . buy as much parts as possible second hand, on here or anywhere you can, it will save you a small fortune. Props are a very good example of this.

    Tip 3. Make sure you pressure test your motor when you assemble it. Do a search on this topic for reasons why its so important but in short a lean condition is no laughing matter.

  2. #2
    Moderator OsideBill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    United States
    Here is alittle thing I did when I was new to this sport that cost me dearly.

    • Read the instructions!
    I bought a primer kit for my 99 GP1200, being an intelligent guy I looked at the tee for the gas and said oh it should come off post of the filter so I don't get any crap in it. I installed it and it worked fine. Several months later I started modding the ski added Head, ignition, reeds and of course some big carbs. Went out and ran the ski and bang leaned out #1 cylinder. I took my cylinder to GroupK and they bored it and got me the piston I needed then started asking me questions about what I had done to the ski. I explained all the mods including the primer. He asked about the primer and I told him where I mounted it. Bingo he says wrong place, he also shows me two tees and asked which came with my kit, I pick the one that came with it and he shows me how small the through hole is in it. Yep cheap fitting with a small through hole. Moral of this story was #1 is the last carb to receive fuel in the carb rack so at wide open the restriction from the tee would not flow enough fuel and starved #1 carb and leaned it out. The instructions showed putting the tee in on the reserve line. I now also run dual fuel supply to all my carbed skis.

  3. #3
    mrbtd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Lindenhurst, Illinois, United States
    Do one thing at a time.

    Do one thing at a time.

    Do one thing at a time.

    Do one thing at a time.

  4. #4
    "Hustler" Inkaddict's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Look over everything 5 times before you move onto the next thing... I had motor out a year ago for some mods and upon putting it back together I put plastic plugs in the intake boots to keep dirt out... Upon reinstalling the motor I only removed 2 of those plugs ... (thanks Woody) Sometimes we get excited to take the next step in our build... Make sure youve checked over everything meticulously before moving onto the next thing!!! Its ALL about the little details!!!

  5. #5
    Moderator RX951's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    League City, Texas


    Quote Originally Posted by mrbtd View Post
    Do one thing at a time.

    Do one thing at a time.

    Do one thing at a time.

    Do one thing at a time.
    I echo dat.

    • also, don't shortcut anything. Do it right the first time.
    • Don't shortcut on gaskets for cheaper brands or reusing them on rebuilds. Stay with OEM.
    • Listen to the forum members when they give advice especially when they have made a mistake and are sharing their experience in fixing it. There is a reason it is called "advice"
    • Download the service manual for your PWC, it’s a very handy tool.
    • Follow all the required specs the service manual calls for.
    • Use good fuel and oil.
    • Go over your ski like a fine tooth comb. You should be able to know every bolt, nut, part on your ski over the period of a 1 year if you are doing a rebuild. Know your machine inside and out. Knowledge is power.
    • Be meticulous when doing tasks.
    • Use a good digital tach when tuning your boat.
    • Take care of your PWC. Keep it clean and do your preventative maintenance.
    • Don't be Afraid to ASK questions ! No question is dumb/stupid. PM or Post any question, it will get answered.
    • Read the How-To section of this forum
    • Read the Stickies in this forum
    • Use the advanced search feature of this forum
    • always install a bilge pump
    • always keep spare spark plugs on your PWC
    • always keep a small tool kit on your PWC
    • always follow the rules of you local waterways

  6. #6
    How about we have 2 separate categories, one for carb`d ski and one for EFI ski`s, seems alot of the perf threads are related to carb`d ski`s...

    ask questions
    and the polls posted are to provide mass responses to help aid in your plan...

  7. #7
    My son (mohawk man) jeffsntx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Belton TX
    I use a dry erase board in my garage that is divided into 2 columns. One column is for things to be done, and the other is for parts needed. When you get into a big project, it is VERY easy to get distracted and forget things.

  8. #8
    don't be afraid to ask questions. From the hull to the motor, know what you want out of the skis and what ares you will be frequent to. This helps you build an overall fun machine and not one that you only can enjoy for lakes.

    Always read about whatever mod you plan on doing before you jump into it. It's alot easier to understand what you are doing before you do it.

  9. #9
    Ramps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Myakka, FL

    Thumbs up My 2 Cents....

    Start your ski before you leave for the water, especially if you have far to travel. Also, bring a few tools with you; I knoe from first hand experience that you should carry a 10 and 12 mm wrench and also a plug wrench.. I forgot to tonighten my newly installed plugs got to the water and said ooppss...Had to ask several people if I could borrow a wrench...

  10. #10
    Everybody recommends wave eater clips. Website says take 5-10 min to install. Well on a 800 (at least the GP) you have to remove the exhaust manifold from the cylinders in order to get the PV covers off. This makes it a not so easy job.

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