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Thread: Help: 96 SLX

  1. #1

    Help: 96 SLX

    Hi,

    I have a friend selling a 96 slx that is in good condition with a trailer. I am not familiar with polaris as I use to own a 2003 ultra 150 which i sold last year. How does this machine perform in the waves and surf? is it anywhere as fast as an ultra 150. Also are they reliable. He is looking to get about $800 for the ski and trailer. Opinions are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Mike


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Are you looking to buy this 1996 SLX for yourself?

    The SLX is a relatively short hull, with fairly snappy handling, and light weight (about 500 lbs dry weight).

    The 780cc engine was the biggest Fuji motor Polaris sold, rated at 90HP in 1996. From 1996 onwards, Polaris began shifting to larger displacement, domestic built engines, and 1997 was the last year for the Fuji engines (except for the Pro 785 race model).

    With an extended ride plate and jet pump extension, it can ride fairly well in choppy water. I am not sure whether the '96 SLX had the longer ride plate. There is an aftermarket ride plate made by Ocean Pro that provides similar ride refinement.

    An aftermarket intake grate, if it doesn't have one already, will also help keep it hooked up in rough water.

    Reliability on any older PWC is highly dependent on the current condition of the machine, and how well it has been maintained. If you take the time to go over it thoroughly, and do the work to bring it up to par, then they can be quite reliable.

    If you do decide to buy it - Welcome to the Polaris forum on Green Hulk!

    You can find Polaris Service Manuals and other information here.

  3. #3
    thanks for the response, yes i am looking to purchase it for myself. I want to make sure i will be happy with the model before i purchase it. What speeds does can this machine get up to and i think he said it has the extended ride plate. I was told the machine is in good shape and has been stored in a garage for the last several years. Is $800 a fair price for a machine in good shape? I obviously will check the compression, pump, cables and inspect the hull.

    Also what the difference between the 780 motor and the 785? how does this 780 compare to the 2 cylinder 750 thats in a 95-96 kawasaki STS and SS. Sorry to compare back to kawasaki but thats the machines i am most familiar with.

    Mike

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    The Pro 785 is a completely different kettle of fish from all the other Polaris PWC. It is a triple piped engine exhaust, tuned for high RPM and high peak power. Very quick, very tight handling, and two speeds - slow, and VERY fast. No real mid-throttle cruising ability.

    The Pro 785 is also a higher maintenance machine, intended for race use, with more frequent mechanical checks and upkeep to keep it in top form.

  5. #5
    I see, but how does the 780 compare to the ultra 1500 which is 1200cc. Will i be bored with the 780. my friend rides a honda r12x and with the ultra 150 i use to be at the head of the pack.

  6. #6
    casey67's Avatar
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    My friend had a 96 SLX 780,on smooth water it ran approx 57-58mph.I don't know how it compares or have I ever rode anything but Polaris.I would say it will out turn the bigger ski's.

    The 96 SLX came stock with Ocean Pro F/A's,R&D intake grate,long ride plate and jet pump.
    The trailer is worth 2-300. A $5-600 ski ,will be plenty of fun.

  7. #7
    yea i am going to take a ride down tomorrow to look at it. its suppose to be in good shape. I just dont want to buy it and get bored looking for more power. This really isnt the best time to buy and flip ski's either...

  8. #8
    She likes the bike. But the ski gets her wet!!!! xlint89's Avatar
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    They're good, fun skis.

    For $800 it's a bargain.

    Pretty reliable, but aging and needing upkeep I'm sure.

    Max speed would be about 58 MPH as mentioned above. So if that's not fast enough for you, then you need a larger engine.

    A Pro 785 is a fast ski at 62-63 MPH stock, and will get there VERY quickly. If you can get one of those for cheap, I'd bet you never get bored of it....

  9. #9
    Yea i think i should be happy with the machine, anything i should look at when i go to look at it tonight? I heard someone mention fuel lines or fuel systems once before. Also he said it hasnt been ran in two years but it has been stored in a heated garage with cover on it,so i am taking a good battery with me and going to give it a shot.

  10. #10
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike1252 View Post
    ...anything I should look at when i go to look at it tonight?

    ...Also he said it hasn't been ran in two years but it has been stored in a heated garage with cover on it, so I am taking a good battery with me and going to give it a shot.
    Attached to this post is a guideline document of things to look for when buying a used PWC.

    If it has been sitting for two years, the gasoline may have gone bad, and the carbs may be gummed up internally. It may even start up out of the water with gummed up carbs and bad gas, but you don't want to run it on the water with gummed up carbs - even a few seconds of lean operation at high power in the water can do damage.

    There have been numerous posts in the past regarding the common things to update and replace on the Fuji engined Polaris. Fuel lines for sure, and the fuel and oil filters. The fuel pump should probably be rebuilt, just to be sure.

    Almost guaranteed that you want to clean and rebuild the carbs before you run start riding it. Not too hard to do, just take your time, and use genuine Mikuni parts.

    Check compression with a good screw in compression gauge. Take all the spark plugs out, pin the throttle open, and check each cylinder twice. Readings between all cylinders should be closer than 10% difference. A good engine will read about 120-150 PSI on all cylinders. The exact PSI numbers are less important than the differences between cylinders.

    Make sure you connect the battery up correctly, and do not allow the metal electrical box to short against the battery positive post.

    If it does start, limit the running time without cooling water to 20 seconds or less.

    Download and look through the 1992-1998 Polaris Service manual, available here.

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