Thread: Sleeper Update
03-16-2009, 10:21 AM #1
About 6 weeks ago I was riding at Cow Bayou, which is just a few miles from my house. I was cruising along at 50mph just getting on the water when all of a sudden I lost thrust and had a bad vibration. I hit the stop button and stepped off knee deep into a nasty bayou/hurricane/chemical infested muck. I was by myself and the air temp and water temp was 60 degrees. I could not feel anything in my intake grate, so I figured what ever it was had to be wedged way back up against my prop. I was 2 miles from the boat ramp. I tried finding a spot on the bank that was shallow and firm enough for me to tilt it on its side and pull what ever it was out. I had zero success, and got to thinking about the alligators that are layed up in the grass this time of year. I even noticed a few spots where the grass was layed over where the gators were likely hanging out at.
I decided the hell with it, me and Sleeper limped 2 miles back to the ramp, I could not get on plane and could only go 7 mph. The vibration was so bad at 7 mph I mainly idled back. I put it on the trailer and found about a 6" long by 1" diameter branch wedged in the prop. I am sure it was bigger than that when it first entered my pump.
Of course the Founding Father of the Dago/Determined Racing Crew was not going to let this stop him so I put it back in the water and pulled off a few 69.4 mph passes. I put Sleeper on the trailer after that.
Two weeks later me and KirkF350 went and rode. After about 20 minutes of riding I noticed the water bypass coming off of the middle cylinder was loosing water pressure and eventually quit flowing. I knew right away that a piece of the branch had worked its way into the waterjacket of the head and stopped the bypass flow. A few days later I blew through the lines and removed the brass fitting and blew through the head water jackets, that fixed that issue. It has been running in the 69mph range ever since, but I believe I should have had a few more 70mph runs.
The prop looks ok from the garage floor looking up at it, but I am sure it has some mild damage and my impeller housing likely has too much clearance now. I plan on pulling it this week to get a good look at it. I am also going to install a 5 degree pump cone that Mark (Big Raider) sent me a long time ago to try. I am running a 5 degree nozzle so having a 5 degree pump cone should help the flow some.
I am also going to check compression this week. The motor has 212 hours on it and 6 months ago it had 145 across all three, which is the set up compression from Group K. I believe Sleeper has a few more 70mph runs left in him. I have not decided if I am going back to the Hydrodrags are not, but I WILL be at Mudbug.
03-16-2009, 10:26 AM #2
Wow 70mph is great man...It's impressive and I never knew what your ski ran until now. That's pretty respectable to say the least. I know what you mean about gators etc....we've had our share when I rode the St Johns river in FL. Nothing to worry about here in Indiana except snakes so that's good. I'm even more impressed with the lower compression and your hitting those speeds. I had an old Group K sleeper or Hammer kit installed in my raider plus whatever the guy b4 me had done to it. It hauled butt and was a very impressive ski to say the least. It was one fast raider for 10 years ago...
03-16-2009, 10:34 AM #3
03-16-2009, 11:01 AM #4
03-16-2009, 11:21 AM #5
Part of the fun for me is the details. I am not one to take apart a perfectly running motor to try and squeeze some more power from it. The motor has been in the hull since 2002. I have torqued the head a few times, rebuilt the carbs, changed out a few coupler dampners, and that is it. I am running stock reeds and CDI. When the day comes and it's time to take the motor apart, I will do reeds. I will never make it so aggressive it has to run race gas. I like to ride as much as I do race, so reliability is important to me. Thanks for the kind words Peavler.
03-16-2009, 12:51 PM #6
The sleeper is a true testament to a quality built and maintained machine. You definitely have a ski to be proud of.
I can only compare it to the quality of the Energizer bunny.
03-16-2009, 01:01 PM #7
03-16-2009, 01:34 PM #8
Brandon's ski is a true testament to what attention to detail and taking small steps can accomplish. I had a chance to ride this ski I think it was mud bug3, and it was very quick, and extreamly clean.
Glad you didnt have any major damage, although you may want to stick a ruler in there and make sure one of the blades on your prop didnt get bent out of shape.
03-16-2009, 01:37 PM #9
03-16-2009, 05:45 PM #10
Now all you have to do is paint it orange, and have "ASPLUNDH" stenciled on it!
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