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  1. #1

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    To buy or not to buy MSX150

    I took my buddy and his kids out on our Honda F12X last summer and got him hooked. I've been helping him find a pair of skis for himself. We thought a pair of two stroke Yamas or Kawis would fit his budget and then we found this... Two 2004 MSX 150's with under 50 hours each on a nice Shorelandr trailer for $8100. They have some minor bumps and bruises from being in a boat house but it looks pretty minor. His budget is capped at $7500. The seller might be willing to let them go for that. Here's the questions, is this a good deal? What are the issues he should be aware of with the 150? What should we look for when we go to inspect them? What about parts and servicing since Polaris has pulled out? They are a four hour drive away so we want to be educated and prepared. I've had numerous two stroke Yamahas over the years so I know what to look for there. I'm at a loss for the Polaris and especially a Polaris 4 stroker. I do love my 4 stroker Honda though. Appreciate the help everyone.
    Thanks in advance.


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Introduce your buddy to GreenHulk, and have him say hello.

    Service Manuals and such can be found here.

    The value equation for the Weber engined Polaris PWC is a little tricky. Polaris only sold the MSX 110 and MSX 150 for the 2004 model year, so there is limited used parts available. New parts are available, but tend to be pricey.

    That said, when they are running properly, the guys who have them seem to really like them. Very good fuel consumption, probably as good as your Honda, or a little better. Everything else, by comparison, is a gas hog.

    If you and/or your friend have the time, I would suggest searching and reading these forums. Lots of good info to be found.

    There are a few common issues that need to be checked, and maintained, to avoid engine problems. These have been discussed a number of times.

    The turbo wastegate shaft has a tendency to bind, and needs frequent lubrication. If kept lubricated, it doesn't seem to be a big issue. If it has gotten to the point of needing repair, one of the forum members is able to rebuild it better than new.

    The wastegate problem often reveals itself as inconsistent or low maximum RPM at wide open throttle.

    The other common issue is that the markings on the oil level dipstick are incorrect. If filled to the 'Full' marking when cold, that is actually too much oil. The excess oil can get pushed into the engine air intake tract, where it contaminates the intercooler and a couple of sensors.

    Symptoms for this vary, but generally the machine does not run as it should. Of course, any used PWC purchase requires due diligence, such as compression checks, visual examination of hull for cracks, etc.

    The same Weber engine has been used in a number of other powersports products, including snowmobiles, and the Hydrospace brand watercraft.

    To avoid confusion, there is also a Polaris MSX 140 model. It has the same MSX hull, but is a 2-stroke engine, not the turbocharged 4-stroke Weber (German) engine. All Polaris PWC except the MSX 110 and MSX 150 are 2-stroke engines.

  3. #3

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    Thank you for the thorough response. There is also a 2003 MSX 140 with 80 hours for $3200 with a nice trailer. This might be the backup plan of the MSX150 seller is firm on his price. From what I've read the 140 and 150 are the same hull but the 140 is the two-stroke and tends to have better reliability and would be cheaper to repair or drop in a rebuilt engine. Once he ends up buying a PWC I'll be sure to get him on the boards here. The info is always so helpful and appreciated. Thanks.

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wshowell View Post
    ...There is also a 2003 MSX 140 with 80 hours for $3200 with a nice trailer. This might be the backup plan of the MSX150 seller is firm on his price. From what I've read the 140 and 150 are the same hull but the 140 is the two-stroke and tends to have better reliability and would be cheaper to repair or drop in a rebuilt engine...
    Well..

    2003 was the first year for the MSX 140 model, which was a new hull and an updated engine design (still 2-stroke, but internal changes, and increased displacement to 1192cc).

    There were several technical issues with the 2003 MSX 140's, but eventually Polaris figured them out, and issued multiple Service Bulletins to correct things, some of them very important.

    The important thing as a potential buyer is to call or visit a Polaris PWC dealer, and confirm that all the outstanding Service Bulletins for that HIN number were actually corrected.

    The dealer can check the service status of each individual Polaris PWC by HIN number, as long as the service was done by an authorized Polaris dealer. Since all the needed fixes were covered under warranty, they should have been done at that time.

    But some MSX owner's never bothered, or the dealers didn't follow through. So it is good to check

    I happen to have a 2004 MSX 140, which runs well, and we like it a lot.

  5. #5

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    The Polaris MSX150 seller accepted a $7600 offer for the package. That's two 150's and a new Shorelandr trailer. He is out of town next week so we agreed on the price and will drive out to inspect, ride and close the deal next Sunday. I'll check with him and find out about the service bulletins on the MSX 150s and see if we can get the records. I figure the trailer is worth just about $1000 so the skis will be $3300 each that have less than 50 hours on each of them. I think that will be a good deal for him.

  6. #6
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    Check for free movement of the waste gate...you should be able to move it by hand. Even if it is sticking, it can be freed up and, if lubed before every run, will stay that way.

    Here is the lever:
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  7. #7

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    Thanks for the pic on that wastegate. We are riding them before buying them so I will check it manually to ensure free movement and then when we ride I am assuming anything over 600 RPM indicates they are opening and closing with proper boost. These things have just under 40 hours. I re-read his email and thought he said under 50. They were both boathouse babies it looks like and they sat out of the water on their lifts in the shade with covers on them.

  8. #8
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wshowell View Post
    The Polaris MSX150 seller accepted a $7600 offer for the package. That's two 150's and a new Shorelander trailer.
    ...will drive out to inspect, ride and close the deal next Sunday.

    I'll check with him and find out about the service bulletins on the MSX 150s and see if we can get the records...
    Get the HIN numbers before you go, and call or take them into a Polaris dealer. Even if you have to pay a few dollars, you should confirm that all Service Bulletins have been covered.

    You can also get a service history of any other repairs that any Polaris dealer has done to those machines.

  9. #9
    Rocky_Road's Avatar
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    K447 just made me think of something...are you near a Polaris dealer?

    The MSX 150 is a great, but complex, piece of German engineering...and can be frustrating to trouble shoot. If you have a Polaris dealer close on hand, you can do what I do...use him (and his software) to 'pull' any trouble codes...then use the codes to make my own repairs. Since my dealer only charges me for the time to hook up his computer, repairs are manageable!

    If you are not reasonably close to a Polaris dealer, you might want to rethink this purchase.

    To be fair, I have only had two real issues with my 150...'stuck' wastegate, and a faulty ETB. Even when these problems occured, the ski went to a reduced RPM mode, and I had no problem getting back to the dock. Never towed...!

  10. #10
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wshowell View Post
    ...when we ride I am assuming anything over 600 RPM indicates they are opening and closing with proper boost.

    These things have just under 40 hours...
    Need to find out from the other MSX 150 owners what the WOT RPM should be, and what to watch/listen for in terms of proper operation.

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