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  1. #1

    96 780SLX. Just Rebuilt, No Running Sluggish

    Hey Guys, I have a 1996 Polaris SLX 780. I was given this jet ski to help repair for a friend. I'm no expert, but figured I'd give it a shot.
    Here is what I completed repair/replace on:

    Replace Rings and Pistons
    All new gaskets
    New plugs
    Cleaned out fuel system (removed tank and cleaned out)
    Did a complete Carb rebuild kit

    The jet ski has under 100 hours on it, and my friend said it got water in it and was running prior to him breaking down. He bought all the parts listed above, but never got around to putting it all together. I bought the service manual and put it all together for him.


    The ski starts right up, however, when you go to give it gas, it sounds very "Sluggish". You can rev it and it just sounds like it's dieing. I did a compression check and compression is good. I check the plugs after firing and it seems to be running a little rich, but couldn't run it long enough out of the water to get a good feel.

    ANY IDEAS? My buddy wants to take this on a family vacation next weekend and I don't know what to do. I have come this far, I want to get this thing running good!

  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada

    Click here for the Polaris service manuals.

    Work through the engine diagnostics section.

    Have you confirmed that all three cylinders actually have a strong spark?
    Spark plug wires going to the correct cylinders?

    Are the carb screws set according to the Polaris manual specs?

    Click here for some common Fuji engine issues.

  3. #3
    She likes the bike. But the ski gets her wet!!!! xlint89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Cleveland OH
    Welcome to the Hulk.

    Water ingestion may have lead to an out of phase crank. Do a crank index test to confirm it's not out.

  4. #4


    Thanks guys, I did some more reading and ordered a fuel pump today. When I was on the phone with the guy I asked a few questions. He mentioned about the "Limp Mode" on the jet ski when fuel is low. This brought me to this conclusion:

    My display is flashing low fuel, it has nearly a full tank. The guy said that it goes into limp mode. Could this be the problem? Can I "hot wire" the fuel sender to avoid this from happening? I'm fine with having no fuel read out on the display.

    Thanks so much for your help in advance.


  5. #5
    Lake Mead Bum & BTLS Mark starflight's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Boulder City, NV
    Low fuel will cause limp mode. It will be limited to 4200 rpms. You can install a 33 ohm resistor in place of the sender, and it will read a full tank.
    You could possibly fix the problem by replacing the float in the sender.
    Watcon sells the floats.

  6. #6


    Someone said you can simply cut the pink wire that goes into the tank? Is this correct? I don't want to pull that fuel tank out again, it wasn't fun!

  7. #7
    Lake Mead Bum & BTLS Mark starflight's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Boulder City, NV
    Just cutting the wire will not do the trick. The resistance changes are 33 ohms full and 240 ohms empty. You would need the resistor to trick the system.

  8. #8


    Does the 33 ohm resistor just install "inline". I'm not very familiar with electronics, but do have some mechanical knowledge.

    I'm sure radio shack sells them, but just not sure how to install a resistor properly.

    Thanks so much for your help? By the way, I'm an EMT in Texas, I saw you fly?

  9. #9
    Lake Mead Bum & BTLS Mark starflight's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Boulder City, NV
    Yes you tie it inplace of the sender. One side on the pink wire the other end to ground. I installed the resistor in the elect. box for my oil sender.You can do the same for the fuel sender.

  10. #10


    Going to go do it right now, hopefully will be posting positive results very soon!

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