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  1. #1

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    Oiling system test?

    Question on the 1996 SLTX that I'm fixing up for a friend: is there any way to test the oil system operation?

    Background: while repairing stripped plug threads in the head last night, I noticed the oil pump cable is missing. The pump is in place and all lines are hooked up properly. Options are to run a block off plate and premix, or get a new cable.

    I'm inclined to go with the cable option and retain the system, for a variety of reasons. But I'd like to test the oil system before ordering the cable. I'll be running premix for the first 1/2 tank to be safe.

    On a good note, while I had the head off I noticed this engine is freshly rebuilt. At least the top end anyway. Looks like it's ever been fired - brand new pistons, fresh cylinder walls, etc. But then I have to wonder if it had to be rebuilt due to an oiling problem.

    Thanks for the help.

    - John


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    I would suggest you check over everything on that engine. If the oil cable was left off, what else might have been forgotten, changed, or just left unfinished?

    Check torque on every nut and bolt, but also look for other things that may not be quite right.

    Make sure the cylinder head gaskets are positioned correctly and right side up.

    Check that the fuel lines are connected correctly at the carbs, and at the fuel tank.

    Without the cable in place, the oil pump falls back to a fail-safe position, where the pump runs at 100% flow rate. When you re-install the oil-cable, make sure you swing the arm against the spring into the correct position.

    After checking slack on the throttle cable, adjust the oil cable to align the index marks on the oil pump shaft and body.

    The variable flow rate oil pump moves oil rather slowly, even with the engine running.

    Since you need to add oil to the fuel anyway for a top-end engine break-in (about 40:1), you can introduce a small air bubble into each oil line to the engine. Just disconnect each small oil line at the pump and squeeze a little oil out, then re-connect. While doing the break-in, you can observe the air bubbles moving through the lines, confirming the pump is pumping.

    Be sure to follow the engine break-in procedures.

    If the oil lines are original, or in any way look poor, replace them with new oil lines. Also replace the oil filter near the tank, and bleed any air from the oil line to the pump. There is a bleed screw on the pump.

    The number one reason for piston and cylinder damage is lean fuel delivery, and the primary reason for that is dirty/clogged carburetors. Unless you are certain that the carbs have been internally cleaned and rebuilt, now would be the time. A clogged carb can damage a piston in short order.

    If your 1996 engine still has the original gray Tempo fuel lines, they need to be changed (all of them). The Tempo lines create a green goop that clogs (and re-clogs) the carbs.

    Click here for more useful info.

  3. #3

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    Thank you K447.

    Good tip on the introduction of air bubbles. I'll try that out. I have a factory service manual and didn't see mention of the oil pump bleed screw. I'll check again.

    I will replace the oil lines and filter - anyone know what kind and size of tubing to use?

    I've been through many of the checks you mentioned - great tips! Fuel lines have been replaced, I assume when the engine was out for rebuild. Heads use O-rings on this engine, I retorqued everything and all looks good. Carb connections checked and look correct. Haven't cleaned the fuel filter yet, but I will. Carbs look clean outside and in the venturis, but haven't pulled them apart.

    I appreciate the information and insight.

    - John

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gearheadengineering View Post
    ... I will replace the oil lines and filter - anyone know what kind and size of tubing to use?

    ...Haven't cleaned the fuel filter yet, but I will...
    Small oil lines are 1/8 inch inside, 7mm outside.
    Larger oil line is 1/4 inch inside.

    On some models the oil line between tank and filter is even larger, don't recall the exact size.

    Do not clean filters - replace them. Oil filter seems to be a special Polaris part. Fuel filter can be Polaris or generic, as long as it flows enough.

    If you are ordering the oil filter, buy the fuel filter at the same time. In fact, buy some spares

    Polaris PWC Parts Sources

  5. #5
    BBCaprice's Avatar
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    Dont use clear Tygon! Esp on oil lines as it tends to harden over time. At our local marine supply they have another type of tygon that is blue in color and is very flexible and sold as fuel line. $3.00 a ft-well worth it.
    When I changed my oil lines last time I used this procedure-bleed main line to pump w/ bleeder screw. Then, I ran the motor off of a seperate gas can w/ pre-mix in it, on the trailer, in the water, at the ramp. Disconnect the oil lines from the carbs, and watch the lines till the oil runs out w/ no bubbles. It will not squirt out, but just slowly rise out of the open lines. Reconnect, and you know everything is working.

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