Kawasaki guru needed!! - PWC Forum: The best hang-out for Personal WaterCraft enthusiasts
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Kawasaki guru needed!!

Kind of stretching here, but I need someone with some serious Kawasaki stand up knowledge to help me out

I just recently bought an 88 js440 off an older enthusiast. He built it back in 94, repainted it, built the whole motor, chassis, steering etc. But now it has been sitting for years in storage. The thing is in great shape and he really did a great job building it.

I was told it was a 440/550 conversion. It has a stroker crank, a 440 block with westcoast aluminum cylinders 550cc size, westcoast head, and wiseco pistons. Compression is 240psi in both cylinders. It only runs off race gas due to the compression which is fine, but now I have a huge project on my hands which im kind of at a loss of knowledge to keep it going in the right direction.

ive run into a few problems already. I was given a toolbox full of parts (spare heads, spare stroker crank, and some specialty tools and a lot of hardware and gaskets, where I found a starter rebuild kit. I rebuilt it and it worked for a short amount of time before it was lugging again. So I bought a new hi torque starter and kept going. It fired up with the primer fuel but as soon as that fuel ran out it died. Im guessing the carbs are in need of a rebuild. I just ordered 2 rebuild kits but now im thinking of returning them and going to a single carb setup.

It has dual 38mm mikuni carbs on a westcoast intake manifold which I now want to eliminate and go back to a single carb setup. Am i able to buy a jetsport 44mm intake manifold(Found 3 for 40 dollars each on ebay)? and run an sbn 44mm carb(200 on ebay) or is that undersized? even if I jet it correctly? The 38mm BN throttle shafts had play in them which can cause an air leak issue, and i need to order 2 rebuild kits along with needles and seats. those parts are about 100 bucks, and the complete single setup is about 300 bucks. I will then be able to sell my dual carb manifold and old carbs for pieces and make a few dollars back.

I got a great deal on this ski and im beginning to work out its bugs. The owner said he used to only use it on fresh water on a lake in PA, the cylinders have barely any corrosion in the water jackets which I saw when i took off the exhaust manifold. I took off the intake manifold and carbs already, the pistons look great, no scuffs or marks on the intake or exhaust sides.

Thanks to all of you that can help - James
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 08:06 AM
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Get rid of that chitty BN carb and go with a 44sbn on that 550.

96 Seadoo XP limited mod
96 Seadoo GSX the cruiser
94 Kawi 750sx freestyle build in the works
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-16-2012, 06:07 PM
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Soooo.... did you swap out the mani and carb yet?
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 08:02 PM
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pm me if you want the phone # of a good mechanic in my area, he's in cali, He's good to talk to as an advisor. You should seriously consider saving some money and maybe taking it to a good mechanic in your area.

It's one thing if you know and can tinker on some things. If your goal is to get this quickly running well for next season this is your best option since this ski is modified. Mine needed oil purged from the cylinders after carb rebuild do to it sitting for an extended time--and he gave suggesetions how to winterize it yourself. Such information is priceless in knowing your rig and avoiding future repairs. also that I simply need a flame arrestor and K&n air filter w/ arrestor i now have is overkill.Try to find a mechanice that you can actually talk to rather than just dropping ski off.

someone dealing w/ modifications as a specialty helps.Mine is fairly reliable and no repairs have needed to be done after a season of running it for 20 to 25 hours. I have a 1976 js400 converted to 550 engine w/ performance Jet ski Inc. upgrades, upgraded impeller. I don't think much else could be done w/ mine other than wildly modifying and changing/ machinig parts.

reading your posts a little closer, THAT thing's a monster, a racing specialists would be best. Please posts updates!

Last edited by 1976js400; 11-25-2012 at 08:05 PM.
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