Recently bought the ski and all looks great but it's been sitting for 3 yrs. Bought a new battery but haven't tried to start it yet because I want to make sure that I do what's necessary to keep it from getting damaged once I start it up. Any recommendations?
I'd pull the plugs, clamp off the fuel line, and see if you can turn the engine over by hand, or with the battery. That would make sure the engine or pump isn't locked. It would be a good idea to check the compression at this point also, if it is turning over OK, to give you a good initial starting reading for future reference.
I would also clean the carbs before you try to start it. If they have been sitting for 3 years with fuel, they will definitely be gummed up. This also goes for the fuel filter.
Check oil lines etc.. Rubber lines can dry out and crack. Consider going pre-mix if not already converted.
Pulled the plugs, they looked fine and added about 1/2 teaspoon of 2 Cycle Oil and 1/2 teaspoon of Seafoam into the cylinders. I don't have anything to check compression with. May have to take it into a shop for that. I threw the rest of the Seafoam into the gas tank to help get some of the moisture out. I'm hoping this will also clean out the carbs. I hit the start button a few times and it cranks. I then hit the throttle a couple of times and it almost started up. Took some time for the gas to get to the carbs I guess. I'm going to plug in a waterhose and then try again since it seems like it's going to start. I noticed it only has 54 hours on it and it was stored in a dry garage so I'm hoping everything else is fine. Picked it up for $1500 w/ trailer and it looks like new. Thanks for the help!
I'm also looking at an older ski, plan on testing it in the water. If all goes well I have a little money that I can throw at it for preventive maintenance. You mentioned a gas treatment to clean the carbs. How effective is this? I know that a carb rebuild is suggested in a few threads but I am not sure if I should wait until I have trouble or do that as a preventive measure. If it is as simple as seafoam in the gas tank that would be great; but I suspect it might be more involved.
rjuribe - if the oil pump is still functioning and you wish to keep it you may wish to check the hoses and clamps. I read a lot (no experience) about engines that fail because the oil pump becomes disconnected. Someone mentioned the factory used something not as effective as hose clamps - like maybe zip ties?!?
Seafoam is great for cleaning carbs/injectors, but it has no fuel stabilization properties, so it won't do anything to revive bad fuel (nothing will). Products like Sta-bil, and Starbrite will help stabilize fresh fuel, but nothing really removes moisture from old fuel. I'd drain the tank if the fuel has been sitting.........you get lots of water just from condensation.