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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I'm new to the forum. I rode a Sea Doo XP in the early 90's when I was a teenager. It was fastest at the time at about 35-40mph and I had a good time with it, but always was curious about stand-ups. I visited my cousin about a month ago who bought an old JS650. It was fun and I decided I want one too.

I'm considering purchasing an '88 JS550 for sale locally. The owner recently rebuilt the top and bottom end of the engine which makes me both excited and leary. He bored it out .50 and it is piped. He claims it does close to 45mph, which seems a little optimistic to me. I love that it supposedly has more power than a stock 550 without weight gain, but I have had a powersports shop rebuild a snowmobile engine for me in the past and it blew again immediately and since it was the next winter (had it rebuilt in April and didn't try it til Dec) he wouldn't warranty it. I'm worried I could have a similar experience with this ski. This guy is a "do it yourselfer" and the ski would be for sale as is. I know I should try it out and test the compression. Anything else I should do? What is the stock compression on these?

The owner says he believes the red paint is factory and it is in good condition. Motor is completely rebuilt and ski needs nothing. There are no decals. He was asking $1100 which seemed high, but said he'd take $900. He will also throw in a dual carb setup which isn't installed. I was hoping to spend around $750. I haven't gone and looked at it yet. If it seems to run well and doesn't really need anything, is $900 still high or does it seem fair? I wouldn't mind holding out until next June, but I live in Central Maine and not much comes up around here for under a grand, especially larger than a 440.
 

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My only response is to the speed. I have Kawa X2 650 so the speed should be comparable. When tagging along behind it on a Polaris with a speedo it seemed the X2 was running about 45 to maybe 50. Speedo accurate... don't know. I also have a JS550 and the X2 is definitely faster than the JS550. So far as fun goes it is a toss up for me to ride the X2 or JS550 or a Yamaha 500 upgraded to 650. I love these skis but, as fast as the newer models are my pick is the ones I have now. BTW .. Seadoo is making a new small ski called the Spark (?) More like the older ones for size and fun. They seem to be the only ones going back to the fun factor. I would consider one of those is they were not so expensive.. Just MHO
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. I was starting to wonder if anyone would reply. I live in Maine, so only will be able to use it 2 months a year if I'm lucky, so I don't want to spend a whole lot on one. Eventually when my kids are older, I'll probably get a sit-down (maybe a used Spark at that point), but now, I want a stand up. Sure the newer models handle better, are more stable and easier to ride, and are faster, but are that much more expensive. I think a souped up 550 or a 650 will be adequate for my needs. I just am wondering if I should be leary of this guy's engine rebuild and if $900 is a good deal on it. I don't want to get stuck with a mechanical project.
 

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As long as it runs good and the compression is at like 150 psi you have nothing to worry about. they are easy to rebuild. As far as price goes thats good for this time of year with a fresh rebuild.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That one I was talking about got sold before I went and looked. It's probably for the best. Just picked up a '90 550 SX for $1K. It's still got original gel coat in great shape, engine compartment is immaculate (which is nice plus shows there are no leaks from the engine at all). Has some good upgrades (pipe, bilge, progressive stainless impeller, K&N arrestor, and a really nice dolley) and top end was done 2 yrs ago (only gets a couple of months of use/yr up here, so that is probably pretty little wear). He's also going to throw in some spare takeoff parts (getting those next weekend). Very happy. Now I have to learn some tricks!
Also, the seller claimed he had some aftermarket ride plates but didn't like it and put the original back on. He said the aftermarkets were shorter than the one that's on it and this one sticks off about an inch longer than the nozzle. I thought the aftermarket ones were longer, not shorter. How long is optimal on a 550? Should I start looking for a longer one?
I just ordered a kill switch. Anything else I should upgrade to? He recommended expensive 2 stroke oil (forget the name, but he recommended I at least use Amsoil), but all the searches I did online said that as long as it meets TCW3 standards, it's fine. What is the consensus here? I have some Pennzoil Synthetic that says it meets TCW3. Is that more than sufficient? I am skeptical that really expensive oil is necessary in most machines...especially one that is not built crazy for racing and won't be beat on too bad.
 

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Sorry to high jack your thread, but I'm not sure how to stat my own and need some advice on buying a aski could someone navigate me or perhaps help me out here? Thanks heaps:)
 

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RE: Ride plates . You will have fun with that ski no matter what plates etc you have on it . More experienced riders may jump in . but IMHO , and as a non aggressive rider . I think the longer plates reduce porpoising and shorter plates may make the ski more skittish. Preferences would very from rider to rider ,, style , water conditions , your physical size .. Did he give you the plates .. experiment .. I have not changed the plates on any of my skis and don't even know if they are stock or other . Now ... The X2 has a trim control . I have been using it set to "jet down" - "nose down" . Been playing with "jet up" - "nose up" . Seems to me , nose up makes for quicker turns ,, sharper turns , maybe more for tricks . Seems to be more fun . . I think the X2 results may mirror what plates would give you . I would be interested in what other people have to offer on this subject.
 
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