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Hello All! My name is Bill

First post, and I have a question.

A neighbor has a wave runner 800 xl (not sure year) that has been sitting for about 4 years without use. They are moving and they do not want it. I said I would buy it or take it.

Here is the thing: Uncovered and supplement to weather for about 4 years. When I opened the engine compartment, the lower 1/4 to 1/3 of the engine was sitting in water. They never pulled the drain plug, so it filled with rain and snow.

SO I ask, potentially, what damage could be there? Is the engine basically shot or does it have a chance? Back compartment (where battery is) was also filled with a few inches of water.

Is it worth paying anything for it, or should I say it needs too much work and they should just give it to me? They said originally $500 tops, but looking at condition and lack of care/maintanance for 4 years (just sitting exposed) I am thinking the engine wil need work.

My background: avid boater, I have a sea ray sport 205 for 12 years so know mechanicals of boats (plus growing up on a lake) but I have never personally owned a jets. This looks like a good one overall, but the engine scares me. I dont have a local mechanic buddy to look it over. Just want a basic assessment on what I should do. Thanks!
 

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Hi Bill, welcome to forum
My biggest concerns would be, in order of priority.
1) did water get deep enough to get into the engine. Carbs would be the only way in. So if it's below the bottom of the air box it may be ok. Motor will probably need a complete go over tear down, before fire up. Remove the cover over the coupling at the rear of motor and try to turn by hand to see if it seized.

2) did water freezing do any hull damage? Look close at hull inside/out for cracks.

With setting that long with lots of water inside will have been hard on the motor. Even worse if it wasn't fogged for winter storage. So figure on investing in a motor rebuild. That can get expensive if you need a crank.
If it comes with a trailer that's in good shape $100/200 hundred would be tops for me. There's a lot of unknowns here. But if the hull is sound. And motor isn't seized it's doable.
If your a machanicly inclined there easy to work on and pretty strait forward 2stroke. Parts are readily available. Either new or used on eBay.
 
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