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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone! I'm new to this forum because I am a new jet ski owner! Basically all I know about it is that it is a 550 and it's older. I'm told it was running a few years ago and then was donated to a church. It sat there in storage for a few years (they didn't know what to do with it). Eventually they needed the storage space so they were giving it away. Since I live on a boat it seemed natural I should own a jet ski. A couple friends helped me put it in the passenger seat of my convertible (that was a sight!:eek: ) and now it's tied to my dock.:)
So now there are 2 questions: 1) what kind is it 2)How do I safely get it to run again after sittin so long? 3) is it ok to store in salt water?

:dunno: 1)What kind is it? I think you can see the pic of it on my profile. All it says is Jet Ski 550 and wiseco pistons? If peeps can help me figure out what kind it is I can move this thread to the appropriate jet ski specific forum if that would be better. What should I look for to determine the make and model?

:dunno: 2)It's been sitting for a long time how do I get it running again? I haven't tried starting it in case the gas is bad or there's anything I should do prior to trying it. What are the steps I should take to protect the engine and get it in healthy shape so I can use it. I have some experience with car repair and am handy enough but my knowledge of engines isn't impressive. If you help me figure out what to do I should be able to do it but figuring that out will take some help.

:dunno: 3)I have it tied to the dock next to my boat but I see that as a problem. I have to get the boat bottom scrubbed monthly to keep the gunk from growing and doing damage. Just looking at the ski I can see that the jet is submerged and it can only be a matter of time before that becomes bad news. I've seen some floats tied to docks that Jet Ski's get dragged onto Is that what I need to do or can I make some sort of floating dish that I can put under it and fill with fresh water (maybe like a blowup raft?)

I don't want to spend a ton of $ but I want to take care of it properly so what are my goals here? Thanks for the help everyone I really appreciate it and I'm excited to join the community :)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I know the make

Ok it's a Kawasaki, it says to only add Kawasaki oil. Any help on the year or other important info? It's an old model where you stand up and lift the handle (sorry there's probably a name for that kind)
 

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well glad to hear you got a free ski..

first get a new battery thats a must,,, second syphon all the old gas out..

then you need to see if the crank can be turned freely by hand to check for seizure or pump problems,,, take the spark plugs out and twist the drive coupler...

you could rebuild the carbs, i bet the needle & seat are stuck down,, buy some rebuild kits with gaskets for your carbs, probably mikuni BN right?? then just take it apart and freshen everything up....

check your reed cages, they might be broken, that would lead to incorrect fuel/air mixture,,, not good.

if you dont have a compression tester get one,,, its like a doctors stethascope..... you need to add the new fresh pre-mix gas, new battery, then your gonna screw the tester on to a cylinder, make sure the other one has a plug in it but not with the plug wire on it... hold the throttle wide open, make sure the choke isnt on,,,, crank it a few seconds until the pressure raises then evens out,, repeat this with the other jug...if there close to the same thats good,, im not sure what the stock compression is for your boat, it should say in the manual... you want your cranking numbers to match or be close to whats in your book...

now if you have powervalves the pressure will be higher when their down,, so try it with them up and down,,,

if the numbers are good and youve checked all connections, hose clamps, mounts, couplers, exhaust hoses, waterbox/exit, gas straps, etc. etc. then put some plugs in and start her up..

if its got a catalytic converter, then thats probably why its saying use kawa oil only,,, there are cheap plate to replace the converter, better flow, use of regular oil, cooler under hood temps..

make sure all the bolts are torqued properly and your bilge is working!

could you weld a small engine hoist onto your house boat? that way you could just lift it out of the water and put it on the deck of the big boat.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the thorough response Remy! I'm working through the weekend but I can get started on all this come Monday. I like the idea of a hoist, maybe I could use the anchor winch to simply suspend it under the bow but out of the water. I can always leave it at the dock if I take the boat out but that would keep it from getting all gunked up while it sits there. I'll keep my work up to date on the forum because I'm sure I'll have questions as I go but this gives me some really good places to start.

Generally speaking where do I need to look for stuff? Do I need to go to a jet ski specific store or will auto parts stores provide a lot of what i need (compression tester, etc)? I like the idea of a plate that replaces the cat, is that something I can find online?

Oh and another important note: I do not have the manual. I actually don't know much about it at all. Is there a good way for me to determine what engine/make it is? If so maybe I can find a manual online or get some info from another member with a similar ski. When I get to the more specific stuff if I can't find a manual I'll ask some questions to get some best guess answers. For now I should have my hands full getting the battery, siphoning the gas, getting a compression tester, etc... Thanks again I'm really glad to have found a helpful online community so I can begin enjoying this sport!
 

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mhenry said:
Thanks for the thorough response Remy! I'm working through the weekend but I can get started on all this come Monday. I like the idea of a hoist, maybe I could use the anchor winch to simply suspend it under the bow but out of the water. I can always leave it at the dock if I take the boat out but that would keep it from getting all gunked up while it sits there. I'll keep my work up to date on the forum because I'm sure I'll have questions as I go but this gives me some really good places to start.

Generally speaking where do I need to look for stuff? Do I need to go to a jet ski specific store or will auto parts stores provide a lot of what i need (compression tester, etc)? I like the idea of a plate that replaces the cat, is that something I can find online?

Oh and another important note: I do not have the manual. I actually don't know much about it at all. Is there a good way for me to determine what engine/make it is? If so maybe I can find a manual online or get some info from another member with a similar ski. When I get to the more specific stuff if I can't find a manual I'll ask some questions to get some best guess answers. For now I should have my hands full getting the battery, siphoning the gas, getting a compression tester, etc... Thanks again I'm really glad to have found a helpful online community so I can begin enjoying this sport!

glad i could help henry...

yes you can get most motor tools at say napa or carquest etc.. the plate for the exhaust you should be able to find at an online store, or check ebay, if not i can find you one through other sites..

there should be a number associated with your motor, look around on the engine/ cases, cylinders... there should be numbers/letters that represent what size/model it is... they may not make sense but if you type them into google i bet you'll find the exact make/model of your ski,, i highly recommend getting a manual,, ebay also sells cd's with manuals so you can print the page you need out,,,, i like this alot more as all my paper manuals are ripped and greasy...

most manuals just give exploded views with no explanations... if your having trouble with anything just ask, ill try to help you out...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Finally started this project!!!

Ok I've been super busy but the nice San Diego weather has motivated me all over again to get this ski running. I pulled the battery out Mon and bought a new one today. I'll be putting it in in the next couple of days then be siphoning the gas and looking for that engine number so I can get an engine manual like Remy mentioned. After this I'll be on to spark plugs and carb rebuild kits but I'll keep things up to date on the forum so I'm sure all the bases are covered before I try starting her up. So exciting!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok I finally figured out a way to keep the ski completely out of the water. I got a trucker's winch which is sort of like a huge heavy duty version of a ratcheting tie down and used this to lift it then I tied it to some of the cleats on the boat. Unfortunately there's a good amount of growth on the bottom of the ski but luckily I was able to keep the jet out of the water at all times so no growth there. I haven't gotten very far on the refurbish I'm sad to say. It seems like I plan on doing it all the time but things keep breaking on the car or the boat that require more immediate attention. Here's a pic of the hanging ski if anyone is interested. The truckers winch was like $15 so it was a cheap solution and I was able to do it myself (one person). It's hard to tell in the pic but I have it about 6" above the water right now.
 

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