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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so my twin brother got messed up in Iraq and he has been wanting a jet ski. I am going to look at one for him tomorrow so he can have it for when he finally gets home. I live in lincoln NE, and this will be the first jet ski I have ever looked at. It is a kawasaki 1100 ZXI. I was told it runs great, but I have no idea what to look for and what to ask about it. He is asking $2000 and I was going to offer $1800, comes with a trailer. What questions should I ask, what should I look for? Anything I need to do before hitting the lake the first time on it? I understand to run 50:1 oil/gas, flush it, scrub it down good, wash the motor, WD-40 lines and connections, and use fogging spray on the carb. Any help would be great.
 

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The "Gold Standard" for checking out a used ski is the test ride. If it starts cold, idles, transitions well between high and low throttle, runs good in the water (hole-shot, no bogging in turns, wide open throttle, etc.), then you have 95% of the information you need to know. With a jet ski you have to worry about the engine, the pump system, and the hull. The only real way to check out the pump and hull is to take a test ride.

You see so many posts on this forum like: "I just bought this used ski and it ran fine when we started on the hose at the sellers house, now that I have it in the water it runs like crap"...........take a test ride, or write up a bill of sale that includes the option for returning the ski if it does not perform when you put it in water.

Other stuff to look at and ask for:
-Signs of corrosion (especially if used in salt)....probably not an issue in NE :D
-Impeller and clearance between impeller and wear ring (should be very tight)...take a flashlight. (if it runs good in the water you already answered this question)
-Look for cracks in the hull or areas where the gelcoat is popping off
-What flushing procedure was used after salt water use?
-For older 2 strokes: Has the carb been cleaned and/or rebuilt. Is the ski oil injection or been converted to premix? What gas/oil ratio has been used?
-Does seller have clean bill of sale for ski and trailer?

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well I bought it for $1700 with trailer. The very bottom of the hull looks scraped u a bit but I don't see any bondo or repairs or cracks. The think started right up no problem, but I noticed some oil in the bottom of the engine compartment, but I was told it's normal to see on 2 stroke motors? Some of the paint was a little chiped but nothing bad. The thing had been stored inside and he knew of proper winterizing techniques. The hour gauge was busted. Like I said, $1700 but due to major flooding in the area there was no where near him to take it out so I will take it out this weekend. It has seperate oil/fuel, am I fine just using 87 octane and some 2 cycle marine oil from auto-zone? Finally, is it a good deal?
 

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!

Well I bought it for $1700 with trailer............ is it a good deal?
What year is the ski? Hard to say without knowing the hours, but I'd say you probably got a good deal. Price range for that ski varies from around $1600 for a 1996 model to over $3000 for a low hour 2003 with trailer.

Hope your brother enjoys it!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry, it was a 1996 model. I hope it runs and drives good. sounds like 1700 for ski/trailer was a fair deal.
 

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Is it normal to see oil in the bottom of the engine compartment?
A little is normal for a 2 stroke, especially if it still has the oil injector system. Check the hoses from the oil tank for possible leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
yea it still has the injector system. I'll look them over good and try it out this weekend. If I can get it registered... I have the title and can register the watercraft, but the trailer that came with it a shorelander I think did not come with registration and I cannot find a vin... Also, I was just gonna get the highest quality marine 2 cycle oil that I can find at local parts stores. Can't wait to check it out!
 

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Oil injected is ok just make sure that tank is full of oil and it never hurts to pour a lil oil in a full tank of gas it will just lube up everything better... But I mean just a little oil to much will cause it not to run as fast but zxi 1100 you should have a blast with that thing I built one and rode it and that thing screamed across the water although it did blow up after a few runs around the lake lol I thought it was oil injected but I was wrong lmao...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Got it registered and ready to go for this weekend and can't wait. Lol I really did laugh when I read that, I think I'm good though, it has two separate reservoirs.
 

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ya then your fine have fun like i said them zxi 1100 fly and there handling is beautiful for how fast they take off. You got that ski cheap too 1700 bucks is fair and you will know that when you run around on it... Once again have fun and check the oil tank lol...
 
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