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My friend wants to purchase a 2001 Kawasaki 900 STS with 57 hours as her first jet ski. The seller is asking $3400 with a good condition trailer. The machine is immaculate and seems to run well, one problem... reverse is not working. I also am new to jet skis so I need your help to advise her properly.

Does the ski and trailer price seem fair? Could the problem with reverse be a big deal or more likely just a bad cable? Could the machine be damaged by not repairing the reverse? Lastly, are these skis known for developing any particular flaws?

Thanks for your help.
 

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900 STS Info.

I did a search on NADA which is equivelant to kelly blue book only its for marine equipment, Their figures say low $3220.00 & high $3630.00 NO TRAILER. With todays used PWC market being so soft I would offer $ 3200.00 As far as reverse! its probably cable or linkage from the lever to the cable its connected to a gate that reverses the water flow from steering nozzle usually an easy fix.As far as troublesome & faulty they all are at times.My skis are known to eat paychecks, But as far as Im concerned its a fair tradeoff for all the fun & good times that my family & I have on the water.

Best Of Luck
 

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Brian, thanks for the informative reply. I was able to get her the ski for $3100 including a trailer, dolly, cover, life vests, anchor, flairs, 100' tow rope and tube. A quick inspection revealed the linkage under the reverse handle was jammed. Should be registered and ready for the water tomorrow... can't wait to try it out. Again, thanks for your help.
Steve
 

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I am a newbie to jet skis and 2 strokes but I have a 2002 900STS that developed issues and feel I can speak to this a bit. If your 900 has an oil reservoir on top of the fuel tank, consider taking this out of service. My ski is sitting in my garage completely torn apart downn to where the only thing left in the boat is the prop shaft on back. I know very very little about mechanics but have learned a ton in the last 2 weeks out of need. My sts worked fine last Fall but this Winter it developed a heart condition. Went from a top speed of 53 with a tail wimd to 40 and would cut out at higher speeds. Then after changing the plugs and the fuel/fuel filter it bogged down to 31 top speed but would not cut out. I could floor it but it would just sit at 31 and clank a bit more than I remember from previous runs.

It turnes out that the middle piston is shreaded. It is my initial opinion that the middle carb on this tripple carb setup was not getting oil served to it to mix with the fuel and the pistonburned up because of it. It could have just been that the middle serving carb choked up on me all together as well but the initial inspection sure looks clean. I have lots of remaining work and research to do on this issue before I attempt to put Humpty Dumpty back together again but the one thing I have decided is that I'll be pre-mixing my own gas and oil and just leave the oil res empty. My understanding is that the oil pump will shut down when it is empty so there should be no issue if I pre-mix it at 50/1 into the gas. Could somone with a bigger gear in theire brain speak to this concept a bit?

Curiously, the middle piston is toast and of course the middle cylinder is scratched up a bit but the piston arm, rings etc were fine. No signs of drama there. The other 2 pistons and the cylinders look great except for the baked on black crud on top of the pistons from the burnt oil of course. In the middle piston well the small amount of oil down there was burnt black in color. On the other 2 cylinders the oil was nice and fresh looking clear brown. The middle cylinder had zero compression by the way and the piston lookedlike someone bit the edge off on one side down to the first ring around it. I suspect that that well oil was scorched black from the fire that was leaking down to it and then when it got hot enough inside the motor this would cause that piston to lock up (which would lock them all up and kill the ski. Then, 30 seconds later it had cooled enough to allow the motor to start again (had to wait 30 to 45 seconds after a kill to start it again). Once enough of the piston had chipped away it freed up the grit jammed cylinder so that this non-compressing piston could run up and down freely again with a total loss of power in that cylinder. This gave the virtual performance of a two cylinder jet ski. How did I do gearheads? Does it sound like this air traffic controller has his mechanical head emerging from his hind quarters or am I way off yet?

2 weeks ago I didn't even know what a piston was and now I have my ski in pieces so I just may be back for advice ha!

I will say that I am really diggin this experience and can't wait to say I fixed it.

I found a place that says they can bore out the single cylinder for $80 if it is not nickle plated. I don't know if it is but the cylinders sure look shiny to me. I see no pattern on the walls at all. Here are my questions though:

1. What is the deal with the oil in the piston wells? I see the bolt on the top of the motor where it goes in. Do I get this changed seasonally via having it sucked out? Also, there is no oil filter on this somewhere is there?

2. What type of oil goes in this area and how much?

3. Is there supposed to be any visible oil pool in the piston shaft well (looking down the length of the arm is that curved smooth well at the bottom)

4. Do I need to seal off the oil ports to the carbs if I am going to mix my own gas with oil?

5. Since I have the entire thing apart anyway...what other parts would you replace before I throw it back together?

6. If I don't care about horsepower can I just hone or bore the 1 bad cylinder and oversize that piston? I only have $800 invested in this ski and don't want to throw a ton at it.

Thanks! WW in Houston
 
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