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I picked up a JS550 of unknown vintage (I'm guessing about '85) from my neighbor for nothing. Polished up the outside and it looks just fine.

I don't know what it is about rats and jetskis, but sure enough there was a nasty little nest in there, and after cleaning it out (along with all the little rat turds and slivers of chewed up battery cable sleeve - apparently they like that soft rubber), I slapped a battery in and fired it up. I did get it to start which is a good first step. Now I want to get a little more familiar with it before I boldly (cautiously) go out on the water for the first time.

Can someone help tell me - what's this? (reservoir just under the air filter) Could it be an oil reservoir? If so, do I NOT premix the gas? Thanks for knowledge sharing with a noob.
 

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If you are talking about your last picture there (the little cup with a screw on lid looking thing) that is the fuel filter on my 86 550s.

Man I wish that mine looked like that when I picked them up *bangs head on computer*
I also picked mine up for bout that same price but I have to put the puzzle back together with new parts to get mine to run.
 

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yeah, +1 on goldfish's comment, that's just a fuel filter. You still need to premix your gas.

from what I see I'm guessing that your ski is newer than an 85, check the hull number, i think the last 2 numbers are the model year. If it was an '85 or older it would have an exhaust hose coming out the left side that looks somewhat like an elephant trunk,

in 86 they flipped sides and changed it to a little port at the water line.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you sirs. An oil fuel filter, eh? Who ever heard of such a thing - but now I know.

I also determined that this is an '88 based on the serial #, so I am off and running.

Next noob question: Can I run it dry, or do I somehow need to pipe water in for cooling if I crank it out of water?

I have a little experience with old volkswagen engines which are 4-stroke purely air-cooled, but very little experience with two stroke, so I'm just learning.
 

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you can run it for a short time out of water but don't go full throttle without resistance on the impeller. There are some other guys around who have a garden hose connector setup on their rigs so they can run out of water for a while.

I try not to go more than 20 seconds or so but i think that's pretty conservative , you could probably go a bit longer.
 

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The owners manual says that you should not try and use the starter for more than 5 seconds at a time, with 15 seconds in between those 5 second intervals to let it cool.

It says about the motor that you can run the motor out of water for 15 seconds (no wide open throttle) but don't run it more than that because the water jackets for the exhaust cool it enought that without the water, the exhaust gets too hot and will melt the rubber hoses and grommets/gaskets used for the exhaust.

Realistically, I have no idea because all I've done is read the owners manual and repair manual, I have never driven these (yet!!!!)
 

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The owners manual says that you should not try and use the starter for more than 5 seconds at a time, with 15 seconds in between those 5 second intervals to let it cool.

It says about the motor that you can run the motor out of water for 15 seconds (no wide open throttle) but don't run it more than that because the water jackets for the exhaust cool it enought that without the water, the exhaust gets too hot and will melt the rubber hoses and grommets/gaskets used for the exhaust.

Realistically, I have no idea because all I've done is read the owners manual and repair manual, I have never driven these (yet!!!!)

well, there you have it. Thanks goldfish, i've never seen an owners manual for anything older than a 650.
 
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