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  1. #1

    I don't hear guys talking about Sea Foam or decarbing 2 stroke skis....

    I use Sea Foam in my an older carbed 2 stroke 200 horse outboard on my boat to decarb as part of preventative maintenance, every 50ish hours. Other boating forums are loaded with guys recommending to "decarb" the engines at least every 50 hours but hardly see it here at all. Are there specific pros and cons to doing it to skis?

    I was having some HARD starting & hesitation issues on our 99 GP1200s. I ran some Sea Foam through a tank of gas then when leaving the lake, sprayed half a can directly into carbs, 10 sprays with trigger sprayer per carb then move to next, and it smoked like crazy then shut it down and removed plugs. I sprayed some down plug holes bumped starter for distribution and work it behind rings then a few more pumps per cylinder. I replaced the plugs and went home. The next day I removed plugs, cranked engine a bit, to remove excess, and headed to lake. The ski started easier but smoked a LOT, which is normal - the carbon burning off. We ran the ski around at 1/2-3/4 throttle until smoking stopped. It seemed to be running smoother with less hesitation and in just a short run on choppy water it showed +1 mph (on the speedo) over anything I have done yet-it is still fairly new to us & my son books the most in seat time.

    The most noticeable improvement is, now it starts EVERY time on just a slight bump of the starter! I am stoked as I was worried my son or a guest may get out on the water and not get it going if they kill it.

    Sorry so long of a post but I though this info may be helpful to some with older skis or experiencing fuel related problems. With the cost of parts for these things, $10ish per can is pretty cheap for the incredible results I got! I buy the stuff by the gallon, much cheaper in bulk, for all our cars and toys.

  2. #2
    Never used it on my ski but I use this stuff all the time on my merc outboard, it works wonders!

  3. #3
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by Dentpusher View Post
    I use Sea Foam in my an older carbed 2 stroke 200 horse outboard on my boat

    ... 1999 GP1200s. I ran some Sea Foam through a tank of gas ...

    The most noticeable improvement is, now it starts EVERY time on just a slight bump of the starter! ...
    My guess is that the carburetors need to be properly cleaned internally and rebuilt.

    Seafoam is mostly solvent and related petroleum compounds. No actual magic in that stuff.
    What is in SeaFoam

    If adding solvents (Seafoam) causes something to change/improve then there is something gummed up inside the fuel system for the solvent to be dissolving. Often on older PWC carburetor engines the fuel system doesn't get much maintenance until the thing starts giving trouble, so there could be many years of accumulated gunk in the fuel hoses, fuel valve and especially in the carburetors. Unless you are certain the fuel system has been well maintained, the odds are that it would benefit from some attention.

    Carburetor outboard 2-stroke engines are different from 2-stroke carburetor watercraft engines. Outboards typically max out at lower RPM and often run at low and mid-range RPM for long periods of time. This can create carbon accumulation inside the engine and behind the piston rings.

    PWC engines typically rev much higher and spend more of their time at or near maximum RPM. The engines tend to run with less carbon accumulation.

    Of course it is possible for a PWC engine to accumulate excessive carbon, it just seems less of an issue than with the outboards.
    Last edited by K447; 07-18-2014 at 09:31 PM.

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  5. #4
    powerstroke specialist mikegp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    i'm going to add ,under normal people category , yes it may build up some , but the people on this forum are beyond normal this includes me ,lol . so what we consider normal is wide open throttle , meaning the normally blew up before they even consider any type of carbon build up.

  6. #5
    Great point about the WOT. I knew that but had forgotten however I have also heard todays gas has some additives that can carbon up even 4 strokes from what they said. We will not be running extended times WOT...maybe. I understand the carbs could prolly use some attention. I don't think the machines were maintained the best. But I also don't want to mess with something that "ain't broke". We/I am not going go be spending tons of cash to.squeeze every mph out of these machines. I have 2 and it seems they are 2 of the biggest fuel guzzlers I could have found. Thanks for the input though and I hope the info can help some others that are having issues.

  7. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    near Toronto, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by Dentpusher View Post
    ... I also don't want to mess with something that "ain't broke"...
    The risk is that a carburetor that is running lean can result in a hole melted right through a piston. And you may not have any indication that this is happening until the very moment it fails.

    I have different machines than yours but I just finished replacing a lean burn piston this week. The engine note did not change in a noticeable way in the moments before it burned down.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Since you are new to these machines, you have no baseline for what correct carburetor operation feels like. So the risk to the engine is real. The best insurance is to do the maintenance.

    If the fuel hoses happen to be Tempo brand and gray color, then you definitely want to replace all the fuel hoses and rebuild the carburetors. Those old Tempo fuel hoses react with fuel and metal fittings to create a greenish goo that clogs up the fuel system over time.

  8. #7
    MSX 150 guy lives on Mr. GP1800's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Milwaukee WI
    As a side note to this, if it is at all possible for you, run ethanol free fuel. I go out of my way to get it, and every time I open my carbs, they are squeaky clean. Especially if your ski sits for a long time between uses, ethanol free fuel will not absorb moisture.

    I am not a fan of filling a 2 stroke motor full of a strong solvent. What does that solvent do to the oil in the motor? I can only guess......

  9. #8
    RaiderMagic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    South Shore, Long Island NY
    My carbs were rebut about 50hrs ago.
    Last fall.
    Runs great. Always use Stabil Marine on fill ups, only use e-free gas.

    yesterday I added some B12-Chemtool.
    Im oil injected. No issues and likely just poured a few bucks down the drain, but I figured it can't hurt either.

  10. #9
    Almost's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Cape May, NJ
    As many other have said, this doesn't seem to be a problem with PWC's due to their high revving nature. Other then that don't use shitty fuel, use non-ethanol gas if you can get it and make sure it is top tier., if you use good gas you should never have to use de-carbing formula what so ever in anything, car, boat, pwc, weed wacker, you name it. If you are lucky to have a 76 station nearby you are really lucky, they have some of the cleanest burning gas you can get and will actually clean your engine with regular use.

  11. #10
    silver93t's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    I've used Seafoam on older carbureted skis as a quick fix for bogging issues. I put some in the gas as well as sprayed a ton into the intake as the ski was running. It helped but ultimately the skis needed a proper carb rebuild. I have moved on from carbureted skis but I would get several seasons out of a set of carbs by always using quality gas and running marine stabil with each tank.

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