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  1. #1

    PLZ need some advice about this kawasaki

    I looked at this jetski today (97 kawasaki 750cc 2 stroke STS) and need your opinion on it. The pistons and rings were replaced as the engine was rebuilt. HOWEVER, I saw some silicon seal material all over on spark plugs with a metal bracket looking thing and another silicone seal glues on adaptors or plugs near the battery (not sure what these were for). The smoke went away after a few starts (the seller said after the new engine, the oil gas ratio was high thats why it wsa getting the smoke and not to throttle full until the 2nd fuel tank??

    I attached the photos and a sound of the idle and rev for you guys to give me some advice on this. It seems like a decent deal, but I dont want to get it and have to put new parts on it cause of the silicone glued parts. I also added the link to the idel and slight rev of the engine. It sounds "OK" but I need some experts advice on this as I have not owned one. Thanks guys
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  2. #2
    steve45's Avatar
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    The plastic bulkhead connectors that Kawasaki uses on their electrical boxes generally suck. They get brittle with age and break when you bump them, or even from vibration. This becomes a problem if you get water in the 'Ski. The best solution is to replace them, but it's time consuming. If you're somewhat handy, you can fix them yourself. The part number is 59071-3001, and they cost about $3 apiece. You'll have to remove the connectors on the end of the wires and pull them through the rubber grommet inside the plastic part. This is a pain on the spark plug wires because you'll have to remove the shrink tubing on the outside of the wires (no need to replace it). I would be more concerned about the connectors on the triangular box, the electric trim box. It is on the bottom of the hull and more likely to get water in it. The electric trim boxes are quite unreliable and expensive to replace. Check that the trim works (the engine must be running, or started and shut off; the trim will work for a few seconds before the electrical system shuts off). You would also need to install a rubber bellows on the trim cable at the back of the 'Ski to keep water from working it's way up the cable into the box. (Part # 49016-3702, $2).

    As a 2-stroke, it's normal for it to smoke. Yes, during break-in you should use double the oil. It's also normal for it to smoke more when first started, less after it has warmed up. I would avoid full throttle operation during the first hour or two, then only brief full throttle bursts until about 5 hours or so.

    Does this still have the oil injection system? If so, make sure the hoses are updated with polyurethane hose and secured properly with stainless steel safety wire.

    How much do they want for it?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    The plastic bulkhead connectors that Kawasaki uses on their electrical boxes generally suck. They get brittle with age and break when you bump them, or even from vibration. This becomes a problem if you get water in the 'Ski. The best solution is to replace them, but it's time consuming. If you're somewhat handy, you can fix them yourself. The part number is 59071-3001, and they cost about $3 apiece. You'll have to remove the connectors on the end of the wires and pull them through the rubber grommet inside the plastic part. This is a pain on the spark plug wires because you'll have to remove the shrink tubing on the outside of the wires (no need to replace it). I would be more concerned about the connectors on the triangular box, the electric trim box. It is on the bottom of the hull and more likely to get water in it. The electric trim boxes are quite unreliable and expensive to replace. Check that the trim works (the engine must be running, or started and shut off; the trim will work for a few seconds before the electrical system shuts off). You would also need to install a rubber bellows on the trim cable at the back of the 'Ski to keep water from working it's way up the cable into the box. (Part # 49016-3702, $2).

    As a 2-stroke, it's normal for it to smoke. Yes, during break-in you should use double the oil. It's also normal for it to smoke more when first started, less after it has warmed up. I would avoid full throttle operation during the first hour or two, then only brief full throttle bursts until about 5 hours or so.

    Does this still have the oil injection system? If so, make sure the hoses are updated with polyurethane hose and secured properly with stainless steel safety wire.

    How much do they want for it?
    thanks for the expertise. for the electrical box? the gas fuel light was on when on the dash I turned the engine on, so I assume the electricity is working? and the silicon is to keep the broken white screw adaptor things on the starter right? The electrical box also has those adaptor things as well right? he wanted $1,250 for it. The engine did start up right away and throttle seemd "OK" If i take it to a jetski shop, will they be able to replace all those white adaptors? how much do they charge for it?

  4. #4
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    how much do they charge for it?

    Lots and lots I'm sorry to say. It's an involved job due to the fact that every wire in the box has to be pulled from it's connector and then reassembled. often the wiring is corroded and it turns into major harness surgery.

    I typically get them after they have been flipped and water enters the electric vault.

    The last one I did ( not counting the clearing of the waterlogged motor) ran almost $500.

    do not pay book price $1250 ( nada book) for this ski!

    I'd offer him $750 ( if the trailer was fine), but frankly speaking look for something that has had proper maintenance and pay the book value.

    when I see these silicon jobs I say "if they skipped making the electric vault watertight, where will I find the rest of the hackery?" and I quickly quote the worst case price,as more often then not I also groan when I pull off the vault cover. I'd bet a jackson that this repair was done AFTER the ski flipped so there is a good chance the wiring is corroding as you read this.

    there is always another deal

  5. #5
    steve45's Avatar
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    I agree with Peter, $1250 is too high. I sold 3 of them for about $800-900 each.

    I had one that had been submerged with the broken connectors on the electrical box and left to rot. I was able to restore it with a new starter relay and replacing every connector in the box.

  6. #6
    attached is the idle sound with slight rev. Please check it out. It sounded "OK" even though im not an expert.



    I told the guy that i will take it for $1200 already last night (with the single trailer)... I thought it was just those white adaptor things that needed replacement... The fact that it started up no problem several times, with new battery, and new engine (rode it 3 times after new pistons and rings he said), I thought it was a decent deal. no? Other ones i looked at 97 seadoo (seller said he put $1500 work into), 97 waverunner (30 hours on the clock on original engine) they wanted like $1700+1900 for them (price include trailer). So, id thought $1200 (with trailer) was ok considering that the plastic adaptor was the only problem on it. he said he bought it from the guy at work that he works with. Had 2 kids so he didn't seem like he would be flat out lying about things... he just didnt have time to ride them or to bother getting boat license thats why he is just selling it.

    The hull seemed in decent condition with no damages.

  7. #7
    steve45's Avatar
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    The ones I sold all had recent top overhauls (I lost my ass on two of them). Pricing depends on your local market.

    As I said, CHECK THE ELECTRIC TRIM! That can get expensive to fix.

    Actually, it doesn't look like it's smoking nearly enough to me. What ratio is he running? Should be 25:1 for break-in, 50:1 after break-in. Keep in mind that you really shouldn't run it more than about 15 seconds without water. I saw that he had a custom flush hose hookup. Have him show you how that works. Remember, start the engine, THEN turn on the water. Turn off the water, THEN turn off the engine. NEVER LET THE WATER RUN WHEN THE ENGINE IS NOT RUNNING!!! MAJOR ENGINE DAMAGE WILL RESULT.

  8. #8
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    there's buried treasure there I say

    just dig down ten more feet and we'll find it!

    Sure..not a lie....

    by this money pit at your own risk. I neglected to mention the trim issue. the e-box was bad enough

    by all means if you've made an agreement, open the electric box before you take the ski, it it looks like the titanic in there get at least 250 back and just figure on getting a used ebox on ebay

    bargain witht eh NADA guide price in your hand and deduct major crap that needs fixin

    gotta trust me on this, I've been down this road a few times.

    two happiest days in the life of a jetski.

    day its bought
    day its sold

    I have to preface quite a few of my Kawasaki repairs with the parts situation speech

    Maybe you price out a complete trim box. That little ski is a rocket, but without a working trim system on rough water you better take some painkillers when you get home.

    It ain't no deal is what I'm trying to say

    heck KBB is $1200 and that assumes normal wear and tear and proper maintenance


  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by nmpeter View Post
    there's buried treasure there I say

    just dig down ten more feet and we'll find it!

    Sure..not a lie....

    by this money pit at your own risk. I neglected to mention the trim issue. the e-box was bad enough

    by all means if you've made an agreement, open the electric box before you take the ski, it it looks like the titanic in there get at least 250 back and just figure on getting a used ebox on ebay

    bargain witht eh NADA guide price in your hand and deduct major crap that needs fixin

    gotta trust me on this, I've been down this road a few times.

    two happiest days in the life of a jetski.

    day its bought
    day its sold

    I have to preface quite a few of my Kawasaki repairs with the parts situation speech

    Maybe you price out a complete trim box. That little ski is a rocket, but without a working trim system on rough water you better take some painkillers when you get home.

    It ain't no deal is what I'm trying to say

    heck KBB is $1200 and that assumes normal wear and tear and proper maintenance


    thanks for the info guys. a few questions since i am new, what is a trim box? is that the triangle box? the ebox i looked up was where it plugs the sparkplugs

  10. #10
    steve45's Avatar
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    Yes, the triangular box has the electric trim mechanism. It has an electric motor, a wormgear mechanism that moves the cable, and some circuitry that limits the travel and operates the indicator on the panel. Water can get in there from an improperly installed O-ring on the case, or it can work it's way up the cable from the jet nozzle, or it can get in through the broken connectors that this particular 'Ski has.

    Kawasaki has some parts available, a few years ago, they wouldn't sell parts for the trim box at all. A new motor with wormgear will set you back $478, the electronic controller goes for a mere $374.

    I forgot, I actually owned FOUR of these things. I bought one for my nephew to ride, one was real cheap and in pretty good shape so I bought it, and two were free with the purchase of a double trailer. The STS hull really isn't very good. It's OK for cruising on smooth water, but the flat hull doesn't ride all that well and the handling changes from being on plane or not. It's rated for 3 passengers, but two is about all it can really handle.

    I would REALLY suggest that you look around for a 750 ZXi of the same vintage. These were a LOT more maneuverable and a lot more fun to ride. Later ZXis came with 900 & 1100 engines. I would avoid the 900 engine, as well as the '96 1100. I would think that a 750 ZXi could be had for about the same amount you're planning to spend. The larger engine models would be a bit higher.

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