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  1. #1

    Looking at buying a 2002 1200 STXR. I did a compression test and ...

    all three cylinders hit about 80-85 psi on the gauge a mechanic friend allowed me to borrow. My mechanic friend said the gauge reads about 30-35 psi low so each cylinder should be at about 110-120 psi. They were all reading between 80-85 psi so I assume that means they should be good to go. Am I correct about that?

    This will be my first ski so go easy on me please.

    I did search on google but I couldn't seem to find what the compression level should be. What seemed to be most important is that all three cylinders were close to the same reading and these are.

    It started right up and seemed to run well but I can't test it in the water. I need to buy it as it sits on the trailer. He is looking for $2500 with the trailer which seems fair but I am hoping to get it for a bit less if possible. It only has 223 hours on it according to the display. I don't know if it is possible to reset that or not?

    Any pointers are appreciated. Thanks!
    Last edited by beekermartin; 04-27-2019 at 09:33 AM.

  2. #2
    Fat Man, Little Boat Region8Ultra250X's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    1.) get a compression gauge that reads accurately
    2.) any friend that is a "mechanic" that uses a tool that should read accurate but is "off" opinion shouldnt be trusted
    3.) the carbs are CV carbs, they are a standard style carb
    4.) its a great hull. i owned one for a number of years.
    5.) why arent you able to test ride it?

  3. #3
    1.) get a compression gauge that reads accurately - He is an excellent mechanic but he told me the gauge was off but he knows it is off by about 30 because he compared to another gauge. I trust him so assume the ski has ~115 psi of compression. Is that about right considering its age and hours?

    2.) any friend that is a "mechanic" that uses a tool that should read accurate but is "off" opinion shouldnt be trusted - Answered above

    3.) the carbs are CV carbs, they are a standard style carb - Does that mean they are fairly easy to clean and rebuild if necessary?

    4.) its a great hull. i owned one for a number of years. - Good to hear that!

    5.) why arent you able to test ride it? - He is looking to sell it quick and it is still very cold here in RI.

    I just offered him $2,000 and he countered at $2,200. I told him that was fair with the trailer included. I don't think I can get that hurt at that price but I could be wrong.

  4. #4
    110-115 is where it should be, 200 hrs is ALOT of hours... 2500 is also alot of money for that range hours. Has it had a top end? What brand parts were used? What does the pump look look like? What condition is the display in? How does the bottom look? Any after market parts?

    Keep in mind an engine rebuild for this ski will run you 2k, so yes you can get hurt.

    I own one of these and love it, 5yrs ago i grabbed one with 20hrs with trail for 3k

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by turboman412 View Post
    110-115 is where it should be, 200 hrs is ALOT of hours... 2500 is also alot of money for that range hours
    223 hours on a 16 year old ski is a lot? 15 hours a year of use seems low to me but I don't know anything about jet skis. I guess I'll learn quickly.

    Keep in mind I am getting it for $2,200 with a Karavan trailer that appears to be in decent condition as well. I think the trailer is worth 300 to 500 on it's own from what I have seen used ones selling for.

    The seller bought it used a few years ago. He doesn't seem to know anything about it's mechanical history. He just kept telling me it runs "pissah" (Boston slang) and it hits 60 mph on a calm day. That seems to be what the top speed is from the few reviews I've found on this ski.

  6. #6
    steve45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    As mentioned, 223 hours is living on borrowed time. Any idea how many hours the seller put on it?

    Without knowing it's history, I'd be afraid to run it until it was overhauled. Same with the jet pump.

    Without a test ride, I'd walk.

  7. #7
    I have gps mine at 63mph

    Yes 200hrs is alot no matter how old or young ski is, 200hrs is the normal time for atleast a top end on these 1200's. Not knowing the history on a ski with that kind of hours is a gamble even if it runs pshhhba or whatever

    I am not trying to steer you away, i know the stxr is a rare bird and coming harder to find these days. Just trying to share some knowledge, i have spent alot of time with the ultra150/stxr.

  8. #8
    No worries guys. I am nervous but I understand the risk. I appreciate the responses.

    Finding a jet ski for free doesn't seem to be an option so I figured I would start here. I was considering a newer lower HP 4 stroke Yamaha but they are like 4 to 5k with over 200 hours on them. This should at the least be a learning experience for me. I am very mechanical so maybe I can rebuild it myself if that is required.

  9. #9
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Elephant Butte New Mexico
    I'd suggest taking the advice of the more seasoned members here. The respondents to your query all have 10+years here and have seen it all.

    200 hours is about 80% of the lifespan, then you are in for a rebuild that on a good day could run close to $1000

    find another ski, and I'd strongly suggest a 4 stroke.

    two strokes aren't welcome in many venues these days and in my opinion, are a poor value now. I actually stopped working on them at my shop 3 years ago.

    while hours are hours, age is the factor that folks seem to not consider. rubber ages, and shrinks, seals fail and pumps and engines go boom.

    "as it sits" means "I've had my fun and now I want to get book value", which to me means that he's rebuilt the pump and carbs about 50 hours ago and performed all needed maintenance. Does he have records of this work. I doubt it.

    You could have a dramatic failure of the jetpump within ten hours. Costs $500+

    read the forum for ac couple of days and look to see how many people got snookered into buying a money pit that makes oak island look like a deal.

    just sayin....

    by the way, the average lifespan of a well maintained 4 stroke can be 800 hours or more. I service rentals at our lake and quite a few of the 08 vintgae skis have 600+ hoaurs, some over 800 hours

  10. #10
    I really appreciate all the responses guys. I've already committed to buying it so I guess I am basically dead in the water. I understand it might need a ton of work in a short amount of time but hopefully that isn't the case. If that is the case I guess I'll have to deal with it. I've been looking for a few weeks and at this price point you don't get much. That is why I was planning on spending closer to 5k to get something more reliable but maybe I'll get lucky. Odds are I won't get lucky and I'll be spending a lot this season fixing this one but maybe not. Time will tell.

    Once I have it home what should I check for before I put it in the water for the first time???

    I do know that the same risk applies with a 5k ski that I can't test in the water. Hopefully I get lucky. If not I'll learn to rebuild this thing myself.

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