Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Middle TN
    Posts
    5
    +1
    3

    Bringing a Spark Back to Life

    This is my first post but I always find similar post enjoyable and also thought it may help others who have a Spark and may have some of these same problems I bought this one with.

    Bought a "project" 2015 Spark that only had 14hrs on it but man this poor thing, it was a rough 14 hours.

    Quick introduction, love projects that are mechanical in nature (Motorcycles, Cars, Boats, not picky so long its a decent deal!). Been wanting a 4 stroke PWC for awhile but where I live in TN they all hold their value extremely well and that makes it hard to ever find that "deal". I have a 2 stroke Sea Doo (2001 GTS with the 720 engine) and it is a great old ski but it sure does love to be fed. So I was on the ole FB Marketplace and found this and it just happened to be 10 min from my house -- Love it when they are close by!



    *FYI this Spark was actually a 2015 (not an 2018 like the ad mentioned)

    Agreed to meet up and buy this and here was the story. Seller bought it new in 2015, no real experience with PWCs or boating in general. Took it out with friends and someone on another ski ran into the side and cracked the hull pretty good. So he had it "fixed" by someone who has zero experience with Polytec Hulls and the repair consisted of 2 layers of fiberglass laid on the "Outside ONLY" and they liberally applied many coats of rubberized undercoating on the entire Port side. So after that "fix" the ski was taken back out and hit again (but my guess is the repair was incredibly insufficient and failed), regardless the hull was cracked again in the same location. Seller said it happen right at the boat ramp and was not submerged but the engine was "stuck". All this happened in 2017 and the ski sat for over 3 years in this state.

    I BOUGHT IT, who wouldn't want this hot mess?

    It was complete, so that was a positive.


    After checking some low hanging fruit, the engine was stuck real good, so time to tear it apart.
    It did in fact injest water, that was easy to see once the teardown began. (bummer)
    So long story short, the engine rings were stuck on all 3 cylinders AND the engine must have been hydrolocked and attempted to start because 1 connecting Rod bent real nice and that piston hairline cracked by the wristpin. Not to over simplify all the work on the engine (lots of stuff tended to in regards to the overall state and cleaning) but parts that were required was 1 new connecting rod, 1 new piston, Complete Rotax 900 gasket set that is basically it. Test fired the engine on the hose, I'll be darned she fired up! Ran it very briefly then took it to the boat ramp to test it more sitting on the trailer in the water. I have only test ran the engine a total of about 20 minutes since I put all back together but it sounds good and the jet drive is good as well.



    So with the engine back together it was time to move onto the hull repair and over all cleaning / restoring the appearance.

    The crack and remnants of the initial hull repair (yes there is a piece of plastic bag embedded into the resin ) So frustrating trying to remove all the fiberglass and undercoating. It seriously would have been a much faster, cleaner repair had I not had to deal with trying to work with the mess of all that.

    *I am in no way a professional on any of the work I am doing but I do have years of various DIY experience and all the tools necessary and desire to do the work as well as I can, so long as the expense doesn't make it unreasonable. (just saying that to say I realize some may have an opinion on how to better accomplish this repair and I appreciate any expertise others are willing to share)

    Ok I do know the official Sea Doo service manual doesn't recommend taking on a repair of this size, I also hope people reading this understand not everyone wants to spend 1200-1500 dollars on a new hull if it can be repaired in a manner that will be effective and long lasting.

    So what did I do? A combination of the Sea Doo repair process, fiberglass backed and rivets) AND the Polyvance Plastic welding repair.




    Cleaned up a bit!



    As described in the service manual, I laid down aluminum tape so I could make the fiberglass backing. 4 layers overall and 6 in the largest areas. Let it set up for a few days before taking it out in preparation for the plastic welding.



    (Max photos reached...Continuing on...)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_9455.png 
Views:	251 
Size:	2.90 MB 
ID:	471508   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_9523.png 
Views:	249 
Size:	98.6 KB 
ID:	471509   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_9456.jpg 
Views:	246 
Size:	100.0 KB 
ID:	471510   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_9463.jpg 
Views:	244 
Size:	95.5 KB 
ID:	471511   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_9470.jpg 
Views:	234 
Size:	166.9 KB 
ID:	471512   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_9480.jpg 
Views:	236 
Size:	81.0 KB 
ID:	471513  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_9511.jpg 
Views:	230 
Size:	87.8 KB 
ID:	471514   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_9517.jpg 
Views:	220 
Size:	80.5 KB 
ID:	471515   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_9518.jpg 
Views:	230 
Size:	75.6 KB 
ID:	471516   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_9522.jpg 
Views:	230 
Size:	77.2 KB 
ID:	471517  


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Middle TN
    Posts
    5
    +1
    3
    With the fiberglass backing made I now moved onto plastic welding using Polyvance repair strips.


    I've done some simple plastic welding before with mixed results but using these Polyvance strips and a hot air plastic welder I was very impressed at the strength of the bond, so much so that I was hesitant to continue the plan to use the fiberglass backing / rivet after but since I had it made already I did install it as well.


    Completed the majority of the plastic welding then installed the fiberglass backing with Permatax "Right Stuff" then rivets (not as many as Sea Doo lays out but given how well the hull welded I wasn't quite as concerned)


    The rivets were counter sunk in the hull and then I welded back over them. Again I highly recommend the Polyvance Strips and a hot air plastic welder (the flat iron type did not do well at all in comparison).



    So the ski is back together and waiting for warmer weather for some real sea trials.

    Bonus Pics, Piston (cracked) and Connecting Rod.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_9524.jpg 
Views:	226 
Size:	79.0 KB 
ID:	471521   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_9525.jpg 
Views:	230 
Size:	96.3 KB 
ID:	471520   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_9527.jpg 
Views:	228 
Size:	85.3 KB 
ID:	471522   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_9538.jpg 
Views:	230 
Size:	112.2 KB 
ID:	471523   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_9533.jpg 
Views:	250 
Size:	71.2 KB 
ID:	471524   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_9547.jpg 
Views:	230 
Size:	43.6 KB 
ID:	471525  

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_9546.jpg 
Views:	226 
Size:	65.6 KB 
ID:	471526  

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    137
    +1
    19
    Glad you got it running. I’ll be interested to see the hull repair.

  4. #4
    Nice score! Great price for a complete unit with a trailer.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Stockholm Sweden
    Posts
    505
    +1
    61
    Cool project I've done about the same work but on two different Sparks. A friend of mine had a close call with a floating dock and cracked his hull along the left side sponson, not as sever as yours but still a pretty long open crack. We used plastic welding only with very good results.

    I then bought a Spark that had sunk and they tried to start it at some point with hydrolock as a result. I also had to replace one conrod but the piston was fine, the piston pin/bolt on the other hand was slightly bent, can't understand how that could happen with no damage to the piston it self, measured everythig up with a micrometer

    This was a couple of years ago and both skis holds up fine so far.
    .

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Raleigh NC Area
    Posts
    111
    +1
    9
    Wow... great score! Nice work on the repairs too. Thanks for sharing your story.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Middle TN
    Posts
    5
    +1
    3
    I will say if anyone has recommendations on an effective way to lightly sand these hulls I am listening. I have tried various traditional options, DA Sanders, air file, etc but none seem to work well at all. If you watch the Polvance video they make it look like a DA sander should work but I didn't get those results. I have been working trying to smooth out the repair area and still fighting all the old fiberglass and undercoating.

    Here is a better picture of the inside fiberglass brace installed and current exterior results. Also, all the original FOAM was still intact and installed over the fiberglass ok.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_9526.jpg 
Views:	202 
Size:	77.3 KB 
ID:	471540   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_9550.jpg 
Views:	204 
Size:	54.9 KB 
ID:	471541  

  8. +1 by:


  9. #8
    Nice job! I bet you could have got away with just doing the plastic welding .. I have plastic welded a few sparks with ok results.. I always wondered if that more expensive hot air welder would be a lot better thanks for posting your results. I hope you get to ride the crap out of it this summer that’s a really fun ski

  10. #9
    Ramps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Myakka, FL
    Posts
    816
    +1
    38
    Quote Originally Posted by joshwill101 View Post
    I will say if anyone has recommendations on an effective way to lightly sand these hulls I am listening. I have tried various traditional options, DA Sanders, air file, etc but none seem to work well at all. If you watch the Polvance video they make it look like a DA sander should work but I didn't get those results. I have been working trying to smooth out the repair area and still fighting all the old fiberglass and undercoating.

    Here is a better picture of the inside fiberglass brace installed and current exterior results. Also, all the original FOAM was still intact and installed over the fiberglass ok.

    This may sound funny but try a small area and hand sand using different grits maybe 80 up to 320. I have also used my dewault random orbital sander on back of upper deck.
    A DA sander is probably provoking heat and you do not want that.
    You will never get it to original but close, also get yourself some virgin Olive oil and keep a good coat of that on your ski. When you apply that stuff it shines awesome but also soaks in. Lasts a lot longer than anything else I have tried and compared to $11-20 of what they recommend to a gallon of olive oil for like $2 dollars which will last you for your next 4 skis and works awesome on cars and trucks to.
    Shane

  11. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Middle TN
    Posts
    5
    +1
    3
    Thank you for that sanding idea, I agree that what I am using is causing heat and the plastic doesn't like that at all! Definitely going to give that a try. About the olive oil, I am always the type to armor all stuff on the regular but when I took the spark to the water the other day almost immediately all the "protectant" washed off and the ski looked, well, not as clean for sure. Does switching to olive oil give me cred for being "organic or green", doing away with the chemical based protectants...

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Bringing This MSX 150 Back To Life
    By swlamarshrunner in forum MSX/Matrix
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-15-2019, 08:16 PM
  2. Bringing back 215hp life at Altitude
    By Joey_E in forum 4-Tec Performance
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-03-2019, 04:17 PM
  3. Bringing sexy back...
    By imp0ster in forum Sea Doo Open Discussion
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 11-26-2013, 12:45 PM
  4. Bringing another wr500 back to life!
    By teamarctic68 in forum Yamaha Old School Skis
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-16-2013, 09:53 PM
  5. Bringing her back to life
    By jeff.kurth in forum Polaris Open Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-09-2012, 07:39 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •