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  1. #1
    Ryan Beernutz's Avatar
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    Purchase of 2003 MSX 140

    Hello all,

    I am about to purchase a 2003 MSX 140 this week, after negotiating the seller down to what I think is a reasonable price, albeit without trailer. It needs work, as the rear handle is cracked/damaged, and the port side mirror is broken off, as well as the fact they claim it takes on water while sitting unused. I am going into this knowing to do (if not done already) the FPR fix/mod and I feel like I should just assume it needs the case split and crank rebuilt as maintenance, vs having it smoke a bearing, throw a rod, etc.

    I have not seen it in person yet, but will be bringing a compression tester and a borescope to get a better idea of top end health. Is there anything that I am missing or should be looking at closer?

    I have referenced this page.. as well as this one. Regarding checking fuel pressure, do you use a basic tire pressure gauge are something specifically for fuel usage? I used to be an automotive mechanic and have this Master Fuel Injection Test set.

    And yes, I know I need another project as much as I need a hole in the head, but it's an MSX

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    Last edited by K447; 05-06-2022 at 11:01 AM. Reason: Purchased


  2. #2
    martincom's Avatar
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    The Mac fuel pressure gauge should do the job and have an adapter that mates with the Schrader valve. The through hull bearings have a life expectancy of around 100 hours. My best guess is that is the source of it taking on water. It is pretty straight forward to repair and you can utilize generic bearings/seals---I believe k447 has the specifics listed on his info pages.

    If you have the diagnostic software, I'd take it along to confirm the engine hours. The EMM also logs the engine hours. 200 hours is getting "long in the tooth" for one of these engines. Rebuilding the EMM will be pretty much a given, if it hasn't been done already.

    I scrapped a blue MSX and likely would have the mirror. I'm not sure what condition it'll be in as the reason I scrapped it was severe dock rash. I probably have a rear handle, also. I know I used one that I had because the tow rope hook become loose and oblonged the mounting hole (previous owner).

    It looks like seat has been re-covered. They had silver covers, not blue. It might get a bit hot in the sun.

    Add some O-rings to the oil level sending unit and a gear clamp around the tank neck. They leak profusely. The reverse mechanism will likely need some attention--see the stickies.

    I've done three MSX140 and posted on each. You can probably do search by user name to find the threads.

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  4. #3
    Ryan Beernutz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martincom View Post
    The Mac fuel pressure gauge should do the job and have an adapter that mates with the Schrader valve. The through hull bearings have a life expectancy of around 100 hours. My best guess is that is the source of it taking on water. It is pretty straight forward to repair and you can utilize generic bearings/seals---I believe k447 has the specifics listed on his info pages. I was aware of the through hull bearing rebuild as well, including the "drill two 1/8" locating holes" so that alignment is kept. Of course, it appears you have a complete setup for aligning the engine to the pump as well as the THB, so I may want to ask for a bit of your time, if you don't mind. I never mind an excuse to head to the Brainerd Lakes Area.

    If you have the diagnostic software, I'd take it along to confirm the engine hours. The EMM also logs the engine hours. 200 hours is getting "long in the tooth" for one of these engines. Rebuilding the EMM will be pretty much a given, if it hasn't been done already. That I don't have, as this is going to be my first FICHT machine. I have been looking for the best place to obtain said software, but have come up short. Feel free to PM me if you can help and it shouldn't be posted publicly.

    I scrapped a blue MSX and likely would have the mirror. I'm not sure what condition it'll be in as the reason I scrapped it was severe dock rash. I probably have a rear handle, also. I know I used one that I had because the tow rope hook become loose and oblonged the mounting hole (previous owner). If you have both, and are willing to sell, that would be awesome. Color isn't strictly important, as my dad has 40+ years of auto body experience, and can have the color scanned and a "blendable match" mixes.

    It looks like seat has been re-covered. They had silver covers, not blue. It might get a bit hot in the sun. It definitely has, and the quality of the recovering was questionable at best by the looks of it. I was planning on recovering at some point, provided the machine ends up being in salvageable condition.

    Add some O-rings to the oil level sending unit and a gear clamp around the tank neck. They leak profusely. The reverse mechanism will likely need some attention--see the stickies.

    I've done three MSX140 and posted on each. You can probably do search by user name to find the threads.
    Other than what I commented above, the current owner can't currently recall, but believes it has ~270 hours on it. I was supposed to go look at and purchase it today, but it got pushed back until tomorrow.

  5. #4
    casey67's Avatar
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    The bore scope is probably a good idea.
    Depending on how closely they watched it "taking on water while sitting". It could mean "all they saw was the handlebars ".
    Internal pitting or signs of rust, I beleive it should have plated cylinders, is deffinetly time for rebuild.

    I'd say the biggest Ficht issue is if it starts on its own,idles properly. Other wise EMM rebuild or possibly a gold plated flywheel (judging by recent prices). But the MSX140's should have the better 12 magnet flywheel.

  6. #5
    GB ian's Avatar
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  7. #6
    Ryan Beernutz's Avatar
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    I'm hoping the seller is as honest as they seem, they offered a test ride. Of course the water is still cold here in Minnesota, but I'm not going to turn them down.

  8. #7
    Ryan Beernutz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GB ian View Post
    I used those prices as part of my negotiating. Pretty steep, if you ask me, but I guess I'm the one who is going to need them.

  9. #8
    martincom's Avatar
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    I won't be able to help you with the engine, carrier bearing, driveshaft alignment. We sold our lake home over the winter. I purchased a semi-trailer for the move and my shop is in the front 2/3 of it. So I can't access the tool. As crazy as shipping has become, you're better off purchasing the tool, than shipping to/from a borrowed tool.

    We've rented a duplex that is two blocks from the warehouse I have the jet ski parts stored. I checked this morning, while walking the dog, and I have the mirror and rear handle. The mirror has some minor scuffs, but they're on the bottom side! The handle also looks very good. There are a couple of small scuffs and a chip. Again, they're on the bottom or are covered by the seat. The handle is metallic silver, same as the hull top, not blue. $100 for the pair.

    We're tentatively planning a trip to Alabama to look at some perspective homes, at the end of the month. We could meet along the route, in the metro, or I could drop them off somewhere along the route. It'll have to be quick and not out of the way. My bride's patience for "your deals" is short when we're traveling....and I have to be in the car with her for the next 10+ hours.

    I do have the seat from the blue MSX I scrapped. It had been re-covered with a Black-Tip brand cover. It is in very good condition and who ever re-covered it did a nice job. If you're interested, I'll take some photos the next time I walk the dog.
    Last edited by martincom; 05-04-2022 at 09:17 AM.

  10. #9
    martincom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beernutz View Post
    I'm hoping the seller is as honest as they seem, they offered a test ride. Of course the water is still cold here in Minnesota, but I'm not going to turn them down.
    The ice hasn't gone out, up here, yet.

  11. #10
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beernutz View Post
    … they offered a test ride.

    Of course the water is still cold here in Minnesota, but I'm not going to turn them down.
    Be sure to fully warm up the engine before ripping on it.

    The MSX 140 has a water flow restriction in the water feed tube (from the jet pump) specifically to keep the engine running properly warm. Same 140F thermostat as every other Polaris red 2-stroke engine. Polaris apparently wanted to limit overcooling of the Nikasil engine when not running at high power levels.

    Despite the above, some owners decide to remove the factory installed thermostat, the pressure bypass valve, and/or the flow restrictor. Which means the engine gets excessive water flow and runs at sub-optimal temperatures.

    For your test ride, allow it to warm up, then gradually increase throttle as you cruise along. A few minutes of that should create a nicely warm engine, ready for WOT

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