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  1. #1

    Default 1996 Sugar Sand Heat 120hp jet

    Hello

    I just purchased my first boat itís a small 1996 Sugar Sand Heat 120hp jet for $2000. Iíve been looking all over the internet for information on using a boat like this in South Padre Island on the bay side. My wife and I spend about 2 month out of the year down there windsurfing. But when the wind is not blowing we need something ells to do. So I thought this would be a good first boat for pooling a tube or fishing. The bay side is usually is only about 5 to 4í deep and the good fishing spots or about 2í deep. The bay side does have some weeds. We do have to use weed fins for the windsurf boards. But after thinking about it I really donít see any jet boats on the bay side anther than jet skis and most boats or flat bottom fishing boats. So Iím looking for advice on using this boat in South Padre Island.

    Thank you for your time
    Mike

  2. #2
    Lieutenant Junior Grade kend301's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1996 Sugar Sand Heat 120hp jet

    Mike ,
    All you can do is try it , The Jet Drive Grate on the bottom of the boat will pick up a bunch of "stuff" . When mine picked up enough pine needles to block 1/2 of the grate the boat was ok to 15-20 mph but vibrated like hell on wide open throttle ... If the water is warm and you dive in cleaning the grate takes about 1 minute ... I now do this after I leave my 1 mile long canal before I get to having some fun .
    The up side is that a Jet Drive will have NO PROBLEM in 2 feet of water , Just do not drive through weed beds that cover the surface and you should be fine .. May not pick up anything at all ... Just try it ! Soft Marine weeds will not hurt anything as long as you realize that if the boat starts vibrating on acceleration ... something needs to be done .. Even as simple as driving it at a lower speed .
    Another trick that helped me alot is to run the boat at "trolling" speeds ie 1-4 mph out of gear using just idle throttle , this will put the reverse gate down part way and help to flow water under the grate , this helps ALOT !

  3. #3
    Chief Petty Officer artificialreef's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1996 Sugar Sand Heat 120hp jet

    Watch the temp gauge and flush it out according to the manual when your done. My old school 650 yamaha says run it on the hose for 15 min. (you should do longer if in sand) then remove the hose for less than 20 seconds and shut down. (i guess thats to remove the water from the cooling passages) I shut down well before 15 seconds because you melt rubber stuff.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 1996 Sugar Sand Heat 120hp jet

    I do appreciate the feedback. It does look like the mane reason we donít see a lot of jet boats down there is because of the salt water being so corrosive to the jet. So it looks like I need to pull it out of the water after each us and run water in the jet and also rinse of the boat. Do you think I just take the garden hose and run the engine and spay the jet inlet with the garden hose? The boat did not come with a manual and for some reason are hard to find.

    Thanks Mike

  5. #5
    Lieutenant Junior Grade kend301's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1996 Sugar Sand Heat 120hp jet

    Mike ,
    Yes you must flush the boat if operated in Salt Water , The flush kit should be hooked up at the pick up for the engine , On my Sport Jet it is on the Port side just behind the cylinder head . Salt Water will eat away at the block , that is your main concern . Also if you do get a flush fitting do not run the hose at full pressure as it will compromise the head gasket !

  6. #6
    Chief Petty Officer artificialreef's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1996 Sugar Sand Heat 120hp jet

    Mike, kend301 may not have been specific enough. You have to flush out your motor after use. Even fresh water i dont think is good to leave in your cooling passages. But you have to be careful doing it or you will toast the rubber drive parts. Read what my post said above. Even if you cant find a manual for your boat you should be able to find one on the engine and follow it to the tee. That means seconds count. Good luck.

  7. #7
    Lieutenant Commander Jeff Walkowiak's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1996 Sugar Sand Heat 120hp jet

    WHAT rubber drive parts??? they don't have conventional water pumps to my knowledge, so other than the jet pump supplying the cooling water or the flush hose when not in the water I can't think of any rubber drive parts that could get worn out.. I will say this try adding a shot of liquid dish soap in to the flush port before using the hose,, as the engine flushes you will see the soap exit the pump area,, when you don't see any more soap you have flushed the engine,, you will learn it takes about 3 minutes to do this,, after that you are just wasting your time..
    I once thought having a 6 figure income would be great,, now I have a 6 figure income TAX , wats up with that!!

  8. #8
    Chief Petty Officer artificialreef's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1996 Sugar Sand Heat 120hp jet

    Jeff, I was just quoting my manual for a 650 wave 111. The Clymer manual for that model on page 96 says on bullet 3. "Flush the cooling system for approximately 10-15 minutes while running the engine at a fast idle" "Caution: Do not run the engine for more than 15 seconds out of water or the rubber parts of the exhaust system will be damaged" (my bad, i said drive system) Jeff you have probably forgotten more about jet drives than i will ever know but i was just quoting the manual thinking most older jet drives were the same. My point was pay attention to your manual because you can mess some stuff up.

  9. #9
    Lieutenant Commander Jeff Walkowiak's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1996 Sugar Sand Heat 120hp jet

    on a ski you will melt the exhaust hoses if you run it without water going in to the engine as the water also cools off the exhaust system,, his boat is using a outboard engine for power with a jet pump adapted to it,, he can actually rinse his engine with the engine off since the engine sits straight up vertically just like it would if it were an outboard. Something you can not do with a horizontal engine like in a jet ski.
    I once thought having a 6 figure income would be great,, now I have a 6 figure income TAX , wats up with that!!

  10. #10

    Default Re: 1996 Sugar Sand Heat 120hp jet manual

    Thanks for the information I was able to find a service manual down load for $4.00
    http://www.tradebit.com/filedetail.p...95-120-service
    Iíve been watching jet baot videos on YouTube thy are amazing and I canít wait to get this boat to South Padre next month.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: 1996 Sugar Sand Heat 120hp jet manual

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Warn View Post
    Thanks for the information I was able to find a service manual down load for $4.00
    http://www.tradebit.com/filedetail.p...95-120-service
    Iíve been watching jet baot videos on YouTube thy are amazing and I canít wait to get this boat to South Padre next month.
    I've got a '96 SS heat 120, as well as a '01 tango 175. (also had a 96 heat 95hp at one time) The heat 120 is a fun little boat! That thing moves, and will easily take flight with a fairly small wake. (ALWAYS wear the safety lanyard!)

    couple things to watch for... If there isn't a butt holding a seat cushion down, stow the cushion in the back compartment. Those things WILL blow out, and replacements are impossible to find. Some of the boats came from the factory with really tight wiring under the dash, if your fuel gauge quits working it usually is the power terminal that connects to the key switch. Clip the zip tie and you will get some extra length.

    Finally, converting it over to premix with a block off plate is not a bad idea, that motor will last forever then. Running oil injection means your engine will last as long as the plastic oil pump gear doesn't strip out. A rebuilt 120 will run you $4k.

  12. #12

    Default Re: 1996 Sugar Sand Heat 120hp jet

    Thank you thatís great information. I will be towing the boat down to South Padre in about 10 days. Iím very excited to give boating a try but a little nervice just because I never drove a boat before but that ads to the excitement.

    Iíve been on lots of boats and it looks like you just need to use common sense. One thing good about padre its only 4 to 5 feet deep on the bay side so if there is any trouble we can walk back.

    But Iím still having a hard time finding a user manual. The service manual does not say anything about crank case oil or how often it should be changed or even changing the air filter.

    Also things like what to do if the boat will not start and your out on the water. Is there a choke or a way to prime the curbs?

    But operating the boat looks pretty simple you have a troutle with forward and reverse and a small knob that I think it disengages the jet. So when starting the engine I should have the knob poled out and have the throttle forward a little after the engine starts but the throttle back in the center and push the knob in and its ready to go correct?

    O **** this is going to be fun

  13. #13
    Lieutenant Junior Grade kend301's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1996 Sugar Sand Heat 120hp jet

    Yes Mike when you start the boat have the drive knob out and the throttle just a little forward , But do be aware that the jet never truely disengages , the impeller is always spinning . Never work on the drive or try to clear the drive with the boat running !! In tight spots I start my boat with the throttle in the reverse position ( puts the reverse gate down 1/2 way ) just a little to keep the boat from moving.
    Your choke should be eletric if you push the key in while cranking the choke will be on . I added a primer bulb in the fuel line from the tank to fuel pump to prime the carbs , Good investment , available at Wal Mart .
    Since this is your first jet please post any questions you have as they are a little different to operate than a prop drive boat .
    Happy Boating !!
    PS .. There is no air filter , No oil in the crankcase , Is your boat a pre mix or do you have oil injection with an external tank in the engine compartment ?
    PSS !! I just reread the entire thread and DO NOT run the boat out of the water without a flush kit hooked up !!! , Unburned fuel will collect in the ride plate area and will do serious hull damage if it ignites !!!
    ANOMALY
    1994 Bayliner Reflexx
    90 hp Merc / Force Sport Jet

    If you do not like my advice, Remember , My Boat Runs , So can yours
    If you are not ready to spend $25 for a manual for your boat then sell it
    He Man Outboard Haters Sport Jet Club .... president

  14. #14

    Default Re: 1996 Sugar Sand Heat 120hp jet

    The boat has an oil injector and from the forums it sounds like itís a good idea to change to premix. Itís hard to believe there is no engine oil needed accept for the 2 cycle oil and no air filter but thatís great fewer things to worry about. Hay thanks for the help.

    Mike

  15. #15
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    Default Re: 1996 Sugar Sand Heat 120hp jet

    we never had issues with the oil injection on that motor.
    DO NOT start that engine using the CONSUMER flush device that is permmanantly attached to the engine. Its possible to lean out and blow the ex divider plate gasket.
    happened,a lot.
    I worked for a Force dealer and we took on sugar sand(Mirage) jet boats about 1991 and I left about 1996 so I am familiar with the engine, I actually still have the engine service manuals for the 90 and 120 versions.
    DO not idle in 2 ft of water if at all possible, that jet CANNOT be taken ;out of gear; you have 3 positions on the diverter or reversing gate,up for fwd,midway down for nuetral,kind of, and all the way down to divert the water jet back under the hull for reverse,kinda.
    ALL of the engine cooling water goes from the stator housing to the engine via a hole about the size of your little finger and sand and debris can and will clog it.
    in shallow water at low speeds that jet is still sucking water and at low speeds can lift all sorts of sand,pine cones and other debris off the bottom.
    two biggest issues were with priming the carbs,this can be eliminated by adding the electric pump from the V6 version and wiring it to the start side of the starter terminal.
    2nd was as the impeller and wear ring clearence increased so did engine RPM that motor tends to chip reeds at about the point the rev limiter wants to grab it.
    just remember that similar to a jet ski,you have limited control at low speeds and even with the shifter in the N position the hull will still move.
    its just how they work.

    but when ya get good and wish to divorce the wife try a 360 manuver at WOT.
    first time will terrify you and after that its fun.

    there is a dealer flush kit avalible to run the engine on the flusher.
    be aware that a primer bulb in the engine compartment is against both NYBC and USCG regulations.
    your sugar sand,while still using an outboard powerhead now has an enclosed engine compartment and has to go by added regulations that normal outboards dont.
    NEVER start the engine without running the blower for at least 5 minutes and lifting the hatch and sniffing.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: 1996 Sugar Sand Heat 120hp jet

    correct, no air filter, its a boat, not much dirt out there! Also, no crankcase oil. 99.9% of 2 stroke engines do not have crankcase oil, and the ones that do aren't really even for the crankcase. (rotax 782/787 engines)

    Also, it doesn't have a choke, it has an auto-enricher. (which can fail also, causing hard starting) It basically needs the throttle 100% closed when starting, otherwise the enricher is worthless. The enricher is basically a small wax pellet with an electric heater. When it is cold it allows extra fuel through a bypass circuit in the carbs, IF there is a vacuum draw from the closed throttle plates. After the engine has run for about a minute the heater will have melted the wax and closed the enricher circuit.

    (I think they got rid of the choke in the 96 and later years, I've had both a 96 and 97 Sj's, neither had a choke)

    That little silver knob is for warming the engine up without having the boat move TOO much. With a jet it is nearly impossible to have a 100% neutral position, so it will move some with the knob out. The most useful thing I've found for it is actually maneuvering in tight areas. i've got my bucket set fairly high so there is still some forward thrust with the knob out.

  17. #17

    Default Re: 1996 Sugar Sand Heat 120hp jet

    Ok Iím getting a little confused about the dealer flush kit. It looks like a very simple adapter that connects a garden hose to the engine water intake.

    http://rainboat.com/dealerkitflushes...cetoolaid.aspx.

    I ordered one back on the 11th from Marine power service but itís on back order and I donít think it will arrive before I leave to Padre. But looking at the photo I probably can find a connecter from Ace hardware that would work. Iíll be using the boat in salt water so I want to but it on the trailer and flush after each use. But what I understand so far is to connect the garden hose to water intake on the engine and run the water on low pressure for about 10 minutes with the engine off. And also rinse the jet and maybe get underneath the boat rinse the water inlet for the jet? Iíve been reading forums and there is a lot of deferent opinions on this.

    Thanks Mike

  18. #18
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    Default Re: 1996 Sugar Sand Heat 120hp jet

    I know I'm dredging up an old thread here, but I have the same boat, and just got back from Port Aransas and was thinking how cool it'd be to bring the boat next time. I've never had it in salt, so I'd like to know how to take care of it the right way.

    I don't remember seeing any sort of flushing attachment, but then I never knew to look. Even if there is one, if the general consensus is to get an aftermarket one, I'm all for it - it sure beats the repair-bill.

    So what's the advice? How does one properly care for a jet after having it in salt?
    1997 Sugar Sand HEAT with the 120xr, bone-stock

    If you're not havin fun, you're not doin it right!

  19. #19
    Lieutenant Junior Grade kend301's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1996 Sugar Sand Heat 120hp jet

    There are 2 flush kits available , A "consumer" kit that is used for only flushing , it is not suitable to run the boat out of water . this kit attaches to the top of the head just behind the thermostat housing . Hook a hose up to it and using water flow only , no pressure (do not open the hose up all the way ) I test my flow by holding the hose end straight up and open the valve until I have full flow but no "fountain" coming out the water is just running down the sides of the fitting , run it for 5 min. Wash the jet drive area and a quick rinse of the engine compartment and you are set .
    The "dealer" kit is an adapter that goes on the single black hose coming from the lower engine mounting plate , You can run the boat out of water with this hooked up ( up to1800 rpm , Never with the drive engaged ) but the same flow/pressure rules apply . Also if you use the dealer type you need to take the hose and get it around the fitting on the engine plate to finish flushing the jet drive . A little extra time but it needs to be done. Then same thing wash jet drive area and light wash inside the engine compartment .
    ANOMALY
    1994 Bayliner Reflexx
    90 hp Merc / Force Sport Jet

    If you do not like my advice, Remember , My Boat Runs , So can yours
    If you are not ready to spend $25 for a manual for your boat then sell it
    He Man Outboard Haters Sport Jet Club .... president

  20. #20
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    Default Re: 1996 Sugar Sand Heat 120hp jet

    Thanks for the clear, concise reply. It sure helps!
    1997 Sugar Sand HEAT with the 120xr, bone-stock

    If you're not havin fun, you're not doin it right!

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