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Problems to look for when buying used?

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  • Problems to look for when buying used?

    I am about to buy a used (1989) Yamaha, I think 750. He said that it runs and we can take it to the river but is there anything that I should look for in particular? He said that it has a stainless steel prop, or impellor, or jet drive or something like that. I will see it Saturday. Any help is appreciated!

    PS: he said he has never had it in salt water.

  • #2
    Re: Problems to look for when buying used?

    Bring a mechanic if you can. Do a compression check. Check the plugs color at the firing point (white vs tan vs black). Idle speed, bogging on throttle up after a long idle means carb issues. Water discharge thru exhaust/tell tale stream. Just because it runs fine on the water for 10 minutes doesn't mean it isn't going to spend time in the shop. When you use it later, you aren't going to be on it for 10 minutes. You'll need to know that it will work for the next 3 hours. If you have any "funny" feelings about it, walk away. Gut instincts are usually correct. There are a million ski's out there, you can find another deal.
    2001 Carver Voyager 374 'Stick's Competition'

    Something tells me I should be on the water....

    If I answer your upholstery questions, it's only because I've been doing it 20+ years...

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    • #3
      Re: Problems to look for when buying used?

      Originally posted by Fireman431 View Post
      Bring a mechanic if you can. Do a compression check. Check the plugs color at the firing point (white vs tan vs black). Idle speed, bogging on throttle up after a long idle means carb issues. Water discharge thru exhaust/tell tale stream. Just because it runs fine on the water for 10 minutes doesn't mean it isn't going to spend time in the shop. When you use it later, you aren't going to be on it for 10 minutes. You'll need to know that it will work for the next 3 hours. If you have any "funny" feelings about it, walk away. Gut instincts are usually correct. There are a million ski's out there, you can find another deal.
      The compression test is definelty a good idea! I didn't even think of that. It's a great deal and I am nervous because it is so cheap. I am going to try and run it for about 30 minutes to test it out. Thanks for the help!

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      • #4
        Re: Problems to look for when buying used?

        check compression for sure if possible. its a 89 model so fact of it, its old in jet ski years... it should fire up w/in 10 secs of choked cranking if not carb or fuel valve/line issues are possible, an 89 model is small for a guy my size at 6' and 250 i hate them coming in the shop cause when testing they are unstable w/ somebody my size on them. check and see if its the original engine, odds of a rebuild are slim since ordering a short block is just easier and cheaper in the long run. ask when the last time the wear ring was replaced, yamaha's have a steel wear ring that isn't very cheap to replace. look at the exhaust and engine for rust and corrosion. good luck and just curious how must is the guy asking for it? and 89 model w/ trailer shouldn't be more than a grand tops in good condition. good luck

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        • #5
          Re: Problems to look for when buying used?

          $400!! It has a trailer that needs to be rewired, the seat has a rip in it, and it may need to be painted. That's why I want it so bad! I could "flip it" if i didn't like it. Repaint it, recover it, BAM! PROFIT! LOL! I think it would be fun. I am new to boating and I have never had a jet ski so I think it's worth it. This may be a whole different topic and a lot more research but just curious...

          Say I wanted to replace the engine. Could I buy any jet ski engine that was the same size and make it work or do I have to buy a Yamaha? Could I make it faster and such? I need to do A LOT of research but I am at work and was kind of curious!

          Thanks for all of your help!

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          • #6
            Re: Problems to look for when buying used?

            Lol slow down a bit, older ski's mean harder to find parts. I would low ball him if he has been sitting on it a while... but i got a ski in the shop now a 18 y/o kid tried to flip to make some money and well... after about 850 he will spend getting it running he might break even, these are very ify things to flip. he ended up w/ a messed up valve in the #3 cly and is having to have the engine pulled and engine tore down to fix, but its an 03 which is a completely different beast. but i would leave painting alone, buff the hull and go w/ it, seat is a cheap 40 dyi fix w/ stainless staples and elbow grease, lights are $25 bucks. so your already in whatever the title fee is for the trailer, the registration fee for the ski in your name, about 75 in randoms covering your lights and seat stuff so roughly 550 if you buy it for 4 taking nothing else is wrong w/ it.

            No on the engine, would need to be size size yamaha motor due to motor mounts and jet pump issues, w/ a ski that old speed isn't gonna be improved much just due to hull design and engine.

            If you want to get into this, i would follow what i have said and put nothing extra in it. clean and buff it good, i have a big milwalkee buffer like auto shops use and use megairs buffing compound and it is AMAZING what it can make look new. good luck and any other questions ask me... I love this stuff its fun lol... What state are you located in?

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            • #7
              Re: Problems to look for when buying used?

              Originally posted by nate_1503 View Post
              Lol slow down a bit, older ski's mean harder to find parts. I would low ball him if he has been sitting on it a while... but i got a ski in the shop now a 18 y/o kid tried to flip to make some money and well... after about 850 he will spend getting it running he might break even, these are very ify things to flip. he ended up w/ a messed up valve in the #3 cly and is having to have the engine pulled and engine tore down to fix, but its an 03 which is a completely different beast. but i would leave painting alone, buff the hull and go w/ it, seat is a cheap 40 dyi fix w/ stainless staples and elbow grease, lights are $25 bucks. so your already in whatever the title fee is for the trailer, the registration fee for the ski in your name, about 75 in randoms covering your lights and seat stuff so roughly 550 if you buy it for 4 taking nothing else is wrong w/ it.

              No on the engine, would need to be size size yamaha motor due to motor mounts and jet pump issues, w/ a ski that old speed isn't gonna be improved much just due to hull design and engine.

              If you want to get into this, i would follow what i have said and put nothing extra in it. clean and buff it good, i have a big milwalkee buffer like auto shops use and use megairs buffing compound and it is AMAZING what it can make look new. good luck and any other questions ask me... I love this stuff its fun lol... What state are you located in?
              I live in NC. I went down there on Saturday to check it out. When we got there (1 1/2 drive), the first thing he said was "sorry, I didn't know that the paperwork wasn't already signed and notorized by my friend, which is who owned it." Well, I looked at it anyway and LOVED it!!! It def needs some TLC but he cranked it up, and the engine was cold, so I doubt it did it before I came by. It ran fine for a few seconds then we cut it off. I did a compression test and both cylinders were at around 140. So that checked out good. I couldn't put it in the water because a BAD storm was rolling in and he had to get the paperwork straight anyway. So, hopefully, within the next couple days he will call me and tell me I can pick it up. I am NOT going to give him any money unless I put it in the water for 20 minutes and ride around. Just like a car, gotta test drive it! But he seems legit and said he will call me so I will ride it then.

              It was registered till 2013. He showed me the paperwork (registration) and it had the guy's name that he bought it from. He said he is going to have his friend sign it and notorized it. Then, I will sign it and notorize it then send it in and it will be mine! So we are basically bypassing the guy I am buying it from, the "middle man".

              I can't wait though!

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              • #8
                Re: Problems to look for when buying used?

                Best of luck to you. If you don't have a manual to go with it, let me know and I'll send you the PDF versions. Read it!!! Especially the part about how to flush the engine and when to run the water thru it!
                2001 Carver Voyager 374 'Stick's Competition'

                Something tells me I should be on the water....

                If I answer your upholstery questions, it's only because I've been doing it 20+ years...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Problems to look for when buying used?

                  Thanks for all the help! Hopefully, I will be picking it up tomorrow! I will post pics when i do get it.

                  ps- any manuals or diagrams would be REALLY appreciated!

                  Thanks!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Problems to look for when buying used?

                    http://www.scribd.com/doc/54673848/Wave-Runner
                    2001 Carver Voyager 374 'Stick's Competition'

                    Something tells me I should be on the water....

                    If I answer your upholstery questions, it's only because I've been doing it 20+ years...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Problems to look for when buying used?

                      I hope the Kawasaki purchase works out for you. I'm a newbie to jetskis, but have been learning fast, the hard way. I bought a '97 Yamaha Waverunner 700 two months ago for $850. It cranked right up and ran great on the water. Well, it been in two shops for extended periods since and I've dropped another $800 on a coil, CDI (some kind of an electronic controller), exhaust manifold, and trailer work. Now it needs a new impeller and wear ring - another $500+. My $850 Waverunner is going to end up costing me over $2100.

                      When I bought it I didn't know what specifics to look for. I was impressed that it started right up and ran real strong on the water, and the seller seemed sincere. The '89 Kawasaki that you're buying seems pretty old and might end up being a money pit. I'd have to ask myself when buying any used machine - If it's such a good running ski, then why does the seler want to get rid of it? If it can easily be fixed up, then why doesn't the seller do it himself?

                      Like one of the other posters said, if you get any funny feelings when checking it out, then walk away. In my area of FL, there are literally hundreds of old machines on Craigslist at under $1000.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Problems to look for when buying used?

                        well, thanks for all of yall's help! I went to pick it up today and left empty handed. : (

                        It ran good in the yard, good compression, but when I put it in the river, I went upstream first. I was thinking that if anything happened, I would rather seim downstream than upstream! Glad i did!! It ran great for about 5 minutes. I wasn't getting on it hard, but i did mess with the throttle, given it gas, then letting up, then giving it gas again. Just bouncing it back and forth. well, i got on it once, let it plane out... then it cut off.

                        Long story short... I swam it back down river- bout 3/4 mile- and after taking it back to his house and working on it, "he" determined that it was a fuel problem. He said it had old gas and trash in the lines and all I had to do was clean it out. I said that it would take long so lets do it. He said it would take a couple hours and parts. He still wanted to sell it to me for the same price and got mad when I said I wouldn't gonna buy it. I told him that it was like a car, test drive it and if it don't run, don't buy it.

                        He gurantted me that it was fuel related and even after i said What if it wasn't. he said that there isn't anything else it could be. I said that maybe it was a coil of something because my dads boat was having similar probs and he had to replace his coils and he said that there isn't any other thing it could be. .
                        So i told him thanks anyway but i was going to pass, even so I had to drive 1 hour and 45 minutes TWICE! whatever. i should have called Nate and got him to go with me!

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                        • #13
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                          Re: Problems to look for when buying used?

                          Good instincts. Walk away. There are a crap load of decent ski's out there, you just have to weed thru the junk.
                          2001 Carver Voyager 374 'Stick's Competition'

                          Something tells me I should be on the water....

                          If I answer your upholstery questions, it's only because I've been doing it 20+ years...

                          Comment

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