Keeping your Polaris PWC on the water

eURL link to this web page ==> Keeping your Polaris PWC on the water

The only thing that will make your Polaris PWC reliable and keep it reliable is the attention and maintenance you do. If you do not check, repair, and maintain the machine, it will not be reliable. This is true for any brand of PWC.

Take the time to read the service manual, work thorough the maintenance sections, and actually do the maintenance. Do not assume the previous owner did everything, or even did it properly.


Use the information you find here, and on the forums, to further your understanding of how it all works. Learn about the common issues that may affect your model/engine/year. Find out what it may need to have updated, adjusted, or changed.



Don't be in a hurry to go riding. And don't be cheap.
All Polaris PWC are now quite old. Old enough that they will require some new parts, preventative maintenance, and general effort on your part. Expect to find multiple things that now need repair or replacement.

If your particular machine happens to be in excellent condition, all the better. That does not mean you get to skip over all the inspections and so on.
The only way to make your older watercraft reliable and fun to own is to invest the time and spend the money to make it that way.

If you don't make the effort up front, there is a significant risk of causing additional, potentially expensive or unexpected damage to your PWC. We have seen many cases of new-to-Polaris-PWC owners reporting expensive engine damage during their very first ride.

These machines don't like being left sitting for long periods of time (years) and they don't like owners that pay little attention to maintenance until something goes boom.

You may not have paid much money for your Polaris. Your decisions regarding how much more to spend getting it ready for the water should not be based on how much you paid for it.

Think about how much a comparable well maintained and running PWC in good condition would cost to purchase, plus whatever maintenance or repairs it may require. Use that as a reference for how much money and effort is reasonable to invest in your Polaris PWC. Generally speaking, once you have made the effort to bring your PWC up to a reliable level it can provide years of enjoyment for reasonable cost.

With reasonable efforts you can make your Polaris PWC more reliable and actually better than when it was brand new. Updates and upgrades are well documented and sometimes inexpensive.



In addition to what is shown here, refer to these pages specific to your engine and model series.

Important: Clean and rebuild the carburetors. Even a single gummed up carb can burn down the engine in short order.


Polaris Fuji (blue) engine
Fuji blue engined Polaris PWC models (1992-1997)
Piston has a hole through the middle? You need to read Fuji engine Burndown Basics

Polaris Domestic (red) engine
Polaris domestic carburetor red engined PWC models (1996-2004)

Loonatik’s album of stock Polaris carburetor settings


Polaris Ficht Fuel Injected 2-stroke Direct Injection DI Engines
Polaris PWC models with Ficht fuel injected engines

Polaris MSX 150, MSX 110 models with Weber turbocharged engines


Polaris PWC related information

More Polaris PWC related Info



Replace gray Tempo brand fuel lines

The Tempo fuel hose degrades internally and can gum up the carbs with greenish goo
From about 1994-2002, the factory installed gray Tempo brand fuel hose chemically reacts where it connects to metal fittings, creating a greenish or bluish goo inside the hose that clogs the fuel system and carburetors, causing lean fuel delivery and burned pistons. The outside of the Tempo fuel line can look and feel just fine.
Often associated with SeaDoo PWC, the same Tempo hoses were also used on Polaris and Yamaha PWC.
What grade fuel line should I be using?

How do I know whether my battery is good?
While the engine is cranking, the battery must deliver more than 10.6 volts to the CDI ignition module.
Anything close to or less than 10.6 means the battery is too weak (even if you just finished charging it).
What voltage should a healthy, full charged battery have?






Running the engine with the hull out of the water
It is OK to run the engine for short periods of time with no cooling water. Keep it under 20 seconds at a time, with cool down periods.

If you must run the engine much longer than 20 seconds out of the water (which is rarely required), do not run the engine for more than 1-2 minutes on the garden hose.
Excess running time on the hose will over heat
and partially melt the seals for the through-hull fitting and impeller stub shaft.
If you overheat the seal lips, you will have problems with water getting into the steel bearings and into the hull.
The drive shaft  seals are normally cooled from the jet pump and drive shaft being under the water.
A common mistake with people that love to reverse flush the cooling system is to run their engine for too long at a time. You only need about 1-2 minutes to flush the system, maximum.


Reverse flushing, engine cooling
Reverse flushing the engine does not provide full engine cooling, especially to the front (MAG) cylinder.
If the thermostat and pressure by-pass plunger valve are not present in the thermostat housing (which was factory configuration after 1999 for carburetor engines) then the cooling water exit hose must be clamped off when reverse flushing.
If you need to run the engine on the garden hose with full cooling, disconnect the 3/4" cooling water feed at the base of the jet pump (right side, looking from the rear) and connect a 3/4 hose barb adapter for your garden hose.



Jet Pump Maintenance and Service

Water is leaking into the hull around the drive shaft
Check that the water is not coming from the small hose nipple on the speedometer pitot, which is directly below the drive shaft.

Testing with the hull on the trailer, but in the water
Best way to check for leaks is to strap the hull down to the trailer front and back, then back it down the launch ramp until the jet pump water intake is submerged. If needed you can run the engine with the hull strapped down in the water.
You can leave the seat off, and find out where the water is coming from.


Note: The bow winch strap should run under the winch roller, so the bow is held snugly against the roller when the strap is tightened.
If you will be applying throttle while the hull is strapped down, use a second strap to ensure the bow cannot push up over the bow roller.


Note: Testing with the hull in the water while strapped to the trailer is useful for many tests, checks and diagnostics. You can run the engine for as long as you need, and can have the seat off and stand beside the machine to see what is going on.

You can apply throttle, steering, even reverse.

Make sure the launch ramp area below the hull is clear of rocks, sand and debris. The jet pump intake creates a strong suction and you do not want anything other than water going through the jet pump.


See Jet Pump section for more complete info

Replacing the seals and bushings in the through-hull assembly

There are different versions of the through-hull bearing
Early units with crimped ends can not be repaired, but they can be directly replaced with the newer style assembly (1996-2004, except MSX)
Well, maybe the crimped style can be rebuilt
Click here for a list of parts sources

The rubber shaft seals tend to wear more than the sintered metal+teflon bushing, so you may not need to change the bushings unless worn.
Replacement seals can be purchased from any Polaris OEM parts source or generic seals may be installed.

Generic Drive Shaft seals for bearing carrier (through-hull bearing) part# 8702 (Two required)

SKF Rawhide 8702
Shaft 0.875
Bore 1.499
OD 1.503
Width 0.25

SKF #563541 (22mmx38mmx8mm)
Sealing lips with garter springs face outwards at each end of assembly.


Note: MSX drive shaft bearing carrier uses different rebuild parts.



Engine Break-in procedure

There is a specific break-in process for these engines, with a few variations.
The core idea is to heat cycle the engine several times, with increasing range of throttle and duration after each warm up, followed by a thorough cool-down each cycle.


Subpages (1): Jet Pump
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