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Superchargers,ceramic disks, and disasters oh my!

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Sea Doo RXT 215
#1
I have a 2005 RXT, my first PWC (tho' I've owned crap loads of ski boats, sailboats, ATVs, dirt and street bikes in my greasy, skinned knuckled life.

She's got 20 hours on her, I lift the seat and i can smell resin and PVA not gas.

Invariably, when I share the joys of my purchase with others who've been around and bashed a few buoys i get asked "d'ya know if the supercharger's been rebuilt?"

"Uh, Bob, it has ... 20 hours on the engine".

"Well, if ya wan'ta ride a ticking time bomb of course that's your blessed right but when those puppies let go ... AND THEY WILL ... your engine and half the known universe are going to blow themselves to pieces, your wife will leave you, and your dog's gonna ignore you when you call."

I get it.

Pieces of loose metal fragments waltzing around the inside of an revving engine are not good for children and other living things, nor should my ski sound like an overgrown coffee bean grinder.

But HOW likely and under WHAT circumstances will the Angel of Death visit my ski? Sooner than later? Inevitably?

One source who's proven sober in the past told me that more often than not the pin on the grenade gets pulled when some Rodney Rocketbutt consistently over revs the engine catching air jumping wakes and waves in front of his (hopefully) future wife or tears down the riverfront WOT when he's not changed the oil in his ride for years.

So I'm asking, am I tiptoeing through the minefield, whistling past the graveyard, pokin' the lion with a stick, if I just wait and see?

When I've said that elsewhere the response is somewhat like Darth Vader's declaration " I find your lack of faith .... disturbing.

(Ack! Cough! Gag!)

Ok, OK, I'll order the friggin' rebuild kit!!!!

(Later)

Whadaya'll know? What are your personal observations? (No tales that start with " I knew guy who knew someone who ...."

Is $300 and a weekend the Daniels Boys in the garage wrenching the ski the price of admission, a rite of passage?

Thanks
 


mikidymac

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#2
I can say I have never worked on a 4-tec myself but I have been wrenching on the Seadoo's since 1991 and here on the forum for years and there are hundreds of people that have had the SC let go and the early ones are documented even by Seadoo to have multiple failures. Some let go with only a couple hours and some with hundreds. It is so bad that seadoo even says years or hours whatever comes first, not one or the other determines a rebuild.

I can honestly say I have rebuilt skis, cars, motorcycles, diesel engines, turbos from the ground up many many times and have no problem tearing into a SC but if it was my ski and my money for $300 to do it myself for the first time or $400 to have PWC Muscle do it who has done hundreds of these and guarantee's their work in all honesty I would spend the $100 and have them do it and simply enjoy my ski for another couple years.

I am the first one to admit that I am cheap and hate to spend an unnecessary dime but with all the SC issues and little techniques and special tools I would just let PWC Muscle do it. The older I get the more I just want to get to the lake and hit the start button and enjoy my family time rather than messing with a tempermental ski.
 

Ckrawiec

Active Member
Messages
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Location
Rochester, NY
Water Crafts
1996 GTX
2017 Spark 2UP
2018 GTS
2006 Bayliner 185BR
#3
I have a 2005 RXT, my first PWC (tho' I've owned crap loads of ski boats, sailboats, ATVs, dirt and street bikes in my greasy, skinned knuckled life.

She's got 20 hours on her, I lift the seat and i can smell resin and PVA not gas.

Invariably, when I share the joys of my purchase with others who've been around and bashed a few buoys i get asked "d'ya know if the supercharger's been rebuilt?"

"Uh, Bob, it has ... 20 hours on the engine".

"Well, if ya wan'ta ride a ticking time bomb of course that's your blessed right but when those puppies let go ... AND THEY WILL ... your engine and half the known universe are going to blow themselves to pieces, your wife will leave you, and your dog's gonna ignore you when you call."

I get it.

Pieces of loose metal fragments waltzing around the inside of an revving engine are not good for children and other living things, nor should my ski sound like an overgrown coffee bean grinder.

But HOW likely and under WHAT circumstances will the Angel of Death visit my ski? Sooner than later? Inevitably?

One source who's proven sober in the past told me that more often than not the pin on the grenade gets pulled when some Rodney Rocketbutt consistently over revs the engine catching air jumping wakes and waves in front of his (hopefully) future wife or tears down the riverfront WOT when he's not changed the oil in his ride for years.

So I'm asking, am I tiptoeing through the minefield, whistling past the graveyard, pokin' the lion with a stick, if I just wait and see?

When I've said that elsewhere the response is somewhat like Darth Vader's declaration " I find your lack of faith .... disturbing.

(Ack! Cough! Gag!)

Ok, OK, I'll order the friggin' rebuild kit!!!!

(Later)

Whadaya'll know? What are your personal observations? (No tales that start with " I knew guy who knew someone who ...."

Is $300 and a weekend the Daniels Boys in the garage wrenching the ski the price of admission, a rite of passage?

Thanks
What a great write up....love your writing style.....have no effin idea about them SC's...I can't even find the time to get my '96 2 stroker up and running again....YET YET YET!
 
Messages
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3
Location
Northern California
Water Crafts
Sea Doo RXT 215
#4
Thanks Mikidimac!

I can say I have never worked on a 4-tec myself but I have been wrenching on the Seadoo's since 1991 and here on the forum for years and there are hundreds of people that have had the SC let go and the early ones are documented even by Seadoo to have multiple failures. Some let go with only a couple hours and some with hundreds. It is so bad that seadoo even says years or hours whatever comes first, not one or the other determines a rebuild.

I can honestly say I have rebuilt skis, cars, motorcycles, diesel engines, turbos from the ground up many many times and have no problem tearing into a SC but if it was my ski and my money for $300 to do it myself for the first time or $400 to have PWC Muscle do it who has done hundreds of these and guarantee's their work in all honesty I would spend the $100 and have them do it and simply enjoy my ski for another couple years.

I am the first one to admit that I am cheap and hate to spend an unnecessary dime but with all the SC issues and little techniques and special tools I would just let PWC Muscle do it. The older I get the more I just want to get to the lake and hit the start button and enjoy my family time rather than messing with a tempermental ski.
 
Messages
30
Likes
3
Location
Northern California
Water Crafts
Sea Doo RXT 215
#5
Thanks mikidimac:

I'm sure there's no shortage of people who will ardently affirm that I'm not known to make consistently sound or logical decisions. "Hey y'all, watch this" was my meme before it became popular elsewhere. "Jump that cactus patch on my ATV? Sure, piece-o-cake!"

Age (and repeated convalescings) has mellowed that outlook … buuuut not by much some might say.

But just 20 hours on the engine?

Should I seek the full rebuild hoo-hah or just do the disks-of-terror plus the usual get-in, get-out hardware? (seals, etc.)

I have the general shop tools, torque wrenches and presses to keep the sailor-talk to a minimum (doesn't affect the decibels tho', nor the continued observations that that BRP engineers located certain bolts and screws where only Reed Richards or Elastigirl could reach them) and I've watched the five or six Youtube DIY vids on the subject (yay, 3 Feet Deep) but it looks like the friction washers are among the first and last things futzed with in the process, no need to "split the case" (dreaded words for us old motocrosser's).

Or is this one of those "well, you're in there anyway", 30 feet from the top of Everest, kind of things?
 
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Location
Northern California
Water Crafts
Sea Doo RXT 215
#6
What a great write up....love your writing style.....have no effin idea about them SC's...I can't even find the time to get my '96 2 stroker up and running again....YET YET YET!
Well, you get to be MY age (think giant Sequoia's) and if I can't laugh about blowing a fan belt halfway to Vegas or loosing a wheel bearing in beautiful downtown Essex California and watching the trailer with my dune buggy skidding past my driver's window (tales to follow, you bring the beer I'll do the nachos) then life's not worth living.

I'm glad I gave you a chuckle.

My mantra at this tree-ring of life is "I'd rather wear out than rust out".
 

mikidymac

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#7
Remember its' not just the hours on the supercharger it's the age also. There is a reason that the interval is hours or years, not just the hours.
 

pvamax

Active Member
Messages
241
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Location
NY
Water Crafts
'08 C180SE
#9
Thanks.
I'm going with new spring washers, friction disks (Riva) and O rings.
The sc bearings are 14 years old and spin at something like 50,000 rpm, and are the primary reason they recommend rebuilds every 2 years. You sure you want to skimp out on a full rebuild kit?
 

Ckrawiec

Active Member
Messages
485
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73
Location
Rochester, NY
Water Crafts
1996 GTX
2017 Spark 2UP
2018 GTS
2006 Bayliner 185BR
#10
Well, you get to be MY age (think giant Sequoia's) and if I can't laugh about blowing a fan belt halfway to Vegas or loosing a wheel bearing in beautiful downtown Essex California and watching the trailer with my dune buggy skidding past my driver's window (tales to follow, you bring the beer I'll do the nachos) then life's not worth living.

I'm glad I gave you a chuckle.

My mantra at this tree-ring of life is "I'd rather wear out than rust out".
My father in law always said....no sense being the best looking corpse, I’m going out as used up as possible. All good bro.... I’m approaching geezer myself, stories to tell....still being stupid :thumbs-up::thumbs-up:
 
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Location
Northern California
Water Crafts
Sea Doo RXT 215
#11
The sc bearings are 14 years old and spin at something like 50,000 rpm, and are the primary reason they recommend rebuilds every 2 years. You sure you want to skimp out on a full rebuild kit?
The motor has an honest 20 hours on it. Kind of doubt there's been much wear. 10 hours is break-in. I'm doing the washers so I can sleep knowing I addressed the Armageddon issue that 99% of everyone talks about. While it's out I'll check things out for signs of burning or overheating (carmelized oil, bluing/scoring of shaft etc.)

I'm sure there's gotta be some cheesy rubber dinosaur movie titled "Attack of The Killer Washers" or "Night of The Living Dead Supercharger". It's like a secret handshake or something "ya rebuild yer S'charger, lose them c'ramic disks? Yeah? Ok, you can come in."

I can see its a MAJOR bummer when the older friction washers blow and take your wallet and retirement benefits with them. Repairs could exceed the value of just replacing the flippin' ski. I'm checking for wet spots under my chair just reading the nightmare stories people have shared.

However, well-intended round th' campfire spooky stories notwithstanding, I think I'm on firm-ish ground believing the SC has good bones with the low hours and replacing the infamous (gasp) ceramic washers with Riva's super-go-fasty-heavy-duty-"last ya a GOOD long while" metal ones. New spring washers too, needle bearings, O rings, yada yada, really everything BUT the shaft and bearings.

I'll do the full Willy when I have more hours on it. There's a reason that SBT and Riva sell these parts separately. I observe there's a whopping $50 difference in total between buying all the kitted good stuff AND the tools and practicing my expletive repertoire or just sending the puppy in to have it done someplace.

So for those who's tools are gleaned from the 99 cent table at Ace hardware or who just don't have the friggin' time, or who have been there and done that often enough that the thrill is gone, there are options besides my personal dead-man-walking approach to things mechanical.

Yeehah!
 

pvamax

Active Member
Messages
241
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25
Location
NY
Water Crafts
'08 C180SE
#12
The motor has an honest 20 hours on it. Kind of doubt there's been much wear. 10 hours is break-in. I'm doing the washers so I can sleep knowing I addressed the Armageddon issue that 99% of everyone talks about. While it's out I'll check things out for signs of burning or overheating (carmelized oil, bluing/scoring of shaft etc.)

I'm sure there's gotta be some cheesy rubber dinosaur movie titled "Attack of The Killer Washers" or "Night of The Living Dead Supercharger". It's like a secret handshake or something "ya rebuild yer S'charger, lose them c'ramic disks? Yeah? Ok, you can come in."

I can see its a MAJOR bummer when the older friction washers blow and take your wallet and retirement benefits with them. Repairs could exceed the value of just replacing the flippin' ski. I'm checking for wet spots under my chair just reading the nightmare stories people have shared.

However, well-intended round th' campfire spooky stories notwithstanding, I think I'm on firm-ish ground believing the SC has good bones with the low hours and replacing the infamous (gasp) ceramic washers with Riva's super-go-fasty-heavy-duty-"last ya a GOOD long while" metal ones. New spring washers too, needle bearings, O rings, yada yada, really everything BUT the shaft and bearings.

I'll do the full Willy when I have more hours on it. There's a reason that SBT and Riva sell these parts separately. I observe there's a whopping $50 difference in total between buying all the kitted good stuff AND the tools and practicing my expletive repertoire or just sending the puppy in to have it done someplace.

So for those who's tools are gleaned from the 99 cent table at Ace hardware or who just don't have the friggin' time, or who have been there and done that often enough that the thrill is gone, there are options besides my personal dead-man-walking approach to things mechanical.

Yeehah!
The 2 year rule for the bearings is not because they wear out from use. They dry out,then crack. Explode. Take out your motor just like the washers do. I don't follow the 2 year rule to a T personally. 4-5 years works out to 100-150 hrs for me and that is rebuild time in my book. But 14 years...just do the whole shebang. My recent 2008 215 motor i picked up in 2014 with 35 hrs and ceramic washers. First thing i did was send it out for complete rebuild from reputable dealer. Peace of mind...
 
Messages
30
Likes
3
Location
Northern California
Water Crafts
Sea Doo RXT 215
#13
The 2 year rule for the bearings is not because they wear out from use. They dry out,then crack. Explode. Take out your motor just like the washers do. I don't follow the 2 year rule to a T personally. 4-5 years works out to 100-150 hrs for me and that is rebuild time in my book. But 14 years...just do the whole shebang. My recent 2008 215 motor i picked up in 2014 with 35 hrs and ceramic washers. First thing i did was send it out for complete rebuild from reputable dealer. Peace of mind...
:thumbs-up::)
 
Messages
30
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3
Location
Northern California
Water Crafts
Sea Doo RXT 215
#14
I was going to nod and walk away but … I just gotta say something.

Metal bearings do not "dry out". Do you believe that bearings that came in the shiny new rebuild kit that Big Brown dropped on your doorstep were made last week? Last year? I was a precision machinist for ten years making thousands of widgets that would sit on a shelf in some warehouse until sold which could be a VERY long time since they were made.

I mean, sure, yeah some old SKF or FAG bearing that's been sitting in the barn for ten years, rained on and covered with pigeon poop would likely have some pitting and rust … but that would be obvi, but oiled, cosmolined, wrapped, and boxed bearings will outlast Twinkies. And that's in the open air, bathed in oil and sitting in a near airtight metal casting they can last for decades.

Now rubber and plastic can harden, totally get that, and the ONE seal behind the impeller could be stiff, could leak, you might lose boost, but it won't claymoor your motor.

I trust my gut, my experience, my chops, and generally don't don't do things "just cuz". If had pulled the dipstick and the oil had the color and consistency of black spackle and smelled of old Edsels, if the oil filter I just changed had had microscopic flakes of metal in the folds, if the magnet I brushed over the filter came up fuzzy, I'd be right next you yankin' on the oars in the lifeboat pullin' hard away from the U.S.S. Disaster.

The tendancy of the ceramic washers (good idea, baaaad application) to kablooey for seeming random, yet leaning towards overheating and age, causes is well documented. The consensus kicks technical ass, "well, it SHOULD have lasted ....."

But … "they dinnah" (as my Irish grand-dad would've said).

I'm with you, if you have the hours don't buck the statistics, buy the bloomin' full Monty kit and be done with it, sleep knowing that all is well inside the SC in the garage for another 200 hours or so. But to imply that bearings "age" at rest?

Ah don' think so mon.
 

pvamax

Active Member
Messages
241
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25
Location
NY
Water Crafts
'08 C180SE
#15
I was going to nod and walk away but … I just gotta say something.

Metal bearings do not "dry out". Do you believe that bearings that came in the shiny new rebuild kit that Big Brown dropped on your doorstep were made last week? Last year? I was a precision machinist for ten years making thousands of widgets that would sit on a shelf in some warehouse until sold which could be a VERY long time since they were made.

I mean, sure, yeah some old SKF or FAG bearing that's been sitting in the barn for ten years, rained on and covered with pigeon poop would likely have some pitting and rust … but that would be obvi, but oiled, cosmolined, wrapped, and boxed bearings will outlast Twinkies. And that's in the open air, bathed in oil and sitting in a near airtight metal casting they can last for decades.

Now rubber and plastic can harden, totally get that, and the ONE seal behind the impeller could be stiff, could leak, you might lose boost, but it won't claymoor your motor.

I trust my gut, my experience, my chops, and generally don't don't do things "just cuz". If had pulled the dipstick and the oil had the color and consistency of black spackle and smelled of old Edsels, if the oil filter I just changed had had microscopic flakes of metal in the folds, if the magnet I brushed over the filter came up fuzzy, I'd be right next you yankin' on the oars in the lifeboat pullin' hard away from the U.S.S. Disaster.

The tendancy of the ceramic washers (good idea, baaaad application) to kablooey for seeming random, yet leaning towards overheating and age, causes is well documented. The consensus kicks technical ass, "well, it SHOULD have lasted ....."

But … "they dinnah" (as my Irish grand-dad would've said).

I'm with you, if you have the hours don't buck the statistics, buy the bloomin' full Monty kit and be done with it, sleep knowing that all is well inside the SC in the garage for another 200 hours or so. But to imply that bearings "age" at rest?

Ah don' think so mon.
Sounds like you're an expert already! Best of luck with your FIRST brp pwc!! Btw, you should post this on gh...see what they say;)
 

pvamax

Active Member
Messages
241
Likes
25
Location
NY
Water Crafts
'08 C180SE
#17
I was going to nod and walk away but … I just gotta say something.

Metal bearings do not "dry out". Do you believe that bearings that came in the shiny new rebuild kit that Big Brown dropped on your doorstep were made last week? Last year? I was a precision machinist for ten years making thousands of widgets that would sit on a shelf in some warehouse until sold which could be a VERY long time since they were made.

I mean, sure, yeah some old SKF or FAG bearing that's been sitting in the barn for ten years, rained on and covered with pigeon poop would likely have some pitting and rust … but that would be obvi, but oiled, cosmolined, wrapped, and boxed bearings will outlast Twinkies. And that's in the open air, bathed in oil and sitting in a near airtight metal casting they can last for decades.

Now rubber and plastic can harden, totally get that, and the ONE seal behind the impeller could be stiff, could leak, you might lose boost, but it won't claymoor your motor.

I trust my gut, my experience, my chops, and generally don't don't do things "just cuz". If had pulled the dipstick and the oil had the color and consistency of black spackle and smelled of old Edsels, if the oil filter I just changed had had microscopic flakes of metal in the folds, if the magnet I brushed over the filter came up fuzzy, I'd be right next you yankin' on the oars in the lifeboat pullin' hard away from the U.S.S. Disaster.

The tendancy of the ceramic washers (good idea, baaaad application) to kablooey for seeming random, yet leaning towards overheating and age, causes is well documented. The consensus kicks technical ass, "well, it SHOULD have lasted ....."

But … "they dinnah" (as my Irish grand-dad would've said).

I'm with you, if you have the hours don't buck the statistics, buy the bloomin' full Monty kit and be done with it, sleep knowing that all is well inside the SC in the garage for another 200 hours or so. But to imply that bearings "age" at rest?

Ah don' think so mon.
Yep, the bearing itself doesn't get brittle over time. But the phenolic cage holding the bearing certainly does...
 
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Location
Northern California
Water Crafts
Sea Doo RXT 215
#18
Um, actually yes and no.

The plastic bearing cage WILL degrade with repeated thermal expansion/contraction cycles, i.e. lotsa hours, hot and cold, hot and cold, and yada, develop micro-cracks, abso-tively! And ... that process takes time + exposure to the stress factors.

But stand down time parked in the garage has zero effect on the plastic. That's where I'm at. 20 hours.

That said the bearings for the SC shaft itself do not use phenolic resins since that composite is not rated for 45,000 RPM, they're APOM or some other polymer. You COULD get a bearing set with the cheap stuff and it would have the same dimensions but that's why it's important to trust your bearing house to compare ALL the required specs.

The SC gear actually spins little relative to the shaft it's mounted on, when the rotational mass/speed of the impeller catches up with changes in RPM of the driven shaft, up or down, there's no relative rotational difference. the bearing is designed to carry the "shear" differential when it occurs. It's designed to "slip". And oh, THAT bearing is solid steel needles, no plastic in sight.

Now them thar ceramic washer thingies ... whole 'nuther discussion and one that has more threads addressing it than a hundred square feet of 1200 denier ripstop fabric.

Jes' my two Lincolns.
 

pvamax

Active Member
Messages
241
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25
Location
NY
Water Crafts
'08 C180SE
#19
Um, actually yes and no.

The plastic bearing cage WILL degrade with repeated thermal expansion/contraction cycles, i.e. lotsa hours, hot and cold, hot and cold, and yada, develop micro-cracks, abso-tively! And ... that process takes time + exposure to the stress factors.

But stand down time parked in the garage has zero effect on the plastic. That's where I'm at. 20 hours.

That said the bearings for the SC shaft itself do not use phenolic resins since that composite is not rated for 45,000 RPM, they're APOM or some other polymer. You COULD get a bearing set with the cheap stuff and it would have the same dimensions but that's why it's important to trust your bearing house to compare ALL the required specs.

The SC gear actually spins little relative to the shaft it's mounted on, when the rotational mass/speed of the impeller catches up with changes in RPM of the driven shaft, up or down, there's no relative rotational difference. the bearing is designed to carry the "shear" differential when it occurs. It's designed to "slip". And oh, THAT bearing is solid steel needles, no plastic in sight.

Now them thar ceramic washer thingies ... whole 'nuther discussion and one that has more threads addressing it than a hundred square feet of 1200 denier ripstop fabric.

Jes' my two Lincolns.
Did you even google seadoo supercharger bearing failures? They are...common.
 
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Location
Northern California
Water Crafts
Sea Doo RXT 215
#20
Sounds like you're an expert already! Best of luck with your FIRST brp pwc!! Btw, you should post this on gh...see what they say;)
Did you even google seadoo supercharger bearing failures? They are...common.
Thank you, yes I did, and actually SC failures are pretty far down on the list of the things that go boom all the time. More common is a rope or your neighbors cat wrapped up in the impeller, a cruddy battery, bad solenoid, fiberglass cracks, fuel or ignition issues, pump issues or host of a kazillion other "everyday issues" that aren't gonna nuke your wallet like an SC exploding.

I grant you, having your SC turn itself inside out is the Ebola virus of Seadoo sicknesses but the baby is far more likely to have a cold or the flu or a skinned knee before the guys in the hazmat suits rappel into your garage to bag the body.

Somehow people are gleaning from my posts that I don't believe in the SC boogeyman or bearings that go "bump" in the night darkness of your engine compartment. Nothing is farther from the truth. I started by saying that I have a ski with 20 flippin' hours on it and all the Tarzans of "ya gotta rebuild that SC NOW" have come swinging down from the trees to save me, yodeling to call the herd to help. I'm grateful for the sentiment, bro' helping bro', I get that, but I'm just barbecuing here, my house isn't on fire.

Nothing grabs attention or commiseration like stories of bloodied engines and spectacular stratospheric repair bills, good fodder for campfire and beer chatter. Who wants to hear how I buffed a scratch outa my gel coat, or skinned a knuckle replacing the starter solenoid, scaring the neighborhood children with the language I invoked to get that bottom bolt loose … and back on?

SC tales of woe are center stage not because of their frequency but because of their comparative mechanical ferocity leaving no credit card unchewed, huge canceled checks shredded and streaming behind them in their wake. Absolutely lead the 10 o'clock news with that.

Yes, by all means inform people that the SC's have a limited lifespan, that they need inspection, that the little boxes on their report cards need check marks in the "satisfactory" column. But running through peoples garages like C. Little proclaiming imminent disaster isn't helpful.

Try this. Pick any 10 PWC repair shops near you and just ask them, "of the last 25 repairs you did on skis, how many were because the SC went all demise of the Deathstar? The answer might give you a bit more sleep at night.

I'm only trying to remain centered on likelihood, not terminal inevitability. I want to ride and enjoy my ski not bunker down behind my toolbox in the garage waiting for "the big one".

Ladies, gentlemen, change your fluids regularly, watch your hours, keep the baby bottoms wiped clean, perform the recommended maintenance at the intervals you adopt (and by all means adopt some) flush after using, floss before bed.

If somebody absolutely hasta catch some monster air leaping up a wave, wingin' the piss out of the throttle performing a whip for the crowd gathered, Adonis abs and Barbie bikini, on the beach, you've been warned and a hundred mechanics with a mortgage and a kid in college are watching you closely.

Their phone will wring.
 

mikidymac

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#21
What are your opinions on the time vs. operation hours on these @JoeZ ?
 
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Location
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Water Crafts
Sea Doo RXT 215
#24
There are minds who's sole focus is to dwell on issues like these. Well- paid, scholarly minds, that empirically measure, collate data, that aren't swayed by spikes of aberrant data.

No one, not even bi-focaled eggheads will be able to say how long a given bearing WILL last, only a subjective estimation given the data at hand.

The second law of thermodynamics is basically a law of decay. Sooner or later your sandwich bag will be indistinguishable from the surrounding dirt ... so will you.

There are so many variables to consider, heat, mechanical stress, chemical incompatiblities, yada yada.

My own personal law of mechanics: "Things work best when they don't have to."

Like this, if a motor output shaft coupler is perfectly aligned with the load its not really needed to make up for small deviations, it'll last forever. Now articulate that coupler, even a little, (think CV joints) and bets are off.

Looking at how the SC gets driven that shaft gear will be deflected sideways by the driving gear. Bearings that only had to rotate before now have to displace lateral forces, now the puppies are sweating. How long THOSE last is fully a function of their design, composition, components and how much they're being asked to do.

Notice the shaft gear rides on needles not balls, the lateral load is spread along the length of the bearings, not concentrated where the circumference of a ball passes the moment of energy in one tiny spot. Each design has its place.

The plastic cages of the two ball bearings in the SC should last years, if operated within their design parameters, brittling of cages comes from heat, which comes (mostly here) from friction which comes from exceeding a coefficient of "clearance" (i forget the proper term)between two surfaces.

(ya really want all this?)

Yeah, bearings of yore broke down a lot . New manufacturing capabilities for shaping and polishing surfaces to fractions of MILLIONTHS mean far better durability of product than just ten years ago.

Enough. Change your oil, understand that pushing beyond "typical use" conditions means trading longevity for adrenaline. As we used to say "speed costs money, how fast do ya wanna go?"
 

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