Maize Kustoms

Restoring a 1997 Sea-Doo Speedster w/twin 720's

Well. Here is the new toy. It is a 1997 Sea-Doo Speedster. It came on a Shorelander trailer. The actual engine sizes are twin 717cc. I was looking into hopping them up, I can't really because the jets will cavitate at about 7000 rpm's. I am looking at maybe buying a new set of jets from the 100hp twin motors. They are larger and may carry the higher RPM's.

I got the boat for $800, and Howler (from Snowtracks) helped me pick it up a couple of weekends ago. The paper work is now complete as of this afternoon, so I can start on the work. The guy wanted $1000 for it, but had to put it back together with a new starter on the one motor. I told him to just leave it as is, and I would give him $800. He accepted. He thought a new starter would cost over $300, and the dealer in Waterloo wanted another $1000 to go through the carbs, jets and motor. I think they were just going to clean the carbs, drain the rest and squirt oil in the motors.

I am going to empty the gas tank. It has about 10 gallons of 7 year old gas in it. I will also change the two-stroke oil out. All of it is over 7 years old.

I bought a new Sea-Doo cover off of eBay for $225 shipped. I got a new way bigger deep cycle trolling/starter battery for $61 after exchange (they still had the sales receipt in the glove box of the boat, and the date was not removed. I got a 13 month proration from a 30 month battery.) That battery will last over 7 hours playing a radio. The stock battery would run a radio for about an hour and not have enough juice to start the motors.

I bought two brand new starters (with a 2 year warranty) for $141 delivered from DSA Electric off the internet. I spent $80 for a Uniden depth finder. I spent $18 for a waterproof radio cover, and $137 shipped for a Pyle CD player and 2 marine speakers off eBay. I also had to buy new trailer lights so I got a set of stop/turn, side marker and a license plate mount (all in LED) off ebay for $36 delivered. I am making new light buckets so you can't break them.

I have a total investment so far of $1498.00. I spent about $46 for registration. So we will call it $1544.

I am still planning get some marble Hydro-Turf for the interior. That will run about $220.

I am going to pull both motors and jets as the boat hasn't been started in over 7 years. I will also pull the wheels and hubs to make sure the bearings are OK. I want to go through the motors to make sure they are all up to par, and check the jets over thoroughly. I just want to make to sure everything is in A1 working order. The NADA book value for around here is between $4200 and $5700. I may be looking to sell it in a couple of months.

Just a note: This is how I brought it home. It also has an anchor, 3 life vests, 2 life jackets and a water tow with twin ski ropes.


Well. I got the new starters ready to put on. Then I thought about it a bit and thought I better try to turn them over by hand first with the plugs out. I took off the cover to the direct drive shaft and heard a gurgle sound.

I thought that was odd. I move it back and forth and got a gurgle again.

I pulled the flame arrester and found that the single carb was full of oil. I further found that the entire case was full of oil and just topping it off in the carb. The check valves have gone bad (like all rotary engines do) and oil has filled the case to the top.

At least I now know that the lower end was not sitting with water in it for 7 years. LOL. This weekend I am pulling the motors. Tonight I made the hooks to pull the motor.

I broke off the insulator on the spark plugs and welded a large washer to it (standing on end) I can screw them into the holes and hook my hoist to them and lift the motors out.

It is a little awkward angle to lift them out.

I pulled the jet pumps off last night. One of the reverse hood locks needs a minor fix, but it looks like somebody drove it through some nasty shallow water with gravel. The veins in the housing have huge chunks missing from them. I knew I was in trouble when I pulled the nozzles off and rocks fell out.

The boat has already been updated to the new pump housings, but they are toast and the impellers are questionable. So it looks like $200 for each new jet pump housing, and $25 each (exchanged) for refurbished impellers. I also have a little gel coating work to do in the intake charge port. It is just minor work, though.

The motors are coming out this weekend (hopefully) and next week I have some painting to do. So I will be tearing them down a little at a time.

Well, well..well. What have we got here. A MESS.

I pulled the jet pumps off. The ride plates look good, but the pumps are toast. The support veins are all broken apart, and barely have anything holding them in. The impellers are probably OK to use. But for $24.95 each, I can have them rebuilt to factory specs. One impeller looks like the pitch has been bent. I am sending them both in to SBT.

The wear rings are COMPLETELY shot. I bought new jets from a GTS. They have bronze support veins. The impeller shafts are good, and the bearings are also good. I found brand new Sea-Doo wear rings on ebay for $60 for the pair. The new jet pumps with the bronze veins I also found on ebay. He had 1 for $100 with $16 shipping. I emailed him to see if he had more. He had 10 of them. I talked him down to shipping me two of them for $200 shipped to my house. So when I am done, I will have two newly rebuilt, better jet pumps for about $310. That isn't bad considering just the new housings from Sea-Doo (with no bearings or seals) are $368 each.

I also tried to get some pictures of the engines with the oil level in them. You can see the crankcase is full of oil up to the carb. At least the lower end should be fully lubed. LOL.

I got the rear engine cover off today and the engine bay looks totally neglected. Once the motors are out, I can pull the gas tank. I can then mount the Uniden depth finder to the bottom of the hull in front of the gas tank. Hit the engine bay with degreaser and take it to the car wash and clean out the bay area. By then, I will have both engines out, both jet pumps and the gas tank out. I would use my own pressure sprayer, but I don't have hot water. I think hot water would work better.


I bought the Speedster form a guy I know. I even work with the guy. It is a good thing he sold it to me for $800. My goal is to have everything gone through and running for under a total investment of $2000. That is going through both motors, both jet pumps, new battery, new starters, a stereo system, a depth finder, carpet and new rear deck pad.

So far the outlay has been:

$800 for the boat and trailer
$225 for the cover
$141 for new starters
$18 for a radio cover
$137 for a Pyle Marine radio system
$36 for trailer lights
$61 for a Deep Cycle trolling battery
$83 for a Uniden depth finder
$46 for title transfer and registration
$320 to rebuild jet pumps

That is a total layout so far of $1667, that leaves $333 to finish it up. The motors should be OK. I may need about $70 for gasket kits. I may rering the engine when it is apart. I also want to repaint the trailer. I should be right around my budget, though.

It has been a while since I updated. I haven't been able to work much on the boat since about 6-10-08. We were preparing, and surviving the flood in Cedar Rapids.

I sent both impellers off to SBT. The rebuilt them for $24.95 each. The total bill with shipping was $58.85.

I was wrong on the motors being OK. They looked fine, but the taper in the cylinders was waaaay off. Both motors needed new pistons. Here are some shots of the one motor. Just mulitply the motor times 2, and you get the picture. LOL.

I also rebuilt the jet pumps. I put new bearings in them, new thrust washers and new wear rings in both of them.

One motor needed PTO and MAG bearings. Both motors needed piston kits. Both jet drives were rebuilt with bearings, thrust washers and wear rings. While the motors were apart, I put new crank seals in it. We got all the parts from WSM. Both motors' machine work, bearings pressed on, both cranks trued and both motors hot tanked, the bearings, kits and wear rings all came in just under $900 from Recreational Motorsports. I thought it was a killer deal for all the stuff to be pretty much brand

I bought the better bronze jet pumps off ebay for $100 each. $200 for the pair shipped to my house.

I just got back the exhaust manifold and complete exhaust systems yesterday from being sand blasted. I also got the PPG paint to repaint them with BRP color codes, so the colors will be correct.

I got to finish the painting stuff to get prepared for opening shop with Ian and Monster Performance. The painting will be finished up this coming week. I still have some engine bay cleaning to do. Then the fun part begins....putting her back together.


Getting closer to caught up. All the painting stuff is delivered. The Roush Mustang spoiler, the Cobra air vents and window vents, the Harley fairings and an airbrushed sign are all out the door. The shop is officially closed. In fact, I still have to paint my bumper for my Jeep. I am going to take the class at our community college to use their booth to paint it.

I got both motors finished up tonight. The engine is timed, the rotary valve timed, the air boxes on, the carbs rebuilt and set. I have the jet pumps together but still have to fill them with 75w-90 synthetic oil. They will be ready.

This weekend it detailing out the engine bay and if time allows, drill the 3" hole in the bottom to install the depth finder.

I am still waiting on my Guest battery disconnect. Then I have to wire that up. After that is in, I can then wire up the Pyle stereo and the depth finder to that circuit.

I still have to pull the throttle controls and rebuild them. The port side control has no tension in it. I bought all new wear parts that go in it, and might as well go through the whole thing.

If things go well. I might be able to start dropping in the motors this coming week.

Not very exciting pictures. But it is progress.



Well. I spent the day cleaning the engine bay, and the ski portal. What a mess. I don't understand how people can let their stuff get to this disgusting level.

You saw the before shots above. Here are the after shots after getting it all cleaned out. Tomorrow is cut the hole in the hull for the depth finder and then hopefully getting the gas tank and oil tank back in.

I probably won't be able to do much this week on it, or next weekend. I work 4 - 10 hour days this week and then I am off for Fish Fest IV in Wisconsin next weekend.

It is coming along nicely. Once the depth finder is in and the tanks is downhill from their. It is just a matter of putting it together. Then I can start cleaning up the interior, seats and installing the depth meter, the radio, the speakers and the Guest main battery cut-off.

I also have to rebuild the throttle controls and possibly get another reverse cable.

Here is the clean engine bay after another $25 at the car wash.



The fuel lines are all cleaned up from the mold that had grown on them. YUK!

All the electrical wires were also cleaned, and the connectors wire brushed and coated with dye electric grease.

I dropped the gas tank in place. Tomorrow I will finish up the gas tank and new fuel filters. I need to test the fuel gauge sender. They are notorious for going bad. I'll have to check that while it is out. I hooked the battery up again and shot the exhaust fan with WD40, it was making a little noise. It works smoothly now, with no noise.

I rebuilt the throttle controls. The port side had no resistance to it, and would just fall to what ever position it was closer to. I pulled the whole unit, and ordered all new wear parts and completely went through it. It works perfectly now.

I also drilled the hole in the hull under the gas tank for the depth finder, and also mounted the gauge in the dash area. I also have all the wiring routed for the unit.

I have decided to keep the large deep cycle battery seperate. I am going to get the original battery and mount it in the bay, too. That will keep the starter circuit seperate from the accessories. That will prevent you from being stranded if you party too long and drain the battery from the radio.

Hopefully tomorrow after work, I can start dropping in the motors. I have to paint the exhaust yet. I am hoping it is nice this weekend so I can paint them outside.

I really want to fire them both up next week, at the latest. Then I can buff out the whole boat, and clean up the seats.

I still have to mount the stereo system and speakers. The stereo has a wired remote head. I am going to mount that around the dash, while the larger head unit will be on the port side of seating area. I think I will mount the speakers towards the front of the boat.

I have a guy working on a bimini top for it now. He owns the building that I did the plumbing last week. It pays to know people, and trade labor. LOL.

Once that is complete. I am heading over to Albert Auto. The owner is a good friend of mine. We are going to use one of the hoists to lift the boat off the trailer. I am going to bring it home, sand it and paint the trailer. Anyway. That's the update. I will have some further pictures (hopefully) tomorrow evening.

I was back at it this afternoon. I took the afternoon off to get a good start on finishing up the engine bay. It is all downhill from here. YEAH!

I got all the elecrtrical lines cleaned up. The electrical tape had turned to a 'gue' from soaking in 2-stroke oil for so long. I took all the conduit off the lines, cleaned the lines, removed all the electrical tape and then put it all back together with new electrical tape.

I cleaned all the connections out and put die electric grease in them.

I then cleaned all the battery cables, the starter cables, throttle and transmission cables and got it ready to finish up.

I am going to start dropping the motors in this weekend, and paint the exhaust manifolds and exhaust tubes.

I ordered a second battery tray today. I am going to keep the accessories battery seperate from the starting battery....just in case.

This boat was DISGUSTING. You can tell how dirty it is from the beginning pictures. But this picture of the gas tank says it all. This is what was over EVERYTHING in the engine bay. The top (in the picture) has alreadybeen cleaned.

Here is the mounted depth finder transducer and gauge. I also took some rubbing compound to the area around the gauge, and some steel wool to the mirror lens. It is going to clean VERY nicely....when I get to that part. LOL.



Here is the finished engine bay and cleaned wiring. It turned out nicely, but not all the crud came off. It is MUCH better than before. I had the fuel sending unit out and testing it this morning. All is working properly with that...that saved $140, but the retractable ski pole is bent. I had to use the shop press to get it out. I had to order a new one of those, that was $53.69.

The muffler mounting braket for the starboard side motor was just flopping around. It was fastened down, and the port side was completely gone. I got a new port side, and mounted them both back securely in place. You can see that in the last picture.


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