How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask RSRBOB Your Own Question
RSRBOB, Technician
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 1078
Experience:  Former Yamaha Factory Service Rep, Dlr Line Tech, Serv Mgr, G/M
Type Your Boat Question Here...
RSRBOB is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I'm going to buy a 97 Kawasaki 3 cylinder it starts right

Customer Question

I'm going to buy a 97 Kawasaki 3 cylinder it starts right away idle revs fine but when its in the water it wont run or very slow 3 to 5 mph.i check it today the seller was honest to tell me everything $550 includes trailer
JA: Sometimes things that you think will be really complicated end up being easy to fix. The Marine Mechanic I'm going to connect you with knows all the tricks and shortcuts. Is there anything else important you think the Marine Mechanic should know?
Customer: no,im new to pwc this is my first jet ski if I'm going to buy this but I will take the advise of you or who ever your going to connect me thank you,sorry for my English I'm not that good
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  RSRBOB replied 11 months ago.

It sounds like either the engine is hurt or the carbs have issues. I would suggest doing a compression test on all 3 cylinders. I suspect you are going to find one is significantly lower than the other 2. You are looking mainly for consistency, and they should be somewhere around 110 psi per cylinder. Remember to leave the other 2 spark plugs installed when you are doing the test. Also, ground out the spark plug leads so the engine doesn't start while doing the compression test. While you pull out each spark plug, make a mental note of what it looks like, especially the color of the tip of the plug. Again, you want to see consistency. If you have one that is darker or lighter than the other, it could indicate a problem with that carb.

Although the price seems tempting, this could potentially turn into a money pit. It really depends on what is wrong with it. There are references available to get retail values on skis as well.

Another point to consider is whether you are capable of doing the work yourself or if you are going to have to pay someone else to do the work. If you cannot do the work yourself, I would advise to steer clear of this one.