Trying out the Mods

First there was a brief interlude to change out the power steering pump on my Cherokee. But then I was able to get back to the ski. I started by putting in some Dri-Gas to take the water out of the gas. No luck. Then we pulled out the tank and emptied it, and refilled it with fresh clean gas. Still wouldn't start. Changed the plugs with no success. The ski would run as long as I pumped the primer to keep gas flowing, but wouldn't run on its own. Maybe the fuel pump diaphragm in the carb had a hole in it? I pulled the carb off and took off the diaphragm cover. Diaphragm looked fine, and so did the little filter inside the carb. Okay, we gave up and took the carb home. We took the battery, too, since it was almost dead from repeated cranking.

Kent told me that water in a carb will not flush out, and that you have to pull the carb apart and blow it all out with an air gun. So I did that, and charged the battery and headed back over to Allen's house. I bolted the carb on, replaced the battery, and fired the ski right up. Cool.

I also brought the camera so I could get some pictures of the ski. Here's the ski with its new seatcover. You can see the frame we use to launch the ski. We lift the frame to slide the ski into the water to launch it. To recover it we put the frame mostly into the water, then pull the ski onto the frame, and winch the frame back up onto the seawall.

Here's a closeup of the tach. It's a Tiny Tach, which is a simple sealed tachometer and hour meter. I made a simple aluminum mounting plate to hold the tach so you can see it while riding the ski.

I also got a cover off eBay. I was expecting a full cover to protect the entire ski from sun and rain, so I was a little disappointed with what I got. I did go back and re-read the ad, and it said "hull cover", which I guess is what you call this bikini-style cover. At least it protects the seat from the sun. Mark did give me a cover with the ski, but it has some rips in it. I'll have to see if I can use it anyway.

Now it was time to try everything out. So how did it work? Pretty good. The new handlebars let me sit further forward, and the wider bars were a lot more comfortable. I brought the GPS along, and got a best speed of 36.8 mph, with the engine turning 6400 rpm. That is about what I was expecting. One thing I noticed is that the idle seems way too high. says it should be 1400 rpm in the water, and I was seeing 2400 rpm. I'll try turning it down some next time.

I still have the West Coast exhaust pipe and muffler that came with the ski. You may recall that there are holes in the pipe. Allen suggested patching them with JB Weld, since they are only in the water jacket, and not in the pipe itself. I'm going to do that, and then install the pipe and muffler, and see if I get any speed/rpm increase. I also have some sponsons and a deep-V hull kit to put on, but I'm not in any hurry for that. If I get really carried away I may use VertGlas to put an glossy acrylic finish on the hull.