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Hello,

I owned a 2015 Spark. Salt water got by the PTO seals and the crankshaft rusted at around 130 hours or so. I fixed it with JB Weld, while it worked, I upgraded to a 2018 Spark Trixx (the Sparks are a lot of fun, I find them to be more fun than Yamaha's which don't have a trim system in this size and price range). At some point during the 2016 model year, they redesigned this part of the Spark. They added a replaceable Output Sleeve so that you can swap that out instead of swapping out the crankshaft or doctoring it up.

But how long should the Output Sleeve last? I thought they would make it out of stainless? The owners manual requires that we have the PTO serviced at 200 hours (a reasonable time frame). But mine rusted out and leaked water at 130 hours. Luckily, I was still under warranty, barely, and it got covered.

It seems to me that maybe, for those of us who are in saltwater, perhaps we can get 3 years regardless of hours. For example, if you put 200 hours on a Spark in 1 week, I doubt it would rust. But, if you put only say 40 hours in 4 years, I bet it rusts.

Locally, it costs about $270 to have the PTO rebuilt. The output sleeve costs between $169 and $200. So, I'm looking at a good $500+ service call every 3 years? I believe that other skis that use the carbon seal system are cheaper to repair when the carbon seal need it.

The mechanic said that he hasn't seen many Output Sleeves rusting out (everyone around here is using their Sparks in saltwater). So, am I unlucky, did I have a fault outer seal in the PTO?

Does anyone know where the 2 o-ring seals sit on the Output Sleeve? My Spark looks like it just came out of the showroom. I wash and flush it with SaltOff after every use. In fact, I shoot Fluid Film through the opening on the top of the PTO cover every time (I have a long straw on a long thin wooden stick so I can reach all the way down in there. Still, it did no good. I wonder if we should crawl underneath and blast fresh water using a hose, up into the intake grate aiming towards the front (where the PTO sits) in an effort to flush the salt out?

I am looking for ideas and experiences that other people have had.

Thanks ahead of time.
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