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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

My Spark had developed a leak while it was under warranty. The dealer had to take the engine out to fix it. They made double sure that it wouldn't leak by using a marine sealant.

It still seems to be leaking. I just went out for a nice calm 1.5 hour ride and about a pint of water got in.

After I emptied the water, I used my hose to spray all around the top to see if water was getting past the gasket. I don't think it was because additional water drained out.

I pulled the top off and filled it with water so that the water just covered the motor mounts, then I crawled underneath and couldn't find any spot that leaked water. I raised up the front to see if anything in the back end was leaking. It wasn't.

Can water get inside due to the using the Spark? In other words could there be some sort of bad seal/gasket around the drive?

Thanks ahead of time!
 

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Is it possible the side panels where you would check your levels are closed correctly? Or the seals didn’t go bad around that area?
 

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I have not had an water in the spark this year under normal use. I pulled the drain plug and no water came out. The only place I can see water coming in if possible is around the drive shaft or seals around the panels. Check your seals.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My Spark is a 2015 and has 135 hours of salt water use on it. It is in perfect condition. It's garaged, and its been washed and flushed every time that it was used. Getting salt water in the bilge has just started happening, there is no rust or damage to anything under the top (I just had the top off to change the plugs). As a reminder, I had filled it up with water (just over the motor mounts) and crawled underneath. There were no leaks. Then I jacked up the front end with the water in it, still not leaks. With the top on, I sprayed the seams aggressively with water, no water got it.

After extensive research on the Internet and calling a local jet ski repair shop (not the dealer), I bet I have a rusted crankshaft, a $3000 fix.

It seems that part of the crankshaft sticks out from the block and it is always in contact with water when you are using it (this is the PTO sleeve and seals area). That part of the crankshaft is not stainless steel. So, I have been told that it WILL rust out eventually! It seems that they redesigned this for the 2016 model year and so those probably won't have the issue. The rest of us are screwed. The mechanic said that he would put in the newer redesigned crankshaft if I choose to do that.

At the moment, I'd say I'm taking in a pint to a half gallon while being out on the water. But that rate will probably increase.

The owners manual lists PTO sleeve and seals maintenance. At 200 hours or 2 years, replace the oil seal, the 2 water seals, and lubricate the grease chamber between the 2 water seals. But this is where the rust occurs so new seals shouldn't seal it.

I guess the choices are:
1) Put in the newer crankshaft for $3000
2) Put in a bilge pump and try to get more time out of it. I'm not sure if worse damage could occur though (like could water make it into the block?)
3) Find a way to sell it for parts (I have no idea how to go about that), I can't imagine what I could get for it given the problem

Bummer, I really do love my little Spark!
 

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My Spark is a 2015 and has 135 hours of salt water use on it. It is in perfect condition. It's garaged, and its been washed and flushed every time that it was used. Getting salt water in the bilge has just started happening, there is no rust or damage to anything under the top (I just had the top off to change the plugs). As a reminder, I had filled it up with water (just over the motor mounts) and crawled underneath. There were no leaks. Then I jacked up the front end with the water in it, still not leaks. With the top on, I sprayed the seams aggressively with water, no water got it.

After extensive research on the Internet and calling a local jet ski repair shop (not the dealer), I bet I have a rusted crankshaft, a $3000 fix.

It seems that part of the crankshaft sticks out from the block and it is always in contact with water when you are using it (this is the PTO sleeve and seals area). That part of the crankshaft is not stainless steel. So, I have been told that it WILL rust out eventually! It seems that they redesigned this for the 2016 model year and so those probably won't have the issue. The rest of us are screwed. The mechanic said that he would put in the newer redesigned crankshaft if I choose to do that.

At the moment, I'd say I'm taking in a pint to a half gallon while being out on the water. But that rate will probably increase.

The owners manual lists PTO sleeve and seals maintenance. At 200 hours or 2 years, replace the oil seal, the 2 water seals, and lubricate the grease chamber between the 2 water seals. But this is where the rust occurs so new seals shouldn't seal it.

I guess the choices are:
1) Put in the newer crankshaft for $3000
2) Put in a bilge pump and try to get more time out of it. I'm not sure if worse damage could occur though (like could water make it into the block?)
3) Find a way to sell it for parts (I have no idea how to go about that), I can't imagine what I could get for it given the problem

Bummer, I really do love my little Spark!

I was going to say once you said salt water use and a 2015 its probably the crank
Pull it apart and sand the rusted part of the crank, coat it with multiple light coats of JB weld and sand smooth after each coat until you have a fresh even surface again. Another guy did that, his post is on here somewhere and it has been working for him for a year or two
https://www.seadoospark.org/forum/290-sea-doo-spark-troubleshooting/16769-spark-leaking-water-bellows.html
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just finished pulling it apart, and yup, its rusted just like Player Four's jet ski (I found that thread). I guess he fixed it in Oct 2017. In Nov 2017 he said that it had held up for at least 10 hours as of that posting. I posted a question asking him how it was doing now (7 months later), it would be good for a lot of us to know.

I'll get started on his JB Weld solution.

Honestly, Sea Doo has been in the business forever, how could they have made this mistake (clearly they know they made a mistake because they redesigned the part for 2016)? You'd think they'd do something for us, like at least sell the parts to us at cost (something to reduce the cost). Even though they are now advertising "saltwater certified", I can't see buying another Sea Doo given this scenario.
 

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Just finished pulling it apart, and yup, its rusted just like Player Four's jet ski (I found that thread). I guess he fixed it in Oct 2017. In Nov 2017 he said that it had held up for at least 10 hours as of that posting. I posted a question asking him how it was doing now (7 months later), it would be good for a lot of us to know.

I'll get started on his JB Weld solution.

Honestly, Sea Doo has been in the business forever, how could they have made this mistake (clearly they know they made a mistake because they redesigned the part for 2016)? You'd think they'd do something for us, like at least sell the parts to us at cost (something to reduce the cost). Even though they are now advertising "saltwater certified", I can't see buying another Sea Doo given this scenario.
Well they updated it in 2016 so you can replace that shaft now rather than have to replace the crank.
 

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If thats the issue sometimes there are stainless steel wear rings that can be installed over shafts to renew the surface. It all depends on the size of the shaft. They are called speedie sleeves. Ive installed hundreds on everything from axle shafts to crank shafts. They are thin enough that the original seals will work with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The rust has been removed and the JB Weld work is done. Its 32 mm just like the crankshaft. It will work for awhile at least. Waiting for an OEM PTO and other parts ($150 total).

The question is: how does the salt water get to the crankshaft in the first place? Shouldn't the interior small boot on the driveshaft prevent it? Or is it the first PTO water seal (but if so then salt water has to be touching a bit of the crankshaft anyway, correct)? In my case, I had a leak on the hull (metal strip used as heat exchanger). Thanks to that, the hull was 1/2 full of salt water when I got home. So maybe the salt water got in through the 2 PTO openings? They pulled the engine to repair that leak (under warranty which is now expired), but I bet that they didn't look under the PTO!

Interesting thought about the Speedi-sleeve. Can't see how it would fit in there though and how it could prevent rust.
 

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Speedie sleeves slide over the shaft so it will be sealed from ever rusting again. They do make a 32mm sleeve . Part number 99128 it may need 2 for if the seals are to far apart. It would be a permanent repair . Yes water can get in between the crankshaft oil seal and the pto seals.If your in salt water it might be a good idea to pack the gap with waterproof grease so water that gets in the hull doesnt eat the crank from behind.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the idea Wizzer. I'm not sure that I understand it completely though. Currently, I have JB Weld built up and sanded to the 32 mm diameter of the crankshaft. The crankshaft spins inside the PTO. The outside of the crankshaft is touching the 3 seals in the PTO (1 oil seal and 2 water seals). Your idea is to put a Speedi Sleeve on the crankshaft could help a lot of people so I was hoping to talk it though some more.

I'm thinking that the distance (length) from seal to seal inside the PTO is about 1.25 inches. The length of the crankshaft sticking out is about 2 inches until its diameter decreases where you clamp the big brown driveshaft boot on. There are some good picture on the "Spark Leaking water from bellows" thread on this forum: https://www.seadoospark.org/forum/290-sea-doo-spark-troubleshooting/16769-spark-leaking-water-bellows.html.

1) Depending on the exact roundness of the applied JB Weld and the inside diameter of the Speedi Sleeve, I guess I'd just slide the Speedi Sleeve onto the crankshaft. Could it be that easy? If it had to be pressed on, I'm not sure how that could be done with the engine still in the ski.

2) What would keep it in place and prevent it from moving? Wouldn't it be free to spin on its own? It wouldn't be able to slide forward towards the block due to the shape of the crankshaft. But couldn't it slide backwards and try to come out of the PTO and hit the little boot thats around the driveshaft?

3) Depending on the thickness of the Speedi Sleeve, couldn't it be too think for the the seals inside the PTO?

4) Since I still don't understand the path that the water took to rust my crankshaft (in my case, the engine compartment was half full of salt water due to the other leak), could water get between the Speedi Sleeve and the crankshaft with this new idea?

Your suggestion on packing the gap ... which gap? I know that there is a gap between seals in the PTO that the instructions say to put a certain amount of Triple Guard Grease into. Are you referring to that? Or do you mean more forward, like pack the area under those PTO slots (assuming thats not the gap the instructions were referring to). Lubricant can be squirted into the top PTO slot before and after rides.

Thanks again for all of your help.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That's a great video, thank you. Informative! But I understood the concept before, I just don't know why the sleeve would stay in place and not "walk" back towards the driveshaft. Maybe it won't.
 

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The sleeves are pressed onto the shaft. They come with a flared end and are installed with a cup tool or pipe. When you get it where you want it you peel the flare off and are left with just a new surface. I use flange sealant when installing and believe me they dont come off ever without some heat and cutting tools. The one in the video is to large for shaft its just a demonstration.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ok, thanks. I'm guessing that flange sealant will adhere to JB Weld. I wonder how Player Four's JB Weld job has held up?

While I don't know how long a 0.25mm stainless steel sleeve will last in salt water, it sounds like a good idea for sure! I wonder if anyone has tried it?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok, the JB Weld is super smooth, all the parts were installed, took it out for a 2 hour ride, came back and not a single drop of water got inside. A job well done!
 

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From FAQ on JB weld
When fully cured, J-B Weld is completely resistant to water, gasoline, and about every other petroleum product or automotive chemical. For wet-surface or submerged water or gasoline repairs, try our SteelStik or WaterWeld.
I think your JB weld fix will hold up longer than the crankshaft itself held up lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Sorry for the delay. No I don't have pics, but… the trickiest parts were: 1) cutting the clamp on the small boot on the driveshaft under the big boot (because it takes a bit of force to pull the big boot back), 2) putting the new clamp on the small boot on the driveshaft under the big boot (same reason), 3) during the reinstallation, lining up the driveshaft splines with the jet pump splines. I needed a second pair of hands for those things! The JB Weld goes on like icing on a cake. I used 220, 800 and 1500. A couple of coats. All new OEM parts. Basically: remove reverse bucket, remove jet pump, remove driveshaft, remove PTO. Repair. Reverse the order. If you have a second pair of hands its not hard, just time consuming.
 

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I gotta say this is probably one of the best forum discussions I have found about this problem. I have two 2014 models that are only used in salt water and they both leak pretty bad. My first option was to just install the $120 bilge pump kit in both and call it a day. After more research I'm also going to replace the oil seals and JB weld the crank shaft. I would never have thought JB weld would hold up in a area in constant contact to a wear surface like an oil seal, but I'm betting it will last much longer than I think. I will include some before and after pictures to see what it looks like.
 
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