Buying 2001 X-Star - What to look for on test drive
I put a deposit down on a 2001 x-star Friday, and it's now in the shop being detailed and serviced before we take it out for a drive this week. This is my first wakeboat purchase - I've owned an I/O prior, and have been driving friend's wakeboats for about 6 years now.
By all appearances, this is a mint boat. 290 hours, no hull scuffs from beaching, vinyl is perfect (no tears or pink discoloring), no spider cracks at the tower connection. It is in the shop right now having the oil/impeller/plugs done, steering cable lubricated, and vdrive shaft seal replaced.
Obvious things I know to look for - vibration in the steering from prop/rudder damage, visible water leaks, etc. Question would be - common problems with this gen x-star/205v, particular areas to look at, and a checklist of things to look for.
Congrats on the purchase! The first gen XStar is a killer boat - I had mine for about 5 years and loved it.
One thing to be aware of (but it might be hard for them to check), is the rear seal where the shaft comes out of the tranny. The 205v is prone to having that particular part sit in water, causing that seal to pit and fail (may not be an issue since you only have 290 hours, depending on where it was stored...lift/trailer vs in the water).
MC offers an aftermarket fix called a "sneaky sleeve". Mine went bad (had about 850 hours on it when it did), and I had to replace the seal and install the sleeve. This seal is important as it keeps the water out of the tranny - luckily I caught mine immediately and it didn't do any damage to the tranny. I just had to pull the tranny out and replace the seal. Again, I don't think this will be an issue with the low hours, but you could maybe mention it to them to see if there is anyway to check it out.
Check to see if the transmission fluid is completely clear. If it is at all pink - like pepto pink - then there has been water in the transmission. Also, drag your finger or a paper towel down the hull under the tranny and see if it picks up excess oil residue. Like Jay said, these boats were prone to have a tranny seal go out. I had that happen on an '02 xstar I owned back in the day. I was out riding, a bilge pump failed, one of my rear hard tanks was leaking (unknown to me at the time), my bilge ultimately filled up with a little water (not that much), but when I put my boat on the trailer at the end of the day, there was enough water in the bilge that it washed back over the transmission, filled the tranny with water, and blew the seal. This was a well known problem, and MC fixed mine under warranty. This same thing happened to three of my friends that year.
Also, look to see if there are pink spots on any part of the interior vinyl - if it is the original. The '01-'02 year model xstars were prone to have a problem with the vinyl discoloring, which was due to a microorganism feeding on the vinyl adhesive backing and excreting a chemical that turned the vinyl pink. You could not clean it, you had to replace it. I had my entire interior replaced under warranty.
Make sure perfect pass works. Test the bilge pumps. Theck the engine access panels to make sure that they aren't warped/melted. This would indicate whether the boat was overheated in the past. Check the welds in the tower.
I'd ask the last time the impeller was changed too. Every boat I get I change the oil, tranny fluid, and impeller for peace of mind and to set my schedule.
I have an 02 check make sure all the ballast pumps work. Make sure they fill all the way up and drain. My middle sack leaks but am too lazy to deal with it and fix it. Its not that big of a problem. Not sure if your going to keep it in the garage but make sure the tower knobs will come un done. The engine cover vinyl cracks so just know that if it has not been replaced. Other than that and what was said above its such a basic boat not much can go wrong. You are going to want to pull the hard tanks and add bags will give you a ton more space as well.
Thanks for the tips!
The V-drive seal is being replaced this week as the first poster mentioned. Also, the impeller/oil/plugs are being changed as well.
I'll check the vdrive for leaks. Is it accessible from the engine compartment, or do I need to pull the floorboard?
I plan on upgrading the ballast (pumps and sacks) anyways, but I'll check them. Whats the normal fill time on the older xstars? 20 mins?
Have a compression test done.
Thanks - Im having a compression test done now. Here is a checklist of items I made to look over:
Hull cracks? Check @ tower connection/swim platform
Tower welds ok? Folds ok?
Hull - scuffs from beaching?
Trailer - tires good?
Trailer - brakes good? All lights work?
Vinyl Ok? Check discoloration
Take off seats/panels - check for mold
Check access panels - warped from heat?
Floor stringers ok? No rot?
All gauges work?
Perfect Pass works?
Ballast works (check 3)? Any leaks?
Steering Ok? Tight?
Check wiring - frayed/spliced?
Check Vdrive fluid - clear or milky?
Feel underside of vdrive - oily?
Compression test done?
WOT - Smooth? Smoke?
Spin prop - bent/major dings?
Vibration when accelerating?
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