Sea-Doo Supercharger Rebuild Intervals and Costs [Chart]
Sea-Doos are known for their powerful engines and outstanding performance. And as we know, higher performance means more maintenance and higher running costs.
You may also want to know how to check for a supercharger slip on your Sea-Doo, and how to remove or even rebuild it.
For your convenience, we at JetDrift have gathered all of this important information about Sea-Doo superchargers into this post!
What is a Supercharger On a Sea-Doo?
The supercharger on a Sea-Doo is an air compressor, feeding the engine with extra compressed air. Due to more air, the engine can consume more gas, which leads to higher performance. So finally, the Sea-Doo supercharger is a performance part designed to boost the engine up to 230-300 HP, depending on the model.
The main difference between naturally aspirated Sea-Doos and supercharged Sea-Doos is that the naturally aspirated (Na) models pull the air into the engine naturally, while on the supercharged models the compressed air is forced into the engine by the supercharger.
Using a supercharger results in a higher top speed, much better acceleration, more maintenance need, and a higher risk of failures.
Speaking of risks, beware that wave jumping means a lot of extra wear for the supercharger, as the RPM changes within a very short time, which is very bad for the supercharger’s clutches!
Finally, a lot of wear and tear can end in a supercharger fail.
What Happens When a Sea-Doo Supercharger Fails?
Sea-Doo supercharger rebuilds are considered to be a quite expensive form of maintenance, so you probably want to know why it would be required and what happens if a Sea-Doo supercharger fails.
If a Sea-Doo supercharger fails it may end in lower engine performance, but it’s still the better case. The worst case scenario is if the supercharger wears out and self-destructs, which can spray metal debris into the engine, causing serious engine damage. Finally, if a Sea-Doo supercharger fails, it may end in a complete engine rebuild!
Are you wondering how metal debris can get into the engine?
When a supercharger fails on a Sea-Doo, it can simply start free-spinning, which means it won’t deliver more power to the engine any longer.
But if you are really unlucky, in the supercharger the washers can fracture into pieces, or the impeller can touch the supercharger’s housing, causing the effect known as ‘bearing failure’.
Let’s take a closer look at these issues!
Sea-Doo Washer Failure
The impeller in the supercharger spins extremely fast (even at 50.000 RPM!), which results in a lot of heat and load to the washers, causing the need to be periodically replaced in many superchargers.
This issue was critical on the supercharged Sea-Doos manufactured from 2003 until 2008 as these models were manufactured with ceramic washers in their superchargers.
Sadly, these ceramic washers were known for frequent failures, especially if the supercharger isn’t rebuilt within the required interval.
From the 2008 model year, Sea-Doo supercharges come with metal clutch washers, but beware that these parts can still can break into small pieces and land in the engine, as many owners have already experienced.
But how can these metal parts get into the engine?
In a Sea-Doo engine, the supercharger is located above one of the oil pumps. After a supercharger fails, the metal debris may fall into this oil pump.
If this happens, the metal debris may be forced into the engine with the oil, or it can clog the oil pump itself, which can also lead to serious engine damage, as it leaves the engine without lubrication.
Sea-Doo Bearing Failure
Beyond the washer failure, you have to worry about bearing failure as well.
Simply put, if the bearing fails in the supercharger, its shaft becomes unstable and finally the impeller can come in contact with the housing. If this happens, you will need to purchase a brand new impeller. But in the worst cases, a bearing failure on a Sea-Doo can cause major engine damage as well, due to the metal debris.
That’s why Sea-Doo supercharger maintenance is so important, to avoid washer and bearing failures!
If you are wondering what a supercharger fail can do to the Sea-Doo’s engine, we can highly recommend this instructive video from 3FeetDeep:
How Often do Sea-Doo Superchargers Need to be Rebuilt?
Are you wondering how to prevent these issues? The answer is with supercharger rebuilds, which means replacing the washers, bearings, and some other required parts.
How Often do Sea-Doo Superchargers Need to be Rebuilt?
On the pre-2017 Sea-Doo, the supercharger needs to be rebuilt after 100 hours or 2 years, whichever comes first. After 2017, Sea-Doo has described their superchargers as ‘maintenance-free’, and only recommends an inspection every 200 hours.
But because of the above-mentioned risks it’s highly recommended that you get your supercharger inspected by a professional mechanic every year, regardless of the year of manufacture, as a rebuild may be required on demand.
Because of the high risks of engine damage, many owners who ride their Sea-Doo hard rebuild their supercharger every year.
If you also use your Sea-Doo in intense conditions, you can’t go wrong if you pay extra attention to your supercharger, and rebuild it every year.
What are these intense conditions?
- Regular off-shore riding
- Riding a lot at full speed
- Do a lot of aggressive “race-style” accelerations
- Jumping on waves or wakes regularly
As they say, prevention is better than the cure, so if your Sea-Doo gets a lot of abuse, inspect it more frequently or consider installing a blow-off valve.
Sea-Doo Supercharger Maintenance Schedule
If you check the owner’s manuals from the last decades you can see that the required supercharger maintenance on a Sea-Doo has changed over the years:
|Model Year||Supercharger Maintenance|
|-2012||Rebuilding after 100 hours|
|2013-2016||Rebuilding after 200 hours|
|2017-||Inspection after 200 hours|
Although from the 2013 model year the schedule for rebuilding a Sea-Doo supercharger jumped to 200 hours, many experts say that these superchargers have to be rebuilt after 100 hours or every 2 years.
If your supercharged Sea-Doo is manufactured in 2017 or later, beware that the manufacturer describes the supercharger in your craft as “maintenance-free” and only recommends that it be inspected after 200 hours.
But taking into account the serious problems resulting from a supercharger failure, it’s highly recommended that you get your supercharger inspected every year, or after 50 hours!
How Much Does It Cost to Rebuild a Sea-Doo Supercharger?
If you want to rebuild a Sea-Doo supercharger, you have three opportunities to choose from:
1. The most convenient way is to get it done by your dealership as part of the yearly maintenance.
Don’t forget, on many Sea-Doos the supercharger has to be rebuilt every second year (or 100 hours), but you can consider rebuilding it every year.
The costs may vary among dealers, so don’t hesitate to ask your dealerships for the supercharger rebuild costs.
2. Another popular solution is to remove the supercharger yourself and mail it to a professional shop that can rebuild the supercharger for you.
Once it’s done, the shop will return the supercharger by mail. This process usually takes 3-4 days and costs around $450-$550.
3. If you have the required tools and skills, you can consider rebuilding your Sea-Doo’s supercharger on your own.
To do this, you will need a Sea-Doo supercharger rebuild kit, which contains the necessary replacement parts. If you do it by yourself, be prepared to pay around $300-$350 for this rebuild kit. Beware, rebuilding a supercharger is not like an oil change.
If you mess up something, it can result in very serious damage and costly repairs, so the best practice is to get it done by a professional mechanic!
How Much Does It Cost to Rebuild a Sea-Doo Supercharger?
Rebuilding a Sea-Doo supercharger costs around $450-$550 if you get it done by a professional service shop if you send them by mail. These prices include the parts, the labor, and the postage. If you do it yourself, the cost of rebuilding a Sea-Doo supercharger is around $300-$350.
This means that if you rebuild your Sea-Doo’s supercharger every second year, it costs you around $150-$250 a year.
If you consider rebuilding it every year, it would be an additional yearly cost of $150 if you do it yourself, or around $250 if you get it done professionally.
Considering the fact that a supercharged Sea-Doo may cost you up to thousands of dollars each year, this doesn’t appear to be a significant expense.
It’s like having extra insurance on your Sea-Doo, as you can dramatically reduce the risks or failures.
How do You Remove a Sea-Doo Supercharger?
If you want to get your supercharger rebuilt by a service shop, you have to remove it and send it by mail. You may be asking, “How am I supposed remove my Sea-Doo’s supercharger?”
To remove a Sea-Doo supercharger, be sure that the engine is cooled down before removing the seat. Depending on the model, you may have to move the coolant reservoir out of the way to get access to the supercharger. Then, remove the air hoses from the supercharger and remove the J pipe as well. Finally, get a socket set and remove the 3 bolts that hold the supercharger in place.
For better understanding, we can recommend this tutorial video:
How Do You Rebuild a Sea-Doo Supercharger?
To rebuild a Sea-Doo supercharger, you will need a Sea-Doo supercharger rebuild kit and some special tools. You have to remove the supercharger first, mount the support plate and secure it into a vise. Then you have to remove the retaining screws and remove the cover. Finally, remove the impeller and the shaft, and replace the bearings, washers, and the other parts included in the kit.
Please note that rebuilding a supercharger is not a simple task as you will need many special tools and skills. Beware, that doing it wrong can do more harm than good.
Because of this, we recommend getting it done by a professional service shop.
Keep in mind that just the rebuild kits cost around $300-$350, which means the labor costs for a Sea-Doo supercharger rebuild are somewhere between $100-$200.
If you want to do it yourself, always refer to the owner’s manual and use OEM Sea-Doo supercharger rebuild kits with steel washers. NEVER use aftermarket kits or ceramic washers, as they are not worth the risk!
Consider a Sea-Doo Blow-Off Valve
If you ride your Sea-Doo regularly in rough waters, or just like wave jumping, you may want to install a blow-off valve.
An aftermarket Sea-Doo blow-off valve can reduce the stress on your supercharger’s clutch when you’re jumping out of the water again and again.
Additionally, it not only improves the supercharger’s reliability, but its performance as well!
How do You Check for a Sea-Doo Supercharger Slip?
If your supercharger is slipping, it may be a clue that it needs to be rebuilt. Because of this, it’s recommended that you check for supercharger slippage after 50 engine hours or every year.
What Does it Mean When a Sea-Doo Supercharger is Slipping?
The supercharger on a Sea-Doo is driven directly by the engine’s crankshaft, but the washers in the supercharger let the supercharger shaft slip when you cut the throttle quickly.
This is necessary because if you release the throttle suddenly it results in high pressure in the supercharger. This is because the engine doesn’t need so much air, but the supercharger still wants to force the extra air into the engine.
This means the supercharger has to slip to relieve this extra pressure. In other words, the Sea-Doo supercharger slips only when its wheel is spinning at a different RPM than the gear.
So based on this, a little slip on a Sea-Doo supercharger is normal and required.
But if the washers start to offer too little resistance and slip “too much,” it results in reduced air pressure by the supercharger during full throttle runs. Simply put, the engine will be less powerful due to the lack of extra air.
Finally, this effect is known as the Sea-Doo Supercharger slip.
How Do You Check for a Sea-Doo Supercharger Slip?
To check for a Sea-Doo supercharger slip, you will need some basic tools like a screwdriver, socket set, spark plug wrench as well as a torque wrench. You inspect by removing the supercharger, or you can check it in place. Either way, you will need to fix the gear and turn the impeller nut counterclockwise with a torque wrench to check the slippage.
If you remove the supercharger for testing the supercharger, we can recommend that you follow these steps:
– Remove the supercharger (based on the video above).
– Mount it to the support plate.
– Secure the plate in a vise.
– Fix the gear with a holding tool.
– Turn the impeller nut counterclockwise with a torque wrench.
– You should read 6-12 N.m.
If you want to check the supercharger without removal, we can recommend watching this useful video:
The Sea-Doo impeller is a compressor for the engine that feeds the cylinders with extra compressed air. It leads to much more power and a higher risk of malfunctions.
If a Sea-Doo supercharger fails, it can result in many other problems. The three main issues are lack of engine power (free spinning), and washer or bearing failures.
If the supercharger fails on a Sea-Doo, metal debris can get into the engine causing very serious and costly damage.
That’s why it is highly recommended that you get your Sea-Doo’s supercharger inspected by a skilled mechanic every year or after 50 engine hours, regardless of the year of manufacture. Moreover, if your Sea-Doo is manufactured in 2016 or earlier you have to rebuild the supercharger after 100 hours or every 2 years, whichever comes first.
A supercharger rebuild on a Sea-Doo costs around $450-$500 if you get it done by a professional service. If you want to rebuild it at home (which is not an easy task) you will need a rebuild kit.
These kits contain all of the necessary parts that have to be replaced like washers, bearings and many others.
As a final word, don’t forget to refer to the owner’s manual or ask for professional help!
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