300/440/550 550sx Hull Modernization Build

Joined
May 12, 2010
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Charlotte, NC
i did the strake mod to my 550 over the winter and it helped a great deal in how the ski handles, wayyyy more stable on top and my ski goes right at 50mph and carves deep with the strakes and wide tray.. i used 1/4 inch wooden dowels and glassed over it... highly recommended modification if you want a great handling 550
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2011
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31
Location
80127
Mini Update - getting the tedious work done!

Well the bond rails cured. What can I say - there stiffened up harder than a cinder block as Luda would say - I guess that few pounds of glass and resin was worth it...

The hull only needs reinforcement on the new nose section internally now (I'm going to apply strips of either 1208 or 1708 to tie the two deck pieces together, esp at the notorious intersection where cracks emanate from!).

Short of that, I need to seriously get working on my design work for the pole, bracket and footholds! Simple as they are, entering my new hull design into a CAD program without a 3D scanner is always fun! That's essentially what I did tonight. Here is a preliminary layout, note that the pole on the ski has a bottom end box mount designed for the 650sx, not this ski, I just needed a pole assembly to throw on my mock hull.



The rear box drawn is my "envelope" of where I want the bars to fall. It's about -6 at least from the OEM position. I'm actually going off the position my bars that are on the 440 are, which are currently at least -2 or -3. So I want another -3 to -4 from that, and that defines my "envelope" of comfort for my new bars. Designing stuff in CAD kicks ass for this kind of "precision", its so hard to juggle all the numbers in your head I think, esp. when you throw in the fact that I need a new pole bracket as well, so essentially the pivot point is a free variable for me to define, one which I will try and put aesthetics of the body line on high priority!

Next I'm going to be designing new graphics for it as well, I've got a little background in typography to help with that. Needless to say they wont neccesarily be "original" instead I'll be reverse engineering the "Rickter" font and spelling out "Kawasaki" for a sticker on the hood, and on the gunwales I'll be calling it the "FS-550" sort of like the FS-1 (also a nod to Gomez's 550sx-f logo). Come on - I've gone through this much trouble to carry body lines over you didn't think I was going to get all original on the graphics did you? :nana:
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2011
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80127
I'm in a Mechanical program with a heavy emphasis on controls and some EE as well. Towards the end of the year I'll have taken a bunch of thermo design classes as well - working towards my ultimate goal of being somewhat educated in electronics packaging design.

It is definately solidworks though! good eye! I've been using it for 6 years now on all the projects I do, it's to the point where I think napkin sketches take too long lol - napkins don't allow degrees of freedom or interference checks.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2011
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Location
80127
Another Mini Update...

Well spent about a few minutes in Solidworks tonight, and finalized the profile for my handlepoles front box section and pivot bracket. This just makes it easier now because converting it to 3D is a pretty standardized method since we've made a few of these poles already for my buddies. Unfortunately I'll be forced to cut these out by hand lol... no waterjetting this time.



Need to start working on the other stuff now like the footholds!! Pitty I have to go on vacation and ride all weekend... I could be spending time laying fiberglass or sitting my ass in front of a computer like I do all day at work :p
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2011
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80127
Not a big one - but I'm in the process of finishing almost all the glassing as I type (Still have to order another half gallon of Epoxy resin from USComposites... )! While I wait for my puny 21 gallon compressor to cool down so it doesnt melt down, heres some photos of the bond rail cut to shape!





Think I just about nailed the superfreak shape, and managed to flair it out a bit by the tubbies. I'll post up something later on it I get done my chine shaping.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 20, 2011
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80127
nearing the end!!

I've gone back and forth on it as I mentioned earlier in the thread - but I settled on keeping it "pure 550". Trying to see what a 550sx with a modernized hull will be like, most likely fun!

Got the chines shaped up today! Never really had much extensive experience with body filler, so I had to learn how much to mix up before it would harden too fast for me to apply it. I learned that pretty quick lol!

layin' in the goop. Just kinda figured on adding extra, so I layed it in heavy, all nice and deep like.


Once everything dried all nice and hard like, I set out with 46 grit paper, and I had a 4" and 3" set of cylinders (Packing tubes from McMaster). First I chipped away all the major excess with a paint scraper, then went to town with the 4 inch tube. This about "matched" the radius of the existing chines. I didn't think this looked cool enough, so I put some 46grit on the 3" tube and went to town. This gave more more of the classic superfreak'esque chine.




I then needed to blend the front sections in with the existing chines. I did this first with the air grinder, then did fine detail work by hand with 46 grit again.




I think they look pretty good!

I'm going to do like fastGTfairlane did with his and just lay 1208 over the entire bottom sections. I'm not going to do the whole ski's bottom though, just 6" wide strips that will extend about 2inchs past the blended section.

Gettin there!!!

Now I'm just waiting on some epoxy resin to do the final layups.
 

the WaTeRhAwK

fryin' up a/m electrics..
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
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Location
okc
A friend of mine made a pretty cool sanding block out of a tube of silicone for sanding down the channels. He laid out a sheet of saran wrap across the channel and emptied an entire caulking tube of silicone into it. When it finally cured(took about a week), it was the exact shape of the center channels and he just used adhesive sandpaper to stick to it.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2011
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Location
80127
A friend of mine ... tube of silicone ... He laid out a sheet of saran wrap ... caulking tube ... finally cured ... exact shape ... he just used adhesive ... to stick to it.
Sounds fancy!

For all the 701 Advocates! If this hull turns out to be so kick ass that I don't feel the need for another one, I will probably just cut the tray up again, and the engine bay floor and install a 701 with 144 pump. Time will tell with that one though! I would like to shorten & Slant the rear of the hull a bit if I do that as well! I have a feeling my 550sx with NOS and direct 3 micron powdered aluminum injection will be sufficient enough on power though for the remainder of the year (i.e. 1 to 2 rides by the time I'm finished lol)
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2012
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Location
Albany OR
Sounds fancy!

For all the 701 Advocates! If this hull turns out to be so kick ass that I don't feel the need for another one, I will probably just cut the tray up again, and the engine bay floor and install a 701 with 144 pump. Time will tell with that one though! I would like to shorten & Slant the rear of the hull a bit if I do that as well! I have a feeling my 550sx with NOS and direct 3 micron powdered aluminum injection will be sufficient enough on power though for the remainder of the year (i.e. 1 to 2 rides by the time I'm finished lol)
Maybe im a noob but, what the heck is direct 3 micron powdered aluminum injection?
 
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