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Sunapee Dreamer

Help Me Buy (or not buy) 98 Response LX

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Sunapee Dreamer

I've got my eye on a 98 RLX (Monsoon w/~500 hours) w/single axle trailer. I'm a great back yard mechanic, and if this were a car, I'd know just what to look for.

Having said that, could Folks please weigh in on what I should ask, and look for, when making a prospective purchase?

The boat can presently be seen/driven anytime.

Thanks

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Ndawg12

Welcome to the crew Thumbup.gif

What is your primary use for the boat? (skiing, wakeboarding, surfing, just cruising, etc)?

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Sunapee Dreamer
Welcome to the crew Thumbup.gif

What is your primary use for the boat? (skiing, wakeboarding, surfing, just cruising, etc)?

Hi, and thanks for the welcome. I'm just getting into slalom skiing, and hope to try wake boarding (someday).

I was originally looking st Sportsters, but the Response seems more female friendly.

Thanks

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nuttyskier2002
I've got my eye on a 98 RLX (Monsoon w/~500 hours) w/single axle trailer. I'm a great back yard mechanic, and if this were a car, I'd know just what to look for.

Having said that, could Folks please weigh in on what I should ask, and look for, when making a prospective purchase?

The boat can presently be seen/driven anytime.

Thanks

The Response is the same hull as the earlier Echelon. I have a '95 Echelon by the way and I use this boat the same as you will. It's a crossover which means it can be used for wake or ski and is also very good for family. The 98's got the Indmar engines which I prefer over the Mercs. Both use Chevy base engines but the marinization is a bit different and from what I can see the Indmar are built a little tougher.

Ask to see maintenance records or at least see who serviced the boat. Look at the engine and tranny dipsticks (engine for signs of varnish and tranny for fluid color). The trans fluid should be red to pinkish-red,.... not dark brown or black. Ask the owner to pull and few spark plugs and see it the tips are oil fouled. Another thing to check for is replacement of any parts with automotive ones. This is a huge NONO! While the engine is running, upon the cover and look around for any water leaks. Get him to show you that all electrical systems work. Especially the bilge pump and blower. Also look at the general appearance of all mechanical things under the engine cover. If it looks dirty and corroded (some rust is okay,... none heavy) chances are things have been neglected.

Also check the condition of the gelcoat, upholstery, carpet and hardware. General appearance says alot about the way it's been kept up. Was the boat stored in a garage or outside in the weather.

This is just a few things I could think of off the top. Others will chime in I'm sure. Good luck with your purchase.

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skier92

First I must disclose my bias: I have a 99 RLX/325HP purchase new and exclusively slalom with a bunch of guys that have grown to include three 00 and an 01 Reponse LX. That said I think your choice is great if your primary use will be slalom skiing. There are three LXI's in the gang, and while they ski equally as well, they don't spin turn quite as well (nice for a quick pickup of downed skier) are about 500 lbs heavier and usually cost more. As for what to look for: General appearance, not a guarantee, but general consensus is that a boat that looks cared for cosmetically has been cared for mechanically. How was the boat stored when not in use? If garaged between uses, will have a lot less weather wear than one that was tied up at the dock. Look the entire boat over for cracks/gouges and overall condition (Does it still look like a new boat or is the finish all faded out) of the gel coat. Condition of the interior carpet and viynl. Clean? Some small tears and even seam splits in the front seats would be expected in an 11 year old boat. Look up under dash at wiring connections for corrosion. Do same at battery connections and wiring connections. Mine has none and is garaged so if I were to see a boat with a bunch of wiring corrosion, I'd beware as to how the boat was stored and mark down points for the potential problems associated with same. Do all the lights work? Look the engine over as you would that of a car. Is there oil in the bilge? And if so, was it from spillage or leakage? How's the engine oil look? Will the owner let you perform a compression or leak down test? Steering: Have someone hold the wheel while you try and turn the rudder to check for excessive play. Then work the wheel from lock-lock. If you have to muscle the wheel, a new cable is in the near future( buck-fifty and a few hours work) Work the throttle as well for same reasons. Check the prop for bent or nicked blades. Also look at hub of the prop to check its dia and pitch. You can then check the prop guide posted on this site to see if it is the one you will want to use or not. Look at guide fins and prop strut for signs of having hit something and that fastening hardware is tight. Does it have the Wedge? If so can it be easly lowered and raised? Out on the water, boat should start up in just a few revolutions if it's a fuel injected engine (generally preferred over carburated) Within a minute or less the noise from the exhaust ports should change to a gurgling sound as cooling water makes its way through the engine and exhaust system and out the ports. Engine should reach operating temp of 160-180 in about five to ten minutes at idle. Acceleration to Wide Open Throttle (WOT) should be smooth without engine stumble or missing. Top speed should be around 48 MPH if it is the 325HP and depend on what prop is used. There should be no noticeable vibration which usually would indicate issues such as out of balance or bent prop, bent prop shaft, or worn strut bearings as the most likely culprits. Do all the gauges work? (a wandering oil pressure gauge is a common issue and is more likely an electrical issue than an oil pressure problem, assuming the 98 has the same gauge system as the 99's and 00's) If there is a heater, does it work and not leak? Check for leaking water where the water tubes from the pitot's enter the MDC unit under the dash (black box about 4"x6") Leaks from the MDC or the Heater core are problems usually associated with freezing water in the lines. Look around the engine for water leaks: Leaking hoses, water pump (not so bad) Leak in block....Price just went down 4-5 grand! Check also at exhaust manifolds and hoses. Check drip rate of packing. Unless a dripless packing has been installed, it should be about 10 drips/minute. More want hurt anything, just puts more water in boat. Less can cause scoring of shaft. With engine shut down, pull trans dip stick, check for proper level, and that the fluid is red, not brown(burnt) and not milky from water contamination. Ski behind the boat to be sure your'e happy with what your' buying. With the boat back on the trailer, pull the bilge drain. If you picked up a lot of water, you might want to test to find source. With plug replaced and battery disconnected (so bilge pump does not run) put water in bilge and then wait to see where it exits from. Often such leaks can be something as some screw or bolt holes that need to be re-sealed. Trailer: Overall condition (little or lots of rust) Surface rust with paint peel near edges of material would be common for 11 year old. If eqipped with brakes, do they work. When the boat is in the water, check the condition of the bunk boards, fasteners and carpeting. Do all the trailer lights work? (Probably one of the easiest things to fix and certainly not a deal breaker in my book) If they do, either the owner got it ready to sell or really took care of the whole rig! Tire condition. If it has greaseable hub caps, have they been greased? (they'll be extended if so) and if not have the bearings been repacked? If you do buy, be sure to verify bearings are ready for the tow. Did the owner do his own maintenance work or have it done at a shop? (If he has receipts to prove same, that's a plus)

500 hours is not a lot. Would you like to post the price and options? Make a check list from this and the many posts that are sure to follow. Happy hunting!

ps: Yes, a long post, but @ 00:dark thirty the wifey is still sleeping, can't ski cause it's raining and this sure beats getting on with oil changes on the car and mower!

pss: Duplications of comments from nuttyskier2002 due to legnthy post... not plagiarism!

Edited by skier92

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nuttyskier2002
ps: Yes, a long post, but @ 00:dark thirty the wifey is still sleeping, can't ski cause it's raining and this sure beats getting on with oil changes on the car and mower!

pss: Duplications of comments from nuttyskier2002 due to legnthy post... not plagiarism!

You covered it all pretty well,... much more thoroughly than I did.

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Sunapee Dreamer
First I must disclose my bias: I have a 99 RLX/325HP purchase new and exclusively slalom with a bunch of guys that have grown to include three 00 and an 01 Reponse LX. That said I think your choice is great if your primary use will be slalom skiing. There are three LXI's in the gang, and while they ski equally as well, they don't spin turn quite as well (nice for a quick pickup of downed skier) are about 500 lbs heavier and usually cost more. As for what to look for: General appearance, not a guarantee, but general consensus is that a boat that looks cared for cosmetically has been cared for mechanically. How was the boat stored when not in use? If garaged between uses, will have a lot less weather wear than one that was tied up at the dock. Look the entire boat over for cracks/gouges and overall condition (Does it still look like a new boat or is the finish all faded out) of the gel coat. Condition of the interior carpet and viynl. Clean? Some small tears and even seam splits in the front seats would be expected in an 11 year old boat. Look up under dash at wiring connections for corrosion. Do same at battery connections and wiring connections. Mine has none and is garaged so if I were to see a boat with a bunch of wiring corrosion, I'd beware as to how the boat was stored and mark down points for the potential problems associated with same. Do all the lights work? Look the engine over as you would that of a car. Is there oil in the bilge? And if so, was it from spillage or leakage? How's the engine oil look? Will the owner let you perform a compression or leak down test? Steering: Have someone hold the wheel while you try and turn the rudder to check for excessive play. Then work the wheel from lock-lock. If you have to muscle the wheel, a new cable is in the near future( buck-fifty and a few hours work) Work the

throttle as well for same reasons. Check the prop for bent or nicked blades. Also look at hub of the prop to check its dia and pitch. You can then check the prop guide posted on this site to see if it is the one you will want to use or not. Look at guide fins and prop strut for signs of having hit something and that fastening hardware is tight. Does it have the Wedge? If so can it be easly lowered and raised? Out on the water, boat should start up in just a few revolutions if it's a fuel injected engine (generally preferred over carburated) Within a minute or less the noise from the exhaust ports should change to a gurgling sound as cooling water makes its way through the engine and exhaust system and out the ports. Engine should reach operating temp of 160-180 in about five to ten minutes at idle. Acceleration to Wide Open Throttle (WOT) should be smooth without engine stumble or missing. Top speed should be around 48 MPH if it is the 325HP and depend on what prop is used. There should be no noticeable vibration which usually would indicate issues such as out of balance or bent prop, bent prop shaft, or worn strut bearings as the most likely culprits. Do all the gauges work? (a wandering oil pressure gauge is a common issue and is more likely an electrical issue than an oil pressure problem, assuming the 98 has the same gauge system as the 99's and 00's) If there is a heater, does it work and not leak? Check for leaking water where the water tubes from the pitot's enter the MDC unit under the dash (black box about 4"x6") Leaks from the MDC or the Heater core are problems usually associated with freezing water in the lines. Look around the engine for water leaks: Leaking hoses, water pump (not so bad) Leak in block....Price just went down 4-5 grand! Check also at exhaust manifolds and hoses. Check drip rate of packing. Unless a dripless packing has been installed, it should be about 10 drips/minute. More want hurt anything, just puts more water in boat. Less can cause scoring of shaft. With engine shut down, pull trans dip stick, check for proper level, and that the fluid is red, not brown(burnt) and not milky from water contamination. Ski behind the boat to be sure your'e happy with what your' buying. With the boat back on the trailer, pull the bilge drain. If you picked up a lot of water, you might want to test to find source. With plug replaced and battery disconnected (so bilge pump does not run) put water in bilge and then wait to see where it exits from. Often such leaks can be something as some screw or bolt holes that need to be re-sealed. Trailer: Overall condition (little or lots of rust) Surface rust with paint peel near edges of material would be common for 11 year old. If eqipped with brakes, do they work. When the boat is in the water, check the condition of the bunk boards, fasteners and carpeting. Do all the trailer lights work? (Probably one of the easiest things to fix and certainly not a deal breaker in my book) If they do, either the owner got it ready to sell or really took care of the whole rig! Tire condition. If it has greaseable hub caps, have they been greased? (they'll be extended if so) and if not have the bearings been repacked? If you do buy, be sure to verify bearings are ready for the tow. Did the owner do his own maintenance work or have it done at a shop? (If he has receipts to prove same, that's a plus)

500 hours is not a lot. Would you like to post the price and options? Make a check list from this and the many posts that are sure to follow. Happy hunting!

ps: Yes, a long post, but @ 00:dark thirty the wifey is still sleeping, can't ski cause it's raining and this sure beats getting on with oil changes on the car and mower!

pss: Duplications of comments from nuttyskier2002 due to legnthy post... not plagiarism!

Wow, thanks for the great reply. You wrote:

"Check for leaking water where the water tubes from the pitot's enter the MDC unit under the dash (black box about 4"x6")." What is a MDC unit?

"Trailer: Overall condition (little or lots of rust) Surface rust with paint peel near edges of material would be common for 11 year old. If equipped with brakes, do they work?"

How do I test the trailer brakes?

"With the boat back on the trailer, pull the bilge drain. If you picked up a lot of water, you might want to test to find source. With plug replaced and battery disconnected (so bilge pump does not run) put water in bilge and then wait to see where it exits from."

When considering buying a boat, this is a reasonable request to make from the seller, isn't it?

From the pictures I've seen, the boat seems like it's in decent shape. It comes with a cover, perfect pass, wedge plate, and an average stereo. The seller said that the only thing not working was the depth gauge.

The boat is a 98, so I assume it does not have a trunk. Didn't the trunk first appear in 99? Is this feature critical (would you be looking at a 99 and newer)?

What would you expect to pay for such a rig?

Thanks again.

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eyepeeler

I have a 2001 RLX and still love this boat for pure slalom skiing. For me the trunk is such a great option and really helps declutter the boat. My boat also has a heater. I use my heater year round even living in southern Tennessee.

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Bake's Marine

I owned a 98 Response LX and loved every minute of it.

Main things i missed on my 98 that came out in 99 was 5 inch gauges and a rear trunk

Awesome boat, loved the performance skiing, surfing and wakeboarding. The wedge made a unbelievable difference making it a great wake board boat.

best of luck

-Paul

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SmoothWaterMan

Just out of curiosity, can you define what you mean by the Response LX being more "female friendly" ? What is your overall use of the boat, and will it be on Sunapee?

Thanks,

Peter

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Sunapee Dreamer
Just out of curiosity, can you define what you mean by the Response LX being more "female friendly" ? What is your overall use of the boat, and will it be on Sunapee?

Thanks,

Peter

From what I gather, the Response seems to have more interior comforts.

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skier92

[

Wow, thanks for the great reply. You wrote:

"Check for leaking water where the water tubes from the pitot's enter the MDC unit under the dash (black box about 4"x6")." What is a MDC unit?

"Trailer: Overall condition (little or lots of rust) Surface rust with paint peel near edges of material would be common for 11 year old. If equipped with brakes, do they work?"

How do I test the trailer brakes?Hook up to tow vehicle. If there is a electric cut out solenoid, do not connect trailer wiring. Attempt to back up a slight incline. Brakes should apply and you should not be able to back up.

"With the boat back on the trailer, pull the bilge drain. If you picked up a lot of water, you might want to test to find source. With plug replaced and battery disconnected (so bilge pump does not run) put water in bilge and then wait to see where it exits from."

When considering buying a boat, this is a reasonable request to make from the seller, isn't it? That and things such as compression checks are strictly up to the seller as to whether they'd allow such a test or not. If no water accumulation, no need to worry about test.

From the pictures I've seen, the boat seems like it's in decent shape. It comes with a cover, perfect pass, wedge plate, and an average stereo. The seller said that the only thing not working was the depth gauge.

The boat is a 98, so I assume it does not have a trunk. Didn't the trunk first appear in 99? Is this feature critical (would you be looking at a 99 and newer)? Yes, trunk first available in 99. I actually passed on a 98 that I was about to buy when I saw the 99's had the trunk as well as being able to pick colors as my wife didn't like the 98 colors.

What would you expect to pay for such a rig? Friend of mine just bought a 2000 Response LX, Monsoon, 525hrs, Stereo that didn't work, Perfect Pass,Wedge, Single axle trailer with surge brakes: $15,000.00 A bit dinged up but otherwise in ok mechanical shape.

Thanks again.

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SmoothWaterMan
Just out of curiosity, can you define what you mean by the Response LX being more "female friendly" ? What is your overall use of the boat, and will it be on Sunapee?

Thanks,

Peter

From what I gather, the Response seems to have more interior comforts.

Yes, it does. What does your family do on the water? (ski, wakeboard, barefoot, tube, boat, big lake, little lake...) I ask just so that I have a better idea on it being the best model for your use, and the water conditions.

Peter

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Sunapee Dreamer
Just out of curiosity, can you define what you mean by the Response LX being more "female friendly" ? What is your overall use of the boat, and will it be on Sunapee?

Thanks,

Peter

From what I gather, the Response seems to have more interior comforts.

Yes, it does. What does your family do on the water? (ski, wakeboard, barefoot, tube, boat, big lake, little lake...) I ask just so that I have a better idea on it being the best model for your use, and the water conditions.

Peter

Ski, wake board, & tube on a good size lake.

Thanks

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skier92

Forgot to answer your first question. MDC =Marine Data Concentrator, Receives signals from engine, pitots, fuel sender etc... and sends it on to the dash gauges. I don't know if they were used on the 98's or not.

Edited by skier92

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Sunapee

Dreamer,

I assume that you are on Sunapee. Where on the lake are you and where is the boat you are looking at? My guess is that it's in a boat house in Jobs Creek. If it is, then I was the original owner of the boat. If not, I can easily track down the background on the boat for you. Would also be happy to go for a test drive with you and check it out.

I am in Georges Mills and have owned many Responses (10-ish) over the past dozen years. We have the slalom course across from the sandbar and would love to have you stop by and give it a shot if you want to.

Let's turn your dream into reality!

~Will

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Baddog
Welcome to the crew Thumbup.gif

What is your primary use for the boat? (skiing, wakeboarding, surfing, just cruising, etc)?

Hi, and thanks for the welcome. I'm just getting into slalom skiing, and hope to try wake boarding (someday).

I was originally looking st Sportsters, but the Response seems more female friendly.

Thanks

Well, there's your answer right there.

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doughickey

I own a '98. Although the '98 does not have a trunk, it has a bit more cockpit space

The '98 came witha shiny chrome-looking 2-piece pully for the impeller. Poor design. Mine became unbalance and shred itself to death. Would be nice if it was the aluminum 1-piece. (Not shiny chrome.... just a matte aluminum colour.)

Prop: The '98 came with a standard 13 X 13 CVP stainless prop. Get rid of it. Have been know to crack and shrd themselves. Hopefully the previous owner replaced with a NiBrAl machined prop. (ie: ACME or OJ)

For skiing...... a great wake. Outstanding.

No so good for boarding beyond recreational riding. I bought a sky-pole and fat-sack to make my daughter happy. Not a big change.... that boat was meant to have FLAT wakes. Malibu did it right.

As for looks..... other than the first generation LXi's, I don't think Malibue made a nicer looking boat.

If it's in good shape.... you'll love it.

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