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CrystalSurf

Throttle, Return Spring, and Perfect Pass Issues

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CrystalSurf

I'm hoping the Crew can help me with this issue. My PerfectPass doesn't work well and my wife says that is her biggest problem with the boat and so she doesn't like driving for surfing or skiing.

Background: I installed Perfect Pass Stargazer on my boat ('03 Sunscape w. Monsoon) a few years ago. Initially, it worked...okay. Not great. It would "hunt" 1 mph up or down when skiing and 0.5 mph when surfing. Now it surges and hunts all over the place. It is unusable. I did all sorts of troubleshooting with the folks at Perfect Pass and we determined that it was an issue with the throttle return spring. My understanding is that the throttle return spring is there to close the throttle to reduce speed if you let go of the throttle lever; while PerfectPass will use opposing force to keep the throttle open. This tension between the two is what keeps the speed constant.

Now, my throttle will hold speed without Perfect Pass. In fact, I would say my throttle is quite stiff...so much so that not having a usable PerfectPass has not been an issue (for me, not for my wife). So, my questions are: do I need a new throttle return spring? (if so, how do I replace it) or do I need a new throttle cable? Or, is there something else? I like my marriage and my boat...I'd like to keep both.

Attached is a picture of my throttle return spring.

post-8608-0-25181500-1363961552_thumb.jp

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High Altitude

I had the exact same problem on a 95 Gekko a few years ago. It turned out the cable coming from the perfect pass servo was slightly too long and when you closed the engine box, it caused a very, VERY slight bind on the cable. This in turn made the throttle spring feel weak and ineffective. It took about two years to figure out the damn problem. When I finally put in the correct size, all the problems went away.

Replacing a throttle return spring is simple. You can go to an auto parts store and buy about 5 different length for less than $10. just just unhook the spring off the throttle arm and hook up the new one. Keep playing around untill you get the correct tension that you desire. Just my .02 cents. -Marc

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WTF

I have an 03 RLXi and had the same problem. I installed the PP myself aftermarket addition and subsequently upgraded to Stargazer. PP told me it was the throttle return spring as well. Well it wasn't the throttle return spring. Is what cleared by issues are the following: Make sure your prop is in good condition, no dings, bends in blade or anything else. PP has an inverted tach setting, go to their website to find out how to apply this setting. This is what I really think cleared my problem. Make sure your boat is going in a straight line when the PP is engaged. Also, make sure that your perfect pass doesn't engage as soon as the skier or rider is up. You need to pull them a bit prior to the system engaging. I ski on a private lake and if the PP engages around the turn island, hang on because the system is going to surge. I also recommend to get the latest system upgrade that you can, there are some settings that will help dialing in the PP.

This is something I play with all the time and try to get my settings dialed in very tight!

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CrystalSurf

Thanks for the replies. I've put on a new prop and changed to the inverted tach setting. No better. I've also tried to put additional throttle return springs on, but there is nowhere on the motor to attach them.

Was your throttle as tight as mine that it would hold speed on its own?

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Falko

It sounds like your throttle cable may be a little too tight. Mine stays where I put it but could push it with a limp marshmallow.

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WTF

My throttle is pretty tight and will hold a speed until pulling someone and the skier or rider starts pulling against the boat. I don't think it is the throttle return spring due that the factory told me the same thing and it wasn't it. Where is your GPS antenna mounted? Mine was under the dash because it was able to pick up satellites, but I started developing issues so I moved it out in the open. Do you know what system update you have? I purchased a thumbdrive looking device from PP and upgraded my system. This helped a lot. Also check your skier settings to make sure you are in the correct setting for the person being pulled, ie, feather weight, normal, heavy. I'm 215lbs and was always in the heavy setting. Last year my boat started surging and I had to change to the normal setting. This corrected the surge problem. There is also way to tighten the tolerance of the PP weight settings.

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nuttyskier2002

Make sure your servo is mounted in a place that allows a gradual bend (no binding) in the cable coming from the servo. The last few inches of the cable conduit should form a straight line to the throttle body lever. You should be able to turn the knob on the servo (ign off and throttle lever about half way down) back and forth and open and close the throttle blade smoothly. The cable should not bind or drag against anything as it works back and forth. Also to "L shaped" adapter at the junction of your servo cable and throttle cable should rotate freely on the throttle body lever. If you can't do this the servo cable is binding and needs to be adjusted. The pic above shows a green return spring which is part of your throttle body. You shouldn't need any stronger spring than that. Too much servo driver gain (Kdw setting) fighting against to much spring tension will cause the hunting problem that you have.

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nuttyskier2002

Here's another idea.......looking closely at your pic above....it looks as though the throttle lever on your throttle body is relatively short. This might be an optical illusion. But if not you might want to try fabricating some kind of extension to add to the length of the lever so that your PP servo has more mechanical advantage to open the throttle. This will also open the throttle more slowly which will aid in preventing hunting. I used this trick when I replaced the carburetor on my Malibu Echelon with a Holley.

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Woodski

Ed Obermeier posted a very good Stargazer post, I think both here and on Ball of Spray. Search under "Stargazer".

While on the PP subject, does anybody happen to know what the RPM cable wiring scheme or guts actually are? I need one to complete an install and wonder what constitutes the one provided or if one can simply direct wire to the tach signal. It appears to have three inputs on the master module (6.5 mechanical version) but only 2 wires to attach to the tach. Wondering if there is any level of signal conditioning done in the loom itself. thx.

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CrystalSurf

Thanks for all of the replies. I sent a video to Perfect Pass of my installation and of the cable. They said it all looked fine. They gave me the info on the inverted tach signal and had me change the kdw settings. One of the tests had me put the throttle open half way and try turning the servo knob. This highlighted the problem that the nylon cord that goes around the servo motor post would go slack because the return spring was not closing the throttle. The L bracket moves smoothly. The throttle lever is probably 2", so it seems like it would be long enough...i think its an optical illusion in the picture.

I'm not sure what system update version I have. I bought PP in the summer of 2010. Is this expensive to update?

Woodski...thanks for pointing me in the direction of that Ball of Spray article. Interesting read. They talked about changing out some of the electrical, but I didn't really understand what they were talking about.

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Woodski

Sounds like you need a stronger throttle return spring, but before you do that, I would pull off the linkage and see if the throttle body shaft rotates freely. If that is stiff or erratic, the PP unit would struggle to control the system. Just for fun, you might want to clean the MAF sensor, you can get the spray cleaner at any auto parts store. Also, check all the PP connections, particularly the grounds.

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CrystalSurf

Hmmm. Okay, I'll try that. Where..and how do you clean the MAF sensor?

Also, does no one think the issue could be the throttle cable or the Morse shifter unit?

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OLDGUY

I have noticed that if my voltage is low the system won't work correctly. You can pull up the voltage on the screen of the perfect pass.

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Woodski

Theoretically it will not be the boat's throttle cable as it is not part of the picture once you throttle up past the point the PP unit will control the throttle (to verify engage the PP unit and make sure the throttle is well beyond that point IE: once you hear the engagement beep, add more throttle). If it continues to act up, you have verified the boat's throttle cable is not the issue.

MAF sensors are located just past the spark arrestor, not sure if your boat has one, it is a fine wire that measures airflow.

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WTF

If you purchased your PP in 2010, I sure you have the latest update. I think it was about $50. Another thing I was thinking is when I pull a skier up, I will alway teather back on the throttle once the skier or boarder is up prior to the system engaging. I teather back about 1/4 of the throttle. Good Luck! I know how frustrating this gets!

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