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clean 94 echelon

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Hello everyone!!!

I just purchased a 94 echelon with the 350 magnum - 265 HP - carberated

This is my first Malibu boat and first direct drive and was just curious if anyone has any feedback on the echelon boats.

Like the good and bad things about this boat and maybe things I should check or keep an eye on for my first trip out..

Any suggestions or feedback about this style boat would be greatly appreciated!!!

From looking at the boat it looks very well made and is in really good shape for it's age....

I think I got a really good deal from the looks of it, but am curious if there's anything that I should watch out for or keep my eye on?

Thank u

Edited by echie
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Congratulations on the purchase, I had a '93 and it was a great boat. A few questions: how many hours? Any major work done that you have documentation for? does it have a (manual) wedge? picture?

Here's my quick thoughts/recollections:

1. The carburetor can cause issues, but they're easily resolved. For me, having someone else rebuild it to factory specs was money better spent than trying to do it myself.
2. Depending on engine hours the gaskets may be worn out. Watch out for the head gaskets and having issues with water getting in the oil. It's an easy fix to replace the head gaskets if you know what you're doing. (I'd rather swap head gaskets then rebuild a carburetor, but to each their own)
3. The "fluke" issue I ran in to was the distributor bushings (not bearings) had worn out at 900-1000 hours; this caused the engine to run rough and die in any conditions other than running over 1000 RPMs. I discovered this when the boat was at idle in a slip and I moved back & forth rocking the boat, the rocking caused the distributor shaft to "flop around" and the engine would die. I didn't need a new distributor shaft, just a new bushing pressed on the one I had.
4. The computron depth gauge never worked for more than 5 minutes even with a new transducer, don't expect it to work
5. The computron can be programmed to say your name, look in the manual (linked in the resources section) to get it working.
6. The airguide speedometers can get water in the pressure module, when that happens it can get to the back of the gauge housing and destroy everything. If you get a self-contained GPS based replacement and your Airguide speedos are working you can get good money for them
7. If you don't have the wedge and want one it can be done; the hull was reinforced starting '93 to support the wedge
8. the steering wheel controls usually work with some minor cleaning of the battery terminals and a new battery

Overall it's a great boat and I wouldn't hesitate to pick one up for the right price. Properly (over)weighted it makes an excellent wakeboard boat and it's a decent ski tug for everyone but a pure course skiier. Post any specific questions you have, there are a number of active members with Echelon boats

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Thanks for the response and info Mikeo!!!!

No wedge and no tower, just a skylon pole..

I was told that it had a little over 400hrs on it.

I haven't messed with the Computron yet to see if it has the actual hours logged.

But the boat looks really good for it's age!! Still has all the original interior and the motor looks really clean!!

And I got all of the original booklets and all the matinence receipts..  No major repairs, just typical servicing, a new prop a year ago, and new exhaust hoses...    Other than that it looks all original...

If it runs as good as it looks I will b a happy man!!!!!     Lol....

Everything u suggested to keep an eye open for sounds simple enuff to me!!  I'm pretty mechanically inclined so those things will b no problem if I need to replace or fix anything...

Thanks again for ur input Mikeo!!!!


And I haven't figured out how to put a picture on here yet!!     Lol

Edited by echie
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I bought a 93 echelon about two months ago.  We love it. I think I've put 30 hours on it so far maybe more. I'm curious how we know which power output 5.7 we have? 

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11 minutes ago, Okladadadam said:

I bought a 93 echelon about two months ago.  We love it. I think I've put 30 hours on it so far maybe more. I'm curious how we know which power output 5.7 we have? 

Is it carburated?  If so, it's 265hp.

Love the Echelon.  Bought mine in '08:


  • Like 3
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So far from what I've read it seems people really love these boats!!!

Makes me feel good about my purchase!!!

Thank for the input guys!!!

3 minutes ago, River Monsters said:

Beautiful boat.  Welcome!

Thank u!!

  • Like 2
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3 hours ago, Woodski said:

@echie:  Congrats on your purchase, you picked a great boat.  A bit of history as it appears you are totally geeked with your new baby (given all the exclamations!) and are very curious.  The SV23 hull which was introduced in the Echelon in '93 basically put Malibu on the map as a serious and top notch 3 event boat, particularly as the slalom wake was right on par with the big 2 at the time, which then just became the big 3 and basically still is.   It is also Malibu's first all composite boat, first for the swivel pylon (patented) along with other firsts over the years.  The SV23 hull is basically still the basis for the Malibu tournament ski boat line.  The Mercruiser engine is very good, and in the marine industry, Mercruiser is considered a top tier engine option or Marinizer.  Personally, and certainly just my opinion, the Echelon has excellent lines and a timeless classic look, one of the better ergonomic cockpits and lots of excellent features.  Also, it has one of the best barefoot wakes along with the world class slalom wake.  You will notice lots of the footers on this site have Echelons.

As for the care and feeding of your new baby, one component separates your boat from serious issues and that is the raw water pump.  Make sure you keep a good impeller at all times and make it a frequent (annually is a good option) service item.  When it fails, the boat will overheat and leave you pretty much stranded.  Buy a spare impeller and keep it in the boat.  The raw water pump is located on the starboard (right) side of the engine down low and is belt driven.  Average boat use is +/- 50-80 hours annually so an annual oil/filter change is a good policy & you can do a transmission fluid & water separator change at the same time.  Due to loaded conditions many boats operate under, use a slightly heavier oil compared to typical car use, many use 15W-40 or something close to that, your owners manual has all that information contained within.  Oil filter options include the larger pickup truck version for a Chevy small block, I use a Wix 51061.  Engine is basically a GM small block crate engine marinized by one of several options in this case Mercruiser.  So first time out, watch the water temperature, you most likely have a 140 degree thermostat so expect temps in that area and if they seem to vary a lot, your impeller is not in the best of health.  The computron unit as noted, tends not to be reliable so good luck with yours, Computron is also out of business so finding parts is a google/ebay search.  If you plan to do watersports you will probably realize a speed control system like Perfect Pass will be an item you will desire, it is not called a marriage saver for nothing and the Computron (if it works) was kind of a poor mans speed control and information center (cool concept when it works).  By the way, 700 hours is not a lot, there is lots of life left in all the components of your new boat.  I notice you are a Florida resident, as you probably know salt is harsh on metal parts and that goes for a ski boat as well, if you operate in salt or brackish water follow the flushing and care instructions although the pictures sure don't show signs of any salt issues.  Your pylon has bearings inside so if it does not swivel freely, it needs some grease, pop the plastic top cap off and remove the allen head bolt.  If the steering is stiff, most likely culprit is the cable, either replace (and read threads on the how to before you start, don't just pull it out) or you can lube it with some ATF to free it up (remove at tiller end and add from that end moving wheel back and forth to migrate fluid up the cable).  The platform being teak will require a fair amount of care, stripping/cleaning/oiling to keep it looking great, many threads on this site as how to's and you will see expert results from Crew members and product suggestions.  If you have a stainless prop or an old cast prop, the newer CNC (you can tell from surface finish) offer a nice performance improvement and a spare prop is always good to have.  The carb on your engine is a Weber 750 cfm, if you are mechanically inclined it is basically a Carter AFB or Edelbrock with different jet/needle components and at 700 hours a rebuild or cleaning might not be a bad idea in the offseason.  On the exhaust, make sure the rubber baffles are in good condition so water does not shoot up the exhaust system.  From the picture, it looks like a newer starter as not all black like original, one very important item is that all critical electrical parts be marine and not automotive to ensure spark protection, this applies to starter/alternator/distributor cap/carburetor/fuel pump.  Spark protection and anti fuel spill are the differences between automotive and marine.

Operating your first direct drive boat, you will find it operates very differently from an I/O type of boat.  Going forward, very little bow rise, very responsive and handles like a sports car in comparison.  Also, the tracking fins keep the boat operating like it is on rails.  In reverse, you will quickly realize lots of practice will be needed to get the hang of a boat that now operates very differently.  As a left hand rotation prop, it will pull to the right in reverse and is challenging to get it to do anything different but all DD boats have similar traits.  This trait makes it unique in the way you approach a dock or load on the trailer.  Practice will make you a pro in short order, slow, careful and deliberate are techniques that will pay dividends.  When it comes to enjoying yourself behind the boat, if you are a skier you will want to do everything possible to reduce the weight at the transom by running low fuel and keeping all items as far forward as possible.  The pylon will make long line barefooting a bit easier.

Congrats, enjoy and have fun!  Welcome to the Crew and the Echy club.  And one more thing to watch out for, all your new ski or barefoot friends 'needing' a pull


Awesome!!!  Thanks fozil the helpful information Woodski...

 I can definetly tell that these boats were made really well, that being the main reason I bought it..  Compared to some of the new boats u see these days that fall apart in 5 years..  They definetly get 2 thumbs up for Quality!!! And yes the impeller was the 1st thing I checked!!  Lol...

And I have a spare 1 on the way so I have it for my first trip out..  Don't wanna get caught with my pants down!!! Lol..  Better to b prepared than to rush it!! Lol...     It has an Acme 515 propeller on it that was just purchased 2 years ago.. Propeller and rudder look find free and in good shape and no excess play in it that I can feel..  The exhaust baffles look in great shape also, as well as the teak platform!!  All the lights work..

Lol... I noticed that my rudder has a zerk fitting on the top, how often does this need to b greased?  

And also just curious how much fuel per hour u guys use on average with the carberated 350 magnum and does most everybody use 89 octane?  And yes she isgonna stay away from the salt water!! Unless I do an in closed cooling system later down the road...

Still probably wouldn't take it in salt water tho!!

Lol.... So therefore I don't need it I guess!!!

Thanks again for all the helpful info!!

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7 hours ago, echie said:


So far from what I've read it seems people really love these boats!!!

Makes me feel good about my purchase!!!

Thank for the input guys!!!

Thank u!!

This shower option is awesome.  I'd like to add that to mine

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Does anybody know what went there in the center under the platform where it's circled??

Is there somekind of bracket that goes there to support the center of the swim platform?  Or was there swim steps that folded down at 1 point?

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18 minutes ago, echie said:

Does anybody know what went there in the center under the platform where it's circled??

Is there somekind of bracket that goes there to support the center of the swim platform? 

Yes, a support. I'll see if I can dig up a pic...there it is. @powbmps beat me to it.


Edited by jk13
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Thank u for the pics jk13 and powbmps!!

I will have to see if they sell any replacement pieces for that.. If not I can just make something if I have to..

Is that piece made out of fiberglass?

Looks like it from the pic.

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My 94 Echelon just hit 200 Hours! (Previous owner left it in garage for ~11 years)


it has been virtually maintenance free other than regular oil changes/etc and a few impellers and raw water pump housings (a plastic piece)

mine has the 350 Mag EFI so I have not had to worry about carbs. 





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It seems to be fiberglass.  With a little rubber pad on top.

Our boats are very similar.  I have torn most of it apart and took pictures along the way, so PM me of you need anything.

Edit to add that I'm loving these Echelon photos!  

Edited by powbmps
  • Like 2
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Here's the best pic I could muster of that swim platform support. It's  fiberglass with rubber on top where the teak rests. 


If if I get out to the lake I can get you a high resolution close up pic if you need to make one  



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That pic will work just fine for me.  I should b able to come up with something..

Thank u for the pic

Great looking boats y'all have 2!!!!!!

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By the way I'm loving all these echelon pictures to!!!!?

I would love to see more pics of peoples echelons if anyone has any pictures to share!!!

I would love to see some sitting on the water pics!!

Edited by echie
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