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DIY Perfect Pass install??


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Hey Crew,

It's been a while since I have visited the site.  I hope everyone is doing well.  I am looking to install Perfect Pass on my 2001 Sunsetter LXI and was floored when the dealer quoted me $3200, especially when I know I can get the system from Bakes for $1300ish.  My question is, is this a tough DIY install?  I'm pretty handy and follow instructions well (so my wife says) and I am not too worried about crawling around under the dash.  I just don't want to get into a project that is a major to-do.  Please let me know your thoughts and any experiences (negative or positive) that you have had.


Thanks, Jeff

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The PP is a very easy install.  it should only take an hour or two to install on your own.  The instructions are very clear.  

Edited by riggowrestler
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Took me an hour and that was with reading instructions. Wasn’t near as bad as I thought it was going to be. I would loctite once you are past test fit and torquing things down. 

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Thanks everyone.  I had seen some of those YouTube videos but they always make things look easy.  Just making sure there are no pitfalls to be aware of.  I appreciate the help.

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Very easy install. Did mine at the boat ramp one weekend back on 2003 in about an hour and a half. Got my marriage right back on track that little doo dad. Worth every penny. 

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@msuwaterski:  As noted an easy DIY project.  I suggest you review the installation instructions contained in the PP website, there is lots of valuable information there. 

Some key items to ensure a successful installation: 

1.  Use a clean (electrically) and robust power source, PP suggests a direct to battery lead. 

2.  Make sure all the connections are sound and you have a good ground. 

3.  A strong throttle return spring is needed, a good chance better than what you currently have. 

4.  Make sure the cable connection and routing from the servo motor to the throttle arm connection (the L bracket) allows a gentle bend and no binding.

Perfect Pass offers outstanding customer service, use it if you need it.  Perfect Pass website is a good site to review since you are headed down the path, there are lots of instructional video / literature aids.  Make sure you get the latest software particularly if you are going with Stargazer.

  • Like 3
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Also look for used units, there are still some people upgrading from Perfect Pass to Zero Off.

The pull from a system is really important if you've ever experienced it before. Whether you're wakeboarding or slalom skiing. The skier gets familiar with the pickup that only an experienced tournament driver, or a partner driver - not just recreational.

I want to repeat that Perfect Pass has excellent support when you have questions, and they're a major contributor to the advancements in water skiing.

With a 2001, you could also consider a hydrophase ridesteady. It's never been used for USAWS, but their marketing sounds like the throttle motor is a bit more modern and the computer has a few more features (tracking ride time)

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Next question, how important is a z-box? I don’t tournament ski, or really plan to, but the other skiers on my lake at telling me it’s a must.  What am I missing here?

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30 minutes ago, msuwaterski said:

Next question, how important is a z-box? I don’t tournament ski, or really plan to, but the other skiers on my lake at telling me it’s a must.  What am I missing here?

Nah, the star gazer should be all you need.

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I agree with everything everyone has said on this thread thus far.  I helped a friend do his install and it was relatively simple.  @Woodski makes a great point on the throttle return spring.  We had to change that on a friends older prostar.  Well worth the DIY vs the ridiculous quote you got from the dealer. 



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I have a few quotes from a couple of local dealers/marinas and the quotes range from $1,600 to 1,900 Cdn, Thats $1200-1400 Usd. The people that quoted you that price are on crack!

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@msuwaterski:  Z box is a Zero Off system simulator, it's function is to create a pull similar to the system now used on current tournament ski boats, Zero Off or ZO.  For most and this probably includes 90% of the population, it is not necessary.  As you mention not doing tournaments, not needed at all.  It may only add a level of complication to your objective.  See the description on the PP website.

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@msuwaterski:  Forgot to mention, this will be the best upgrade to your boat.  Will contribute greatly to improving your skiing due to consistency in pulling speed and feel.  Your significant other will thank you, there is a reason it is called the marriage saver.

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Good advice above.

Since you have a Monsoon, there isn't a need for an L bracket.  There's an adapter plate that mounts up to the throttle body arm for the Monsoon.

Pulling the dash on an '01 is dead easy.  One screw going up, and two screws through the logo plate to remove the dash panel.  Piece of cake.  Routing all the wires is the hardest part.

It used to be you needed to drill a hole in your hull for a paddlewheel setup, but with StarGazer, that's no longer necessary.

I love how well it works on my '01.  I went with the inverted tach setting from day one and it's been rock solid.

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On 3/3/2019 at 9:51 AM, hethj7 said:

@jhartt3 installed his.  I bet he'd say go for it as a DIY!

Just now seeing this. Super easy diy install I've done 2. One in a DD and one in a vdrive. Vdrive is simpler but only to fish the wire back to the engine is easier down the side vs buying or borrowing a metal wire puller like electricians do. 

Edited by jhartt3
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  • 4 weeks later...

Installed my Perfect Pass Stargazer 3 Event system last weekend. Not difficult at all. Quality system, clean install took a few hours. Hardest part was locating the elusive "grey" wire to tap into for the tach (RPM). To have a boat tech do it, I'd say a few hundred bucks max. Paying over that wouldn't be money well spent. 


  • Like 3
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Here's my install.  I pieced together parts from members, ebay, and bits from Perfect Pass to build a system cheap.  Hopefully my pics are helpful but it is a very easy install.  Their manual and support are excellent.



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