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motobill

New-to-us Response LX: Lots of questions...

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motobill

Greetings, all:

I have been on here reading as we made the decision (over the last few years) to upgrade our boat. I had it narrowed down to a Prostar 197 or a Response LX. The Malibu presents a much greater value, I think, and we found a good deal on a boat here in CA. It is a 2002 Response LX with 1300 hours on it. Indmar 335. Titan 2 tower w/ bimini. Wedge. Stainless shaft and prop. The boat was used in and stored near Mission Bay (salt water) in San Diego for the past few years. There is some corrosion, but nothing that cannot be cleaned up pretty easily. Overall, we are very happy with the boat and got a very fair deal...and the seller gave us a truck full of gear...

We have had the boat in the water for a total of 5 hours so far. We spent about an hour on Lopez Lake and four-plus hours on the Sac River Delta. In that time there are several things that have come up. Of course, since it is a new boat to us, every creak or rumble makes me wonder. So, I want to make a list here and would appreciate hearing from the collective wisdom of other Malibu owners.

1) Steering: there is some play in the steering. The cable feels very smooth with driving at high speeds or at a standstill. At other speeds, the play is noticeable and the wheel can feel a little bound up. I know the cable attachment to the rudder can develop some play, but I have not dug in there to inspect it yet. Nor do I know what others have done to correct the play. I think the binding comes primarily from cavitation, but I have not driven other Responses; so, I don't know for sure. 

2) Electrical: The gauges do something funny when I honk the horn. The all cycle (sweep up and down) as if I am turning on the boat. Nothing too alarming and probably a questionable ground somewhere...salt with do that. Anybody see similar symptoms? Does not affect the boat running.

3) Leak: When we have people loaded in the bow at low speeds, the eye on the bow ends up submerged and leaks water into the boat. Very minor, but I imagine I'll have to pull back the carpet, remove the eye,  add some caulk and/or epoxy, and re-install. Anybody else notice that happening? While I'm there, I will check power to the nav lights. It does not illuminate.

4) Rough Idle: The boat runs very smoothly; however, the idle is a little lumpy. Not sure if the 335 has a cam that causes a lumpy idle. Otherwise, runs like a champ. The boat hauls a$$. (40mph top speeded and lots of oomph to pull a skier out of the water).

5) The tower: The tower seems very solid, but on rare occasion, it rattles a little. I plan on lubricating all of the heim joints and re-tightening or re-torqueing them. Anybody have experience with the Titan 2 tower?

6) Packing box: The PO said he had a dripless system installed. Naturally, I expected to see a water line plumbed to the box. Nope. I have done some research trying to find a dripless system that does not have plumbing to the box. Am I missing something? Is there a certain type of packing material that is self lubricating? I will ask the PO about this, but wanted to discuss this here. 

7) Fuel usage: We had our last boat dialed in. We could play for about 3 hours before needing 10 gallons of fuel. Not is sure about the fuel usage here. We filled up and ran it about 4 hours and is seems to use  a lot less fuel that our 1982 Ski Centurion (with a 350 and a Quadrajet). What kind of fuel consumption do you see?

I know this is a lot in ground to cover, and I was tempted to start 6 different posts. Mods are welcome to break this up, if it makes more sense to have a bunch of different posts. 

Thanks in advance for your help.

Bill

Pics:

IMG_20180710_101124029-L.jpg

IMG_20180710_101144323-L.jpg

IMG_20180710_101247837_HDR-L.jpg

 

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barefootpaul

Congrats!

I have a 99 which is essentially the same.

1, Try greasing the rudder. Mine can feel a little suck lick that sometimes. Be careful not to blow the seals though.

2, don't honk the horn :rofl:

 

6, post a picture of the packing.

 

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John I.
Posted (edited)

Congrats on the RLX!

1. Check connections and lube the tiller arm at the stern as well as the steering rack under the dash.

2. Clean and dielectric grease all connections at the bus bar.

3. Remove and re-install the bow eye using some 3M 4200 sealant. Mine leaked as well until I did this.

4.Try Sea Foam in a couple tanks. When was the last tune-up? (distributor cap and rotor, plugs, wires...)

5.Titan 2 towers are rock solid. Check all mounting hardware.  

6.Maybe the PO was referring to Gore GFO packing which is "almost dripless".

7. Fuel gauge (actually the sender unit) in these boats is notoriously inaccurate. Don't base your usage on it.

Edited by John I.

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braindamage
Posted (edited)

2. Sounds like a loose ground or a short in the horn power circuit after the switch

7. Run till you are out of gas. Just before you do, look at the gauge 😁 Seriously, I replaced my sender and it still doesn’t read correctly. I checked the tank volume then noted how much gas it took when I filled it up. Eventually I figured out that at E I still have 1/4 tank.

Edited by braindamage

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SkiPablo
Posted (edited)

very nice looking boat !!

if I were you i would consider changing that prop out for an ACME 515.  the CVP Stainless props were known to have blade cracking off.    It might never happen but if you search this site you will see some cases of it happening.   If it's SOLAS you are probably fine.  The ACME will out perform that prop anyhow. 

as for the steering you can put a 2-3 squeezes of grease in the rudder - pull the floor panel up behind the engine and you should see 1 or 2 grease zirks - just don't go crazy with the grease :)

Edited by SkiPablo

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UWSkier

What's the source of that rust in the bilge? 

Sharp boat. Idle should be smooth. I agree with @John I. on the packing. My rudder is slightly notchy on occasion too. That boat should have come standard with an Acme prop. If previous owner is original, would be interesting to know why this has stainless. Horn thing is weird. Horn has constant power. Gauges are switched power. Look for a common ground issue. Given the rust in bilge, I'd start with the ground bolt on the engine. 

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motobill

Good morning, and thanks for your replies. I will attack each of these projects once I get the boat out of the water. Meanwhile, here are a few pictures of the boat at our dock on the Delta: 

IMG_1038-L.jpg

IMG_1039-L.jpg

IMG_1040-L.jpg

 

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John I.

Nice set-up!

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motobill
8 hours ago, UWSkier said:

What's the source of that rust in the bilge? 

The boat was run in Mission Bay (salt water) for about 20 hours, according to the PO, and stored near the ocean in San Diego. I have attacked some of the corrosion and is has cleaned up easily enough. It's a little bit of a pain, but I don't mind a little extra work on what is otherwise a very clean and well-maintained boat...at a very reasonable price.

bb

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motobill

Hello again:

Here's a few pictures of the packing box. I contacted the PO and asked about it and he referred to is as "maintenance free." He is going to try to find the manufacturer's name. 

I ran the boat pretty hard today, although in 58-degree water, and the packing box did not get hot at all. Shaft, collar, lock nut, and hose...all cool to the touch. 

Look familiar to anybody?

IMG_1043-L.jpg

IMG_1044-L.jpg

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Chaabo

That’s definitely not a dripless shaft seal.

Never heard about “maintenance free” packings.

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Eagleboy99

Why do people sell boats that are dirty?

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Chaabo

... and - if there’s no dripping on the shaft seal - where’s all that water coming from?

My bilge is always completely dry. :unsure:

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tvano
Posted (edited)

that is the oem packing.

fwiw: it should be dripping (y, i did see that yours is cool).  the water cools the shaft / seal.

iirc packing drip rate should be about 1 drip per 10 seconds?

Edited by tvano

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Bozboat
12 hours ago, motobill said:

Hello again:

Here's a few pictures of the packing box. I contacted the PO and asked about it and he referred to is as "maintenance free." He is going to try to find the manufacturer's name. 

I ran the boat pretty hard today, although in 58-degree water, and the packing box did not get hot at all. Shaft, collar, lock nut, and hose...all cool to the touch. 

Look familiar to anybody?

IMG_1043-L.jpg

IMG_1044-L.jpg

My 99SSLXI looks similar. It does not drip and stays cool. I have left it alone, thinking it may have the gortex packing rope.

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motobill

I failed to look at the packing box while running the boat. Next time I get the boat out (in two weeks), I will look at the shaft more carefully while the boat is running.

Thanks again to each of you for your responses. Really helpful.

Bill

 

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justgary

You can warm the engine, wash it with soap and water, then warm it again to dry it faster.  Don't soak the alternator or throttle body.

After it is dry, spray the entire engine except the pulley grooves and the belt with light oil like power blaster.  Be sure to try to get under the oil pan and the engine mounts as well. 

It will look a lot better and quit rusting. 

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Woodski

@motobill- congrats on your new purchase.  Item #1 - with 1300 hours on the clock and the symptoms you describe, I would check the free play in the rudder.  Excess free play allows the rudder to bind due to the load as you steer the boat.  Move the rudder up / down and side/side to check for excess play.  You can shim the rudder up to improve.  Marine Hardware is the source for the rudder and parts.  Item #4 - should idle like a purring kitten, cams are mild on these boats.  Check IAC and for any leaky injectors, could also be some corrosion in distributor cap or just a need of a tune up.

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powbmps

Nice boat!

#4: Minor detail, but that should be the Monsoon 325.  The 335 came out in '03, with the only difference being the intake (I believe).  Should idle smooth at 650 rpm.  Acme 515 is definitely a worthwhile upgrade.

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mackie12

pick up some "Salt Away" and rinse that motor a few times also. Besides that great looking boat! oh, and put a 515 on there too, best upgrade possible.

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