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Speed Control for Older Malibu

Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 2,255
My Daughter found a low time excellent 97-98 Malibu Response with the LT-1 Corvette Engine and asked me what kind of speed control she could put on it. I told her I didn't believe you could use ZO, but not sure about the others now such as PP and Stargazer. I've only dealt with ZO the last 11 years.

Also, do you still need magnets in the course with these systems ???



Special Thanks to Performance Ski and Surf and the Denali Adam's !!!

Comments

  • ClydesdaleClydesdale Posts: 171 Baller
    Pp stargazer with zbox. No magnets needed.
    WayneWish
  • WayneWayne Posts: 557 Solid Baller
    edited February 15
    For that year, PP would be the only option unless the boat has been repowered with a 2007 or newer engine/ECM/throttle.

    As @Clydesdale mentioned, with PP stargazer no magnets are required.

    Great boat by the way. One of my favorites from that timeframe.
  • ClydesdaleClydesdale Posts: 171 Baller
    @Ed_Johnson not sure if you’re familiar with latest pp systems. Stargazer gets you GPS control. If I remember correctly that will cost around $1500. You can leave it or that or add zbox. Zbox is just a few hundred more and gives you the letter/number pull control similar to zero off.
  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 2,255
    @Clydesdale ... Thanks for the update. I checked it out on their Web-Site. Looks like they have come a long way since I had PP back in 98.

    Special Thanks to Performance Ski and Surf and the Denali Adam's !!!
    Wish
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,569 Mega Baller
    The funny thing is its not much different than it was in 2008, just software tweaks.
  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 2,255
    @BraceMaker ... Seems like a big change in using GPS instead of Magnets lining the course. That was a pain to deal with, especially if Walley's ran over buoys. Looks like they are trying to make it work like ZO with ABC 123. Really don't know how similar the pulls are though.

    Special Thanks to Performance Ski and Surf and the Denali Adam's !!!
  • RednucleusRednucleus Posts: 559 Crazy Baller
    @Ed_Johnson You obviously are an excellent dad, based on your daughter's boat tastes!
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,569 Mega Baller
    @Ed_Johnson that update to GPS started around 05 06. Right before/as zero off came out. The lawyers cut the baby in half and PP kept the ability to be GPS but lost the ability be DBW after 2008.

    So the form factor of the stargazer has been the same since with software tweaks.
  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 2,255
    I guess the unanswered question is, how does the pull letters and numbers compare to ZO

    Special Thanks to Performance Ski and Surf and the Denali Adam's !!!
  • DWDW Posts: 2,297 Mega Baller
    @Ed_Johnson : FWIW - as with any opinion take it with a grain of salt, posts I have seen indicate the latest PP software provides people with a very similar pull to ZO. The latest software update appears to be a key to diminishing the difference between the two systems. Looks like you be able to add to the data set:-)
  • ClydesdaleClydesdale Posts: 171 Baller
    I had stargazer/zbox w latest software in my 2005 malibu. Felt similar to zero off. Maybe not quite as quick to respond, but I also think that’s heavily influenced by the boat/motor...
  • aspskiaspski Posts: 227 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I added PP to my 2001 sunsetter lxi 2 years ago. I went with the wake edition S.
    Completely changed my experience behind the boat. I won't buy another boat that doesn't have PP
  • DanoDano Posts: 152 Baller
    I have the newest version of PP stargazer with zbox installed on my 1989 Centurion falcon. I think it skis very well. I don't have enough experience nor am I a good enough skier to compare it to zbox. I know i run the same buoy count behind zero off when given the chance, and I don't notice a different feel between the 2. PP is fully adjustable with a plethora of background settings. So if you don't think it feels quite right it's likely just a matter of a little tuning. I run mine as it came from the factory. But I have played with some of the settings just to see how impactful changes are. In short I think PP could be set up on any DD boat to be very close to Zero off, even on older boats that are short on HP like mine. The customer service at PP is awesome and I'm sure they would help you set your system up to suit you. Speed control for less than $2000 dollars is a remarkable value, especially when compared to the cost of upgrading to a ZO boat or repower.
    WishEd_Johnson
  • swbcaswbca Posts: 128 Baller
    edited February 17
    I have a pair of friends who ski behind an updated PP and a ZO on alternate practice days.
    They are both in "senior" divisions that practice at 35 and 38 off. They have no problem with the PP boat.

    An engineer familiar with the system says the biggest cause for a difference is the mechanical throttle in the older boats. There is a about a 3/8 second delay in the chain of events involved in advancing power on the older boats. Since the skier goes from buoy to buoy in a little over 2 seconds per buoy, the throttle latency makes it harder to sync the acceleration to the skier's position between buoys. The PP boat mentioned above has a mechanical throttle and they are still happy with it.

    I just bought the PP upgrade and ZBox for my 2004 ProStar from BOS member @teammalibu. It still in the box because its -12 degrees here.

    @teammalibu is a PP dealer who will save you money on the system . . . enough to make a difference. He has PP factory drop ship to you.
    MDB1056
  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 2,255
    @swbca an @BCM ...Thanks for the info. Exactly what I wanted to hear.

    Special Thanks to Performance Ski and Surf and the Denali Adam's !!!
  • DWDW Posts: 2,297 Mega Baller
    @swbca - I would be curious to hear the details behind the time delay for the mechanical throttle equipped boats. PP actually has direct control of the throttle plate via the servo motor as it slacks off the mechanical throttle when engaged. PP uses the RPM signal to prompt the servo motor to actuate the throttle.
    Danohemlockryno65
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,569 Mega Baller
    Angular change on the throttle has also to do with distance from the pivot and the voltage at the servo and the KX and Zbox factor in the system. You can tune a PP boat but ZO is what they make it.
  • ghutchghutch Posts: 160 Baller
    I installed Zbox on my 04 Malibu R LXI. Updated to single puck as well. It was sent to PP and they did it for me. Same letters and numbers as well as + setting. It can go in RPM mode, practice, jump, trick... all of it. I'm a M4 skier, 28-32-35 into 38. I ski alot of different boats- new Nautique, 1990 MC, 2016 MC, 2014 Centurion, 2015 Malibu. I usually ski my same number of buoys behind whatever it is. Upgrading was easy and (knock on wood), haven't had any issues. It runs great. Any other questions you have let me know. Hope this helps.
    RAWSkiEd_JohnsonSkoot1123
  • swbcaswbca Posts: 128 Baller
    edited February 18
    @DW You asked about my throttle delay comment. According to my engineer friend who designs computer driven control systems for many industries including aeronautics . . . The PP upgrades have helped a lot, but if you are still using the PP servo to drive the throttle, the servo is very slow compared to the engine integrated servo in the ZO boats. (this engineer timed the PP-Servo on his CC boat before he traded it for a ZO CC). The affect of the slow PP-Servo depends on the percentage of throttle increase that is required to offset the pull by the skier. A bigger engine and/or a lighter skier require less throttle travel so the amount of servo delay depends on those factors and the settings that are in use.

    Bottom line, the difference in speed between the PP servo and the servo integrated into the ZO engine can't be programmed away. The degree of it being a noticeable difference depends on the skier, the engine, the settings and probably other external factors.

    All of that said, many good short-line competitors practice behind upgraded PP boats and ZO boats and say the difference isn't significant for them.
    DWghutchMDB1056
  • dvskierdvskier Posts: 698 Crazy Baller
    @swbca I guess you’ll be buying a new Zero Off boat then. You only live once! I say go for it!
  • swbcaswbca Posts: 128 Baller
    @dvskier I will be happy with the upgraded PP. When setup correctly, a lot of good skiers say their isn't that much difference. I have already burned up all my hobby money driving at Road America, Infineon Raceway and Brainerd International Raceway.
  • jpattigrjpattigr Posts: 246 Crazy Baller
    edited February 18
    My personal boat is a 05 SN 196 w PP and Z-Box 9.2 installed, we also belong to a ski club and drive and ski new Prostar's and along with Ski partners's newer SN 200's all with Zero Off. Both ski great and not that much change going back and forth. Zero off does lock in faster and is a bit easier to use. I am not trading my boat anytime soon just for Zero Off.
  • dvskierdvskier Posts: 698 Crazy Baller
    Hey I’m an old guy too, 74. I never skied competitively until a few years ago. At my level Star Gazer treats me right, no problem other than my ability level and I don’t fault Zero Off at all. Best of luck to you in your quest to reclaim your spot at the top of the leaderboard at Nationals.
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