perfect pass vs zero off

PabloPablo Posts: 3 New Baller
We have recently acquired a 2006 ski Nautique 196 with perfect pass. Only had a couple sets on it last fall, but the speed seems to overshoot the set speed on PP
We are used to ZO and wondering if a conversion is possible. I'm sure it's the original version of PP as the boat was in a warehouse for 15 years. Any advice is greatly appreciated


  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,463 Mega Baller
    @Jody_Seal should be able to provide info. If I recall correctly, the ZO conversion is possible if the boat has the Excalibur engine.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • PabloPablo Posts: 3 New Baller
    Yes it has the excalibur 330 engine
  • skihackerskihacker Posts: 500 Crazy Baller
    The older star gazer systems would take a while to settle if you throttle too far past the ski speed, with practice it does work pretty well, pp customer service is awesome and the newer software is supposed to settle much quicker, would also be a far cheaper solution.
  • dbaconazdbaconaz Posts: 180 Baller
    is there a difference in skiing with the PP vs. zero off? For you average course skier?
  • JmoskiJmoski Posts: 476 Crazy Baller
    On my old 2006 196, the original PP version 6.5 was easy to overshoot if you aren’t right on with how you throttle up. I upgraded to the latest GPS based Stargazer version and that in combination with mapping the course is a huge improvement for 30 mph and up.

    Upgrading to StarGazer is plug and play, i did it myself. The other issue you might have is the original PP gauge had moisture problems and eventually go bad, mine would fog up and become unreadable.

    That said, you can still over throttle it with SG - unlike with ZO where I’ve never seen it happen based on my experiences with my friends 2017 ProStar.

    Upgrading the 2006 to ZO will require upgrading the ECU on the engine, but the Excalibur engine in the boat is DBW.

    PM me is you want to talk about it.
  • GaryJanzigGaryJanzig Posts: 197 Baller
    edited February 28
    The newer software on Perfect Pass locks in quicker, but on an older boat it helps to know the base line rpm for each speed, and throttle it up as if you are driving manually. Not as easy as Zero off, but not bad. I had to drive a newer boat once where the zero off was not working(waiting on a part). The new boats are not designed to be driven manually. It was tough pulling a slalom skier for the one day we had to. I upgraded to the 9.2 and Zbox and it is pretty easy to lock in, and I usually get split times within +- .02 seconds of actual.
  • Dacon62Dacon62 Posts: 877 Crazy Baller
    Have had both systems. Perfect Pass was OK and customer service was great. Could never get it set up were it did not come in hot on the short end of the course and then back off between 1-2 ball causing slack ruining half the passes of a set. Frustrating. Seemed to need more distance to settle so it worked better on the longer set up end of the course.
    Zero off, always consistent, no screwing around/tinkering. Was very happy to get back to Zero Off.
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 3,805 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    If you ski tournaments and have the option, you will want ZO. You will never see PP in a tournament absent a rule change.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • Nickpep22Nickpep22 Posts: 18 Baller
    Pp with zbox works really good not sure if you have that
  • usaski1usaski1 Posts: 769 Mega Baller
    edited February 28
    If you can do it, ZO is worth the upgrade, as long as you don’t have to swap the motor.. but for If you just need a new ECM and ZO, I would say worth it. I lucked out and found someone selling ZO, and the ECM I needed in 2918 for $15OO. Totally worth it.. but then that boat got destroyed in a tornado a year later!
    Mark Turner -- Water skiing changed my life forever.
  • PabloPablo Posts: 3 New Baller
    Thanks for all the info. The boat only has 30 hours on it so a new motor is out of the question. Waiting for a reply from ZO as the boat is right on the year cutoff for their compatibility.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 6,108 Mega Baller
    I wanna say you can go back to '03 @thager?
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • thagerthager Posts: 5,563 Mega Baller
    2002 196 with the Excaliber engine.
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • InboardfixInboardfix Posts: 132 Baller
    Converting from Mefi 4 (ignition system on your 2006 SN) to E-control (ignition system required for ZO) requires several expensive components, i.e. wiring harness, ECM, throttle potentiometer along w/several less expensive components, i.e. brackets, sensors, connectors. Once this conversion is done the engine is compatible w/ZO.

    Since your engine is DBW you will not have to change the throttle body which saves approx $400. However, it isn't a cheap conversion. In round numbers you can expect $5000.00-5300.00 including ZO.

  • bdmzbdmz Posts: 5 Baller
    Is it possible to retrofit 2003 6.0 LQ9?
  • InboardfixInboardfix Posts: 132 Baller
    subtract $400 (throttle body not required) from estimate above: $4600-4900.

    @bdmz haven't converted a 6.0 LQ9 but since it was used w/ZO from 2007-2009 I'm sure it can be done. As w/the 5.7 it will require replacing your Mefi 4 ignition w/E-control. Your 2003 will require converting to dbw.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 5,129 Mega Baller
    @Pablo don't wait for ZO if you want to know the answer take a look at your ecu in the boat.

    This is like an android vs apple thing you either have one or the other but ZO has no clue which.

    PP might actually be more able to help you, bet in their head unit there is more information about its configuration and they answer the phone.
  • chrislandychrislandy Posts: 356 Crazy Baller
    The latest PP worked great on mine last year, dead on set times, didn't bother with Zbox. I've not driven anyone shorter than 58kph/16m on it so can't comment on it's performance beyond that.
  • DeanoskiDeanoski Posts: 1,129 Crazy Baller
    Newest version of z box works great
  • jpwhitjpwhit Posts: 220 Solid Baller
    For clarity's sake, the answer you'll get from ZO on compatibility will be based simply on whether your existing boat already has the e-controls ECU or not. ZO doesn't want to get into the business of what is required to modify an engine to make it compatible.

    What others on this thread have rightly pointed out, is your engine can be modified to make it compatible with ZO even if it doesn't currently have an eControls ECU. But that's not something ZO or PCM would officially say they support. Not at all implying it's a bad idea or bad way to go, just trying to make sure the options are clear. And I think it understandable why neither ZO nor PCM would want to officially support that, there's not likely a good business case for it.

    If you want to go the way of modifying your engine to make it compatible, that's very doable and proven safe, but either you'll have to have the ability to do that yourself, or be willing to take the boat to a shop with the experience to do it correctly. I would be surprised if you'd find many dealership service departments that would be willing to take that conversion on without support from PCM and ZO.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 5,129 Mega Baller
    @jpwhit and then if compatible the question always becomes should you even bother since its all just cost. Low hour boat, you can upgrade the PP software to current and use their customer service for like 150$ but if its thousands to upgrade why not use the boat a bit and flip it.
  • RednucleusRednucleus Posts: 818 Mega Baller
    If you like the boat, I would upgrade PP and see if you can get it dialed in to your liking. I was skiing every Wed behind a Sportster with older paddle wheel PP & Lxi with Stargazer Wake Edition; they both do fine in the course for our level of skiing, and I have had no problem changing to my weekend zero off pull. The Stargazer would come in hot if over throttled coming off the island, easy to change approach and ease off throttle once I was used to it and get good times.
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 507 Baller
    Take a picture of your display and module. If you have an old stargazer setup you can upgrade to zbox for around 400.00 - I have it and so does my friend with a 2005 response. Pretty close.
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,839 Mega Baller
    We use Stargazer and always within within.01 - .02
  • Keith_MenardKeith_Menard Posts: 814 Mega Baller
    @ALPJr and with any luck we will also be using zbox this season :)
  • teammalibuteammalibu Posts: 1,209 Mega Baller
    @Pablo if you decide to upgrade your PP send me a msg! I can save you some $
    Mike Erb Cedar Ridge Canton Miss.
    Horton is my hero
Sign In or Register to comment.