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  • Speedo reacts slow

    The VRO speedometer is very slow to react. Takes a while to get a reading, and then it's slow for quite a while. Will eventually get up near slolom speed, but for pulling swivel (my daughter) and wakeboards, it's about useless. I have taken off the pickup and blown air through to clean that out. Stuck a wire through it also. Seems clear. I understand that inside the boat, there is a damping tube that may have water in, or be causing a problem. Does anyone know where that is in an 87 TriStar 190? Anyone ever had this problem before? I have been using a handheld GPS for the past few seasons.
    Last edited by 87 TriStar 190; 04-21-2013, 09:57 PM.

  • #2
    The dampen tubes are located behind both side storage boxes on either side of battery compartment. Remove storage boxes for access.
    James

    1989 MasterCraft TriStar 190 SE
    sigpic

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    • #3
      Take the tubing off the back of you speedometer and disconnect the tubing off your pitots, then blow thru the line with an air compressor from the speedo end. The line probably has water and slimey crud in it. This has worked for me on a couple of boats I have owned.

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      • #4
        I've tried to take the tube off the speedo but can't get my hand in at a good angle to remove it. There's a hole in the dash for another gauge and I can take that out, but can't manipulate in that space. That's why I wanted to try from the dampers. Will be getting the boat hme the end of this week from storage and I'll try it. What air pressure do you use? Don't want to fail a line.

        The boat only has one speedo. Really would like it working perfectly again.

        Thanks for your help. Will keep you posted.

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        • #5
          My Tristar has a carpeted panel under the dash that you can take out with 4 screws (I think) and have access underneath to anything.

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          • #6
            I have the carpeted panel, but when that's off, there's a fiberglass molded enclosure around the instrument pod. Can't get at anything from under there except the stereo. Might be able to remove the smaller panel that the ignition is mounted to, but not sure I could get my hand in there either. It's pretty tight because of all the wires. I do like the idea of blowing it out from the gauge position. Is there anything in the damping device I could damage with high pressure air?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 87 TriStar 190 View Post
              I have the carpeted panel, but when that's off, there's a fiberglass molded enclosure around the instrument pod. Can't get at anything from under there except the stereo. Might be able to remove the smaller panel that the ignition is mounted to, but not sure I could get my hand in there either. It's pretty tight because of all the wires. I do like the idea of blowing it out from the gauge position. Is there anything in the damping device I could damage with high pressure air?
              You will need to remove the steering wheel that gives you access to remove the dash panel, only way to get enough room to remove the gauges.
              James

              1989 MasterCraft TriStar 190 SE
              sigpic

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              • #8
                Never removed the steering wheel before. That sounds like a brutal task. I think the first approach should be to disconnect at the inlet of the damper and blow through that and out the line to the pitot tube. Will disconnect the pitot prior to inducing air.

                I don't have storage boxes in the back, only a single panel that raises upward on a hinge for battery access. The battery sits in a tray. The only access is when the rear seat is out, there is a gap between three and four inches you can see under. If I remember correctly, the floor carpet goes up the back under there. No idea how to gain access to anything under the floor except in the middle where a floor panel lifts for rudder lube etc.

                Plan to get the boat out of storage this weekend so I'll study it. Will take pictures if I don't see an easy way in.

                Thanks for your suggestions. Together, we'll figure this out. Really would like to have it working properly again.

                As my dealer says, "Remember, it's a MasterCraft. It's always something simple".

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                • #9
                  Somehow you'll have to remove the backrest(s) to get to the equalizers that dampen the speedometer movement. (I think they're called equalizers). They're brass tubes with very tiny holes that work to dampen movement of the speedometer needle in rough conditions, not unlike a shock absorber on a car. You could easily bypass them and not notice any difference.

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                  • #10
                    Brought the boat home from storage last weekend so I can look at things. I need to take a few photos and post those so you can see my challenges. I removed the center cap covering a blank hole in the dash directly above the steering wheel. Can reach in, but only enough to remove one nut holding the speedo in place. Can't reach the second nut. The tube fits in the center of the bracket holding the speedo in place and I can't get that off. There is only about a 2 to 2 1/2 in hole behind the gauges where all the wires and the speedo tube come through. Not enough space that if I took off the carpeted trim under the console that I could get a it.

                    Also looked at the back to find the equalizer and that is pretty much sealed off. The battery sits in a tray that I might be able to remove, except the flexible blower tube runs through a hole cut in the tray. The equalizer should be accessible shouldn't it? Is it typically located close to where the hose comes through the boat at the pitot pickup?

                    Will take photos and post. Thanks again for your help.
                    Last edited by 87 TriStar 190; 05-01-2013, 01:24 PM.

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                    • #11
                      OK, I think I have it. Last night I pulled out the dash so I could gain access to the backside of the speedo. Removed the holding bracket and was then able to pull off the tube. There was no extra length to work with and it was tight. Then disconnected the pitot pick-up tube. Lined a plastic container with white paper towel and had my wife hold the tube at the pick-up into the container. Set my air compressor at 40 psi and held that to the speedo end of the tube. No air flow at 40 psi. Being a degreed Mechanical Engineer and wanting to solve the problem, I increased the air pressure to 80 psi. Started by bumping air into the line until my wife told me things were spitting out. Removed a lot of brown slime and highly viscous fluids, along with some brown water. Continued to pressurize the systme until it was clear air. Got a lot more "snot" out than I expected. I suppose there's 26 years worth of accumulation. I bought the boat new and it's never been done before.

                      So, here's the next question. How do I keep this from happening again, or do I plan to make this an annual event?

                      Will try to post photos when I get them downloaded at home and put on here.

                      I think the equalizer is buried below the integral swim platform. No access that I can see actually getting at.

                      Now for warmer weather and the test run. Hope it works.

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                      • #12
                        I use the air hose to blow the lines out every fall when I winterize.
                        - Peter
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                        • #13
                          ^^^ what he said... but I don't pull the gauges every year - fortunate for indoor storage... old lines can cause improper readings. When I took my tubes off the gauges blew them out nothing came out.. but speedos reacted better when reseated new part of line...
                          sigpic...A bad day water skiing still beats a good day at work...1995 Pro Star 205....

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                          • #14
                            I now have heated storage for the boat. I do still winterize it. When you blow out the lines, do you get much "stuff" out? Might just make this part of the winterizing process if the speedo works perfectly now.

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                            • #15
                              I don't... and didn't
                              sigpic...A bad day water skiing still beats a good day at work...1995 Pro Star 205....

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