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87 TriStar 190
04-17-2013, 02:13 PM
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.

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
04-17-2013, 02:21 PM
The dampen tubes are located behind both side storage boxes on either side of battery compartment. Remove storage boxes for access.

3ponds
04-17-2013, 05:54 PM
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.

87 TriStar 190
04-21-2013, 09:56 PM
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.

homer12
04-22-2013, 01:31 PM
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.

87 TriStar 190
04-22-2013, 01:41 PM
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?

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
04-23-2013, 10:04 AM
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.

87 TriStar 190
04-23-2013, 01:41 PM
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".

Miss Rita
04-25-2013, 10:14 AM
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.

87 TriStar 190
04-30-2013, 01:46 PM
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.

87 TriStar 190
05-02-2013, 01:35 PM
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.

thatsmrmastercraft
05-02-2013, 01:37 PM
I use the air hose to blow the lines out every fall when I winterize.

mikeg205
05-02-2013, 01:42 PM
^^^ 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...

87 TriStar 190
05-02-2013, 02:23 PM
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.

mikeg205
05-02-2013, 02:24 PM
I don't... and didn't

Miss Rita
05-02-2013, 03:32 PM
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.

I love it! Just use a bigger hammer! :D

If you attached a three way valve at an accessible position, you could make an access port that would allow you to blow the lines out each year with needing to call your chiropractor. If you got real fancy, you could attach it to an onboard compressor, blow out the lines while you're still in the water.

87 TriStar 190
05-02-2013, 10:00 PM
Photos dash removal and the "stuff" that came out of the lines. I have close-ups of the remains if you want to see it. Pretty gruesome glop.

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
05-02-2013, 10:12 PM
Or you could just install one of these and never have to worry about pitot and trash again
http://www.livorsi.com/catalog/gps_ski.html

87 TriStar 190
05-03-2013, 01:11 PM
James: Funny you bring this up. Did a search this morning and found a Telefoex GPS that lookied about perfect. This one is even better. You can see from my photos that I already have the cut out in the dash waiting for it. I have been using a hand held GPS with speed read out for the past few years. Need look at the price of this, but I think one is in my future. Thanks for the suggestion. Since all my sking is on lakes, it should be ideal.

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
05-04-2013, 10:29 AM
James: Funny you bring this up. Did a search this morning and found a Telefoex GPS that lookied about perfect. This one is even better. You can see from my photos that I already have the cut out in the dash waiting for it. I have been using a hand held GPS with speed read out for the past few years. Need look at the price of this, but I think one is in my future. Thanks for the suggestion. Since all my sking is on lakes, it should be idea.

I made the switch ~3years ago, love it.

svxwilson
06-21-2013, 11:08 PM
Or you could just install one of these and never have to worry about pitot and trash again
http://www.livorsi.com/catalog/gps_ski.html

Do I even want to know how much these cost? Both my speedometers are stuck.....

JMLVMI
06-21-2013, 11:40 PM
Do I even want to know how much these cost? Both my speedometers are stuck.....

Based on some quick googling, somewhere around $400+ for the kit. Yikes.

CC2MC
06-24-2013, 04:10 PM
Or you could just install one of these and never have to worry about pitot and trash again
http://www.livorsi.com/catalog/gps_ski.html

Perfect Pass also makes one called Precision Star for about $329 and no GPS puck required.

http://precisionstar.ca/

Hey svxwilson, try cleaning out the pitot tubes at the transom. There may be something stuck in the inlet hole. I had that in one of mine and now it works, although it is a little slow reacting and I may have to blow the lines out too.