Author Topic: How to get the best out of a Panther?  (Read 1949 times)

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Offline Redneck

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How to get the best out of a Panther?
« on: January 30, 2012, 12:02:58 AM »
Ok, Boat runs good and reliable now save a few little adjustments, I am happy with it!

It will no doubt be better when the bigger carb/spacer gets fitted and the final valve springs( only outers at pres.) and clearances are set up.
( currently Chev 454/ 9.5:1, Rectangle port HP heads,Crane 292 ish,Dual plane Mercruiser manifold,Holley 650 DP ,wet Panther logs through transom)

The thing really wants to scream its head off,( need to be careful to keep it below 5k at present LOL!) I am impressed being a Mopar guy at heart! I reckon it will pull about 6k with more air and fuel and seems to really smooth out the faster it goes.

Anyhow, now I need to know how to gauge whats going on with the pump in regard to keeping it pushing the water out with some degree of efficiency, and how to pull tight turns without the pump "stalling" and having to recover.

I have adjusted the gate as per panther specs making sure it closes properly to get some reverse ability( moves real slow in reverse!)
When the gate controller( in the cockpit) is forward , the gate only comes up about halfway across the outlet. Is this right?

The thing actually goes well and is trimmed at above planing speed,(3000rpm as in the picture) but seems to be pushing a lot of water into a lump about 30 ft astern at lower speeds.( the other picture)
 Is there anyway to get better holeshot? Do I need to work out how to get more control/movement of the gate?

Any advice or comment welcome, Ive been into cars and bikes forever, this is my first powerboat.
Nick

Offline David

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Re: How to get the best out of a Panther?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2012, 07:32:14 AM »

I have adjusted the gate as per panther specs making sure it closes properly to get some reverse ability( moves real slow in reverse!)
When the gate controller( in the cockpit) is forward , the gate only comes up about halfway across the outlet. Is this right?

Nick
Hey Nick,
I'll address the part I know and let more knowledgeable peeps answer the rest...
Your reverse gate should be able to go completely open when your handle in the cockpit is pushed forward and it should also go completely down when in reverse.

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Offline roblock

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Re: How to get the best out of a Panther?
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2012, 07:35:42 AM »
78 Tahiti is going to be your go to guy for advice on this one. So take everything I say with a grain until you hear form him. But it sounds like you may not be getting a good bite. I would order a manual for your drive for sure. It was a big help to me. You can order one here: http://www.pantherjet.com/POSTERSANDLITERATURESELL.htm

If it turns out you are slipping, at low speed, it can be anything from sucking air at the seal between the pump and transom (are the mounting bolts loose?) (can you wiggle the drive up and down or sideways at all?) to a worn housing or impeller.

How does the rooster look?

Here is Tahiti's roost before the jet-ovator:
78 Tahiti Panther Jet Gets a Demon


Here is mine:
Sandollar jet boat

Reverse is not powerful in mine either, and I thnk that is normal for a panther.

For high speed issues, can you put up more pics of the gate when it is open both in forward and reverse?

Definitely get yourself some rudders as well if you don't have any. They make a significant difference in steering at low speeds: http://www.pantherjet.com/ACCESSORIESRUDDERS.htm


Offline roblock

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Re: How to get the best out of a Panther?
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2012, 07:37:37 AM »
Nice David! Good pics of proper gate position...  :)

Offline 78_Tahiti

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Re: How to get the best out of a Panther?
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2012, 09:50:24 AM »
Hi Nick &  :hi:   With a Panther, there are a couple things that have an effect on performance.  The reverse gate being one of them. A Panther in good condition, generally has a great holeshot! They are somewhat limited in higher speeds, due to the design. Like any Axial Pump, they work much better on a larger boat, then the smaller craft (less then 19') Panther Pumps don't require a ton of HP. Because of design, they really can't absorb more then about 400hp. Is your pump fitted with an aluminum bronze sleeve around the impeller? The clearance between the impeller & housing is where the Panthers holeshot comes from. Failure to lube the tail bushing. Causes the impeller to grind away at the aluminum housing, which reduces thrust. It is very easy to check. disconnect the the reverse gate strap, take the bolt out of the steering cable (at the steering nozzle) loosen up the hose clamp on the exit housing, remove the 4 3/8" bolts holding the exit housing on. What you will see then is the stainless impeller in the suction housing.


If the housing is excessively worn, check the tail bushing for wear. You can use devcon aluminum epoxy to repair the housing, usually last about a season.
If It Floats, F@cks, or Flies, Its Cheaper to RENT IT!

Offline Redneck

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Re: How to get the best out of a Panther?
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2012, 03:34:31 PM »
Thanks for the info so far!

I had the rear pump housing off when i was re newing the nyliner bushings for the steering and reverse gate.

Apart from the impeller being loose(!!!) and not having a washer behind the lock nut, all looked OK.
I fitted a washer and did it up as tight as I could. No loctite was used as I figured it may need to come off in the future , and the rear housing would keep it all together and centred if in fact it was a bit on the not so tight side.

There was some pitting from corrosion in the housing but no real evidence of being ground away.

I fixed up the pitting best i could with some epoxy "knead it" steel putty and was pretty happy with the end result after it was sanded down.I didn't actually measure the clearances, but it looked pretty tight. A set of panther rudders were also fitted at that time

As mentioned, its pretty easy to pull down for further inspection, and I will do that for peace of mind. If its gonna spin real fast, it better be right!

My reverse gate obviously needs to be set up differently to get more travel! I will look at how the cable clamp and control lever is set up and see if I can get more travel up that end as the adjustments at the pump end only look good for fine tuning.Truth be known, I probably re assembled it incorrectly when I had it apart to lube up the cable.......DOH!

Nick

Offline roblock

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Re: How to get the best out of a Panther?
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2012, 04:55:01 PM »
Sounds like you are on the right track. The panthers do not have much reverse thrust when working right, but I am comparing it to a Hamilton that my Dad has in his Northriver. So its kind of relative. I also noticed a bit more reverse when I raised the trim plate one hole, and I intend to raise it one more this summer. But it changes the ride as well, so there is a balance to achieve. I think the former owners had the plate adjusted improperly on mine, or because the ride suited better them for some reason such as they wanted more of a rooster.

Good luck! :drv:

Offline 78_Tahiti

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Re: How to get the best out of a Panther?
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2012, 05:19:44 PM »
Nick, there are usually 3 holes in the shift lever. I have found with Panthers, using the hole farthest from the pivot point, on the "shift lever" gives you maximum cable travel. The Half round aluminum lever on the pump, should have 2 holes in it. The one closest to the pivot point, will give you the most travel there.  :zwhistle:
If It Floats, F@cks, or Flies, Its Cheaper to RENT IT!

 


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