River Jet Mods, Tips and Tricks - RC Groups
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Apr 12, 2017, 02:56 PM
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sundogz's Avatar
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River Jet Mods, Tips and Tricks


So you thought it's about time you got in on all the fun of Jet boating, and you saw the sexy lines and decent price of the new Proboat River Jet boat, so you saved your pennies and snatched one up before they were gone. But on your second or third trip to the creek you started to experience some ‘problems’. The hull leaked water, the impeller cracked, the stuffing tube 'spider' support broke apart and the motor magnets came loose.
Then you discovered the thread on RC Groups describing the newly released boat and all the problems others have had just two months into production – Roll bar and battery tray came loose, the difficulties getting it to self-right, the sensitive steering and the page-long process of lubricating the impeller shaft.

Wow, didn’t expect all that on a brand new boat! And you don’t want to wait until the factory sends out a replacement motor or hull before you can start having fun again. But you aren’t particularly ‘handy’ at fixing things or at least you didn’t expect to have to fix things – that’s why you bought an RTR boat in the first place. Well, this thread is for you. It is not about bashing the boat or the manufacturer (use that other thread for that), but getting it going again. I hope to show you how easy it is to fix or modify things so the boat suits you – the owner. And it is not a place for the Proboat developers to come to explain why they did this or that, because we all know the bottom line is money and expenses. They want to sell boats or course, but there is more money in selling parts. So long story short, if you do most anything I describe in these pages, it will void your warranty. But don’t despair, I intend to explain in detail & with pictures how you can make it better than new. And if you do get a replacement part but decide not to use it, you'll probably find others here who are willing to take it off your hands. I'll have a brand new motor I'll be replacing.....


Edit: I had to close this thread repeatedly due to friendly folks filling up the pages with chatter not pertaining to the subject matter. So if you don't want to read though this whole thread to find what you are interested in - here is an index you can use to jump to the good stuff:

Page/Report Subject matter

3 36 Reinforcing the thin impeller
4 46 Stuffing tube support (spider bracket) elimination Part 1
4 47 Stuffing tube grease port mod
4 52 Spider bracket elimination mod Part 2
4 56 Thin transom lower edge fix
5 73 Reverse bucket! Print your own on 3D printer - .stl file
7 95 Reverse bucket installation
9 133 Reverse nozzle for use with reverse bucket - print your own - .stl file
9 134 Reverse nozzle installation
10 137 Improved (compact) steering nozzle - print your own - .stl file
10 138 Better battery containment
10 139 Pushrod boots
Last edited by sundogz; Jun 01, 2017 at 12:47 AM. Reason: added index
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Apr 12, 2017, 03:03 PM
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Un-boxing and review


So let me thank RC Planet for getting this boat to me in record time. From UT to AR in two days! And I didn’t pay for ‘expedient shipping’, shipping was free -and they even supplied a $20 off coupon! Off to a good start. The boat is handsome. Even sexy. The gray metalflake paint really gets your attention and the orange decals set it off nicely. The jet drive reminds me of the former MickieBeez drive scaled up a bit. I like the recessed scoop in the beefy looking intake grill.

I don’t know why manufacturers still put the cooling water outlet on the side of a boat. I’ll be putting it on top at the transom so I can readily see if the cooling system is working or plugged up and it looks cool – like a jet ski. The roll bar reminds me of the NQD Tear Into and should be a good way to carry the boat, but some owners have reported they’ve broken off already. We’ll get to this. The little driver figures are cool (driver on the right?) but the navigator is just begging for a ‘grab bar’ in his hands! And I really like the means to fasten the hatch – four knurled captive thumbscrews – one in each corner lessens the chance of losing it in the river, the foam gasket should slow water ingress, and the drain plug on the transom is a nice touch too.

The boat is equipped with a trim-able steering nozzle and a bracket for a second servo to facilitate nozzle trim, though I believe just finding the proper center of gravity negates the use of one in most conditions. But it can be effective when combined with the steering so that the bow lifts a bit in turns to help ride out rough water. This requires a programmable transmitter with at least three proportional channels. When I push the steering nozzle fully to the left, it rebounds some due to the rubber boot but his can easily be fixed. Flotation in the nose is a nice touch, as well as the Velcro battery straps - with loops so you can actually pull them tight. All in all, nicely done.

I have a feeling that a physically larger outrunner would be more effective than the ‘flywheel’ coupler at self-righting but that may cause some ‘heeling over’ on acceleration which could be annoying. I hope someone gives that a try, as many people bought this boat because of that feature. Many have complained of a thin area where the transom meets the bottom of the boat, but mine is not like that. It has a bead of what appears to be clear cement with white sand mixed in it on that seam. I was ready to reinforce this right away since the product developer indicated the new hulls would have a more ‘rounded’ shape there to prevent thin areas. But a more rounded shape would mean extra drag, and this one is sharp and well defined. If you have an original hull - keep it, it will be inherently faster than a newer hull.

All in all, this boat is quite suitable and worth the cost (ba-leeve me on this) and will make for a good jet drive boat. Now I need to find something to put on the pointed nose before I hit something with it. And I will, ba-leeve me.
Last edited by sundogz; Apr 19, 2017 at 05:30 AM. Reason: removed 'fluff', added 'proportional'
Apr 12, 2017, 03:23 PM
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Youngsta's Avatar
I look forward to seeing you knocking it about abit,
Rag it like you stole it
Apr 12, 2017, 09:09 PM
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sundogz's Avatar


I'm going to tear it apart all right, and put it together to last. But it will never be as nice as your boats. Ralph should be looking forwards, not downwards. His condescending mannerism makes me ill.
Last edited by sundogz; Apr 15, 2017 at 05:26 AM. Reason: added a little more..
Apr 12, 2017, 10:17 PM
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pics


My better looking half had our good camera with her today so I wasn't able to post pics. Here are a few to look at.

1. Transom seam that is so thin on others boats is beefed up on mine for some reason. More attention to detail?
2. Rollbar had been reported as coming loose? Maybe because there is no mechanical means of fastening - they are just glued in place. Looks sturdy to me, we'll see how it holds up
3. Steering side boot is too bunched up putting a strain on the servo when turning left. I'll cut out the small center portion so the boot can slip further up the clevis.
4 Nozzle trim came adjusted from the factory all the way down. See page 35 for why. Will need to adjust this to dead level.
5. Stock EC3's and the XT60's that I use are both 60A rated. I'll change this out.
6. Motor shaft is 5mm, jet shaft is 4mm.
Last edited by sundogz; Apr 15, 2017 at 03:26 AM. Reason: this rollbar was coming loose? Looks sturdy, time will tell
Apr 12, 2017, 10:27 PM
Fast electric boats maybe
Jeffro Bodine's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sundogz
My better looking half had our good camera with her today so I wasn't able to post pics. Here are a few to look at.

1. Transom seam that is so thin on others boats is beefed up on mine for some reason. More attention to detail?
2. Rollbars have been coming loose because there is no mechanical means of fastening - they are just glued in place! Will epoxy them in place before using it as a handle.
3. Steering side boot is too bunched up putting a strain on the servo when turning left. I'll cut out the small center portion so the boot can slip further up the clevis.
4 Nozzle trim came adjusted from the factory all the way down. Will need to adjust this to dead level.
5. Stock EC3's and the XT60's that I use are both 60A rated. I'll change this out.
6. Motor shaft is 5mm, jet shaft is 4mm.
Sundogz do you recon PB knew that this boat in particular was going to you and made sure the thin places in the hull were corrected
Apr 12, 2017, 11:07 PM
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sundogz's Avatar
Yeah, if this boat had been donated, this wouldn't look very good, would it ... delivered in two days, transom problem fixed....hmmm. But no, nobody at RC Planet knows me from Adam, and Proboat couldn't possibly know who I was going to shop with. Heck, even I didn't know until 2 days ago that I would be buying one!

Edit: There was one more curious thing though. It probably isn't anything, but on the shipping box was written in sharpie "Pick up". I never intended to pick this boat up from a store in Utah Maybe it was originally intended for a magazine writer/reviewer but got shipped here instead! Just kidding. maybe.

PS: proboat developer says he doesn't know how this could be, but it's not a 'factory corrected' one. Whatever. It's one less thing to fix!
Last edited by sundogz; Apr 15, 2017 at 03:29 AM. Reason: Added another curiosity
Apr 12, 2017, 11:15 PM
Just Plane Nutts
AirDOGGe's Avatar
I doubt that they knew. I suspect this is an interim fix until molds are modded and new hulls made with them. The sealant "band-aid" deals with hulls already manufactured, and I imagine there were a lot made before changes were introduced.

The angled-down nozzle is dis-heartening. Just how low of a bid did they get when seeking manufacturers?
Apr 12, 2017, 11:28 PM
Fast electric boats maybe
Jeffro Bodine's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AirDOGGe
I doubt that they knew. I suspect this is an interim fix until molds are modded and new hulls made with them. The sealant "band-aid" deals with hulls already manufactured, and I imagine there were a lot made before changes were introduced.

The angled-down nozzle is dis-heartening. Just how low of a bid did they get when seeking manufacturers?
I guess QC is a thing of the past in certain circumstances nowadays, another thing is the motor magnets coming loose to self rite itself , that's like getting in your car and starting down the road then throwing it in reverse it's not pretty you will need a new one ,I would think the same thing applies to these motors too much strain on components,even more so when it has a flywheel in it ,once you get something spinning one way then slam it the other way problems are going to arise
Last edited by Jeffro Bodine; Apr 12, 2017 at 11:33 PM.
Apr 12, 2017, 11:52 PM
Electric RC Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffro Bodine
I guess QC is a thing of the past in certain circumstances nowadays, another thing is the motor magnets coming loose to self rite itself , that's like getting in your car and starting down the road then throwing it in reverse it's not pretty you will need a new one ,I would think the same thing applies to these motors too much strain on components,even more so when it has a flywheel in it ,once you get something spinning one way then slam it the other way problems are going to arise
Very true

I didn't have any issues with my current stock motor until I tried to self right the boat and sure enough, 1 motor magnet comes loose and I know that can't be good for the ESC either.

Hopefully tomorrow my straight coupler will come in. Because of the issues with the self righting, I don't plan to use it anymore. Rafael says the boat performs better with the weighted flywheel coupler removed anyway.
Apr 13, 2017, 12:01 AM
Fast electric boats maybe
Jeffro Bodine's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DBJr
Very true

I didn't have any issues with my current stock motor until I tried to self right the boat and sure enough, 1 motor magnet comes loose and I know that can't be good for the ESC either.

Hopefully tomorrow my straight coupler will come in. Because of the issues with the self righting, I don't plan to use it anymore. Rafael says the boat performs better with the weighted flywheel coupler removed anyway.
Well that's makes sense if you loose a big mass in the drive then sure it's going to perform better, the motor don't have to work as hard
And I suspect he knew that as well just didn't say anything until someone replied about it
Apr 13, 2017, 02:15 AM
Registered User
I don't have one of these yet so I don't know how much room you're working with, but perhaps you could get in there with a small soldering iron that has an old expendable tip on it and melt those roll cage posts out into more of a mushroom shape. Then there's no way they're ever coming out unless the roll cage breaks. If that does happen and you need to replace the roll cage, simply drill out the plugs and do it again.

This assumes there is enough room in there to bring the iron to bear and not melt things that shouldn't be melted.
Apr 13, 2017, 03:33 AM
Fast electric boats maybe
Jeffro Bodine's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firehawk989
I don't have one of these yet so I don't know how much room you're working with, but perhaps you could get in there with a small soldering iron that has an old expendable tip on it and melt those roll cage posts out into more of a mushroom shape. Then there's no way they're ever coming out unless the roll cage breaks. If that does happen and you need to replace the roll cage, simply drill out the plugs and do it again.

This assumes there is enough room in there to bring the iron to bear and not melt things that shouldn't be melted.
It would have to be a curved tip to get up in there plus the mirror for seeing what you are doing, might take 2 people to do the job , but could be done I suppose
Apr 13, 2017, 09:53 AM
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sundogz's Avatar
That would be a good idea if you could get up under there with something. But I fear you'll melt something you didn't mean to melt. I'd like to remove it so I can drill holes for a clip, but if I break the roll cage I don't see that listed for sale anywhere. Epoxy is probably the best bet. Or better yet, wait until it comes loose, then you can do something with it.
Apr 13, 2017, 11:09 AM
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sundogz's Avatar
I was asked if the nozzle being pointed down as an assembly error, or to compensate for bad COG. Good question, but I won't find out right away. I'd like to give this a spin, but that would be foolish without taking the jet apart and beefing up the impeller. I hear they are getting hard to find. So that will be my next project. But today I have chores to take care of.

One thing that is bugging me is the oversized steering nozzle. Makes that jet look big, doesn't it? Maybe this is why so many complain about the jumpy steering, it doesn't deflect water until it is past half movement. But not everybody has a 3D printer, so we'll need a Kayaker solution for this.


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