Well off I went to Mammoth with a bunch of ideas and I learned a lot but nothing I was looking for. In short I changed way to many things at once and got wrapped around the axle.
I removed the spoiler from the boots and made 2 x 1mm spacers for each boot to put in place of the spoiler.
I mounted up a brand new pair of Bushwackers with a Head demo binding so I could move the mount position.
I put a 2mm spacer under the toe binding on a pair of Bonafides (did not like the risk of packing under my boot and not releasing or pre-releasing)
Drove off all excited to learn something.
Spent most of the first day on the new Bushwackers and tried all the available combinations of spacers behind the liner. Also moved the mount forward a couple boot sizes with various spacer combinations. I could not get over the sweetspot of the ski and it was unstable with all the available combinations.
I found that with the original spoiler in place and the ski one boot size forward it was skiable but it was far from stable and I could not get it to turn well on the manmade chop over hardpack. It broke loose from the tail every turn and bounced around, not a pretty sight. I felt like giving up skiing, I had no clue what was going on.
Last run of the day i go back to the car and get the bones with the 2mm toe lift (mounted on the line). Suddenly I can ski again although by now I have lost all confidence and cant tell much about the spacer because I am confused as hell.
Next day i remove the 2mm toe spacer and go off to the hill and ski now with everything back to stock. I remember why I love the bones, thing rips at high speed and does not really care what crud is in front of it, super stable GS turns and I have a big smile on my face. Same snow conditions as the day before. WTF?
I obviously still have an issue getting centered and staying there, this is where I came in to this post but I now dont think it is a boot problem. I spend my day 2 double pole planting and working to get centered BEFORE I start to drop into the turn. Things are not perfect but I am fairly clear this is a driver problem nothing more.
Last run of the day I go back to the car and get the Bushwackers. I moved the binding back to the line so I have a fair comparison to the bones. It still felt like I was not in control and the ski wanted to break loose at every opportunity. It felt like a toy ski not a real ski like the bones. I did not dare push the speed as I did not want to get hurt. I checked the tune of the skis and I think it was good, they were new and felt sharp, no burr.
I suspect I may be overpowering the front of the ski as one of my many technique issues but I would have expected the Bushwacker to take it like a man, not get all squirly.
So, I have a pair of 180 wackers with new Head bindings for sale, only used one day.