|Just finished with my ballast install and it seems to be working well. Total weight full is around 1,800 lbs and fill time is around 8 minutes. I got a lot of help from people on this forum so I wanted to repay the favor with my own experience. Feel free to contact me with questions. |
these pics show where I decided to put the main thru-hull. I used a 2" hole saw and measured about 6 times before making the final hole. drill a 1/4" hole first, then you can make small adjustments if needed.
I went with a 1-1/2" Thru-hull and a 5" strainer to keep out seaweed
This is the main intake, used a elbow into a PVC shut-off valve so I can close the system off if there is a leak somewhere down the line. Next is a "winterizing Tee" which was recommended to make the winterizing process easier, just unscrew the cap and use a funnel to add antifreeze.
This angle shows the oil filter, make sure you leave enough room that it can still be replaced. The hose is routed underneath the engine, just in front of the steering cable.
Intake line looped under the engine
intake line going into the first check valve right before the distributor
distribution block or manifold system
This is the manifold, main intake line goes through a check valve and elbow and into the block. The three lines off the top feed the two-way reversing pumps. The two lines out each side are the drain lines. The check valve on the intake line prevents water from flowing back down that line. The check valves on the drain lines prevent air being sucked in while filling. The block was $90 from the local MC dealer.
This is from inside the engine looking to the drivers side storage compartment. The one line on the right (with the electrical wires & bilage pump line) is one of the drain lines, the three on the left are: top - fill/drain to ski locker, Middle & Bottom - Pump intake from manifold.
|This is the drivers side rear compartment. Left pump feeds the ski locker and front sacs. I used the Simer pump BW8512 like many others recommended. |
Overflow and vent line thru-hulls
I routed the fill/drain line with the wires up in the top of the compartment wall to keep them hidden
from the engine compartment looking into the passanger side rear storage.
Rear bag pump, duct tape is temporary fix until I buy a new impeller housing as it was cracked during shipping
Vent line (left) Drain line (right)
I used bags that I already had so they don't really match. This holds 680 lbs, usually fill to about 550 lbs to match the drivers side bag
Ski locker sac, bought on wakeside.com for $75 and it fits perfect! I ran 2 overflow lines from this bag to two side sacs under the front seats. once it's full it overflows and starts filling the front bags. so far it's been working great!
looking from in the ski locker to the back of the boat
looking to the front, the overflow lines that fill/drain the front bags
the front passenger side side sac (max 250 lbs, fills to about 150 lbs).
looking toward the front of the boat
had to drill a hole for the fill/drain hose to come up
There are a couple problems with this system. These bags can fill up with air and not vent because the vent is in the back and below the water line. If you get the air out before they're full, then they will fill all the way. Also, it takes a lot to get these to overflow out the vent line, it will push the seats up first, but it will overflow out the side. I usually watch them to make sure they don't over fill.
Here's the switches. I bought them with a wiring kit from the MC dealer. I was told it would be around $100, but it actually came out to $220. It was nice to have all the switches wired correctly though, just had to plug the pumps in and connect the power from the switches. I left the front open for a possible 4th pump for the front bags if the overflow system doesn't work well
I didn't use quick connect fittings, so this is my method for letting the rear compartments dry out.
|If you have any questions or want pictures of something else just let me know and I'll add them!|
|what did you use for the manifold? Looks like a really clean install!|
|That looks real good! I really wish I had the courage to cut a hole in the malibu but I think I will stick to the crappy non plumbed in ballast bags that leak all the time...one day I will have a boat with full factory ballast.. we can only dream! |
Top work though mate!
|Sweet set up, im saving this post for my self!|
|Nate: The manifold was so I only had to make one hole in the bottom of my boat. I ran a 1-1/4" (cheaper and more flexible than 1-1/2") line to the manifold. It has 5 holes coming off of it, the top 3 go to the pumps to fill the bags, then when the pumps are reversed water is direct back down those 3 lines and out the left and right side lines of the manifold and discharges over the side of the boat. This is how they did the stock ballast on the older X-star so I followed that. |
Steve: It took me a while to get the courage to drill through my boat, originally I was going to have my MC dealer drill the holes and put in the thru-hulls & I would do the rest. But I started by making the holes under the seat and thought, that wasn't too bad. Then I did the vent lines on the side since I figured the boat wouldn't sink if I messed something up, just had to make sure the location was right. After that practice I figured I could do the bottom as well! I just loaded the thru-hull up with marine caulk (from the dealer) and used mineral spirits to wipe off the extra. It really wasn't too bad.
|Just thought I'd add this too, it cost me about $925 for everything except the fat sacs. I used the sacs I already had, only needed to buy a $75 ski locker sac. |
I probably could have saved some money by buying things cheaper online instead of going through the dealer. But my dealer helped me out a ton by telling me exactly what I needed and answering all my questions so I wanted to repay the favor by using them for the parts.
Thanks to Action Water Sports in Hudsonville Michigan for their great service!
|nice work!!! |
post some pics of the wake when you can!
so the MC switches and wiring kit was $220?
|impressive. well done!|
|Yes, it was $220, but that included the switches & fuses with everything pre-wired and put in a plastic wire harness with enough length to run through the entire boat. All I had to do was pull the wiring harness through the boat, connect the power and plug in the pumps. It's a great option if you don't know much about electrical or wiring, it was very clean and well put together. |
After I bought it and looked at it, I realized I probably could have saved some money and done it my self. It did save me time figuring out the connections and making the harness myself.
|right on. which dealer did you buy that from? did their service dept. do it for you or did it come that way from the factory? send me a pm if you want. also, post up some wake pics when you can!|
|Looks great Chad! |
I just finished up a two-bag, rear system in my 00'XStar to go with the factory locker sac already in place. I went with the same Simer pumps, just did a few things different since I only had the two rear sacs. I decided against overflows for the time being just because the cost was starting to really add up! Buying those pre-wired switches would really have made life easier! I will say I saved quite a bit by doing it myself though...I won't say how much just cause I don't want you to get sick to your stomach!
I thought about doing something up front but just didn't know if it would really be worth it with those compartments not being all that roomy. I just throw a 440lb in the walkway right now, would definately be nice to have that floorspace though!
|Bruce, I got the wiring harness through Action Water Sports in Hudsonville Michigan. I believe they ordered them from the factory, it had all the wiring labels and everything on it. |
Joe, I know I probably could have saved over $100 dollars now looking back. When I told them to order it I was under the impression it would be about $100 total for the harness, but When I picked them up I found out different. Since they special ordered it for me I just paid for it. It's a little depressing, but I'm over it now because it's working and I still saved money doing the overall install myself
I definitely like the sacs under the front seats, it keeps the walk way open and adds the much needed weight to the front that is required with this hull.
I will get some pics of the wake the next time we go out, might not be until Saturday unfortunately!
|Nice work! Very professional looking install!|
|Thanks for the complements!! It definitely was a lot of work, but totally worth it! It's so nice to be able to flip a few switches and just sit back and relax while it fills with 1,800 lbs! It used to take us over a half hour of messing around with pumps to get it all filled! |
Here is another diagram I came across that helped with the location of the thru-hulls (I went with different pump locations)
|Chad. Very nice work!|