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View Full Version : Fly High System Complete---Need warm weather now!


skeeler
04-14-2008, 11:27 AM
Well, I got the Fly High Ballast System installed over the weekend. Now I am just waiting for some warm weather, so I can use it!!! :mad: Hopefully this weekend's weather pans out.

Install pics: http://www.lockituponline.com/08-x-star-fly-high/index.htm
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Roonie's
04-14-2008, 11:46 AM
I really like the switches inside the storage compartment rather then exposed below the seats where you usually see it. Much cleaner install this way for sure. Thanks for the pics.

skeeler
04-14-2008, 12:00 PM
Thanks Roonie. I went back and forth for a week, no kidding, on mounting them there or in the rear compartment. But in the end, I thought this was a better choice. Closer to the pumps, kids won't mess with it, and it is pretty tight in that compartment. Plus, the plastic bin won't fit back in there. So I am pleased.

wakeX2wake
04-14-2008, 12:04 PM
great looking install man... very OEM... mad props... looking forward to some upside down pictures

WESSTAR
04-16-2008, 12:49 AM
How much does that add? Do you use that on top of the stock ballast or removed the tanks?

skeeler
04-16-2008, 08:40 AM
How much does that add? Do you use that on top of the stock ballast or removed the tanks?
Additional 900lbs rear, 500lbs front. Nope Right over the rear factory tanks.

whitlecj
04-16-2008, 10:22 AM
Nice work. The install looks very good.

rrbooker
04-16-2008, 02:55 PM
Additional 900lbs rear, 500lbs front. Nope Right over the rear factory tanks.

What sacs are you running? I thought you got the X-Star Fly High system. The X-star system is 2500 lbs total, 1600 lbs rear & 900 lbs front, I think! Atleast that was what i was told mine was.

BTW... Looks great!!!!!

skeeler
04-16-2008, 03:33 PM
What sacs are you running? I thought you got the X-Star Fly High system. The X-star system is 2500 lbs total, 1600 lbs rear & 900 lbs front, I think! Atleast that was what i was told mine was.

BTW... Looks great!!!!!
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I purchased the valves, hose, and hardware from Fly High. I ended up using my X-2 rear sacs in the back, and the 250lbs side sacs in the front. I already owned them so the price was right, and that is normally what we ran with in the X-Star due to the amount of people we usually have. Plus, if it really came down to it, and nobody showed up to ride that day, I do have 500lbs in lead. :D
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My Ballast System w/o Factory Ballast
Front Side Sacs: 250 each = 500lbs Dimensions: 48"x12"x12" Cubic Feet: 8 cubic'
Rear Sacs: 450 each = 900lbs Dimensions: 32"x18"x20" Cubic Feet: 13.33 Cubic'
Total= 1,400 lbs Total Cubic Feet: 21.33 cubic'
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Fly High X-Star Sacs w/o Factory Ballast
Front Side Sacs: ??????lbs Demensions: 40"x22"x6" Cubic Feet: 6.11 cubic'
Rear Sacs: ??????lbs Dimensions: 40"x22"x22" Cubic Feet: 22.41 cubic '
Total= 2,500lbs ????????? Total Cubic Feet: 28.52 cubic'
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So, from what I can tell, they have 1,000lbs packed into that extra 7.19 cubic feet?? Someone help me.

rrbooker
04-16-2008, 04:03 PM
I never really could figure it out, but they have 2500lbs posted everywhere!

I wounder if they mean total between factory and sacs?

Harvey
04-16-2008, 06:17 PM
Fly High X-Star Sacs w/o Factory Ballast
Front Side Sacs: 190.4lbs each Demensions: 40"x22"x6" Cubic Feet: 6.11 cubic'
Rear Sacs: 698.1lbs each Dimensions: 40"x22"x22" Cubic Feet: 22.41 cubic '
Total= 2,500lbs 1777lbs Total Cubic Feet: 28.52 cubic'
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So, from what I can tell, they have 1,000lbs packed into that extra 7.19 cubic feet?? Someone help me.

It's actually only a difference of 440 lbs. I think the other 460 lbs is packed in the advertising!!!!:D

Jerseydave
04-16-2008, 09:11 PM
Interesting way to do it, glad to hear you could buy the valves, hoses and hardware separate. How much was just that? (If I may ask)

Have you tried the wake out yet? Tell me how it is, pics are always good too! :D

shaivism
04-19-2008, 08:40 PM
Skeeler, super CLEAN install, nice work!! I just purchased the complete kit from BI and plan to get started soon and have a few questions on your install:

What did you use for the hole trim pieces where the rear bag hoses go through the rear panels and where did you get them?

Is there a reason that you decided to tee the fill hose for the front bags and vent separately rather than use the overflow from one bag to fill the other and just vent from one side?

Is there a benefit to having the directional valves on the port rear bulkhead vs. the starboard or was is just personal preference?

skeeler
04-19-2008, 08:59 PM
Skeeler, super CLEAN install, nice work!! I just purchased the complete kit from BI and plan to get started soon and have a few questions on your install:

What did you use for the hole trim pieces where the rear bag hoses go through the rear panels and where did you get them?

Is there a reason that you decided to tee the fill hose for the front bags and vent separately rather than use the overflow from one bag to fill the other and just vent from one side?

Is there a benefit to having the directional valves on the port rear bulkhead vs. the starboard or was is just personal preference?
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Nice!
For the holes in the rear, I used plastic desk hole groments form where else? Good old Menards! $.99 a piece.
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I teed the fill hose off for the front, so the sacs would drain evenly out the back of the sacs. I have heard from others that if use the over flow from one sac, to fill the other, when draining you have to manually lift that sac up to make it drain completely.
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I put the valves on the port side bulkhead because the starboard side has the binding blaster located there. Of course I will never use it, but it would still be in the way.
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Water tested it today, works like a champ!!! Got to love the no timers. Of course I fogot my camera. :mad: Me of all people. :confused: But I will remember it tomorrow.

Blair
04-19-2008, 11:26 PM
Skeeler... nice looking setup, thats pretty much exactly what i want to do to my boat.

couple of questions for you that you may have answered in a previous thread that i missed..

what kind of pumps are you using? where are you getting the raw water for the new pumps?

mofreestyle
04-20-2008, 07:51 PM
From what I understand the xstar system the back two sacks are 800lbs a piece and the fronts are 400lbs a piece which would mean the system would add 2400lbs.

skeeler
04-21-2008, 08:23 AM
Skeeler... nice looking setup, thats pretty much exactly what i want to do to my boat.

couple of questions for you that you may have answered in a previous thread that i missed..

what kind of pumps are you using? where are you getting the raw water for the new pumps?
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Blair,
From the hull to valves, is all factory pumps and intake locations. No change to them at all.

Blair
04-21-2008, 10:23 PM
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Blair,
From the hull to valves, is all factory pumps and intake locations. No change to them at all.


so do the valves just switch from factory to the aftermarket bags/tanks?

skeeler
04-22-2008, 08:35 AM
so do the valves just switch from factory to the aftermarket bags/tanks?
That is correct.

beatle78
04-22-2008, 10:26 AM
Nice skeeler!! Are you using the factory pumps or did you add additional pumps for this system?

skeeler
04-22-2008, 11:02 AM
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Blair,
From the hull to valves, is all factory pumps and intake locations. No change to them at all.

Nice skeeler!! Are you using the factory pumps or did you add additional pumps for this system?
Factory Pumps

giddyup001
04-22-2008, 10:59 PM
Skeeler, a few additional questions for you:

Where did you route the fill/drain hose for the additional front bags? I have been reviewing you photos and can't quite determine how you routed the extra hose or where you teed for the LH and RH front bags.

Where do the vent lines route for the rear bags? I have a 2004 X-star and the hard tanks vent lines are just below the rub rail on both the starboard and port side right behind the rear cleats. I don't notice these vent lines in your photos. I expected to see the vent hoses and stop flow tees behind the rear bulkheads.

Thanks for the help and the great photos. I plan to do the install on my boat this weekend and may have additional questions after the kit arrives tomorrow.

Blair
05-12-2008, 11:15 PM
Skeelr...

where did you get those valves? I am really liking this idea.

skeeler
05-13-2008, 09:08 AM
Skeelr...

where did you get those valves? I am really liking this idea.
Fly High

www.fatsac.com

Blair
05-13-2008, 11:57 AM
awesome thanks skeeler...

any pictures of this beast on the water?

skeeler
05-13-2008, 12:39 PM
awesome thanks skeeler...

any pictures of this beast on the water?
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Yep.......:D

wakeX2wake
05-13-2008, 12:46 PM
didn't know you were serious about the wrap... looks good man

Blair
05-13-2008, 01:37 PM
looks hot... but that swim platform is out of the water... i think you need more ballast. :D

any wake pics of this beast loaded down?

JRW160
05-13-2008, 09:49 PM
I'm not exactly sure I understand the point of the valves. Wouldn't it be easier to have the extra bags fill from the overflow of the factory tanks?

skeeler
05-14-2008, 08:22 AM
I'm not exactly sure I understand the point of the valves. Wouldn't it be easier to have the extra bags fill from the overflow of the factory tanks?
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Not sure how familiar you are with the '08 X-Star, but here is one point, if you notice in the picture below where the circle is, this is where the overflow is on each side for the rear tanks. So to run off the overflow, you would need to run lines to the back sacs, and I am not sure how well gravity would help the flow.
Second, it does give you a lot more flexibility in the way you fill the system.
Now you could fill the front sacs off the kgb overflow. I really don't see a problem with that.
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JRW160
05-14-2008, 09:36 AM
I didn't realize the overflow was way up there. That's a super clean install.

clthonraltam
05-14-2008, 10:28 AM
Skeeler, how straight forward was this install and could it be done in a weekend?

skeeler
05-14-2008, 10:39 AM
Skeeler, how straight forward was this install and could it be done in a weekend?
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The install is pretty straight forward. I think the majority of the time I spent was mounting the valves and connecting the hose to them. It could be finished in a weekend, no problem.

giddyup001
05-16-2008, 11:11 PM
Skeeler,

I got my install done and have problems draining the tanks and bags. The pumps don't want to keep their prime and the system seems to pump much slower then before when filling. I checked all of the connections to make sure everything is tight and I kept all hoses as short as possible and routed everything very carefully with no tight archs or kinks.

Do you have the same problem?

Do you know what impellers you have in your pumps or if the pumps have changed since 2004 X-stars? What is the model number on your pumps?

I switched to the yellow impellers last year and plan to try the black ones tomorrow. I have read that the black ones pump more water. I have also read that some people have swapped their impellers to blue Globe Marine impellers.

Have you timed how long it takes to fill your tanks and bags?

Sorry for all of the questions, but you seem like the only person that knows what you are doing when it comes to ballast systems.

giddyup001
05-18-2008, 12:51 PM
I did more troubleshooting on my $1250 Fly High ballast system yesterday and think that I found the reason that I was having problems draining the system. I found that all three Fly High selector valves don't seal well and therefore cause a vacuum leak when trying to drain the system.

I found this by removing all of the hoses from the the valves and then blowing through the center port where the pump connects to. As expected, air flows out the proper discharge port on the valve based on the position of where the valve is selected. However, when I plugged the valve discharge port with my hand, air slowly came out of the other port too. It took low to moderate air pressure to get the valve to leak. They don't leak badly but definitely leak. This isn't really a problem when filling the tanks and just caused the bags and tanks to fill simultaneously, but emptying is definitely a problem since the valve leak allows air to be sucked from the empty tank/bag through the pumps and prevents them from staying primed. Kind of like trying to drink soda through a cracked straw.

Anyhow, I spend 4 MORE hours re-plumbing the system yesterday removing the selector valves and plumbing the additional 4 bags from the overflow ports on the hard tanks. I haven't tested the system yet and will report back with the results when I find time to dump the boat back in the water.

One more problem with the Fly High kit is the stop flow tee assemblies with the one way check valves. All four that I received from BI were built incorrectly and had the check valve in backward. Even with the check valves assembled correctly, the venting on the bags is a little tricky. The stop flow tees get plumbed into the factor hardtank vents and provide venting the the additional bags. If you fill the hardtanks first and fill them until they overflow through the side vents, the overflow water pushes on the added check valves and closes them as designed and prevents water from entering the bags through the bag vents. Now when filling the bags, the air from the bags is supposed to push on the check valves and open them to allow the bags to vent through the same factory side vents. This will happen when the pressure in the bag matches or slightly exceeds the pressure of the water that is sitting in the vent line from the hard tank. The bags basically fill up like tight balloons before reaching the pressure to open the check valves--not too cool. I you fill the bags first this doesn't happen.

Jerseydave
05-18-2008, 05:56 PM
I have 2 rear sacs that fill from the overflow of the rear hard tanks, worked great for the first time yesterday. Hard tanks fill first, then the overflow fills the sacs. No problem with emptying that way either, just seems to take alot of time. I have the yellow impellers, which I believe don't pump as fast as the original black ones. I also don't have any check valves after the hard tanks, just plastic hoses.

'05 X-star so no timers involved (thank goodness) :)

BTW with the extra 800+ lbs. rear and 400 lbs. up front the wake is HUGE! I can't imagine the fly-high system with the added 2500 lbs. That would require the L-18 engine for sure!

giddyup001
05-19-2008, 07:29 PM
njskier-

great news that the overflow plumbing works well for the additional rear bags. i haven't had the opportunity to test my setup yet. i am very confident that the front bags will drain great, i was just concerned about the rear bags. do you have any picture of your setup that you can share. i plan to post mine when i confirm that things work well.

we ran with the extra fly-high bags and 4 people in the boat last friday. the wake is wonderful; great shape and firmness. i am running the MCX with the Acme 1285 14.5X14.25VL4B 0.105 cup prop and the boat ran great. we ran at 22.7 mph for a consistent clean wake in fairly windy conditions (12-15 mph). obviously it takes a little longer to plane off then with factory ballast, but honestly it isn't bad at all. i was a little concerned the MCX was going to have difficulty, but the Acme works great.

btw, there are no additonal check valves in my new setup either.

Jerseydave
05-19-2008, 08:05 PM
giddyup, no pics of mine but all I did was run a new hose from the tanks' overflow to the bottom of the fatsac, then ran another hose from the top of the sac to the overflow hull fitting. (same setup on both sides.) The sacs seem to empty fine, the pump actually pulls enough to make them flat like raisins. I have the OJ #473 prop (14.25 X 14.5) on my MCX and even with 6 people and total ballast of 2200 lbs. it gets on plane fine. I could even hold steady speed driving manually without the pp engaged.

With that much weight the X-star does not like anything less than 22 mph. The wake seems happy at 23-24.

06craftyX2
05-28-2008, 02:57 PM
So what was the final resolution on the drainage issue? I just put my system in over the weekend and it filled fine but draining was like peeing with a prostate problem! Did removing the fatsac check valves help and just filling the sacs with the hard tank over flow? I just want better draining. Wake was HUGE! 2006 X2 with MCX, took a bit to get on plane.

giddyup001
06-02-2008, 08:19 PM
The over flow plumbing technique works great. I have done tons of testing now and the system drains perfectly and just like njskier said the sacs drain flat like raisins.

I am not too familiar with the X2 plumbing, but am happy to answer any questions about the X-star plumbing.

The the Fly High selector valves that I had installed don't seal properly and allowed air to be sucked when trying to drain. After eliminating them, the system works great. The bags vent much better without the additional check valves too. My recommendation is to redo your system without the selector valves and check valves. You will be alot happier.

My next modification is to upsize the wiring for the pumps. My boat is a 2004 and has 12 ga wire. MC says upsizing to 10 ga will improve pump speed and water flow. Can someone with a newer boat check the size of there pump wires. My wire has the gage size stamped on the outside of the wire.

Jerseydave
06-03-2008, 05:22 PM
The over flow plumbing technique works great. I have done tons of testing now and the system drains perfectly and just like njskier said the sacs drain flat like raisins.

I am not too familiar with the X2 plumbing, but am happy to answer any questions about the X-star plumbing.

The the Fly High selector valves that I had installed don't seal properly and allowed air to be sucked when trying to drain. After eliminating them, the system works great. The bags vent much better without the additional check valves too. My recommendation is to redo your system without the selector valves and check valves. You will be alot happier.

My next modification is to upsize the wiring for the pumps. My boat is a 2004 and has 12 ga wire. MC says upsizing to 10 ga will improve pump speed and water flow. Can someone with a newer boat check the size of there pump wires. My wire has the gage size stamped on the outside of the wire.

Glad to hear this plumbing setup worked for you too. My pumps do take a while to drain and fill, just thought it was because of all the extra volume of water required. I'll have to go out and check my wires guage size, 2005 X-star. BTW I used 1-inch I.D. hose (same as factory size), not 3/4". My buddy's X-1 has 3/4" hoses. Kinda small IMHO.

Jerseydave
06-03-2008, 05:42 PM
Ok, just checked and my wiring to the pumps is only 14 guage. (14 AWG on it) Looks like quite a job to replace to larger wire since it's part of a harness.

We do notice the pumps work best when engine is running at a fast idle, which is what MC recommends.

giddyup001
06-07-2008, 05:38 PM
Ok, just checked and my wiring to the pumps is only 14 guage. (14 AWG on it) Looks like quite a job to replace to larger wire since it's part of a harness.

We do notice the pumps work best when engine is running at a fast idle, which is what MC recommends.

Wow, I am really surprised that you only have 14 ga wire. Where did you look?

I checked my wire right where is comes out of the ballast pump circuit breaker panel. I haven't checked the wire that is on the pumps yet. I am waiting to hear back from my dealer for any other recommendations before changing the wire.

I don't think it will be too big of a job. My plan is to simply cut the 6 12 ga pump wires at the CB panel and right before the 3 connectors for the pumps and splice in 6 new 10 ga wires. Should improve voltage drop and improve current flow to the pumps. I am considering measuring the water flow before and after the rewiring to validate any improvement. Just feeling a bit lazy lately and haven't gotten to it.

giddyup001
06-10-2008, 11:12 PM
Not sure if this is going to work, but I put together a Powerpoint that contains the photos of my ballast install and then made a pdf of it.

I decided to do this so I could annotate the photos and others could save a copy and print it out.

Let me know if anyone has questions.

Jerseydave
06-11-2008, 03:37 AM
I checked my wire guage size at the pumps.

So, how long does it take your one KGB pump to fill all 3 fronts?
Does it empty okay? What bags are you using under the front seat?
I may add this front setup to mine next year. For now I have about 500# of lead under front seats (250 each side)

endl
06-11-2008, 12:16 PM
Not sure if this is going to work, but I put together a Powerpoint that contains the photos of my ballast install and then made a pdf of it.

I decided to do this so I could annotate the photos and others could save a copy and print it out.

Let me know if anyone has questions.
With the way you routed this you can only fill "all" bags correct and not just stock hard tanks correct?

I guess you can just turn pumps off when stock system is full and not keep filling additional bags...........

Nice work, great pics and documentation.

Ty 73
06-11-2008, 03:04 PM
giddyup001

Thank you for taking the time to put together the instructional.....then sharing with the rest of us. Very helpful! I promise to drink my next beer in your honor....it's the least I can do.

giddyup001
06-11-2008, 10:27 PM
I checked my wire guage size at the pumps.

So, how long does it take your one KGB pump to fill all 3 fronts?
Does it empty okay? What bags are you using under the front seat?
I may add this front setup to mine next year. For now I have about 500# of lead under front seats (250 each side)

I haven't timed how long it takes the total system to fill, but the 3 fronts are done well before the rear bags are filled. The rear bags are huge!

The system drains really well, but takes considerable time due to the significant volume of water that needs to be pumped. The photos show the bags in their drained state from the last time out. I doubt that there is even a cup of water left in each bag after draining the system. I was extremely surprised on how well everything drains.

The front bags are the ones that come with the X-star Fly High kit, they are 6" X 22" X 40" and calculate out to be 190 lbs each based on the measurements. The rear are also from the kit and measure 22" X 22" X 40" and calculate out to be 695 lbs each. For a total of 1768 lbs additional. Fly High claims 2500 lbs and I believe this is based on the fact that the bags fill to dimensions larger then what they are claimed due to the flexible nature of the material. The bags aren't square when they are completely filled.

Weight distribution for the extra bags:

Front 378.89 lb 21%
Rear 1389.26 lb 79%
Total 1768.15 lb

giddyup001
06-11-2008, 10:35 PM
With the way you routed this you can only fill "all" bags correct and not just stock hard tanks correct?

I guess you can just turn pumps off when stock system is full and not keep filling additional bags...........

Nice work, great pics and documentation.

Thanks for the complements, I looked long and hard to find documentation for this install and didn't find much, so I knew others would appreciate it.

You are correct, the stock tanks fill first and then the bags. Simply shut the switches off when you have the amount of weight that you need. Use the less then reliable ballast gages or peak at the bags to watch for them to start to fill if trying to stop at the factory weight. We typically run with KGB and fronts full and rear tanks and half rear bags full for riding with two to three in the boat. It is plenty of wake and significant improvement from factory.

We fill one side rear tank and bag completely full and KGB/front bags half full for surfing. Make a GREAT surf wake both port and starboard sides.

Willytown
12-21-2008, 09:03 AM
How well do the regular fly high side sacs fit under the bow?, they seem like they would be kind of long? Do you ever have a problem with the port filling more becuase there is more room?

is it worth it to get the custom x-star under bow seat sacs?

Willytown
12-21-2008, 10:02 AM
for reference the standard side sacs are 48 x 12 x 12. the custom x-star bow sacs are 44 x 6 x 22

CottagerGreg
12-21-2008, 10:02 AM
Seems like not enough weight in the bow.. maybe add a 440 in the walkway and call it a day...

Willytown
12-21-2008, 10:26 AM
also, how important is it to have check valves on the vent lines? does it help with creating a better vacuum when draining? does fly high sell the those check valves?

Willytown
12-22-2008, 10:39 AM
Skeeler,
did you have to drill or use a jig saw to get the fill/drain line into the area by the amps for the front port sac. it seems tight to get the hose through and dont want to run the risk of a kink in the hose?

skeeler
12-22-2008, 11:06 AM
No drilling from what I remember. Fit nicely. i k now in the spring I plan on installing shut off valves on each front sac, so I can fine tune them a bit on fill up/drain. Since the starboard sac is first in the line, it fills up quicker and drains completely, but the port side still has a bit of water in it.
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Willytown
12-22-2008, 11:08 AM
thanks skeeler, it just seems tight between where the floor and deck meet. Ill see how it fits, worst case I will knotch a little half moon for the hose to go through. how do the standard side sacs fit vs the custom xstar bow sacs? I am just putting a T off the kgb overflow and sending a fill/drain to each front sac and venting them both seperately, they should fill/drain at the same pace hopefully.

skeeler
12-22-2008, 11:29 AM
I think knotching it out a bit wouldn't hurt. Better safe than sorry. I just don't remember having to do that, but hey, maybe I did. :D
As far as the standard size sacs fit. I have no complaints at all. Works great, plus I already had them. Also, if I remember correctly, don't the X-Star bow sacs have the overflow in the middle of the sac?? Also, they are a lot cheaper. If so, I like the top rear location for the overflow better.

skeeler
04-07-2009, 10:05 AM
Just finished another ballast control box without the factory timers. Nothing like unlimited time ballast. :D
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wakeX2wake
04-07-2009, 10:10 AM
Solid... if flippin switches gets to be annoying i'm going to take your advice and rewire that puppy...

ps tried out the new ballast Saturday and w/ about 400 more lbs we're gonna be sitting RIGHT... i'm really not looking forward to it b/c everyone who rode behind it was complaining of sore knees and ankles the next day hahaha (me included)

KnoxX2
04-07-2009, 10:11 AM
Nice job Skeeler!