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vision
10-05-2009, 11:15 AM
Does anyone know if the ballast system for the X series boats has been changed for 2010 to resolve the timer problem when plumbing addition sacs? I know Jabsco said MC was working on a new system?

If they just placed a reset button next to the dashboard ballast switches allowing you to manually reset the timers, the system would work. That way you could still not accidentally leave the pumps running constantly and yet run them longer as needed. The current reset protocol is ridiculous, even if you are just trying to fill and drain the stock ballast they often time out.

cbryan70
10-05-2009, 11:39 AM
they need to just come up with a complete new ballast system...somthing like the calibria boats would be nice. 30 sec fill 15 sec empty

SaltwaterMC
10-05-2009, 11:42 AM
You should be able to increase the timers up to 20 minute fill and empty cycles. They increased it from a 6 minute maximum cycle starting with the 2009 model year boats (at least I think it was '09).

skeeler
10-05-2009, 11:50 AM
The 2010 ballast system can be factory ordered with the plug and play system. Basically, just plug in the additional sacs. A factory "Fly High" system, if you will. So I would assume the timers on that options have been modified or eliminated to accommodate the extra ballast.

sand2snow22
10-05-2009, 11:53 AM
they need to just come up with a complete new ballast system...somthing like the calibria boats would be nice. 30 sec fill 15 sec empty

X 2. No more faulty pumps. No more timers.

TallRedRider
10-05-2009, 12:10 PM
they need to just come up with a complete new ballast system...somthing like the calibria boats would be nice. 30 sec fill 15 sec empty

I agree 100%.

vision
10-05-2009, 12:13 PM
I was going to bypass the timers, but in our old 2005 X2, we went through a lot of impellers due to folks leaving on the pumps. So I like the idea of timers. But, even with the 20 minute timers, unless they reset each time the ignition is turned off (which they do not on the 6 minute timers), or there is some other way to reset them besides either emptying the tanks or disconnecting power, then the 20 minute timers are still not the solution for me. We may adjust the level of ballast in our system several times as riders change and we could easily hit 20 minutes of empty and fill without actually completely emptying the system.

cbryan70
10-05-2009, 12:45 PM
X 2. No more faulty pumps. No more timers.

No more pumps period, not sure why they have not looked into somthing like this

Witness140
10-05-2009, 01:07 PM
I just reset the timers in my 09' to 12 minutes of fill time. So far they are working fine, and even with turning the battery master to off, the AI's retain the new programming.

I also have 9 relays sitting here to rewire my ballast control box to eliminate the AI's if they give me any more trouble. I'm tired of sitting there with the average lake boater - in awe of the blinged out MC - getting laughed at by them because I have to keep hitting switches and wrestling with the boat to basically fill containers with water. It really is comical to the average Joe to watch how hard it is to fill the 'wakeboard' boat with water in order to wakeboard.

vision
10-05-2009, 01:35 PM
So if you motor dies and your boat is not moving, how do you empty the ballast in the vert systems?

cbryan70
10-05-2009, 01:37 PM
the boat will have to move one way or another to get in.....

TallRedRider
10-05-2009, 01:45 PM
I just reset the timers in my 09' to 12 minutes of fill time. So far they are working fine, and even with turning the battery master to off, the AI's retain the new programming.

My ballast pumps are wired straight to the battery, so that might explain why they retain the information. I am not sure I agree with that, but that is how they are done on my 2006.

So if you motor dies and your boat is not moving, how do you empty the ballast in the vert systems?
You will have to get her on the trailer and open the gates.

I wondered about having some sort of an attachment to drain the ballast with a plug in style pump in an emergency. Something like a fly high fitting with a tube that goes to the bottom of the tank. But it would absolutely have to be fool proof, because if it failed the water would just come right into the boat.

vision
10-05-2009, 03:39 PM
My ballast pumps are wired straight to the battery, so that might explain why they retain the information. I am not sure I agree with that, but that is how they are done on my 2006.


You will have to get her on the trailer and open the gates.

I wondered about having some sort of an attachment to drain the ballast with a plug in style pump in an emergency. Something like a fly high fitting with a tube that goes to the bottom of the tank. But it would absolutely have to be fool proof, because if it failed the water would just come right into the boat.

That would be perfect. My other question is how easy is it to make minor adjustments to one tank with the Vert based systems? I almost wonder if they fill too fast. But, it does sound like a great system.

tr6coug
10-05-2009, 03:46 PM
X 2. No more faulty pumps. No more timers.

Agree. I just had a pump fail because it got water inside the motor. MC installs the pumps with the motor below the pump head so you can easily access the impeller, but the motor isn't water proof, so if your pump leaks guess where the water goes. Straight into the motor :mad:.

sand2snow22
10-05-2009, 04:44 PM
Agree. I just had a pump fail because it got water inside the motor. MC installs the pumps with the motor below the pump head so you can easily access the impeller, but the motor isn't water proof, so if your pump leaks guess where the water goes. Straight into the motor :mad:.

Yep, just had my second rear port pump failure. Happened during vacation, timing couldn't have been worse. No pun intended.

sand2snow22
10-05-2009, 04:46 PM
That would be perfect. My other question is how easy is it to make minor adjustments to one tank with the Vert based systems? I almost wonder if they fill too fast. But, it does sound like a great system.

I would think you could easily add a float/gauge and open/close the 'flood' gate to make adjustments. As far as if you're boat dies and your tanks are full, you still have that problem with the current system if your battery/alt/engine dies and won't allow you to empty your ballast. Plus, with the pure vert system if the tanks are full I would think you could put it on the trailer, open the gates to drain as you are pulling out. You would have to go slow to minimize the stress on the trailer.

I will try to find Hawaiinstylin's picture of full ballast bags in his 07 X2 with the boat on the trailer in the garage:)

Nevermind, I found the pic, but he says they are filled with air!

kgrove
10-05-2009, 11:49 PM
Agree. I just had a pump fail because it got water inside the motor. MC installs the pumps with the motor below the pump head so you can easily access the impeller, but the motor isn't water proof, so if your pump leaks guess where the water goes. Straight into the motor :mad:.

In addition, the pumps are mounted low enough that when surfing, the water can build up enough on the low corner of the boat to soak the motor before the water gets high enough to cause the rear bilge pump to turn on (because the bilge is in the center). I learned this by ruining two pumps. The dealer has since experimented by building a mount to elevate the pumps to make it less likely water in the bilge could get high enough without first triggering the rear bilge pump. Not a big fan of the design.

tr6coug
10-06-2009, 02:18 AM
In addition, the pumps are mounted low enough that when surfing, the water can build up enough on the low corner of the boat to soak the motor before the water gets high enough to cause the rear bilge pump to turn on

When I get the new pump, I'm going to disconnect the pump head, rotate it 180, then mount the pump motor-up. The way it should have been installed in the first place.

I found the Jabsco spec sheet for the pump online. It states right in the specs that the pump should be mounted motor-up. Once I get it installed I'll post some install pics.

jbkriss
04-29-2010, 05:07 PM
I added the fly high pro-ballast to my x.star. It worked almost perfectly... I was able to fill all tanks and sacs. I was then able to empty all but the KGB for some reason. I'm guessing that the pumps sensed a change in voltage or timed out. This happened a few days ago. Question is, how do I now empty the KGB?

johkur
06-07-2010, 09:40 PM
I bought the plug and play option to avoid having to go through all the hassle of messing with additional timers, reprogramming for the longer times, etc. But it turns out that the way the plug and play avoids the timer issues, is that it removes the timers. There are the extra switches to switch the pumps from the tanks to the bags, but whether you are filling the bags or the tanks, there are no timers. If you fill the tanks, you can watch the overflow. When you empty the tanks, you need to watch the BIG or you don't know when you're done.

For the bags, when you empty, you also have to watch, since unlike having them in series with the tanks, (so you could watch the BIG for the tanks to empty after the bags), since they're switched, you have to watch the bags to know when they're emptied.

On the bag fill, with the plug and play, they DONT connect to the vent. There is only connection to the bags. So I was told the way to avoid having them burst is to watch all the bags fill and make sure I stop it before they burst. I did ask why they didn't also vent, so you could watch the overflow and also asked why not have timers to the longest time of bag or tank, or even separate timers for the bags, and was told that the pro's who tested the new plug and play didn't like timers, so there are just relays. And that they don't have vents for the bags because if there are vents, the bags wouldn't empty. But every boat I've ever heard of having bags usually is vented, so am still not sure why those laws of physics don't pertain to the plug and play bags and its so much better to have unvented bags that you need to watch. Anyone have any ideas? I'm told that removing the timers is part of the additional capability that plug and play provides, and not having vents for the bags and watching all 3 bags to know when you're done filling or emptying is another valuable feature, so am hoping people can tell me what I'm not understanding about this.

smsbrett
06-07-2010, 10:05 PM
What we noticed at Fanfare is that unvented bags means the pumps can really suck the bags dry. I don't know how much of a difference that really makes or how important that is... just an observation.

johkur
06-07-2010, 11:48 PM
Interesting. Then maybe the bags could be vented but have a one-way valve on the vent (from the bag, NOT the tank) so that on fill you can see the overflow versus bursting the bag without needing to watch each bag. But on empty, you can get the full vacuum effect and the bag will be dry. That would probably be the best combination then, if totally drying the bag is the key issue, although I would be more afraid of bursting the bag because of no vent on full, than total dryness due to no vent on empty.

BTW, since they remove the timers and AI features for the ballast tanks when you purchase the new plug and play add-on, when the bags (or ballast) are full on fill or empty on empty, did you notice at fanfare if maybe they made a noise when they were dry, so you'd know when to turn off the pump without watching each one (or burning out the impeller?). Also, on fill, did they make any different noise as they got filled, so that without timers or vent, they'd remind you before bursting or whatever happens when they overfill without having to watch all the bags at once while filling?

swatguy
06-08-2010, 12:02 AM
Man all this ballast talk is driving me nuts. Things used to be so simple when stuff was above the waterline. Water out means bag full. Water stops coming out......bag empty. Those were the days.

Wait those are still my days :);)

John in the old days that's exactly how the vent line was ran. They had check valve on the vent to not let air back into the system during empty, but let the water out on fill. Caveman simple.

I too always thought any type of "sac/bag" needed a vent to let air escape on its fill in order to prevent an air pocket forming and the bag bursting as well. Otherwise how do you know the bag is filled 100% with water and not 50/50water air? (i know.... a little high but you get the point)

doubleup_dan
06-08-2010, 05:09 AM
just installed flyhigh system in 2010 x2 and the big system has the option to easily change the ballest timers to whatever you want. I set it at just 4 mins and it hasnt cut out on me once yet

johkur
06-08-2010, 09:12 AM
When you say you installed the Flyhigh system on an X2, you mean the aftermarket, versus the version that Mastercraft sells as the option, right? I have the BIG, and can see the ballast timer controls, but it seems that the manufacturer version removes the timers. Also, because the timers are removed, I'm told that's the reason that the ballast switches don't light up either (when the pumps are on, the red indicator lights stay off).

So the manufacturer version (called plug and play) removes the timers, deactivates the switch lights, has switches to go between filling the tanks or the bags, and has no vent for the bags, so to fill or empty the bags you have to open the lockers and watch, since there are no timers and no overflow. And to fill or empty the tanks, you need to watch the big, especially on empty, since the switch lights don't remind you that you are emtpying, and you can eventually burn out the impeller, etc.

So can you give the details on this flyhigh system? I was told that plug and play was the flyhigh system preinstalled, but that doesn't appear to be the case. As I understand it, and what I thought was coming with the plug and play option (except for an additional switch between tank and bag and bags pre-plumbed),
- the aftermarket flyhigh system connects to the tank vents, and simply fills the bags when the tanks are done, empties the tanks after the bags are empty (so you can watch the big and/or rely on the timers),
- and you can set your timers in the BIG to be the combination time of tank and bag? (unlike P&P system)
- And the bags empty even though there is a vent (unlike the plug and play system)?
- And the lights on your switches still work to help remind you when the pumps are on (unlike the plug and play system), like the lights on all other switches indicating that their device is on?
- And if you overfill, rather than bursting the bag or connections, it simply overflows from the vent (unlike the plug and play system)?
- And you don't have to watch all the bags fill and empty to know when they're done (unlike the plug and play system)?
- And your tanks work as normal, because you have timers, not having to watch the BIG for them either (unlike the plug and play system)?

If that's the case, do you know how I can undo the 'plug and play' and get one of those? MC is saying it would void the warranty on my ballasts if I buy timers, and even then, not sure if regular Jabsco timers would work with the BIG, etc, or how I can get timer functionality and lighted switches back, which at least would have my boat work normally for the tanks and not have me burning out impellers due to no timers and no lighted switches. Then, maybe someday I could buy a fly high system add-on and just not use the plug and play switching valves, but at least the boat would be normal for now as a tank-only ballast. Or what am I missing about the plug and play versus the fly high?

I bought the 2010 plug and play so that I wouldn't have to spend time on this forum figuring out the best system, thinking that I was getting the flyhigh preinstalled, not missing timers and lighted switches and bag venting. But MC said that their pro's who tested the plug and play really preferred no timers or vents, so maybe people can explain to me what I'm not understanding about this.

doubleup_dan
06-08-2010, 05:43 PM
Ill try and answer some of your questions but I can answer them all

yes I installed the fly high system myself after recieving the boat

The system I used you need to use the switch that you install to change between hard tanks and bags. It does not fill or empty both at the same time.

the fly high system doesnt fill from the over flow but you switch between the hard tank and bags

lights still work and the bags overflow out of the boat so if you forget them they wont burst


To be honest the plug and play system that you have sounds really good. If i was you I would just install an overflow from the bags. allyou would need is a T conection some 1" hose, a stop flow valve and a quick conect elbow and bag connection. Then you wouldnt have toworry about the bags bursting! and you can take the sacs out if need becasue of the stop flows!!

all avalibe at www.facsac.com

johkur
06-08-2010, 11:57 PM
That's encouraging. But you seem to have timers, which the factory option removed and replaced with relays. I definitely prefer timers, but mastercraft says that I can't put have them put the timers back in, even for money, because the boat was made to have relays instead of timers, but I can't believe they'd remove a standard item like lit switches and timers when adding the plug and play option. Seems more like you got what I was hoping to get (and want) by having the plug and play fly high option added your way rather than by the factory.

The plug and play adds the fly high but removes the timers (killing switches lighting up with the pumps as well) and doesn't use vents, because they say that vents don't allow the bags to fully drain, and timers/litswitches are not preferred by those that tested. But it all seems to work fine for you the way I'd expect, having vents and timers, versus the plug and play that doesn't provide those, so I guess I'm confused why MC believes they're helping by not providing the timers, lit switches, or overflows for the bags.

In your setup, with timers, what do you set the timers to? My thought was that if I had the timers, I'd set it to the longer of bag or tank fill, so never timeout too soon, and not have a problem if it ran too long. But with your checkvalve, on empty, wouldn't any extra running be bad, or not that much of a seal on the bag check valve? And I guess the bags need two type connectors, the special connector from the plug and play, and then a more normal one to go to the venting that you added?

For the front, which has two separate fill ports on the kgb pump, to two bags, did you tie them together for the venting to the one kgb vent?

And why is switching between tank and bag better than just using the tank vent? Is there ever a time you'd want to fill the bags and NOT the tanks? the only advantage I can think of is when you want the bags to stay empty, , so don't want them inline to the overflow, but with the plug and play you always have to watch the bags when filling anyway (since no overflow vent or timers), so you could always just stop filling as soon as you see the bags beginning to fill if you don't want them filled, no less effort than the ventless and timerless plug and play, and no need to bother with the valves that switch between tank and bag?

But thanks, glad to hear what I thought the plug and play was, (standard boat with timers and lit switches) plus the fly high system actually is what you did yourself, and seems to work fine. Now I need to figure out how to get my boat back to standard plus fly high instead of timerless, ventless (for the bags), and no lit switches plug and play. The BIG rocks, I can't believe I can't do cool things like control timers with the BIG, BECAUSE I bought the additional plug and play option.

And MC said that the reason that they don't vent the bags is because if they vent, then they don't empty, but am i correct to believe that when you added the high fly system, and it vents, that of course the bags empty? I just don't understand why my having the factory add the high fly (plug and play) ended up not having vents for the bags, or the timers, when it seems to work fine for you by leaving the timers and of course having overflow for the bags. And now I have an uphill battle to just get my boat back to normal with timers, to then have to splice in overflows/vents for the bags, to finally get where you are, plus still need to buy bags too, after buying the plug and play option.

Maybe someone who believe relays are better than BIG-controlled 20 minute timers wants to trade timer/relay modules with me? MC said that the relays and no-indication switches were much more desired than timers and lit switches, by people who tested the plug and play systems, so any takers out there for a timer trade?

vision
06-09-2010, 04:15 PM
...And why is switching between tank and bag better than just using the tank vent? Is there ever a time you'd want to fill the bags and NOT the tanks?

Yes. Some X-star owners, including myself, do not use the rear ballast tanks at all and just use sacs in the rear lockers as you get a better wake shape. Perhaps, this is one reason the ability to switch between bags and tank was preferred. Just a guess.

johkur
06-09-2010, 08:03 PM
Interesting idea to try higher bags versus lower tanks as way to change wake shape. OK.
But do you also not have a vent for the bag, having to watch the bags fill and empty rather than have an overflow for the bags?
Also, I guess I just don't get why timers, which can easily set by the BIG to up to 20 minutes needs to be removed from 2010 Plug and Play option and replaced with relays, since setting a timer to 20 minutes pretty much functions like a relay, but at least lets the switch lights work (ie. turn red when the pump is on), and when using tanks, timers could be set to the right time like usual, and possibly even right time for bags if bags are same time amount needed as tanks. (or set timers to highest number of tank or bag). With 20 minute window for setting timers easily from BIG, I just don't understand yet why they had to remove the timers and put in relays, or why no vents is better than vents with check valve, when it means you have to watch all the bags to make sure you don't burst something, rather than just let them overflow and then turn off. would love to understand, or know if anyone wants to trade me the 20 minute BIG-controlled timers for relays.... (?) and maybe swap a vented system with checkvalve for a setup with only one connection and no vent/overflow (?), since MC says that ventless and relays instead of BIG controlled timers is the preferred way to setup the flyhigh addon.

Jerseydave
06-10-2010, 05:54 PM
Yes. Some X-star owners, including myself, do not use the rear ballast tanks at all and just use sacs in the rear lockers as you get a better wake shape. Perhaps, this is one reason the ability to switch between bags and tank was preferred. Just a guess.

I'm one of those X-star owners as well. I don't use the rear hard tanks, just (2) 400# sacs in the rear lockers that DO vent out the side just like my hard tanks use to. I did install check valves in those lines to help the sacs empty better.

For the rear I sometimes just use the KGB tank, or I let its overflow fill my 750# sac in the walkway for a killer wake! At 23-24 mph that's all the wake my friends and I need.

2005 X-star with no timers! (thank goodness) :)

tech18428
06-10-2010, 10:45 PM
Actually its not if you do it correctly I am a tech and i can make these things work perfecly every time If you read your manual or your dealer told you how to properly fill them you would think they were awesome. Start by filling them one at a time there is only a 1 1/2 intake on the bottom of your boat the hoses to the ballast tanks are all 1 inch also go into high idle above 1200rpms and key on one at a time until full. These things work on voltage it is very important, your alternator only puts out about 14.7 volts and your whole boat runs off of that, by bringing the idle up you increase the amount of voltage it can produce. Thus making the pump more effecient. also on the drain end of it do it one at a time these also work on voltage when the resistance increases the Ai box shuts the pump down the voltage increases because there is no water to lube the puppy pump (friction) I have been servicing Mc's for about seven years at a dealership and if you inform the customer on how everything works you can prevent alot of issues. (By the way top servicing dealer three years in a row)

TallRedRider
06-11-2010, 12:30 AM
Actually its not if you do it correctly I am a tech and i can make these things work perfecly every time If you read your manual or your dealer told you how to properly fill them you would think they were awesome. Start by filling them one at a time there is only a 1 1/2 intake on the bottom of your boat the hoses to the ballast tanks are all 1 inch also go into high idle above 1200rpms and key on one at a time until full. These things work on voltage it is very important, your alternator only puts out about 14.7 volts and your whole boat runs off of that, by bringing the idle up you increase the amount of voltage it can produce. Thus making the pump more effecient. also on the drain end of it do it one at a time these also work on voltage when the resistance increases the Ai box shuts the pump down the voltage increases because there is no water to lube the puppy pump (friction) I have been servicing Mc's for about seven years at a dealership and if you inform the customer on how everything works you can prevent alot of issues. (By the way top servicing dealer three years in a row)

So you are suggesting that we all only fill and empty one ballast at a time? A 1.5 inch intake is more than enough to fill three 1 inch ballasts.

I also know that the owners manual suggests having the boat idling at 1200+ RPM to fill the ballast, but I personally do not buy that at all. These amps pull about 10-15 amps, which is more important than the Volts. I can guarantee that my battery supplies adequate power to all 3 pumps for the 5-7 minutes it takes to fill. I see absolutely no difference in efficiency with the motor on or not. I am not going to asphyxiate my rider putting on his board while the ballast is filling.

tech18428
06-11-2010, 05:49 AM
hey whatever you want to do i only work on these things for a living and know every in and out of this brand of boat, but you probably are right so carry on. This site is just like going to work a bunch or know it alls that know just enough to make themselves sound good. Think about it before you reply a 1.5 inch intake , and three 1 inch hoses going to the pumps, all I can say is (volume)

TallRedRider
06-11-2010, 09:38 PM
hey whatever you want to do i only work on these things for a living and know every in and out of this brand of boat, but you probably are right so carry on. This site is just like going to work a bunch or know it alls that know just enough to make themselves sound good. Think about it before you reply a 1.5 inch intake , and three 1 inch hoses going to the pumps, all I can say is (volume)

It sounds like you really love your work.

I am sorry that I might have come across strongly so that you call me a 'know it all'. I did not mean to sound demeaning. But I would like you to substantiate your opinion with some factual information.

As far as ballast intake size goes, the flow through a given pipe is more closely related to its surface area and length, not the diameter. I promise you that a 3 inch intake is not necessary to feed 3 one inch hoses.

To prove that do the following: Take a boat out and time how long it takes to fill one ballast tank. Empty that tank, then do it again with all 3 pumps running. I guarantee that there will be no difference in the fill time for the same tank, whether all pumps are running or not.

Then for fun, do the same experiment with the engine at 1200 RPM vs. when it is off. Report your results here.

My experience is that there is no difference.

We are all about learning here and are just hoping that your experience might help.

Check this chart out: http://www.flexpvc.com/WaterFlowBasedOnPipeSize.shtml Even with no pressure, just gravity flow, a 1 inch pipe alone can flow 16 GPM, enough for almost 2 ballast puppies. Take into account that the ballast puppies can create higher pressure flow and you can get 58 GPM on a 1 inch pipe. That would be enough for more than 5 pumps. I am not suggesting it be done that way, but you see it from someone who has done the calculations.

That also explains why a 3/4 inch hole (when you forget the plug) is enough to overwhelm most bilge pumps. Even just being a foot below the surface creates extra pressure forcing the water in faster than most pumps work to get it out.

tech18428
06-12-2010, 06:26 AM
No worries here man I just love what I do and spend an ungodly amount of time doing it but it is eaisier on all the gear in your boat if you do it that way, and since when is a boater in a hurry anyway, except when the boat is broken(then its the end of the world). Have you checked out your impellors they may need to be replaced, also if you do replace them try to get the green impellors that mastercraft puts out, they are slightly bigger and stiffer they seem to work really well, and outlast the yellow ones hands down. These are only my suggestions based on my experience, I love what i do for a living and only want the best out of every MC out there.

treptowr
06-12-2010, 11:15 AM
I just replaced my 3 yellow impellers with 3 green ones. First thing I noticed was the pumps sound louder/different. Not sure it made s big difference in filling, nut my sacs emptied more easily and completely than before. Especially the KGB sac. In the past I'd have to flip the pump fir the KGB sac from fill to empty a few times during emptying cuz it was losing prime or something? Didn't have to do that with the green impeller last time out.