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View Full Version : Someone with an X-9 or PS209 w/ OEM Tower in Atlanta


NSXBill
02-22-2010, 01:43 PM
I am buying a 2001 OEM X-9 ZeroFlex tower for my 2001 PS209 and would like to see how to mount it, so if anyone has an X-9 or PS209 with factory ZeroFlex tower, I would appreciate being able to see, measure, etc. I live in Acworth near Lake Allatoona.

Thanks,

Bill

Jim@BAWS
02-22-2010, 02:31 PM
I just happen to have a 2003 X-9 that leaves tommorrow for Michigan. Here are some photos
for you

Take your time and measure about 4-5 times. Take the BIG mounting bolts and run a TRACE on them so the do not bind up

Here are some basic photos. Your hull should have backing plates. I cannot promise that but it should. Make sure that you are drilling through them. Drill a PILOT hole first then the big hole. Remember of you are going to have a light on top of the tower you need a small extra hole for the wiring

Jim@BAWS

NSXBill
02-22-2010, 02:38 PM
Wow Jim, thanks! What do you mean by run a trace to avoid binding? Also, any photos of how the bimini mounts to the tower itself? Where is the hole for the anchor light (it does have one)? is it just in front of or to the inside of the mount nearest the driver?

NSXBill
02-22-2010, 02:41 PM
What are those gray spacers in the front between the black rubber and the mount apear to be made of? My tower will not come with any of the four mounting bolts/nuts/washers or black pads, so will need to procure? Any tips? Also missing anchor light bulb and top dome lens.

Tthanks,

Bill

Jim@BAWS
02-24-2010, 10:46 AM
Wow Jim, thanks! What do you mean by run a trace to avoid binding? Also, any photos of how the bimini mounts to the tower itself? Where is the hole for the anchor light (it does have one)? is it just in front of or to the inside of the mount nearest the driver?

You need to run a TRACE down the tower bolt. Make sure that the nut does not bind on the boat. Stainless has a bad habit of doing that. You will see on one of the tower legs at the base the ExTRA hole for the tower light. Just drill an extra hole after the tower base holes are drilled

What are those gray spacers in the front between the black rubber and the mount apear to be made of? My tower will not come with any of the four mounting bolts/nuts/washers or black pads, so will need to procure? Any tips? Also missing anchor light bulb and top dome lens.

Tthanks,

Bill


We can get you all that stuff if needed

We can run a TRACE down the bolts before we ship so they are ready to go

Let me know

Jim@BAWS

Sodar
02-24-2010, 10:56 AM
So is a trace another word for a die? Just another way of saying that you are cleaning the threads up to prevent any binding?

Jim@BAWS
02-24-2010, 01:00 PM
So is a trace another word for a die? Just another way of saying that you are cleaning the threads up to prevent any binding?

And THANKYOU for saying it so eliquently

Jim@BAWS

CruisinGA
02-24-2010, 01:22 PM
I have an X-9 with factory ZF tower, and live in Atlanta, but the boat stays in Blue Ridge.

Hopefully pulling it out of storage in a few weeks, let me know if you need pictures, measurements etc.

NSXBill
02-24-2010, 01:38 PM
Jim, thanks for all the good info. I finally understood the TRACE stuff about "chasing" or cleaning up the threads with a die. That's a big bolt (1/2 inch, maybe) , so will have to check my tap and die set.

My tower arrived and it is easy to see how the wire hole needs to be drilled as you noted.

I did get all the hardware except the mounting bolts and rubber pads. It did come with one mounting bolt, but it almost looks too short, but after hearning how the stainless threads guall, maybe it is the right length (just long enough, so you don't have to run the nut up too much).

About what do you think the thickness is or the deck with built-in mounting plates? (I checked, and they are there...whew!)

Anyway, I plan to make the pads of some 0.10 gray, heavy rubber I have, and I will get the stainless hex recess bolts, locknuts, and washers locally (I hope).

I think my needed measurement is how far aft (if at all -- may be even with or even slightly ahead )of the back edge of the windshield is the tower leg mounted. Where the forward feet lay would simply be a function of that, and inboard/outboard is purely a function of the tower itself. I guess I can approximate from your pictures or measure someone's boat. Can anyone provide that measurement? It would be best from the rear edge of the windsheld to the front edge of the rear tower leg.

I plan to assemble it tighly, and set it on the boat, properly position relative to the rear edge of windsheld and then mark that (all the while, hoping it doesn't fall off!).

Bill

NSXBill
02-24-2010, 01:41 PM
I have an X-9 with factory ZF tower, and live in Atlanta, but the boat stays in Blue Ridge.

Hopefully pulling it out of storage in a few weeks, let me know if you need pictures, measurements etc.

Yes! Blue Ridge is wonderful. Alas, I am in Acworth, pretty far from your boat. Pictures and measurements would be grreat. Also, my next project will involve getting a bimini that will work...so how it mounts will be my next question.

peason
02-24-2010, 02:19 PM
I purchased my 2002-209 with out a tower. I had local dealer mount the tower when I recieved it. Price was right - not too expensive to have done. I later had to drill hole for speaker wires - pretty easy since tower was already mounted.

JerryW
02-24-2010, 09:41 PM
I've got a 2002 X-9 with a factory tower, and factory bimimi, and it's in Marietta. If you want to come look at it let me know.

Andyg
02-25-2010, 10:26 AM
I did get all the hardware except the mounting bolts and rubber pads. It did come with one mounting bolt, but it almost looks too short, but after hearning how the stainless threads guall, maybe it is the right length (just long enough, so you don't have to run the nut up too much).

About what do you think the thickness is or the deck with built-in mounting plates? (I checked, and they are there...whew!)

Anyway, I plan to make the pads of some 0.10 gray, heavy rubber I have, and I will get the stainless hex recess bolts, locknuts, and washers locally (I hope).


Bill

Bill,
I had to purchase an extra set of hardware for my mini tower that was installed on my 2003 PS 197 due to the gualling of one of the bolts when my tower was installed. I believe the hardware is the same as what is used on your tower. I still have three of the bolts so if you want them send me a PM.

Andyg



I think my needed measurement is how far aft (if at all -- may be even with or even slightly ahead )of the back edge of the windshield is the tower leg mounted. Where the forward feet lay would simply be a function of that, and inboard/outboard is purely a function of the tower itself. I guess I can approximate from your pictures or measure someone's boat. Can anyone provide that measurement? It would be best from the rear edge of the windsheld to the front edge of the rear tower leg.

I plan to assemble it tighly, and set it on the boat, properly position relative to the rear edge of windsheld and then mark that (all the while, hoping it doesn't fall off!).

Bill

If I remember correctly when they install the towers they don't use the windsheild for reference. By using the windshield you can end up having the tower crooked relative to the boat. I think what they typically do is measure from the tip of the bow back to where the tower mounts so you know that the tower is square to the hull of the boat.

Jim@BAWS
02-25-2010, 10:39 AM
By putting the tower together then placing it on the boat you will get a better feel for where it needs to be placed. Before placing it on the boat MASK OFF with blue or white masking tape where the tower will sit. That way you will not scratch the hull.

Jim@BAWS

NSXBill
02-25-2010, 10:49 AM
Andy, PM sent.

General question...does the hardware use special washers to level the angle so that the nut sits flat on the plate? I can't imagine that a hole drilled on the aft leg mount point (curvy part of the gunwale) would end up perpendicular to the aluminum mount plate in the fiberglass. Maybe they do a really good job of positioning those plates at the right angle to the tower bolt.

Also, what happens when the bolts guall? I just imagined that you couldn't get the nut on all the way. What would happen that you would have to replace after the fact? Was the tower not on tight because the nut gualled and wasn't tightened up completely? My local guy says to use anti-seize to prevent. How about oil?

thanks

Bill

Andyg
02-25-2010, 12:44 PM
Andy, PM sent.

General question...does the hardware use special washers to level the angle so that the nut sits flat on the plate? I can't imagine that a hole drilled on the aft leg mount point (curvy part of the gunwale) would end up perpendicular to the aluminum mount plate in the fiberglass. Maybe they do a really good job of positioning those plates at the right angle to the tower bolt.

Also, what happens when the bolts guall? I just imagined that you couldn't get the nut on all the way. What would happen that you would have to replace after the fact? Was the tower not on tight because the nut gualled and wasn't tightened up completely? My local guy says to use anti-seize to prevent. How about oil?

thanks


Bill

The place that installed my tower seized the nut on the threads. I would probably have never noticed it but had to remove the bolt to pull that leg and drill a hole for speaker wires. They actually epoxied in spacers that wedged the bolt in tight. I couldn't get the nut off with an impact wrench they hosed it up so bad. I brought it back to them and had them cut it off.

There is nothing special about the hardware. Once you look at where the rear leg mounts from the under side of the gunnel you should see the flat glassed in metal plate that the washer will sit flat on.

Sodar
02-25-2010, 12:51 PM
I took my tower off this past weekend to cut out new rubber pads (the factory tower pads look like they were cut out with kid proof scissors by a Parkinsons patient). The nuts came off easily and appeared to have anti-seize on them. I plan to use a die and tap to clean up the threads (thanks Jim) before reinstalling and using a liberal coat of anti-seize. I'll let you know how many bolts I mess up... hopefully the response will be zero!!!

NSXBill
02-25-2010, 01:04 PM
Are the bolts 7/16" x 20 threads per inch? How long were the bolts you took off? Andy's were 3" total length.

CruisinGA
02-25-2010, 01:18 PM
Sounds like some anti-seize on the bolt prior to installation is in order to prevent this galling that is such a common problem. I

gregl
02-25-2010, 03:45 PM
use anti seize on the bolts that will help prevent a lock up. Most dealers should have the pads in stock. When you set the tower on the boat use a shrink wrap tape and double it up so as to not scratch the gel. The small hole will be on the starborad side in front, you will need to make a wire harness to run to the switch.

CruisinGA
02-25-2010, 05:51 PM
The place that installed my tower seized the nut on the threads. I would probably have never noticed it but had to remove the bolt to pull that leg and drill a hole for speaker wires. They actually epoxied in spacers that wedged the bolt in tight. I couldn't get the nut off with an impact wrench they hosed it up so bad. I brought it back to them and had them cut it off.

There is nothing special about the hardware. Once you look at where the rear leg mounts from the under side of the gunnel you should see the flat glassed in metal plate that the washer will sit flat on.

That is pathetic.

If I were that shop, I would embarrassed to have that kind of work performed on a customer's boat.

Sodar
02-26-2010, 12:01 AM
Are the bolts 7/16" x 20 threads per inch? How long were the bolts you took off? Andy's were 3" total length.

I don't now about threads. I know that the allen head is 1/2"... I had to go buy an allen wrench that was that big! Here are some pics I took of the legs tonight. I am sure yours will vary, but they are enough to get you an idea.

3" bolt with 1/2" allen head.

55914

Tower pads. These are the reason I took the tower off. These move, turn sideways, slip, etc. Even the picks Jim@BAWS posted show how crappy they are. I am currently researching what the softest material is that can be CNC'ed on a machine. I want to creats some pads with a raised lip around the edges that would prevent the pads from moving.
55915

Close up of the crappy childproof hack job they did on cutting these.
55916


Tower leg with two pairs of 14gauge speaker wires.
55919

55918

Sodar
02-26-2010, 12:05 AM
Back after tower foot. These have a concave to them.

55921

55920


Delphi Weatherproof connectors for tower speakers and for tower nav light.

55922

55923

Jim@BAWS
02-26-2010, 08:52 AM
Camerone...someone asked me to tell you that your have very "PRETTY" hands. Do you slalom alot?

In all seriousness... all joking aside about your BEAUTIFUL HANDS !

If you have an old wetsuit you can use the neopreme for tower pads. Also if you have an old life jacket sometimes there is layered foam in them that works well.

Just an idea


Jim@BAWS

CruisinGA
02-26-2010, 10:10 AM
UHMW is probably what you're going to end up with, Sodar.

Cheap, very easy to machine, and should be soft enough for the job.

The pads on my X9 have moved around as well. I have access to several CNC mills, guess I could give it a go.

Let me know if you come up with something else.

NSXBill
02-26-2010, 10:50 AM
Wow, great info and the pictures are fantastic, beautiful hands and all! Pictures worth 1000 words. I am getting a good idea of what to do now.

Hurry up with the special pads before I do the install 8p.

I have antiseize and will use. Will try to get some bolts locally today. Will also get 1/2 allen, because that really IS big (looked in my massive tool chest last night and don't have!).

Hey, I am really interested in that connector. Did factory X boats come with that? Where can I get one? I have the anchor light wires, and would like to go ahead and put some speaker wires in ahead of time, in case I get tower speakers. Where are the speaker holes in the top part of the tower? In front bar or back (or in cross bar)? Bottom or aft?

thanks,

Bill

Moderator: This thread is getting so general, maybe move back to General Topics section? Lots of good info coming in here.

Jim@BAWS
02-26-2010, 11:59 AM
Wow, great info and the pictures are fantastic, beautiful hands and all! Pictures worth 1000 words. I am getting a good idea of what to do now.

Hurry up with the special pads before I do the install 8p.

I have antiseize and will use. Will try to get some bolts locally today. Will also get 1/2 allen, because that really IS big (looked in my massive tool chest last night and don't have!).

Hey, I am really interested in that connector. Did factory X boats come with that? Where can I get one? I have the anchor light wires, and would like to go ahead and put some speaker wires in ahead of time, in case I get tower speakers. Where are the speaker holes in the top part of the tower? In front bar or back (or in cross bar)? Bottom or aft?

thanks,

Bill


Moderator: This thread is getting so general, maybe move back to General Topics section? Lots of good info coming in here.

Dont ya just LOVE the way he grips that tower OH MY GOSH !!!

And the way those wires go in and out of that tower !!!


Speaker holes and tower light holes will not be there until you drill them

Jim@BAWS

flipper
02-26-2010, 12:37 PM
The guy has a hellofa grip

Sodar
02-26-2010, 01:08 PM
The local electronics store near me has the connectors. They are exactly what was used from the factory. If you cannot find them locally, I can pick a few up and send them to you, no problem. With the connectors, housings and weather gaskets, it takes about $20 to build a connector. I have used these things on my truck, boat and jet ski and they have never let me down... they are great!

As Jim said, the hole will need to be drilled. The holes on the starboard leg were there already for the tower light, but I had to drill into the port leg for the speaker wires.

NSXBill
02-26-2010, 01:12 PM
The local electronics store near me has the connectors. They are exactly what was used from the factory. If you cannot find them locally, I can pick a few up and send them to you, no problem. With the connectors, housings and weather gaskets, it takes about $20 to build a connector. I have used these things on my truck, boat and jet ski and they have never let me down... they are great!

As Jim said, the hole will need to be drilled. The holes on the starboard leg were there already for the tower light, but I had to drill into the port leg for the speaker wires.

Thanks for the offer Sodar. Is this connector the factory setup (sorrry, you already answwered that)? I did a google search and came up with Delphi waterproof connectors that are similar to the flat trailer hitch wires. Is that what yours are like? A close up picture of the connector may show me more of what I am looking for locally or on-line. Thanks

NSXBill
02-26-2010, 01:15 PM
The holes on the starboard leg were there already for the tower light, but I had to drill into the port leg for the speaker wires.

OK, I didn't realize that there were wires on both sides! I just assumend they all went out the starboard. That makes sense because the stereo is on the port. So, we're talking about two sets of wire connectors huh?

Sodar
02-26-2010, 01:32 PM
Yes, two sets of connectors. A 2 conductor (+ & -) for the tower light and a 4 conductor (2 sets of + & -) for the two tower speakers.

I will try to get a better picture for you and search more over lunch.

Sodar
02-26-2010, 01:37 PM
This is a close-up of the 2 conductor connector. I don't know where the blue comes from, because they sell them in all black, but it gets you an idea. I will try to take a better pic with an actual camera when I get home tonight.

http://www.easternbeaver.com/Main/metricpack280-2P-b.jpg

NSXBill
02-26-2010, 02:44 PM
Sodar, you're the man! If you found a pic on line, surely there was a Delphi part number? Geez...I don't ask for TOO much do I???8p

BriEOD
02-26-2010, 03:38 PM
Dang Bill you're awful needy!! :D I hope you're offering free pulls as payment.

Sodar
02-26-2010, 03:45 PM
Ok. Noble Wire distributes the connectors.

These are the part numbers, but I can't find a place where they describe the part numbers.

http://www.noblewire.com/inventry/INVTPG12.HTM#p12g30r2236

Andyg
02-26-2010, 05:18 PM
They connectors are Delphi Weather Pack connectors. If you search the internet they are all over the place. I found the ones I used at my local auto parts store. They end up costing in the neighborhood of $20 for each connector by time you end up purchasing all the components necessary.

The connectors are made up of two plastic connectors, rubber grommets that go over the wire and seal the water from running down the wire into the connection, male and female metal connections that snap into the plastic housings and hold the rubber grommets.

The trick is that the metal connectors need a special tool to crimp the connections on the wires and crimp them around the rubber grommets. You don't need a special tool, but it does make it more difficult. I also recommend sodering the connection if you don't use the proper crimp tool.

To finish off the wiring with a nice clean look I would also use black heat shrink tubing to cover the wires where the exit the connectors and enter the tower legs.

In the attached photo you can see one half of the plastic connector completed with the black shrink tubing going into the tower leg. You can also see the female metal connectors with the rubber grommets on the wire before they are snapped into the other half of the plastic connector.

Andyg

JohnE
02-26-2010, 05:32 PM
I buy blue and orange wirenuts for about $.06 each.............You guys really have $20 for a set of connections? Just remember righty tighty....

trickskier
02-26-2010, 06:19 PM
I buy blue and orange wirenuts for about $.06 each.............You guys really have $20 for a set of connections? Just remember righty tighty....

Good choice in colors...............:D

NSXBill
02-27-2010, 01:45 AM
Here's the two pin Delphi Weather Pack connector on ebay...$4.08 shipped. The green seals shown are for 18-20 gage wires.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Weather-Pack-2-Pin-Connector-Kit-10-Piece-Weatherpack_W0QQitemZ360238020911QQcmdZViewItemQQp tZMotors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories?hash=item53df dbf92f

Here's the flat four pin for speaker wires...$8.40 shipped from another guy, but he shows how to install them in his ad.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Weather-Pack-4-Pin-Flat-Sealed-Wiring-Connector-Kit-NEW_W0QQitemZ120367054917QQcmdZViewItemQQptZMotors _Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories?hash=item1c066f8045

Sodar
02-27-2010, 02:03 AM
There you have it and quite a deal, too! Not as cheap as wire nuts, but not all of us are electrical contractors and can get blue and orange wire nuts for only $0.06 per nut. Some times you just can't put a price on quality! :D :D

Kyle
02-27-2010, 05:53 AM
Man those rubber pieces under the tower legs look about as cheep as a blown out big truck inner tube. Just give a piece of scrap blown tube to a kindergardener and have them follow the line. Finish by slappin it togetha.

Sodar, I cant believe that such a crappy hack job was done to your awesome boat. I know you will fix it the right way.

I wonder whatever you use if it is a softer rubber material if you use some 3m 5200 on both sides of the rubber piece if it would keep it from sliding around. 5200 says its permanent but acetone will make it come off even if it is dry. Might be an idea to keep it in place.

atlfootr
02-27-2010, 04:34 PM
Hey Kyle,
It's jus' another "MacGyver" job ...

Kingsley X-1
03-26-2010, 05:28 PM
Cam what did you ever do about the UHMW pads? there is also some stuff called delrin or nylatron. we use alot of UHMW here at work and man that stuff is awesome. i think it will do the job that you want it too do.

check out this place for info on different plastics http://www.johnsonplastic.com/plastics.php

Sodar
03-26-2010, 06:02 PM
The tower legs have been sent to a fellow TT member and molds have been made for the pads, which will match the tower feet. From those molds, a gasket will be created with the same durameter. I should have a sample made in the next couple weeks.

NSXBill
03-29-2010, 12:02 AM
So which boat are the pads being made for Sodar? I'm not sure which boat you have, an X-7 or X-9? Put me down for a set if X-9.

Still haven't mounted tower, but bought drill bit ($18 yikes) and am having a steel drill bushing made to fit in the counterbored holes of the tower legs so that I can drill a hole straight and true to the holes in the tower legs.

Also trying to figure what to do for bimini. My factory bimini was for no tower. A new one from the OEM company is $1000 delivered (too much for me).

Man, when this group gets their mind set on something...

Bill

CantRepeat
04-03-2010, 10:13 AM
Before you drill, make sure and look at the under side for any interference or clearance issues.

The install details that came with my ND tower said to check the thickness of the fiberglass at the install points. I don't recall what they wanted it to be but I had to add some horse hair and used aluminum backing plates.

NSXBill
04-03-2010, 10:36 AM
Before you drill, make sure and look at the under side for any interference or clearance issues.

The install details that came with my ND tower said to check the thickness of the fiberglass at the install points. I don't recall what they wanted it to be but I had to add some horse hair and used aluminum backing plates.

Thanks, my 01 PS 209 came with backing plates installed :)

CantRepeat
04-03-2010, 10:56 AM
Thanks, my 01 PS 209 came with backing plates installed :)

Excellent!

NSXBill
04-19-2010, 05:07 PM
They connectors are Delphi Weather Pack connectors. If you search the internet they are all over the place. I found the ones I used at my local auto parts store. They end up costing in the neighborhood of $20 for each connector by time you end up purchasing all the components necessary.

The connectors are made up of two plastic connectors, rubber grommets that go over the wire and seal the water from running down the wire into the connection, male and female metal connections that snap into the plastic housings and hold the rubber grommets.

The trick is that the metal connectors need a special tool to crimp the connections on the wires and crimp them around the rubber grommets. You don't need a special tool, but it does make it more difficult. I also recommend sodering the connection if you don't use the proper crimp tool.

To finish off the wiring with a nice clean look I would also use black heat shrink tubing to cover the wires where the exit the connectors and enter the tower legs.

In the attached photo you can see one half of the plastic connector completed with the black shrink tubing going into the tower leg. You can also see the female metal connectors with the rubber grommets on the wire before they are snapped into the other half of the plastic connector.

Andyg

Did you use the special tool? I don't want to buy:rolleyes:. Any trick to crimping without it besides soldering also?

NSXBill
08-25-2010, 09:56 AM
I recently installed an OEM ZeroFlex Flyer tower on my 01 PS209. I didn't get pads or bolts with it, so I had to make my own. I made a template from the bottom of the tower legs with paper and cut out the pads from some 0.10 gray rubber stuff I had. I made the pads about 0.06-0.08 larger than the tower leg feet so they pads wouldn't pull under the feet. I will look for pictures of installed pads. They look pretty nice and the gray blends in well with the silver tower and white hull. It took several tries to get good at cutting them. I found that because the rubber was so flexible that I had to plan ahead and make one smooth pull of the exacto to keep from having the edge look choppy. I had to end up the cut on the end that was under the part of the tower leg where it angled closest to the hull. I installed the part with the black marking towards the hull so you couldn't see it. Also, to lessen shifting of the pad, I cut the bolt hole so it fit very snug on the bolt to hold the pad in the center.

Jim@BAWS
08-26-2010, 01:53 PM
6 months almost to the day...FINALLY

Jim@BAWS

Thrall
08-27-2010, 06:05 PM
Did you use the special tool? I don't want to buy:rolleyes:. Any trick to crimping without it besides soldering also?

Not really. My buddy offered to send the tool, he has one, but I just soldered the pins on.
CAREFULLY crimp the pin around the wire. With needle nose pliers you cn get it nice and round, make sure it's crimped small enough to fit in the connector, simple solder job. About $15 for a little pencil torch if you don't have a soldering iron.