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Jeff d
11-28-2010, 07:38 PM
Well, I've been anticipating this for a while but the actuator that raises the sundeck on my '00 230 VRS is now not functioning.

It trips the breaker at the switch. I checked voltage at the connector and everything is fine. Tried applying battery voltage right to the actuator and it doesn't spin.

I started to disassemble it and there was water in there. This isn't surprising either since the previous owner let rain water accumulate in the hull which was probably over the actuator motor. I've steadily been having to replace all electrical components that were below that water line (Starter, blower, etc.).

I started dissecting it further and the worm drive assembly appears to be fine. I can't get the lower half apart until I get my impact wrench back from a friend and a 1 1/8" deep socket. If the gears look ok then I will probably explore the option of having the motor rebuild at the local starter & alternator shop.

I've also seen other references on here to miscellaneous aftermarket liner actuators so I might look into that.

Lastly I may look at just putting in a couple of latches and a pair of strong gas shocks to assist in lifting it by hand. This seems like the simplest option but would probably involve some bracket fabrication and what not so I'm sure it would end up being somewhat complicated.

Any other ideas?

Thanks,
Jeff

JimN
11-28-2010, 08:20 PM
Well, I've been anticipating this for a while but the actuator that raises the sundeck on my '00 230 VRS is now not functioning.

It trips the breaker at the switch. I checked voltage at the connector and everything is fine. Tried applying battery voltage right to the actuator and it doesn't spin.

I started to disassemble it and there was water in there. This isn't surprising either since the previous owner let rain water accumulate in the hull which was probably over the actuator motor. I've steadily been having to replace all electrical components that were below that water line (Starter, blower, etc.).

I started dissecting it further and the worm drive assembly appears to be fine. I can't get the lower half apart until I get my impact wrench back from a friend and a 1 1/8" deep socket. If the gears look ok then I will probably explore the option of having the motor rebuild at the local starter & alternator shop.

I've also seen other references on here to miscellaneous aftermarket liner actuators so I might look into that.

Lastly I may look at just putting in a couple of latches and a pair of strong gas shocks to assist in lifting it by hand. This seems like the simplest option but would probably involve some bracket fabrication and what not so I'm sure it would end up being somewhat complicated.

Any other ideas?

Thanks,
Jeff

I'd have the motor rebuilt. Gas shocks could allow the sun deck to be sucked open if you trailer is at high speeds without a cover. If you always use a cover, it's a moot point.

Jeff d
11-28-2010, 10:44 PM
Oh, if I switch it to a manual lift i'd put at least one latch on the front. Maybe something like this:
http://tacomarine.com/cat--Sundeck-Latch-Low-Profile-Concealed-Latches--cat_sundeck_latch.html

Miss Rita
11-28-2010, 11:17 PM
My I/O had an actuator on the sunpad, it was a PITA. The "wow" factor was cool, but it was way too slow. I was the only one who could find the switches. I replaced it with two gas struts, much better now.

kdr
11-29-2010, 04:44 PM
I've got gas shocks and a latch in my 99. The latch is just like this:
http://greatlakesskipper.com/product/22_147_148-hatches-port-windows-latches/13-southco-incorporated-southco-mobella-mt-99-6-sundeck-boat-hatch-latch-w-pull-cord.html

I always thought the auto-open thing was cool until I was in a boat with one. It was slow and annoying enough to keep you from stowing anything you might actually need back there.

Jeff d
11-29-2010, 06:52 PM
I've got gas shocks and a latch in my 99. The latch is just like this:
http://greatlakesskipper.com/product/22_147_148-hatches-port-windows-latches/13-southco-incorporated-southco-mobella-mt-99-6-sundeck-boat-hatch-latch-w-pull-cord.html

I discovered that style of latch last night. Definitely an easier install than one that protrudes through the vinyl. I was envisioning one of the kids slamming it closed with the strap below the cover though. I'd have to figure out how to sew in a strap over this strap that would prevent that.

What weight gas shocks did you go with? The stock one is a single 20 lb. Definitely not enough but 2 of those might do the job. I don't want to put some that are too strong and make it hard to close.

FrankSchwab
11-30-2010, 12:07 AM
Noticed some actuators for sale that might (or might not) be replacements:
American Science and Surplus (http://www.sciplus.com/search.cfm/scategory/HDC/term/actuator/srch.fp/1)

If the link doesn't work, go to http://sciplus.com and search for "actuator"

/frank

kdr
11-30-2010, 09:34 AM
I discovered that style of latch last night. Definitely an easier install than one that protrudes through the vinyl. I was envisioning one of the kids slamming it closed with the strap below the cover though. I'd have to figure out how to sew in a strap over this strap that would prevent that.

What weight gas shocks did you go with? The stock one is a single 20 lb. Definitely not enough but 2 of those might do the job. I don't want to put some that are too strong and make it hard to close.

I bought the boat with the gas shocks already installed and the stickers have faded so bad that I can't tell how strong they are. They do have a 30" extended length.

I have had the boat for about 4 years now and I have never closed the hatch on the pull strap. Not saying it can't happen, but it is not much of a concern for me.

Here are some pics of my setup:
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4148/5220299809_2cf3f8e5b4.jpg
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/171/420557525_56e033f5fc.jpg
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/133/420557410_9b7012e4dc.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4083/5220299493_e1e002d525.jpg

mdskier
11-30-2010, 10:35 AM
Jeff d, how did you get the hatch open if the actuator failed? I have always worried about mine failing ('99 Maristar) and having to get in to the hatch to replace it.

frosty
11-30-2010, 11:01 AM
Jeff d, how did you get the hatch open if the actuator failed? I have always worried about mine failing ('99 Maristar) and having to get in to the hatch to replace it.

To open the hatch after acutator failure, take it apart at the hinges...I don't know what Mastercraft originally had back there (rivets, I think - they were drilled out) but I now have machine screws attaching the hinge to the boat, they are not very easy to remove, but definitely doable.
I will probably try to replace these with the pull-pins similar to what is securing your swim platform.

David

Jeff d
11-30-2010, 12:19 PM
I actually store mine with the rear hatch open about 3-4" to keep the engine compartment ventilated. So, it failed with it open enough that I could get in there and pull the pin.

Maristar Man had an interesting setup with a strap that could pull the pin in the event of an actuator failure in the closed position in one of his other posts.

Jeff d
11-30-2010, 12:37 PM
I have had the boat for about 4 years now and I have never closed the hatch on the pull strap. Not saying it can't happen, but it is not much of a concern for me.]

I didn't have a good mental picture of how it would install. That metal bracket looks like it would keep the strap where it needs to be under most circumstances.

Thanks for the pictures. I'm strongly considering going that route.

I would convert it to 3 piece in and ideal world but that would be a lot more involved.

Jeff d
11-30-2010, 01:39 PM
I didn't have a good mental picture of how it would install. That metal bracket looks like it would keep the strap where it needs to be under most circumstances.

Thanks for the pictures. I'm strongly considering going that route.

I would convert it to 3 piece in and ideal world but that would be a lot more involved.

Well, it doesn't look like those latches typically include that strap "keeper" that KDR shows in his pics. Is this a MasterCraft part?

Thanks,
Jeff

MariStar-Man
11-30-2010, 09:06 PM
I used some of the extra webbing I had left over for the Bimini. I wanted to make a simple, works-every-time, release in case of emergency.

After measuring, I sewed both sides of the straps and burned the ends. Yes my sewing skills are fleating...lol!

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x203/DocHoliday1964/1999%20Maristar/Bimini/DSC02088.jpg

In the middle of the strap I have about 2" doubled over and sewn with one thread. This will break when pulled and give me the extra length to pull the end of the strap which is sewn into sunpad edge.

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x203/DocHoliday1964/1999%20Maristar/Bimini/DSC02097.jpg

Here is the Strap, which i can access by cutting a few threads...
I have subsequently colored the white thread black.

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x203/DocHoliday1964/1999%20Maristar/Bimini/DSC02096.jpg

I have more webbing available if anyone wants some... PM me

I do however, like the sun-pad latches I have seen on this thread. It does take too long when on the water and people want to get into the cooler back there...

Jeff d
11-30-2010, 09:22 PM
KDR, are the pics you're posting from your '99 205V that you have listed in you profile? Do you know if that was the factory setup?

I found this on mymastercraft:
http://mymastercraft.com/product_details.cfm?ITEM_ID=14800&product=530920&product_type=GENERAL&company=MasterCraft&sub_product=Brackets

It's described as "LATCH SUNDECK KEEPER PS 205V 99". I emailed them for further clarification on what the part is but it sounds promising.

Aside from reliability and speed removing the actuator would make access to the port side of the engine much easier too. I avoid messing with that side whenever possible because I have to find something to prop the deck up with and remove my actuator to flip down that partition. It will also be better when I get larger ballast bags back there because I won't have to worry about them rubbing on the actuator.

With the exception of the "bling" factor when I take n00bs out on my boat the only other advantage I can think of is that it's easy to open it partially for storage. I'd have to setup a strap to hold it at about 3" open.

kdr
11-30-2010, 10:30 PM
I'm pretty sure that my setup is factory. There are no holes in the floor or underside of the sundeck where the actuator would mount to.

LaRue
11-30-2010, 10:36 PM
interesting post jeff d. watching to see what happens. may need to consider for our Maristar.

Jeff d
11-30-2010, 11:01 PM
I'm pretty sure that my setup is factory. There are no holes in the floor or underside of the sundeck where the actuator would mount to.
Ok, thanks. I was in the aftermarket modification mindset and initially assumed that your setup was aftermarket until I started seeing OEM parts that seemed to coincide with the '99 205V.

Hopefully MyMastercraft can help me figure out which parts I need to duplicate your latch setup. It looks like the worst case for the latch is about $50. The gas shocks and mounting hardware for one side should be less than $50 also.

If I go this route I'll be sure to post part numbers here once I get everything straight.

Wake Faller
12-02-2010, 06:34 PM
Jeff-

I had this happen to me last year. I got lucky and found one on ebay and took a chance for $100 - the model numbers were different but it turned out to be the exact same actuator. Look on ebay at linear actuators - there are a bunch out there.

Once I got the new one, we dismantled and lubed up the old one and it now also works fine (so that may work for yours...).

With respect to how you get it open, I removed the battery and got my head and one arm through the hole behind the battery with a rod and wedged the pin out that way (trip to the chiropractor). PITA but got er done.

If it would help, I can try to climb in the boat later and take a pic of the specs on the new one - I think it had a plate on it.

Where are you located in the SE? I also have 00 230v - on Lake Sinclair, GA.

Hope this helps,
Craig

LaRue
01-14-2011, 04:42 PM
BUMP

Jeff d, did you ever complete this project?

Jeff d
01-20-2011, 10:25 AM
No, I put it off in favor of other non-boat related projects since I'm not using the boat right now anyway.

I did order the "keeper" from Mastercraft and it was as shown in KDR's pictures. Here's the part #:
530920 "LATCH SUNDECK KEEPER PS 205V 99"

LaRue
01-20-2011, 11:59 AM
Ok. Keep us posted. I am considering the same change.

Jeff d
02-19-2011, 06:11 PM
The weather has been warming up here so the boat has become more of a priority in my mind. I finally got just about all of the hardware needed to complete this.

I put the struts on today. I used a pair of 60 lb ones from maxumhardware.com (MH-GS20-6NN-60):
http://www.maxumhardware.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=235

I got the all plastic end fittings for them because they come with the metal clip style that I've seen rust pretty badly (MH-BNEF-CM- R10-6A):
http://www.maxumhardware.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=11&products_id=212

I also got the ball stud and ball stud bracket for the port side to replicate the factory configuration on the starboard side (MH-BS-10B and MH-MLBKT-D):
http://www.maxumhardware.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=18_25&products_id=18
http://www.maxumhardware.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=16_29&products_id=10

Those small parts had a minimum quantity of 4 each. Unfortunately I only needed one of each of the ball stud and bracket. So, if someone else is interested in this modification I have 3 additional sets of this hardware that I could mail you if you pay shipping.
Total from MaxumHardware was $57.36

I got some miscellaneous sheet metal screws, washers and a nut for the port side ball stud from the hardware store for another $6.

I ordered the "keeper" and the latch catch bracket from MasterCraft through my local dealer over the phone for $15.36 shipped to my house.

I then ordered the latch from eBay from a seller called GreatLakesSkipper. It was a "SOUTHCO MT-99-6 SUNDECK BOAT HATCH LATCH w/ PULL CORD" for $23.95. This could be had from MasterCraft for something like $35 and would probably be easier just to order with the keeper. I was a little in the dark about what was what at the time though and my dealer was unsure too so I delayed the latch order until after I was sure I had the keeper part figured out.

Now onto the install: The sundeck appears to be made out of some kind of aluminum honeycomb with aluminum sheet metal on top and bottom. All of the factory hardware is attached with machine screws and there are corresponding T-nuts (or something similar) on the top side of the deck (But under the foam and upholstery). This is probably the ideal way to fasten to this deck but the only way to replicate that would be to remove the upholstery, install the nuts (possibly even having to weld them in place) then reupholster. That didn't seem like a good option so I just used 1.5" stainless sheet metal screws. Be careful when predrilling not to go al the way through the foam and vinyl. My drill punched through the sheet metal so easily that I had to be really careful. Use a short bit if you have one.

I may go back (Now that the sheet metal screws have done their "work"), remove each screw, and knock the point off with a grinder then reinstall. Not sure how much penetration I got but I would hate for someone to kneel right on that spot on top of the deck and poke a hole in the vinyl.

You will have to drill a hole for the lower ballstud too on the port side. I just got done installing a tower so I was very familiar with drilling through the gelcoat. Drill a pilot hole first with the drill in reverse and "burn" through the gelcoat. Once through the gelcoat you can put it in forward but go slow because it will penetrate pretty fast. Then repeat the same process with a larger bit.

The 60# struts seem about perfect for this application. They hold it up firmly but don't take much effort to pull it down. To lift it I pull it up to about 1.5 ft open and then let it go. The struts take care of the rest. To lower I pull it down with about 5 lbs of force and when I get to that same 1.5 ft. mark I can let it go and the struts will allow it to close.

My hinges had taken a beating over the years and were a little out of whack. When combined with the new forward force applied by the struts in the down position this made the deck bind against the rear seat. I had to remove one of the hinges and beat it back into shape. Once I did this it's working perfectly.

Onto the latch: Well, sometime between when the latch catch and keeper arrived from MasterCraft and now I lost the latch catch. The latch from GreatLakesSkipper/eBay came with a similar latch catch but it's much lower profile and needs to be about 1 7/8" taller. I don't want to spend $10 for a little bent piece of metal by the time I pay shipping and what not from MasterCraft so I will probably just try to find a suitable piece of aluminum or SS at work and make a suitable catch.

So, total bill will be about $102 which is probably in the ballpark of what it would have cost me to have the motor rebuilt on the actuator but now I don't have to worry about it failing or stuck closed with a dead battery anymore. It's also way easier to access the port side of the engine because I don't have to remove the stupid actuator to flip the partition down. When I get larger ballast bags back there I won't have to worry about abrasion from the actuator either.

The first pic shows the new struts holding up the deck. The second pic is a closeup of the new bracket installed on the starboard side. The third one shows the Southco latch and the "keeper" from MasterCraft.

Jeff d
03-08-2011, 12:59 PM
Finally finished the latch last week and got to test it "on the water". It worked fine and I think I'm going to really prefer it to the actuator. One of the best things about it is I can stand on the trailer fender and pop the hatch. We used that compartment for storage this trip where in the past I didn't put anything that required frequent access there because it was too much trouble to raise and lower.

I never found the latch catch that I had bought from MasterCraft so I made another one out of a flat piece of aluminum. I had to drill and tap the ski pylon crossmember to fasted it.

redraider08
08-16-2012, 07:35 PM
Jeff,
That looks great;, I have a 2000 X-star that I want to do this with. I've got a couple of questions about your project:

Do the gas shocks you got lift the hatch as high as the hydraulic cylinder did? I currently have to lift my hatch all the way up to fit a wakeboard in the rear locker.

Have you had any trouble with closing the hatch with the pull strap down?

Do you still have the extra parts?

I tried the link you had for the struts but i guess they no longer had that exact part, so i may have to search for a pair of similar struts.

Jeff d
08-16-2012, 08:06 PM
I actually kinda forgot I did this mod until I just got an email that this thread was updated. I guess that means it's been working ok. Ha! The self drilling/tapping screws through the aluminum honeycomb deck material have shown no signs of loosening or anything.

IIRC it actually opens further than it did with the mechanical actuator on there. I don't put wakeboards in those compartments so I didn't really take any measurements or anything. I think I remember the actuator limiting how far it opened.

Mine had a factory gas spring on the starboard side so I just duplicated that arrangement o the port side. Not sure if the X-Star has that or just the actuator. If it doesn't have the starboard side gas spring then you could mount them however you wanted in order to make sure it opens sufficiently far to slip your boards in.

It closes fine. The 60 lb gas springs are about perfect. The wind has never blown it closed from the open position but still doesn't require much effort to push the deck closed. If I was going to get a different spring I might try 50 lbs or so but the 60s give me some room to wear out and still provide sufficient force. Something like a 45-50 might make it a little easier to close but after a couple of seasons of wear may not provide sufficient opening force.

I know I shipped some of my parts off to another X-Star owner last year. I can't remember if I have anything left or if I shipped him everything I had. I will check.

redraider08
08-20-2012, 02:24 PM
That sounds great, thnks!

Greenster
11-06-2012, 09:31 PM
I am just courious as to how fast the original actuator, when new, took to open?

JimN
11-07-2012, 12:08 AM
I am just courious as to how fast the original actuator, when new, took to open?

It's not fast- it has a motor that turns a big threaded rod.

mtajpa
04-06-2013, 09:19 PM
I actually kinda forgot I did this mod until I just got an email that this thread was updated. I guess that means it's been working ok. Ha! The self drilling/tapping screws through the aluminum honeycomb deck material have shown no signs of loosening or anything.

IIRC it actually opens further than it did with the mechanical actuator on there. I don't put wakeboards in those compartments so I didn't really take any measurements or anything. I think I remember the actuator limiting how far it opened.

Mine had a factory gas spring on the starboard side so I just duplicated that arrangement o the port side. Not sure if the X-Star has that or just the actuator. If it doesn't have the starboard side gas spring then you could mount them however you wanted in order to make sure it opens sufficiently far to slip your boards in.

It closes fine. The 60 lb gas springs are about perfect. The wind has never blown it closed from the open position but still doesn't require much effort to push the deck closed. If I was going to get a different spring I might try 50 lbs or so but the 60s give me some room to wear out and still provide sufficient force. Something like a 45-50 might make it a little easier to close but after a couple of seasons of wear may not provide sufficient opening force.

I know I shipped some of my parts off to another X-Star owner last year. I can't remember if I have anything left or if I shipped him everything I had. I will check.

Jeff
Do you have any of the BALL STUDS left I need 1 if you do. PM me back if you do.
Thanks
Mike

Jeff d
04-07-2013, 12:51 AM
I'll have to dig through my mess of stuff. I think I may have sent all of my extra hardware to someone else a while back.

Table Rocker
04-07-2013, 01:02 AM
The ball studs are available in stainless on eBay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Stainless-Nitro-Prop-NEW-Strut-Marine-Boat-INSIDE-Angle-Bracket-Plate-Mount-0mm-/390560567092?pt=Boat_Parts_Accessories_Gear&hash=item5aef394f34

If that isn't the type you are looking for, the same seller has other styles.

Traxx822
04-18-2013, 09:57 AM
My actuator motor must be on steriods then. Not slow at all. 3 seconds and its fully open. What if instead of doing all this gas shock, latch stuff you just got a faster actuator.

I must be young, I like my buttons, I like my actuator.

JimN
04-18-2013, 10:26 AM
My actuator motor must be on steriods then. Not slow at all. 3 seconds and its fully open. What if instead of doing all this gas shock, latch stuff you just got a faster actuator.

I must be young, I like my buttons, I like my actuator.

They don't tend to be very fast because the motors aren't usually high RPM. I suspect that most of the actuators that go bad do so because someone tried to get every last bit of juice from a dying battery and that kills electrical things.