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  #21  
Old 01-20-2011, 09:25 AM
Jeff d Jeff d is offline
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Boat: 2000 230 VRS
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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"
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  #22  
Old 01-20-2011, 10:59 AM
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LaRue LaRue is offline
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Ok. Keep us posted. I am considering the same change.
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  #23  
Old 02-19-2011, 05:11 PM
Jeff d Jeff d is offline
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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...roducts_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...roducts_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...products_id=18
http://www.maxumhardware.com/catalog...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.
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Last edited by Jeff d; 02-19-2011 at 05:38 PM.
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  #24  
Old 03-08-2011, 11:59 AM
Jeff d Jeff d is offline
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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.
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  #25  
Old 08-16-2012, 06:35 PM
redraider08 redraider08 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Boat: 2000 Mastercraft X-Star
Location: West Texas
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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.
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  #26  
Old 08-16-2012, 07:06 PM
Jeff d Jeff d is offline
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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.

Last edited by Jeff d; 08-16-2012 at 07:09 PM.
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  #27  
Old 08-20-2012, 01:24 PM
redraider08 redraider08 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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That sounds great, thnks!
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  #28  
Old 11-06-2012, 08:31 PM
Greenster Greenster is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Boat: Mastercraft Maristar 1998 LT1
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I am just courious as to how fast the original actuator, when new, took to open?
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  #29  
Old 11-06-2012, 11:08 PM
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JimN JimN is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenster View Post
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.
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  #30  
Old 04-06-2013, 08:19 PM
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mtajpa mtajpa is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Boat: MC 1999 Maristar 230 sport
Location: Southwest
Posts: 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff d View Post
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
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