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Old 04-11-2013, 01:56 PM
BradleyV BradleyV is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
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Location: Southwest - North Houston Area
Posts: 36
Tower Speaker wiring info for DIY'ers out there

Thought I'd add a personal experience I recently encountered. I bought a new boat last year and opted to add my own tower speakers and amp down the road (Big thanks to Odin and David @ Earmark Marine for the help!) Well, I did it over the weekend and learned something about my boat. Maybe it was just me/my 'craft but I thought I'd share if anyone else is attempting or has encountered issues.

When Mastercraft installs the towers, they pre-wire the tower before connecting. Then, they pre-wire the boat from the head unit/glove compartment to the spot where the tower is connected. On the port side, over the cup holders and under the tower connection on the boat, there is a slit where you can reach up and pull these bundled wires out. They use male/female wire adapters to connect the pre-ran tower wires to the pre-ran boat wires. What I found on mine is not only were they not all connected, but some were incorrectly connected. And, the adapters are permenant. I had to cut and redo majority of these connections.

After getting the proper wires connected, I ohm tested everything and we're in good shape. But, I was pulling my hair out for an hour trying to troubleshoot from the tower to under the radio/amp.

Seems minor and a lesson learned. I hope this thread helps other new owners who don't mind doing things themselves.

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Old 04-11-2013, 04:45 PM
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jigster jigster is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Boat: mastercraft x-10
Location: southeast
Posts: 71
Funny you say that. I bought an unmolested '03 x-10 a couple years back and ran into similar issues with not only the tower wiring, bu pretty much everything that wasnt in the indmar wiring harness. I gave mc the benefit of the doubt based on their reputation and figured that my boat was possibly wired by a horrible tech that theyve hopefully since parted ways with and quality control was out for the day.

Since my first poor/sloppy wiring encounter in the tower, ive found so much more that had the hull been made of a conductive material id have shorts everywhere. Not only that but wires were left unecessairly long (sometimes in excess of 2-3 times what was needed) and looped up with zip ties. By now ive gone thru and replaced most of the crimp connectors that had bare wire exposed with solder and heat shrink. Ive cut out pounds of excess wiring and cleaned up the wiring. Ive gone thru and deburred all the tower and hull wire passageways that were left untouched to slowly chew thru the insulation.

It was a horrible sight but is now much improved. I hope they are taking the time to address these simple to fix issues during the build process nowadays, but if you are seeing that in the tower, it leaves me wondering if you have any others lying in wait. Wont know until/if an odd issue appears or you get curious like me and start going through your boat one area at a time.

Love the boat, hate(d) the wiring.

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Old 04-11-2013, 08:02 PM
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EarmarkMarine EarmarkMarine is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Boat: TBD
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 521
You know a great diagnostic method for finding a shorted wire in the aluminum tower is to have some one stand in a puddle and grab the tower as you turn up the tower amplifier to full. As compared to a multimeter, this method costs you absolutely nothing and you never have to worry about good batteries.
Earmark Marine
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:23 AM
BradleyV BradleyV is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
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Location: Southwest - North Houston Area
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