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Ballast Questions/ help


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First off, this summer I purchased a 2003 MB 220 V from a car dealership (probably not the smartest thing to do, boat owner nb) that also is a certified Mercury outboad dealer. We purchased on contigent that if we liked it we would take it home and they would have their boat mechanic fix any problems that we found. The problems we found...

 

1. The left ballast tank fills up without us turning on the pump. I was told it could be the impeller in the pump so that was replaced with a new one. Water still fills up so I\'m wondering if the tank is filling from the hand drain in the back (is this possible?)?

 

2. The right ballast doesn\'t seem to fill when pump is on, but to tell you the truth, I have only waited a few minutes to try to fill, so it may actually work (I\'m just impatient). I have now been told that it would take at least 20 minutes to fill with the old pumps that they used back in 2003 (That told by an authorized MB Tech).

 

3. The ballast gauge on the dash does not regesture if the tanks are full or empty. The same MB Tech highly doubts that the gauge is bad. He suggested that the floats may be stuck. Does anyone know how to dislodge them if that is the case?

 

4. Sometimes the speedo is incorrect but I believe the RPMs are showing correctly. We don\'t have perfect pass yet, so we\'ve been driving at RPMs while wakeboarding.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

Moon

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With regard to filling. I don\'t usually use the guage, I just wait until they overflow and start spitting. My guages usually read full for about 2-3 minutes before they start spitting . . .

 

Regarding the filling left tank, very strange. My first thought was that the drain plug in the back was out. Sounds like that would be obvious to you.

 

My speedo is often off by a couple of miles an hour (sometimes it isn\'t). To be fair, the only thing I ever look at is perfect pass, which I estimate to be running high by an extra 4 mph due to having recently been behind a boat with zero off. So quite frankly, I just aim to ride at a speed where the wake is clean. It seems most everyone else I ride with is the same way.

 

We need Alan to offer something up regarding your other issues.

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The drain plugs have always been in and I\'ve even switched them to the opposite sides to see if it was the plug that was allowing water in.

 

With the speedo, I\'ve seen it at 20 mph over before but then turn off the boat and its fine. It doesn\'t really bother me since i basically do the same as you driverlost.

 

Besides those problems we really love the boat.

 

Moon

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wow! that is way off.

 

I drove a friend of mine a couple of years ago on his SAN210 anywhere between 11 and 31 mph. He had no PP and just told me to watch the wake. That was a nice lesson.

 

The guy opened each set with an S Bend, so it was really important that you found a nice clean speed and hold it for your life. His cut alone would take 3-5 mph of the boat. Basically, you had to lead him when he started his cut in and goose the throttle according to each trick you thought it looked like he was gonna throw.

 

I learned a lot about driving then. He was adamant that PP was a waste of money. I guess for him, because I love it.

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Yeah, next time I find $1500 in my pocket I\'m gonna get PP. Actually, my wife has done a pretty good job towing me around the river without speedo, and just adjusting speed to RPMs and wake. I hate to admit it but I\'m no where near as good of a driver since she likes to drive and I\'d rather wakeboard.

 

Moon

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No, I think she\'s a keeper (lol), since I finally talked her into getting a boat. On the other hand, still looking for info on the ballast. Since it\'s to cold to boat where I am I\'m just looking for ideas when spring comes around.

 

Moon

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Admin, no I have not checked for air flow through the vents. How would I go about doing this? Do I connect a compressor to the intakes under the boat and then have someone feel for air pressure from the overflow drain (that\'s my guess)?

 

Moon

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Alan, I\'ll try to get some pics soon, but probably no sooner then this weekend. Boat is in storage and we\'re pretty busy the next few weeks, so when I find time I\'ll post them. I really do appreciate it.

 

Moon

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Alan, In 03 did the ballast have check valves because I believe the set up is different then the 05s-08s? Not doubting you, but I thought (talked to a MB tech several months ago) that the older systems didn\'t.

 

Moon

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Alan, so with check valves the system will work better and I can still use the same pump? Also, if I changed my pump what would you suggest?

 

#3. Tanks are stuck on 0.

 

#4. I think it\'s jumping around, but now I can\'t really remember. Always wondered what that little silver knob was for.

 

Sorry for all the question.

 

Moon

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If you do the system above, you will be able to fill and empty while you are moving or siting still. If you still have the original reversible \'03 pumps in there it will work. They are very slow though, 15-20 min to fill and empty. If you want the faster pumps, I forget the exact number pump to get, but Southern Ski Boats stocks them (804) 524-0600, they are not cheap BTW, but you will not burn out nearly as many impellers and it will more than cut your fill and empty times in half.

 

#3. Either you are not filling the tanks up enough for them to register, or the wires are cut, usually the floats get stuck in the up/full position. Just trace the wires, I bet you will find a loose connection or a blown fuse.

 

4#. Sorry about your Speedo. It could be lots of things. Bad instrument, bad paddle wheel/pilot tube, bad ground, etc. Just replace that bad boy with a Star Gazer and you will be set for next summer.

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There is probably nothing wrong with your ballast plumbing. You most likely have the older SCC reversible pumps. You may want to check or replace the impeller(s). The only problem with these slower pumps is when they go out they still sound like they are on...but moving no water. You can contact them online and order what you need. MB went to the \"Ballast Puppy\" more recently. Way faster pumps but you really need to change out the stock impellar to their yellow softer impeller or sometimes the pump has a hard time reversing directions. The ballast guages are notorious for not being accurate or getting stuck. It\'s hardly worth fixing them. Just my 2 cents.

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agroman, I have changed the impellers and still nothing. I have been thinking about replacing the pumps to the jabsco ballast puppy as well. If I do change the pumps, will I have to change the wiring, plumbing and add check valves, or does everything else stay the same? Also, when you say change the impellers to the yellow softer impellers, would that be for my current pumps, or when I pony up for the ballast puppy\'s?

 

Moon

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