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water leak in 1999 response lx


wilsonalexander

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Picked up the new (to me) 99 response lx. Put it into the water and went for a ski. After 20 min in the water a noticeable amount of water was in the bilge. Took the boat out, drained it and then ran it back into the water with the back deep enough that the swim platform was underwater. In 5 minutes there was about 2 gal of water in the bilge again. The drain at the back has teflon tape around it, as does the drain near the front of the engine. No sign of leak at the compression fitting around the driveshaft. Tried to see if I could get into the box built into the hull where the driveshaft goes through. Removed some screws, backed the boat in the water... great multiple fountain effect. Am wondering if that box goes back far enough that the rudder post goes through it and whether the leak is around the rudder post. Or maybe around the exhausts where they go through the transom. Am looking for ideas before I dismantle the ski locker and start searching for the source of the water. Help!! Dontknow.gif

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Yep. Since the boat is new to you let's first rule out the HDS, which will be real easy to do. In the driveway, fill up the bilge with water until it's over that box looking thing in the back right behind the packing where the drive shaft goes through the hull. If it leaks out from the area around the prop shaft under the boat after you have it filled up you've got an HDS issue. Post back with the results and we can go from there.

Mike

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Does your boat have a shower? If so make sure the pump is turned off and the shower head closed . I've seen this happen to a few people before.

Plus1.gif

Also, if you have a heater, check for leaks there. Your core could be shot...

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Wow.. there has been lots of experience with this leak. I am tempted to pop the top off the box and do the "approved" test tomorrow.. fill bilge to just below top of open box and wait for the water to appear under the boat. 9 year old boat.. I expected a few issues.. I can handle the fibreglass work... looking forward to getting a bit of a buzz off the fumes if the HDS issue is the problem. To all the others who chimed in.. no shower, haven't had it long enough to hit anything.. but there were 2 owners before me so I can't speak for them. The available photos in the links provide a great tutorial on how to deal with the HDS problem.

Yep. Since the boat is new to you let's first rule out the HDS, which will be real easy to do. In the driveway, fill up the bilge with water until it's over that box looking thing in the back right behind the packing where the drive shaft goes through the hull. If it leaks out from the area around the prop shaft under the boat after you have it filled up you've got an HDS issue. Post back with the results and we can go from there.

Mike

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Wilson, you do understand the box can leak two different ways, correct? Do you know if it was leaking through the seal at the top of the box before you loosened any screws?

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I got a couple of buckets of water, did as you suggested while the boat was parked (on sloping ground) and the water came out around the driveshaft in a steady but not gushing stream. I examined the details of the links that a previous poster to the topic gave and am fairly convinced of the HDS being the problem. Am going to take the top off the box and add water to just below the top and watch the water flow to see if the hypothesis was correct. Yesterday was funny as hell.. took about 10 screws out of the top of the box and then backed the boat in the water and had 10 little fountains gushing water into the boat.. glad the boat was still on the trailer (this was before I understood the purpose of the box). Will report back on the results of today's experiment. My understanding of the problem is that the box is part of the lining of the boat which is bonded (maybe inadequately) to the outer hull. When/if the bond breaks, then water can leak into the gap between liner and hull and since the liner isn't continuous, the water finds its way into the bilge. I trust that newer models have the box built separately and glassed directly to the hull. The original design might have been ok if the bonding was with a more permanent or robust adhesive. Will check with my pal's 08 response this morning to see what the new one looks like.

Yep. Since the boat is new to you let's first rule out the HDS, which will be real easy to do. In the driveway, fill up the bilge with water until it's over that box looking thing in the back right behind the packing where the drive shaft goes through the hull. If it leaks out from the area around the prop shaft under the boat after you have it filled up you've got an HDS issue. Post back with the results and we can go from there.

Mike

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Well, I finally got around to popping the top of the driveshaft box off.. sealed with silicone and attached with stainless screws. Used the garden hose to fill up the bilge to about an inch below the top of the box and waited. The water started leaking into the box from the rear of the box. On the weekend, I checked out my friend's 08 response lx and it has the identical box, hopefully an updated fix is inside the box... he is nervous now. I am about to start on the fibreglass fix that is described in one of the HDS emails I got in reply to my question. I should be finished just in time to winterize the boat and put it away for the winter. Have had my October skis, now it is time for snow skiing season to start.

Sandy

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Well, I finally got around to popping the top of the driveshaft box off.. sealed with silicone and attached with stainless screws. Used the garden hose to fill up the bilge to about an inch below the top of the box and waited. The water started leaking into the box from the rear of the box. On the weekend, I checked out my friend's 08 response lx and it has the identical box, hopefully an updated fix is inside the box... he is nervous now. I am about to start on the fibreglass fix that is described in one of the HDS emails I got in reply to my question. I should be finished just in time to winterize the boat and put it away for the winter. Have had my October skis, now it is time for snow skiing season to start.

Sandy

Sandy,

I don't know what you got for emails, but if one was to fiberglass the inside of the box, I would caution not to. To date, I have not seen a better repair than grinding out the original plexus and applying new plexus in the prescribed manner. Those that I have seen that have attempted to fiberglass the inside eventually leaked, if not upon completion.

Not that everyone is, but I would guess that most dealers have done at least one over the years and have knowledge about repairing it properly.

Peter

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I am leaning towards the construction of a shaft log and installation of it inside the box. There are two installations I have seen on this forum.. one with the log constructed around some 1X4 wood as a form and one that looked as though it was constructed around a tube.. both being cut on a diagonal to provide the slope needed for fitting around the shaft.

Thoughts on this? I am not sure what the material called Plexus is but assume it is some sort of fibreglass resin.. are you proposing that a partial removal in the leak area and replacement with this stuff is as good or better than the shaft log approach? It certainly seems to me to be an easier approach than making the shaft log but I am not sure about the longevity of this method. Of course a poorly built/installed log will be a pain in the butt to deal with also.

Sandy

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am looking at your shaft log and notice that it is a tubular shape.. what did you use as a form for it? It also looks like you removed the fitting from the outside of the box and attached the driveshaft compression fitting and hose to the shaft log you made.. am I right? Does this keep the alignment of the driveshaft ok? I worry about screwing up the alignment.. I figured that the fitting on the box has a dual duty.. shaft seal and alignment.. but I am new to this boat and inboards in general. By the way.. did you remove the driveshaft partway to fit the shaft log over the shaft.. if so, did you have any trouble with aligning it again?

Sandy

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am looking at your shaft log and notice that it is a tubular shape.. what did you use as a form for it? It also looks like you removed the fitting from the outside of the box and attached the driveshaft compression fitting and hose to the shaft log you made.. am I right? Does this keep the alignment of the driveshaft ok? I worry about screwing up the alignment.. I figured that the fitting on the box has a dual duty.. shaft seal and alignment.. but I am new to this boat and inboards in general. By the way.. did you remove the driveshaft partway to fit the shaft log over the shaft.. if so, did you have any trouble with aligning it again?

Sandy

Mine has pre-fabbed shaft log. The glass shop just glassed it to the hull inside the poorly designed hds leak box. Other than getting the correct angle shaft log, there's not a big issue with the alignment due to the shaft log packing nut being attached with a rubber hose. The strut and engine are what has to be in alignment with each other.

I am very very pleased with the repair and highly recommend anyone with a leaking hds follow the same route.

My hds was damaged pretty severely from a hit by a stump. The original seal between the liner and hull was compromised. The first place I took it too, attempted to repair the hds, but it didn't last one season and was leaking again. I found afterward they used some type of resin and 3M 5200 sealant inside the box. It was a cobbled up mess. And only cost my insurance company $2600.

The repairs to install the log was in the neighborhood of $500, I don't remember exactly. But worth every penny.

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Plexus is a methacrylate adhesive used to chemically bond the parts together. Obviously Sunset Bob's shop did not have a clue due to the repair job attempted and the cost of it.

I'm not going to go into it more for there are loud opinions on both sides of this subject, but if were my boat I would keep it.

Peter

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Plexus is a methacrylate adhesive used to chemically bond the parts together. Obviously Sunset Bob's shop did not have a clue due to the repair job attempted and the cost of it.

I'm not going to go into it more for there are loud opinions on both sides of this subject, but if were my boat I would keep it.

Peter

your right the malibu dealer didn't have a clue. They used Plexus and then globbed 5200 marine sealant over it. It is sh**y design. All other manufactures use shaft logs.

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Plexus is a methacrylate adhesive used to chemically bond the parts together. Obviously Sunset Bob's shop did not have a clue due to the repair job attempted and the cost of it.

I'm not going to go into it more for there are loud opinions on both sides of this subject, but if were my boat I would keep it.

Peter

your right the malibu dealer didn't have a clue. They used Plexus and then globbed 5200 marine sealant over it. It is sh**y design. All other manufactures use shaft logs.

The same shop that screwed up Bob's botched my 2001 Rlx several times as well. I sold the boat right after the 4th or 5th time they worked on it and evidently it still wasn't right. A guy who later ended up with the boat sent me pictures of all the 5200 he had to dig out of it. I still grieve for all the money, vacation, and water time that was lost hauling the boat back and forth from the dealer in fruitless attempts to get the problem fixed. Not to mention the guilt of knowing someone else ended up with it.

If you go the plexus route, I would recommend making sure you find someone who has successfully performed the repair before. Get a reference from them and check it out. If I ever have the problem with my Lxi, I'm headed straight to the shop that performed Bob's repair for a shaft log install. A boat that uncontrollably fills itself with water isn't something to play around with.

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If you look at the design of the HDS, you can understand the propencity to leak. The top or lid of the HDS box is secured from the top with Plexus and screws. The water pressure when the boat is running or in the water is always trying to push the top of the box cover away from the seam or lift it up and off the base. Glue's do not work well in tension, it would work much better in compression. If you could secure the top of the box from underneath the flange, the system would have a tendency to compress the plexus and tend not to leak.

Unfortunately, this is much easier said than done. The one way I envision a way to do this is to remove one end of the flange and angle the top cover in to the box, glue around the seams and screw together from the top. One would then have to construct some sort of end flange and seal to complete the leak proof container, perhaps an L shaped flange that can be screwed from the outside. This would then be the achilles heel as it would be in tension, but certainly a much smaller area to leak.

I like the shaft log solution, looks very easy and has a very complient seal at the end that is very tolerant to build tolerances.

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The leak doesn't come through the box lid. When the HDS leaks it's because the seal between the hull and bilge liner is compromised. This is not visible when the cover of the box is on. When this happens, water makes its way up underneath the bilge liner and into the boat.

A leak caused because the lid of the box wasn't sealed would be an easy fix. Even for me. :)

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If you look at the design of the HDS, you can understand the propencity to leak. The top or lid of the HDS box is secured from the top with Plexus and screws. The water pressure when the boat is running or in the water is always trying to push the top of the box cover away from the seam or lift it up and off the base. Glue's do not work well in tension, it would work much better in compression. If you could secure the top of the box from underneath the flange, the system would have a tendency to compress the plexus and tend not to leak.

Unfortunately, this is much easier said than done. The one way I envision a way to do this is to remove one end of the flange and angle the top cover in to the box, glue around the seams and screw together from the top. One would then have to construct some sort of end flange and seal to complete the leak proof container, perhaps an L shaped flange that can be screwed from the outside. This would then be the achilles heel as it would be in tension, but certainly a much smaller area to leak.

I like the shaft log solution, looks very easy and has a very complient seal at the end that is very tolerant to build tolerances.

The problem isn't the lid. It is the seal between the liner and the hull. Once this seal is broken it is impossible to repair because it is sealed with plexus when the liner is installed in the hull. Attempting to seal from inside the box is like putting a band aid on a severed artery. The water pressure is trying to push the liner away from the hull.

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  • 4 months later...
am looking at your shaft log and notice that it is a tubular shape.. what did you use as a form for it? It also looks like you removed the fitting from the outside of the box and attached the driveshaft compression fitting and hose to the shaft log you made.. am I right? Does this keep the alignment of the driveshaft ok? I worry about screwing up the alignment.. I figured that the fitting on the box has a dual duty.. shaft seal and alignment.. but I am new to this boat and inboards in general. By the way.. did you remove the driveshaft partway to fit the shaft log over the shaft.. if so, did you have any trouble with aligning it again?

Sandy

Mine has pre-fabbed shaft log. The glass shop just glassed it to the hull inside the poorly designed hds leak box. Other than getting the correct angle shaft log, there's not a big issue with the alignment due to the shaft log packing nut being attached with a rubber hose. The strut and engine are what has to be in alignment with each other.

I am very very pleased with the repair and highly recommend anyone with a leaking hds follow the same route.

My hds was damaged pretty severely from a hit by a stump. The original seal between the liner and hull was compromised. The first place I took it too, attempted to repair the hds, but it didn't last one season and was leaking again. I found afterward they used some type of resin and 3M 5200 sealant inside the box. It was a cobbled up mess. And only cost my insurance company $2600.

The repairs to install the log was in the neighborhood of $500, I don't remember exactly. But worth every penny.

Well it is almost spring and the snow skiing is almost over for me so it is back to the hds problem. I found a couple of websites for outfits who make shaft logs in case I didn't feel up to making a fibreglass one. These are metal logs with an angled flange where it meets the hull surface and include the packing system. There are a variety of shaft angles that the logs are made for. My question now is what is the angle between the shaft and the hull so I could pick the correct shaft log. It appears that you fibreglass the flange to the hull to provide the point of attachment and prevent leakage. All this would fit inside the shaft box that is already present in the boat. For those of you who are interested in the supplier: Inboard Marine Hardware (I googled it). Does any one know the shaft angle for a 99 Malibu response lx?

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most shaft logs are bolted in place using machine screws from the bottom - up. with a layer of 3m 5200 between for sealant. not sure what your gonna have to do to make it fit.

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  • 9 years later...

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