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Heater install DIY or Pay


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Looking for input on if I should install a heater myself or have the dealer do it. It looks to be about $200 difference between the dealer cost of a 2 outlet heater and a DIY 3 outlet heater (http://www.bakesonline.com/detail.aspx?ID=272).

I have a new 08 VTX, so I'm a bit concerned about screwing up the warranty, and how big of a project this could be?

Also as a side question looking at Bakes the 2 outlet heater is more expensive then the 3 outlet, is there a reason (takes up to much room?)?


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It's probably a misprint. The 3 outlet heater is longer & has a 2nd fan so it should probably be more.

As for installing it, if your reasonably handy with boats, cars & tools, it's a pretty cool project to help you get familiar with your new boat.

On a side note, I lost my heater last spring, started leaking about the 2nd or 3rd time we had it out. When I winterized the boat in the fall, I pulled the hoses at the motor & blew air thru them, then filled them with antifreeze. No problem & the heater worked great in the spring. Then we had a late freeze in like April or May. I had drained everything but didn't go thru the routine of blowing it all out & filling with antifreeze. The next time we had the boat out, the heater was spewing all over the driver's feet...... mmmmm, warm water all over my feet.

Great, so I pulled the sub, got to the heater, pulled it out, removed the core from the box & took it into Napa. Come to find out it's a core from a late 80s Mustang. $27 & we're back in business. So I go to reinstall the core & notice something stupid...... the heater was originally installed with the hoses on the top. I'm not sure if it was done by Malibu or by Bridge City (original dealer), but the bottom line is it's a bit difficult for the heater to drain if the inlet/outlet are on the top of the core. So I reinstalled the heater with them on the bottom & rerouted the hoses so it would work correctly..... combined with the flush Ts in the heater lines down in the bilge, now it drains easily.

Might be something to remember when you do your install.

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I've done 5 of them, and would say it's a pretty straightforward job. The only specialty item you'll need is a 4" holesaw for installing the hot tubes. Also takes a big set of cajones to cut that first one...

Not sure about any warranty issues. You might want to check around to be sure, but I wouldn't think that tapping into the block for a water source would void any warranty.

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