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2011 VLX - Maiden Voyage


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Took out the VLX today, We had a great day on the water, really nice weather, and everything seemed to work well except for a couple of items. The boat had .7 hours on it when I picked it up. Assuming this is from Malibu testing it.... we did have a couple of items I wanted to ask for some help on.

The first is in the Vdrive compartment/rear of boat, there is a faint whistling/annoying/high pitch sound at 30-35 mph. I dont recall what the RPM's were, but my wife and daughter noticed it immediately. Its harder to hear from the drivers seat, but you can definitely hear it from the rear seating area. I called the dealer on the water, they told me the last 10 boats they have demo'd have this noise, and they sell both PCM and Indmar, and both engine makes are producing this whistling. My supra never had this, does anyone know what this might be? The motor ran strong, trans shifted perfect, no signs of trouble from an operating standpoint. The dealer said use it until the 20 hr service and if its still making the sound they will take a look at it.

Second, I had a lot of water in my bilge area, the auto bilge warning came on a few times throughout the day. After I pulled the boat there was about 2" of water in the front drain plug area, so I pulled it and drained the water. I cant believe this is normal, the only time my Supra started having water in the bilge was when the dripless shaft seal started leaking. But this was after 230 hours of use.... I was going to throw it on the fake-a-lake this week and see if I can see where it might be coming from. I am thinking maybe the dripless shaft seal could be defective or leaking? I doubt any of the thru-hulls or drain plugs would be allowing this much water to come through. I am hoping I dont have a cracked ballast tank/fitting. I was filling and draining the tanks all day. Anyone have any ideas?

Thanks for any information you can pass my way.

post-15179-003679900 1303017631_thumb.jp

Edited by Fman
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The high pitch sound is most likely the air intake (flame arrestor) in the engine compartment. Its right behind the rear seat. The ammount of water you describe is way to much for your outing if you weren't boarding and dripping water in the boat. Sound like there is an issue with the packing glad or dripless packing seal.

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Ok, put her on the Fake-a-lake this morning and I think I located the problem. Ran the boat for about 10 minutes to normal operating temp, put it in gear for a few seconds and everything was bone dry (dripless shaft seal, fittings, cooling connections, etc...) then I noticed in the ski locker water draining into the bilge area...... Hot water shower head was turned ON. Turned it off and no more water.... It was streaming water out of it, so I am assuming this would get even worse the more RPMs the engine is turning. Hopefully this was the problem, everything else looked great.

Edited by Fman
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DO NOT put it in gear on the trailer!!!!

Why? It was only for a few seconds, you cant test the dripless shaft seal without spinning the drive shaft. Sometimes the seal will not leak in nuetral, only when driveshaft is spinning. The dealer said to do this, I was told just to never run the RPM's up because you can toast the impeller. Dealer said as long as gear selection is at lowest RPM possible it wont hurt anything.

Edited by Fman
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I haven't owned a "new" boat before so I may be wrong here. You said the whine is heard at 30-35mph. Isn't there are break-in period where you're supposed to keep it at lower rpm's?

And like someone else said, never ever put it in gear when using a fake lake on the trailer. You will destroy the shaft seal.

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Why? It was only for a few seconds, you cant test the dripless shaft seal without spinning the drive shaft. Sometimes the seal will not leak in nuetral, only when driveshaft is spinning. The dealer said to do this, I was told just to never run the RPM's up because you can toast the impeller. Dealer said as long as gear selection is at lowest RPM possible it wont hurt anything.

Because your strut bearing is not lubricated when out of the water, your dripless packing seal does not lubricate that only where the shaft enters the boat. You run the risk of toasting that bearing and heating up and warping your drive shaft. If you only did it for a second I'm sure it's fine. I don't know exactly how long it would take to cause damage, seems like it shouldn't take to long.

I'm surprised your dealer would give that sort of advice. Better yet I wonder if you did damage if they would cover the repairs since they told you to do so.

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Because your strut bearing is not lubricated when out of the water, your dripless packing seal does not lubricate that only where the shaft enters the boat. You run the risk of toasting that bearing and heating up and warping your drive shaft. If you only did it for a second I'm sure it's fine. I don't know exactly how long it would take to cause damage, seems like it shouldn't take to long.

I'm surprised your dealer would give that sort of advice. Better yet I wonder if you did damage if they would cover the repairs since they told you to do so.

Interesting, just for learning purposes, how does the strut bearing get lubricated while the boat is in the water different from a fake-a-lake? I thought all water came through the intake scoop on the bottom of the boat. How else would the bearing get lubricated? I did notice water streaming out of the drive shaft area under the boat, and of course the exhaust ports.

When the Supra had the dripless shaft seal replaced I was right there after completion when the mechanic tested in on the fake-a-lake... he put it in gear and made sure there was no leakage. He did mention there should be a stream of water coming out from the shaft intake. He did say if there was no water coming out from there you will burn up the bearing....

Edited by Fman
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I haven't owned a "new" boat before so I may be wrong here. You said the whine is heard at 30-35mph. Isn't there are break-in period where you're supposed to keep it at lower rpm's?

And like someone else said, never ever put it in gear when using a fake lake on the trailer. You will destroy the shaft seal.

There are many different "methods" of break-ins, I was told to vary the speeds at different intervals. Also to load up ballast at different intervals... Malibu hammers on the engine for the test drive, so anything the consumer does probably will not compare to what they put the engine through. I was told leaving the boat at a constant speed for a long duration is not great for the break-in. I am doing the Bu the same as my Supra.... after 230 hours on the Supra, engine compression was perfect... so I am assuming must have worked.

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Ok, put her on the Fake-a-lake this morning and I think I located the problem. Ran the boat for about 10 minutes to normal operating temp, put it in gear for a few seconds and everything was bone dry (dripless shaft seal, fittings, cooling connections, etc...) then I noticed in the ski locker water draining into the bilge area...... Hot water shower head was turned ON. Turned it off and no more water.... It was streaming water out of it, so I am assuming this would get even worse the more RPMs the engine is turning. Hopefully this was the problem, everything else looked great.

yes, big time. quite a bit of water pressure even without the shower pump switched on.

the strut bearing is beneath the boat. it's the last drive shaft support at the prop.

while it's immersed in water the water cools and lubricates.

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yes, big time. quite a bit of water pressure even without the shower pump switched on.

the strut bearing is beneath the boat. it's the last drive shaft support at the prop.

while it's immersed in water the water cools and lubricates.

This makes sense, thanks for clarifying. Hopefully I did not toast the strut bearing, I grabbed the prop and it still feels real solid with no slop... guess I will find out next time out. I would think if I would have damaged the bearing there would be some type of slop or "play" in the shaft????

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This makes sense, thanks for clarifying. Hopefully I did not toast the strut bearing, I grabbed the prop and it still feels real solid with no slop... guess I will find out next time out. I would think if I would have damaged the bearing there would be some type of slop or "play" in the shaft????

I highly doubt you did any damage to the bearing or seal in a couple seconds of operations. Maybe if you ran it for a minute or two, but a couple seconds, there wasn't enough time to heat it up.

Like has been said, water cools and lubricates the shaft from lake water, so even on fake-a-lake there is no water going to your shaft. Same with the ballast pumps, as they have separate water intakes.

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martinarcher

I highly doubt you did any damage to the bearing or seal in a couple seconds of operations. Maybe if you ran it for a minute or two, but a couple seconds, there wasn't enough time to heat it up.

Like has been said, water cools and lubricates the shaft from lake water, so even on fake-a-lake there is no water going to your shaft. Same with the ballast pumps, as they have separate water intakes.

:plus1: She be right mate. Thumbup.gif Just don't do it for a long period (more than a few seconds like 06 said).

Edited by martinarcher
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:plus1: She be right mate. Thumbup.gif Just don't do it for a long period (more than a few seconds like 06 said).

What is the test to find out if you have a bad strut bearing? Grabbing the prop and feeling slop or movement?

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Interesting, just for learning purposes, how does the strut bearing get lubricated while the boat is in the water different from a fake-a-lake? I thought all water came through the intake scoop on the bottom of the boat. How else would the bearing get lubricated? I did notice water streaming out of the drive shaft area under the boat, and of course the exhaust ports.

When the Supra had the dripless shaft seal replaced I was right there after completion when the mechanic tested in on the fake-a-lake... he put it in gear and made sure there was no leakage. He did mention there should be a stream of water coming out from the shaft intake. He did say if there was no water coming out from there you will burn up the bearing....

Yall are talking apples and oranges. A dripless shaft seal is lubricated by water in cooling system, UNLIKE a conventional shaft seal which is lubricated/cooled by lake water. The strust BUSHING is obviously lubricated only by lake water. Literally, the bushing that the shaft goes through which is what 06 was talking about you toasting and with which I totally agree. Dry rubber on steel? Not good at all to put in gear. Has nothing to do with the shaft seal.

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Interesting, just for learning purposes, how does the strut bearing get lubricated while the boat is in the water different from a fake-a-lake? I thought all water came through the intake scoop on the bottom of the boat. How else would the bearing get lubricated? I did notice water streaming out of the drive shaft area under the boat, and of course the exhaust ports.

When the Supra had the dripless shaft seal replaced I was right there after completion when the mechanic tested in on the fake-a-lake... he put it in gear and made sure there was no leakage. He did mention there should be a stream of water coming out from the shaft intake. He did say if there was no water coming out from there you will burn up the bearing....

There are no bearings in the seal or the strut.

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There are many different "methods" of break-ins, I was told to vary the speeds at different intervals. Also to load up ballast at different intervals... Malibu hammers on the engine for the test drive, so anything the consumer does probably will not compare to what they put the engine through. I was told leaving the boat at a constant speed for a long duration is not great for the break-in. I am doing the Bu the same as my Supra.... after 230 hours on the Supra, engine compression was perfect... so I am assuming must have worked.

WHAT!!! Who told you that? A dealer?

Dude, 230 hours is 4 oil changes, that's nothing. I'm not going to say that the people who say to drive it hard are wrong, but your engine manual clearly explains the recommended break in and you were clearly not following it. Also says problems caused by inappropriate break in are not covered by warranty. Just sayin.

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There is a seal and I meant seal.

Huh? No bearings in a shaft seal, I've done this multiple times. The shaft goes through a tight fitting flange in a rubber boot and water pulled from cooling system provides lubrication/cooling by water going out, not water in like on a conventional design where water is allowed in.

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Why? It was only for a few seconds, you cant test the dripless shaft seal without spinning the drive shaft. Sometimes the seal will not leak in nuetral, only when driveshaft is spinning. The dealer said to do this, I was told just to never run the RPM's up because you can toast the impeller. Dealer said as long as gear selection is at lowest RPM possible it wont hurt anything.

Sure you can, look at the seal while on the lake!

The impeller? Impellers get toasted being run dry regardless of RPM. Has zero to do with RPM (not that you want to rev it up for no reason). Putting a boat in gear on the trailer is never a good idea unless for a split second just to test engaging of tranny or something like that.

Edited by 85 Barefoot
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Huh? No bearings in a shaft seal, I've done this multiple times. The shaft goes through a tight fitting flange in a rubber boot and water pulled from cooling system provides lubrication/cooling by water going out, not water in like on a conventional design where water is allowed in.

We aren't talking about that, we're talking about the strut seal (bearing) I've heard it called both actually. It is only lubricated when the boat is in the water.

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We aren't talking about that, we're talking about the strut seal (bearing) I've heard it called both actually. It is only lubricated when the boat is in the water.

I know YOU were, but Fman's early posts suggested he might have been confused because he started talking about testing seals which was never the issue of your concern.

I know what a strut bushing is, and yes it is only lubricated by (lake) water.

Edited by 85 Barefoot
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Did you put the boat in gear with or without pulling the neutral switch? If you did it without pulling it you would know because it would sound like a banshee.

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There are many different "methods" of break-ins, I was told to vary the speeds at different intervals. Also to load up ballast at different intervals... Malibu hammers on the engine for the test drive, so anything the consumer does probably will not compare to what they put the engine through. I was told leaving the boat at a constant speed for a long duration is not great for the break-in. I am doing the Bu the same as my Supra.... after 230 hours on the Supra, engine compression was perfect... so I am assuming must have worked.

WHAT!!! Who told you that? A dealer?

Dude, 230 hours is 4 oil changes, that's nothing. I'm not going to say that the people who say to drive it hard are wrong, but your engine manual clearly explains the recommended break in and you were clearly not following it. Also says problems caused by inappropriate break in are not covered by warranty. Just sayin.

100% agree, check your Indmar manual for break in procedures.

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