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boardjnky4

01 Sunsetter Questions

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boardjnky4

Hey all, first post here so please go easy on me.

I'm looking at buying a locally offered 2001 Sunsetter VLX, and I have questions about...well...just about everything. I'll preface this with saying that I am not new to boats or boating, however, have owned outboard boats in the past. This is my first inboard boat purchase. With that said, lets continue on to the questioning.

I've been told that this boat has the upgraded engine option installed. As per the brochure posted here on Malibu Crew, that could be one of many options. I was told the engine is an Indmar 335...Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything in the brochure that indicated any of the options was a 335. I do see that the 325hp Indmar was standard...Maybe the dealer is misinformed, but that's unlikely seeing as how they are a Malibu dealer. Can anyone help clear this up? Is there an engine setup that was commonly upgraded to? Any information on this engine is also helpful.

Are there any common issues that are specific to Malibu V-Drives from that "era" that I should investigate? Anything that I should be looking out for? In regards to transmission and v-drive, what should I check for? Are there any specific noises or feelings that would typically indicate failure in the transmission/v-drive? What about the Rudder? I didn't look closely enough when I looked at the boat the other day. Are the rudders on these boats all manual steering, or do they have power steering pumps on them? How do the manifolds/risers hold up on these? Anything I should be looking at on the exhaust side? Any trouble spots on the wire harness that I should check?

Any other information is helpful...except for trying to convince me not to buy a diamond hull boat (I can't even go w2w yet, so perfect wakes are not needed).

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hethj7

Welcome! First, check this out. It is the used boat buying guide on this site.

I bought my 2000 VLX just last year. I don't know of any standard 335 engine upgrade, so I'm not sure what is going on there, but maybe someone else can chime in.

I also don't know of any common issues with V-drives of that era. That Sunsetter should have the Walters vdrive and as far as I know, they are a solid unit, as are the Indmar engines. I had a compression test done on my engine before buying (it had ~860 hours on it). I just had it in the water today with over 900 hours on it now and it is still running great!

FWIW, if the Sunsetter you're looking at doesn't work out, I wouldn't let a boat with a wake hull scare you away from buying. While these boats can put out awesome wakes, it isn't like the wake hull makes you afraid to be behind the boat if you're a beginner.

I would crawl under the boat and make sure the tracking fins are tight and haven't worked loose from hitting something. When you go for a test drive, pull the cover off the v-drive area and check the shaft packing - it should drip once every 10 seconds or so if it is properly adjusted. It wouldn't be a deal breaker in my book if it needed some adjustment, but IMO, if it is properly adjusted it may indicate the previous owner paid close attention to maintenance. If the boat has the stock prop on it, it should spin about 5100 RPM's when you open it up on the water.

Of course check all fluid levels (engine, vdrive, and transmission), belts, and hoses. Check operation of all switches, blower, bilge pump, etc. There aren't any noises I would consider odd during normal operation of these boats. You will notice more of a whine from the vdrive when in reverse, but that should be it. How many hours on the boat you're looking at?

Oh, one odd thing that gets people new to vdrives - there is a vdrive light near the throttle controls. At low RPM's it will be lit, indicating there is low presure in the vdrive unit. This is normal, as oil pressure isn't needed in the vdrive until it starts spinning up. The light should go off above ~1,200 RPM's I believe, indicating you have sufficient oil pressure in the unit.

Good luck and post up if you think of any specific questions!

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edwin

335 Monsoon didn't come around until 2003. There were other optional engines in 2001 - a 365hp Hammerhead or 375hp LS1

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boardjnky4

Welcome! First, check this out. It is the used boat buying guide on this site. I bought my 2000 VLX just last year. I don't know of any standard 335 engine upgrade, so I'm not sure what is going on there, but maybe someone else can chime in. I also don't know of any common issues with V-drives of that era. That Sunsetter should have the Walters vdrive and as far as I know, they are a solid unit, as are the Indmar engines. I had a compression test done on my engine before buying (it had ~860 hours on it). I just had it in the water today with over 900 hours on it now and it is still running great! FWIW, if the Sunsetter you're looking at doesn't work out, I wouldn't let a boat with a wake hull scare you away from buying. While these boats can put out awesome wakes, it isn't like the wake hull makes you afraid to be behind the boat if you're a beginner. I would crawl under the boat and make sure the tracking fins are tight and haven't worked loose from hitting something. When you go for a test drive, pull the cover off the v-drive area and check the shaft packing - it should drip once every 10 seconds or so if it is properly adjusted. It wouldn't be a deal breaker in my book if it needed some adjustment, but IMO, if it is properly adjusted it may indicate the previous owner paid close attention to maintenance. If the boat has the stock prop on it, it should spin about 5100 RPM's when you open it up on the water. Of course check all fluid levels (engine, vdrive, and transmission), belts, and hoses. Check operation of all switches, blower, bilge pump, etc. There aren't any noises I would consider odd during normal operation of these boats. You will notice more of a whine from the vdrive when in reverse, but that should be it. How many hours on the boat you're looking at? Oh, one odd thing that gets people new to vdrives - there is a vdrive light near the throttle controls. At low RPM's it will be lit, indicating there is low presure in the vdrive unit. This is normal, as oil pressure isn't needed in the vdrive until it starts spinning up. The light should go off above ~1,200 RPM's I believe, indicating you have sufficient oil pressure in the unit. Good luck and post up if you think of any specific questions!

I've checked out the buying guide, while providing good information generally, it falls flat in the technical department. Also, it's not that I'm afraid of the wake hull, I just don't want people cluttering the thread trying to talk me out of the diamond.

Thank you for the information on the tracking fins, wouldn't have thought of that. Can you offer more information on the v-drive dripping? Do you mean that there is a cover on the inside of the engine compartment or on the outside of the boat? I can probably figure out what you mean when I see it, but I'd rather have a better understanding now. What should be dripping? Oil, water? How can fluids in the v-drive and transmission be checked, is there a dip stick?

Info on the RPM range and V-drive whine in reverse is solid, thanks. And the v-drive warning light info matches what the dealer told me, so I'll be keeping an eye on that.

335 Monsoon didn't come around until 2003. There were other optional engines in 2001 - a 365hp Hammerhead or 375hp LS1

Yeah, there definitely wasn't a 335 option that year. It's definitely not an LS1...I know an LS1 engine when I see one (car guy) and it definitely was not one. So it's either a 325 Monsoon, which was standard, or a 365 Hammerhead...I'll find a way to figure out which one.

Thank you fellas, keep the information coming. It's extremely helpful!

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Nitrousbird

I just happen to have an 01 SS VLX (LS1 model though).

- Tachs are known to die on these things. Mine is no exception. :(

- 01 is the first year for the diamond hull - I love it. With a wedge and a couple ballast bags, you can get a really nice wake on the diamond hull. You can easily get good air and go W2W with this boat. I have 500lbs in each locker and 300-ish up front under the seats + wedge, and the wake is pretty decent. I can't wait to see it with 750's in the lockers and 300 in the ski locker. It also skis fairly well.

- They love (and need) weight up front. Front ballast bag should be one of your first purchases

- Steering wheels are known for being off-center. There is a how-to here on correcting that

- 01 is the updated dash switch gear - a big improvement over the older switch gear.

- Oil pressure sending units like to die. Not a big deal, but if you hear a constant beep, that's could be the culprate.

- Factory stereo sucks.

- With ANY V-drive, it will drive different (a big surprise I found out). Steering + backing is not fun, as they steer for crap in reverse. Driving slowly forward the steering response is a bit slow, but the steering and tracking is more accurate, so you have to watch out to not overcompensate. It's great once you are used to it.

I purchased mine this summer, and have been super pleased. I got a pretty good deal - original owner, dual axle trailer with all new braking system just installed, 330hrs, good condition other than a couple small vinyl tears, and pretty much every option avaialble (heater, docking lights, pop-up cleats, interior lighting, LS1, tower, wedge, etc.) for 20k.

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hethj7

Thank you for the information on the tracking fins, wouldn't have thought of that. Can you offer more information on the v-drive dripping? Do you mean that there is a cover on the inside of the engine compartment or on the outside of the boat? I can probably figure out what you mean when I see it, but I'd rather have a better understanding now. What should be dripping? Oil, water? How can fluids in the v-drive and transmission be checked, is there a dip stick?

Inf

If you remove the back seat cushions, you'll see a plastic cover under them. Remove that (no tools required) and you'll see the v-drive unit. For checking fluids, there is a dipstick on the top of the vdrive (it pulls stright out, although it may look threaded to a new owner). The transmission dipstick will be a little tougher to get to, but you should see if if you look towards the back of the boat through the vdrive compartment. I access my tranny dipstick from the vdrive compartment, but it may be just as easy from the engine compartment once you know where it is at. I'm going to be doing some end-of-year maintenance on my boat today, so if I think of it, I'll snap a couple photos for you.

The drip I was talking about should be water, and it is on the shaft, not the vdrive itself. If you follow the driveshaft out of the bottom of the vdrive, you'll see the packing nut before it goes back through the hull. The packing should drip water about once every 10 seconds or so.

Edited by hethj7

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Lakenut

Check on the passenger side of the motor...mine has engine info, sn, etc. prolly the gen 2 monsoon 325

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Lakenut

It will be low...back by the starter iirc

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boardjnky4

If you remove the back seat cushions, you'll see a plastic cover under them. Remove that (no tools required) and you'll see the v-drive unit. For checking fluids, there is a dipstick on the top of the vdrive (it pulls stright out, although it may look threaded to a new owner). The transmission dipstick will be a little tougher to get to, but you should see if if you look towards the back of the boat through the vdrive compartment. I access my tranny dipstick from the vdrive compartment, but it may be just as easy from the engine compartment once you know where it is at. I'm going to be doing some end-of-year maintenance on my boat today, so if I think of it, I'll snap a couple photos for you.

The drip I was talking about should be water, and it is on the shaft, not the vdrive itself. If you follow the driveshaft out of the bottom of the vdrive, you'll see the packing nut before it goes back through the hull. The packing should drip water about once every 10 seconds or so.

Thanks! Photo might be helpful if you have the chance, but I should be able to manage with this. I appreciate it.

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boardjnky4

I just happen to have an 01 SS VLX (LS1 model though).- Tachs are known to die on these things. Mine is no exception. :(- 01 is the first year for the diamond hull - I love it. With a wedge and a couple ballast bags, you can get a really nice wake on the diamond hull. You can easily get good air and go W2W with this boat. I have 500lbs in each locker and 300-ish up front under the seats + wedge, and the wake is pretty decent. I can't wait to see it with 750's in the lockers and 300 in the ski locker. It also skis fairly well.- They love (and need) weight up front. Front ballast bag should be one of your first purchases- Steering wheels are known for being off-center. There is a how-to here on correcting that- 01 is the updated dash switch gear - a big improvement over the older switch gear.- Oil pressure sending units like to die. Not a big deal, but if you hear a constant beep, that's could be the culprate. - Factory stereo sucks.- With ANY V-drive, it will drive different (a big surprise I found out). Steering + backing is not fun, as they steer for crap in reverse. Driving slowly forward the steering response is a bit slow, but the steering and tracking is more accurate, so you have to watch out to not overcompensate. It's great once you are used to it.I purchased mine this summer, and have been super pleased. I got a pretty good deal - original owner, dual axle trailer with all new braking system just installed, 330hrs, good condition other than a couple small vinyl tears, and pretty much every option avaialble (heater, docking lights, pop-up cleats, interior lighting, LS1, tower, wedge, etc.) for 20k.

Thanks for the info. This boat is at the same price point. I believe it has a heater, interior lights, docking lights, wedge, PP.

Check on the passenger side of the motor...mine has engine info, sn, etc. prolly the gen 2 monsoon 325

Will do this! Thanks!

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WoodyBC

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but the base model 310hp engine would have a carb, and the upgrade 325hp is fuel injected for the 01 Sunsetters.

Edited by WoodyBC

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boardjnky4

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but the base model 310hp engine would have a carb, and the upgrade 325hp is fuel injected for the 01 Sunsetters.

Brochure is telling me that the 310 carbed model was not an available option on the sunsetter vlx. Hence the MPFI Monsoon 325 would have been the standard. Maybe that is where the confusion is coming in though, since for many Malibus of that year, the 310 carb motor was standard.

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85 Barefoot

Brochure is telling me that the 310 carbed model was not an available option on the sunsetter vlx. Hence the MPFI Monsoon 325 would have been the standard. Maybe that is where the confusion is coming in though, since for many Malibus of that year, the 310 carb motor was standard.

this is correct.

Compression test most important objective measure of the life in the engine

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boardjnky4

this is correct.Compression test most important objective measure of the life in the engine

What should the compression be. Any risk with asking the dealer to do it and provide the results?

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BoilerUp

Check the condition of the trailer brakes, wiring, tires, etc. I had to redo everything on mine.

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Bozboat

Brochure is telling me that the 310 carbed model was not an available option on the sunsetter vlx. Hence the MPFI Monsoon 325 would have been the standard. Maybe that is where the confusion is coming in though, since for many Malibus of that year, the 310 carb motor was standard.

The Monsoon II fuel injected with 325 Hp, is a great engine with plenty of power for this boat.

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hethj7

Thanks! Photo might be helpful if you have the chance, but I should be able to manage with this. I appreciate it.

Well, I took photos but when I went to upload them, I realized my membership has expired here. I need to renew it and get them posted, but it may not be tonight.

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Bozboat

Well, I took photos but when I went to upload them, I realized my membership has expired here. I need to renew it and get them posted, but it may not be tonight.

Until then, load the photos into photobucket.com and put the link code in your posts here

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boardjnky4

Check the condition of the trailer brakes, wiring, tires, etc. I had to redo everything on mine.

It's on my list of things to check

The Monsoon II fuel injected with 325 Hp, is a great engine with plenty of power for this boat.

No doubt it's plenty, just want to know what I am getting/looking at

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hethj7

**Edit - It looks the photos uploaded in the opposite order I tried to do it in, so the first photo below is the tranny photo and the second is the vdrive.

Here are a couple photos, although they aren't that great. The first just shows the backseats and v-drive cover removed (I took this photo looking towards the back of the boat). So, what you are looking at is the v-drive unit with the dipstick in the "upper right" part of the vdrive. The hose connected to the left side of v-drive is the water inlet, coming directly from the bottom of the hull. Water is routed through the v-drive for cooling and exits on the right side, where the hose runs up to the water pump impeller on the "back" of the engine. The hose is actually removed in my photo as I'm replacing it this year as I noticed some cracking in it. You can ignore the pump to the right of the v-drive and the mess of wiring you see - that is the ballast pump the previous owner installed for the aftermarket sacs in each rear locker.

The second photo is the tranny, sitting behind the vdrive. The dipstick has the red handle on it.

post-13120-018604200 1321411042_thumb.jp

post-13120-069565400 1321411137_thumb.jp

Edited by hethj7

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hethj7

Here is the last photo, although it looks like I misfired with the cell phone camera a bit here. I was trying to show where the shaft exits the hull underneath the tranny/vdrive and where the shaft seal is. At that seal is where you should see water drip once every 10-15 seconds if the packing nut is properly adjusted.

post-13120-004424900 1321411825_thumb.jp

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boardjnky4

Thanks! very helpful

Spoke with the dealerhsip yesterday. Monsoon 325 is confirmed. Test Drive is Saturday.

I'm going to compile a checklist of items to look at. I'll post it back here for future information.

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Steve B.

Do everything you would if you were out with your crew on the test drive. Take hours if you have to. Shut it off a bunch of times, wait like 20 minutes after a shut-off to start it. See if you can force a vapor lock.

Watch the guages like a hawk. Try every button and knob. Make sure trailer lites work, trailer brakes, put up bimini if it has one, and ski behind her.

Have fun,

Steve B.

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Michigan boarder

**Edit - It looks the photos uploaded in the opposite order I tried to do it in, so the first photo below is the tranny photo and the second is the vdrive.

Here are a couple photos, although they aren't that great. The first just shows the backseats and v-drive cover removed (I took this photo looking towards the back of the boat). So, what you are looking at is the v-drive unit with the dipstick in the "upper right" part of the vdrive. The hose connected to the left side of v-drive is the water inlet, coming directly from the bottom of the hull. Water is routed through the v-drive for cooling and exits on the right side, where the hose runs up to the water pump impeller on the "back" of the engine. The hose is actually removed in my photo as I'm replacing it this year as I noticed some cracking in it. You can ignore the pump to the right of the v-drive and the mess of wiring you see - that is the ballast pump the previous owner installed for the aftermarket sacs in each rear locker.

The second photo is the tranny, sitting behind the vdrive. The dipstick has the red handle on it.

Hijack (sorry OP)

Just a suggestion, but looking at your first pic, you should hit everything with a mist of WD-40 (except pulleys and belt of course). It will slow that rust and make everything shine nicely, you'll be surprised. Let it soak in over the winter. My engine was pretty rough when I got the boat but keeping it dressed up annually with WD-40 made a world of difference.

Hijack off

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boardjnky4

Do everything you would if you were out with your crew on the test drive. Take hours if you have to. Shut it off a bunch of times, wait like 20 minutes after a shut-off to start it. See if you can force a vapor lock.Watch the guages like a hawk. Try every button and knob. Make sure trailer lites work, trailer brakes, put up bimini if it has one, and ski behind her.Have fun,Steve B.

Probably not getting in the water. I'll try to shut it down for an extended period of time and restart as it is cooling off. Good Idea. All other suggestions are definitely things I'll be doing.

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