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Ski it if you can

How do you replace the factory depth finder transducer? 2001 VLX

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Ski it if you can

I've got a 2001 Sunsetter VLX with the factory depth finder and the Malibu MMDC gauge. It has a thru hull transducer (black 1 1/2" in diameter) with the markings LTH-FWT wide angle on it. I discovered the transducer has long since been retired and both Malibu and Lowrance suggested I purchase a new transducer, sending unit and display and abort the original. I wasn't ready to give up on the MMDC gauge and I wasn't fond of the idea of adding a separate gauge for the depth. I preferred to try and find the transducer and replace it. Well after 7 months of waiting my ebay search pinged me with a hit. Someone listed the original transducer and I immediately picked it up. So has anyone ever replaced the thru hull transducer on their BU? Do I just drill it out? Or do I drill beside it and leave the old dead transducer in place? I'm not sure if the original is threaded through the hull or just epoxied in place. Does anyone have any experience they can share before I start making a 1 1/2" hole in my hull?

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Ski it if you can

I spoke with Lowrance for a long time. Not only did they no longer make the replacement transducer, they had no substitutes either. They didn't have anything that would work with the sending unit. I believe they told me it was 192KHz. The solution Malibu and Lowrance suggested was purchase a completely new system.

I am wondering if anyone has drilled the thru-hull transducer out of their BU and replaced it? That's the direction I'm headed.

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Ski it if you can

Well it turns out the thru-hull transducer was just held in place with adhesive so I was able to just push it back out through the bottom of the hull without drilling any holes. I cleaned up the cut out and I was in business. I purchased some 3M 5200 adhesive with a 24hr set up and glued the new transducer back in place. It turned out to be way less painful than I expected.

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Ski Squirrel

Where did you order your replacement transducer? Can you please provide some more specifics? I have a 2001 Response with the same MMDC system. My depth indication is suspect...likley the transducer.

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Ski it if you can

I was only able to find the transducer on Ebay. It took a while but someone eventually put up the item I needed.

LOWRANCE LTH-FLWT THRU-HULL TRANSDUCER. There is one posted at the moment for $49.95

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Woodman

For those of you that need to replace your entire system, today I replaced the factory depth finder in my 2000 Sunsetter LXI with the HawkEye D10DX, which does depth, water temp and air temp. I needed to do this because my displays on the Lowrance were becoming unreadable. I picked up the HawkEye because Lowrance has nothing similar offered anymore. The HawkEye transducer required a 2" hole rather than the 1.5" hole that was in the boat. I had to use a hole cutter without a pilot. It was tricky but I pulled it off. Given that the new transducer did both depth and temp, I removed the water temp sensor from the bottom of the hull as well, which left a 1" x .5" hole that I have to patch with some Marine Tex. The new transducer went in just fine. I then pulled all of the old wires (3 of them) and replaced them with the single wire for the new system. All in all it went in just fine and seems to be working correctly. The only downside I see to the HawkEye system is that it doesn't read any deeper than 200 feet, but I can live with that. I would recommend the HawkEye as a good replacement for the factory installed Lowrance system.

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Bradley Thornton

For those of you that need to replace your entire system, today I replaced the factory depth finder in my 2000 Sunsetter LXI with the HawkEye D10DX, which does depth, water temp and air temp. I needed to do this because my displays on the Lowrance were becoming unreadable. I picked up the HawkEye because Lowrance has nothing similar offered anymore. The HawkEye transducer required a 2" hole rather than the 1.5" hole that was in the boat. I had to use a hole cutter without a pilot. It was tricky but I pulled it off. Given that the new transducer did both depth and temp, I removed the water temp sensor from the bottom of the hull as well, which left a 1" x .5" hole that I have to patch with some Marine Tex. The new transducer went in just fine. I then pulled all of the old wires (3 of them) and replaced them with the single wire for the new system. All in all it went in just fine and seems to be working correctly. The only downside I see to the HawkEye system is that it doesn't read any deeper than 200 feet, but I can live with that. I would recommend the HawkEye as a good replacement for the factory installed Lowrance system.

Link, maybe a pic of instrument panel. Looks like the cost is about $250 for everything. Is that about right.

Edited by Bradley Thornton

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MalibuTime

.... I had to use a hole cutter without a pilot. It was tricky but I pulled it off. ....

For future referenceor someone else doing this cut a 1-1/2" plug with another hole saw or cut a 1-1/2" dowl to stuff in the old hole so the 2" hole saw pilot has something to drill into. You could also try drilling into the old sending unit, not sure where that would get you though.

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Bartdude

If I remember right when I upsized the hole from 1.5 to 2", I used a board, cut a 2" hole in it, positioned over the hole in the boat and used good duct tape to temp. secure it...then used that as a guide for the 2" hole saw. Was quick drilling in reverse.

I also used panduits to attach the temp sensor to the incoming water line near the hull, then insulated around it. Gets the temperatures pretty close.

Edited by Bartdude

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