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djp53

Removing Kickplate for Heater Access in 2012 Sunscape or Wakesetter

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djp53

I have a big problem to solve. Apparently, my heater didn't get properly winterized and appears to have a massive leak. When I started up the first time of the season, after about 10 minutes of operation I realized a large amount of hot water was soaking the carpet under the driver's seat. Not sure just what was going on, I shut off the boat quickly, & got it back on the lift. After inspection of the engine area appeared normal, I opened the drain plug in the ski locker, and started surfing the internet for clues. That directed me to either a heater core leak or a burst heater coolant pipe. So that brings me to my questions on access. Seems like I have to remove the drivers side kick plate to see what's going on at the heater. This is proving to be unbelievably difficult to do. There was a small trim piece on the right side floor that came out with 4 screws, but no other obvious ways to release the kick plate. My search turned up a topic on here (http://www.themalibucrew.com/forums/index.php?/topic/36381-floor-board-sub-woofer-upgrade-simple-improvement/page-2) that showed me there were screws imbedded into the carpet, making them difficult to find. Sure enough, over about an hour and a half of searching, I have found 3 screws hidden in the carpeted kickplate (two along the bottom, and 1 about 6" up from the floor on the left side). Unfortunately, I'm sure there are more, but I sure could use some assistance finding the last few . Also, I'm starting to realize that even if I find all the screws, it may also be necessary to remove the low cupholder shelf running on the starboard side at from the drivers feet aft, or possibly pull the speakers on the left side of the bow walkway. I have a couple pics, but I'll have to get them uploaded later, because they're not on this computer.

I also considered disconnecting the hoses at the engine and setting up a temporary bypass, but I've also been unable to disconnect the upper heater hose at the engine, it's just fused on and I don't have tools with me to break it free.

With all the equipment behind the kickplate, I can't imaging why it's so difficult to get the access; there's probably more tricks I need to know, but I feel like I've exhausted what's out there on the internet. The level of frustration is high! Thanks in advance for any assistance anyone might be able to offer.

Dave

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Bill_AirJunky

Use channel locks to twist the hose, then pull it off.

Usually there are screws along the floor embedded in the wall carpet. I just feel around on the lower 1/2" or so till I find them.

Look in the resource section of the site for how to make the heater easier to winterize. In short, you want to make sure your heater core is oriented with the hose inlet & outlet on the bottom so it will drain. Then install quick release fittings (like your exhaust has) in the hoses at their lowest point in the bilge. Then you just break the connections & the heater drains into the bilge. Screw the 2 engine side connectors together to bypass the core in the future , with no tools..

I've also used Prestone radiator flush Ts instead of the fittings, then you just pull the caps off & the heater drains.

Edited by Bill_AirJunky

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djp53

Success! I found 1 more screw on the left side vertical edge of the kick plate, buried in the carpet. But more importantly, I found two screws from the front cupholder assembly angled down into the kickplate, and two screws securing the aft end of the cupholder assembly - the screws insert into a plastic bracket down in the opening provided for storage. Once those 4 screws were out, the entire cupholder assembly could be twisted and extracted from between the side wall and the drivers seat. That permitted the kickplate to be finally be removed. No need to screw with the speaker or the upholstery panel on the walkway wall.

I dropped the boat into the water and started it up, and a large stream of water gushed out of the heater core. I'm going to assume for the moment that the supply/return hoses are undamaged. With the boat back on the lift, I pulled the heater/blower assembly out (4 screws), and cut the plastic ties holding the flex ducts, and unplugged the electrical cable. Now I"m off to find a suitable replacement. I will follow up with all the pictures in a day or two when I get time.

Bill, thank's for your helpful tips, I do plan on setting things up to more easily (and effectively!) winterize the heater. This project has convinced me I don't want to go through this again!

Dave

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a92harley92

I have male/female garden house couplings on my heater supply/return lines (in the engine compartment). These allow me to disconnect my heater core to blow the water out for winterizing. Also I can disconnect the heater core in case of failure and connect the two hoses at the engine back together.

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djp53

OK, here's the pictures I took that should help someone trying to remove the kick plate:

First, this shows the 3 screws I found initially. Notice that I haven't yet removed the low cupholder assembly that runs up to the kick plate - there are two additional screws in the top surface (not visible in the picture) that run down into the kick plate at roughly a 45 degree angle.

PartialScrews_zps1ccxd60i.jpg

Once I had the cupholder assembly removed, I could tell I still had a screw to find. This pic shows all 4 screws that were holding in the kick plate.

AllScrews_zpsv4xkecbe.jpg

With all the screws finally found, out came the kick plate, revealing the view behind. You can see the 4 plastic supports that the screws are driven into.

BehindPanel1_zpsbid1pgli.jpg

Here's a shot of the heater which is attached up high against the back wall with 4 screws, 2 on each end of the heater. They're not visible in the photo, but they're fairly easy to access.

InstalledHeater_zpsfgnlfq1h.jpg

Finally, here's a pic of the removed heater assembly:

RemovedHeater_zpsdjzwe3jd.jpg

I found a replacement Heater Craft 3 Vent heater core at Bakesonline for $115.00, and it's on its way. I'm hoping it all goes back together relatively easily.

Thanks for the additional tips folks, I did a temporary connection of the input and output lines, so I could run the boat last weekend. And I will be setting up some disconnect-able lines back at the engine for more effective draining and winterizing of the lines in the future!

Thanks Everyone!

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