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G-Pac

Ballast pump issues on '06 LSV

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G-Pac

We have 140 hours on our 2006 LSV and I have already had to replace 4 of the 8 ballast pumps (first to go went around 50-60 hours, the last was at 115 hours). According to the dealer tech, this particular brand/model of pumps are failing at a noticeably high rate. He noted that the pumps are "allowing" water into the housing area and this results in the material "swelling" which then results in pressure being applied to the component that actually spins (not sure what this part is called, but it is blue and resembles the drive found on a common blender base) until it can no longer spin and just freezes. The dealer tech let me look at each of the pumps they replaced and they were frozen so hard that I could not break it loose by hand.

The dealer noted that these pumps were sub-par and supported my request to ask Malibu to replace/upgrade my whole set at once. However, Malibu's formal response to the dealer request was rejected, and they will only replace pumps that break. Not a huge surprise, but I even asked if they would credit me the cost of a new pump and let me pay the difference to upgrade to a more robust pump, and they said no.

The pumps are warrantied, and I have had one replaced while at the dealer for an oil change. But for me to haul the boat 90 minutes one way to the dealer each time I need to replace a pump, I am taking it on the chin in terms of lost time and gas. I can work around the fill pumps breaking (e.g., pump water into the tank via the through-hull drain/overflow line), but having the MLS front and mid-tanks full of water (800 + lbs) that I cannot remove is a huge PITA since the boat is trailered fulltime.

Curious to know if any others are having similar experiences or can provide some suggestions on extending the life cycles of these pumps.

Thanks for letting me rant!!

G-Pac

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jphillips

Easy way around the problem. Buy one extra pump, each time you have a problem replace the pump and send it in for warranty replacement by the dealer. This will keep you running on the water and save you time and gas. This is what I do... basically treat the pumps like impellers.

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stusumm

I had the same problem with 2 pumps within the first 30 hours of use. Both of my pumps that failed where the ones that empty the tanks. The dealer told me that the pumps might be failing because of residual trash or plastic debris that was left in the tanks from the factory. Dontknow.gif

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G-Pac
Easy way around the problem. Buy one extra pump, each time you have a problem replace the pump and send it in for warranty replacement by the dealer. This will keep you running on the water and save you time and gas. This is what I do... basically treat the pumps like impellers.

We do carry a Tsunami pump onboard which has helped to load the tanks via the overflow in a pinch. Access to the stern tank pumps is the issue here, as they are very difficult (time consuming) to get to, but the others would be easier to access and your idea may be worthwhile for the front and mid MLS tanks.

Bigger picture: I am still trying to get past the fact that this $65k + boat is experiencing multiple/identical ballast pump breakdowns and I upgraded from an '05 XTi hoping that we would not be troubled by this type of problem (i.e., minor, relatively easy to fix, "nickel and dime" issues that can be resolved easily by the manufacturer), when Malibu could/should do what it takes to keep their customers/boats on the water vs. in the shop (regardless of how minor or major the problem is). I do not mind things going wrong with a boat, I have owned several boats and have been around them since I was a child (including a 1941 Chris Craft runabout), and understand that things happen. Also, we have had our fair share of issues with this boat already (FWC system required modification within 20 hours, after overheating on the water, faulty lanyard switch issue caused a break-down 4 miles from our dock, etc.). But for a relatively inexpensive component to be repeatedly failing, thus causing a relatively important system failure (i.e., MLS does not work as it should once the pumps fail, resulting in the wake on a WAKE-specific boat to be impacted), I am getting tired of having to suck it up and waste more time and money to resolve it. I feel I have paid enough of a premium that I should not have to sacrifice additional time/money on something this simple to resolve by the manufacturer. Rant off. In case I did not mention it, we ABSOLUTELY love this boat overall and have been very happy with our 2 Malibus to date, we are just frustrated at the repeated problems we are having with the ballast pumps.

G-Pac

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G-Pac
I had the same problem with 2 pumps within the first 30 hours of use. Both of my pumps that failed where the ones that empty the tanks. The dealer told me that the pumps might be failing because of residual trash or plastic debris that was left in the tanks from the factory. Dontknow.gif

Interesting- We have lost both fill and drain pumps, does not appear to be any rhyme or reason for which ones go and when. Is your dealer indicating that they have seen this problem a lot? Just curious, since ours had said as much. Good luck. At my dealer's suggesting, I am writing a letter to Malibu customer service to plead my case. I will post again to update.

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DUKENO1

I had the same problem with 2 pumps within the first 30 hours of use. Both of my pumps that failed where the ones that empty the tanks. The dealer told me that the pumps might be failing because of residual trash or plastic debris that was left in the tanks from the factory. Dontknow.gif

Interesting- We have lost both fill and drain pumps, does not appear to be any rhyme or reason for which ones go and when. Is your dealer indicating that they have seen this problem a lot? Just curious, since ours had said as much. Good luck. At my dealer's suggesting, I am writing a letter to Malibu customer service to plead my case. I will post again to update.

I lost the fill pump for the port side rear ballast tank at about 40-50 hours. Had the same problem as yours...frozen impeller that wouldn't budge. I just hope that the rest are ok or at least fail while still under warranty.

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Gordo

I just replaced my second pump-starboard fill on the MLS - with almost 200 hours on the boat. The center MLS tank fill pump failed at about 75 hours and the dealer replaced that one. I have the Shurflo Pirhana pumps. They are a cartridge design and easy to replace.

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eubanks

What kind of pumps are on the 2006 models? Our 2005 has not had any problems after 160 hours of use with the ballast system.

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stewart

I'm just wondering if the TN boats are using diferent pumps than the CA boats? We have had all CA boats and so far not one problem with a ballast pump Dontknow.gif

I feel your pain though, it can be a real hassle having to go back and forth to the dealer for minor nickle and dime things. But than a gain, these boats are much more loaded with gadgets and accessories than a runabout, so I guess that also comes with its share of problems.

BTW, MC has had huge problems with there ballast pumps from what I have heard........ mostly cuz MC advertised that you could fill on the run, which is not turning out to be the case :)

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stusumm

My dealers boats come from Merced and they have had numerous issues with frozen pumps. Dontknow.gif

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CedarLakeSkier

I don't think my pump will ever fail because I can't bring myself to use it. The center ballast loads full (500 lbs) in less than 10 minutes. It easily takes 20 minutes to 1/2 hour to empty it.

The line has been checked for kinks and the tubes/pump for debris.. no problem.

The odd thing is that the fill/empty pumps are the same pump, they are sitting right next to one another.

anyone else have an iRide/Vride? How long does it take to empty the center ballast?

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Ronnie

This was an issue on the 247 when it first came out too. The Texas Crew had a 247 to evaluate and that was one of the only problems we reported on. The fill/empty times for the center tank took to long. We suggested that those two pumps go to bigger GPH ratings so the fill/empty times would be more in line with the other tanks. I guess they didn't like our suggestion. Dontknow.gif

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srud
I don't think my pump will ever fail because I can't bring myself to use it. The center ballast loads full (500 lbs) in less than 10 minutes. It easily takes 20 minutes to 1/2 hour to empty it.

The line has been checked for kinks and the tubes/pump for debris.. no problem.

The odd thing is that the fill/empty pumps are the same pump, they are sitting right next to one another.

anyone else have an iRide/Vride? How long does it take to empty the center ballast?

I have a 2005 vRide and it takes about 5 to 7 minutes to drain the center ballast. My issue with the center ballast is that it fills by itself. I am forced to close the valve at the fill pump to stop it.

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JAGMAN

I don't think my pump will ever fail because I can't bring myself to use it. The center ballast loads full (500 lbs) in less than 10 minutes. It easily takes 20 minutes to 1/2 hour to empty it.

The line has been checked for kinks and the tubes/pump for debris.. no problem.

The odd thing is that the fill/empty pumps are the same pump, they are sitting right next to one another.

anyone else have an iRide/Vride? How long does it take to empty the center ballast?

I have a 2005 vRide and it takes about 5 to 7 minutes to drain the center ballast. My issue with the center ballast is that it fills by itself. I am forced to close the valve at the fill pump to stop it.

Same for me('05 vRide), center fills by itself when moving. If I am sitting still the pump fills it in 5-7 mins. To drain it takes about the same amount of time. On my boat the drain pump is located at the center ballast tank, accessed throught the hole in the floor left of the drivers seat, and the fill pump is located back by the transmission just aft of the engine's water intake.

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jphillips

If you pump for the center ballast is in the back.... you should be able to fix the self filling problem by extending the fill hose and making the hose so that it goes as high as possible in the enginee compartment.

IMO: What is happening is water is seeking its own level and thus the tank, hosing and pump are lower than the water level - thus tank fills by itself.

One side effect might be that the tank will fill slower than you are used to as it has to force it up hill a bit (but no worse than filling the back tanks).

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DUKENO1
I don't think my pump will ever fail because I can't bring myself to use it. The center ballast loads full (500 lbs) in less than 10 minutes. It easily takes 20 minutes to 1/2 hour to empty it.

The line has been checked for kinks and the tubes/pump for debris.. no problem.

The odd thing is that the fill/empty pumps are the same pump, they are sitting right next to one another.

anyone else have an iRide/Vride? How long does it take to empty the center ballast?

Wow, I have never timed it but I would guess that my center tank fills or empties in 5 minutes tops.

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CedarLakeSkier

On the iRide the fill and empty pumps are both in the center compartment where the bag is.

I don't have a problem with it filling on its own, but the amount of time it takes to empty really bugs me. I can't believe you guys empty in 5 minutes.

I've take the pump off and blown through the outlet tube, it doesn't seem clogged. The inlet doesnt' seem to be a problem either, the pump is connected directly to the outlet from the bag. I'm guessing that there must be something going on with the pump, but it actually pumps water, just very slowly.

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wakeup

I have an 06 Vride with only 25 hours, but so far no problems and the center tank remains dry on mine except when I fill it. I've never timed it, but it only took a few minutes to fill mine and probably the same to empty. Pretty quick to me. Water comes out at pretty high pressure.

After I put mine on a permanent boat lift, I'll hit the drain buttons from time to time to make sure tanks are emtpy and nothing ever comes out after I've emptied out in the lake. I have the center tank and two rear tanks.

My neighbor has the '06 23 LSV and he said his has worked perfect without any problems and his boat is probably 6 months old.

Sorry you are having problems and wish I could help.

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mrothwell
On the iRide the fill and empty pumps are both in the center compartment where the bag is.

I don't have a problem with it filling on its own, but the amount of time it takes to empty really bugs me. I can't believe you guys empty in 5 minutes.

I've take the pump off and blown through the outlet tube, it doesn't seem clogged. The inlet doesnt' seem to be a problem either, the pump is connected directly to the outlet from the bag. I'm guessing that there must be something going on with the pump, but it actually pumps water, just very slowly.

My buddies Vride will fill or empty in about 5 minutes (never timed it, but it was quick).

Maybe your empty pump is not priming correctly, or there is an air leak not allowing it to get a full prime, and sucking a lot of air and a little water.

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NvBoarder

I have burned up two of my ballast pumps in my 06 VLX both where drain pumps. The right rear which was replaced under warranty and the center which I just replaced myself at the lake. I know for a fact that I left the pump on for about an hour or so with the center pump and I think I might of left the other one on accident also. I swear I turned it off but accidents do happen, maybe I bumped it. Is there anyway to tie the ballast swithes into the ignition so when you turn the key off there is no power like the radio? Not saying that anyone else has done this with there balllast pumps just giving you another theory. It's very cool that Malibu replaces them under warranty considering that 9 times out of 10 its probably human error. Just my 2 cents

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Guest M@LIBU

I had the front MLS pump replaced at 40 hours from the dealer. The bilge pump has been the latest of my problems and will not work. I have had it looked at threee times by the dealer and they cannot seem to fix it. Im taking it in next week and asking for a replacement pump to be installed.

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BuggsIsland06vride

06' V-ride and I have already replaced one pump under warranty on the drivers side rear tank (empty) and just took the boat out yesterday and filled the passenger side rear to surf and when we went to empty, it was also stuck. My dealer is 3 hours away from me so I will have to spend another hour or two to remove the tank myself, after I have gotten the water out and replace the pump and have my dealer send me a new one from the factory. My first one was barely stuck and started working by just taking off the top cap (2 screws) and turning it by hand. It is a pain in the *** to do the empty pump on the tanks, so I think I am going to take the cap off of the pump while it is still attched to the tank in place and try that first! My boat has 31 hours on it. Love the boat otherwise.

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wakeup
06' V-ride and I have already replaced one pump under warranty on the drivers side rear tank (empty) and just took the boat out yesterday and filled the passenger side rear to surf and when we went to empty, it was also stuck. My dealer is 3 hours away from me so I will have to spend another hour or two to remove the tank myself, after I have gotten the water out and replace the pump and have my dealer send me a new one from the factory. My first one was barely stuck and started working by just taking off the top cap (2 screws) and turning it by hand. It is a pain in the *** to do the empty pump on the tanks, so I think I am going to take the cap off of the pump while it is still attched to the tank in place and try that first! My boat has 31 hours on it. Love the boat otherwise.

Sorry to hear that! Mine just reached 29 hours this weekend so I guess I'll be on the lookout for bad pumps. What do you do if the empty doesn't work? Is there some way to get the water out?

Are the new pumps a different model/better design? From which dealer did you get your boat? Mine came from ProMarine since I'm in NC.

Edited by wakeup

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BuggsIsland06vride

06' V-ride and I have already replaced one pump under warranty on the drivers side rear tank (empty) and just took the boat out yesterday and filled the passenger side rear to surf and when we went to empty, it was also stuck. My dealer is 3 hours away from me so I will have to spend another hour or two to remove the tank myself, after I have gotten the water out and replace the pump and have my dealer send me a new one from the factory. My first one was barely stuck and started working by just taking off the top cap (2 screws) and turning it by hand. It is a pain in the *** to do the empty pump on the tanks, so I think I am going to take the cap off of the pump while it is still attched to the tank in place and try that first! My boat has 31 hours on it. Love the boat otherwise.

Sorry to hear that! Mine just reached 29 hours this weekend so I guess I'll be on the lookout for bad pumps. What do you do if the empty doesn't work? Is there some way to get the water out?

Are the new pumps a different model/better design? From which dealer did you get your boat? Mine came from ProMarine since I'm in NC.

If the empty pump is not working I disconnect the hose that attaches that pump to the side of the boat and scifin the water out, or at least that's what I did with the first one. Then take the pump off the tank and take the cap off the pump and spin it with my hands until it's free. Put the cap back on and reinstall it. This time I think I can take the cap off and spin it with out even taking the pump out of the boat. I will try and let you know how it goes. I need to get it done this week because the hydroplane boat races are coming up in a couple of weeks and we use our boat as a tow boat for the race boats. I think that your pumps and mine are the same (Piranna). I hope they change the design. When the first one went and my dealer sent me the new one it was the same exact kind. My dealer is Cutting Edge watersports in VA beach. I know those guys at Pro Marine at they are a great bunch of guys. I have a friend that rides for them. I think that I saw your boat at thier place before.

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BuggsIsland06vride

Just finished fixing the second pump to stop working on my 06' V-ride. Since the first was just stuck and really took nothing to unstick it, I decided not to take the boat apart again and fix it while in place. Glad I decided to do it because it took all of 5 minutes. I took the screw off that holds the cap on, twisted the cap off, and turned the impeller by hand and put it back together. Less than 1 gallon of water drained out before I could get the cap back on and I used the wet vack to get up what did not drain out the back of the boat, and I am fixed. The first time I took the tank and hoses off and out of the boat, only wish I knew then what I know now. Most of the time these pumps are not bad but just frozen up. Hope this helps others and if you have any questions give me a shout.

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