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2001 VLX helm floor footrest removal - to replace heater core


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I have a 2001 VLX, and the heater core (inside the drivers helm) is junk & leaking. the easy part was disconnected the heater core (at the motor) and installed a short cut-over hose to finish off the N.E. boating season.    In order to access and replace the heater core, I need to remove the drivers footrest under the helm.  Its not obvious how this comes out.   I've found a few lower screws, but it also appears to be attached at both the sides (from behind).  If anyone has the  key to unlock this secret, I would appreciate any/all input...   

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I remember the first time I took off my kickboard in my 2001 VLX.  What a pain.  I never put it back.  I just built a sub box that sort of served the same function and left it. 

But, as I recall, in the footrest/cup-holder/trim thing at your right foot there was a screw or three going into the kick board from there. I remember it being awkward to get them. There was also a lot more screws than I expected hiding under the matted carpet screwing into things to brace that board.  It's been a long time and I can't remember where now.  But it's just HDPE so when you are feeling around for the screws poke deeply into the carpet. They may be counter-sunk way down in there and very hard to find.  Mine was installed by a monkey with the ratchet set way too high.

 

P1100569

 

  • Like 2
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Just keep looking, there are more screws.  Feel around, you will eventually find them all.

Then throw the stupid thing away.  That's where the subwoofer goes and doesn't really serve a purpose other than being in the way.

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thanks for the tips @Slurpee, @Nitrousbird, @06malibu.     @Slurpee thanks for the pic, I may do the same if I end upmangling the existing footrest out.  I dont have a subwolfer, but Im sure my sons will purchase one if I make a place for it. :whistle:  weather-permitting, I will be back under the helm tomorrow with icepic, magnet,  looking for the remaining screws....

 

FYI - On a completely different topic, I gave up trying to find a compatible depth guage to go with the 192kzh factory Lowrance thru-hull transducer.  I purchased a Nighhawk 2B depth gauge with in-hull traducer, and cemented the traducer directly to the rear of the factory thru-hull, and disconnected the existing cable (under help) to ensure the  existing transducer would not generate interference).  The gauge fit nicely where the carborn-fiber knockout panels are (I chose the right side) of the gauge cluster, just unscrewed the knockout and drilled a larger 2" hole.    Ive had the boat out twice since the  nighthawkinstallation, and the depth finder works flawlessly! (unlike the factory setup that always blanked out once you were underway)...

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7 hours ago, Garry said:

FYI - On a completely different topic, I gave up trying to find a compatible depth guage to go with the 192kzh factory Lowrance thru-hull transducer.  I purchased a Nighhawk 2B depth gauge with in-hull traducer, and cemented the traducer directly to the rear of the factory thru-hull, and disconnected the existing cable (under help) to ensure the  existing transducer would not generate interference).  The gauge fit nicely where the carborn-fiber knockout panels are (I chose the right side) of the gauge cluster, just unscrewed the knockout and drilled a larger 2" hole.    Ive had the boat out twice since the  nighthawkinstallation, and the depth finder works flawlessly! (unlike the factory setup that always blanked out once you were underway)...

I appreciate this info!  While my depth finder does a decent job, the blanking while underway is quite frustrating at times.

What did you use to cement the transducer to the hull?

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13 hours ago, Garry said:

FYI - On a completely different topic, I gave up trying to find a compatible depth guage to go with the 192kzh factory Lowrance thru-hull transducer.  I purchased a Nighhawk 2B depth gauge with in-hull traducer, and cemented the traducer directly to the rear of the factory thru-hull, and disconnected the existing cable (under help) to ensure the  existing transducer would not generate interference).  The gauge fit nicely where the carborn-fiber knockout panels are (I chose the right side) of the gauge cluster, just unscrewed the knockout and drilled a larger 2" hole.    Ive had the boat out twice since the  nighthawkinstallation, and the depth finder works flawlessly! (unlike the factory setup that always blanked out once you were underway)...

Why wouldn't you just remove the old transducer and install a new one in the same hole?  I just did this with mine this year - the display died and you can't buy a new one from Lowrance.  I went with the Hawkeye unit; I simply drilled out the existing hole a bit bigger, put in the new transducer, ran the wire, and swapped out of the old display for the new one.  

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@formulaben I used a CLEAR 2-part, slow-cure epoxy I picked up at Lowes.   I used 1 strip of ductape to hold the transducer in place (approx 3" to the rear of the existing transducer) then placed a 1gallon freezer bag (filled with sand) over it to cure.

@Nitrousbird I have a physiological issue with playing around with "holes in the bottom of boats"  :-)   The existing transducer also has a water temp sensor to the side, and trying to retrofit didnt look easy.  Im sure a seasoned professional (E.G. someone with allot more epoxy, fiberglass experience than me) could have done it.   I'm good with mechanical, wiring, etc.. above-water-line fixin' stuff, but with my luck I would end up with a big ole leak.  (the dealership quoted me crazy money to do it, so that wasn't happening).

Anyway, the rain rolled in today before I could get to the foot kick-board, so will take a run at it over the weekend...

Edited by Garry
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2 minutes ago, Garry said:

@Nitrousbird I have a physiological issue with playing around with "holes in the bottom of boats"  :-)   The existing transducer also has a water temp sensor to the side, and trying to retrofit didnt look easy.  Im sure a trailed professions (someone with allot more epoxy, fiberglass experience than me) could have done it.   Im good with mechanical, wiring, above-water-line fixin', stuff but with my luck I would end up with a big ole leak.  (the dealership quoted me crazy money to do it, so that wasn't happening)

You should have just replaced the transducer.  My new one does temp as well.  Literally pulled the old one out and cleaned off the minimal sealant (which was easier than I anticipated).  Grabbed a hole saw and opened up the hole to the diameter I needed.  Push transducer through, then put a coating of 3M sealant.  Hand tighten, wipe off the squirted out excess, done.  Very easy and straight forward.

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Success!   The foot pedestal IS attached to the drink holder trim-rail and needs to come out as ONE unit.   (Pictures attached) 

foot Pedestal: Found 1 screw, upper left, 3 screws along the bottom (vertically set);      side drink holder trim rail: screws along the floor, and 2 screw (inside) connecting the next trim panel.  Now I have full access to replace the heater, just need to jump online and pick a replacement.  Its a 3 hose setup, im sure that unit will be pricey, any suggestions on good heater replacements? (will start with Bakes & marineengines.com) 

  Thanks again to all for your help!

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That way works too. I think there are some screws angled from the side assembly into the footrest. Didn't have to remove that part when I did my dad's. Was a good 14 years ago. Can't remember where all the screws live. 

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ive found 2 replacements options for the heater assembly (3 outlets, 2 speeds):

https://heatercraft.com/collections/heaters-1/products/300-series?variant=53561760907 (230-266cfm model coming in at $804.99,) other posts on the forum have called this option out.

https://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS/555/70602/10002/-1 (300cfm model coming in at $193.79 + another $100 for hoses) recommended by my hot rod friends.

My hotrod friends say the Jegs heater will work "just fine" in a boat, and the (almost $500) price difference looks attractive  PLUS the measurements on the Jegs unit fit.   Jegs has another option for a few bucks less, but given the low-water-flow-at-idle issue, staying with the larger core will generate the most heat at idle IMHO

https://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS/555/70610/10002/-1 (177cfm model only 20,000 btu).

   Any thoughts?

 

 

Edited by Garry
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  • 2 weeks later...

Now that I've had a chance to review the replacements heater options pics, I'm convinced my existing unit (Malibu factory) is a JEGS 300cfm and not a Heater Craft!  Thats great news for the wallet.

https://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS+Performance+Products/555/70602/10002/-1

The picture comparisons are almost identical, right down to the 3wire color-coded connector with external black ground wire, and blower motors squirrel cage setup.  The newer units are 8.6" deep, and the existing unit is 6.75", so that's the only issue I can foresee.  I should be able to scrounge out the difference.    Im pulling the trigger on the JEGS unit. 

not sure the New England weather will hold out long enough for me to install it this fall, when I do I will post details & pictures...  

Edited by Garry
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Summit sells the exact same one for a couple bucks more.  Interestingly, some outfit called Mill Supply seems to have parts for every aux heater known to peoplekind.  I wonder if they have a core for Heatercraft heaters?

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