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New To Malibu World- 99 Malibu Sunsetter Questions


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Hey everyone, I am new to the Malibu world. I just purchased a 99 Malibu Sunsetter VLX yesterday!! It has 772 boat hours and 150 hours on rebuilt indmar 350 motor . Has two 750 sumo ballast in rear and a 500 in middle. Have been plumbed for auto fill/drain. Has Titan tower with newer speakers Bluetooth radio etc. Interior is a 8/10 and outside is a 9/10 including a new vinyl wrap on the outside. Most everything works like it should.  Boat is in great condition for a 99 just needs a few things here and there to make it perfect.

so I’m looking for advice on a few things -

1) I want to relocate the battery from the back and add another so I can have two in parallel. What’s the best article explaining how to do that? 

2) The steering is pretty tight, the guy said he’s never had problems but it was very stiff yesterday on the test drive but it was also around 40 degrees air temp. What should I start on first to diagnose this? 
 

3) Throttle cables don’t look the best on connecting to the throttle on the motor and seem to have some play as the throttle doesn’t want to stay in place when cruising down the lake....not sure what or how to really explain this one.

any tips or info on this stuff or any recommendations for this boat would be great! 

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7 minutes ago, tmo166 said:

Hey everyone, I am new to the Malibu world. I just purchased a 99 Malibu Sunsetter VLX yesterday!! It has 772 boat hours and 150 hours on rebuilt indmar 350 motor . Has two 750 sumo ballast in rear and a 500 in middle. Have been plumbed for auto fill/drain. Has Titan tower with newer speakers Bluetooth radio etc. Interior is a 8/10 and outside is a 9/10 including a new vinyl wrap on the outside. Most everything works like it should.  Boat is in great condition for a 99 just needs a few things here and there to make it perfect.

so I’m looking for advice on a few things -

1) I want to relocate the battery from the back and add another so I can have two in parallel. What’s the best article explaining how to do that? 

2) The steering is pretty tight, the guy said he’s never had problems but it was very stiff yesterday on the test drive but it was also around 40 degrees air temp. What should I start on first to diagnose this? 
 

3) Throttle cables don’t look the best on connecting to the throttle on the motor and seem to have some play as the throttle doesn’t want to stay in place when cruising down the lake....not sure what or how to really explain this one.

any tips or info on this stuff or any recommendations for this boat would be great! 

Congrats on the new boat.  

ANSWERS

1) Example: https://www.wakegarage.com/projects-archive/miscellaneous-projects/dual-alternator-and-battery-relocation-r151/  many, many more if you search.

2) Probably needs some lubrication at the zerc fitting.  It might need a new steering cable, but start with a LITTLE bit of grease.  

3) Could be lots of things, but your Morse MV3 is pretty solid unit and https://skidim.com/cable-brake-throttle.html allows you to set tension. Or read this for adjustments.  http://www.seastarsolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/mv3-instruction_manual.pdf

Edited by Eagleboy99
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The MV2 throttle will return to idle if you release it below a certain point. After that point, which should be about 2500 RPM unloaded, it should stay put. 

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Welcome!! I am right there with you. Just bought my first Malibu, a 2001 Wakesetter last week and am new to the forums as well. 

Thinking of doing the same battery relo, adding an additional battery to power a sound system upgrade (mine has stock speakers that sound like trash) and adding a battery cut off switch so it doesn't have any parasitic draw in storage. 

 

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I relocated the battery on my   old 99VLX to the observers compartment.   Although not really needed any more, I left the 12V positive jump terminal next to the v-drive and added a negative terminal next to it.   I found these useful whether it be connecting a 12V air pump or an occasional jumper cable without having to open the battery box.   
 

I didn’t add a battery disconnect so I also reconnected the bilge pump  and powered reversible ballast pumps here.   
 

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9 hours ago, jtrezon said:

I relocated the battery on my   old 99VLX to the observers compartment.   Although not really needed any more, I left the 12V positive jump terminal next to the v-drive and added a negative terminal next to it.   I found these useful whether it be connecting a 12V air pump or an occasional jumper cable without having to open the battery box.   
 

I didn’t add a battery disconnect so I also reconnected the bilge pump  and powered reversible ballast pumps here.   
 

So is the bilge pump wired to automatically pump even when the key is off? I thought I read that somewhere on here but may be wrong

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Depends on the MY. I have heard and read that on some MY boats and for certain manufacturers that they were only wired to a dedicated switch. If yours only has a manual switch and not the auto feature IIWM, I would wire it directly to the battery with an inline fuse near the dedicated battery. It’s an easy modification that will give you piece of mind especially on a moored boat. 

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4 hours ago, tmo166 said:

So is the bilge pump wired to automatically pump even when the key is off? I thought I read that somewhere on here but may be wrong

My 99 sure is!  I cannot imagine leaving it on the water without a function bilge pump.

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On the 99SS VLX there are two wires in the harness for the bilge pump.  One (Brown I believe) is direct to the battery wired through the float switch.   The 2nd wire (black I believe) is the from the switch on the dash. 

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The throttle may be funky because of worn out nuts.  Check both ends to see if they are worn through.  They are cheap.  For example, 

Https://www.mniboats.com/cable-connector-for-throttle-or-shift-cable-r02402-p/R024024.htm?gclid=CjwKCAiA6aSABhApEiwA6Cbm_2LP889anqCjG4skWi7HtcYz51HaaWqTe2P--Fau5EG_BiMbjE0WQRoCDccQAvD_BwE

 

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On 1/19/2021 at 6:07 PM, jtrezon said:

On the 99SS VLX there are two wires in the harness for the bilge pump.  One (Brown I believe) is direct to the battery wired through the float switch.   The 2nd wire (black I believe) is the from the switch on the dash. 

There should be four wires IF the OP has a blige pump switch on the dash.  That allows always-on or user select to run the bilge.

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So I’ve pulled my steering cable out and I feel that’s my stiff steering problem. The rudder is fairly easy to turn by hand, I think it will need a shot of grease but my question is what is the part that the steering cable slides in that the nut threads on? And does this need to be replaced often?

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On 1/21/2021 at 2:32 PM, justgary said:

The throttle may be funky because of worn out nuts.  Check both ends to see if they are worn through.  They are cheap.  For example, 

Https://www.mniboats.com/cable-connector-for-throttle-or-shift-cable-r02402-p/R024024.htm?gclid=CjwKCAiA6aSABhApEiwA6Cbm_2LP889anqCjG4skWi7HtcYz51HaaWqTe2P--Fau5EG_BiMbjE0WQRoCDccQAvD_BwE

 

Worn nuts could ruin your weekend 

D18B2093-35EA-49F8-9FE6-6A6074DFEB35.jpeg

Edited by Bozboat
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14 hours ago, tmo166 said:

So I’ve pulled my steering cable out and I feel that’s my stiff steering problem. The rudder is fairly easy to turn by hand, I think it will need a shot of grease but my question is what is the part that the steering cable slides in that the nut threads on? And does this need to be replaced often?

I believe that's called the steering block and I highly doubt you need to replace it (if we're talking about the same thing.)  The steering cable is a "complete" unit so you shouldn't need any extra hardware or parts unless you feel the need to replace the hardware that attaches the cable shaft to the tiller.  Here is a quick guide for replacing it if you need:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/i2nbvy55spvz1wo/Rudder Cable Replacement.docx?dl=0

Also, as noted above replacing the brass cable connectors for both your throttle and shifting cable inside the unit is highly advisable.  It's not difficult at all and could alleviate you being stranded on the water, as these are made of soft brass and absolutely wear out and fail with use.

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6 minutes ago, formulaben said:

I believe that's called the steering block and I highly doubt you need to replace it (if we're talking about the same thing.)  The steering cable is a "complete" unit so you shouldn't need any extra hardware or parts unless you feel the need to replace the hardware that attaches the cable shaft to the tiller.  Here is a quick guide for replacing it if you need:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/i2nbvy55spvz1wo/Rudder Cable Replacement.docx?dl=0

Also, as noted above replacing the brass cable connectors for both your throttle and shifting cable inside the unit is highly advisable.  It's not difficult at all and could alleviate you being stranded on the water, as these are made of soft brass and absolutely wear out and fail with use.

I did some research and you are right that piece is called the steering block. It just has a lot of play when I move it. Seems like the ball/knuckle joint is loose. Didn't know if this was normal or not

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20 minutes ago, tmo166 said:

I did some research and you are right that piece is called the steering block. It just has a lot of play when I move it. Seems like the ball/knuckle joint is loose. Didn't know if this was normal or not

It should be tight as far as holding the steering sleeve from moving fore/aft, but it must allow the shaft to pivot as the tiller rotates.

Here is an example from a different boat, but you can see that the cable is restricted fore/aft but is free to rotate clockwise/counterclockwise so as to follow the tiller arc that's just hidden from view at the top of the picture.

steering_adjustment.jpg

Edited by formulaben
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  • 2 weeks later...

New steering cable from Bakes should be here today. How much grease needs to go on the gears on the steering box below the rack? Also will white lithium grease be a good choice or should I do marine grease?

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"Horses for courses" like dad used to say.  Use marine grease.  Lithium based greases are not that water-resitant.  BTW, there are new polyurethane greases that are starting to be used but I have no idea how they work in a marine setting.  But they are great for mountain bikes.

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