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MALIBUKARMA

Hey guys.  First time posting so appreciate any advice.  I have a 2018 Malibu 20VTX that is a great boat.  My old Mastercraft I was always able to winterize and summarize (here in Wisconsin) but this Malibu sounds like it is difficult to reach one of the plugs so I have the dealer do it.  Last fall I took it in and had them do the winterization.  I store it myself in a large enclosed outbuilding garage.  Not heated but completely dry and not exposed. 2 weeks ago I took the boat in and had them get it ready for summer.  I launched the boat and as I was driving to my place about a mile away I started to get a large amount of smoke coming out the back and inner compartments.  I limped it home and a tech came out.  He said my bellows are cracked and need replacing.  My question is....is this a result of something they did wrong when they summarized it or is this just coincidence.  It just seems odd that the boat was fine last fall, and now it isn't.  Could the cold air have cracked the bellows over the winter?  My doubt comes from a similar situation I had about 6 years ago with my old Mastercraft.  I had something done on it at the dealership, and they forgot to hook up the water intake hose that they had used to run water through while on dry land.  I found those hose unattached on the engine floor and reattached the hose clamp.  But I am wondering if there is something the Malibu tech could have forgotten to do that would cause the bellows to fail.  Just the timing of the whole thing seems odd.  But I am not familiar with bellows so I do not want to imply that the tech did anything wrong if that is not the case.  Just curious if anyone has had a similar situation.  Thanks much.

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Since your boat has closed cooling... it takes the lake water through a heat exchanger, that exchanges with coolant to cool the engine. After the exchanger and transmission the water continues through the exhaust and out the boat. If the ball valve on the raw water intake was left closed, some places close them when they winterize, to keep critters out I guess... If it was left closed I could see the exhaust overheating before the engine does and melting the bellows. The bellows on my 98 are original, not sure they fail very often. That ball valve is pretty easy to see. It's on the starboard side coming through the hull kind of by the transmission. If the handle is horizonal, that's closed. Vertical is what you want to see. 

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Excuse my ignorance, buy what are you referring to as bellows?

I am familiar with bellows on I/O boats.

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Just and FYI, it is very important for all of the exhaust pipes to be properly aligned and the bellows (exhaust coupling hoses) to be positioned correctly. 

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8 hours ago, csleaver said:

Just and FYI, it is very important for all of the exhaust pipes to be properly aligned and the bellows (exhaust coupling hoses) to be positioned correctly. 

Yes understood and totally impossible to achieve on mine apparently. I have lined them up as close as possible but still have mismatch  that causes a slight flex at install. Much better than it was from factory though.

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MALIBUKARMA

Thanks everyone for the responses.  The tech is coming Monday or Tuesday to replace the bellows.  I will have a better understanding once I can talk to him, but this helps me understand what to watch for.  Thanks again.

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