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View Full Version : Gravity III ballast in 2006 XLV not working!



ToddXLV
05-31-2009, 02:36 AM
Right when I just start to get ok at wakeboarding my ballast system doesn't work. Actually it hasn't worked this year yet. Our boating season just started a few weeks ago up here in Seattle and the weather is great.

So I de-winterize the boat and the ballast pumps do not pull water in or out. The lights come on at the switches but I do not hear the pumps working. I took off the rear cover by the tranny where the pump(s) are? Is it one pump but 3 different valves that open and close between the two rear bags and the front bag? Or is there 3 different pumps at each bag? I am trying to figure this out so I can get my ballast working tomorrow. Yes, I hit the breaker/reset switch to the right of the 3 ballast switches with no effect.

Why do the lights on the switches come on but the pumps don't power up?

cab13367
05-31-2009, 10:31 PM
Todd,

I have a 2006 LSV so our ballast systems should be the same. There is one fill pump that feeds a manifold with three sprinkler system type solenoid valves. Hitting the fill switch turns on the pump and opens the solenoid, directing the water to the appropriate bag.

When putting the boat in the water the first time each outing, it is necessary to prime the pump first. To do this, all you have to do is get the boat up on plane then hit the fill switch and confirm that the bag is filling. After that, you can fill while adrift until the next time you pull the boat out of the water.

Give that a try then let us know if it's still not filling. And don't forget to open the manual valve on the intake hose near the pump. You probably closed it during winterization.

One more thing is that there is a little black lever on each solenoid that opens the valve, by passing the electronic switch. So if your bags appear to fill by themselves, or a bag is filling up that you didn't intend to, check the little black levers. If they are horizontal, they are in the open position. Turn them so they either point up or down, depending on the orientation of the solenoid.

Al

ToddXLV
06-01-2009, 01:29 AM
Wow, that's great info. I will try that on Tuesday when I take the boat out again. Isn't there a audible noise by each ballast bag when you are either filling or emptying that bag? I thought I remember hearing something last year? Thanks cab.

jasonwm
06-01-2009, 02:46 AM
Prior to 2009 the Moomba system used one fill pump with a valve network (as described by Al above) to fill, and an individual pump near each bag to drain. That drain pump is probably the noise you heard last year.

Confirm that the fill pump is on when you flip the on switch, and that the solenoid for the appropriate switch is in fact clicking open.

ToddXLV
06-01-2009, 01:07 PM
Jason, Is there a bolt on after market system that will allow the ballast to fill and dump water faster?

I need to get this system working as-is though. Is there a noise at the pump when it's filling? I will take off that cover under the rear seat next time when I try to fill. But I will try filling the ballast as I get up on plane as Al told me first.

jasonwm
06-02-2009, 03:17 AM
You can replace the sprinkler valve intake manifold with an individual fill pump for each bag fairly easily. That will require you to do some basic wiring, but all told it wouldn't take more than an afternoon to change things over. The end result is around 5 minute fill times for the whole system, so it's a big time improvement.

The fill pump will make noise and vibrate when it's on, and you can hear the solenoid in the sprinkler valves clicking also. Additionally, you can always pull the Flow-Rite Quick Connector off the solenoid in question to confirm if water is coming out, be warned though, it will put out a reasonable amount of water.

cab13367
06-02-2009, 03:22 AM
Jason,

Do you sell a conversion kit and if so, how much would it be?

jasonwm
06-02-2009, 03:28 AM
We don't have a kit assembled on our site (although maybe we should add that), but you're looking at less than $60/bag for the pump and vented loop along with two more hose clamps.

ToddXLV
06-02-2009, 05:08 AM
We don't have a kit assembled on our site (although maybe we should add that), but you're looking at less than $60/bag for the pump and vented loop along with two more hose clamps.


Yeah Jason, I would be interested in buying a kit from you. I think you would get a lot of business just off this board? These systems are slow compared to my buddies Mastercraft ballast. I also have a problem with the rear starbird (driver) side not emptying all of the time. I brought it into the dealership twice and they said it's a manufacturer problem and they can't fix it. I thought that was lame.

Kelsey
06-02-2009, 08:40 AM
Jason,

I would buy one of those "pre-assembled" kits. The plumbing on these things sucks. I'm tired of lifting my bags to get them to drain.....flipping pumps on and off as they cavitate, getting up on plane to fill...yada yada yada

jasonwm
06-02-2009, 12:30 PM
Ok, I'll work putting something together for the fill pumps. I'm heading out in an LSV this weekend, so I'll play around with the drain pumps to see what can be accomplished there.

tazz3069
06-02-2009, 11:38 PM
Kelsey--
I agree with the bag thing. At the end of the day of hard skiing and wakeboarding, the last thing that I want to do is lift the bags to empty the remaining water. I am too tired at that point. I had talked to a Moomba dealer and asked about the tanks. My question is "Is SC ever going to change to hard tanks?" The answer I got was "NO". Reports from SC was that everyone loves the sacs. That means that no hard tanks in the future. Actually the sacs do not really bother me that much. I just do not like when they are filled and all that room in the sides are gone. Sorry to carry on like that but i just needed to get that off my chest.

ToddXLV
06-03-2009, 12:57 AM
Todd,

I have a 2006 LSV so our ballast systems should be the same. There is one fill pump that feeds a manifold with three sprinkler system type solenoid valves. Hitting the fill switch turns on the pump and opens the solenoid, directing the water to the appropriate bag.

When putting the boat in the water the first time each outing, it is necessary to prime the pump first. To do this, all you have to do is get the boat up on plane then hit the fill switch and confirm that the bag is filling. After that, you can fill while adrift until the next time you pull the boat out of the water.

Give that a try then let us know if it's still not filling. And don't forget to open the manual valve on the intake hose near the pump. You probably closed it during winterization.

One more thing is that there is a little black lever on each solenoid that opens the valve, by passing the electronic switch. So if your bags appear to fill by themselves, or a bag is filling up that you didn't intend to, check the little black levers. If they are horizontal, they are in the open position. Turn them so they either point up or down, depending on the orientation of the solenoid.

Al

Al,

Ok, I brought the boat up on plane and hit the fill on all 3 sacks. Sacks didn't fill so it sounds like the pump is not working. I still had a great wakeboarding set without ballast but it would be nice to have a steeper wake. What is the best way to trouble shoot the main pump or make sure all connections are good? Thanks.

cab13367
06-03-2009, 01:10 AM
Al,

Ok, I brought the boat up on plane and hit the fill on all 3 sacks. Sacks didn't fill so it sounds like the pump is not working. I still had a great wakeboarding set without ballast but it would be nice to have a steeper wake. What is the best way to trouble shoot the main pump or make sure all connections are good? Thanks.

Sorry to hear it Todd. Did you check to make sure you have the main valve open? Did you put your hand on the fill pump to feel if it was working when you hit the switch? You should be able to feel it vibrating. Did you check the electrical connections at the pump?

ToddXLV
06-03-2009, 01:35 AM
Sorry to hear it Todd. Did you check to make sure you have the main valve open? Did you put your hand on the fill pump to feel if it was working when you hit the switch? You should be able to feel it vibrating. Did you check the electrical connections at the pump?

Ok, I will do that tomorrow. I have a really good wakesurfer that's going out with me tomorrow and I want her to ride so I hope I can sort this out. Jeez, she rode behind my buddies Mastercraft last Sunday for almost 15 minutes with no rope. We actually had a helicopter come by and circle us and take pictures. It was great, she was tearing it up.

mmandley
06-03-2009, 04:03 AM
SO reading all this i keep hearing you talk about bringing the boat up on plane to fill the ballast tanks.

Do i need to do this? I have been just hitting the switches and letting it fill while swimming or hanging out or doing what ever. Does planing the boat and filling at the same time help it go faster?

tazz3069
06-03-2009, 07:27 AM
Doesn't help it go faster. Turning the pumps on while going helps prime the pumps. Once the pumps are primed, then you can float and get ready while the bags are filling. I had to do this with my old system. The main reason for my change is for the same reason everyone else has here. I want to spend more time wakeboarding and surfing and not waiting for the bags to fill up.

ToddXLV
06-04-2009, 07:04 AM
Ohhhh jeez, mandley and cab. You guys are going to laugh. My ballast system is just fine (besides the left rear still not draining properly). I assumed there was just that one breaker for the ballast system but went under the steering wheel and saw 6 fuses total. I see 3 fuses were blown that control the right, left and front ballast. Replace all three 7.5 amp fuses and now the ballast works again. I'm an idiot!

mmandley
06-04-2009, 08:57 AM
Hahaha no not an idiot, dont feel bad man

Got my boat in the water the very first time and the heater worked for 10 minutes then stoped blowing hot air.

I took it back to the dealer the next week, droped it off for service to let them fix it. 30 minutes later, basicaly as soon as i pulled into my driveway my phone rang, AWS called to say the boat was fixed and ready for pick up.

I get there and ask what the issue was, thinking a lose hose, bad fan motor, something substantial but easy to replace. They said it was a bad fuse under the dash.

So of course my GF who froze the entire day on the water with no heater asked what was wrong with it, i said the fan motor was bad.. LOL

kaneboats
06-04-2009, 10:24 AM
Gotta definitely keep some spare fuses in the tool kit.

ToddXLV
06-04-2009, 12:42 PM
Ok, I'll work putting something together for the fill pumps. I'm heading out in an LSV this weekend, so I'll play around with the drain pumps to see what can be accomplished there.

Jason, I am still very interested in buying a kit from you. I still don't like how slow it takes to fill and drain this system. Is that left (starbird) rear ballast sack have problems draining with a lot of these Gravity ballast systems? That is what my dealer told me when I took it back for the 2nd time. I think that is a lame excuse rather than trying to actually fix it.

ToddXLV
06-04-2009, 12:44 PM
Hahaha no not an idiot, dont feel bad man

Got my boat in the water the very first time and the heater worked for 10 minutes then stoped blowing hot air.

I took it back to the dealer the next week, droped it off for service to let them fix it. 30 minutes later, basicaly as soon as i pulled into my driveway my phone rang, AWS called to say the boat was fixed and ready for pick up.

I get there and ask what the issue was, thinking a lose hose, bad fan motor, something substantial but easy to replace. They said it was a bad fuse under the dash.

So of course my GF who froze the entire day on the water with no heater asked what was wrong with it, i said the fan motor was bad.. LOL

mandley, haha that is funny. But how much did they charge you? At least they were honest about it. I think my dealership (who I avoid unless it's covered under warranty) would of charged at least $85 labor?

mmandley
06-04-2009, 07:47 PM
our labor is 99 bucks ouch

It was free because it was the first time out i think, or they all laughed so hard at me they couldn't bare to charge me.

ToddXLV
06-07-2009, 03:25 PM
I think I may have found a work around for the left (port) rear ballast not draining sometimes? I've always had problems with my left rear ballast sack NOT draining. I would say it's 50/50 if it's going to drain or not. I have taken the boat in under warranty during my 1st year on this issue and after the 2nd time all the dealership could tell me is that it's a common problem and there is nothing they can do. We filled and drained the ballast twice last Thursday for wakeboarding and surfing. First time the left rear drained fine. 2nd time it would not drain. My right rear and front sacks always drain with no issue. So I decided to play around with the fill and drain switch on the Gravity III system. I hit fill and it let it pump in for about 3-5 seconds then drain for 3-5 seconds, fill then drain and it started to pump the water out. I guess it creates some kind of back pressure that helps the sack drain? I'm not sure but it worked so I will try it again once I can't drain to verify.

cab13367
06-10-2009, 01:34 AM
Ohhhh jeez, mandley and cab. You guys are going to laugh. My ballast system is just fine (besides the left rear still not draining properly). I assumed there was just that one breaker for the ballast system but went under the steering wheel and saw 6 fuses total. I see 3 fuses were blown that control the right, left and front ballast. Replace all three 7.5 amp fuses and now the ballast works again. I'm an idiot!

Todd,

Great to hear it was simple fix. I didn't know about those fuses but glad I know about them now in case this ever happens to me. Sorry to have sent you on a wild goose chase ...

Al

ToddXLV
06-11-2009, 12:52 PM
Todd,

Great to hear it was simple fix. I didn't know about those fuses but glad I know about them now in case this ever happens to me. Sorry to have sent you on a wild goose chase ...

Al

Not at all cab, your input was appreciated. When things like this happen I learn more about my boat. I am starting to feel really comfortable now working on her. Everything is pretty much accessible and easy to work on. I will not bring my boat into the dealership unless it's covered under warranty. You have to either be richer than hell or as stupid as hell to pay their labor and parts prices. I have a mechanic (if needed) that can do all of the general maintainence on the GM 350. But I can do my own oil changes, spark plugs, etc. There is nothing complicated about a GM/Chevy 350 engine.

gcnettl
06-13-2009, 04:08 AM
You have a separate pump on each rear bag right?

Ian Brantford
06-22-2009, 09:20 PM
Jason, I too am interested in a kit to replace valves with pumps. I assume that the existing 2000 GPH Rule pump will be bypass and/or removed. Is this correct?