Another ballast project on a budget
I have an 07 lsv and like everyone I was tired of waiting for the bags to fill. Especially after replacing the rear 400# bags for 750's. So here is a rundown of what I did.
Removed the sprinkler valves and strainer.
Removed the 3/4 fill hoses to all three bags.
Note: When I removed the floor boards the fill hose to the ski locker was pinched down to less than half at the front of the fuel tank. There is not enough room for the hose between the fuel tank and the hull.
Installed 1" thru-hull fitting, T fitting, and 1" ball valve
Installed 2 Tsunami 1200 GPH pumps one for each rear bag. This required turning down the inlet pipe in my lathe and re-threading to 1" NPT.
Kept the stock Rule pump for the ski locker bag.
Here is the first budget tip:
I used 1" flex conduit from the electrical section of Home Depot for the hose. I paid $38 for 50' and the best I can tell it is the same hose as the stock hose just gray in color instead of black. The 1" was $.76/foot in bulk or $1.12/foot by the foot. The 3/4 conduit was $.88/foot. It took about 40' of 1" to make the new fill hoses. The ski locker hose new routing went over the fuel tank and up under the driver's console made a loop and then back down under the sub-woofer and then into the ski locker where the battery wires come across and then back to the fitting on the bag. The rear bags followed the same route as the stock hoses except for the loop that went up and over the catalytic converter on each side.
I used the sprinkler valve wires to hook up the pumps and changed the fuses to 10 amp. The original wires that went to the Rule pump are not used.
Here is the second budget tip:
I used vented loops to stop the auto fill and auto emptying of the water on all three bags. At the top of all three loops I installed a duckbill check valve. The check valve I purchased at Walmart for $1.92. It is in the pet supplies area next to the fish. It is a check valve for the bubbler on an aquarium. There are hose barbs on each end which I cut the top one off and half of the bottom one. Drilled a hole in the hose at the top of the loop and glued these check valves in with super glue. After the glue cured I applied a bead of clear silicone to support the valve. The end result is I get a vented loop without the restriction of the vented loop fitting in the hose and without the (3x$48) price tag. The loop under the driver's console is self supporting and can be made as high as you want.
I vented all three bags using the 3/4 conduit and 3/4 thru-hull fittings. Installed them next to the current thru-hull fittings so now I have three on the port, two on the starboard and two up front. I did it this way because it was cheaper than check valves, Y fittings and hose clamps. Less chance of mechanical failure too. It took about 33' of 3/4 conduit to route the vents and reroute the discharge lines. I routed the vents and the discharge hoses to the opposite side of the boat to allow for the maximum amount of weight in the bags. This works well because the boat is listing and the hoses will be routed to the up side of the boat and you won't lose any water while maneuvering the boat. When the bags are filling I get a discharge from the vent and the discharge fitting at about the same time indicating the bag is full.
I have used this setup now for a couple weekends and everything works very well. My fill times are less than 7 minutes and no problems with auto fill or auto emptying.
I hope this inspires someone to do this kind of project. I know the group of people who have posted about their upgrades sure helped me and so to all of them I Thank you