FAE and how to Install it.
Said i would upload some pictures and do a quick write up.
I got my FAE last summer, July time frame, got it on the boat in Augest just before an LBC trip. I was a bit rushed to install it as i had several crew members and the Mrs complaining about exhuast and random headacs after surfing.
My FAE has the upgraded quick release system on it. This basically means you pull 2 pins like on your swim deck and it will allow you to remove it easier.
First pic once installed, mine sits slightly lower on the left as i cut 1 tube about 1/2 inch short, but i think it was more from not getting the threw holes drilled exactly even on both peaceses. This was by fare the hardest part.
When you get the kit you have to cut 3 things to fit, drill a dozen holes and they all have to line up exactly or things wont sit right. At the time i didnt have my shop set up at the new house so i was using the tailgate of my truck, or a step stool to work on and i think this created a lot of my issues LOL.
Next pic - this is the cross brace you have to measure and cut. You have to remoce the swim deck and remove your brackets. You meace the brace to fit under the brackets. You will then drill threw your swim deck brackets, and also threw the bar you just cut to fit. These have to all match as this is how the bar is bolted to the swim deck. You will also need a ball pin hammer to dent the swim deck slightly to allow the bolt heads to clear when you put the backets back on.
If you get the quick release option then you get a couple extra brakets. These you simply line up on that cross bar and drill threw the bar and bolt them in place. These have to be lined up over the holes in the FAE tubing to allow the bolts to screw into them
Last part. You get 2 long stainless steel tubes, you have to measure and cut these to fit. I found this to be the hardest as i dont have a way to hold them and cut them. I did this at work in the metel shop lol. Anyhow these have a welded bolt in them to allow a bolt to be threaded threw. This actualy is a spacer from the FAE to the backets, or the quick release if you have that.
Once you measure them <take into account the upper peace as it counter sinks about 1 inch into it> you will need to drill a hole threw the top to allow it to bolt onto the top peace. This was the hard part for me as stainless steel is a pita to drill threw. Once your get all that its simple bolt it up.
Tips to keeping your FAE from visitng Davy Jones locker, as mine tried to 3xs.
Use Blue thread Lock Tight, as this will keep bolts from backing out but still let you get a wrench on it to remove it later. The bolts that hold the FAE up to the cross bar love to vibrate out. I lost a bolt my first day on the lake, FAE detached and was hanging by the quick release, luckly i noticed my Wake plate not working and jumped in to see why and found my FAE laying on it. Scratched my black coating all up. I was pretty pissed but glad it didnt fall off.
Next time i had it all bolted used the Blue lock tight, after a few hours on the lake i noticed again my wake plate not working, jumped in and found 1 pipe came off and was draging on the wake plate. It came off at the exhaust camp.
Third time was Mothers day when we went out, hit a good sized stick in the lake that knocked it off.
Threw all this i finally realized the real problem. Its the same problem so many of us complain about. Swim deck vibrations.
Whats happening is the swim deck vibrated up and down, this transistions to the FAE and its only got 1 point not bolted down and that where it clamps to the exhaust outlet. Its just a band clamp. Over time it slowly works its way off the exhaust.
To fix this i used 6 1.5 inch screw and put threw screws threw the ruber boot and right into the exhaust outlet flange. I spaced them out as much as i could due to the angles and restrictions of the wake plate and boat. Then i put a clamp around those screws to ensure they cant back out.
Now my FAE can still be removed by losening the 2 clamps that holt the ruber boot to the metel piping but the weak spot was the exhaust flange connection. Now i have 2 trips to the lake down, 6 hours of boting time and no issues at all.
How do i really like the FAE? REVIEW TIME
Its awesome. Man its sooo quite, you have to look at the RPM to make sure the boat is running now. I know some really love that engine sound and being a motor head i love the sound of a V8. The thing is when you have friends and you want to just talk, theres no yelling now, when you have surfers, no yelling to them on how there doing, they can actually hear you praise and cheer them more now. Big plus <never an issue on my boat> the music is so much louder sounding LOL. Something else i noticed was when at wakeboard speed all you hear is the sound of wind and water splashing which i think was really cool. Its quite relasing lol. You still hear the rumble of the engine and at idle you get your burburling sound but its much quiter. Also no one has had a headach any time the FAE was installed.