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Everything posted by Rugger

  1. Nicely done Shadetreefab. I'm glad I waited to do mine... you've got some great ideas in there. I was going to fiberglass in a place to screw the bracket to... but the rear grab handle bolts is an even better idea. I know I'm gonna have some questions when I finally get to mine. Thanks for posting.
  2. It's just a small project, but hopefully it helps someone considering something similar. Always good to see a boat taken apart. I swapped out my aging 6.5" cabin speakers to Wetsounds 6.5s and 808s when the prices fell below 50% off at some places (after Wetsounds announced their new Revo series). This is a 2007 Malibu 247 LSV. Only newer LSVs were designed for 8" speakers. So I ended up with 2 pairs of SW650s for the dash and rear, and 2 pairs of SW808s in the mid ship and bow. I had 6.5" polk momo speakers, which I loved. Sounded awesome with a clean amp. But one pair went bad, and then the others started showing age in a few spots from years of sun exposure. I thought about replacing the speakers again with Polk, but ultimately went with the WS because of the sale, the fact that they matched my Rev10s, and I liked the 100% all black grills (SW series), even though most people prefer the contrasted the silver cones and/or grills. I think WS quality is very high as well. Swapping out the 6.5" speakers with the same size was obviously a 5 minute job. The holes are different but the WS screws cut right into the LSVs plastic. I did pull the windshield to replace the dash speakers. It was nice to get rid of the silver grills on the dash so now there is no reflection and the speakers "blend" into the black vinyl of the dash. The 808s were a different story. An ideal installation would require some custom fabrication of the mounting holes. If I had all the time in the world I could have created a new surface insert, with proper spacers and depth. I did the quick, low budget version -- which meant cutting the plastic with a dremel to make the speakers fit, and used a thick formfitting gasket as a spacer for the contours. Original speakers -- they looked and sounded nice for years, until a few started showing their age and one pair went bad. The new SW series, also a 6.5" so easy swap. It was really nice to lose the reflection on the dash! The polks looked great but I do like black better. Now the hard part. Squeezing 8" speakers where they were never designed to be. Is it worth the trouble? Debatable, but yes if you have the time. My system sounded great before, rounded out with a W7 sub and Rev 10s. But the 8s are very capable and add quite a bit... its just on the older boats they are awfully hard to fit. Here's the size difference. WS 808 vs Polk 6.5 that fit nicely. Not only diameter but the depth of the speaker and the thickness of the grill's face is also larger. Ginormous. So the main problems: 1) Needed a bigger hole in the plastic mount. Look at the size difference above. 2) Needed to space the speaker forward for depth and also because the larger diameter meant the speaker part of the speaker would no longer be flush to the plastic mount. The mount was only flat enough for a 6.5". 3) The vinyl covering on the sides would partially cover the speaker and provided depth issues as well. Started by removing the side panels. To do this you need to reach up behind the gunwales and remove the nuts behind all of the bolts that run the length of the panels at the top. I forgot how many... 9 or 10 maybe?. Then you need to remove the cup holder, and reach your hand through to remove the lag bolts that hold the bottom mount together. There were 3 lag bolts on the bottom of mine. Once you unplug all the wires for the interior light, speakers, and anything else you might have (mine have LEDs around and under the cup holders. Then you remove all the screws on the backside of the panel, as well as the 2 on the front for the stainless grab handles. The plastic backing should be removed now. Sorry... guess I didn't get those pictures. Now it's time for the fun part. Use the included WS template to trace your new hole for the larger speaker. I chose to mount it so that the inside edge did not stick over the flat spot. I figured this would look the best, and still keep the tweeter and most of the speaker unblocked by the vinyl siding. This is the backside, you can see where the curves are in the plastic moulding. The new speaker was larger than the flat area so mounting required more than just a new hole. I used a dremel to cut the hole... easy and quick if you are careful. Practice on something else first if you've never used it. To keep the inside edge of the speaker on the flat part (so the grill didn't overlap its space on the front) I actually had to cut quite a bit, more than I thought. To handle the new problem of the plastic molding angles (because the speaker was bigger than the flat spot), I had to use a spacer that would form fit. Instead of creating my own molded rings, as I'm sure the professional speaker shops would take the time to do, I chose a shortcut. I used a 3/4"rubber-foam tube to form a "gasket" which I ordered from Mc Master Carr (on Resources Portal page). The pros might laugh at me for this, but it worked phenomenal and the specs on it say it's fairly bullet proof in sun/weather. It blends in, and conforms perfectly to the contours of the plastic moulding, now that the speaker diameter exceeded the flat spot. You'd have to stick your head in to see the side of the speaker to even notice it. Oh, and while I had the plastic panels removed, I cleaned them well and even through on a quick polish using my DA, and then threw on some collinites wax. The plastic shined up to new in no time. I also removed the stainless bezel with the backlit Malibu cutout and polished it too. Makes a difference... I'm sure it hasn't looked this clean since 2007! So once I reassembled the mid-ship speakers, I started working on the bow. Same problems as the middle speakers... the moulding in the bow was not designed for 8" speakers in 2007. To remove the bow plastic inserts, I was able to get away with unscrewing the bottom 2 screws on the plastic, and then removing just 3-4 nuts off the top portion of the bow side panels. From there you can flex the vinyl panel enough to pull out the plastic moulding. Used a dremel to enlarge the holes here as well. These did not require a form fitting gasket/spacer, I was able to use the standard flat speaker gasket. The bow went much quicker, and I also polished the inserts while they were out. While I had no complaints about the Polks, I love the new sound as well and these speakers should last a long time I hope. The 808s don't fit (see pics above LOL), but they sound exceptional and I paid much less for these 808s than the new 6.5s. We never try to be the loudest at the lake, but are super happy with the system. The system is super crisp, loud when needed and full. I was lucky, the boat already had a JL W7 sub. I bought used Rev 10s last summer. Amps are a mix of JL HDs and Wetsounds. Between refurbished and discounts I ended up with a pretty sweet system for a good price. Hope this helps someone to see how the boats pull apart. I'm posting this away from home so I'll update with better pics later.
  3. This project started as just a "project idea" in the Wake Garage Shop Talk forum. Thanks to everyone who helped shape the result. It's now a completed project. THE PROBLEM: My 2007 Malibu LSV is now ten years old and featured chrome dipped aluminum dash bezels to give it the shiny bling. It looked great stock, but the problem is the chrome started peeling. It was only later years than Malibu used all stainless pieces (more expensive) instead of the chrome dip, or currently all anodized aluminum. Chrome will not last -- eventually it will peel and pit, and start to look like crap like mine did. My choices were to strip the bad chrome, and then either: 1) re-dip in chrome to last for another ten years. Not bad option as it would restore the factory look, but without the peeling. 2) Replace with new stainless parts from Malibu. Expensive and not all pieces had stainless counterparts. 3) Anodize the aluminum pieces. This was my original plan and I even had the chrome chemically stripped to do this. 4) Powdercoat the pieces. Fairly inexpensive and opened the door to endless color options. THE SOLUTION I chose the powder coating, partly because my dash had pitting underneath the bad chrome but also because I wanted to change the look. I chose Black Wrinkle, which is about as opposite from chrome as you can get. Plus the dark matches my sense of humor. I chose to chemically strip the chrome because I wanted to keep the aluminum smooth underneath in case I wanted the anodized finish. I used Sherm's plating in Sacramento. Great people there and they know what they're doing. This was not cheap though, about $150 because you pay chrome disposal fees and labor. I could have just blasted it had I known I would end up powder coating. For the powder coating I used TNT Powder Coat in Cameron Park. Lance is the owner, great guy. He and his son wake surf behind a Centurion. TNT media blasted and prepped the pieces before finishing it in Black Wrinkle. I love the results. Here's what the chrome was doing on my dash pieces. Some didn't look as bad, but they were all destined for the same fate. This is what they looked like after chemically removing the chrome. Hard to see, but there is some pitting in some areas. Still could have anodized it though I think. I threw a quick polish down on half of the main bezel. There was some pitting but not too much. If you plan to anodize it, you really need to polish it after stripping it. I made my decision at this point to switch to powder coating, mostly to update the look as well. Lots of options when you powder coat. I had a ton of blacks to choose from. Here's how the pieces came out. I really liked the look and texture. It's actually smoother than it looks. And here it is installed. Loved the red against black. Exactly what I hoped for... kinda dark. Not saying it's better than shiny, but fun to change the look. More Gotham City than Bling. Before doing this I bought a used stereo remote that had 2 extra switch holes (my stock one just had the stereo remote hole), so that I can use them for Surf Gate switches later. I also added a piece of the steering wheel so that the whole thing would tie in with my dash. And my wakeboard tower (swapped towers last summer and bought a G3.2 tower meant for a 2016) is all black, including half in wrinkle black. It all ties together now. Also.... I took a few extra minutes to polish my gauge clear plastic covers. Ten years of boating, they had some water spots (not bad). I dropped a tiny amount of polish, and orange pad and a DA polisher. Just about a minute is all it takes and the glass (plastic) looks like brand new. Might as well do it while the dash was apart anyway. Totally happy with the results. I've already replaced a few of the small Malibu emblems with stainless versions. That small one above is starting to look like crap too (up close, trust me), so I ordered a new one of those too. Expensive -- about $30-40 for that 3.5" emblem. Powder coating all seven pieces cost less than $75. Thanks to those who gave input on this idea in Shop Talk Project Complete! I hope this helps someone else with the same problem. Lots of options! EDIT/ UPDATE: Replaced that dash emblem with stainless version. While ordering, I also decided to grab a new throttle knob. My Isotta know was worn out, and its about $90 to replace with the same, so I chose to replace it with.... the wrinkle black beehive one for about $39. Cheaper and now it matches.
  4. Camping this week, but with the in-laws and without the boat.   Just like I wanted except totally different.

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