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  • Adding / Repairing Dash Depth gauge on 06' Malibu VLX

    • Year: 2006 Brand: Malibu Model / Trim: Wakesetter VLX Cost: $250-$499 DIY or Professional Install: I installed it

    When i got my 06' VLX last fall the only thing i was worried about was that it didn't have a depth finder.  Running on the river where i normally run it is important to me to have a depth reading because of shallow areas, etc.  I was hoping to keep my dash as stock as possible and didn't want to make another hole somewhere for an auxiliary depth system.  When the dash turns on at startup it would show depth along with the air and lake temp, so i figured i could somehow get it to show there. 20180425_213859.jpg.859fa8490cc202c959b63a12920be85a.jpg I started looking around and got in contact with bakes online and saw that they had the module for an 04-06 malibu so i figured if i picked that up and added the transducer i would be good to go.  Obviously not the cheapest route, but i liked the idea of it integrated in the dash like the stock system.  Only problem i ran into was that they no longer make the transducer for these boats as i'm sure plenty of others with these year boats that have found out if their transducers failed.  After talking with Andrew at bakes he got me a pdf and info that there was a lowrance transducer that was supposed to work in place of the discontinued transducer.  Basically you cut the plug off the old transducer and splice it on the new one because the new transducer plug is different than the old one.   However since i didn't have an old one to replace, i tried to get a failed one from another malibu owner.  After not having any luck going that route, i decided i could just make up my own plug.  I got some weather pac pins that i could make fit and ended up making a crude plug out of silicone but it works.  I set the depth finder on the top of a 30 gallon barrel filled with water and the depth read 2.5 ft, which according to my math is equal to the 30" that the barrel measures.     I ended up mounting the transducer where i had seen it mounted in other vdrives 20180415_164535.jpg.876c458fa4756010800a2313b1129b85.jpg20180425_213732.jpg.2a1281275e98fedf7850887c09fc6f8f.jpg

    The new lowrance transducer is a: Lowrance PD-WBL.   I have a pdf from andrew that shows how to use this replacement transducer that i can try to send others if needed, or else i can get it to Rugger to put in the resources section for others if needed.  Last thing to do is get this boat on the water to make sure it all reads as it should.   I'm not sure if i have explained this very well, so if you have any questions let me know and i'll be happy to help, or send you the pdf or whatnot. 


    EDIT:   PDF for the transducer is here.  Depth Finder_Lowrance PD-WBL Transducer Installation Instructions.pdf

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    Nice upgrade.   I agree its important to have a depth gauge... surprised yours didn't come with one.  I didnt realize it was an option.  

    looks like a great project and the stock-like decision was a good one.  cool

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    Yes, it worked great, alarm even sounds when i'm under 3ft going thru the channel.   Although the temps come from under the dash for the air temp and the sea temp comes thru the paddle wheel on my VLX.  So i had to replace the paddle wheel to fix the sea temp, although i feel like one could splice in an air temp gauge, (same as air temp on some of the older boats) into the wires on the paddle wheel.  

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    My depth gauge is inconsistent in my 2006 Malibu 23 LSV. so i was looking into what you did.  But after reading your last comment on March 18th it got me thinking.  My air and water temp currently work if i splice in a new Lawrence transducer will that make my temp (air and Water not work?)


    I am similar to you that i boat in a river and not having a accurate all or most of the time depth gauge causes me stress and concern so I'm looking into what i can do.  I love the idea of keeping all the stock options working and really Lawrence want to add a separate depth gauge 

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    @Chris J i can try to double check on this tomorrow for you.  the depth finder was a separate module that plugged into a weather pack connection coming out of the main control box.   i had to order the module thru bakes, then adapt the transducer plug to fit into the module.  

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    Ok I found a depth module apparently there was only 2 in Australia but managed to get one sent to Malibu here in new Zealand and I got the lowrance transponder made my own plug but it is saying depth bad status on screen and 0.0 on other screen when I had depth gauge transponder in a big bucket of water. 


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    Sorry i didn't see this reply before.  i put mine in a 3ft barrel of water to test, but it is possible that you could have the pins backwards too maybe?  i glued the transducer face down with the mounting kit from lowrance with their special sealant of adhesive.    That module plugs into a 4 pin weather pac plug under the dash that goes into the main module...

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