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Help with Ballast System-2007 X Star

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  • Help with Ballast System-2007 X Star

    OK Folks-
    If anyone can help me out here that would be great. I purchased this boat back in the fall but just took it to the lake for the first time last night.

    I have zero experience with a ballast system, so needless to say I am a newbie in this respect. I had a 1991 Maristar for years before buying this boat. If anyone could help me out with these issues that would be great. I took it to my "local" Mastercraft dealer a week or so ago for service before getting it on the water, and would prefer to not have to take it back to resolve these issues since they are 2 hours from me.

    Issue #1-
    That *&^^% whine noise when the blower or ballast system is engaged through the stereo speakers. When the ballast and blower is shut off there is no noise, but obviously I'd like to be able to run them an listen to the radio without that annoying hum. It reminds me of an old car I had back in the day--surely this isn't a common problem?

    Issue #2
    Check engine light came on. When I took it into the dealership there were 3 readings which caused the check engine to come on. One was to check a cylinder misfire--the tech pulled the plug in that cylinder and it was fine. The boat runs well and oil pressure/engine temp are great. The other 2 faults were related to attempting to start the boat with dead batteries? I have since replaced the batteries. Unfortunately I have no idea what is causing the fault with this recent reading. Do you have to go to a MC dealer to get these fault codes checked, or can an automotive shop read the code? I only ask because for me its 2 hours to find out.

    Issue #3
    This boat has both factory ballasts and aftermarket Fly High ballasts. Can someone tell me with my 3 gauges which goes with which ballast system? One is port, one starboard, and one is KGB but I don't know which is which on the dash since they are not marked.

    On the KGB when I engage the switch to fill it or let water out I get no sound like a pump is operating. My guess is that this pump is bad?

    On the port side the pump seems to engage both ways but again all 3 gauges show water in the ballast system? When I run the pump with the boat on the trailer to empty it nothing comes out.

    On the starboard side the pump engages to fill but not to empty? The Starboard Fly High sack is full in the boat.

    I'm not really sure if the switches for the fly high ballasts are in the right place or exactly how the auxilliary bags work so any explanation would be greatly appreciated. I have attached photos for reference along with pic of boat just in case someone is familiar with it. Unfortunately I bought this boat without having the opportunity to learn about it from the prior owner.

    I'm new to the forum and apologize if this isn't in the right discussion thread--in my experience these forums are a great place to educate yourself and meet cool people along the way. Thanks in advance. John
    Attached Files

  • #2
    1. Bad ground to your amps is the most common cause of a whine when other electronics are turned on. But some one with more knowledge will chime in.

    2. Yeah, this is a bummer with most boat ECMs including Indmar. They do not display the text translation of their error codes. So you will need some one with a Diacom or similar ECM code reader, rent one with correct connector from local auto parts store (you likely have a MEFI5 ecm), or take it to the dealer. PCM displays the code in normal text on their newer models, I am not sure if Ilmor does. if all your engine gauges are within normal limits and the engine sounds normal and has not gone into limp mode, then make sure to start, warm up, then stop the engine 3 times and see if the error message resolves. BUT, make sure engine oil level is normal, temp gauge does not go above 185 (or goes barely above and comes down) and the motor sounds normal.

    3. The built in tanks and Fly high sacs fill via 3 Jabsco reversible pumps (likely mounted inside your transom behind a black ozite covered board). Filling but not emptying and vice versa means you have bad impellers. Replace with the green ones from WakeMakers or many other online suppliers. The empty/fill gauges suck and are often not accurate. But there are ways to try and reset them (search this forum for ballast gauges). The Fly High bags are filled by the same 3 jabsco pumps as your built in tanks. They can be filled separately or as an overflow from you built in tanks, depending on your set up. It looks like you have the complete system. has a great manual/tutorial that will show you how to use the switches in your rear lockers to determine what you are filling or emptying. You should have a fly high sac in each rear locker and under each front seat. I hope this gets you started.
    2008 X star, 2005 X2


    • #3
      Misfire can be a result of your distributor cap and rotor may need to replace


      • #4

        Thanks for the information guys. I am going to dig into this project over the weekend and see if I can't get this resolved--will post what I find.


        • #5

          OK guys here's where I'm at:

          I checked the impellers in all 3 pumps and they look fine. they are the green ones that were suggested.

          the KGBpump isn't functioning at all--maybe a blown fuse?

          The port side seems ok

          The starboard side engages fine to pump but nothing when I reverse the pump to empty it?

          Any suggestions greatly appreciated...


          • #6
            Check the breakers on your ballast timer box. Not sure where this is on the star but on the '07 X2 it's under the rear port seat. There will be 3 push button breakers on that box. Make sure the KGB one is not protruding. If it is pop it in and try the pump again.

            If it's not popped then remove the KGB pump and plug it into the known good port or starboard harness (no need to hook up the plumbing yet). Flip the corresponding switch and see of it works in the known good location. If not you likely have a bad pump. Order a ballast puppy from wakemakers or your mc dealer. If it works in the known good location then you have an electrical problem of some sort. Could be the switch, the timer/AI module for that pump or obviously a wiring issue.

            Btw if you have the original '07 ballast timer/AI modules you're in for a world of frustration getting the fly high bags to fill and drain consistently. If the previous owner hasn't replaced them with te newer modules I'd recommend eliminating the timers completely rather than buying the newer ones. If you decide to go that route PM me as I just finished de-timering an '07 X2 complete with functioning switch LEDs.