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Need dual livewell help on 87 Champion. See pictures

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  • Need dual livewell help on 87 Champion. See pictures

    I purchased a 1987 Champion bass boat as a project boat. It is mechanically sound, now I am painfully going through all the little systems and replacing everything old, worn, cracked, and broken. This leads me to the dual livewell system. I am familiar with simple bait-tank in & out plumbing, but this livewell system has me pulling my hair out. I don't have a diagram for the system, I cant see half the plumbing becuase it's under or behind the fuel tank, and I don't know what all the valves are doing. I read all of the posts on this thread http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=164168 and found them very helpful in understanding some of the system. I have attached photos of my livewell plumbing in the bilge and labeled some of the parts. The system also has two push/pull knobs near the throttle that I beleive are part of this system (not pictured). Can somewone please explain to me how this system circulates water through both front and rear livewells and where it drains (which hoses)? Both pumps need to be replaced as do many hoses and clamps. Will 500 gph bait pumps be the right replacemet? I'm sure I will have plenty of followup questions. Thanks in advance. Terry G.









  • #2
    Re: Need dual livewell help on 87 Champion. See pictures

    i thin the best thing you can do, is put water in the live well and see where it goes. i definately replumb, all that mess, garden hose is not recommended. use flex pvc.
    FLORIDA GATORS
    TEBOW Country



    Please, NO PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems. they will not be answered.
    That is what these forums are for. Post your questions, in the appropriate Forum.

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    • #3
      Re: Need dual livewell help on 87 Champion. See pictures

      Pump "A" in this system is the "fill" pump for both live wells. The knob at the console in the FILL position, pump "A" will fill the live wells. Normally there is an overflow consisting of either a standpipe or a fitting at the top of the livewell that runs excess water out the side of the boat. I suspect yours originally had a standpipe as nobody in their right mind would put a plug at the back of the boat to drain a live well. Once the tanks are full, you move the knob to the recirculate position where pump "B" adds air and recircuates the water in the live well. Note the fitting with the arrow pointing toward the stern on the very bottom of your picture. That's apparently a check valve but it's purpose is questionable since there is a plug in the stern. Since this entire system is plumbed with garden hose, I suspect it is not in it's original configuration and was modified because of the failure of the valves at the console. Pictures of the plumbing to those valves would help. The long and short of this is that the plugs in the stern are not normal. Either a standpipe or thru-hull fitting on each livewell would take care of overflow. The large black hose is apparently the drain line. As was suggested, fill the tanks and see where water comes out.

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      • #4
        Re: Need dual livewell help on 87 Champion. See pictures

        When I purchased the boat, I put it on the water and discovered those hoses were leaking. I tried tightening them down and thats when pump A broke and started taking on water into the bilge... Hence the plugs. What I don't understand is the valve knobs. There are two of them and I don't remember any markings on them to indicate fill or recirculate. When my mechanic checked out the boat, he did mention they were for the livewell system and told me "your lucky, they are frozen open so you can still use the system." Does this mean (1) they are stuck in the fill position and will just continue to recirculate raw water? (2)Because the pick-up is on the transom, will it be able to fill while I am under way at a moderate speed? And lastly, (3)do I need to replace the valves, cables, or the whole mechanical valve portion and where do I get that? Thank you very much for your help again. Terry G.

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        • #5
          Re: Need dual livewell help on 87 Champion. See pictures

          Obviously with the water inlet above the water line when you are under way you can't expect the pump to fill the live wells. You wouldn't do that anyway as why would you want to run wide open with two full live wells and no fish in them. Catch the fish, then fill it. As for the valves, you need to look at them to see what needs replacing. Since this system needs lots of work, my suggestion would be to eliminate the recirculation system and go with a simple overflow and a spray head off the fill line. You put a plug in the bottom of the live well. Pump fills the tank through the spray head, and when the tank is full excess runs out the overflow. You install a live well timer switch ($30.00) that cycles the pump 30 seconds on -- 30 seconds off. Some are even adjustable. Eliminate all the excess plumbing and plug unused holes in the transom. If you are intent on fixing the valves, remove them, see how they operate, and then visit your local home improvement store plumbing department to see if you can find a valve that will work. Plumbing is plumbing, what a part looks like has no bearing on its function so simply use what works. Otherwise you will spend a fortune on custom parts if you can even find exact replacements from the manufacturer.

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          • #6
            Re: Need dual livewell help on 87 Champion. See pictures

            Thanks for the timely advice again. I'll be slaving over that this afternoon. Livewells or not, I'm fishin this weekend! I'm a new member on this forum and appreciate the level of intelligent help and friendly advice.

            Regards, Terry G.

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            • #7
              Re: Need dual livewell help on 87 Champion. See pictures

              Was going thru some older threads and saw this one about the Champion live well system! WOW! Does this ever look like mine! Just a thanks to all that posted the threads on this as it has been very helpful. Gives me a GREAT place to start to look for my particular problems which may be in the drain valves, or, possibly a broken hose as I am getting far too much biildge water and to frequently. As for the hose ---- Mine is EXACTLY the same type hose. Champion must have made a run on this style hos on the 85 to 88 units. Frankly, it's a lousy hose if you ask me.

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              • #8
                Re: Need dual livewell help on 87 Champion. See pictures

                No problem Bob. I have done all the work and took the photos on my Champion. I can probably answer any questions you may have regarding the livewell. Here are a few more photos that may help. I included a picture of one of the old valves that are under the forward fuel tank. I only have one gas tank in my boat and I removed it to do the plumbing. That is why the rear livewell pump is standing upright (because I have plenty of room). Good luck with your project. Terry G. <BR><BR>





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                • #9
                  Re: Need dual livewell help on 87 Champion. See pictures


                  Thanks a ton Terry -- The extra pixs will certainly help out a lot. Mi ride is about the same. 85 vintage w/single tank in rear. Did you initially get a lot of extra bildge water? I am thinking that possibly, I may have a blown or cracked hose. Aslo--- Are you experiancing [or did you] problems with the live well draining? It is like 'no way Jose' Really quite slow and maybe I am getting feed thru from the aireator... Anyway the pics will certainly be of assistance and I did print the first set and wil do the same to this set. Thanks a ton Terry. May be getting back with you

                  Bob
                  dixcyclone@aol.com

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                  • #10
                    Re: Need dual livewell help on 87 Champion. See pictures

                    I noticed the same circulation problem with my 87 Champion rear livewell. I also has a forward livewell that had no problem draining or circulating the old water out and the new water in. The problem with the rear well is this... It's a design flaw that causes the problem and is not easily fixed. The rear well is at the same level in the boat as the outside water level. Therefore there is no positive pressure and the water cannot exit by gravity. In your case with one livewell only, it can only exit while the boat is underway, thus raising the level of the boat to the surface of the water and allowing the livewell water to drain down and out the back. When the boat is sitting still or moving slowley, it rides lower in the water and cannot drain. I attached a cheezy drawing of my tanks to illistrate this point. The benefit to having the forward livewell is the use of a re-circulation pump. This pump moves the water from the rear livewell to the front livewell. As the rear one empties with the assistance of the recirculation pump, it is filled with the intake pump simultaneously. If you only have a rear livewell, I think your kind of screwed. Anyway, I'm still here if you have more questions.

                    Good luck, Terry G.<BR><BR>

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                    • #11
                      Re: Need dual livewell help on 87 Champion. See pictures

                      Guess I didn't mention -- I do have 2 wells. Front and rear as your diagram notes. My system must be all JUNK as I cannot get anything to drain thru the main drain holes. I feel the valves opening and closing so it must be a blockage someplace. Only place the water will drain is thru the areator hose. Does yours have that nasty green hose laying inside the wells?? That's a freaky setup! May just route a totally new system that works!

                      Bob -- And thanks again for the help terry

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                      • #12
                        Re: Need dual livewell help on 87 Champion. See pictures

                        Yep... Crapy green hose throughout the entire system. I replaced what was accessable in the back of my boat with one or two execptions. I didn't disturb the ends that connect directly to the rear livewell. I had to cut off all the stainless clamps at the end of each hose peice. The plastic fittings on the livewell were way too brittle to mess with so I left them intact and used the original hose there. Everything that I could replace, I did. I found a distributer on the internet that carried the valves and replaced those too.

                        What I would suggest for you is take an air compressor and spray into the livewell drain line. See where the air comes out and how much air compared to other escape routes. The ,main drain for the rear livewell is a straight shot from the well to the back of the boat. You should be able to almost reach from the back to the well using a straightened coat hanger to check for any obstructions.

                        What I do have, is another diagram that lays out the plumbing routes in my boat. I drew it up when the fuel tank was out to better understand the system. I will try and post that later tonight sometime after 9:30pm PST. One other thing I did to my boat was create a stand-pipe for the front well. That way the water would not drain out until it reached a determined level, then spill into the stand-pipe and out the drain. This helped me maintain a proper level in the front well because it kept draining on me. Not good when you got fish in the well.

                        I'll be the first to say, the factory design of these livewells are the worst I have ever seen. About two years later, they relocated the rear livewell on in the rear deck area. That solved all the circulation and draining problems.

                        Talk to you soon,
                        Terry G.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Need dual livewell help on 87 Champion. See pictures

                          Here is that plumbing diagram I made. It does not show the actual physical location of the lines, but rather the directional flow of water in such a way that is easy to understand. Even if you understand the intended flow of the water... controlling that flow is an entirely new topic. It involves the gallons-per-hour pumping in, the spray head settings, the recirculation pump, the cable valves, and the auto timer all working together. I suggest that once you do figure out what settings work for you, make a note of it and DONT EVER TOUCH IT AGAIN. Hope some of this information help you out and good luck with your project.

                          TG.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Need dual livewell help on 87 Champion. See pictures



                            Great diagram Terry! Wow you did a trip on the 'knowledge' on this repair and it is MOST appreciated. I have enough info now to probably be a goos student from your teachings and again, I do thank you.

                            The replacement valves? Getting something close to original -- What is the website addy for your valve purchase, or did you just get something from a local boat supplier? I know mine work dump. When the operating cable is pulled out, the vales are supposed to be open. A real pain as you seem to always 'hit' the control cable with your hand and possibly bend them. Drain is fine as the cable is all the way in.

                            TY FOR the HELP AND PICS>


                            Bob
                            Central Cal

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                            • #15
                              Sign up today
                              Re: Need dual livewell help on 87 Champion. See pictures

                              Here is the link to "C&O Marine Parts" back east where I got the valves. It does not include any hardware to attach the cable to the valve. You have to buy a stainless washer to clamp down the cable onto the valve. If I remember correctly, the valve does come with a stainless screw to use with your washer. Check the parts when you get them. They shipped me two diffferent valves. I ended up having to return one and eat $8 in shipping but they paid for the new valve's shipping back to me. Good luck.

                              http://candomarineparts.com/Valves.html

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