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chevyspy

Manual Wedge Installation

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chevyspy

So I already tried searching a bunch of times but does anyone have information on how to install a manual wedge on a Malibu Sportster? I think the basics are pretty obvious but I am wondering:

+ What kind of sealant (I am guessing 4200 or 5200 3M)?

+ Correct location(s) to apply the sealant so there are no leaks.

+ What size do you drill the bolt holes?

+ Mounting plate location on Transom. There is not a lot of room for movement but I have heard the higher the better so it does not drag when it's up.

+ Is there a torque spec for the nuts/bolts that hold the plate to the hull?

+ It looks like you want to leave the ny-lock nuts loose on the bolts that hold the Wedge to the plate so it can pivot?

Any help would be great.

Thanks

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spaznoook

Troy (SacRiverRat) installed one on our '02 LSV - I don't have any specifics, but you could PM him.

HTH! :)

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99response

1. I would not use 5200, it will never come off. Use a silicone suitable for underwater service.

2. Always seal around the holes you put in the hull, not the whole bracket itself, also put a nice blob in each bolt hole.

3. As for the size of the bolt holes, a little bit bigger than the bolts...always put a chamfer on the gelcoat to avoid cracks

4. Try and get some measurments off a comparable boat, best way to go, centering is also very critical, do not use the exhuast flappers as your reference.

5. The bolts go tight, but not crazy....no spec I know of

6. yup leave them loose so it takes no effort to lower the wedge (aka it drops down nice).

Wedge installation for a Sporter is about 2-3 hours to pull the rear seat and gas tank out, then about 10 minutes to install the bracket and then 2 or 3 more hours to put the back of the boat together again, it stinks.

-Chris

Edited by 99response

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NorCaliBu
Wedge installation for a Sportster is about 2-3 hours to pull the rear seat and gas tank out, then about 10 minutes to install the bracket and then 2 or 3 more hours to put the back of the boat together again, it stinks.

Yes.gif Disassembly and re-assembly has kept me from doing it. :lol:

So chevyspy...do you have a 98 Sportster as detailed in your profile? Or a 94 Flightcraft? If you have a Flighty, I'm curious if you called Malibu to ask their opinion on putting a wedge on it? :unsure: Just curious.

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chevyspy

Oh yeah, sorry my profile is wrong, it's a 1994 Flightcraft Sportster. I measured the dimensions of the back of the boat and the mold must be identical to newer Sportsters so the Wedge looks like it will work perfect.

Anyway, I spoke with Malibu and they could not give me a straight answer, they said they have no record of anyone putting a Wedge on an inboard Flightcraft Sportster and therefore they could not recommend it. They also mentioned that they have built more material into the transom of newer boats to withstand the force of the Wedge but could not tell me when this extra material was added and on which boats. He thought my boat was new enough, he thought the old Malibu Skiers and boats like the Euro F3 did not, he sounded like he really did not know.

Maybe they want me to buy a new $60K boat to get the Wedge? Keep in mind this information is coming from the same "technical rep" who told me that my floor in my boat is wood encased with fiberglass, the boat is actually completely composite, I saw it with my own eyes when I repaired the floor.

Anyway, I guess I am the guinea pig, we will see.

Wedge installation for a Sportster is about 2-3 hours to pull the rear seat and gas tank out, then about 10 minutes to install the bracket and then 2 or 3 more hours to put the back of the boat together again, it stinks.

Yes.gif Disassembly and re-assembly has kept me from doing it. :lol:

So chevyspy...do you have a 98 Sportster as detailed in your profile? Or a 94 Flightcraft? If you have a Flighty, I'm curious if you called Malibu to ask their opinion on putting a wedge on it? :unsure: Just curious.

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chevyspy

Thanks for the info.

1. I would not use 5200, it will never come off. Use a silicone suitable for underwater service.

2. Always seal around the holes you put in the hull, not the whole bracket itself, also put a nice blob in each bolt hole.

3. As for the size of the bolt holes, a little bit bigger than the bolts...always put a chamfer on the gelcoat to avoid cracks

4. Try and get some measurments off a comparable boat, best way to go, centering is also very critical, do not use the exhuast flappers as your reference.

5. The bolts go tight, but not crazy....no spec I know of

6. yup leave them loose so it takes no effort to lower the wedge (aka it drops down nice).

Wedge installation for a Sporter is about 2-3 hours to pull the rear seat and gas tank out, then about 10 minutes to install the bracket and then 2 or 3 more hours to put the back of the boat together again, it stinks.

-Chris

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Boatman
2. Always seal around the holes you put in the hull, not the whole bracket itself, also put a nice blob in each bolt hole.

I had the dealer install a Wedge on my Echelon and they put silicon around "The Edge" of the whole mounting bracket. Dontknow.gif

(I hope Edgeski notices the shameless plug I threw in for them" Thumbup.gif )

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Tracktor

i installed mine last summer and took pics of the whole process. i'll try and upload them. it's pretty simple, just make sure it's centered & level.......

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Pistol Pete

Yup,

finding a way to measure true center and level is very difficult. I used a laser.

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blindjudge

Any word on if fitting a wedge to a <98 flughtcraft sportster is a bad idea? I'd like to make more seating room by not having a rear sack in the 97 flighty I am looking at.

Do they have the same reinforcement that the 98 sportsters have? Are they actually the same shape, as said above? Do they work as expected with the hull. (As I assume the different hull would make a difference to the effectiveness of the wedge)

Cheers

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Gilby1604

I just went through this exercise with my 2001 Response LX. I installed a floating wedge in about 3.5 - 4 hrs with only the help of my 10 year old boy. Initially I was told that I had to go through a Malibu Dealer to maintain the warranty, but after talking to several dealers and even to Malibu, there is no real way for them to track who has done what to a used boat. In addition, my main concern was that they quoted me $1,000 to do it and the dealer was completely clueless about the process or what needed to be done. Basically the main challenge is getting everything out of the way so you are ready to drill the hull and install the wedge (which takes 30 minutes max).

This involves:
Removing the platform
Removing the trunk cover/pad (Four nuts on the seat part + remove the plasitic pieces that hold the support shocks on)
Removing the square carpet protector for the full pick up.
Removing the trunk light and cable holders (5 screws)
Removing the Seat (this is the hardest part as there are four bolts hidden way in under the gunwale and the 2 screws in the carpet siding by the floor + 4 screws on the floor)
Removing the rear trunk siding/Carpet piece (has two pockets and access to the fuel shut off). The key is measuring where the screws are as they are hard to find under the carpet.
Remove the carpet Trunk floor (Sliide forward and bend it a bit)
Remove the screws holding the tank down
Take the filling cap and Gas hose connector to the tank off (Best to siphon the gas out first).
Slide the tank forward until their is enough room to get at the transom
Now you are ready to install it.

The key is to make sure the wedge is level and centered. Level is easy as it only has to be parallel to the bottom of the hull (not the box or exhaust!). I measured and made sure there was a little room above the new style mounting plate so that if there was any flex it wouldn't rub or crack). Center is harder, but just measure from a couple different spots. I was spot on, but other factory boats were all different. Anyway, the key is to install one bolt first (start with a small managable bit then go to the right size 9/16" I think and chamfer the holes so they don't crack - both sides) Tighten it down and make sure it is level (you won't be able to adjust center so make sure you get it right on the marking the first time) and then drill, install, drill install, etc. . Once you have done the test fit to make sure everything is a go - use a marine silicone and make circles around every bolt hole and a good dab the hole too. Don't be shy and wear gloves! I put loctite on the bolts for added security and it was installed. The only challenge was the actual wedge didn't quite have enough clearance to swing up and down so I had to grind a little off the top of the wedge supports to make it clear better (more of taking the corner off). Classic for the price you pay. For reassembly reverse the process. I probably added and extra 45 minutes taking off the rust of the bolts and cleaning up the vinyl that touched the floor as I went.

This was a great project for my son and I and we really learned a lot about our boat and the fact that it saved us a grand I am happy with the result. I am quite handy, but certainly not a boat mechanic although I take things a part on a regular basis. The main thing is that the boats are basically custom made so really look at the pieces before you take them of for location/gaps and reassembly.

Edited by Gilby1604

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