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nosocr

Installation of Wedge

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nosocr

I just purchased my first Malibu and I am extremely happy with it, but I want to add the Wedge. I just purchased the Wedge and now it needs to be installed. My local Malibu shop (Tilly's) is charging an arm and a leg to install it.

I think I can install it no problem, but there is not much room for error when drilling into the hull of your own boat. Should I install it myself or should I get someone who knows what they are doing? If someone else is to do it, does anyone have recommendations for someone in the Ventura/LA area??? Any idea on cost?

Thanks!

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mrothwell
I just purchased my first Malibu and I am extremely happy with it, but I want to add the Wedge. I just purchased the Wedge and now it needs to be installed. My local Malibu shop (Tilly's) is charging an arm and a leg to install it.

I think I can install it no problem, but there is not much room for error when drilling into the hull of your own boat. Should I install it myself or should I get someone who knows what they are doing? If someone else is to do it, does anyone have recommendations for someone in the Ventura/LA area??? Any idea on cost?

Thanks!

It's expensive to install because there is a lot of time involved. You need to remove the fuel tank to get to the area.

If you are willing to do the "prep" work yourself, and only have them drill and mount, then you do the restore work, maybe they would work a deal with you.

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nosocr

I was thinking the same thing, but I know most dealers have a minimum hour requirement (say 3 or 4 hours worth of labor). I don't have a problem doing the "prep", including the removal of the tank.

I don't want to fork over $400 or more for them to only drill 4 holes...

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skicrave

It may be a moot point, last time I checked dealers were required to do the installation (for liability reasons, and for the lifetime hull warranty to remain in effect).

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Intense
It may be a moot point, last time I checked dealers were required to do the installation (for liability reasons, and for the lifetime hull warranty to remain in effect).

They may be require in the way that the dealer is required to change the oil in a BMW. Doesn't mean he can't do it, just means they don't 'recommend' it.

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nosocr
It may be a moot point, last time I checked dealers were required to do the installation (for liability reasons, and for the lifetime hull warranty to remain in effect).

They may be require in the way that the dealer is required to change the oil in a BMW. Doesn't mean he can't do it, just means they don't 'recommend' it.

That's another reason why I didn't want to it myself too, but I don't want to pay so much for such an easy installation. I just bought the boat and funds are now low...

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skicrave

Right, but you can buy oil that meets BWM requirements anywhere, it's a little more difficult to get your hands on a Wedge AND plate. If Malibu only wants dealers installing Wedge plates, it would be pretty easy to enforce (which is what they have ended up doing).

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nosocr

Skicrave your not helping me! I'm ok with a dealer installing; I just don't want to be rapped with the ridicolous fees my local dealership is charging...

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skicrave

Sorry man! I'm not trying to persuade you not to do it yourself, I just wanted you to be prepared for what you're up against just trying to convince Malibu and your dealer to do it.

My opinion on this is that although you're only talking about drilling four holes, the ramifications of messing up are incredibly serious. It's not like we're talking about installing a bimini, or even pull-up cleats, where you can cut your teeth while doing the installation. If you don't have serious experience drilling (large) holes in gelcoat, this probably isn't the best project to learn on.

Also, because of the forces that are applied to the transom by the Wedge, and the fact that all four holes will be below the waterline, this really isn't something I would want on my back if a problem arises. If something goes wrong after the install, even if it's unrelated, the liability falls on the dealer (and Malibu) to fullfill the lifetime warranty on the hull.

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NorCaliBu
...I just don't want to be raped with the ridicolous fees my local dealership is charging...

I have fairly limited personal experience with Tilly's (my Sporty was originally purchased from them) but everything that I have heard about them is that they are fantastic. I would call them and ask "If I do the removal and re-install...how much to just mount the plate?" Thumbup.gif

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JohnDoe

Just an observation, but the OP is talking about an '94 echelon from what I can tell (thats whats in his/her bio). I am pretty sure that Malibu did not offer a lifetime hull warranty at that time, so thats a moot point, it would seem.

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skicrave
Just an observation, but the OP is talking about an '94 echelon from what I can tell (thats whats in his/her bio). I am pretty sure that Malibu did not offer a lifetime hull warranty at that time, so thats a moot point, it would seem.

Nope, they did, starting with the '93 Echelon. Now whether or not the boat still qualifies (second owner, transfer fee paid, etc.) is another question, but it's definitely worth considering.

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nosocr

Ok ok... I definitelty need to get it installed by a malibu dealer, I knew this from the beginning but wanted some ideas!

I know that Tillys (my local shop) does great work, but does anyone know of a dealer that is close to me that can do it cheaper? In the mean time, I will call them (Tillys) to see if I can do the removal and reinstall.

Thanks for your help/opinions guys! I really appreciate it!!! Rockon.gif

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vlx wakesetter

A lil birdy once told me if you can't afford the toy then why have it? If you're complaining about the price that Tilly's is charging you how are you gonna pay to use it? You can install it yourself easily enough if you have the time and accuracy it takes... It seems to me paying the $400 is a cheap and hassle free insurance for it being installed correctly. Good luck.

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SunriseH2OSkier
My opinion on this is that although you're only talking about drilling four holes, the ramifications of messing up are incredibly serious. It's not like we're talking about installing a bimini, or even pull-up cleats, where you can cut your teeth while doing the installation. If you don't have serious experience drilling (large) holes in gelcoat, this probably isn't the best project to learn on.

Hey Jason, I have always admired your knowledge and experience on all things Malibu, but this advice seems really conservative to me. Especially coming from someone who once converted a Response into a Response LX! ;)

The four holes may be 'big', and may be below the waterline, but no way are they as big as the hole you have to put in to install a paddlewheel for Perfect Pass, and I think there are a lot of people who have tackled that project. Heck there are even more who have drilled a very large hole in the transom in order to install a stereo remote. Sure it is above the waterline and isn't subject to anywhere near the stress that a wedge. But a good underwater marine sealant can be readily purchased anywhere, and as long as the individual is installing the wedge plate using the OEM backing plate that goes with it, the stresses on the transom will be no different than if the dealer does it. The only question I would have is whether adding a wedge to a model that was never originally designed for it (did they offer the Wedge on a '94 Echelon?) is a risk in and of itself. If dealers are doing it, I would have to guess Malibu sanctions this useage for that design.

As I see it, there is really only one consideration: How mechanically inclined is the individual? If they are confident in their ability to 'measure twice (in this case 4 or 5 times), cut once', and if they are willing to take the time to make sure the backing plate is sitting flush against the back side of the transom, this job is no big deal. It would be a tremendous help if he (or she) can look at another boat (same model) with the wedge already installed to get the measurements for location. My guess is that if nosocr is willing to do all the prep work, he is probably more than capable of tackling this project.

I say go for it. Thumbup.gif

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LS-One

I put a wedge plate on my 97 Sunsetter it was time consuming but not difficult.

I would post some pics but the boat sunk.

:Doh: J/K

I made a pattern out of a card stock type material off another boat like mine taped it on the transom and drilled the holes. This was not available then but today I would use 3M 5200 marine sealant on the bolts, in the holes, and and on both plates. This is a forever marine sealent !! Available at Home Depot in the paint dept.

Edit, I also put bow docking lights in that boat. That was a much more intense job.

Edited by LS-One

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SunriseH2OSkier
I put a wedge plate on my 97 Sunsetter it was time consuming but not difficult.

I would post some pics but the boat sunk.

:Doh: J/K

ROFL.gif

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Malibudude
My opinion on this is that although you're only talking about drilling four holes, the ramifications of messing up are incredibly serious. It's not like we're talking about installing a bimini, or even pull-up cleats, where you can cut your teeth while doing the installation. If you don't have serious experience drilling (large) holes in gelcoat, this probably isn't the best project to learn on.

Hey Jason, I have always admired your knowledge and experience on all things Malibu, but this advice seems really conservative to me. Especially coming from someone who once converted a Response into a Response LX! ;)

The four holes may be 'big', and may be below the waterline, but no way are they as big as the hole you have to put in to install a paddlewheel for Perfect Pass, and I think there are a lot of people who have tackled that project. Heck there are even more who have drilled a very large hole in the transom in order to install a stereo remote. Sure it is above the waterline and isn't subject to anywhere near the stress that a wedge. But a good underwater marine sealant can be readily purchased anywhere, and as long as the individual is installing the wedge plate using the OEM backing plate that goes with it, the stresses on the transom will be no different than if the dealer does it. The only question I would have is whether adding a wedge to a model that was never originally designed for it (did they offer the Wedge on a '94 Echelon?) is a risk in and of itself. If dealers are doing it, I would have to guess Malibu sanctions this useage for that design.

As I see it, there is really only one consideration: How mechanically inclined is the individual? If they are confident in their ability to 'measure twice (in this case 4 or 5 times), cut once', and if they are willing to take the time to make sure the backing plate is sitting flush against the back side of the transom, this job is no big deal. It would be a tremendous help if he (or she) can look at another boat (same model) with the wedge already installed to get the measurements for location. My guess is that if nosocr is willing to do all the prep work, he is probably more than capable of tackling this project.

I say go for it. Thumbup.gif

The '93 Echelon was the first model retroactively could have the wedge installed. The first version of the wedge came about circa '98. So yes installing on OP is just fine, while there isn't much too it, the price for failing is enormous. There isn't a hull warranty on this boat transfers can only occur up to three years anyway. The liability would be on the dealer whom installed it for causing the problem. I've heard only positive comments from Tilly's, so I'm sure they'll do a good job.

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vette-ski

It really isn't a difficult job. Although mine is a v-drive. If you have to remove your fuel tank to get access to the bolts, that complicates the job time-wise. But the concern seems to be around drilling holes. I personally would never use 3m 5200 on something like this. I've been told that you'll be chipping gel coat to ever get it out again should you need to. Silicone sealant approved for use below the water line is adequate.

It's not too difficult to measure to find centerline of the boat. Just be careful not to insall the wedge plate too low on the hull. IIRC, the lower mounting holes are low on the bracket and you have to consider the thickness of the bottom hull surface and ability to install the nuts, washers, and backing plate on the inside of the hull. Also, consider the location of the wedge foil in the up position with respect to the swim platform. I'd have an inch or less gap between the foil and bottom of platform.

I remember "back in the day" I got my feet wet turning wrenches working in a boat dealer (I/O and fish 'n ski) shop as a youngster. I was the guy tasked with installing 150 hp outboard motors on bass fishing boats. Center it up, drill 4 big holes, silicon....just like a wedge for the most part. As far as I know none ever sank or sat in the lake spinning in circles. Keep in mind this was the "dealer", and I had to have my mom drive me to work because I was 14-15 years old. Not that Tilley's would do this, but you see what I'm saying. Crazy.gif

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nosocr
A lil birdy once told me if you can't afford the toy then why have it? If you're complaining about the price that Tilly's is charging you how are you gonna pay to use it? You can install it yourself easily enough if you have the time and accuracy it takes... It seems to me paying the $400 is a cheap and hassle free insurance for it being installed correctly. Good luck.

VLX, you don't understand the point of this bulletin. I feel that I am more than capable of installing the wedge, but wanted opinions on me doing it and getting it done somewhere else that doesn't charge me a arm and a leg. In addition, I can afford the boat (I have the title free and clear) and the boat has a full tank of gas (meaning I can use it, and can afford to take it out). I'm just sick of these dealers charging an arm and a leg for anything to do with our boats.

Is $120 an hour ridiculous? I think it is, especially when they charge for a minimum of 4 hours!

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LS-One
It really isn't a difficult job. Although mine is a v-drive. If you have to remove your fuel tank to get access to the bolts, that complicates the job time-wise. But the concern seems to be around drilling holes. I personally would never use 3m 5200 on something like this. I've been told that you'll be chipping gel coat to ever get it out again should you need to. Silicone sealant approved for use below the water line is adequate.

It's not too difficult to measure to find centerline of the boat. Just be careful not to insall the wedge plate too low on the hull. IIRC, the lower mounting holes are low on the bracket and you have to consider the thickness of the bottom hull surface and ability to install the nuts, washers, and backing plate on the inside of the hull. Also, consider the location of the wedge foil in the up position with respect to the swim platform. I'd have an inch or less gap between the foil and bottom of platform.

I remember "back in the day" I got my feet wet turning wrenches working in a boat dealer (I/O and fish 'n ski) shop as a youngster. I was the guy tasked with installing 150 hp outboard motors on bass fishing boats. Center it up, drill 4 big holes, silicon....just like a wedge for the most part. As far as I know none ever sank or sat in the lake spinning in circles. Keep in mind this was the "dealer", and I had to have my mom drive me to work because I was 14-15 years old. Not that Tilley's would do this, but you see what I'm saying. Crazy.gif

You got bad info on 5200 it does not dry hard, it remains flexible. It is deisgned for below the waterline use and marine applications. The houseboat yard at our lake uses it for all the below waterline applications on houseboats. My outdrive on the houseboat was installed with 5200. After 3 years underwater it was still flexible and watertight. Don't take my word for it, read the specs.

Edited by LS-One

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nosocr

The "Prep" work idea worked! I just got off the phone with Tillys and they stated that they can do the mounting for me for less hours if I removed the tank... Woohoo!!!

It will probably take me a while to do, but a job I am more than happy to do.

Thanks again for all the opinions and help in finding the best solution for me!

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LS-One

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vette-ski

Yeah but......just because it remains flexible doesn't mean that the bond isn't too strong. I will admit I've never used it, and the info I posted above is a direct quote from my Malibu dealer when I picked up a tube to install thru-hulls for my ballast system (below the waterline). They said "you don't want that stuff". The tube said "permanent" application, and even your link refers to it as a "structural adhesive". Just like loc-tite...you never want to use permanent strength loc-tite on a bolt you will want off some day.

Check this out, and even read the comments posted by others:

Link

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LS-One

Yeah but......just because it remains flexible doesn't mean that the bond isn't too strong. I will admit I've never used it, and the info I posted above is a direct quote from my Malibu dealer when I picked up a tube to install thru-hulls for my ballast system (below the waterline). They said "you don't want that stuff". The tube said "permanent" application, and even your link refers to it as a "structural adhesive". Just like loc-tite...you never want to use permanent strength loc-tite on a bolt you will want off some day.

Check this out, and even read the comments posted by others:

Link

I have used it in in several applications on my houseboat both above and below the waterline. I had no trouble removing it. The outdrive I reffered to above was removed after three years and it was no more trouble than removing a bent tracking fin for replacement and removing the silicone Malibu used. Dontknow.gif

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