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Wedge Rehab


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So I purchased a manual wedge and teak platform off of a certain totalled 2002 Sunsetter (Thanks Chris!) to add to my '96 Sunsetter. The wedge was fairly neglected, and had extensive rust and pitting when I purchased it. I will post my progress and also some questions for those more knowledgeable than me. Here's the starting point:

image_url-14611-1302200726.jpg

So, I took apart the wedge. This required a torch to the arms at the mounting point for the foil, and using an impact screwdriver on the screws. It was difficult to remove, but worked fine. The arms then separated from the cylinders with the squeeze pins fairly easily. Once everything was apart, I used a wire wheel to take all of the scale off from each part. The brass parts were left untouched after wire wheeling them. I then powder-coated all of the aluminum parts (bracket, foil, and platform brackets) using my cheap Harbor Freight powder coater with flat black powder. Here are the parts ready for reassembly:

image_url-14611-1302202338.jpg

Prior to re-assembly, I decided to purchase new stainless screws - found them at Ace Hardware, but they only had hex head. They are 1" screws with 5/16 - 18 thread:

image_url-14611-1302202355.jpg

Before assembly, I then decided to drill and tap a third screw on each side to match what Malibu did on later models for increased strength. I should have done this before I powder coated the foil, so I will touch that up before final re-assembly. The pitting is still present following cleanup and powdercoating, but not hardly noticeable in person.

image_url-14611-1302202371.jpg

image_url-14611-1302202385.jpg

So, before final reassembly, I have a few questions:

-What type of Loctite should be used for the foil screws? Blue or Red? I don't want them to back out, but I also want to be able to remove them if any of the bolt heads shear.

-It seems as though there was some sort of adhesive connecting the horizontal supporting rods to the wedge arms. Possibly silicone? I know that separation at these joints causes some rubbing and binding in a lot of boats, so I'd like to avoid that. Is there anything I should put on there before I hammer it back together?

I'll post more as the project progresses.

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BLUE is what you want. RED is permenant, but that is always subject to having the right tools to break it free. I would think that 100% silicone would work for sealing the contact points, I would put my silicone on before I wreched them tight to make sure it is a true air/water tight seal.

My linkhttp://www.loctiteproducts.com/threadlockers.shtml

I would use the Red. Red loctite can easily be removed if you apply some heat with a torch.

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That looks great! My wedge is in the same condition and I want to do exactly what you did. What kind of oven did you use for the powdercoating?

Just take the racks out of your oven at home, hang them with bailing wire, 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then turn the oven off and let it cool with the door closed. Piece of cake!

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BLUE is what you want. RED is permenant, but that is always subject to having the right tools to break it free. I would think that 100% silicone would work for sealing the contact points, I would put my silicone on before I wreched them tight to make sure it is a true air/water tight seal.

My linkhttp://www.loctiteproducts.com/threadlockers.shtml

I'm actually talking about where the brass tubes (with the release pins inside) connect to the vertical brass arms. They just fit together with friction, so wondering if Malibu put some kind of adhesive on there.

I am definitely planning on sealing the plate to the hull with silicone :)

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How much room did you have to tap another bolt between the two? How thick is the brass wall between each tapped hole after you added the 3rd?

I have to consider putting a 3rd bolt in mine as well...

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Did you have any major issues with fumes or odors in the house?

Just take the racks out of your oven at home, hang them with bailing wire, 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then turn the oven off and let it cool with the door closed. Piece of cake!

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How much room did you have to tap another bolt between the two? How thick is the brass wall between each tapped hole after you added the 3rd?

I have to consider putting a 3rd bolt in mine as well...

There was plenty of room and the holes aren't as deep as I thought they would be (about 3/4 inch). Since I haven't put the Loctite on yet, i'll take the foil off and take a picture to show you the end of the strut. But I won't be home until later.

Also worth noting is that the existing holes were not perfectly centered nor evenly spaced, so it was done by hand from the factory as well. Make sure you keep track of which arm is right and which is left because it will only go together one way.

Edited by ecadwell
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There was plenty of room and the holes aren't as deep as I thought they would be (about 3/4 inch). Since I haven't put the Loctite on yet, i'll take the foil off and take a picture to show you the end of the strut. But I won't be home until later.

Also worth noting is that the existing holes were not perfectly centered nor evenly spaced, so it was done by hand from the factory as well. Make sure you keep track of which arm is right and which is left because it will only go together one way.

Here's a shot of the end of the arm with the third hole. Really a pretty wide margin for error. You'll want to drill the foil and the arm at the same time so the angle matches on both.

image_url-14611-1302235891.jpg

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If the newer type stainless bracket will fit your wedge it is well worth the money. It will be much easier to lock the wedge in both positions. The aluminum brackets need three hands to work.

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Here's a shot of the end of the arm with the third hole. Really a pretty wide margin for error. You'll want to drill the foil and the arm at the same time so the angle matches on both.

image_url-14611-1302235891.jpg

wow... there really is a lot of room there for a 3rd tap. Very good points on keeping the correct arms on each side and drilling both the foil and arm at the same time for angle line-up.

You are wise with the force young jedi !

Nice work, I think I'll just send mine to you to do ...COD ;)

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:rockon: Nice job with the wedge refit I put one on my 98 VLX last year. Be careful with the swim deck, I made the mistake of not predrilling my door supports that I fabricated and split the wood on my wedge door. Not that I could not have come up with a fix but a friend of mine had a totaled 06 I-Ride with a fibreglass swim deck with a wedge door that fit perfect. Looking forward to seeing how the swim deck turns out. Good Luck.

Oh ya what happened to my old swim deck? it is now mounted in the corner of my shop with a 42" wide screen.

CB

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I'm actually talking about where the brass tubes (with the release pins inside) connect to the vertical brass arms. They just fit together with friction, so wondering if Malibu put some kind of adhesive on there.

I am definitely planning on sealing the plate to the hull with silicone :)

Maybe this would do the trick? Certainly a good idea.

Great job btw. I have thought about doing the same to mine as well.

Also a couple years ago I researched these older wedges and found two possible reasons for failure. One came from Paul at Bakes and one from a customer service rep from Malibu.

One reason given was because the threads were never cut quite deep enough so that there was not enough "clamping" force on the wedge plate. (Paul) Given this info, it might be worth your while to verify that the original holes are cut deep enough.

The other one was corrosion due to electrolysis attacking the bolts. (Malibu) you already fixed this one when you replaced the bolts!

Edited by Ruffdog
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:rockon: Nice job with the wedge refit I put one on my 98 VLX last year. Be careful with the swim deck, I made the mistake of not predrilling my door supports that I fabricated and split the wood on my wedge door. Not that I could not have come up with a fix but a friend of mine had a totaled 06 I-Ride with a fibreglass swim deck with a wedge door that fit perfect. Looking forward to seeing how the swim deck turns out. Good Luck.

Oh ya what happened to my old swim deck? it is now mounted in the corner of my shop with a 42" wide screen.

CB

Luckily I also bought the deck from Chris with the wedge door already in it. It also needs a lot of TLC so I'll post that on here when I'm done as well.

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Maybe this would do the trick? Certainly a good idea.

Great job btw. I have thought about doing the same to mine as well.

Also a couple years ago I researched these older wedges and found two possible reasons for failure. One came from Paul at Bakes and one from a customer service rep from Malibu.

One reason given was because the threads were never cut quite deep enough so that there was not enough "clamping" force on the wedge plate. (Paul) Given this info, it might be worth your while to verify that the original holes are cut deep enough.

The other one was corrosion due to electrolysis attacking the bolts. (Malibu) you already fixed this one when you replaced the bolts!

That's interesting, I'll look into that as I really don't want the arms to separate and bind on the bracket over time.

The holes themselves are plenty deep enough to get the screw fully threaded, so that should be good on mine. It may be different on others' though, since these were obviously drilled by hand from the factory.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Looking good, now lets see that platform come back from the dead!

-Chris

Ask and ye shall receive. Spent a lot of time rehabbing the platform this weekend. I had forgotten how satisfying it is to restore teak! Basically, my process was to sand it down using a random orbital and 60 grit, followed by 120 grit. Then, I pressure washed it and allowed to dry overnight. After drying, I put on 4 coats of Meguiars teak oil over a 2 day period. The teak was so thirsty that it took nearly 2/3 of a new bottle to get it done! But the results are awesome. I polished up all of the hardware and bought new mounting screws. couple that with the bracket arms that I powder coated, and the thing looks basically brand new.

Here's what it looked like when I started:

image_url-14611-1305054603.jpg

Sanding with 60 grit took about 3 hours to do the whole thing, but here's a little comparison of how things come to life just by getting the neglected top layer off:

image_url-14611-1305054627.jpg

image_url-14611-1305054646.jpg

After 3 hours of sanding.... Left the door unsanded in this pic for comparison.

image_url-14611-1305054668.jpg

Then, following pressure wash, overnight dry, and 4 coats of oil over 2 days. I had previously powdercoated the bracket arms. Now, everything is ready to be installed on the boat!

image_url-14611-1305054691.jpg

image_url-14611-1305054741.jpg

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