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TalleyHo

Wedge actuator death

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TalleyHo

This weekend while running around, I noticed the wake was a bit different shape. The gauge showed the wedge all the way down, but we were having a hard time planing out. I'd hold the down button, and it cleaned up. I then did a set with the wedge up, and noticed a lot of spray under the platform. The wedge was about 1" down from its normal up position, but the gauge was all the way up.

When I got it on the trailer, one of the actuators was rock solid, the other had a significant amount of play in it. I'm assuming they should both be pretty tight.

I'm going to head out to storage to do a little investigation, but I'm assuming the actuator is shot. Dealer replacement will be just south of $500 which proves my $500 theory -- assuming only one of them is shot.

The boat is 4 yrs old w/ 375 hours. What's the average life of these actuators? Is this reasonable? Or am I just lucky to get one of the statistically challenged parts? Anyone else been thru this stupid maintenance issue before? I haven't hit anything with the wedge, so this wasn't an impact damage issue.

TIA.

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Ndawg12

Despite their advertising, I don't think these are sealed up very well. The pair that I helped replace had water in them and the motors were locked up. One fails, the other binds and soon fails. You can take them off and open them up, be careful with the little gears, if just the motor is locked up you might be able to let them dry out and reseal them back up... Here's some pics you might find interesting.

Edited by Ndawg12

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nyryan2001

this would be the 5th or so actuator I have heard of failing and having to be replaced...only one i have heard of was on a new boat.... the others were roughly in the range and use of yours.

500$ does seem steep for just 1 actuator replacement... have you priced it out to see what it'd cost to do it yourself? How much does just the actuator cost?

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Big-K

I replaced two actuators on my 2007 vlx from hittin a rock and it took me 2 hours to install them. They are really easy to put in. I paid $345 for one actuator.

Kirk

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TalleyHo

$500 was parts and labor for one (rounded up). I think I was quoted 'off-the-cuff' about $350 for the part, and an hour labor. I plan on pulling the loose one off tonight and seeing if there is any hope of resuscitation. Too much sh!t has broken recently -- board, bindings, handle, fence...

I'd like to do it myself, but I was told that they had to be 'timed' to make sure they didn't fight each other. I haven't poked around on it much, so right now I'm prepping for worse case scenario. It will be interesting to see what the internals look like.

For better or worse, if I decide to take it in, the guys in the shop are idle, so I should have it back quickly. Not that there is any water in the lake, but it __could__ rain. Maybe.

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G-Mack

Did both this spring for $850.00 installed. 180 hrs. Our dealer recommended storing the boat with the wedge in the down position to help drive the water out.. couldn't hurt. Some consolation is you will have a 3 year warranty on the new actuator.

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Tao of Wake

One of my actuators died just at the end of the season. I will be replacing both next spring. You can just get a Lenco 15060-001 for about $200. I plan on buying two and installing them myself. As others have mentioned on other threads, the only real challenge is getting the new wires through the hull. The new wires are a bit thicker than the original, so when you pull the old ones out and try to feed the new ones through, it may be pretty tight. Once that is done, just splice the new wiring like the old. I found the existing splices under the starboard gunnel in the rear compartment. Looks pretty easy to cut and then connect the new wires using heat shrink splices. When you install the new actuator(s), make sure both are adjusted to the exact same length. This should be pretty easy. Just connect one to the wedge, then rotate the other actuator until the holes line up with where they connect to the wedge. Lastly, you will need to calibrate them.

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TalleyHo

One of my actuators died just at the end of the season. I will be replacing both next spring. You can just get a Lenco 15060-001 for about $200. I plan on buying two and installing them myself. As others have mentioned on other threads, the only real challenge is getting the new wires through the hull. The new wires are a bit thicker than the original, so when you pull the old ones out and try to feed the new ones through, it may be pretty tight. Once that is done, just splice the new wiring like the old. I found the existing splices under the starboard gunnel in the rear compartment. Looks pretty easy to cut and then connect the new wires using heat shrink splices. When you install the new actuator(s), make sure both are adjusted to the exact same length. This should be pretty easy. Just connect one to the wedge, then rotate the other actuator until the holes line up with where they connect to the wedge. Lastly, you will need to calibrate them.

Thanks for the tip. I pulled the loose one off last night and it had some nasty water drain out of the piston area. I was concerned I jacked up the wire, so it's bitter sweet to hear that I have to run the wires all the way back thru the hull. I'm curious to see what the guts look like when I peel the top off now.

That's interesing about calibrating the wedge. I've turned my batts off before when installing radio/amp etc and have never performed a wedge calibration. Perhaps that's part of the reason for early failure.

I suppose I should just replace both at the same time since I don't necessarily want to kill the new one if the old one is on the way out as well. Ugh... That manual wedge is looking a lot more attractive now!

Does anyone store their boat w/ the wedge down? A few have mentioned that -- first I've heard.

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Ndawg12

We didn't have to calibrate, the gauge was right on the money, we just spun the paddlewheel raised it up and down a couple times. Not sure why some do and some don't.

Edited by Ndawg12

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TalleyHo

I finally got around to fixing the actuators yesterday. It was much easier than I thought. The only thing I had to 'redo' was gauge calibration. On the 07, I guess the ECM 'remembers' where the wedge is. I took all the parts off while it was in the up position. And when I put the new ones on, it was in the down position. So, I just hooked up the old working actuator, put the wedge 'down', then re-connected the new ones.

I didn't cut the wires at all. Instead, I did like someone else above, and pulled the old ones out. A sprayed some boot lube in the holes and on the wires, and they slid right in. It took a bit longer, but now I don't have to worry about solder connections failing, getting wet, etc...

The only other thing I had to do was move loosed the 8 bolts on top of the wedge mount to adjust for a slight difference in the throw. The wedge wouldn't come up all the way -- it was about 1/2" short of where it should be.

Other than dropping the $400 on the parts, this was a fairly easy install compared to what I was expecting. Now to go try it on the water.

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Fman

Apparently Lenco has improved the actuators in the last couple years to increase longevity, I would hope I get more than three years out of them, if I dont I will be disappointed. I have 142 hours on my 2011 and so far they have always worked fine.

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Tao of Wake

I just replaced both actuators on my '07 VLX this weekend. With all of the posts about difficulties in getting the new wiring through the transom, I thought I would post my experience. First, it was quite difficult pulling the old wires through. The outer sheathing of the cables came completely off. After removing the compression nut that seals the cable through the transom (is threaded onto the wedge bracket), I found that the holes through the transom and the wedge bracket didn't exactly line up, and so this is why the old cable was so difficult to pull out and the new one so hard to get back through the hole. The simple solution was to take a drill and widen the hole through the transom. You have to be very careful not to touch the inside of the hole in the wedge bracket, though, or you will damage the threads for the compression nut. Once that was done, I just put the compression ring and nut on the cable, routed it through the holes, screwed the nut into the hole, tightened down the compression nut on the cable, reconnected the cables inside the boat and attached the actuator to the wedge. In all, it took only about an hour to replace both actuators!

On a side note, I did notice that the wedge was quite difficult to move, so I loosened the lock nuts on either side to give it free motion. I also did not completely tighten the compression nuts on the actuator attachment points. Everything now moves easily. I am hoping that I can get more than 4 years on these actuators! If one dies, I do still have one good actuator that I removed, though.

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