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Illusion G3 Tower Replacement Gas Shocks


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Anyone have a lead on where you can purchase replacement gas shocks for my Illusion G3 tower for my 2011 VTX?  I can't seem to find any online.  Called a local dealer and they want $215 each for either the 150 lb or 215 lb shocks.  I already checked Bakesonline and couldn't find any.

Anyone play with putting a 150 and 215 on?  I currently have a bimini top and am thinking of adding tower speakers this summer.  Would love to find a way to get the raising/lowering to be a one person job since I store in my garage and hate using a 2x4 to keep it propped up so it doesn't rest on the dash.  It sounds like I might have problems with it slowly rising if I put 2 of the 215 lb shocks on.  Thoughts?

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I have a 2013, VLX and initially thought both shocks failed.  I searched everywhere as well and could not find anyone other that the Malibu dealer having them available.  What I did learn that only one shock failed even though it appears both were not providing any resistance. My recommendation is to first purchase one shock.  My tower has the 215# shocks as the tower has four speakers and bimini.

The removal and replacement is fairly easy, no specialty tools but it's helpful to have someone manipulate the tower during the process.

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I called the shock manufacturer from the label, Barnes Group, and was told that the part number on the shocks was a custom/manufacturer specific "special" item and was only available as an OEM part. I asked them to confirm the OEM and they wouldn't do that, even when I asked it was Malibu they wouldn't tell me anything.

When I was at the Malibu factory I did learn that they will mix & match shock weights (but will always install 2 shocks) to match what's on the tower with 2x 150lb (670 N) being the lowest weight rating they install; I'm not near my boat, but I believe that 2x 300  lb or 2x 350 lb is the highest rating that is used.

I'd suggest calling a few dealers to see if anyone has them, but it should be a quick turnaround item from Malibu.

BTW: I used this "cargo bar" from Harbor Freight to hold the tower when I replaced the shocks by myself (make sure you take the shocks out when the tower is in the up position):

http://www.harborfreight.com/2-in-1-support-cargo-bar-66172.html

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  • 2 months later...

These gas springs are reverse pressurized versus a standard gas spring. They are generally called traction springs. According to manufacturer, they offer approx half the life of standard gas springs.

The OEM springs are 10 mm diameter rod with M8 threads, a 28 mm diameter body , 5.91" (150 mm) stroke, 245 mm (9.65") retracted length, and 150 lb (670 N) force. The OEM Barnes PN is SA-1028-0591-150 670N (this is for the standard 150 lb version for empty tower).

I found a direct replacement online at geminigassprings.com in Canada. I need the standard 150 lb version and was quoted $73.80 CAD = $56.23 each with a 3 week lead time (15 working days) for manufacture. No minimum order quantity.

Use their configurator and select: traction springs, 10/28 size, threaded ends, 150 mm stroke with 245 mm (9.65") retracted length, and your desired force. This is their item #676

You could get any of the following for various tower speaker, racks, bimini combos:

900 N = 202 lbs

1000 N =224 lbs

1100 N = 247 lbs

1200 N = 270 lbs

You can order any force you like in 50 N increments, but I will order 700 N (158 lb) to closely replace the OEM 670 N. They actually have lb increments too but I thought I would order 158 lb versus stock 150 lb (maybe it will last a little longer?). I drop my tower every use to get the boat in my garage so I use them more than most. My 2011 just began to fail in the last few months and totally crapped a few weeks ago.
 

 

 

Edited by lonestar
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I put the factory 275s about $175.00 per after the dealer discount. He was quoting $200.00 each and after he saw the price double clutched and lowered them to 175.00. A word of caution, with 2 Rev-10s, dual speaker mounts for the Revs and the board racks mounted on the tower I physically have to ratchet strap the tower down onto my support brace to get in and out of my garage. If you let it go from the lowered position, I bet it would knock you out if you didn't move out of the way and it stays in the up position w/o the tower bolts being installed! I actually prefer the new rate with absolutely no effort over something I would have prop up. I had the 215s totally worthless and worn out after 1 years use.

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  • 1 month later...

@mikeo please forgive my ignorance.  I see it now.  Earlier I just saw member and the title below.  As you can tell I haven't posted anything.  I just purchased my 2012 vlx at the end of last year but really haven't had much time to research a

couple of items I need to address.  So, since you tagged lonestar with the @ then there should have been a notification sent, correct?  I appreciate the help. 

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4 hours ago, vlx2012 said:

@mikeo please forgive my ignorance.  I see it now.  Earlier I just saw member and the title below.  As you can tell I haven't posted anything.  I just purchased my 2012 vlx at the end of last year but really haven't had much time to research a

couple of items I need to address.  So, since you tagged lonestar with the @ then there should have been a notification sent, correct?  I appreciate the help. 

No problem, just trying to help... Hopefully lonestar updates the thread with results, but I know many people are on the water over the weekend; maybe we'll get an update on Monday.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Arrived and is identical replacement. Cost me $182.60CAD = $141.49USD for two with shipping and no additional customs duties. As long as you can live with the lead time, I suggest using Gemini as replacement source. (I experienced severe lead time due to "holiday" season)

Note: I cut a v-notch in one end of a 2X4 and used that as a temporary tower support. This allowed me to put my tower up and down by myself while waiting for the replacement springs. As others have noted, the tower is pretty heavy without gas spring assist. And mine is without tower speakers, only bimini. Watch out if you have tower speakers! 

Edited by lonestar
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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Great. I had to adjust the threaded ends (heim joints) a few times to get it right. I ended up screwing the bottom one all the way against the cylinder body snug and then adjusting the top one out a few turns to get it to fit with tower up and solid against the base. I used the 2X4 to wedge it hard into the raised position for trial fit and had to let the tower down about halfway to make room to turn the heim joint to make an adjustment. 

Edited by lonestar
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 5/1/2016 at 8:50 AM, skiredy said:

I have a 2013, VLX and initially thought both shocks failed.  I searched everywhere as well and could not find anyone other that the Malibu dealer having them available.  What I did learn that only one shock failed even though it appears both were not providing any resistance. My recommendation is to first purchase one shock.  My tower has the 215# shocks as the tower has four speakers and bimini.

The removal and replacement is fairly easy, no specialty tools but it's helpful to have someone manipulate the tower during the process.

When you replaced the shock, is there resistance now?  I have two 215 pound shocks and when I took all four speakers out there was still no real resistance.  How did you get your shocks tested?

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  • 1 year later...

Sorry to post on such an old topic.  I do appreciate all the advice you guys have out here.  I just ordered 1200N / 270 Lbs springs from Gemini for my 2011 VTX.  I'd be interested to know of any advice/direction on the replacement process (how to access the attachment locations/removal/etc).  Sounds like Gemini is still backlogged and it won't stop snowing in Wisconsin so I do have some time to figure this out!  Thanks for all the research!

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2 person job ideally. You have to remove the struts with the tower in the raised and secured position to unload the struts. Install both or one of the tower bolts/knobs. To remove the upper strut pivot plates and Allen head pivot point screws, unscrew the 2, #2 Phillips head screws on either side of the Allen head pivot screw. Both struts will flop around inside of the G3 base now. Once both of the upper plates are removed you can lower the tower onto a tower support stand.  I used a board prop to keep the tower up before I removed my tower knobs. I have a self made PVC cradle and stand to lower it on. Remove both of the inner bottom strut pivot point shaft Phillips head screws. I then used an under sized drift to drive out the "splined" pivot shafts that the screws came out of. To reinstall these pivot shafts, I made sure to line up the splines in the old grooves as best I could and drove them in with a plastic hammer. For gods sake "do not use any type of thread sealant on any of these screws or you will be hating life later. Once the lower shafts are tapped out the strut will be completely free to be removed. You will have to transfer the old strut heads to both new strut ends.  On reassembly I installed both struts and lower pivot shafts and then the upper strut heads and raised the tower. This took multiple attempts for both sides as I had to screw the heads in and out to get the strut head holes to align with the upper strut pivot point Allen head screw holes. The Allen heads actually screw in to and rests in the tower base behind the upper plate. Once I got that lined up I could screw in both upper screws on either side of the Allen screw. I had to screw the strut shafts into the upper heads by hand to get the shaft rods fully seated after final assembly. This adds some preload to the strut allows the tower to drawn into and fully seat into the G3 base. I had to use a tape wrapped pair of pliers to keep from messing up the shaft. That high up on the shaft doesn't insert into the strut, but it would of offended my OCD and mechanics common sense to do otherwise.  Let me know if you have any other questions, feel free to PM if needed, Bill

Edited by wdr
sp
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  • 3 months later...

I am new to the crew but really appreciate all of he info I am absorbing. Minocs, can you provide the Gemini part# for the 270’s. I need to start lowering the tower for storage purposes and this that is the way to go. My 4 speakers are HEAVY. 

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I've got the 4 speakers also so I just placed an order from Gemini a couple days ago by phone. Tell them its for a Malibu wake tower and they'll know exactly what you need, you just tell them the weight.  The 270 lbs is the 1200N version.  Right now he is planning a manufacturing run for next week that might be full, but will do another one the week after also.  Here are the details from my order confirmation:

Item No: 675.1901
Description: 10/28 150-245-395/1200N M8/M8

Rod: QPQ black;
Cylinder: Epoxy black;
Working temp: -30°C +80°C
Connecting parts: M8 threaded ends

$95 ea (CAD ~ $73 USD)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I installed the 1100N 250 lb versions and they are too strong for my single pair Rev10 with dual mount, bimini, and racks. Tower raises completely on own. My guess is 225 lb 1000N would be better for this setup (single pair of Rev10s). 

I have a pair of 700N 150 lb that are perfect for tower with bimini but NO speakers. Free if anyone is interested. 

 

150 lb are now gone. Shipped to a new home.

Edited by lonestar
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  • 2 months later...
  • 4 months later...

I just bought new gas shocks for my 2014 mxz over the winter about to add 6 rev 10s to the tower.  I got the ones rated for the most weights.. So was wondering if their is any post or video on how to remove and install them?  

 

Also looking for info for on how to install the tower speaker brackets?

 

I am sure it fairly easy but want to make sure I am doing to right?

 

Thanks in advance

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The struts are under load in the lowered position so you will want to raise and secure the tower in the up position before you remove the strut retention screws and brackets. IOT to make it easier to reinstall the struts I lowered the strutless tower onto my tower stand that I made. 2 man job for sure. On the G3 on my '10, it was easier to install the lower strut heim joints in the tower base and then raise secure and adjust the upper joints.

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