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Termi1

Help I need a replacement tower.

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Termi1

I have a 2004 23 LSV.  Last weekend my tower broke in half after hitting a wake.  I wasn't going fast but the wake was HUGE and when we landed I think the impact did it.  That or it was cracking already and the impact finished it off.  I reached out to Malibu and they said the G3 was the replacement but not sure if I want to go that route with the gel coat work, new board racks and Bimini etc.  If anyone has made this change I would be interested in hearing how you like it.  Also does it fold down behind the front glass since I have very little clearance on my garage door.  Ideally I would like to find another Illusion X or XS that would fit the same footprint and I can just add my accessories.

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Ronnie

IMO, you should look for a more modern tower. The gel work won't be that bad in the grand scheme of things. We are starting to see more and more Illusion failures. Any Illusion that you find will be off a salvaged boat or less likely from a boat that has changed towers. Those towers may have cracks that you can't see without stressing the tower. I've noticed a few mentioned here that are seeking advise on welding the cast illusion. Be aware that some of those may be out there. 

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Termi1

Do you know if the G3 will fold down behind the windshield.

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Ronnie

It should if it's installed in the right place. There are rear hoops made that will lower the overall height for a folded tower as well.

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Termi1

Any idea on the price of a G3?

 

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Ronnie

No, you would have to call a dealer for a new one. Malibu builds them so it's not a widely offered tower. There are other towers out there too. I hear good reports on the Sampson tower but I have no idea if they are still building them. Others here will have more info on other towers. I'd stick with a Malibu tower though for resell.

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Termi1

If anyone has info on the samson tower or pics I would love to hear about your experience installing it.

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The Hulk

see if a g3.5 could work.. well worth it if even 1k more cost over a normal g3. 10x easier.. good luck

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shawndoggy

I'd go samson blade.  IIRC the G3 is VERY expensive to install aftermarket.  

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Stevo

Easy as pie

 

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rugger

I made the change from an illusion to G3, but not because of any problems.  With the G3 I like the height and ability to support heavy weight, like SUP boards one day.   I'll post the swap.

That being said, I would not have any problems welding on an aluminum cast tower.  There's a lot of inexperienced assumptions out there.  Cast can be welded UNLESS it is porous and low quality.   But you would need to TIG weld correctly, strip and re-powder coat.   

While not as strong, I still think the illusion is one of the best looking towers to date.  Before the illusion, boat towers looked like a roll bar on a jeep.  I actually think re-powdercoating with the wrinkle matt black would look cool.

If you are heavily into wake boarding you might make the investment in an upgrade tower.  If you want just pure strength, find a 4 point Titan.  If you want a stronger 2 point tower, go G3 or Blade.   But if you primarily surf and use the tower to hold speakers, bimini and racks -- I would not spend a ton of money on a new tower -- and then have to buy all new racks, bimini, etc.  It's expensive.

 

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Termi1

Rugger,  Do you think that it would help to put a sleeve in the hollow area to use to support the weld and add strength?  Do you have pics of yours and the glass after it gelcoat was repaired?

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rugger
On September 5, 2016 at 4:53 PM, Termi1 said:

Rugger,  Do you think that it would help to put a sleeve in the hollow area to use to support the weld and add strength?  Do you have pics of yours and the glass after it gelcoat was repaired?

Yes, depending on where it's cracked.  You could strengthen many areas if you wanted to with gussets, etc.  but again, not needed.    I have a full write up of the tower swap on Wake Garage that has the gelcoat work.   I'll post something here when I get home if it helps.

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