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BSUBU_Kris

Power Wedge Actuator Rebuild - 2010 LSV

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BSUBU_Kris

Rebuilding the actuators on a 2011 LSV.

So last spring my power wedge would not engage.  Upon looking at the actuators I noticed on one of them the end cap had slightly popped off.  I took off both actuators and both had water in them.  There is a long threaded rod inside that connects the end/top caps to the bottom of the actuator.  The threads at the end of the rod had stripped on the one the end popped off of so I had to replace the rod and the nut/screw to keep everything together.  I believe one of the motors quit working and so the other one tried to deploy the wedge which popped the cap off the one that was not working.  I also noticed the wedge itself was kind of hard to move on its own so I loosened the bolts slightly so it moved freely.  I got everything back together and after a bit of recalibrating it worked for the rest of the year.  I believe he recalibrating was necessary as I moved the wedge up and down a bunch of times as I was working the actuators and just trying to figure out how everything worked.

This spring on the first outing I went to deploy the wedge and it just popped the fuse/circuit breaker.  This time the caps were still on but last year I did notice that the motors were both somewhat corroded.  Unfortunately, Lenco no longer makes this actuator.  I have read the newer actuator will work on these but also read you may have to replace the control module. To replace with new, best case is I am spending $400 - $500 on the two actuators and maybe several hundred more for the control module so close to $1,000 for just the parts assuming I can do it myself.  Lenco does not sell parts or a rebuild kit which really sucks.  So I went on eBay and found a seller that just had the motors and an O-Rings.  I bought two of those and believe I paid $55 each and decide to try and rebuild the actuator vs. buy new ones.

Here is the process I followed to rebuild the actuators:

There are two screws at the top of the actuators.  Take those off and you can pop off the cap.  There are two wires that connect to the motor.  I took a picture of this prior to disconnecting the wires.  There is a white and a black wire on my boat.  I used the Lenco sticker as a reference point so I would know which side of the motor each wire was connected to.  I then disconnect the two wires and removed the actuator from the boat.  I used my jump start battery I keep on the boat as a power source for some testing of the motors and actuators throughout the process, so having battery power available is important.  After removing the old actuator I applied power to it from the battery connecting the negative battery terminal to the side of the motor that the black wire from the boat was connected to and noted which way the actuator moved (extend or retract).  This is important because on the new motor the positive terminal was marked with a red dot but on my old motor there was so much corrosion that you could not tell which side was which on the motor.  The motor is reversible so there really isn’t a positive or negative the red dot is really more of a reference as when you switch the +/- connector the motor just operates in the opposite direction.  For my boat I had to connect the positive terminal on the new motor to the black wire coming from the boat to get the actuator to extend/retract the same as the old motor.  I did find that one of the old motors was completely seized up which is why the breaker was tripping.  I used a pair of pliers to break the motor free to where it would spin again and it did actually work when I applied power to it but it really needed to be replaced. 

To take the actuators apart you need to take out the top screws.  The cap will pop off and you will see the motor.  Once you disconnect the wires you can do the work on a bench or wherever it is easy to work on it.  The top of the actuator that has the motor in it is really just a tube that is connected to the bottom of the actuator.  If you wiggle it back and forth a bit it will come loose from the bottom of the actuator.  Don’t twist it though as there are gears between the motor/tube section and the bottom of the actuator that have two pins that hold the gears and those two pins are connect between the tube part that holds the motor and the bottom of the actuator that holds the ram.  Once you remove the tube part holding the motor you will see that tube has an O-Ring on both ends that seal it (the O-Rings are actually in the top cap and the top of the lower section of the actuator.  My motor came with two new O-Rings.  There are two screws that hold the motor and those are easy to take out and put the new motor in.  Just make sure when you put in the motor you get the power terminals on the right side to you know which side black and white wires from the boat will be connected to.  I decided to take the rest of the actuator apart to get out any remaining water and see if I could rebuild the bottom part of it.  There are three gears on the top of the bottom part of the actuator.  Those gears are what the motor connects two.  All three are slightly different so pay attention to the order they are installed.  One of them also has a washer under it, I assume for spacing.  Once those three are off you will see one more gear connected to the top of the ram with a screw holding it on.  I used a small screw driver to keep that gear from turning while I took out the screw on the top of the gear on the ram.  Once that screw was out I could remove the final gear and then take the ram out of the bottom of the actuator.  There is a washer on the top of the ram once you get it out so make sure you don’t lose that as it might be still inside the actuator stuck in the grease.  There is a screw mechanism that extends and retracts the ram.  I screwed and unscrewed that many times to get all the water I could out of the inside of the ram then applied marine grease to the screw portion, screwed and unscrewed, applied more grease and repeat until it seemed no more grease was going inside the ram.  There are two O-Rings and some sort of plastic retaining ring in the bottom part of the actuator to seal it.  I could not find the same size O-Rings so I just cleaned up the two that were in there and applied some marine grease to them and put them back in.  The plastic retaining rings on mine were dried out and broken.  These are at the very bottom of the actuator where the ram (metal rod) comes out.  No idea where to find those but I did get a 1-3/16 x 15/16 x 1/8 O-Ring to fit where that plastic retaining ring was.  I put some grease on that and with a little back and forth motion was able to get the ram to go back into the actuator.  So I know have three O-Rings instead of two in the lower part of the actuator.  (EDIT - DON'T ADD THESE O-RINGS.  THEY WORKED THE FIRST TIME OUT BUT ONCE THE GREASE WAS GONE AND THEY DRIED OUT IT MADE IT VERY HARD FOR THE RAM TO MOVE IN AND OUT OF THE ACTUATOR.  AM STILL THINKING OF A SOLUTION FOR THE PLASTIC RINGS WHERE THE RAM EXITS THE ACTUATOR TO MINIMIZE MOVEMENT THERE.  I HAD TO DISASSEMBLE COMPLETELY TO TAKE THE O-RINGS OUT BUT ONLY TOOK LESS THEN AN HOUR.  THE LACK OF MOVEMENT WAS PUTTING TO MUCH STRESS ON THE MOTOR AND POPPING THE BREAKER/FUSE).  I believe the plastic retaining ring was really meant to keep the ram from moving around in the actuator while extending and retracting but the O-Rings seem to be staying in place.  Reassembly is really the reverse of what is described above.  I cleaned everything before reassembly and liberally used marine grease on the gears.  When reassembling the tube part with the motor to the lower part of the actuator it will only fully go on one way.  There are two marks, one on the bottom of the tube holding the motor and one on the top of the bottom of the actuator that have to be aligned so the pins that hold the gears fit properly between the lower actuator and the tube holding the motor.  Once I had the actuator reassembled I tested them with the jump battery to make sure they moved the same way the old ones did based on connecting the negative lead on the battery to the same side as the black wire from the boat was connected on the old one.  I verified they both worked smoothly fully extending and fully retracting.  You just reverse the power wires to get them to go the other way.  You will also notice that once fully extended or retracted the motor just spins and they stay in the same place.  My wedge was fully up and I tied a rope to it so it stayed fully up while working on it.  Make sure when you put the actuators back on they are both either fully extended or retracted so they aren’t going to be fighting each other.  Once I had them back on I tested them before putting the boat in the water.  Just have someone manually spin the paddle wheel for the speedo and it will allow the wedge to come back up.  Mine was nice and smooth and I did not have to do any recalibration with the wedge position gage.

It really isn’t that hard if you pay attention to how things come apart and which way the power wires are connected to the motors.  That is where the jump battery came in handy as I was able to connect negative to the terminal the black wire from the boat was connected to verify on the old actuator the direction so I could make sure it moved the same direction when applying the negative to the same side on the new motor.  That is where at least on my boat the black wire from the boat was connected to the positive terminal on the new motor.  Really the only way you could go seriously wrong here would be to have the two actuator hooked up opposite each other to when the boat would apply power and the rams would be going opposite directions.  If you hook them both up the wrong way but they are in sync the motor would just spin because once the ram is either fully extended or retracted the screw mechanism just spins inside the ram.  At that point you would just have to take the top caps off and reverse both wires on both sides again making sure that they are both in sync with each other.

After doing this I suspect that the newer actuators would work.  My understanding is the older Malibu’s used a 3 lobe actuator and the newer ones use a 5 lobe actuator.  I am guessing that means the older have 3 gears for reduction and the newer have 5 gears for reduction.  I am pretty sure they both use the same motor so l am guessing it just takes longer to retract or extend the 5 gear ones so a new control module would just apply power longer to deploy the wedge so on the older ones you may just have to hit deploy again to get the wedge all the way down.  The additional gear reduction would also make sense just having one actuator instead of two.

Hope this is helpful for anyone that has a power wedge that quit working.

Edited by BSUBU_Kris
Eliminated the step to add a 3rd O-ring where the ram exits the actuator.

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BSUBU_Kris

Here are a couple pictures. 

41783008152_de01488e43_b.jpg 41783008962_b27eb2a90a_b.jpg 40017989250_c27a1ab236_b.jpg

 

 

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JayRad

Thank you for this, I just pulled my actuators off and was going to rebuild. Hoping someone had done this before and posted about it. Do you know the motor model number?

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BSUBU_Kris

I don't have a model number but here is the one I bought.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Replacement-12V-Actuator-Motor-w-O-Rings-for-Lenco-Trim-Tabs-and-Hatch-Lifts/142790814311?hash=item213efeea67:g:W60AAOSwEeFVJCgh

They looked identical (minus the corrosion) to the ones I took out.  I could not find any other source for the motors but I believe this person has been selling them for a couple years on eBay as I remember seeing them last year when I first started having problems with them.

Kris

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BSUBU_Kris

Believe it or not both of those old motors still worked although the one on the right was totally frozen and I had to use a pair of pliers to get it broken free to turn but then it worked again.  Likely could have got another season out of them but wanted to avoid dealing with it again next year or worse have to deal with it in the middle of the summer.  Bigger issue for me was trying to replace all the seals so it would not leak for at least a while.

Kris

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mikeo

@BSUBU_Kris This needs to be over at wakegarage.com too, it would help quite a number of people. @rugger has a promo that if you write up 3 projects you'll get a hat too.

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BSUBU_Kris

I have never been on wakegarage.com.  Assume you can just post a link to the there.  I don't need any more hats. :)

 

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BSUBU_Kris

Please note that I edited the original post to NOT ADD the 3rd O-ring to the bottom of the actuator.  It ended up causing too much resistance on the ram going in and out of the actuator.  Still looking for some solution to replace the plastic ring on the bottom of the actuator where the ram goes in and out.  If the O-ring I used had a slightly larger inside diameter that would likely work.

Ideas welcomed!

Edited by BSUBU_Kris

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erikj
On 6/11/2018 at 1:01 PM, BSUBU_Kris said:

Please note that I edited the original post to NOT ADD the 3rd O-ring to the bottom of the actuator.  It ended up causing too much resistance on the ram going in and out of the actuator.  Still looking for some solution to replace the plastic ring on the bottom of the actuator where the ram goes in and out.  If the O-ring I used had a slightly larger inside diameter that would likely work.

Ideas welcomed!

Hey do you know if you can just replace one of the motors?  I have one that looks brand new and the other one has water in it and is corroded, seems that is the culprit for why my wedge is stuck in the down position.  Did blow the 30 amp fuse as well but after replacing the gauge thinks it is working but still doesn't go up.. 

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justgary

Have you checked theoringstore.com to buy the o-rings that you want? 

And BTW, I don't have power actuators, but I appreciate you showing others how to rebuild them.  I rebuild everything I possibly can, and I like to see others doing it also. 

- Just Gary 

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BSUBU_Kris

You could change just one but I have heard people recommending doing both at the same time.  I used a timer to make sure each actuator was taking the same amount of time to extend and retract.  As long as they are taking the same amount of time I would guess you should be OK.

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erikj
9 hours ago, BSUBU_Kris said:

You could change just one but I have heard people recommending doing both at the same time.  I used a timer to make sure each actuator was taking the same amount of time to extend and retract.  As long as they are taking the same amount of time I would guess you should be OK.

Were your motors completely frozen?  The one I took out moves around fine which makes me think it isn't locked up.  Don't have a spare battery lying around but maybe I can just hook it up to the truck battery to test it real quick... 

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BSUBU_Kris

You can test the motor with any battery.  Last year they were not frozen but had lots of water in them and got out of sync.  I drained the water and retracted both all the way and they worked fine the rest of the season.

This year one was completely frozen and I had to use a pair of pliers to break it free.  Once it was broken free the motor did work. 

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