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TheOtherSide

Factory Manual Wedge Pin Upgrade

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TheOtherSide

Hey All,

New to the Malibu Crew and new to my 99 Response LX.  Done all the searching I could so hope I'm not beating up and older topic.  We have a manual wedge on the boat... with the large pin you have to slide all the way out, lower the wedge and slide the pin all the way back in.  A bit of a pain... especially out on the lake.  I've seen some of the newer Malibu's with a spring loaded thing in the middle of the wedge that you squeeze together... move the wedge and the pins pop into place when the wedge is up or down.  Looks nice and easy!  Anyone done this on their older wedge?  Is the mod possible, or whole new wedge?

Thx!

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Eagleboy99

That's weird: I have a 99 RLX and it has the spring loaded pins.

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TheOtherSide
1 hour ago, Eagleboy99 said:

That's weird: I have a 99 RLX and it has the spring loaded pins.

Guess there were several variations that year.  Are you able to do a little measuring and or photos for me?  Maybe I'll search out a wedge with the spring loaded pins and slip it into place if it's the same dimensions.

Thx

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Eagleboy99

Bakes sells all the parts.  Prolly around $150-200 plus your time. Assuming that it can be retrofitted.

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Nitrousbird

OP - can you post a couple pictures of your pins?  I've never heard of a wedge that had a long pin you had to slide in/out.  I previously had a manual wedge and now have a floater so I'm familiar with the design.

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Eagleboy99

The wedge first came out in 98 and it had one long pin you slid in/out.  I have a 98 brochure with a pic of it.  There was a ring at one end with a leash on it so you did not lose it to the lake monsters.

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TheOtherSide

Busy weekend... but will snap a few pics for sure early in the week.  Thx

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justgary

Welcome to the crew!

I'm not an expert at wedge design or usage since I don't use mine at all, but I have read on TMC that the early wedge design with two flat head screws on each side of the fin may be prone to breaking one of the screw heads in use.  When that happens, the fin and support arms get bent badly and generally need replacement.

I suspect that the main issue is that the screws back out slightly, allowing the force profile to change enough to stress the screw head.  Consider adding a third screw on each side of the blade (drill, countersink, and tap for another flat head screw), then removing and reinstalling the original screws with blue thread lock compound.

The other possibility for breaking the screw heads is that people simply decide to go faster than the design allows.  I don't think I have read that anyone admitted to that, but doing that would take all the fun out of complaining about their broken wedge, now wouldn't it?

My 1999 wedge is the spring loaded pin style with two screws, which is one reason I don't use it.  If I were to ever decide to use it, I would probably add those third screws on each side.  As it is, I mostly think about removing it and building my own version of a Scarpa Plate to replace it since I'd rather slalom and barefoot and have a clean wake than make a bigger wake.If you are handy, you can build a new wedge like @brad72 did a few years back.  He did a fantastic job on it, and I suspect that he doesn't have any problems with it at all.  If he's still active, maybe he'll show up and give an update.

And to answer your question directly, you should be able to modify your wedge by milling a slot in the tube, cutting your pin into two parts, drilling and tapping the sides of the pins for a small retention screw, and adding a stainless spring in between.  A milling machine would help immensely when cutting the slot, but you could do it with a drill and a file if you have to.  A lathe to round the pin ends might make them prettier, but you can certainly do the job on a bench grinder or with a file.

 

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UWSkier

I remember seeing an article or a post where someone did this conversion years ago.  It's doable.

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TheOtherSide
On 10/1/2018 at 12:40 PM, UWSkier said:

I remember seeing an article or a post where someone did this conversion years ago.  It's doable.

Yeah, that's the problem... years ago... can't find it.  Lol..

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