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Gmoney73

Center Pylon Stuck on 2014 VTX

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Gmoney73

I bought a 2014 VTX and the center ski pylon is stuck. I can't pull it out and stow it away. There is a release lever that I believe you need to push in to release the pole, but that doesn't appear to be the problem. I can see the metal latch below the floor deck release/open, but the pole won't budge. Even with two people pulling on it at the same time. 

Any ideas on how to get this out? Tommy's Florida was supposed to get it out for me before they delivered it, but they left it for me to take care of. :-(

Thanks in advance! 

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ahopkinsVTX

You need to push the release then spin it a quarter turn or so and then lift it up. Or is that not working either?

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Gmoney73

I don't remember it wanting to spin or pull up (it didn't seem to want to move in any direction)... but I will give it a try to make sure. 

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ahopkinsVTX

It definitely has to spin a little bit. I’ll see if I can get in mine this weekend to tell you which way to rotate it. 

@Badger have you ever had issues with yours sticking?

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Gmoney73

Hey @ahopkinsVTX

I tried spinning the pole while holding down the release lever, but it definitely won't budge. I called Malibu and they said it was a good and bad thing... good in that the pylon is safe to tow someone, but not so good in that the pylon may be fused to a plastic piece in the housing. They mentioned that if it was never taken out that over time with heat baking it, the plastic may have adhered to the pole. They said that I could try putting more torque on it and break it free from the plastic or I can remove the subfloor and get to it that way. I will need to remove the release lever in order to pull up the subfloor over the pylon. I haven't tried this at all yet. They also recommended taking it to a local Malibu dealer to see what they can do. He also said the pole needs to spin counterclockwise; however, he didn't seem very confident (first he told me clockwise). 

Hopefully I'll figure something out. 

 

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oldjeep

Use a strap wrench to turn it. 

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ahopkinsVTX

Strap wrench would be a good idea. Interesting about what Malibu said. I’ll have to look closer inside the mount on mine the next time. I don’t recall any plastic. 

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Gmoney73

Thanks oldjeep! Good idea... will try that... I have a basic one with a plastic handle and pretty thin rubber strap... will see if that works or upgrade to a much better one. 

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DrFred

I'm just reading about this now and posting for future reference.  After having the dealer replace the optional ski pylon on my 2013vtx twice, Malibu redesigned the ski pylon.  "We've never seen this before" . The plastic material in the mounting bracket absorbs water and swells.  I actually needed a come along attached to the tower to get the stuck pylons out. After the third season of not using it, Malibu notified me that they had come up with a fix and in October of that year I received a new and completely different mount with two metal rings. That one has been working fine.  SO if you look in your optional ski pylon mount and see green plastic (or any plastic) assume if your ski pylon doesn't go in easily it will get stuck.  The only solution is to replace the mount with a new metal one.  I spent many hours trying to hone out the mount which does help but is only temporary and unbelievably slow.  During the repetitive honing and mount replacements, my floor board screws were stripped, the floor became uneven and the the vinyl on the captains chair and a few other places was severely abraded...not covered under warranty. I can't remember if this was fixed October 2015 or 2016.

 

I would recommend all owners of a 2013- 2016 vtx check the fit of there optional ski pylon.  If it doesn't go in easily, don't force it and  have the mount replaced with the new ones without the green plastic but does have the two metal rings.....

 

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Gmoney73

Thanks Dr. Fred... I'm just reading this as I didn't get any email notification. 

Tonight i have FINALLY got the darn thing out. It took three large Home Depot Husky rubber strap wrenches to finally get enough torque on it to get it to spin (I snapped two previous rubber strap wrenches... a smaller one and one of the large Husky wrenches... and the Rigid fabric strap wrench I bought online kept slipping on the smooth aluminum pole).... I also used a lot of lubricant sprays (I tried several different ones including PB Blaster, WD40, and a Silicone spray).  Turns out it will spin all the way around so the 1/4 turn didn't apply to my boat. As I spun the pole, I pulled up on the straps to put upward pressure on the pole. This slowly got the pole to come up and out of the hole. As Dr. Fred mentioned, my boat has the green plastic tubing inside the metal mount. It was dirty, but otherwise looked normal. 

Last week I talking to Malibu Customer Relations, they told me that I would need to open the floor board if I couldn't get it out. I ended up drilling out the pin in the pole that holds the locking lever in place so that I could remove the metal ring that covers that gap in the flooring... and then I had to unscrew most of the carpeted seat framing as the floor board is tucked underneath and won't slip out when the pylon is there... In the end, I don't think I needed to take out the floor. It was really just a matter of getting enough torque to get it to spin and the upward pressure while it spun to get it to come out. 

After reading Dr. Fred's post, I will call Malibu back on this, but since the warranty is gone I doubt they will do anything about it. I'll update the post when I get an answer from them. 

Thanks for all the help and suggestions! I subscribed to the forum so I can post some pics... This forum rocks and I'm happy to help out as well! 

Cheers, 

Randy

ski pylon mount 2.jpg

ski pylon mount 3.jpg

ski pylon mount.jpg

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DrFred

Yup,

 

You have the green plastic.  I'm, according to Malibu, the only problem they had...Taking the floor and flashing out seems necessary but it doesn't help. Nothing helps from teflon lube to sanding/honing.  Honing does help temporarily but its temporary, surprisingly difficult and the plastic continues to swell, ?absorbing water ...I'm not sure why.  IF you get Malibu to cough up the part, and you should, be aware that the updated plastic free mount required my dealer to fabricate brackets/fasteners to install it.  Since that mount is defective and didn't work for more than a few months (I had, it turns out, three of them) they are obligated to replace it.  I'm happy to sign an affidavit if you need to go after them.  These boats are so unreliable (I've had two....was promised all the problems with the first one were solved in the new one) that I hope someone finally holds them responsible. 

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23LSVOwner
9 hours ago, DrFred said:

Yup,

 

You have the green plastic.  I'm, according to Malibu, the only problem they had...Taking the floor and flashing out seems necessary but it doesn't help. Nothing helps from teflon lube to sanding/honing.  Honing does help temporarily but its temporary, surprisingly difficult and the plastic continues to swell, ?absorbing water ...I'm not sure why.  IF you get Malibu to cough up the part, and you should, be aware that the updated plastic free mount required my dealer to fabricate brackets/fasteners to install it.  Since that mount is defective and didn't work for more than a few months (I had, it turns out, three of them) they are obligated to replace it.  I'm happy to sign an affidavit if you need to go after them.  These boats are so unreliable (I've had two....was promised all the problems with the first one were solved in the new one) that I hope someone finally holds them responsible. 

Adding the tef gel I mentioned will most likely prevent it from sticking in the tube once it is opened up a little.

 

It's serious stuff. Have a lot of experience with it.

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