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Illusion xs Tower makes noise when stressed


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I have a 2008 Malibu 23lsv, and when wakeboarding or pulling a tube, the tower makes a loud popping or cracking noise.  This happens when pulling hard, like in a turn or when the rider is jumping the wake.  I feel like it may be a worn bushing that needs to be replaced, but wanted to see if anyone else has had this same issue and what they did to fix it.  Thank you for any input.

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Can you tell if the noise is coming from the base of the tower or from the tow hoop? Grab the tow hoop and see if you can move it and replicate the noise. If it is the hoop my solution is below but if it is in the base there are bushings that will need to be replaced.

Mine was creaking every time we even hit a medium wave. First we tried to tighten the hoop but no luck. 

Hopefully you have the 3/8” Allen wrench that came with the boat.

We removed the hoop then put a thin layer of silicone where the hoop attaches to the tower. The thought was that the silicone would fill any voids and cushion the metal to metal connection. When you reinstall the hoop the excess silicone will squeeze out so have a few paper towels handy. We let the silicone set up for a day before we used the boat. 

Probably not a permanent solution but it has been fine for the last month and stopped the creaking.

We also put anti seize on the bolt threads and it helps to have two people to line up the hoop.

Good luck and hope it is the easy solution.

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