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Surf Gate Control Box


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drewski300

I may have posted about this in the past but it continues to be a problem. Basically our surf gate opens normally but then does not retract. We had the actuator replace last year and the problem persisted. After some troubleshooting we determined it was the control box (relay) that had failed. It is a Lenco 30504-002 surf gate control box. After reaching out to Lenco, they said they no longer make these and cannot assist. So I reached out to our dealer and they are saying they have one in stock but because it is a one-off, the price is $1450 for the relay alone. What's more frustrating is that the last time the dealer had our boat, they did a lake test and couldn't replicate. So they charged us for the test but never fixed the problem or suggest this $1450 part....

Does anyone have an alternative to this or another product they could recommend? This seems insane for a simple relay.

Our boat is a 2015 Axis T23. Surf gate but we do not have a power wedge.

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The Lenco surf gate controller is a CAN buss input output module, not really just a relay.  There actually is a simple relay that sends power to the controller when you turn the key on, but if the actuators are moving at all, then the relay is likely working.

Unless you are willing to do some pretty radical electrical work or engineer a new control system (which will likely cost you much more than that controller, if you see your time as being worth anything) then you may be out of luck.  Make sure your diagnosis is correct about the faulty control box and the failure is not caused by corrosion or a loose connection.

The least expensive way to immediately solve your problem may be to use a removable surf device like the Mission Delta.

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drewski300
56 minutes ago, csleaver said:

The Lenco surf gate controller is a CAN buss input output module, not really just a relay.  There actually is a simple relay that sends power to the controller when you turn the key on, but if the actuators are moving at all, then the relay is likely working.

Unless you are willing to do some pretty radical electrical work or engineer a new control system (which will likely cost you much more than that controller, if you see your time as being worth anything) then you may be out of luck.  Make sure your diagnosis is correct about the faulty control box and the failure is not caused by corrosion or a loose connection.

The least expensive way to immediately solve your problem may be to use a removable surf device like the Mission Delta.

Thanks for the response. If I need to pay the $1400 I will but I'm just shocked that is the solution. I'm with you on the connections. I may just try to replace several of them before we commit to this expensive fix.

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You may want to be prepared for a day very soon when you may not be able to get a replacement controller at any price from anywhere.  That controller was only used in 2013 on the Malibu and 2014-2015 on the Axis.

The "new" surf gate system does not use that style or brand of controller (or actuators) and the new ones have been in use since 2016 until today on Axis and Malibu.

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drewski300

What's even stranger is this has happened for the last 2 years. It fails for a period of time then just starts working again. I'm going to put some serious effort into it this weekend.

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Wow, I may have been very, very wrong about availability.  I just checked with Malibu and it looks like they have a couple hundred available for their dealers to order.  The Malibu part number is 6174101.1 for the controller if you want to hunt around or order one from a Malibu dealer.  I don't know if you can find one for less than $1450, but I can tell you that the place I found one in stock at actually sells that part for more than that.

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drewski300

It sounds like they ran out a year or two ago with no plan on replacing. I'm guessing they ran a single batch run to handle these replacements so they won't leave the dealer(s) and owners out to dry. I'm taking a wild guess as to that being the reason for the inflated cost. Good to know they some but it still doesn't make me any happier! LOL But thanks for your knowledge on this!!!!

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16 minutes ago, drewski300 said:

It sounds like they ran out a year or two ago with no plan on replacing. I'm guessing they ran a single batch run to handle these replacements so they won't leave the dealer(s) and owners out to dry. I'm taking a wild guess as to that being the reason for the inflated cost. Good to know they some but it still doesn't make me any happier! LOL But thanks for your knowledge on this!!!!

memories of the Corvette C4 dash.

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23LSVOwner
15 hours ago, drewski300 said:

It sounds like they ran out a year or two ago with no plan on replacing. I'm guessing they ran a single batch run to handle these replacements so they won't leave the dealer(s) and owners out to dry. I'm taking a wild guess as to that being the reason for the inflated cost. Good to know they some but it still doesn't make me any happier! LOL But thanks for your knowledge on this!!!!

Actually, the supplier stopped making them without telling them.

 

They had to find a supplier who was willing to make a replacement which took a LONG time.

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drewski300
Posted (edited)

Does anyone know what it would take to upgrade the existing system to the current system? I'm guessing because it's an Axis, they have been using standard rockers to control surf gate position and control after the 2015 change. So there should be some standard parts for let's say 2016 equipment.

Edited by drewski300
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7 hours ago, drewski300 said:

Does anyone know what it would take to upgrade the existing system to the current system? I'm guessing because it's an Axis, they have been using standard rockers to control surf gate position and control after the 2015 change. So there should be some standard parts for let's say 2016 equipment.

It would involve trading in, or selling, your boat and purchasing a 2016 or newer model, but I would really recommend going with a 2018 or newer one that has the newer dash info center display, controls, and power wedge.

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I may be wrong, but couldn't a less expensive option be to install another Lenco trim tab controller connected to the existing actuators and use the trim tab buttons in lieu of surfgate controls?

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drewski300
Posted (edited)

Ok so after a little troubleshooting here is where I’m at. Controller contacts were fairly corroded. So we cleaned those on the male side of the connection. I tried to clean the female connection but that was a little more challenging. That still didn’t fix it. So we disconnected the leads coming out of the controller to the actuator and took a voltage reading. I do get a positive 14 volts for the tab extension and a negative 14 volts on the retraction when it was appropriate.

Interestingly though, if we apply a negative 14 volts direct from the battery it works.

thoughts?

Edited by drewski300
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drewski300

Problem didn’t follow when we swapped surf gates. So we are going to try replacing the actuator.

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If your positive and negative voltage outputs are switching the way they are supposed to out of the controller during testing, and the actuators are moving the way they are supposed to when testing them using a jumper wire from a good voltage source, then I would suspect there is a problem with the connection pins, or wires from the controller to the actuator.  A connection with a very corroded wire may read voltage correctly until you introduce a load into the circuit.  A voltage drop of more than 0.5 volts when loading the circuit is a good indicator that there is a loose connection, corrosion, or a compromised wire.  When you find copper oxide on a wire (green crap), realize that the corrosion was actually once a part of the wire that has become chemically changed and has made the wire gauge physically thinner and less capable of handling the load it was designed for, which creates voltage drop.

Sometimes a connector plug can have a poor crimp to the wire or broken strands that compromise the circuit.  A poor female to male pin connection can also cause problems.  Many connectors have a spring loaded metal female pin that can wear and cause an intermittent failure when vibration is present, which is always in a boat.

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granddaddy55
Posted (edited)
On 5/24/2021 at 11:09 AM, drewski300 said:

I may have posted about this in the past but it continues to be a problem. Basically our surf gate opens normally but then does not retract. We had the actuator replace last year and the problem persisted. After some troubleshooting we determined it was the control box (relay) that had failed. It is a Lenco 30504-002 surf gate control box. After reaching out to Lenco, they said they no longer make these and cannot assist. So I reached out to our dealer and they are saying they have one in stock but because it is a one-off, the price is $1450 for the relay alone. What's more frustrating is that the last time the dealer had our boat, they did a lake test and couldn't replicate. So they charged us for the test but never fixed the problem or suggest this $1450 part....

Does anyone have an alternative to this or another product they could recommend? This seems insane for a simple relay.

Our boat is a 2015 Axis T23. Surf gate but we do not have a power wedge.

tslk to Ashley caneva at lenco, no way i can get a new ‘14 box from them and you can't get s ‘15, this time last year i got same snswer but because i cslled and many others, older warrantied boxes reconditioned for sale became available.  now you can get brand new ones.  

the relay is usually integrated to the entire wiring harness.  sounds like they are quoting you a harness plus box which $1400 would be high.  i needed s harness snd @COOP sold me one drop shipped to house for a tenth of that

call ashley and ask about reconditioned boxes for a ‘15

also leave a message or email for Kevin Brostek in lenco technical and ask for assistance

Edited by granddaddy55
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granddaddy55
Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, csleaver said:

If your positive and negative voltage outputs are switching the way they are supposed to out of the controller during testing, and the actuators are moving the way they are supposed to when testing them using a jumper wire from a good voltage source, then I would suspect there is a problem with the connection pins, or wires from the controller to the actuator.  A connection with a very corroded wire may read voltage correctly until you introduce a load into the circuit.  A voltage drop of more than 0.5 volts when loading the circuit is a good indicator that there is a loose connection, corrosion, or a compromised wire.  When you find copper oxide on a wire (green crap), realize that the corrosion was actually once a part of the wire that has become chemically changed and has made the wire gauge physically thinner and less capable of handling the load it was designed for, which creates voltage drop.

Sometimes a connector plug can have a poor crimp to the wire or broken strands that compromise the circuit.  A poor female to male pin connection can also cause problems.  Many connectors have a spring loaded metal female pin that can wear and cause an intermittent failure when vibration is present, which is always in a boat.

this corrosion is in the proprietary cap to control box that is integrated to harness

i used 3 twines on the 3 ends (pos, neg, and deutch connector) to pull them through stringer and reroute the new one

attempts to clean the female cap are somewhat futile as you drive the corrosion in

in pure electric actuators, jumping is not a fool proof way to prove actuator is good, mine jumped but was one of my 3 issues .  if actuator when being jumped does not make a consistent noise through out entire stroke, it can be bad as well  

i had 3 problems, actuator we wore out that test jumped fine, corrosion on male control box prongs , corrosion from those transferred to harness female cap snd a bad box internals including a broken circuit board part that wasnt even the main problem with box

and its never the actual relay that plugs into receiver on harness, its the proprietary female cap on the proprietary harness 

Edited by granddaddy55
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granddaddy55
On 5/24/2021 at 3:49 PM, csleaver said:

You may want to be prepared for a day very soon when you may not be able to get a replacement controller at any price from anywhere.  That controller was only used in 2013 on the Malibu and 2014-2015 on the Axis.

The "new" surf gate system does not use that style or brand of controller (or actuators) and the new ones have been in use since 2016 until today on Axis and Malibu.

lenco first sold reconditioned malibu warranty boxes last year, because of older boat demand that box is now available brand new from lenco!!!

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granddaddy55
21 hours ago, drewski300 said:

Problem didn’t follow when we swapped surf gates. So we are going to try replacing the actuator.

bingo, read my 3 previous responses 

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granddaddy55
23 hours ago, drewski300 said:

Ok so after a little troubleshooting here is where I’m at. Controller contacts were fairly corroded. So we cleaned those on the male side of the connection. I tried to clean the female connection but that was a little more challenging. That still didn’t fix it. So we disconnected the leads coming out of the controller to the actuator and took a voltage reading. I do get a positive 14 volts for the tab extension and a negative 14 volts on the retraction when it was appropriate.

Interestingly though, if we apply a negative 14 volts direct from the battery it works.

thoughts?

replace the harness, im betting your problem will resurface, i had your issue and actuator is cheapest fix BUT the corrosion returns and no way to properly clean female proprietary cap.  do the actuator but if it resurfaces replace the harness,  i had all of your issues plus a bad box that wax in addition to bad box male pring corrosion   

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granddaddy55
23 hours ago, drewski300 said:

Ok so after a little troubleshooting here is where I’m at. Controller contacts were fairly corroded. So we cleaned those on the male side of the connection. I tried to clean the female connection but that was a little more challenging. That still didn’t fix it. So we disconnected the leads coming out of the controller to the actuator and took a voltage reading. I do get a positive 14 volts for the tab extension and a negative 14 volts on the retraction when it was appropriate.

Interestingly though, if we apply a negative 14 volts direct from the battery it works.

thoughts?

big diff in the full power of batterynon a lead versus voltage the box sends, thats why s good test jumping is not fully indicative of the signal from the can buss controlled box 

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granddaddy55

buy the harness sooner than later, box is readily available but dont instal new box to older corroded harness

when coop ordered my harness past year, there was inly 2 or 3 for whole malibu company in stock. this corrosion thing is going to continue for others . dont be last in line to buy a malibu only part you will need when you replace box for same corrosion issue

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drewski300
Posted (edited)

Replaced the actuator and we were up and running! I had a hard time thinking it was the actuator because it was replaced 2 years ago and we've been having the intermittent issues every since. So it didn't make sense that would be the fix. Plus a direct voltage applied made the actuator move.

However, based on what was said above, the failure is likely related to the corrosion issues. But thankfully a simple actuator swap this weekend had us back up a running. So I will be ordering a wiring harness in the near future to prevent another premature failure! Thanks for everyone's responses!

Edited by drewski300
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