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2010 Power Wedge Actuator Replacement

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After replacing the motors in the original Lenco struts many times I decided to just change the Lenco struts.  The old ones were leaking and always had water in them for the last 6 or so years.  Pretty sure the water was coming in from where the strut extends out of the actuator as there were plastic O-ring type pieces that had disintegrated over the years and I could not find a replacement.  I tried a rubber O-ring but that bound up the strut extending in and out of the actuator.

I replaced with the 5 lobe Lenco struts from Bakes.  They shipped them the same day which was nice.  They also have them on sale for $225 each which was the cheapest I could find anywhere.  It was much easier to just replace the whole Lenco strut than rebuild the old ones.  The electric motors for the old ones are only around $50 each off eBay but since the unit was still leaking it would only be another temporary fix.  I was originally considering just splicing the wire for the new Lenco unit with a water proof heat shrink connector but decided I would pull the old wires through the hull and just do the job right.  It was easy to get the old ones out so I was optimistic it would be easy to get the new ones through the same hole.  I was working by myself and it was not nearly as easy as I thought it would be.  I was able to get the starboard one through after about 15 minutes of messing around with the cable but the port one was not as easy.  The covering of the cable is not tight on against the inside two wires so it catches when pushing it through.  I was hoping it was a heat shrink type covering so tried some heat on the very end of the covering to shrink it but it just start to melt.  So I had to cut the cover back a couple inches and start over.  I finely tried a small piece of electrical tape.  I wound it around the two inside wires then folded the covering tight around the two inside cables and wrapped the electrical tape about 1/8" over the outer covering.  The diameter of the cable where I wrapped with electrical tape as slightly smaller than the diameter of the cable covering so it fit through the hole easily and the tape kept the covering from catching on the through-hull fitting.  Once you see the fitting you will see how it catches on the cable covering.  After doing this I was able to get the new cable through the hole in just a couple minutes.  Once I had the cables through it was easy.  The actuators came with a plug to attach to the end of the cable that plugs directly into the factory wiring.  Just make sure to match the colors of the wires to the factory plug when putting the new plug together.

On the early 2010 builds there is not a Lenco control box so I did not need to replace that.  Mine has the puck type wedge position sensor which is good for changing from a 3 to 5 lobe actuator but not so good if you have to replace it which I had to do a couple years ago.  I may have got the last one in existence.  Hopefully Malibu will have more of them produced as they do go out and when they do the wedge is kind of useless as it will only work either fully deployed or fully retracted.  I any event I was able to go into the setup screen and recalibrate the wedge and all it working great now.  Hopefully this will provide many years of trouble free use of the wedge. 

Here is my writeup of rebuilding the 3 lobe actuators.  


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