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Tracking Fin


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I have a problem with my tracking fin on my 98 Sunsetter VLX. The fin appears to have become loose due to vibration or something.....The fin has not been hit on anything and is not damaged....just appears the nuts have come loose. To get to the nuts to tighten them up the gas tank will have to be removed because i can find no other way to get to it. I am told this should be covered under malibu warranty but not sure? Any opinions, suggestions, comments are appreciated. Should Malibu fix this under warranty since i have done nothing to cause it? Thanks in advance.

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It is not really that difficult to remove the gas tank in your VLX. You just need to probe around the edges of the center floorboard to find the screws. Remove the floorboard, and the tank is just held in position with two brackets at the rear of the tank. Its pretty simple and should take less than an hour for the whole job.

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I would agree with the rest of the guys - you are going to be out of luck. This is not a hull problem (btw, the lifetime hull wty does NOT cover fiberglass - it covers the structural members, like stringers!!)

Have you tried getting under your boat and screwing those bolts in??? You may get lucky and not have to pull the tank!!!!!!

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thx for the opinions.....My dealer is currently looking into the situation. The tacking fin seems to be bolted on from inside the boat....looks like a threaded bolt is coming down from the inside of the boat going into the tracking fin and there isn't anything to tighten from the bottomside. The gas tank also appears to be too big to come through center floor board hole if I removed it. It appears the rear seat wall would prevent it from coming out. Thx for the tips. Anymore?

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It appears the rear seat wall would prevent it from coming out. Thx for the tips. Anymore?

You won't have to take the tank all the way out. You should be able to just raise the front end of the tank enough to reach in to tighten the fasteners. You may not even have to disconnect the hoses. If they are not Nylox type fasteners, I would take them out and put red Locktite on then tighten them down. While you're in there put in some new silicone sealant.

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jnewton,

The exact same thing happened when I had my 01 VLX. For no apparent reason, the front one came loose. Mine had also caused stress cracks which I brought up to my dealer who in turn dealt with Malibu. Granted, this occurred within 2 years of buying the boat so even then it took a little battling but Malibu came through with fixing and repairing the stress cracks. I don't know if you would get it covered on a 98 but it can't hurt to try. They didn't change to the outside screws until the Gorilla Fins came out so getting to those older ones is definitely a time consuming event.

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I just talked to my dealer.....they contacted malibu and they told them the only way it would be covered is if it caused damage to the surrounding fiberglass. I'm unsure if it has caused any damage, I haven't looked at it that closely. I don't think so so i may be out of luck. Im going to look at it closer tonight and see if it is possible to fix myself.

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Just wanted to let everyone know that I was able to tighten the bolts from inside the hull. I unscrewed the brackets holding the tank on and was able to slide the tank forward. There are 2 thru-holes in the middle of the gas tank that allow for access to the tracking fin bolts. It was an easy fix and prolly saved me some major $$$. Thanks for the tips!!

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