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keith
04-29-2007, 12:11 PM
Hello,

Installing our ND tower on a 98 Maristar 225 today, the hole drilling process is going well, however we are unsure of how to proceed with the rear leg back plating. Below is an image of the side paneling behind the seat backs on the sides. There is about 3 inches of space between the layers of fiberglass. How are we supposed to get in there to install the back plates correctly? Do we cut an access hole (i hope not) or do we just bondo the heck out of the plate location between the layers by feel?

I have also been taking pics as we go along to do a writeup to post here.

Thanks for any suggestions
http://www.wolfeboro.net/rep/maristarpanel.jpg

Thanks;
Keith G
Lake Winnipesaukee

JohnnyB
04-29-2007, 12:19 PM
No matter what, that looks like a PITA!!!!

Must be tower weekend. I did mine yesterday. I need to add backing plates as the ones glassed in from the factory for the rears do not mate up well.

SDAhockey21
04-29-2007, 05:04 PM
Backing plates are a pain!

Anyway when i installed mine the first go round i didn't put enough hardener in the fiberglass junk so i had to do this process twice....

And the stuff never harded so it was a gloppy and messy and not fun..

The best thing to do with these plates is thread a string thoguh the hole in the boat. The though the hole in the plate back though the other hole in the plate and back up threw the other hole in the boat. then have someone pull the strings up while you hold the plate and it will guide the plate right to the holes. Give the plate a little wiggle and push, then tie the strings on the out side and the plate is locked in place.

Then stick a pencil or something threw the holes to clean out the junk and make sure the holes are in position.

SDAhockey21
04-29-2007, 05:10 PM
Search "backing plates" and look at the 3+ treads i started while installing my tower. Bunch of advice their.

Good choice with the ND tower you will love it!!

SDAhockey21
04-29-2007, 05:11 PM
http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n118/SDAhockey21/DSCF2678.jpg


http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n118/SDAhockey21/DSCF2677.jpg

Thrall
04-30-2007, 05:06 PM
Don't take this as gospel, but I put a ND tower on my boat last year (almost identical to SDA's boat in the prev pics).
I did not secure the backing plates in with fiberglass, just bolted them up like a big flat washer. Had to cut them down a bit (they were 4"x4" IIRC, and cut one side down to about 2-1/2 x 3 to fit around the wire loom).
Has held up fine to one season of use, no gelcoat cracking. I've pulled up to 3 people simultaneously off of the tower. Did loctite the mounting bolts/nuts.
I looked at it like, as long as the surface area of the backing plate was equal to or greater than the area of the tower leg it would be fine.
So far so good!

keith
04-30-2007, 11:43 PM
we did the plating by hand, and i think it turned out well. There was a problem with one of the tower supports not being bent at the correct angle, and the rear leg joint is off by 1.5cm from the other side (the weld is 1.5cm further up the support). This created an alignment problem with the right rear bolt, and thus the leg not fitting flush. I will take pics tomorrow and post them with some questions, maybe someone has some advise.

SDAhockey21
05-01-2007, 12:25 AM
we did the plating by hand, and i think it turned out well. There was a problem with one of the tower supports not being bent at the correct angle, and the rear leg joint is off by 1.5cm from the other side (the weld is 1.5cm further up the support). This created an alignment problem with the right rear bolt, and thus the leg not fitting flush. I will take pics tomorrow and post them with some questions, maybe someone has some advise.

Same thing happend on my boat. And as soon as a pushed the rear leg flush the oposite front right leg would lift....

I compensated by mounting the left rear leg higher.

Thrall
05-01-2007, 10:46 AM
My tower seemed a little "tweaked" too when I installed it. Once the front legs were bolted down, one of the rears was out a little bit. My tower was used though, so I don't know if it was mfg error or just a little bent from prev use.
I just pushed it into place and drilled the back holes where they hit.
There is a misalignment of about 3/4" on one back leg (the holes actually line up, just have to pulle the tower leg in when putting the bolt in).
I'd probably be a little annoyed if I paid $2k+ for the tower and it didn't line up. In my case, no big deal. For the $1k+ I saved on the tower I can put a little effort into putting it up.

keith
05-01-2007, 12:36 PM
Ok, so here are a few pics of how much it is off by. The bolts have NOT been tightened down yet. We had to bend the right support to get it to fit this well, and one of the welds is definitely off. I might see if ND will send a new support, fiberglass over the hole, and drill again in the rear.

Anyone have suggestions?

Front right mount:
http://www.wolfeboro.net/rep/98_maristar_nd_frontright.jpg


Rear right mount:

http://www.wolfeboro.net/rep/nd_tower_rearright.jpg

And a nice pretty pic of the installed tower

http://www.wolfeboro.net/rep/98_maristar_nd_tower_angle.jpg

Farmer Ted
05-01-2007, 12:38 PM
smoke the bolts down and see how it lines up

Thrall
05-01-2007, 02:41 PM
smoke the bolts down and see how it lines up

Exactly. That looks pretty close just sitting loose.

Farmer Ted
05-01-2007, 02:53 PM
it looks like the front holes are drilled a bit too low, resulting in the aft legs not lining up?

How did you measure/mark the front holes?

After drilling the front holes did you test fit and double check the aft hole marks were correct?

After seeing the fellas at NDT install my tower it's really a pretty simple process, but a lot of measure once, twice, three times, drill once....