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View Full Version : Replacement Tower Pad DIY/ How to /fix shaky tower


willg
07-07-2013, 11:56 PM
Ok, so after calling dealers for weeks, I decided to make my own set of tower pads. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures, but the procedure is straightforward. I have a 2002 MC X-Star w/ zero flex flyer tower. My tower shook badly enough to hit the windshield when I went over waves.

1) Order the rubber. I used this Ultra-Strength Neoprene Rubber, Plain Back, 1/8" Thick, 4" Width, 36" L, 70A Durometer (http://www.mcmaster.com/#9013k62/=nixwfr). This is much thicker than the factory pads, but worked perfectly. Had plenty for at least 8 individual pads.

2) Buy a hot knife. I used this one Harbor Freight Hot Knife (http://www.harborfreight.com/5-in-1-hobby-woodburner-38593.html), and bought this knife for the blades Harbor Freight Hobby Knife (http://www.harborfreight.com/13-piece-precision-knife-set-32099.html)

3) Remove the tower. I removed the top section of my tower first, then the legs. For the legs you need a 1/2" allen wrench (or socket) and a 19/32" socket. Also I needed an 19/32" wrench to get to the rear tower nuts (if you don't have these tools, Harbor Freight has them for a good price). Some anti-seize compound on the ends of the bolts before removing the nuts eases the process. I had to cut the wires for my tower light, but was able to use crimp connectors to reattach it.

4) Make a template. On the front of the legs, I only made a template for the hole in the bottom of the tower (where the light wire ran through) and the bolt hole. The backs just have a bolt hole. Once I made this out of paper, I cut those two holes into a ~2"x4" piece of rubber. This allowed me to remount the tower.

5) Remount the tower w/ rough pads under legs. Tighten the bolts to ~75% of the final torque. For me, this was when the rubber began to squish out from under the leg.

6) Trace the leg for the tower on the pad. I used a silver sharpie.

7) Remove tower & pads.

8) Cut out pad with hot knife. I still had some nicks and rough spots around where I cut, so I actually sanded the edge of the pad with 120 grit sandpaper. This evened it out.

9) Reinstall the tower. I cleaned the threads of the hex bolts and liberally applied anti-seize. I torqued the bolts on mine enough so that the rubber squished out maybe 1/16" out around the leg. Just tight enough that when I turned the hex bolt without a wrench on the nut, it was stiff. It's hard to say what torque to tighten to, because the threads were wet.

10) My boat was missing the appropriate plastic washers that fit in the hinge of the tower (where the top section attaches to the leg in the front). I used neopreme washers from Home Depot, two on each side. These (http://www.homedepot.com/p/5-8-in-x-2-in-Black-Neoprene-Washer-89448/100338770#.Udo3gPnCaSo) exact ones.

The tower used to rattle and shake quite badly. Now it is MUCH stiffer. I can barely shake it with my hands. Overall, this was a huge improvement and well worth the time and effort. All in, it cost me about $38 (I had the tools). I was so impressed with the results I had to post this up

mikeg205
07-08-2013, 12:12 AM
Show us some picss...use photobucket.com.

willg
07-08-2013, 12:24 AM
Show us some picss...use photobucket.com.
Im not with the boat right now, but can try to get some next weekend.

mikeg205
07-08-2013, 12:26 AM
that would be great

Mark rsa2au
07-08-2013, 01:09 AM
yes please - pics!

Nice write up!