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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through January 14, 2005 » Zero Flex Tower « Previous Next »
By Migitty Matt (migitty) on Sunday, October 17, 2004 - 9:33 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Snapped the passenger side bolt on my tower this weekend. Not sure when it happened. Looking at the pictures, I'm thinking it happened long before we finished wakeboarding. Just curious if anyone else has snapped a bolt on a '00 Zero Flex. Worked fine as a tri-pod but would have never continued riding had I known it snapped. Going to be a biatch to get that broken bolt out.

Just fyi, Shasta this past weekend was muy bueno! No suit needed. Absolute butter near Ski Island. Had my best set of the year. No questions asked.

By Tom Adrian (tommyadrian5) on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 6:05 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
i briggity broke mine trying to unscrew it to break my tower down to fit under the house, seems like it had seized onto the aluminum, which doesn't surprise me since i had never taken it out before and its a steel bolt into an aluminum receiver, which is easy seizure

i'm out of the country now but the forward arm is in my house, i think i'm going to fill a cup with pb blaster and let it soak in there for 2 weeks while i'm home for x-mas, there is still a cm of bolt sticking out so i'm hoping to be able to put it in a vice and get it out once it is loosened up a bit. If that doesn't work i'll have to take it to a machine shop and have it drilled out.

i always put anti-seize on the bolts that bolt the tower to the mounts, but never on the ones that hold the tower together, since i had never taken the thing apart and never thought i'd have to take the whole thing apart, lesson learned

By Troy Mann (themann39) on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 6:47 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
This happened to my boat 2 years ago. We used an easy out to get the bolt out. Went to the hardware store and bought a new bolt and were riding again within the hour.
By Peter Chandler (peter_c) on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 8:16 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Matt, many times even if they break they will unscrew very easily. First try with a sharp object by hand and if that doesn;t work then try a punch and hammer but do not bugger up the outside of it. If that doesn't work get an easy out.
By Jeff (socalwakepunk) on Tuesday, October 19, 2004 - 6:07 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Reverse drill bit & easy out. Less than $10 at most industrial hardware shops. Take 10 minutes & you are ready to go.

BTW - Dissimilar metals (SS bolt to Aluminum threads) should not seize. You get seizure when you use the same material, both nut and bolt. That is why we have SS prop shafts, and Brass prop nuts. I know this because I once used a SS prop nut without using anti seize, had to grind the nut off.

By Tom Adrian (tommyadrian5) on Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - 4:55 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
jeff, ss/ss seizure is due to corrosion, and is not actually seizure. Aluminum/SS is prone to actual "seizure" due to different expansion/contraction temperature properties. Think "cold forged steel" in "brittle aluminum"
By Jeff (socalwakepunk) on Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - 7:32 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Believe me, corrosion did not play a role in the SS nut gauling up on the SS prop shaft (only on the boat a few days/not signs of any corrosion).

I guess being from Cali, temp does not play a role. Owned a Skylon Tuna tower, 4 years of installing and removing SS shoulder bolts from aluminum threads after every use, never any gauling/seizures. Did have a shoulder bolt "stretch" and break, though.

(Message edited by socalwakepunk on October 20, 2004)

By Migitty Matt (migitty) on Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - 4:06 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Good news, my friend was able to get the broken bolt out with an easy out. Now I just need to find a replacement bolt. Should be back in action in no time.

On another matter, I called AutoElectric today and I'm taking my alternator to them on Saturday. With all the stereo equipment I'm running, my volts are too low. Averaging between 11-12. They quoted me a price of around $200. That's awesome considering my dealer wants $600 for a 90 amp and that does not include installation which they say requires "modifications" to get it in.

Thanks for all the responses.

If any of you are Delta winter riders, feel free to drop me a note. I'm more than happy to hit it anytime.

By Tom Adrian (tommyadrian5) on Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - 11:39 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
matt, any luck with a replacement bolt? i figure an MC dealer should be able to get this, i think they use the same bolts on the newer zf towers
By Zedz Dead (ktm250) on Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 6:17 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
The problem arises due to microscopic high spots in both the aluminum and the stainless steel. As the two pieces are put together there can be localized welding due to friction on these high spots. As you continue to assemble/disassemble these “micro welds” ball up and destroy the fit of the threads (i.e. it gets tighter & tighter as they continue to build) until it is stuck and the bolt breaks.

The proper way to repair this is to drill out all the aluminum threads and replace them with Heli-coil (or another brand) threaded inserts. They can be found at any “real” hardware store. Once this repair is made I have yet to see this issue come back. And yes, this is how is should have been done in the first place.

By Migitty Matt (migitty) on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 12:30 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Tom, I'm going to see if Ski World has the bolts tomorrow after I hit AutoElectric in SJ. I've got a whole host of things to pick up from them. Blew yet another heater core. Fargnog! Just when you want the heater the most, it blows.

Zedz Dead, never heard of Heli-Coil. Is that something you highly recomend and is it something I can look into at say Home Depot?

Also, does anyone know who I can contact to have my tower welded. I've still got those pesky little cracks. They don't seem to be getting any worse but I really want to take care of them this winter.

By Chaun Keating (big_poppa_pump) on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 1:30 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

Check out your local Tru-Value hardware store. They have the Heli-Coli inserts in a pack with instructions. It will tell you what size drill bit you need to use to drill the threads out.

Good bet they will have the SS bolts that you need also. My X-Star is problably about 10% Tru-Value at this point.

The Heli-Coil inserts worked like a champ for me.

Good Luck,

By Migitty Matt (migitty) on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 3:45 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Thanks for the information Chaun.

Just fyi, LTR owners, I just pulled my alternator and the housing was completely broken (bottom bolt assembly) and several fins were missing. And, I had the alternator mounting bracket recall done several years ago. Talk about dissaster narrowly averted. Yikes!

By Migitty Matt (migitty) on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 5:09 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Here is a pic of the alt before I took it out.

As you can see, I have the recall bracket.

Here's what I found when I took it off.

By Chaun Keating (big_poppa_pump) on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 5:30 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I had the same thing happen to my first stock alternator. I replaced it with a 71 amp from Pearland Alternator in Texas and it has lasted about 3 years now.

I did not have the bracket before the stocker broke, put it on with the new 71 amp alt.

There were enough threads sticking out of the bolt that I attached a nut on the back side of the tab that you are holding. I figured that it would spread the stress out over the tab a little better. Its held up well since.

By Zedz Dead (ktm250) on Saturday, October 23, 2004 - 8:17 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Chaun got it covered...

I do HIGHLY reccomend Heli-Coil inserts.

Check out the website for all the recalls (after seeing the alternator)

By Migitty Matt (migitty) on Saturday, October 23, 2004 - 4:40 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Okay, dropped the alternator off at Auto Electric and they are going to make it a 120 amp with all the stuff the higher output amp will need, diods, wires, etc. Total cost..$280.

Went to Ski World, picked up the bolts, oil, a new rope and handle (couldn't resist) and ordered a lot of vinyl.

Put in the new bolt and decided to replace the other side just to be safe. However, the bolt snapped as I was taking it out. Now I have the same problem but on the other side. Fargnog!! And I can't get the darn bolt out. This sucks and it started pouring as I was trying to get it out. I will definitely be looking into those inserts.

Zedz, besides the mounting bracket, I could not see any other recall relating to the alternator.

I'm freaking soaking wet, ticked off over the bolt and I'm sucking on an O'Douls. This sucks mucho?!

By Tom Adrian (tommyadrian5) on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 4:01 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
i suggest replacing the beer, that's the heart of your problem
By Zedz Dead (ktm250) on Monday, October 25, 2004 - 6:44 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Tom got it need to step away from the near beer!

Alt is bracket, hardware and alignment.

Once you get those Heli-coils in you'll never have to do this again.

MAKE SURE you get everything straight as you are installing them (Heli-Coils). Also Snap-On has some good broken bolt removal tools...but since it is probably welded in place you might as well plan on drilling the whole thing out.

(Message edited by ktm250 on October 25, 2004)

By Migitty Matt (migitty) on Monday, October 25, 2004 - 7:37 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Okay, can someone tell me where the hot lead off my alternator goes? It gets lost in a maze of wiring. Auto Electric tells me I need to replace that wire with a thicker guage. I spent a good amount of time trying to follow it on Saturday to no avail. I think I need a mechanic to finish this job.

Also, in going from 51 amps to 120, is there anything else I need to look out for?

Zedz, thank you so much for all your info. It really is appreciated.

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