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Old     (mossy44)      Join Date: Oct 2001       05-12-2003, 9:33 AM Reply   
i have a a pair of B530's and a pair of B60's on my tower. i have a '02 xstar. does anyone else have a problem with the bolts or screws that keep the tower up? i lay the tower down after every weekend of riding, and it seems as though all of the weight is being put on the actual screwor knob. i might need to take a picture of it, but even with a friend pushing up and down on the towerto try to take off some of the pressure, there is still too much weight on it for me to screw the knob all the way in. in fact, trying to take one of the knobs out yesterday, the actual knob came off.

shouldnt the top part of the tower be resting on the bottom part of the tower? instead of all the weight on a bolt on each side?

there are two parts of the tower. the horizontal (sort of) piece that is mounted to the hull and then the top part of the tower that can fold down.

i hope somebody understands what i am saying.

my main question is does anyone else with this much weight on their tower have any problems?
Old     (ltw235)      Join Date: Jul 2002       05-12-2003, 10:02 AM Reply   
I haven't had the problems you are experiencing (I have a pair of b-530's on the Zero Flex) but it is one heavy son of a ***** to lift from the broken down position. Actually, it is a pain to lower it as well when breaking it down. I have found that lifting up on upper part of the tower makes it easier to screw the knobs in when setting the tower into place.
Old    clint_h            05-12-2003, 10:41 AM Reply   

Off the subject, but what type of amp are you running your 530s with. I've got a set due to arrive tomorrow and still have not made up my mind on an amp.
Old     (houseofpayne)      Join Date: Nov 2002       05-12-2003, 10:58 AM Reply   
Funny you should bring this post up...
We just purchased our '03 X-2 a couple of months ago and started with 2 B69's. Wanting more power of course, we added another pair of B69's. We also have 2 sets of Boss adjustable board racks.
So fully loaded when riding we have probably 6 -8 boards on the tower plus the 4 B69's. This does have me worried a little, especially when we take on some pretty choppy water/wakes. Even driving on the road with the speakers and hitting potholes in the road doing 65 does shake the tower pretty good.
And breaking the tower down and raising is a back breaker. I used to be able to handle this myself when we just had 2 B69's, but now with 4, I do have to ask my wife for assistance.
We have had the knobs come off before (in our '01 X-9), leaving the screws in there. Had to use plyers to take out the screws. There's a little pin that is on the side of the knob that goes all the way through to the screw.
Once that pin gets loose, the knob has a good chance of coming right off. Those are covered under warranty, and also would be a good idea to have 1 or 2 extra int he boat (along with plyers).
Trying to find peace and answers to this tower weighting issue, I asked the same question to our local MC dealer where we bought the boat from...he assurred me that the "newer" Zeroflex tower (compared to the boxy ones around 5 yrs. ago) will support our setup.
I know that these ZeroFlex's are through bolted through the fiberglass and so forth, but you would think that there has to be some kind of weight limitation for it.
If anyone finds this out, please post it.
Old     (mossy44)      Join Date: Oct 2001       05-12-2003, 11:06 AM Reply   
todd - you mentioned lifting up on the tower while screwing in the knobs. it sometimes works but right now it isnt helping at all.

also, my other point. when my tower is folded down, and i lift it up, the tower sits itself on the bottom half of the tower (the horizontal piece). at that point, i have to lift up just a tad bit to get the holes centered so that the screw can be put in. you would think that you shouldnt have to do this. i figured the weight should be from tower onto tower. not tower onto the knob. that is just too much weight on the knob, even without speakers up there. at least thats how i see it.
Old     (houseofpayne)      Join Date: Nov 2002       05-12-2003, 11:12 AM Reply   
Since we are on the topic of MC Zeroflex towers,
does anyone every loosen/tighten those allan screws that are right below the knobs on the arms of the tower?
Old     (ltw235)      Join Date: Jul 2002       05-12-2003, 11:53 AM Reply   
Ok, to answer the first question. I am driving the tower speakers with two channels from a Kicker 800x4 amp (200 watts each). They sound pretty good, but I will be installing V-Max in them soon which, I hope, will make them sound much better.

Next, Matt, I understand your point. I too think the weight sits on the screws as the holes are not exactly flush, but I guess I am not as concerned as you. Perhaps I should be. I guess I thought the design of the tower would somehow compensate for the stress on the screws.

I can say that I see my life flash before my eyes when I am folding the tower down, it IS definitely a back-breaker.

Old    captfaceplant            05-12-2003, 5:16 PM Reply   
I too have been concerned with this as well. I have a home-built box using Ryno-Gear quick release brackets, holding four 6X9's. I take the box down before I fold the tower down each week, so t's not as sketchy as it was but I get a little freaked when driving on the lake and the tower tends to wiggle a little side to side. Is this normal or am I just too much of a stress-ball??
Old     (mossy44)      Join Date: Oct 2001       05-13-2003, 7:18 AM Reply   
anyone else had the same problems that i have had? mainly the screws not wanting to go in or come back out? or is everyone just concerned with no big problems besides putting the tower up and down?
Old     (houseofpayne)      Join Date: Nov 2002       05-13-2003, 11:26 AM Reply   
Matt, yeah, I am more concerned about putting the tower up and down as well as the weight of it rather than the screws not aligning.
I've had bad images of the tower falling on the boat when lowering/raising it. Lot of $$ to repair the fiberglass and gelcoat.
I do have the SAME exact problem that you have when you try to either loosen/tighten the screw knobs. Like I said earlier, we also broke a couple of knobs trying to take them out.
But we try to push the tower up (pushing on the tower speakers) while we loosen/tighten them like you do.
I assumme that is has alot to do with the weight of the tower causing the holes not to align up. Maybe also the tower isn't completely straight, ie. the left side might be longer than the right side, ect..
Sometimes one side will align better with the holes better than the other.
*** Just remembered, brain is a little slow, that we sprayed WD40 on both the screw and the hole. that helped out alot. Try that!!
Old     (mossy44)      Join Date: Oct 2001       05-13-2003, 12:49 PM Reply   
thanks jason, i will definitley try the WD40

Everyone - one thing i just thought of. i built myself something out of 2x4's that lays across the bow while in storage so that the tower doesnt lay all the way down and rest on the boat. however, in order to get it into my garage, i have to put it all the way down for a minute. i have noticed that standing at the front of the boat, on the left side, my tower makes contact the hand rail and thats all. on the right side, the tower touches the hand rail AND the top of vinyl on the seat. it doesnt put A LOT of pressure on the vynil but it does touch it. you think this means its off center? on the left side there is about an ince in between the tower and the seat.

a handy digital camera would have helped me through this post sooo much.
Old     (ltw235)      Join Date: Jul 2002       05-13-2003, 12:56 PM Reply   
Yeah Matt, I think that is strange. Perhaps the mis-alignment is also to blame for the difficulty you are experiencing with the bolts. My tower, to this point, is still balanced and, although I think I will resort to the WD-40 thing as well, I have had no problems with the tower (except the weight thing).
Old     (mc_driver)      Join Date: Jan 2002       05-13-2003, 2:00 PM Reply   
I was just thinking.....could it be that, over time, as we've(or dealer) been (re)tightening the tower mount bolts, that it causes a slight shift of the lower section, thereby creating this mis-alignment with the upper(folding section). I think my tower has little play, and I, too, have to lift a bit to get the knobs to screw in. Maybe that could be something to look into. Other than that, I normally do not fold down the tower.....too heavy, for the most part, for me AND my wife.

Old     (wakescene)      Join Date: Feb 2001       05-14-2003, 6:45 AM Reply   
I'll chime in here,
TRUST ME when I tell you, loosen and grease every screw on your tower, don't just WD-40 (though this is a very good start).
I have major issues with the ZeroFlex towers and what you all are referring to here are just the tip of the iceberg for me!

Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       05-14-2003, 7:03 AM Reply   
is it a possibility that you cross-threaded the bolt?
Old     (mossy44)      Join Date: Oct 2001       05-14-2003, 8:08 AM Reply   
kevin, you care to tell a little more? maybe what you have run into so that i and others can check ours out before it gets too bad. when you say loosen and grease every screw, what do you mean? loosen it up, then grease it, then tighten it back every so often? wouldnt the grease make it more succeptable to coming loose all the time?

tim - what do you mean by cross-threading the bolt? does that mean to sort of tear the threads on the bolt? i know the first time i had a problem, i was trying to screw in the knob and little shavings were coming out of the hole because the threads were getting a little messed up. is that what cross-threading is? if so, i couldnt prevent it. i am trying to figure out how.
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       05-14-2003, 9:05 AM Reply   
yes, sounds like it is cross threaded, it is when you don't have the bolt and the nut (or tapped hole) lined up straight, and the harder material (the bolt in this case) will cut through the softer material. if you had metal shavings coming out of the hole then you very likely cross threaded it. this happened to me and essentially as you strain to get the bolt in the hole, you are re-tapping the hole with the bolt. as long as it stays tight you should not have a problem. if it gets loose you should look at having it repaired, helicoil, or filling the hole and re-drilling and tapping it.

In my opinion, the tower makers really ought to put a steel insert in the tower legs as a nut, rather than simply tapping the aluminum. for a bolted joint that is meant for repeated tightening and loosening, I think that aluminum is too soft and too east to cross thread.

lastly, I would not lubricate the bolted joint. I'd much rather deal with a hard to assemble joint than one that could fail by coming loose.
Old    kmc            05-14-2003, 9:43 AM Reply   
I don't have the tower type you all do but I can definitely sympathize with the hardware issue. It is a bad thing to constantly be loosening & tightening SST hardware into aluminum. I believe the "lube" being referred to is along the lines of "copper Lube". This is the miracle lube for fastening dissimilar materials together. It will not, in any way, allow the hardware to loosen because of the lubrication, but it will ease your pain when you need to remove the hardware. Put it on the threads of the hardware & it will prevent the "galling" between the harder SST bolt going into the softer aluminum threads. You can buy this at any auto parts store.
Old     (wakescene)      Join Date: Feb 2001       05-15-2003, 3:08 PM Reply   
Sure, I will elaborate.

My main beef is with the hardware really. I did like the tower in the beginning, but it has begun to erk me in this area, as I do frequently put down and up the tower, sometime 3-4 times per weekend.
All of the screws/bolts the ZF are a combo of SS into Aluminum. I am not expert, but this is a no-no. The tower is so sensitive to the environment I boat in (salt) that I have gotten to the point where I cleanout and grease up (White Lithium) all the bolts on the tower to keep them from corroding and fusing together once a month. The following is an excerp from another post I put up about the tower that happened to me just a few weeks ago
"What a weekend................I love this sport and boating in general BUT, salt does take it's toll on neglected parts. Apperently I missed greasing a bolt on my tower b4 putting it in for the winter, to make a long story short,,,,,,,,,,,,1 SS Bolt ='s 5hrs of drilling, 16 drill bits, 2cracked extractors (EZ-Out) a pint of oil (for cooling the bits, a quart of water (cause the oil ran out) 2 burned fingers, and a lot of swearing!!! I will never make that mistake again!!! "

What you are proposing matt is that the tower rest on the lower arms and that a screw/pins should keep it secure, not bear the load of everything.
I totally agree on this aspect, which leads me to that fact that the tower appears to be an after thought for nearly all the MC boats up until this year (2003). The tower for it's size, should really be 3"Aluminum tube, not the smaller 2". This would create a more stabe, less flexing tower. Inherently every tower is going to flex, and I am NOT worried that it will fail, just appears that more "quality" engineering could have been put into it to help is along. Jamie Schoolcraft and I were just talking about this in the AM today. We both have heavy Speaker Boxes on a MC ZF tower, and the wobble/sway of just the box on the tower might be more than most are willing to accept. I do accept it because it is never going to be more than the stress I could put on the tower while boarding behind the boat, that is the decided factor! My friend Matt Kelly had a 2000 Nauti SA with FCT. This thing was ROCK SOLID!!! It took 3 ppl just to put it up and down with only 4 boards loaded on it. It never swayed, and rested on it's self, with a screw to hold it there similar to a cotter pin incase of failure, but this was only if the original design failed. Other after market products appear to be similar.

I personally don't want to change the tower, so I am living with what I have right now, but if I were to do it again, I would buy a MC without a tower, and begin investigating one that better fits my needs. (I would never give up the MC though, lololol )



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