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Old     (lfadam)      Join Date: Nov 2008       11-10-2014, 2:45 PM Reply   
Our 2005 Malibu VLX came with the manual wedge. We love the wake with the wedge and don't have nearly enough fat sacs/pumps to get a comparable wake without it. After a year or two, our original wedge foil broke. Bolts failed and the thing bent like a pretzel. I guess it was a pretty common problem, so Malibu replaced it with a 3 bolt foil (instead of 2 bolt). Nice.

Fast forward to 2014 and our three bolt wedge failed. I called Malibu and they said it was the first three bolt wedge they had heard of failing. "Sorry not our problem." The price of a new wedge foil (just the foil, not the mount!) was something insane like 850 dollars. No way was that going to happen. I took the old wedge off and we kept riding without it, but the wake was just not the same. Luckily my dad is a mad scientist and has the spare time of a recently retired man. Since the breaks were mirror images of each other, he took the unbroken arms, drilled out the sheared bolts, retapped the threads, and combined it into one frankenwedge. One side has 3 bolts, the other was too mangled in the middle hole, so just has the two outer bolts. I was skeptical that it would hold up, but we have used it for probably ten sets now and it's still alive. Any time we get out of this one is a bonus to me. Whenever this one fails, I'll probably buy more sacs and pumps instead of an 850 dollar wedge.

Just a heads up to any Malibu owners--save your broken wedges! You might be able to team up with a friend to make one working one.
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Old     (Froggy)      Join Date: Nov 2013       11-10-2014, 3:02 PM Reply   
Can it be welded?
Old     (boardman74)      Join Date: Jul 2012       11-10-2014, 3:36 PM Reply   
I think I would have put loc-tite on the bolts after the first one and checked them often.
Old     (stanfield)      Join Date: Mar 2004       11-10-2014, 5:56 PM Reply   
The bolts shear, not simply back out over time. Locktite would help about as much as scotch tape.
Old     (T_A)      Join Date: Feb 2013       11-10-2014, 6:34 PM Reply   
Was this surfing or wakeboarding? Seems like the boat would have to be listed for it to bend like that...
Old     (ilikebeaverandboats)      Join Date: Jul 2007       11-10-2014, 6:42 PM Reply   
Up the number of fasteners, increase thickness locally, or get down and dirty with some CRES or Inconel fasteners...whats the deal, im surprised this happened.

Red loctite and Check your bolts i guess
Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       11-10-2014, 8:49 PM Reply   
A wedge foil new isn't $850. I converted to a floating wedge and sold my manual (2 bolt that never had an issue). Upgrade cost me about $400 all said and done.
Old     (lfadam)      Join Date: Nov 2008       11-10-2014, 9:55 PM Reply   
Froggy, I considered welding. I'm not sure what type of metal it is, but assuming it could be done then it would probably never break again. That sounds good, but the flip side is if you hit a log it might rip your transom off. I'm not sure.

RB, Stanfield is right, the bolts shear.

Tony, both while wakeboarding. We never run the wedge over 30mph as per the manual. When I talked to Malibu on the phone they said "ya we actually don't recommend over 25 now" which we have definitely done before. The first one was while I was riding and I don't know exactly when it happened. I just noticed the wake was different at one point. The second time I was driving. I was pulling a beginner (going straight)with stock ballast and wedge, going 21mph. She was out of the wake on the driver's side and all of a sudden the boat just lurched right. I straightened out and looked back thinking she must have just gained 100lbs and raley cut as far out as possible. She was just hanging out in the flats. I had to increase the rpm by 500 to maintain speed and immediately I knew the wedge had gone. The 90 degree bend comes from the bolts on one side failing and the angle of the bottom of the foil pulling straight down I suppose. Pretty wild looking. We thought maybe the first one broke where we do a really tight turn around, but maybe not if the second broke while going straight.

Joe, the second wedge had loc tite on all of the bolts. Made it much harder to remove the broken ones.

nitrousbird, that's good to hear. I'll have to check my numbers. I thought that seemed astronomical for a few basic pieces of metal.
Old     (cowwboy)      Join Date: Jul 2008       11-11-2014, 6:19 AM Reply   
It is stainless, just have a local guy weld it up.
Old     (T_A)      Join Date: Feb 2013       11-11-2014, 6:27 AM Reply   
Those wedges aren't stainless, they are nibral I believe similar to propellers
Old     (surffresh)      Join Date: Jun 2010       11-11-2014, 9:23 AM Reply   
I worked with a Malibu dealer this past summer, probably averaged 3 wedges a week, rams, breaking, different problems. I can't believe there are not more post about them on here. They take a pounding and like anything else will have issues over time and some right out of the box.
Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       11-11-2014, 9:47 AM Reply   
Crazy. I've had 5 Wedge-equipped Malibus and never had an issue. Granted, my first Malibu (which was a gen 1 wedge) was back when we were riding at much slower speeds. The new ones are supposed to be much tougher.
Old     (davez71)      Join Date: Oct 2007       11-11-2014, 10:07 AM Reply   
I have gone through my fair share of wedges in the Day when I had my Malibu. I had one break one me in the same exact manner as yours and I know I didn't hit anything. It was almost as if it bent in a turn. I did loose one all together from hitting a log I know for a fact. I upgrades to the stainless wedge that they offered in '05 and it seems to be better. I would look on ebay or something for replacement wedges.

I would recommend not welding as they are made of nibral with these brass bolts to prevent you from pulling the transom off of the boat. They shear easily to alleviate the stress on the boat transom. I think you would rather pay the bill for the wedge than the transom repair.
Old     (surffresh)      Join Date: Jun 2010       11-11-2014, 2:34 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by surffresh View Post
I worked with a Malibu dealer this past summer, probably averaged 3 wedges a week, rams, breaking, different problems. I can't believe there are not more post about them on here. They take a pounding and like anything else will have issues over time and some right out of the box.
interestingly enough when I asked the tech about Axis wedges, he said they come in less than half the time because they're they are manual = less than half the moving parts
Old     (lfadam)      Join Date: Nov 2008       11-11-2014, 4:46 PM Reply   
Are the floating wedges welded or do they have the 3 bolt set up? Nitrousbird, what was your experience in changing to the floating wedge? Do you have to change the mount? What were the effects on the wake?

Does anyone know if you can even weld nibral or brass or whatever the pieces are? Not sure what the bottom of the foil is. It looks different than the arms.
Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       11-12-2014, 3:50 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by lfadam View Post
Are the floating wedges welded or do they have the 3 bolt set up? Nitrousbird, what was your experience in changing to the floating wedge? Do you have to change the mount? What were the effects on the wake?
Floating wedge is all stainless and welded. The "stainless" manual wedge offered for a year or two was only the wedge plate that was stainless.

You have to change the mount, but it uses the same bolt holes, so it is an easy direct swap. I never noticed a difference in the wake to be honest and I have tried both stop points you can set it to. It looks better and is easier to deploy and put back up for sure.
Old     (hco)      Join Date: Jun 2006       11-14-2014, 2:53 PM Reply   
My wedge 'failed' but it did not completely fail/rip apart, it just bent, and Malibu would not replace it. Had to hunt for 3 years to finally find an old manual wedge that was not $850 from the factory. Power wedge's are pieces of **** too, the actuators just fight themselves to death. Floating wedge is probably the way to go. It's a great idea but Malibu has had piss poor execution with it.

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