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 Post subject: Power Wedge III/SurfGate Actuators -Muskrat Damage - Water
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2024 11:49 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2023 12:35 pm
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Upon storing our 2021 Axis A24 last fall, our dealership indicated that at some point during the season (most likely in the fall when our boat was docked in the water, as opposed to on a lift due to low water levels), muskrats had chewed into cables for the SurfGate and PowerWedge actuators (manufactured by Parker).

This spring, it turns out that 1 SurfGate actuator and the PowerWedge actuator did not work (1 SurfGate actuator continued to work). So both SurfGate actuators and the PowerWedge actuator were replaced.

I was curious about whether the actuators were salvageable, mostly because I'd love to have backups. Trying to find out why they failed, I tested them, starting with the PowerWedge actuator. You can see the slightly chewed (blue) cable. Some questions:

Hole in housing - I noticed a small hole in the housing as well - not sure if this posed an issue - it doesn't appear to actually impact the inner workings of the actuator (the hole appears to be in the outer housing but there is an inner layer that doesn't appear to have been punctured), but I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts if this is not how it's supposed to be.

Water in motor housing. Using a 12V battery, I tested the actuator and it worked...albeit a little slowly and janky. Next I opened up the motor. Upon opening up the motor, I noticed a decent amount of water (not the pink hydraulic fluid) in the housing where the magnets are located (not sure if it was due to the hole or perhaps water coming in through a chewed wire?). In fact, it looked like there was some corrosion and one of the spring-loaded magnets was stuck "open" due to a spring that had corroded and broke. I fixed the spring so that the magnet is "closed" along with the other 3.

Hydraulic Fluid? Not having dealt with an actuator before, I was moving things around and at one point, I pushed the rod and some pink hydraulic fluid was expelled (probably 2 tablespoon's worth - if anyone knows what fluid should be used, I'd be grateful.

Is this normal? After fixing the magnet and cleaning out the housing, I re-assembled and tested with the 12V battery. This time, it worked smoothly. Is it normal for water to be present in the housing? If not, would replacing/repairing the insulation for the cables (or perhaps the cables completely) prevent water from entering the housing again?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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 Post subject: Re: Power Wedge III/SurfGate Actuators -Muskrat Damage - Wat
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2024 8:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:00 am
Posts: 1114
Never seen one of the mechanics pull these apart. They just pull new and install. They are more worried about getting the boat in and out of the shop. Id call Parker and see if they will help you with some rebuild information. I bet there are hundreds of these thrown out each year because none of the dealers are willing to research why they are dying. A little research can probably save thousands of dollars on these replacements.

Let us know if you find more info.


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