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Trim Tab Install on a 2320: Advice Needed

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joshdad

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My next project on my new 2320 is to remove my 12x12 Lenco's and start installing larger Bennetts. It seemed like a straightforward project but maybe not. My factory mounted Lenco tabs are set up in such a way that I can't get access to the back of the transom at the place where the actuator wire comes through. The battery compartment hatch does not allow me to reach the place where the Lenco wire passes through the transom.

If I position my new tabs in the same general location, I will not be able to use the standard technique of connecting the hydraulic line to the back of the upper actuator bracket because there is no access to the transom at that point. Does this mean that I will have to use Bennett actuators with an outside hydraulic line connection?

Am I missing something? Is there a trick to getting access behind the actuator connector? Does the new 2320 have a smaller battery compartment than past years?
 

Porkchunker

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Kevin and Dale seem to be the larger trim tab experts here. Hopefully they will jump in. However, both have 2520s, which may afford more access to the bolts on the inside of the transom.
 

Megabyte

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joshdad":qfux8as2 said:
My factory mounted Lenco tabs are set up in such a way that I can't get access to the back of the transom at the place where the actuator wire comes through. The battery compartment hatch does not allow me to reach the place where the Lenco wire passes through the transom.

If I position my new tabs in the same general location, I will not be able to use the standard technique of connecting the hydraulic line to the back of the upper actuator bracket because there is no access to the transom at that point. Does this mean that I will have to use Bennett actuators with an outside hydraulic line connection?

Am I missing something? Is there a trick to getting access behind the actuator connector? Does the new 2320 have a smaller battery compartment than past years?
I cannot speak to the 2320, but my 2520 has the external hydraulic lines from my actuators, to the transom mounted HPU.

Here are a few photos...

Bennett HPU



Port-side hydraulic line going through the transom



Let me know what else you need to see. I might have a photo.
 

joshdad

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Thanx for your effort to help. The 2320 battery compartment is a relatively small area. The section of the transom behind the trim tabs is not visible or accessible from the battery compartment. There is an opening at the bottom of the battery compartment through which wire or hydraulic tubes can be passed to this part of the transom, but I'm afraid there is no way to actually work at the transom behind the actuator mounting area.

Well I began the project today. It took a considerable amount of time to remove the Lenco tabs which were bonded to the hull with 5200. After I removed the mounting screws, I used my wife's hair dryer (please don't tell her) to warm up the backing plate. This permitted me to break the bond at one edge with a razor blade, and I then used the dryer and a putty knife to slowly work across the backing plate to free it from the hull. By working slowly I was able to detach the plate without damaging the gelcoat. I removed the upper actuator mount the same way although I did not use the hair dryer on this since it is made of plastic. At the end the tabs and actuator brackets were removed undamaged. Careful work scraping the gelcoat with a razor blade has allowed me to remove most of the 5200. (Mental note: Use 4200 to seal the new tab plates.)

I am replacing the 12 inch tabs with 24 inch tabs so the actuators have to be moved. No way to fudge on that. I figured that I could cut the Lenco cables along the run midway to the cabin and then thread the cable back through the transom when I removed the Lenco actuators. This would leave the actuators with a long cable run that could be spliced back together if I wanted to reuse the Lenco actuators on another boat. Cutting all the cable ties along the way was somewhat painful since it meant that I will be spending some time at the end of my installation trying to recoup the neat job that the Parker factory had done organizing the wire runs. Still there was no way to avoid this. Much to my dismay the plan didn't work out as anticipated. I was able to pull out only about 2 feet of cable from the transom and then the Lenco cables of each actuator became frozen in the hole through the transom. I don't really know where they caught but I finally gave up and cut the cables about 2 feet from where they enter the actuator. Fortunatel, there is still plenty of cable to do a splice if I want to reuse these actuators. I don't know if there is a better way to remove Lenco actuators, but it seems to me that anyone needing to remove the actuators for service is going to have to cut the cables and resplice.

The plan now is to consult the folks at Bennett about the best way to deal with an installation in which the hydraulic actuators can be connected without access to the back of the transom. In the meantime I have a lot of screw holes in the transom to seal.

Wish me luck!
 

joshdad

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Just an update....

I have mounted 24 inch Bennett tabs on my 2320 to replace the 12x12 Lencos. The tabs are mounted with #10 screws while the Lenco hinge had used #14 screws. I therefore patched all the old screw holes with epoxy and then mounted the Bennett tabs by using the Bennett backing plate as a template. I lined up the backing plate with the furthest outboard hole over the furthest outboard epoxy patch. I bedded the backing plate in 4200 before mounting. When the backing plate was mounted all the patches from the Lenco tab hinge were covered by the backing plate.

With 24 inch tabs on a new 2320 the upper end of the actuator lines up with a portion of the transom which is not accessible from the inside. As a result you cannot use the standard Bennett 90 degree elbow fitting to connect the hydraulic tube to the actuator, so you must use the Bennett "short trough-transom fitting" (Part VP1146) which was kindly supplied to me by Tom at Bennett. Fortunately even though you can't get to the inner side of the transom at the point where the hydraulic tubes slide through, it should be an easy matter to fish the hydraulic tubes from the transom out into the battery compartment where the hydraulic pump is set up.

In my case I decided as a temporary maneuver to use my old Lenco actuators and preserve for the time being my existing switches and wiring. (I plan to convert over to the hydraulic system at a more convenient time.) Since I am using Bennet tabs with Lenco actuators I needed to mount the Bennett lower hinge assembly (Bennett Parts A1113 and A1115) on my Lenco actuators. The Bennett and Lenco actuators have the same dimensions and both companies make use of this fact in their instructions for retrofitting from one system to another. There is one dimensional difference between the two brands in that the upper bracket on the Lenco actuator has a different screw hole pattern from the Bennett screw hole pattern. To make the eventual switchover easier, I obtained a Lenco upper actuator bracket (Retrofit bracket part #116) which has a screw hole pattern that matches exactly the Bennett actuator upper mount hole pattern. Thus when it is time to switch to the Bennett actuators, it should be a simple matter of setting up the hydraulics and attaching the Bennett actuators to the tabs and transom. Using my old actuators involved attaching the Bennett lower hinge bracket, attaching the new Bennett compatible upper bracket, splicing some 2 conductor electrical cable to replace the cable damaged when the actuators were removed from the old tab installation, fishing the new cables back to the existing wiring, and making new connections. Next step, say a brief prayer, power up the system, and bottom line, everything worked perfectly, at least on the trailer.

At this point he upper ends of the actuators are mounted to the transom approximately 6" inboard from the original location. Thus the old holes (3 screw holes and a central hole for the electrical wire) from the upper end of the actuators needed to be patched. These 4 patches are the only external evidence of the change over. I still have to gel coat over the epoxy patches, but that will be a separate project when I can batch together all of my gelcoat repairs.

For now I am excited to take the boat out to see whether doubling the trim tab surface area will make a substantial improvement in performance. Stay tuned....
 

joshdad

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I will try to provide some pictures in next week.

I finally got a chance to try out my new tabs yesterday. It was actually a very beautiful and calm day off of Huntington Beach so we didn't get the full workout, but I was amazed at how much better my 2320 handled using the new 12x24 trim tabs (12" front to back; 24" side to side). Small easy adjustments of the tab resulted in a very responsive change in the boat's attitude both fore to aft and side to side. Waves that had caused pounding with my 12x12's (original equipment) were barely perceptible. I have to say that so far I am delighted and there is no doubt in my mind that it was worth the effort.

If you are not satisfied with your boat's performance using the 12x12 oem tabs, you should certainly consider upgrade to a larger tab. The 12x24 seem to work quite well on a 2320.

Good luck
 

joshdad

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Better late than never (?). Here are the promised pictures

You are looking at a Bennett 12x24" tab on a Parker 2320. The setup uses the Lenco actuators that came with the boat. To the right of the upper end of the actuator you can see the original holes where the Lenco actuators were attached to the transom with the original 12x12 tabs.

When the actuator was moved over to accomodate the new larger tabs I changed out the actuator bracked (see my post above). I am enclosing a picture of the optional bracket upper mount, and a picture of the connection between the Bennett tab and the Lenco actuator.

(Note the order of the pictures in the post was reversed when I started adding the attachments.)
 

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Outta Here

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joshdad":2j8wu6or said:
Small easy adjustments of the tab resulted in a very responsive change in the boat's attitude both fore to aft and side to side. Waves that had caused pounding with my 12x12's (original equipment) were barely perceptible. I have to say that so far I am delighted and there is no doubt in my mind that it was worth the effort.
Good luck
Good description...I have 12x24's on a 2300CC. Don't you just love how a slight flick of the control provides instant response? !

One word of caution on the Lenco actuators. If your run tab down and have to run in a following sea, SHOULD the Lenco elect actuator (s) fail, your hull will be in a "nose down" attitude. Not the best in a following sea.
Bennett actuators will auto retract in case of a hydraulic failure.
 

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