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View Full Version : Broken bimini eye end



RenoXLV
07-18-2009, 05:54 AM
Last week, while collapsing the bimini, one of the eye ends snapped off. Didn't seem like it would be too difficult to replace until I tried to remove it with no luck. It appears that there is no set screw in the support pole, only a dimple, to hold the inside eye end in place. So, it will turn freely, but will not back out. I'm afraid if I put too much pressure on the aluminum pole that I'll bend or break it, and I do not want to have to cut the pole in order to remove the eye end. Has anyone had this problem with an inside eye end, and if so, how did you remove the broken piece? Web searches have turned up no solutions. Thanks for any ideas!

Razzman
07-18-2009, 10:51 AM
Cannot be removed without messing up the pole, once it's dimpled it cannot be undone. Overton's, West Marine, Boatersworld all sell bimini pieces, check them out.

moombadaze
07-18-2009, 05:31 PM
Im at work now and im picturing that dimple as being about a 1/4 inch from the end-could you just take a saw and cut the end of the pole right at the dimple and install a new end piece. You may have to do both end so the top sits level again.

If that is not a option can you drill out the plastic enough to just pull it out and then install a new piece?

Razzman
07-18-2009, 06:46 PM
I think you'd play hell getting a new plastic end past the dimples without jacking it up. I do like however your idea of cutting off a 1/4" or so baring you can get the ends.

Here's a couple of sources;

Plastic replacements: http://www.discountmarinesupplies.com/COVERS_TARPS-Bimini_Top_Hardware.html

Stainless Steel: http://www.marinepartdepot.com/newststdehi.html This one even has caps that go over the pole and attach with set screw.

RenoXLV
07-18-2009, 07:25 PM
Thanks for the prompt responses and ideas! The problem has been solved! I definitely didn't want to cut the pole, which was my last resort. Using Moombadaze suggestion, I used a 7/64 drill bit to drill multiple holes on either side of the eyelet (essentially mangling it), and then attempted to pull the broken piece straight out. When that didn't work, I drilled straight down above the dimples on either side of the pole and was then able to easily pull the piece out with a pair of pliers. Measured the broken eyelet at 3/4" diameter (outside diameter of pole was 7/8") and went to West Marine for a replacement. Taylor-made 2-pack replacement was $4.49. Install was actually really easy. Pushed the new piece in as far as possible by hand, then covered the end with an old leather glove and gently tapped it the rest of the way with a hammer. Glove did a good job protecting the plastic from mushrooming, as I suspect a piece of cloth would have been too flimsy. The new eyelet seems to be as immovable as the original so I did not opt to use the set screw that came in the package. I am going to bring the set screw with me when we go out tomorrow morning just in case. I did check out the stainless exterior eyelet caps, but decided not to go with them because they were much bulkier than the interior style. If I have to do many more of these repairs I am definitely going to consider the metal replacement though. Again, Razzman and Moombadaze, thank you for your input!

moombadaze
07-19-2009, 10:28 AM
Reno, glad to be of help and to hear it worked.

Razzman
07-19-2009, 11:38 AM
X2 on what 'Daze said :D