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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Lake Orion, MI
    Posts
    429

    Default Torsion axle failure...it finally happened

    I guess I shouldn't say it FINALLY happened, as I just bought the boat in June. I pulled it home from Illinois, and then probably haven't even put 20 miles on it since (boat stays in the water). The failure happened while the boat was parked...I found that pretty strange as you would think a bump would cause a jolt to the axle and that would be how it would fail, not just sitting stationary. I was going to pull the boat to my father in law's pole barn for the winter, but when I hooked up and tried to pull away the wheels were completely locked up against the fenders.

    Anyway, I understand my boat trailer is 7 years old, but this is obviously a very common issue and Boatmate did a pretty terrible job designing these trailers to use those axles (and Moomba did a terrible job selling a boat this heavy with a single axle trailer). I cringed every time I hit a bump on my way home from buying the boat.

    I'll call Boatmate tomorrow, but I'm not really expecting anything from them from what I've read on this forum and others since mine's out of warranty. I assume they don't even make the axle, as I've seen "UFP" mentioned multiple times.

    I wanted to ask you guys though, has anybody ever heard of the axle "flipping"? Some guy on another forum said if you back the boat up and the wheels are locked, it could "flip" the axle and all you had to do was take the trailing arm off and rotate it on the splines back to nominal position. From my very limited knowledge on torsion axles, I assume he means just rotating 90 degrees internally. Ok, so maybe this MIGHT work with a rubber torsion axle, but I don't think it could apply with a metal spring. Are these axles rubber or spring? Even if this was true, it rotated in there already once so I'm pretty sure it would do it again since there's already a failure point.

    The only reason I think this might be a possibility is because, now I don't know why, but my tongue was fully compressed when I hooked the boat up today to pull it out. Maybe when I backed it in after winterizing it last weekend it might have happened. My lot I put it on is pretty muddy, maybe I backed it in and didn't realize the axle "flipped", but it would've had to happen exactly at the same time as I was done backing it up to my wheel chock, because it backed smoothly up to that point from what I remember. Seems improbable.

    Also, do you guys think I could remove my fenders and get any miles out of it at all? I'd be afraid to even pull it up to the local trailer repair shop. The worst part of all of this is it's stuck on my muddy lake lot where I don't even have power to run a compressor or anything, and the mud makes it pretty difficult to jack it up and place jack stands (I tried, need more boards).
    2006 Mobius LSV
    Previous ride - 2000 Supra Launch

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    Posts
    736

    Default

    Boat mate has the axle. Got mine from them. Took my fenders off to get it home (6 miles). Don't think it would have made it any further than that. It was already pulling on the brake line. Boaf Mate won't warrant it. Think I paid $450.00 with brake lines and painted.
    Jack Beams
    '05 Outback DD
    325HP EFI Indmar

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Lake Orion, MI
    Posts
    429

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jmb View Post
    Boat mate has the axle. Got mine from them. Took my fenders off to get it home (6 miles). Don't think it would have made it any further than that. It was already pulling on the brake line. Boaf Mate won't warrant it. Think I paid $450.00 with brake lines and painted.
    Did you do it yourself?
    2006 Mobius LSV
    Previous ride - 2000 Supra Launch

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    Posts
    736

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wax View Post
    Did you do it yourself?
    Yes. Talk to Jerry in parts at Boat Mate. He assures it will never happen again with the new axle. He will send you the "how to" also. There is a lot of information on here as well on how to do it
    Jack Beams
    '05 Outback DD
    325HP EFI Indmar

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Lake Orion, MI
    Posts
    429

    Default

    So he says. It shouldn't have happened in the first place to any of us, so it's hard to believe him this time lol.

    Sent from my fourth replacement Galaxy S2 using Tapatalk 4...
    2006 Mobius LSV
    Previous ride - 2000 Supra Launch

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Belton, Texas
    Posts
    2,573

    Default Torsion axle failure...it finally happened

    Quote Originally Posted by Wax View Post
    So he says. It shouldn't have happened in the first place to any of us, so it's hard to believe him this time lol.

    Sent from my fourth replacement Galaxy S2 using Tapatalk 4...
    calling boatmate first and killing them
    with kindness might yield better results. not sure if the company, or Jerry, monitors this site but we have seen it time and time again where someone bashes a company first only to send out an apology after speaking with them. good luck with your issue and I hope for favorable results


    Sent from my iP5s on an app called Tapatalk 2
    Jason

    Go Hard or Go Home.......it's MOOMBA time!!

    2009 Moomba Mobius LSV

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Lake Orion, MI
    Posts
    429

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jpetty3023 View Post
    calling boatmate first and killing them
    with kindness might yield better results. not sure if the company, or Jerry, monitors this site but we have seen it time and time again where someone bashes a company first only to send out an apology after speaking with them. good luck with your issue and I hope for favorable results


    Sent from my iP5s on an app called Tapatalk 2
    I think my statements have been far from bashing them and weren't even negative towards the company. Companies are made up of people, and people make mistakes. They designed trailers improperly for a period of years that have this common failure, or they sourced an axle manufacturer that designed the axle they spec'd for improperly (not sure what the root cause is). I'm sure Boatmate Jerry would own up to that since it is a very common issue. I'd just question how he could guarantee that this one wouldn't fail. An engineered piece of equipment can't be perfect all the time, I understand that very well, but I still it would be hard to believe it will never happen again unless they (or UFP) put their money where their mouth is and throw out a lifetime guarantee on the new axle (and tell me specifically what they did to fix the issue on the new one).

    Not only that, I'd never call up a company with a negative, condescending, or "blaming" attitude about something like this, that's just the wrong way to handle things and won't produce results. I'm in sales of engineered products, and I know how to handle myself professionally. Only people that can't control themselves emotionally during a non-emotional situation react like that (my wife in point...shhhh)!

    I have issues like this at my company also; when something like this happens it's not like my company is the worst company in the world and all of our products suck, we just own up to it, fix it, and learn from the mistake. I never had a problem with my Boatmate for my old Supra, it was a great trailer. I have nothing against Boatmate, UFP, or anybody that works at either company. I completely understand that it's out of warranty; I'm not entitled to anything and they also can't be held liable, but really great companies will stand behind their mistakes and own up to it (as maybe they have). If this issue happened once or twice, that's a different story. If it's a commonly known problem, it's something they should (and maybe have) addressed properly. Hopefully Boatmate and UFP are like that; sounds like many of you view Boatmate Jerry in a positive manner, so I'm actually assuming they are.
    2006 Mobius LSV
    Previous ride - 2000 Supra Launch

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    2,475

    Default

    Jerry was very helpful when I had the issue. Here are some comments that address some of the thoughts above. Although, these were shared in an email, I think it would be alright to share here ....

    "The reason that I cannot cover it under warranty is because the trailer is over 6 years old and the axle is only covered for 5 years. The original axle warranty was only 2 years, but after seeing a few failures, we persuaded them to extend that to 3 years. After seeing more failures, we pushed them to extend it to 5 years to stay in line with Boatmate’s 5 year warranty, but that’s as far as we can go and we have to draw a line somewhere. And since Boatmate eats a certain amount of labor in each one of those claims (even the ones that are “covered” by UFP), it’s not financially feasible for us to cover them beyond 5 years."

    " As big as the problem may sound from what you read on the internet, the last figures that we had calculated show that the failure rate is less than 0.5% (less than one half of one percent). Since there is no safety threat, all of the lawyers involved decided that a recall was not justified. The worst we have see is these situations is that the tire will fail and possibly tear up a fender……..and the average tire failure rate is higher than the axle failure rate. "

    Contact Jerry and I'm sure he will help you out asap, as he has done many others here. If you want a way to confirm the axle failure, PM your email address. I can send you the PDF he sent me, "Torsion Beam Jack Test". It may be available online? But I don't mind sending it.
    2006 Supra 24SSV

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Lake Orion, MI
    Posts
    429

    Default

    Thanks for the info KG. I agree with Jerry's comment about it probably not being financially feasible for them to cover it after warranty if there are so many, and I commend them for working hard to have the axle manufacturer extended theirs to match the 5 years. But I wonder what that 0.5% is based on; if it truly is that low, it seems like it probably would be financially feasible for them to warranty (or partially warranty) that specific issue on certain year trailers beyond the 5 year point. I don't blame him for having to draw a line though, it's business and they have to make money or else they can't continue to be in business.

    I don't agree with him that there is "no safety threat". I would agree that the safety threat is minimal, but not non-existant. I do agree that the safety threat is similar to a blown tire and probably not enough of a threat to require a recall; whether or not it would be the "right" thing to do in the consumer's opinion, again it's business.
    2006 Mobius LSV
    Previous ride - 2000 Supra Launch

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    686

    Default

    I wish that I had known what was happening back when I started getting early symptoms back in 2009...

    http://www.moomba.com/msgboard/showt...tch-adjustment

    I only tow a couple of times a year, so progression of the problem was very slow. Now the shimmy worse and one side is down about 2cm. The local trailer repair shop confirmed that one axle needs replacement. Jerry sent me the links for replacement parts. No warranty coverage is available after so long.

    Maybe we can do a group buy in the spring?
    2005 XLV, upgraded ballast, Comptech swivel wakeboard and hydrofoil racks, Monster cargo bimini

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