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Trim tab actuator replacement - any fist hand advice?


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One of my trim tab actuators crapped out and I have the new one and am getting ready to replace it.  Before I jump in I just thought I would ask for any commentary from those who have done one before.  I'm not exactly sure where the wiring is in my bilge and was thinking it might be easiest to cut and splice into the old wiring when I remove the old actuator.

Any comments are appreciated before I start. Thanks guys. 

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First, are you sure it's bad ?

1.) which side? Port or Starboard

2.) the cable will be a black cable and could be connected to a deuthch connection depending on how it's wired.  Many times, the connection will corrode or the switch will need to replaced...so, before you take off the taccuator due the following:


A.) Find the wire to the switch panel, cut the wire and skin back the two wires, get a 12 v battery or run a set of jumpers off the house and touch the bare wires on the actuator that you think is bad.

B.) if the actuator moves or jumps you know the problem is now "up-stream" or at the connector

C.) if it moves, then clean back the connection wires and connect directly with a new in line crimp.

D.) if it doesn't you know it's the acutator

E.) to check the switch, if one is working, just swap the leads under the console to see if it moves, if it does, you know the switch is bad and not the actuator.

To replace, it's really simple...

you need:

Diswashing soap

large philipps


A small ping and hammer to drive out the round peg that holds it in place on the bottom part of the tab


To remove:

undo the bottom peg with hammer and ping

clean cut the wire on the inside

unscrew the actuator and pull it off with the wre

replace in never oder, except you will need to push some dishwashing liquid into the hole where you are replacing the wire to push back into the hull.

Use the 5200 around the wire opening and the screws....

Reconnect using water tight connections in the bilge and be sure to zip tie the connections above anywhere water might puddle

Total time is about 2 hours on your first try without anyone to help...it's good to have someone with small hands to do reaching behind the transom area.

I've replaced 2-3 over the past 10 years on my Pathy's and RF's.


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Thanks for the advice, and yes, the actuator is definitely bad.  It runs when you push the switch either up or down.  But the tab doesn't move. So I think the gears inside must be stripped.  Thanks for your input as your description is what I was envisioning.

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