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 Post subject: Smaller Mirage Drive?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:58 am 
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I was at a dealer yesterday considering a Hobie PA12. But I noticed the new Mirage Drive units have a new molding-casting with a water flare built in on the sides. They also appear shorter and when mounted in the drive well they have a LOT of slop. The drive would CLUNK, CLUNK, CLUNK, CLUNK with every push of the pedal. I looked at another one they had in an Outback and it was exactly the same way. Either the well is now deeper or the drive is shorter, but the drive ends no longer fit snug against the hull. There is a quarter inch or more of clearance and this allows the annoying CLUNK. The dealer said they did them this way for 2013 to make them easier to install. I hope that's not true because this bad fit is going to result in a LOT of complaints. I won't buy one like this, that's for sure.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:30 am 
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Sounds to me like you didn't get the Mirage Drive properly mounted into the well. If it wobbles/wiggles..... it ain't put in correctly.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:36 am 
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Oh no, they were all the way in, locked down solidly. I removed both and reinserted and locked them for myself. Everything was installed like it was supposed to be.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:05 am 
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CLUNK? CLUNK? Are you saying that the fins were hitting the hull and making this sound? If so, it is just an adjustment to the pedal stroke length.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:09 am 
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No, the fins weren't involved. The drive no longer sits so that the front and rear tabs are down against the hull. They are about 1/4 inch shy so the whole drive rocks forward and rearward with each push of a pedal. When it rocks forward it goes CLUNK and then it rocks rearward and goes CLUNK. Only way I can see to correct this is to shim the front and rear drive tabs with some tape or foam so they will sit down against the hull drive opening instead of having so much slop.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:33 am 
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The new drives came out a few months ago. The dimensions are the same. The housing is all new with molded in indexing pins and small backwash deflectors. Most Mirage drives rock or clunk . Some more than others. Slop is irrelevant when in the water.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:15 am 
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I have to strongly disagree. My current Mirage Drive Outback doesn't clunk. It fits solidly in the well and operates smoothly in the water or out. That mis fit, on purpose or not, is going to be annoying and it is going to CLUNK with each pedal stroke even in the water. It worries me enough that for now I am backing off purchasing a PA. Give it a couple months and watch the complaints pile up here and elsewhere. This is not a slight mis fit, it is a major one.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:25 am 
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Drives are the same dimension - as for clunking - this is from the locks being higher than the front lip - this is by design on the molds, if the front lip and rear lips were equal to the locks it could be an issue where the locks wouldn't engage, which would be a way bigger issue than having some fore and aft 'play' in the system
When you are checking out boats at a shop - understand that they can all be slightly different. And that on a static display you will see that it can rock a little bit - but understand that when you're in the water and pedaling the drive just presses forward and it doesn't clunk. It has been this way ever since we switched to click n go setup.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:32 am 
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My click and go boat isn't like this. Not even close. I'm not talking about a "little" bit of play. I'm talking a wallop! It is going to rock back AND forth on the water and clunk like mad. The guy who was with me in the shop could not believe it either. He has a Revo 13 with the click and go. He kept taking the drives in and out and was convinced something was not locking correctly, but we checked and the drives were going all the way in with good alignment. They just did not sit all the way down front or rear. Not even close.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:31 am 
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I have 6 Hobies with the Mirage Drive. The TI has two units, so I own 7 Mirage Drives total. With the exception of the earliest one on a 2005 Outback, all the others fit very close. I don't believe there is more than 1/16th inch of play between the front and rear drive tangs the bottom of the drive well. They're not hard to install and they don't clunk.

Now that first one did have some play and it clunked like mad while pedaling. Very disconcerting. I ended up putting two layers of thick duct tape around the forward drive tang to snug things up. The clunk went away and the tape generally hangs on for a season before needing to be replaced.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:11 am 
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One of my Mirage drive boats was like that, clunk clunk. I finally added a 1/2" piece cut from an old garden hose which fixed it up fine, plus added a little bit of padding.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:26 pm 
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dregsfan wrote:
The new drives came out a few months ago. The dimensions are the same. The housing is all new with molded in indexing pins and small backwash deflectors. Most Mirage drives rock or clunk . Some more than others. Slop is irrelevant when in the water.
This is absolutely correct. The latest drives have a molded skirt that strengthens the spine, streamlines the water flow in the drivewell and eliminates the old rubber "drive seal".

Each boat mold is hand made so there are some small differences from model to model in the exact fitment of the drive in the well. Additionally, Polyethylene shrinks 4% when cooled from the oven -- no two rotomolded boats are completely identical. Since the Drives must fit all boats, they cannot seat properly if they are allowed to rock side to side, so there is some fore and aft rock designed in. The amount varies by boat but averages about 1/4". This is inconsequential because when you pedal, the thrust point is at the front of the Drive; the drive does not rock backwards (unless you're pulling rather than pushing with your legs :oops: ). To say it differently, the Drive employs a three point contact; the tail is just a position holder unless you reverse the Drive to go backwards.

If you want to apply a rubber tube or hose section to the nose or tail to minimize this action, just be sure not to induce side to side rock that could preclude proper lock up in the Click and Go units. 8)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:43 pm 
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I'm a long distance cyclist and I do pull on the back pedal, just as I do on a 75 mile bike ride (I may be rotund but I am an athlete). There is minor rocking of the drive and there is a minimal clunk that is not really an issue for me. However, it would be nice to to be able to eliminate the sound.
I think I will try KayakingBob's idea of using a rubber hose. However, I don't have any extra hose so I will have to visit my neighbor's house when it is dark :evil:

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:20 pm 
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RHale... Maybe you should test drive the PA in the water before you go exploding your comments all over a public forum with your un-tested opinions. If you are still unhappy after testing the PA, then don't buy it!
Look on the bright side, you can always buy a native watercraft mariner and leave the PA's to us Hobie supporters.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:28 pm 
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Location: Winston-Salem NC
I did not offer an opinion. I stated a fact as it appeared on no less than two boats at my local dealer. I have pedaled a PA and this is why I was interested in buying a PA12. But the one a buddy let me pedal did not have this sort of slop. Neither does my Outback. As evidenced by several others above when you have this much slop you are going to get a CLUNK out on the water.


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