Jefe seat replacement - Mountain Buzz

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Old 01-20-2010   #1
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 818
Jefe seat replacement

So I've a new shell courtesy of the good people at liquidlogic and 4CRS, but I cannot get the second screw that holds the seat in place (right by the side of the cockpit) in correctly to save my life. I can the screw all the way in, but the seat is still moving. Someone out there who has dealt with this problem, drop some knowledge on me.

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Old 01-20-2010   #2
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,108
I have countless hours of training in Jefe seat insertion. It actually doesn't get any easier with practice. I'll make a presumption, albeit perhaps a stretch for you, that you realize that you need to get the block with the threads lined up and oriented properly. I usually get a thin screwdriver or something like that and shove it all the way into the threads to line everything up while flexing the seat so everything gets into line. I usually shine a headlamp into the hole so I can see the threads. Then I gently release the pressure on the seat, get my screw in place and re-apply pressure while screwing the sucker in. I find one of those automatic screwdrivers to yield much better success.

But, I presume you're doing all this - you think you have your threads aligned, and still you get no purchase. In that case, I do have a suggestion. I forget what size those screws are (I think 1" or 1 1/4") that go in but you can figure it out. Go to the hardware store and buy one that's a 1/4" larger. This makes it much easier to initiate into the threads because it eliminates the vertical distance problem, which in one case I simply could not overcome for whatever reason. Either way, these longer screws work much better and have no disadvantage. I'm not sure why LL doesn't use those to begin with. Of course I'm also not sure why they don't machine the block/track such that it doesn't slide sideways and flip over.
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Old 01-20-2010   #3
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,107
Mack, I've had a tough time with this as well. Here is what I tried.

1) make sure both square nuts in the seat grooves are facing up so you can get the screw in them. They can flip on the side, and this is a pain in the ass.
2) put seat into shell
3) slide seat back and forth until you see the nut hole in the seat groove on one side through the hole in the shell, and put the bolt in. I tighten up the nut all the way until I get resistance to confirm the screw is in the nut. Loosen screw a few turns so you can slide the seat again.
4) slide the seat back and forth to see the nut in the seat groove on the second side. You may have to pull the cockpit to the side to get the hole in the shell lined up over the groove in the seat with the nut. If while sliding the seat back and forth, you can't see the hole in the nut, you have likely flipped the nut on its side. You have to take the seat out, get both nuts pointing up again, and start from the beginning.

I pulled the seat out of my grande to do some repairs and got it back in easily with the above method. I got a replacement shell after cracking the first, and when I tried to get my old seat into the new shell I never was able to get the second bolt in either. I tried for about 2 hours, but the nut keep on flipping over on the side. My thoughts are that the new shell was a lot tighter of a fit making it really tough to get the seat in. The force of getting the seat in cause the nut to flip each time I tried. My plan of attack is to leave the seat in the boat (minus the second screw) to let the new hull flex around the seat. I plan on putting the boat out in the sun on a warm spring day to let it heat up a bit to get more flexible and attempt it again.

I briefly thought about ways to keep the nut from flipping while putting the seat in, but never figured out a good way. Maybe somebody else has a good idea.

The nut flipping over can be a royal pain in the ass. Hopefully LL will figure out a way to make the nut and groove such dimensions that it can't flip over. Doesn't seem like this would be that hard. It looks like the nut die is square with a corner to corner dimension that is short enough so it can flip in the groove that holds it. Making the nut a rectangular cross section or modifying the groove dimensions to make it impossible to flip would eliminate this.

Good luck!!!
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Old 01-21-2010   #4
paulie's Avatar
Rotorua, NZ
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 165

KSC and DSP are on the right track, I try a combo of both methods, putting something into one hole like a small screwdriver really helps for sure, but I have found having someone help makes all the difference. They pull up on the cockpit combing, you push the seat out until you make it line up, and a headlamp makes it a lot easier to see the threads. I think the longer screw would help a lot too. Good luck with it man, but an extra set of hands helps a whole lot. good luck
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Old 01-21-2010   #5
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Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 986
The new shells are harder to get the outfitting into because they are a different shape than your old boat that had warped do to use, so I am also guessing the outfitting warps a bit due to use as well. Also there is a small variation in the size of a boat based on the color so this may have some effect.
I talked to the LL guys about it and they even say that its hard for the to get the outfitting in the new boats sometimes.
I have found the best solution to the problem is a few beers to get you relaxed and a buddy to help you out. Like paul was saying just have one person line the seat up and the other just screw the bolt in helps with both time and anger management.
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Old 01-22-2010   #6
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 156
We will try to get this fixed. Its not as easy as it sounds but we will try to get this working better. Folks above are on the right track. There are a few tricks that can help.

1. Make sure the nut inside the seat is upright with the teeth up and the hole showing.
(a trick we use is to shove a piece of foam under the nut to hold it in place while putting the seat in. I usually use a screwdriver to shove it under the nut.)
2. Put the seat in. I try to have the nuts in somewhat the same position in the tracks of the seat.
3. Line up the holes.
4. Stick a big screwdriver inbetween the top of the seat and the boat right next to wear the back band bracket will go. (this lets the seat and bracket move around much more easily)
5. Line all the holes up. I use an ice pick or small long screw driver to line up all the holes. Take time to make it perfectly lined up. It works best for me if I do the opposite side from where I am standing. Just works better for me.
6. Drop the screw straight down through the holes and turn slowly and vertically with a screw driver. Lots of folks have problems if they try to do this with a drill.
7. Tighten down until its tight. It can seem threaded just on the edge of the slot but if you crank it and it gets tight you will be good. Then loosen a couple turns.
8. Repeat on the other side. One trick if you can't get the hole lined up side to side of the boat is to put a wedge behind the tower or a prop to spread the seat. I have a tall hammer that fits the space pretty well. (if you have extra hands they can hold the seat in the right place.

A couple other thoughts on this.
I like the 1/4" longer screw idea.
Its a good thing that the outfitting is fitting tightly. The reason it doesn't fit as tightly as in your boat is because as you paddle the boat stretches some. That is the main reason for different fitting between your old boat and a new shell. All boats stretch or change shape a little after a good bit of paddling its much more evident in river runners and creek boats.

Point taken and we will try to address, thanks for the feedback.
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Old 01-22-2010   #7
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,107
Thanks for the feedback Shane. I'll try the foam trick and some of the other tips you mentioned. Still got a screw I decided to defer until spring...

Also another question... any comments on the necessity of the black clamps that the backband straps run through? I tried leaving them out and it actually allows for a very easy way to flip up the backband to get behind the seat with it out. What is this needed for? Is it just to hold the backband to make it more stiff, or is it for structural integrity of the both in the seat?
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Old 01-22-2010   #8
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 156
No there are a couple reasons for the clips.
1. The backband pinches in on people if it isn't held out by the brackets.
2. It helps hold the backband in place rather than letting it slide up or down your back.

Sometimes I have played with making the bracket so it leaves enough space for the back band to slip all the way through and that allows you to pull the whole backband out. The only problem is that it starts to get in the way of bigger paddlers.

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Old 01-25-2010   #9
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 818
Thanks for all the responses. It is a true privilege to receive counsel from the who's who of creekboat repair. Not that you have anything better to do in the middle of January. It took me about 3 hours but I got it done. Now that I am an expert, my thoughts:

1) The headlamp is key. I don't know how you could get the threads lined up without it.
2) I used the longer screws but I'm not sure it was necessary. It definitely doesn't hurt though.
3) In terms of how it could be made easier, the nut being tighter in the housing would probably help. Also it seems like the seat is about half a centimeter too narrow for the shell, but maybe that is just my seat and my shell.
4) After taking out and reinstalling all of the outfitting, I see what shane means by the tightness of the outfitting. The seat is surprisingly stable in there even without the screws. Definitely a good thing from a performance perspective, but it makes the seat replacement tricky.
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Old 01-25-2010   #10
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 156
Jmack thanks for the input.
Nicely done getting it put together.
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