The recent discussion about the changeover from steel Mirage drive sprockets to plastic got me thinking about another aspect of Mirage drives-the pedal adjuster pins and the their changes over the past few years. I had a problem with the pedal adjuster pins on my early (Jan.) 2004 Outback falling out, both while at home and later on the water. The first time it happened was the week after I got my OB back in Jan. 2004. I picked the Mirage drive up off the deck of my porch and there was one of the adjusting pins and the spring lying there. I had no idea what these pieces were from since the instructions that came with my 2004 OB were still referencing the 2003 models that had the old clips that went over the top of the drum. In fact, several years ago G-Man, FisherTim, and I discussed the occasional detachment or loss of the pedal adjuster pins on their early Mirage drives as well. Here is how these things have evolved over the past few years, with some ideas for repair/replacement.
1. The first figure shows a side view of the arrangement of the pedal adjuster pins on the 2002-2003 Mirage drive. Note the spring located on the outside of the pedal shaft and the two clips that go over the drum to hold the pedal adjuster pin in place.
2. Closeup view of the pedal adjuster pins on the '03 Mirage drive. The upper pedal adjustment pin is shown unlocked and unclipped from the drum as it would be when you are adjusting the throw of the pedal shaft on the drum. The bottom pin is shown clipped to the drum in the locked position, as would be the case when you are underway. These things tended to be somewhat of a pain to adjust and remain adjusted in the correct position, since one could knock the clips loose while on the water.
3. Side view of the pedal adjuster pin on the early (Jan.-Feb.) 2004 Mirage drives (my original 2004 unit). The spring has been moved inside the pedal adjuster handles, and the clips are gone. To adjust the pedals on this drive, you squeeze the plastic handle (sleeve) on the pedal shaft towards you (in the pic) to release the pedal adjuster pin. Note that the cross-arms on the central pin simply fit into a hole at the end of the groove on either side of the plastic handle around the pedal shaft. This has on occasion led to the pin cross-arm popping out of its hole and slipping out of the plastic handle, as it did on our GAFFE I trip.
4. On the third day of the GAFFE I trip bnz saw my adjuster pin lying on the deck of his trailer. He got out a pair of long nose pliers to spread the adjuster handle so I could insert the pin to put it back together. Then a day later when I was out in the open Atlantic off Dania, I happened to notice one of the adjuster pins backing its way out of the drive. I pulled the drive and managed to get the pin back in again, but with no tools this time. Then about a half hour later, it happened again about a mile offshore. Got it repaired again. But the clincher came when I was trying to get into position to back down thru the surf in the Sport. I had just swung the bow around when I noticed that not one, but both adjuster pins had worked their way out and were about ready to drop into the drive well. I pulled the pins out the rest of the way by hand, retrieved the springs and the plastic handles, stuck them in my shirt pocket, pulled the drive, checked its leash, and then backed down thru about a 4 foot surf. I had been fighting a strong 1-2 knot longshore current during the 2 mile pedal/paddle back. I hesitate to think what might have happened had the pins come loose earlier, and I had not noticed that fact, and was not able to use the pedals to get back. With my back and shoulder problems at the time, I am not sure I could have made it back without the Mirage drive before the park closed at 5 pm! Anyway, I did manage to salvage both handles, both pins, and both springs before they dropped to the bottom of the Atlantic.
5. In June of 2004, the adjuster pin assembly was re-designed again by Hobie. You will note that it is no longer possible for the pressure pin cross-arm to slip out of its groove in the handle since it has been replaced with a narrow diameter machine screw thru-bolted into both sides of the plastic adjuster handle. This looked like a very good way to solve the problem of the adjuster pins popping out, since there was almost no way the pins that were bolted right thru the plastic handles could come loose. I figured that was the end of the story. This pic is of a Mirage drive that I photographed at my dealer's shop in June of 2004 showing the new, thru-bolted design by Hobie at that time.
6. Oops, not so fast! In 2005, the adjuster pin assembly was re-designed again by Hobie with a partially thru-bolted, machine screw that required an Allen wrench to install or remove. This is the style that came on the Mirage drive of my July, 2005 Sport, and is still being used as we speak. As I understand it, this new design was done mainly for â€œcosmeticâ€