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New to boating, first boat checklist help


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04-25-05, 05:49 AM   #1  
Terry720
New to boating, first boat checklist help

Hello all,

My name's Terry and as the title indicates...I'm new to boating. Well, power boating that is. I've sailed for a number of years, but it just didn't hold my wife and daughters interest so I folded, sold the sailboat, and just bought a VERY cheap powerboat.

It's a 1972 17' Trisonic I/O with a 165hp 6cyl and a mercruiser drive. I bought the boat sight-unseen off eBay and will be picking it up this weekend. I know it's generally not a good idea to do that...especially when you know very little about boats...but the guy trades in high-dollar commercial items and has a long record of satisfied customers on eBay so I feel comfortable with the decision and believe his description will turn out to be accurate. Here's the site for the auction if you're interested: LINK

That said, I also know that there is a lot I need to learn about power-boating that I don't know...so I thought it would be a good idea to ask for help. I'm mechanically inclined, and know my way around a car's engine compartment...but we're not talking about a car here.

So here's what I'm asking for! Put yourself in my shoes. You're bringing home a old used boat that "runs great" and has a drive that's "in good condition".

What do you do? What do you look for?

As an example, I've already learned from reading here that you have to hook up a hose to the engine in order to start it up when you're not in the water. I knew I wanted to start it up and tune the engine and that it would need water but I had no idea how I was supposed to supply it. I'm happy to hear it's as easy as hooking up a hose.

Basically I'm looking for a checklist.
-Look at this (it should look like....)
-Turn that (it should move easily/not at all)
-Squeeze this (it should feel like...)
-watch for that (it should do....)

What I want to avoid is getting it in the water and then it sinks, or floats but does not run, or it runs but doesn't move, or it moves but then dies in the middle of the lake, or......etc, etc.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Terry

 
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04-25-05, 07:23 AM   #2  
Where to start. So you where a ragman me too Id stay with it.
But here its more what do you have and how good is it. Has it set long ??? Is the first thing how is the gas tank and gas lines on the motor? how are the zincs in it? Have the control cables and steering system been oiled over the years. Out drive check for any water in lower unit and water in oil pan. Any hose put on new now.If you dont have an oil pump to change the oil. Use heavy plastic bags under the pan there. Might check on http://www.defender.com for maintenance manual.

Dont forget to put the drain plug in before you put it in the water.

ED

 
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04-26-05, 02:56 PM   #3  
Whenever I buy something used I assume that the previous owner has never changed the oil. So, I change all the fluids and lube everything (no matter what the seller says). I would also check the belts & hoses looking for cracks or brittleness.

Oh, as for the boat sinking when you put it in the water... Make sure you install the drain plug before you put it in the water.

Don't forget to have fun. Once you accept the fact that a boat is a hole in the water where you throw money... you will be OK.

 
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05-02-05, 07:53 AM   #4  
Terry720
Oh the horror!

Oh Boy...what a fun weekend. Well I got the boat home and "a few soft spots" turned into.....had to replace the entire floor as well as the underlying support structures.

Once the interior was removed and the carpet pulled up, I could tell I was in for an adventure. I noticed a long crack in the fiberglass floor covering and decided as well as an obvious lack of anything resembling support. I decided to replace the soft spot so I stared cutting down the middle of the floor with a reciprocating saw. About six inches into the cut the whole thing colapsed. The onlything supporting the weight was the fiberglass.I proceeded to cut out the entire floor and relized that the crossmembers were completely gone, the stringers were in bad shape, and there was about 8" of water trapped down there. this boat hasn't been in the water for sometime so I concluded it had to have gotten there from being left outside without a cover.

Being that this boat doesn't need to last more than a couple years...I decided to repair it on the cheap. I braced the stringers with presure treated 2X6s from the bow to the engine compartment. I then put in 4 2X6 crossmembers and covered the floor with 1/2" plywood. Tonight I'm going to cover the entire thing with lenolium flooring to protect it from water coming down from the cockpit and then cover that with carpet. Reinstall the interior, and keep it covered. It should last a while... But it weighs a lot more now than it did before.

I'm also having motor issues. I took a real close look at everything and noticed the Exhaust bellows both inboard and outboard were in bad shape. I pulled them out and will be puting in replacements today. In the mean time, I picked up a water supply thingy to hook up a hose for the stern drive. I tried to start it up but it wouldn't stay running for more than a second or two...and was really loud. It looks like the choke is staying closed and is suffocating it. It would kick over and try to run but wouldn't keep it going for very long. Also, I couldn't tell if any water was actually getting circulated. I didn't see anywhere that water was coming out of the stern drive while it was turning over. So I'm going to plan on replacing the impeller and thermostat too.

Oh yeh...I had to replace the prop also. It looked like it had been run around in rocks or something. Was probably used as a fishing boat on the river. Anyway...my $1000 boat is now up to $1400 and it's not running yet. I figure I have another $200 to go on the impeller, thermostat, floor coverings, and exhaust bellows. Once I have all that replaced, I'll give it another shot at starting.

I'll keep you informed.

Terry

 
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05-03-05, 08:51 AM   #5  
Terry720
continuing saga!

Well, last night I bought a couple hundred more dollars worth of parts including the inboard and outboart exhaust bellows, complete water pump, thermostat, gear oil and pump, etc.

I dropped the lower outdrive unit and the entire thing was filled with what looked like coffee grounds mixed with vegitable oil. I concluded that all the carbon/charcoal looking stuff that was inside the exhaust bellows had collected inside the outdrive as well. I cleaned it out as best I could and then started in on the water pump. It came apare pretty easily despite being melted almost to the point of making it unrecognizable. there was little left of the impeller and there were chunks of unrecognizable matter in there too.

Surprisingly, the upper part including the copper tube appeared intact and undamages so I left it. I replaced everything including all the o-rings and gaskets as well as the oil passage gasket that was all but missing.

I replaced the lower unit and am confident that everything went backtogether the way it came apart and the geras should be alligned properly (so long as they were correct before I started). I started filling it with oil but I put an entire quart in and it never came out the hole at the top. That has me a little concerned. However, I figured if it was leaking out into the housing...it would have come out the water inlte holes. I could be wrong....but I'm going to ask the guy at the parts store to make sure it shouldn't have taken more than a quart to fill it up.

Tonight, I'll replace the thermostat and inboard exhaust bellow. i'm tole the outboard exhaust bellow is going to be nearly impossible without special tools...and that it isn't strictly needed...so I will probably wait on it until I'm in a really good mood. I'll also empty the gas tank and then refill it with new clean gas. then I'll be readyto give starting it another try.

My new worry is that the impeller going bad may have caused the engine to overheat, which in turn caused the exhaust bellows to go bad, which in turn allowed cold air be sucked in through the exhaust valves, whihc may have caused internal engine problems. Simply overheating may have done significant damage to the block, heads, valves, etc. I'm just not there yet so the next week should be interesting.

On the plus side...working on this engine will be a dream compared to working on a car. Having total access to the engine from the front and both sides makes everything easier. so far I'm up to $1700 invested and my goal of getting it in the water for lessthan $2000 is still looking like a possibility, but a little less likely.

 
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05-03-05, 09:20 AM   #6  
2X6 crossmembers and covered the floor with 1/2" plywood. Tonight I'm going to cover the entire thing with lenolium flooring to protect it from water coming down from the cockpit and then cover that with carpet
Dont do it this way. You have to glass the whole floor in to the the side of the boat. AS this is set up as like and air thank to keep the boat afloat. Put th carpet on top of the glass. Make it so its like you said you cut out.

Oh yeh...I had to replace the prop also. It looked like it had been run around in rocks or something. Was probably used as a fishing boat on the river. Anyway...
Some props can be reworked did you ask. Id stay with the same pitch and Dia. till I see what it tacks out at. If my kids use the boat I get the prop so it will only tack out 200 rpm under red line.
Id get a manual on the I/O you have there it will help you

ED

 
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05-03-05, 01:08 PM   #7  
Terry720
follow-up

I have the Mercruiser Manual for my engine and stern drive.

Does it have to be glassed in for bouyancy? It doesn't seem like it would need to be. I can imagine that if you were to capsize or keel over (sailing term) too far...and water flooded the cockpit....it would prevent the entire thing from sinking...but I would think having an air-tight buble below the waterline would actualy make it dynamically unstable.

My sailboat never had any part of it with air trapped for bouyancy. And this boat has been sailing for quite some time without being airtight or there wouldn't have been so much water inside it.

 
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05-03-05, 01:29 PM   #8  
What sail boat did you have. lot of mine have had air tanks in them or foam in the small ones not the big sail boats . All of my power boats had the floor sealed up
Ok for here now think about all that water in the boat and you go to get up on plain that water down there will shift to the back and give you he**. Now If you dont glass it and seal it up. If it rains you will get water in it. Some one gets on board from the water wet and all, you get water in it. Look around at the other boats there "sole" is sealed up.
but I would think having an air-tight buble below the waterline would actualy make it dynamically unstable.
Now way here the boat it self is the displacement

ED

 
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05-03-05, 02:41 PM   #9  
Terry720
Sailboat

I had a Coastal Recreation Ensenada 20. It had compatments in it but they weren't air tight. Some had foam blocks wrapped in plastic shoved in them....but they weren't air tight compartments. The design of the boat itself created a situation where air would be trapped inside rthe boat in the event of a capsize.

The reason I planned to put down the lenolium/vinal over the entire floor surfact was to direct any water that got in the boat back to the engine comparment where an automatice bilge pump is located to shoot it back overboard. the main compartment is isolated from the engine compartment preventing water from moving forward. Even if water did get in under the cockpit, there is a drain plug in the wall between the engine compatement and the main comparment so it can be drained.

My only concern is really bouyancy and I doubt the foberglass is going to help with that except in the most dire of situations. Personally I'd rather open it backup and shoot if full of foam than mess with glassing the whole thing in.

 
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05-06-05, 08:45 AM   #10  
Terry720
Another Day

Well, I got the Exhaust Bellows on and the thermostat changed out. One of the bolts holding down the cover over the thermostat broke off...but luckily it brock above the head so I was able to pull off the cover and remove it with vice grips.

I hooked up the water supply and tried starting the engine again. It's a lot quieter now...but it still doesn't stay running. It turns over easily and it starts easily....but it only runs for a few seconds and then dies. The good news is that water is now flowing through the system...which is always a good thing.

I pulled the plugs and noticed that one of them had some unburned fuel on it. I checked the distributor cap and it looks like the rotor is hitting it late on that cylinder. the plugs also looked old and rusty on the outside. The business end was dark...but not corroded or gummed up. I'm going to replace them anyway along with the distributor cap and rotor. I'm gonig to check the compression on each cylinder to make sure there's not a bad head gasket or valves causing problems.

I also need to spend some time with the throttle cables and linkage. The throttle handle moves almost all the way forward before making any change at the carb. I'm going to go through the process of adjusting it this weekend along with all the other changes. It could still be the lack of or bad fuel. I haven't filled the tank yet, which I'll do this weekend also.

No new money spent in the last couple days...but I expect to spend a hundred or so over the weekend on the things listed above. I feel like I'm getting close to having it running. Then I can finish off the interior and put it in the water. I'm shooting for sometime in the next two weeks...memorial day at the latest.

 
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05-13-05, 11:21 AM   #11  
Terry720
Latest updates

Okay, since the last update i've done a lot and accomplished very little.

I changed out the plugs, plug wires, distributor cap, rotor, and points. I advanced the timing all the way in hopes of at least getting it to keep running. After several tries at variious timining and throttle adjustments...it worked...Yea!...oops...forgot to turn the water back on....DAMNIT!....back to the store for another new water pump.

I'll be putting the new water pump on tonight...as well as replacing the thermostat cover bolts which broke in the process of changing it out. I painted the timing mark so hopefully I'll be able to start it up and keep it running long enought to set the timining correctly. I also need to adjust the carb....it's been sitting awhile so it may just be gunked up...but it won't run at idle...I have to be slightly off idle and the idle adjustment screw is set as high as it can go. I'm sure once it's running consistently...I can get everything set.

The next step is to adjust the cables. I'm not sure how it's supposed to work...but the shift cable starts moving as soon as I move the lever but the throttle doesn't move at all until I'm within a couple inches of the end of play....and that last two inches goes from idle to WOT. I'm a little worried that I won't have much speed control that way. Also, It has trouble getting into nuetral. I actually have to go backward with the lever (past TDC) in order to completely disengage the prop. Agian...I'm sure it'll make more sense and I'll know what to do once I have it running and I can try some different things to see what happens.

I'm also going to replace a couple switches tonight. they're pretty old and one of them doesn't work at all. the one that doesn't work controlls the lights so I need to fix that. I can't pass the initial inspection unless the lights, horn, and ventalation system work. The other two work fine...also the bildge pump works well....it's just the lights. Worst case....I'll buy a cheap set of battery powered lights to pass inspection and work on the wiring later.

We'll see...I'd really like to get it in the water this weekend. Then we'll see if it floats. If it does....the lenolium and carpet go down next week and we'll be ready for some summer fun. First thing is to run it around the lake at high speed to shake loose any remaining drivetrain problems. I'll make sure to pick up a couple paddles just in case....and a bucket too.

Terry

 
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05-13-05, 11:27 AM   #12  
I think if you check the CG calls for one paddle on board.

ED

 
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05-16-05, 10:31 AM   #13  
Terry720
Another weekend with no fun

I got everything done I planned too...but the motor keeps givning me fits. I got it to run but it's rough and hard to start. It idles high and surges a lot. I can't move the throttle much with out killing it or sending it into a sine wave like fluctuation in engine speed.

Timing Problem #1: I don't know what I'm doing wrong with the timing. I use my light to check the timing and it is steady....but nowhere near the gauge. The line is pointing straight up instead of at about 2:00 where the readings are marked. I went through the book and it told me to remove the vacuum advance first. There's no vacuum line running to the distributor. I could use some help with this!

I checked the plugs again and everything looks good there...maybe a little wet. That goes along with a very strong gas smell when it's running. So it's obvious the mixture is too rich. I messed with the mixture adjustments and they did nothing. I decided to start going through fuel system and started with the filters. The one in the bell housing looked good but I replaced it anyway. then I went to the inline screen filter at the carb. I pulled it out and it was FILLED with sediment. I mean filled...it was stuck in the big holder thing and when I finally got it pulled out....stuff flew everywhere. Fuel was barely getting bye it...but why was it running so rich then? I decided I needed to look into it further. So I pulled the carb and stripped it down. Everything needed to be replaced. The entire carb was filled with crap. The fine sediment particles that got past the screen formed a kind of mud in the bowl, jets, everywhere!

Once I had it all torn apart....I saked everything for a couple hours and then started the manual cleaning. I got everything clean that wasn't included in the rebuild kit. Then I started putting it back together. That's when the real fun began. According to Rochester, the rebuild kit diagrams, and my Mercruiser manual....there were two potential types of ccarb that I might have. One is the 2GC, the other called 2GV. There were detailed diagrams of both and a list of parts that were to be used with each. The problem is...my carb seams to be some type of hybrid between the two. I had to use some of the parts from the 2GC and others from the 2GV. I think I got it all back together right....but I won't be sure until I actually try to start it up.

**Problem #1: When I tore it down...there were no check balls anywhere to found. The kit I got came with replacements...but the diagram references the possibility that they might not be needed. It shows where they should go...but says something about the casting determining the need for them. I don't know what they were talking about.

This is where the wierd hybrid setup becomes a problem. there are two potential places a check ball should go based on the holes available inside my carb. One is near the veturis... there's a hole that was capped with a T-shaped metal thing and had a spring under it. Based on the diagram...one check ball goes into that hole before the spring. the kit came with the ball, spring, and T-shaped metal thing to hold it in. But when I took it apart...there was no ball under the old spring.

The other is under the big plunger contraption that looks like a strut off a car. the diagram says one should go there...but says the casting will determine if it's needed. there wasn't one under there that I found when I took it apart....but I don't know what I'm looking for on the casting to determine if it's needed or not.

**Problem #2: There's a threaded hole on the throttle body and I don't have anything to screw into it. I don't know what it's for....I don't remember taking anything out of it....I don't have any left over pieces that size....and it's not called out on any diagram I could find. It's roughly a 1/4" diameter threaded hole....straight down from where the fuel line attaches and straight forward from the idle mixture screws. something has to go there but I don't know what.

**Problem #3: There's a pipe that conects to the choke housing and the top of the engine. From what I can tell, It's supposed to carry hot air from the engine in order to make the choke spring loosen up and the choke open. Well, the tube is broken off where it connects to the top of the motor. there's still something sticking up where it broke off...so I make end up just sliding the tube back down over it and JB Welding it back on. It's not vacuum...it's definitelty hot air so I don't think it'll be an issue.


In the mean tiime....I'm going to disconnect the fuel tank and dump it. Obviously all that crap got in there somehow and it had to have come from the tank. Once that's done and I get everything hooked back up correctly...I'll give it another shot. I'm praying this fixes it and it starts running like it should. I can't believe the condition of the carb was having no effect so I figure it can only make things better. With any luck...I'll be sitting pretty by the end of this week.

 
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05-23-05, 11:00 AM   #14  
Terry720
Another day, another issue

Good, bad, or indifferent....that's the key to successful completion of this project. I have a couple good things to report...a couple bad things...and a dozen or so indifferent items that won't effect getting the boat in the water.

First the good things: I got the motor running really well. It starts right up...idles smoothly...and only stutters if I try to go from idle to full throttle instantly. The timing is dead on and steady...it has no problem going up to 5000 rpms and will drop back to idle without dying. I'm happy. All this was accomplished by lubricating the internals of the distributor, resetting the dwell gap, emptying and cleaning out the gas tank, and rebuilding the carburator. I got the carb all put back together correctly and it work great (except one small issue I'll include in the BAD section). I'm really please with the way runs and shouldn't have any further problems with it. I scribed the timing setting at the base of the distributor so it won't ever get too far from correct. That was a major problem...it was in the way too far retarded to ever run smoothly. I was able to correct it one I was getting enough fuel to the cylinders.

The Bad: The carb leaks. I think it's coming from the gasket between the bowl and the throttle body. I replaced the gasket twice and it still does it. It may be coming from the power valve though. it's the only part I couldn't get out of the bowl while I was rebuilding it and the slvent may have eroded the old seal and allow it to leak. The other bad is that the gear oil in the stern drive is leaking out of the top end. It's coming down the shaft what controls the gear selection. No idea how to stop that right now.

Everything else is cosmetic or electrical. I want to wire the bildge vent fan to the key so that I cant run without it on. That's the only thing I really need to get done soon.

 
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05-23-05, 05:07 PM   #15  
Carb overflow?

Maybe you put the carb float(s) in slightly crooked. I have had a float hang up before ascending to the max, so the needle valve never closes.

Also possible if float adjusment incorrect - the should have been a template to set this with the carb kit.

The checkball goes under the spring and t-shaped jet on top. I recall vaguely thst it's function is related to atmospheric pressure differences. Since it seems to be a fuel shut-off component, perhaps it is causing the overflow.

The power valve is the 'accelerator pump' that delivers that extra bit of fuel to start the engine acceleration. Maybe the hesitation you notice is due to a leak you suspect in this gasket - but a leak back into the bowl.

Water in the lower unit due to bad gasket - forcing oil out?

You have done a LOT of work on it. I appreciate you describing your findings!


Last edited by oldJoe; 05-23-05 at 05:30 PM. Reason: Afterthought - carb
 
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05-26-05, 05:58 AM   #16  
Terry720
Actually, the accelerator pump is different from the power valve. The AP is in the back of the bowl and does as you described. The Power valve uses a vacuum-over-spring tension principle. It's located in the very bottom-middle of the bowl and a spring works to keep it closed. Another spring attached to the power piston (coming down from the cover) tries to keep it open (push it down), and vacuum working on the power piston cancels out that pressure and allows the power valve spring to keep it closed at idle. As the engine speed climbs, the vacuum pressure decreases and the power pitson spring forces the power valve open (down) allowing fuel to pass from the bowl, through a series of passages, and into the throat of the carb.

If the gastket under the powervalve, or the powervalve itself, is bad...then fuel can leak out the bottom of the carb and onto the engine itself.

I'm sure it's one of those two items because there's no other way all the fuel can leak out of the bowl. The only holes in the bottom of the bowl are to the power valve and the jets. Since the jets immediately turn verticle and go up to the venturis...the only way fuel would leak out is if there was vacuum pulling it out or if the fuel level was above the venturi. That can happen but once enough fuel leaked out that the level was below that level...it would stop leaking.

The power valve works the same way except on my carb...it's open to the outside of the bowl underneath the power valve for some reason. I'm not sure why....but that's where the fuel is coming out.

Adjustment to the float level wouldn't effect this. I found a website where Iwas able to order a new power valve. I also ordered a new float and a new Accelerator pump return spring hust in case. The old ones I re-used looked pretty bad.

Just waiting on the parts now.

As far as the stern drive goes....it's just a bad seal on the shaft in the upper housing. It's been dripping out for a week now. It's a relatively slow leak so I'm not terribly concerned about it. I just have to remember to check it once in a while and add more. That is...until I have time to pull the entire stern drive off the boat and replace all the seals and gaskets. Probably in dry dock this winter.

 
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