My Super Nova 19


Time Warp 

I've had the boat a number of years and I guess this it's log book.

Up's, downs, screw ups, it all happens here in print and pictures.
Over time what started out as a small, single page blog has turned into something that's to big to fit on any one page.


Why / The Find / Time To Go Get it / Apart

Over The Winter / Motor Build / Spring / Email

Spring 2002 / Test Drive / Pulling It Again

Time For The Fun Stuff / Making Plans

Future Plans

Spring 2005 / Summer Time / Winter Is Back

Spring 06' / Volvo 270 With Trim / Here We Go Again / The End / Last Ride

A New Year / Winter Has Now Arrived / Motor Build II / Spring 2007 / Props / It Dosent Stop There / Ouch / Bottom Paint / A Rare Find / It's Been Such A Long Time / 2007's A Wrap


Lists / Spring 08' / Fall 08'

Back In Control / Spring Is Here / Thats A Wrap

New Decade, New Motor / The Great Makeover

Winter Sucks / Getting Started / Trailer Time / Hold On / Starting, I Guess / Needed Dash Work / Hull Repairs / Paint Hell / Fit Out / F_in Motor

New Beginnings / More / It's Over ?

Wolf In Sheep's Clothing / Show Time / That Ain't Right / I Failed The 19 / We Fall Down

Doing It Again / Fade Out

Again / Outdrive Hell / New Start


Outdrive Heaven?? / Part II

Still Going
Original builds of what makes it go



February 2008

February is here and itís only a few days from the Daytona 500. That to me means itís time to get starter for the upcoming spring.
In the past I would have been preparing all winter but the boat has been on the back burner over this winter. That time went to the Novaís and my new home. We moved here in a big part because the boat ramp just down the street (for the Nova). Now there is dueís to pay.  The house is only 8 years old but nothing was ever taken care of so there is a list of things to do a mile long to it. Iím way ahead of schedule on the list and soon it will be a time to put that list away for a while and start a new, more fun list to be worked on along with some outside project on the house that have to happen in the warm months. Like hopefully a parking pad/future garage floor concrete pour, for the boat of course.
Time Warp will also be seeing some changes.
Some on the new list for it are done and some are in the works and nothing is definite as of yet but where there is a will there is a way. Letís just see if I and the budget can hold up.
 One thing like cleaning out the boat happened when I winterized last fall. It was amazing what had been squirreled away over the last 7 years. Now that we live just a short walk to the water and ramp there is no reason to have a lot of this stuff  just riding around. Also having a garage we finally have the storage space for it so again out it goes to stay. Now I know a few things have to go back like the batteries and safety stuff  but after the boat was emptied it actually changed the balance on the trailer. If I was to tow it now it would be all over the road. So that got me thinking. Just emptying it made that much of a change it was time to make some wholesale changes.
First, both batteries are moving to the back. Just in front of the motor. I know Brownie's intentions were to have the battery (yes, just one back then) as far forward as possible so if the boat sank they would stay dry the longest and the C B radio would still work but today I think I would have a better chance reaching the USCG with my cell phone in the Bay. They will now be side by side and the cables can be a lot shorter. This kind of had to happen anyway. The 454 is longer in the nose (pulleys) then the Chrysler 360 and the one battery that sits in front of the motor now has about a ½ inch from rubbing. If the tie down loosens even a tiny bit the crank pulley starts cutting into the box. Not good and itís as far forward as it can go without moving the gas tank. Since I have to move it I might as well move it enough to get them both back there. Doing this will give the boat more bow rise as the gas tank empties. I have to move it forward about five inches. When it comes to my tank that means about a little over a gallonís weight or about 6lbs of fuel with a full tank. The battery weighs a lot more then that and the weight never changes.
Then there is the multi electrical issues. One is the starter. Picked up a new mini (gear reduction and fully marine) starter. Makes it a lot easier on the batteries running one of these. My old starter would get real hot. Like to hot for how much it was used but when you pay 30 bucks for something you get what you pay for. It will also give me a chance to look over all the wiring on the motor to make sure there is not a short or something. Something was killing the batteries after leaving it sit for a day or so last fall so Iím going to chase everything to eliminate it all one by one.
 I also started building more of a Mercruiser cooling system for a couple reasons. To start I want the parts back to the 360ci I still have sitting on a stand.  One day it will go back together. It has to. You donít let motors like that die. Then there is a steam issue it had with the 454 last year. When it started it was early in the season so I figured it was just cold water but as the summer went on it never went away. Water is not getting inside the manifolds so it has to be the way it is circulating and ďhot spotsĒ scare me. Also aluminum, cast iron, steel all expand at different rates. I think I can more stabilize the temperature in the whole motor, even the exhaust manifolds with the Merc system. Still have a couple small thing to work out but it will happen.

Stuff is starting to pile up.

My heads should be in this week. Found a set of 2.19/1.88 locally on the Donzi board from a guy that owns a marine performance shop.  From what I gathered the two sets were on his boat when he bought it and were not good enough for his twin 650hp monsters that he built for it. I on the other hand will never see those kind of numbers and for that matter I wouldnít do that to the Nova. You can only push so hard on anything before it breaks, even a SuperNova. So I am looking at the sets at his shop and pretty much lost on what to do as he shoots off numbers left and right about this set and that set when he gets to his personal head sets. He says, ďthatís what you need but they need to be rebuilt.Ē I then say, again lost, ďdo you know anyone you trust, what about intake and cam, what should I used, whatís the better set of the two?Ē   Up until that point he sounded like he knew what he was talking about. Around people like that I just tend to listen and see where they go. Unless you are on the same exact page as them in knowledge and think the same way as they do you always end up in a pissing match of what works and what doesnít.  Also most of these performance guys will keep the best stuff to themselves just to have something up on the other guy. Again itís better just to listen and they will tell you everything. Your no threat. So he then says, ďlet me make a phone call.Ē He calls a couple people and gets who he wants to talk to and asks how much to do a set? The guy on the phone says $300, $400 if they are real bad. The owner then says he will be dropping off all 4 heads, pick the best set and best parts, test them all and rebuild a set and then hangs up. He then says $200 for the heads and he will throw in Offenhauser Intake with them. I was like, ďHell Ya!Ē I should be out the door with rebuilt heads from 5 to $600 when a single bare casting goes for $800 plus.
He also had a few other ideas after seeing the build list (he was not fond of) that I did last fall. So after everything I got from him and all the research I have done since the first build it looks like I will be going back to a duel plane cam. I found them way back when I was building the 360ci for the second of many times. Really like the way they preformed but was not sure if they would work in a Big Block Chevy. Apparently they are the cam of choice. Something around a 278/290. Little more lift and around 114 lobe separation so that pesky water reversion thing doesnít happen.  Also just picked up a new Edelbrock (name brand this time), Air Gap intake last night. Had to buy a new one anyway because the heads are rectangular ports and not ovals like the heads that are on it now. So why not? I am only doing this one more time.
There is a few more things to buy but I will soon be ready to get something done.

April 23, 2008

Things are coming together slowly to say the least. Itís given me a chance to get ahead on some of the house projects that were planned for later this summer but during this time the boat has sat.
I figure this weekend I'll have to go uncover it. There is a few things I can do without the missing parts for the motor.
 The motor hold up is because there seems to be a shortage of cam billets (the shafts they make them out of). I have had a cam on back order for 3+ months with no production date in sight. In a desperate search I found a guy on OSO that had a ďsetĒ for sale. Whatís a ďsetĒ? A lot of money. I didnít get any deal on it but it's all new and it came with matching components.  Like Crane #132561 hydraulic cam,  #99277 lifters, Comp Cams High-Tech pushrods #7954, dual springs #924, USED Norris SS roller rockers for $500.00 bucks.
I wasnít ready to buy everything at once and I did save a few bucks on a great set up of top end parts but I also may not have not paid that much for what I would have bought. Thatís probably a good thing that I had to buy the set. After the sting of the money is gone and I'm installing them IĎll be happy. I also have the same rockers he is sending me so they can be sold off for a few bucks.
The cam is a little hotter then what I was told to use at the start. After a lot of research while I waited for the last cam that never showed up I came across what most think as the holy grail of cams for the Gen IV 454. Itís what they call a ď420 camď and after what I have read it should be a  good one.
Duration Advertised: 298° Intake / 306° Exhaust Duration @ .050'' Lift: 228° Intake / 236° Exhaust Valve Lift w/1.7 Rockers: .530'' Intake / .551'' Exhaust Lobe Separation Angle: 114°
Itís a MerCruiser cam for sure with those numbers. At the same time itís no ordinary MerCruiser cam by a long shot.
Now with having the cam, lifters, matching springs, push rods, roller rockers, rebuilt rectangle port heads and Edelbrock air gap intake there isnít much left for the top of the motor.
Most say it should be around the 420hp mark. Hence the name ď420camĒ. We'll see. If so that should be about all I would want to do.
I mean I like to go fast but 420hp in a 35+ year old boat is enough.

The "money shot" or another pile.

 Spring 08'

It was like a switch was flipped and it was time to get started.
Things are still progressing slowly on the motor front. I have most everything but the head gaskets, timing chain and valve springs. The first two were from me just not getting around to buying them. The last one. It's kind of a easy and safe way out of a issue. The springs that came with the "kit" were "double springs" and my newly rebuilt heads use umbrella valve seals. The smaller of the two "double springs" will not fit over the seals.  I would have to cut the heads and install Teflon seals to make them work. So I went to Crane's website and looked up the cam and found their recommended "single spring" set. For $67.00 bucks. I'll let the UPS  guy fix it this time and leave the heads alone.
I moved the both batteries to the back and moved the gas tank forward to try to change some weight around. The batteries are heavy and for the space I had to move the gas tank forward to make them fit in the back, even with it full tank the batteries weighed more. Not much more but how often am I going to have a full tank as high as gas prices are? Add in all the stuff I dumped out of the boat last fall cleaning it out it all adds up and every little bit helps.

Even with both in the back there is more room in front of the motor.

I also started the chine repair for the second time.
The first thing I did was fill the hollow chine with this two part epoxy foam I got from
The 16lb stuff. It's like the hardest they make. After I figured out how to get the stuff inside the chine with my little home made injector and some drilled holes it was all down hill from there.

It's like fix-a-flat for boat chines.

Just to see if the epoxy was any good I put some of the foam in a Dixie cup and let it expand and set. I then threw it on a concrete floor, hit it with a hammer and dug at it with a screwdriver. It's all they say it is. Just the slightest dents so it should work fine inside the chine. It's also as light as a feather. I figure if I did the whole chine it may add 3-4lbs to the boat.
Now it's back to fiberglassing.
This time I am over doing it big time. The transom will rip off before this patch will break loose. I first ground out all the area around the fix. I then routed out the crack it's self. After that I used a very expensive epoxy gel to seal the crack. I think the foam and the epoxy would have held by them selves but that was just the beginning. I so far have 9 layers of fiberglass over it all and probably will put another 3 to 5 layers on before it's all done. That and a couple other things I have yet to do will give me some time to get the parts in I need and when done I should be able to move right in to the motor work seamlessly.

I would much rather be in it then underneath.

May 12, 2008

Another weekend goes by and more is done.
The motor parts are in. Or at least everything I have to order. I'm sure something will come up but at the moment I can cruise eBay and find nothing I could buy. Well maybe one or two things but it would just be "bling" and no more go then it is now. So I'm set.
I did get the springs installed in the heads and did a little detail work on the oil drains and casting's. I ended up using Comp's 911-16 springs. They are about as close as it gets to the Crane's I was going to get but they were unavailable like everything else from Crane. But besides that I haven't so much as opened the motor cover.
I pretty much spent the week still working on the chine. It's now fixed. Filled solid with 16lb epoxy foam, ground out and gel epoxy'ed the crack together,16 coats of glass and mat and a little fiberglass filler to smooth it all out. After all this, if it's not fixed I'll have to take it to someone.

Let's try this again one last time.


May 18, 2008

 A good way to spend a day or two or three or fourÖÖ..
The last few days I have been trying things and moving things around before I start taking the motor apart.
This spring Iím making the raw water pump and the alternator like the Chrysler 360ís was. The boat is set up that way and it seems like the simplest way of doing things. But that means swapping the alternator and raw water pump from side to side. Also the alternator couldnít be mounted as low on the motor on the other side.
So I restored the raw water system like it should be and got the water pump to the right side and all the plumbing done. The water pump was easy enough. It belonged on that side so it was as easy as flipping the bracket over. The plumbing and pick up to the pump all had to replaced due to the original being cannibalized to make it work with the 454 but all I had to do was put it together. Also the new and proper thermostat housing I bought for this years motor and plan on using has to have the raw water come in from this side. So by doing this I will be killing two birds with one stone.

Not hitting the oil pan any more.

As for the alternator? The first thing I had to do was come up with is a plan. I spent a couple days on it and looked at a lot of pictures of motors to see how it was done and couldnít find one that looked like I wanted it to.
So to figure it out I got these two old brackets and started laying things out because I knew I couldnít buy one off the shelf. Iíve tried and have a box full of different ones that were for a 454 and other motors that donít even come close to working. After some cutting, a bolt or two and a little time I came up with a idea for a bottom bracket.
After a some more cutting and grinding on chunk of steel plate I had two stronger and solid copies of the original. With a couple chunks of pipe and a couple of bolts (I never have the right damn size even with a box full of them) I think I had something that was pretty solid and should work.

It's ugly but right.

 It does feel like I'm reinventing the wheel though. There should be some sort of bracket you could buy so you can change sides but all the brackets are set up for car motors and their alternators cases are smaller and/or the water pumps or the pulleyís are longer. Something, but the bottom line is they mount to high on the motor. Where marine alternators wont fit because of their size.
Maybe I should patent this and sell them on the web? I'm sure others have wanted to do this. If so shoot me a email and I will tell all the details.

Paint makes everything look better.

On another front things are not going as smooth as planned (do they ever?). Took the boat down to the ramp to get it off the trailer and replace the trailer rollers. Put them on with all new hardware and reloaded the boat. Half of them ended up flatting out and two came right off their cores.

A little to heavy for these 16 rollers.

Never thought they would flatten out like they did. Glad I got them off eBay on the cheap. There's nothing wrong with them. Just a little to "light weight" for the Nova / tank. So that's a $90 lesson and the new ones will be going on soon.

These are made a little better then the first.


May 31, 2008

A three day weekend just past and it was time to suck it up and get some work done.
The bottom was done except for a couple minor scratches that can wait for later. I still have the new CD player (the first buy last winter) and new hatch cover to install. But with the stretch of time I had over the weekend I put it to much better use.
On Friday after work I was looking over the motor (last yearís version) to see how the rest of the changes I planned on making were going to affect the final out come and started making plans. But then I needed to remove one thing to see something and two hours later I had about all the top end taken apart.
 I also needed to cannibalize the motor once again a few things so I could finish up some stuff. My bill was adding up fast and there was no reason to leave parts with 30 hours of use sit on a shelf just to buy new. The heads from the motor that was in the boat had the longer rocker studs that I needed for the new heads. Also there was the Norris roller rockers. A bunch of plugs for the intake. The intake I bought didn't come with any and they are insane to find in brass for some reason. Along with some other miscellaneous stuff that was needed.
 Even though I am using new heads, springs, push rods and cam I still kept all the same rockers on the same studs in the same order on each head that was going back on the same side. In other words if the rocker and stud were cylinder #7, intake rocker and stud, it is now. The guides that came with the new heads were the right size (they are bigger then the oval port heads) so now they are pretty much ready to bolt on.
I did have a issue with the valve covers fitting over the rockers even though they were supposed to. A little work with a cutting wheel on the baffles fixed that up.

Ready to go.

As the weekend progressed things got done at super speed and also at a snailís pace. Getting all the pulleys lined up and not rubbing anything took a couple trips to the store for the right parts as did the cooling system. Except for me being as nervous as I have been in a long time the rest of the motor fit together like it should. Iím not sure what I was expecting. I mean there were parts off of 3+ motors going into one. So whenever something didnít fit right at first I immediately went into panic mode. It all worked out though.
By Monday night I had all the grunt work done and there was just a couple things to finish up. It was a holiday weekend and I had to call it quits around 7pm before I fell over anyway. I also had everything worked out but needed a new fan belt to replace the old one that I used to mach up everything, a couple hose clamps and such to make it right before starting it. There was no reason to do all this work just to use striped out hose clamps. That and I was in no hurry.
Tuesday came and I got some little things done and then it was time.
I hook up the water and turn the batteries on.
I hit the key and with one timing adjustment it started. Spun it right up to two grand and did the cam break in as it was getting dark. A couple checks and quick timing and oil it was time to call it a night and Iím sure the neighbors appreciated it.
Thursday showed up and after changing two hoses that I had been meaning to do since I built the motor last year I hit the key again. Starts right up. So allís good right now. We'll see when I get a chance to take it to the ramp.   
I also had time to chase that electrical issue Iíve had going on. I replaced the volts gauge with another one again. Checked all the wiring to and from it and anything else I could come up with. After replacing one of the batteries that was bad, new cables and terminals, new starter, moving and rewiring the ALT I have fingers crossed. It was all I could come up with. I even unplugged the radio (with itís always hot memory wire) just in case.
 I left one of the two batteries thatís in the boat on since yesterday. Itís not dead. For that matter itís perfect and ready for business. It must have had been something along my path of destruction. I going to leave it on for another day and then switch over to the other one and try it for two days. Last I will leave them both on and if that all passes. Only then I will check it off my list. It's not like I leave them on all the time anyway. If the boat is out of the water they are off.

We are back at it again.


Second Edition 

It all fits together real good and should be the final version.

June 14, 2008

All seems well for the time I have used it so far. Gas prices are killer at 4+ bucks a gallon and have really put a damper on things. Itís gotten to the point that I would rather buy boats parts then gas. At least I will have the part at the end of the weekend.
 Iím still tweaking here and there when I can.
I did install all new fuel lines from the tank to the carburetor eliminating everything in the fuelís path. I started with 7/16th line from the tank (straight run) to the fuel pump, all new fittings to and from the new Jegís fuel pump, to new 3/8th fuel line to the quickly rebuilt carburetor with a new in-line fuel filter in between. I say ďquickly rebuildĒ because I just took it apart and cleaned and blew it out real good.
I also added a new Super Stock coil just because it was easy.
Between the two I picked up another 100rpmís.
The carburetor is next. New jets or something for it. But once again I will have to do some research on the subject before I start.
I know what you are thinking, this will never end. To that I have to say, ďitís over.Ē Not that I wont try to get the most out of what I have but at the same time no more big motor projects. This boat will never be a 80mph racer and I know that. But at the same time the prop can be reworked and stuff like the carburetor can be tweaked and getting everything in order is a must. Hell, I havenít got everything broken in yet. Also even though I have a good exhaust now with the GLMís and Mercuriser 502ci, SS 4Ē risers, a good set of header exhaust would be a plus. Not that I would break the bank for them but if the right deal comes along.
For now though I just need to use it as much as I can afford. I have less then 3 hours on the whole set up and less then a half hour on what I did this past weekend. The 4th of July is coming up in a couple weeks along with a couple concerts at the Inner Harbor that just cant be missed. Add in I havenít been out past dark this year and my ramp is still kind of new to me I have some time to make up.

 Fall 08'

The end of the season is near. Maybe thereís one more ride left but I'm not counting on it.
As for my favorite season of the year with the boat, it turned out to be a bust this year. Like a friend on C/W says, "It's the year of the anchor."
In August I unexpectedly lost my job. Unemployment helped out but didn't pay for gas at 4+ bucks a gallon. I figure I am getting about a mile and a half a gallon in the boat at speed. The closest river is 4 miles away. Just going up and back was $20+ or you could think of it as, it cost about $1.77 for every minute the boat was running. So it sat most of Aug, Sept and October.
I got back to work at the end of September and as gas prices was coming down and money was coming in I could have got back going but there was another hold up.
The 454 was having an issue and I thought it may be related to the Thunderbolt IV box.
Some times for no reason the motor will step up the idle 400rpmís. Take it for a ride, run it out a little, cruise for a while, come to a stop and it will idle like the choke is on or something. I had checked the motor over when it did it and the choke's not on at all, the carb step upís were fine and the carb linkage was where it should be. And then just like that it will drop off and the idle is normal again with no changes made. I was at a loss why it did this but it was manageable.
Even though it had been acting weird since I installed the motor in the boat every now and then, on the last of the few rides I took this fall it was all kinds of screwed up. It wouldn't hold a decent idle at all and even started to miss in the upper power bans.
So with the typical response I have come a custom to with these things I used a sledgehammer to kill a fly. I did away with the whole MerCruiser ignition system. I had to. Most of it was 20+ years old. Sat outside in a junkyard for long enough until the ends of the exhaust rotted off. Had a another motor dropped on it. Who knows what could have happened to the box and distributor before I got it. So I went on the hunt and found a Pro Comp distributor and control box. I really wanted MSD but again the money was a little tight. I buy the thing and for some reason it takes weeks for it to show up. Nothing I could do about it now that they had the little bit of money I had for these things so I had to wait for it.

I like the red box and distributor.

When I did get to install it I was kicking myself for not doing it a lot sooner.
Right out of the box with the timing set to factory specs (factory specs are a just a starting point with this motor) I got the best speed ever out of the boat. It's only by a tenth but the boat was also rigged out for summer use and when I set the "fastest speed" before there was nothing but me and a quarter tank of gas in it. I'm thinking it was about the same temp out both times so it had to be the motor. I have been noticing a little bit of top end speed dropping off over the summer but thought it was just added weight and heavier summer air. I picked up 2mph over the last time I was out with no changes except for the ignition. Every time I think about it I get a smile on my face over it.
It also seems like I'm getting better gas mileage. I've only taken two short trips but I still have gas left over (something new for me). Now it could be that I'm getting more gas for the buck with the wild swings with prices. I not ruling anything out but it seems better milage.


November 4, 2008

It may say fall on the calendar but it been like winter here for weeks. Lucky enough I winterized the boat a couple weeks ago and then covered it up last weekend. This is the first time in many years it snowed before Thanksgiving in these parts. This year it snowed four times. I knew it was coming. All the leaves fell off the trees real early this year. Mother nature doesnít lie.
To be honest I'm kind of happy itís here. This year was so screwed up with gas prices out of this world, my unexpected vacation, waiting on parts that I shouldnít have been and thatís just with the boat. I need to regroup and start over again.
As usual it was a lot of fun the times I did get out but the boat is about at itís last season before Iím ready to rip it all apart and do it over again. A few things are almost a decade old and are starting to show their age. For the most part everything was done O.K. the first time I did them but I have gained a lot of experience since then. Have you ever done something and then thought after you were done and it turned out ďgood enoughĒ that if you just would have done it a little different? Well thatís where Iím at but to do the things I want is going to take a lot of time for the most part. I want to strip the boat down to itís hull (I mean everything), bead blast the whole thing, change the seats, maybe build a sundeck over the motor, rear bench seatÖ.. Just everything.
Now this may sound like a pipe dream but the possibilityís of this happening are coming to be. The house will be done this winter. We may not have a garage big enough yet but due to a project I picked up when I was unemployed I may have a whole summer to do it and thatís almost as good as a garage.
That project? About mid September I picked up a 19í 1973 Monza. It needs a motor and a lot of work but lucky enough work for me is free and I already have the parts. Itís getting everything left over from the Nova. It has a Volvo 280 drive so the Mopar 360ci left over from the Nova is going in it. It spun a couple bearings the last time out in the Nova but itís been totally rebuilt and is waiting to be installed. For that matter all kinds of stuff will be. If I donít have it Iím selling off stuff from the garage to buy it. Just more left over parts from projects gone by. Thatís what the garage sale link for is over there <<<<. I could also use the room. Who needs four intakes for the same motor anyway? So far honestly Iím in the red for about $500.00 for the whole deal. I even bought the boat with the money I got from the trim tabs from the Nova. I need a trim shield for a Volvo and exhaust for a Chrysler and Iím done. After this spring I will have a back up boat and will be a lot more willing to take the Nova off-line for a year.

Off-line for at least the next couple months no matter what.

 -Back In Control-

Itís February 15, 2009 and we have reassumed control of!

Lost it there for a little while. It was up on the web but I couldnít do any updates or changes with the way things were. Also with Shanty Town (the home of torn apart for a remodel it took a good six weeks to get things back in order. But they are now.
First on a overall site thing. During the time off line due to a friend of SuperNova19.comís Iíve been giving some information that will bring major updates to the Allmand page and a clue or two how the 19 ended up with Allmand and couple other surprises.
Now on to Time Warp as it sits snuggled under it tarp with itĎs little air dryer running away.
It seems like all Iíve been doing is Monza, Monza, Monza when not swinging a hammer but the Monza is truly becoming the ďhand me down boat.Ē  I guess old habits die hard.
Itís only been a matter of months ago that I was piling up parts for the 454 for this past spring just like every other winter for the last 8 years. This time as I do buy parts for the Monza I always have in the back of my mind that this is a project and not a member of the family like the Nova is. So Iím not always looking for the best of the best. More like what will be safe and functional. Being that almost everything thatís going in the Monza one way or another came from the left overís from the Nova when I got the chance to get something with the Nova in mind and then use what I took off for something I needed for the Monza I jumped at it.
Here comes the great carburetor debate.
So I got this for the Nova on eBay for about ½ price the other night.

A couple small mod's and a K&N filter to make it legal.

Yes itís a Edelbrock 800cfm carburetor. Iím sure the most of you all are going to say that Iím out of my mind. And for the most part I would say youíre right except when it comes to this.
First, I like Edelbrock carburetors. IMHO they are the best out there for boats. Easy to maintain, solid fuel bowls (no leaks), etc, etc. They cant flood over and they take a beating and keep on ticking perfectly.
I like them to be ďBIGĒ is for many reasons. It really comes down to testing, testing, testing. Iíve gone out on a ride with three of them at a time before. Take a ride, switch it out, take another ride, switch it outÖ.. GPS, tach and taking notes all the way. The EDL750 worked best on the Mopar 360ci and just had to be used at the time when the 454 was built. With everything I think know about these carburetors the 800 will be perfect on the big block. Only a matter of weeks and we will find out. If it donít work (for you Nascar fans) Iíll stick a restrictor plate under it.
 Oh and look at that air cleaner. I kept looking for a cheep one for the Monza and ended up buying this one for a little more. You guess it. Itís for the Nova. It matches the valve covers and again I can use the one from the Nova on the Monza. Itís a win, win scenario.

 Spring Is Here.

It says its April 29th on the calendar but you couldn't tell it by going outside.
A couple weekends ago I did take a quick ride. As simple as it's getting to de-winterize this thing on a day I knew the solid freezes were over I pulled the tarp just in case a good day would come up. Took about an hour and a half after work a few days later to get it up and running and that was with the new carburetor to install. Half old gas and half new and it ran like a top the first chance I got to go for a test drive. Since then it's just been to nasty out or the tide has been wicked low at the wrong times. Then there is the Monza. With all the bad weather it's been held up so I did give up the one and only good weekend for boat riding to paint it. It did catch me up a bit on the project. The next good day will not pass with out burning some gas.

 That's A Wrap

October 29, 2009

Boy this season just buzzed right by. I cant believe I have waited this long for an up date. But again I can.
This has not been the best year for boating. The spring started with 37 out of 42 days of rain. Pressure treated posts in the yard got mold on them it was so wet. And then there was the projects. The endless projects.
The Monza project went like clock work to the point of things were going to good. The whole thing was wrapped up in the early spring despite the rain. The only thing was missing was the exhaust. I had it found and bought but the seller was a maroon and took forever to get it to my house. As normal I counted my chickens before they hatched and moved on before I should have. Thinking that all was left was bolting on the exhaust and taking it for a ride I got this idea. It was so early in the season I though, lets get this crazy out idea of the way if itĎs going to happen.
The original plan was finish the Monza and use it while I re-did the Nova19. The 19 has everything I want in it and for that matter a couple things that are not going to be reinstalled. So it was nothing but labor and paint supplies that was need. A cake walk compared to what I had been stuck with in the past. Now that I had everything, I wanted to take the boat down to the hull and install what was going back with everything else that was there in mind. I had to make a lot of changes over the years and now it was time to start with a fresh slate.  
But there was one boat that I would hold off the 19ís rebuild for. The stars all fell in line and I ended up buying the Nova24 race boat. That put the 19 on hold as I tried to get what I could done on it before the it got cold.   
I ended up spending a month between July and August fixing the trailer for the 24 and just as it came to an end the exhaust showed up for the Monza. Almost perfect timing.
And then the crap hit the fan. First time I took the Monza to the boat ramp it had such a gathering around it I thought it would be sold in a week when done. Well during an hour shake down ride the oil pump shuts down and the motor eats itís self once again. Now you can see why I was done with that Mopar 360 years ago and it had to come out of the Nova. Not that I was pawning it off on anyone in the Monza but I thought, lighter boat and me not driving should have given it a good life. Not only that but when I rebuilt it I put a new crank, rods, cam, lifters, pushrods, lifters etc, etc, etc in it. The boat ran 48mph out of the box with a not so good prop. The timing wasnít even tweeked before I watched the oil pressure gauge go from 40lb to 0. I though it was the gauge but it was the oil pump. Summit (who I bought the oil pump from) offered a 15% discount coupon for my problems. They suck!    
So now itís in line for a new motor but I was knee deep in the racebaot and I had to take time into account of what I could get done and what had to wait before it was time to go inside for the winter. Building a motor is an inside thing so it has to wait for winter but itís behind two 454ís for the race boat so it might be spring or summer before it happens. Now what does this have to do with the 19? Itís looking like it may be fall or maybe even the following spring before it gets itís turn. Weíll see. If all goes well there is not that much to do.
Beside all that Time Warp has a couple battle scars on her but the boat is ďon itĒ as the neighbors say. Even to this day every time I start it I know its going to be fun and a few heads are going to turn along the way.
Soon will be time to put it away for the year and maybe I can feel a little less guilty about spending so much time working on the other two when I should be out burning gas with this bad ass.

Boy this season just buzzed right by. I cant believe I have waited this long for an up date. But again I can.
This has not been the best year for boating. The spring started with 37 out of 42 days of rain. Pressure treated posts in the yard got mold on them it was so wet. And then there was the projects. The endless projects.
The Monza project went like clock work to the point of things were going to good. The whole thing was wrapped up in the early spring despite the rain. The only thing was missing was the exhaust. I had it found and bought but the seller was a maroon and took forever to get it to my house. As normal I counted my chickens before they hatched and moved on before I should have. Thinking that all was left was bolting on the exhaust and taking it for a ride I got this idea. It was so early in the season I though, lets get this crazy out idea of the way if itĎs going to happen.
The original plan was finish the Monza and use it while I re-did the Nova19. The 19 has everything I want in it and for that matter a couple things that are not going to be reinstalled. So it was nothing but labor and paint supplies that was need. A cake walk compared to what I had been stuck with in the past. Now that I had everything, I wanted to take the boat down to the hull and install what was going back with everything else that was there in mind. I had to make a lot of changes over the years and now it was time to start with a fresh slate.  
But there was one boat that I would hold off the 19ís rebuild for. The stars all fell in line and I ended up buying the Nova24 race boat. That put the 19 on hold as I tried to get what I could done on it before the it got cold.   
I ended up spending a month between July and August fixing the trailer for the 24 and just as it came to an end the exhaust showed up for the Monza. Almost perfect timing.
And then the crap hit the fan. First time I took the Monza to the boat ramp it had such a gathering around it I thought it would be sold in a week when done. Well during an hour shake down ride the oil pump shuts down and the motor eats itís self once again. Now you can see why I was done with that Mopar 360 years ago and it had to come out of the Nova. Not that I was pawning it off on anyone in the Monza but I thought, lighter boat and me not driving should have given it a good life. Not only that but when I rebuilt it I put a new crank, rods, cam, lifters, pushrods, lifters etc, etc, etc in it. The boat ran 48mph out of the box with a not so good prop. The timing wasnít even tweeked before I watched the oil pressure gauge go from 40lb to 0. I though it was the gauge but it was the oil pump. Summit (who I bought the oil pump from) offered a 15% discount coupon for my problems. They suck!
So now itís in line for a new motor but I was knee deep in the racebaot and I had to take time into account of what I could get done and what had to wait before it was time to go inside for the winter. Building a motor is an inside thing so it has to wait for winter but itís behind two 454ís for the race boat so it might be spring or summer before it happens. Now what does this have to do with the 19? Itís looking like it may be fall or maybe even the following spring before it gets itís turn. Weíll see. If all goes well there is not that much to do.
Beside all that Time Warp has a couple battle scars on her but the boat is ďon itĒ as the neighbors say. Even to this day every time I start it I know its going to be fun and a few heads are going to turn along the way.
Soon will be time to put it away for the year and maybe I can feel a little less guilty about spending so much time working on the other two when I should be out burning gas with this bad ass.
The wrong side of the Bay Bridge for me.
Outside of Annapolis, 30 miles of open water from home in a 19' SuperNova.
No Fear, Lets Go!


 New Decade, New Motor

January thru May - 2010

Time to kick this thing in the ass.


October 26, 2010

Itís been a long year.
It started off with so much hope andÖÖÖÖ
The spring and summer was awesome. What little I did use it. Admittedly I spent way to much time on the race boat but it had to be done. The 496 was O.K. I did finally break the 60mph mark and that was a goal that has been on going for 10 years. I have a bit of a problem keeping the prop hooked up. The bow is heavy again. Not sure what I'm going to do about that yet. Couple ideas. Some mild, some wild.
But then late August came and for no reason I end up with a major issue.
I had the boat out all night the time I took it out before. Ran like a top. For that matter it ran itís best it had since I put the motor in it. The next day I flush the motor in the yard on the hose and again, perfect.
It sits a couple weeks being I went on vacation and some other things going on (ya, the race boat). But the day comes that a ride is needed so down to the ramp I go. Start the boat and let it settle down a couple minutes. I leave and didn't get 50 feet from the bulkhead and it started. Snap, snap, snap. Not sure what it was but the motor had no power and it sounded nasty. I never even got the boat on plane. Maybe 2500rpmís at most. It could be a turned around roller lifter or a broken spring but I never fooled with it since. I know it is a major undertaking to pull the top half apart and the time ticked by and it was already Sept. So I winterized the motor and put the boat away for the year.
Did I give up? Ya, I did. I have my reasons. Thousands of them.
I ended up with a couple gallons of water in the boat the last night I was out. Not being a prick about it but my boats don't leak. At all. A couple gallons and might as well be sinking. For some reason the transom shield is leaking.
Another thing I did the night I was out was look the boat over hard. Spent a lot of time working on the Monza that is just finished and near perfect and the race boat that hasn't even seen the water yet is perfect so everything I looked at on the 19 was not so perfect and needed to be redone. Somethingís have to go, somethingís have to be changed. I really want to go with the minimal look. I may even change the color. The interior needs to be redone. Different seats. Just a total makeover.

Found the right compass for the boat last night.

 The Great Makeover

December 29, 2010

So many plans. So now itís time to make them start to happen. If not during the winter I'll never be ready for spring.
I've been a busy little shopper. Anything that I think needs to be replaced without actually taking the boat apart I am trying to get stacked up. The funny thing is, I plan on taking more away then replacing but I'm still spending to much money. But it does need a new horn and parking light socket with a cover. Handle for the motor cover. Side mount controller. That one is going to be a little tricky. I have a cheap controller on the way to work out all the logistics but it has to happen somehow to get the controller off the dashboard.
Got new glass for the windshield. Not sure if I am going to powder coat the windshield frame or try to polish it.
Getting rid of the whole dash and layout. I've tried it 3 times with the dark gray and black. Just kind of looks cheap. I would have kept the first try with the metal paint that came out nice but it all cracked and flaked off the first year.
This time I'm going for a whole new look. Elegance, money, class, whatever you want to call it. I have a $50 solid red oak board in the garage for a start that I have been letting dry for the last couple months. I'm thinking black gauges in the center, switches on the left side of the steering wheel, maybe a wood steering wheel that matches the dash panel. That's why the controller has to be moved to the side.
I also have new front seats more to scale with the boat. The other seats just felt small and lost in the cockpit. These should fill up the space and be a lot more comfortable. I also added new sliders and mounts to the seats. The one's that are there now suck. Neither locks in place and you have to get out of the seat and push it forward from the back just to move it. So they would stick when you wanted them to move and move when you wanted it to stay.
Now the hard part is finding vinyl to match the seats. Should have thought of that before but they were such a good deal.
I also picked up a set of 496 exhaust. I know, I should be thinking more about fixing the motor instead of trying to upgrade it but this was another great eBay buy I couldn't pass on. $300.00 for the whole system and the old exhaust has a good home (the race boat) to go to.
So it really is beginning. The race boat is almost a done deal (he says with his fingers crossed) and then itís balls to the wall on the 19. The reason all this has happened.


 Winter Sucks

December 31, 2010

Spent most of the last two days getting the interior and dashboard out. You would think it was easy enough but the last two days have been the first days above freezing for about the last six weeks.
Time to start to come clean on the 19. This thing is a mess. Most wouldn't find it that bad but I know everything that is wrong with it. From the rotted dash to the cushions in the back acting like giant sponges. But then there is the stuff that I suspected but really had no clue. Like when I was jumping cruise ship wakes and did an awful landing. The radio popped completely out of the dash and apparently at the same time cracked the dash support panel. There is a control cable showing metal. Wiring that needs some sprucing up. Just a lot of stuff.
So to get the rear seats out I had to take the exhaust manifolds off. Not something I wanted to do but had to do. Now they are off they can be set up for the race boat so it was a plus.
I didn't see any oil in the exhaust runners or a valve sticking out so that again its a another plus and off my mind. Itís killing me not to know what is wrong with the damn thing. Should have been the best motor I ever built with all the money and time in it.
Just to get things started I got a master gasket set (cheaper then buying head gaskets alone) so I am prepared no matter how far I have to go down inside it. That and a ďgoodĒ oil pump and pick up, new head bolts and another Edelblock intake gasket. For some reason the stock gasket for the intake never works right in this motor.
The seat rails came in and they will have to be slightly modified.
The buying list is growing shorter but the labor list is getting much longer.


  Getting Started

January 6, 2011

I know itís the middle of winter but what better time is there? Nothing better to do then to close up the garage, turn the heat on high and start knocking some of this stuff out.
A lot of boxes are showing up at the door and making a lot of trips to the Home Depot and other suppliers but don't have a lot to show for it.
This week started off with a trip to the upholstery store and searching through everything they had. The sample I picked looks very close to the seats but being I was in the flooring world for 20+ years and I know about dye lots. Itís either going to be a perfect match orÖÖÖ. Letís just say I have my fingers crossed.
Just tonight I picked up an industrial sewing machine and a piping attachment on eBay cheaper then it would have cost to have someone make the matching piping alone and I get to keep the tools. I'm pretty familiar with these types of machines being they are a lot like carpet binders. Itís older then I am but it has been gone over and tuned up. If these machines are taken care of in the simplest way they last forever. Some of the best binders we ever had were from the late 60ís to early 70ís and I didn't even get in the business until the mid 80Ďs.
The vinyl was supposed to come in today but hasn't shown yet. I'm not ready for it yet anyway but at least things are moving along. I still have to strip the old backer boards, make all new templates of the seats and dash pad. Then cut all the new wood before I can do anything. So I figure next week if the sewing machine comes in by then I will get started on it.

Itís easy how you can spend a day on one simple thing. These slides I bought for the seats were supposed to fit but guess what? So it took some serious modifications to make them fit the cradles. The slides are actually inside out. The release bar is supposed to go on the inside. It don't now. To make them thin enough I had to make it work on the outside of the slides. A little backyard engineering to work it all out.
Just to make sure they don't rust where they meet the deck I dipped the feet on liquid rubber a couple times. They now have a coating on them like a pair of pliers handles. Now I can be up on the wheel or laid back with a flip of a bar. Sounds simple but if your crap don't work you know its a pain in the ass.

Being I have a 454 or two sitting around for the race boat in the garage, after rebuilding and painting the 496 manifolds I bolted up the one side so I could build a bracket for the remote oil filter. Don't like the way Mercís 496ís have their oil filters upside down. With a Ziploc bag I can take my current filter off without a drop anywhere. Their filter set up, upside down, thereís not a chance. The bilge will look like there was a oil drilling rig accident so that has to go. So I built this mounting block so the oil filter will be about in the same place it is on a 454. It's solid enough I could pick the motor up with it.


My dashboard muse.
I've been looking for some direction and I think I've found it.

January 9, 2011

Still dead of winter. Insanely cold out. What better time to work on a boat? This is why when it warmed up to the mid 30ís a couple weeks ago I got what I needed to get out of the boat. You wouldn't see me out there today with temps in the brisk 20ís thatís for sure.
With not much planned due to the upholstery and everything else that goes with it not being here Saturday started off kind of slow. I then realized that I had everything to do the dashboard with so I got it started thinking it would take a couple days.
Started off with a clean piece 1X8 red oak. I am trying to make it have a red tint when finished so the red oak should work nice. Lucky enough I had the old dashboard so it was as simple as tracing it out to get the shape.

A couple simple tools like a skill saw, jigsaw, drill, number of bits and a router with a ½ rounding over bit, measure it six times and it was time to cut it....once........I hope.

After a number of hours and a few design changes this is what I came up with. It kind of looks the same as it did but at the same time I took a few ideas from the Monza (see the ďMissing YearĒ on the movie page). I liked the way it turned out in the Monza but that time I had to follow the existing layout. This time I laid it out the way I thought it would look the best after a lot of thought. Real basic, simple and clean.

Then the staining began. Not sure what was going on but the stainís reaction with the wood was not the best. Many, many tries to get it right. Not sure if itís right yet.
I also re-stained the steering wheel to match and give it a little bit of a shine.

I spent about an hour pealing this off the layer of plastic it was on that was stuck to the old dash. Sadly the star part didn't make it. Just way to many points to get back together of starched out vinyl.
At the moment I am building up marine poly to get it level and then I will wet sand and do the whole thing again with some clear poly.


January 14, 2011

You know the old saying, ďthe best laid plansÖ..Ē? Well, it happened.
Been working on the wood of the boat just to get it out of the way. Thereís a lot of wood in this so called fiberglass boat. Some trim pieces, now the dash, the seat backers and side bolsters, all wood.
So just to get it all out of the way, the last couple days after wet sanding and doing Poly coats on the dashboard I have been stripping the old upholstery, getting patterns and cutting new wood. The dash was rotten ( I knew it was) so I had to start from scratch on that. Got it all done and then Thompsonís water sealed it all just for added insurance.
The bolsters were a different story. I remember from the last time I did this the wood for them was impossible to find. Whatís the big deal? They are 10 feet long and only 3/8s thick. Not sure why but after 40 years they need a little help. So where ever the wood was bad at I fiberglassed them inside and out. The pad looks a lot worse then it is. They just hang on the sides of the boat so besides age spots they are perfect. Once I add new batting they will be like new again.
After the glued in bolts that attach everything to the boat dries they are ready for padding and vinyl.

The sewing machine also came in today. Pretty nice for the money. Hell itís pretty nice for real money. 6 Layers of vinyl and it went through it like a knife through butter. Came with a bunch of other stuff. I cant wait to play with it.
Most of the vinyl stuff is here so I can get started on it as soon as I want. I figure this weekend some of it will happen. Again, just to get it out of the way.

The other trim pieces got sanded and refinished and seemed to come out fine. Even though the dash was beautiful, as you looked at it in the right light you saw what looked like water spots all over it. Like pox marks in the clear coat. More coats of poly and they would just come back again. So I stripped the whole thing down to wood again. I have to try again to get it right.

January 16, 2011

This dash is going to be the death of me. Stripped the whole thing again. Re-sanded down to wood. Used a different stain. Hit it wit the poly and it would bubble like a Coke. Striped it again. Sanded again down to the stain. Let it sit a night and polyíed again. Same thing. So I sanded again and am using Parkís Super Glaze.
Itís pour on clear epoxy coating. Put a thin coat on it to ďseal it upĒ according to the directions. Then another thin layer and another and another.
Still fighting bubbles. Not as bad but I gave up for the night. Tomorrow I will sand out the bad spots and cover the whole thing again. If it works itís gonna be nice. If it don't, I'm thinking a can of black spray paint.
Besides replacing and fixing things to compensate for the thicker dash panel and trying to come up with an idea on how to mount the controller on the side bolster like it must be this time around (thereís no place on the dash for it) I've been working on the upholstery. As of today everything is here to do it and itĎs just sitting there ready to go. There is no time like the present so I cut all the foam to match the wood patterns. I still have to wrap them with batten before vinyl but the batten and vinyl happens in the basement and the boards and foam happen in the garage so it will get brought down and done as I need it.
Just to use up some of the roll of vinyl and see where I stand (they didn't have enough for 16 yards I originally wanted to order). If I could get both bolsters out of one eleven foot shot of the vinyl I'd be fine but if they had to use two eleven foot shot for the two of them things were going to be real tight.
I did get the two out of one shot so now I should be fine to finish the rest and maybe have a small chunk left over just in case.


January 20,2011

UGH!!!! The time and mess!!!!
The dashboard saga goes on. Six pours of the epoxy and still had bubbles in it. I have no clue WTF is going on. Just in the surface so I sanded then out and now I'm going to spray clear coat it. This is turning into a nightmare. Thank God itís not spring and this thing was holding me up. I would be ready to burn it by now. I will light sand it again tomorrow and hit it with another coat of clear. I should be getting to the end with this thing and if not I just may put it away for a couple weeks just to get a fresh look at it later.

You don't realize how much room a couple seats take up when you don't have the room. Then to have this piece here and that piece there adds to the clutter. So I took another couple hours to get all the cushions covered with batten and a cloth mesh.
I know the seats are going slow. First I have to figure out what I want to do and second, learn how to do it. Then practice it with the limited amount of scraps that I have from the bolsters.
So Iím starting with just one seat base. I need lines in the vinyl spaced like the front seats but not as deep and I'm not doing the horizontal lines. They just wouldn't look right and to be honest there is not a way of doing it unless I buy this special pad that is soft on one side and hard on the other so it puffs up when the vinyl is sewed to it but that is more money and IĎI'm already $400.00 deep into just the upholstery. I also need to make a piping for all the vinyl seams just to make the seats look any sort of professional at all.
So each night after a little lesson in this and that I give it a try and if it looks right I do it to the bigger piece of vinyl I have cut out for the seat.
I picked up some 5/32 rope from home depot and used my carpet binder skills for a way to make the piping and it works good so the next thing was to put the whole thing together.
My first real, fitted seat cover.

I already have ideas on production improvements for the next one. Just not sure how to do the center seat. Itís a half moon shape and the lines and piping may look a little dated there.

January 22,2011

Once I really got started it only took a couple days to do it. The hardest part was just getting started.
I've done some upholstery before but nothing on this scale. This time instead of having 90 degree, raw, stitched corners I wanted something more like what would have come from a factory. Piping / welting at all the seams. Stitching pattern on the face of the seat that runs up and over the top of the backs. Also with the same stitching and spacing that will bring the front seats that I did buy from a factory into the fold so to speak.  
It took a little bit of time to work out something simple I could do with my limited education in upholstery but not look to simple.
So I played with this and that until I got enough under my belt to do the seat above and be happy with it. Then it was on. I was getting faster the more I did. Thatís 2 bolsters, 2 seat bases, 2 seat backs, 1 half moon motor box seat, 2 dash board accents and a dash pad in about 24 hours of work for them all (just upholstery wood and pad were another couple hours).
I also found when you use a lot of pieces of vinyl (one for the top, another for the sides, etc) instead of making a seat out of one piece and stitching it up you tend to use a lot less. I have a big chunk of vinyl leftover and here I thought I was going to be short.
People tell me the seat bolster I did on the race boat would have cost around 12 to 14 hundred to have done. To do this would have been a lot more money being there is a lot more vinyl and labor. I think $400 total for all of it and I get to keep the sewing machine and everything that goes with it to make it work and a nice chunk of vinyl to boot worked out nice.
I wish the picture would come out better. The vinyl looks shiny and plastic in the pictures when itís really a softer gray and not as shiny. I went darker then what was in it before but thatís to hide some of the dirt. I have already replaced the rear seats twice in the old vinyl and they still look like hell after a few weeks being so light and people stepping on them to get in and out of the boat. Hopefully with the vents out of the way on the transom's deck and the darker vinyl they should hold up better this time.
Unless something needs to be changed everything thatís getting vinyl is done.


January 28, 2011

Had a couple minor setbacks the last few days. The biggest was that we lost power for about 36 hours (notice the date above). Itís amazing what you cant do without power. Like light, heat, water, etc, etc. Let alone the working on a boat when you have to shovel snow and then come back into a cold house.
The garage is also cold now and will take a day or so along with everything in it heat back up so Iím a little screwed up at the moment.
I am pleased to report that the dashboard was finished a couple days ago. I have it sitting and ďhardening upĒ in the basement (Shanty Town). As far as I can tell there is no bubbles. There is a couple minor things in the top clear coat. Maybe the smallest grains of dust you have ever seen. Not sure but after a few days of letting the finish get solid Iím going to wipe it down with a stiff rag and call it a day. I think at this point Iím being a little critical and just need to let it go.

These vents are something Iím a little proud of. They look simple enough but they are different and most of all they are as close as to original as it gets. I have been trying to figure out what I was going to do back there. The 4 vents were just to much alone. Add in the two rod holders I used just to fill the holes (from the original vents come to find out later), the ski post, couple pop up cleats, there is way just to much going on. Iíve had a lot of plans on what to do but never was set on anything. So I did some research and found out what was there before and bang there it was. Thatís what I wanted. Clean and simple.


February 1, 2011

Speaking of vents. Another venting idea hit me the other day cruising eBay. What was I going to do with basically drilled holes that are used to vent the front of the motor box. Never liked them and they are not original but I can see their purpose. So I picked up these.

Iím either going to use 3 behind the bench seat or one there and one under each rear seat. Iíve done it on Photo Shop but have to see it in person to make a final decision.

Iím also adding a outside the boat flush system. Dragging hoses over the bolsters is not any fun and always ends up scratching something or leaving a mark on the upholstery. Now itís going to be as simple as plug and play. I still have to shut off the pick up in the bottom of the boat. I like the auto system but they are pricey and I havenít found enough info to convince me they work all the time and what happens when they donít. Also thereís a space factor. The oil pan is close to the hull. I may move the pickup for a little better access to the cut off valve but there still will be very little room for it.

Stuff is piling up.

February 7, 2011

Working on a couple small things at the moment. Nothing major.
I did find a prop finally. And get this, itís not from eBay or a used one at all. Brand new from the factory and I didnít have to hit the lottery or anything to buy it. Not sure why iboats let it go so cheap and it was their only one. There loss is my gain.
The prop is a Michigan Wheel - Rapture #163023 - Stainless Steel. From what I understand they are not bad props and this one is a 14.25X25P so itís a great starting point and if I have to I can bend it up to a 27P if needed. The nicest thing about a new prop.
A few things have come in like the new transom shield seal, boring things. I am waiting on something special that has been missing ever since I have owned the boat but more on that later.
I was kind of worried about what is in the picture. Itís one of two original decals that named the boat. Seems like no big deal but it took a couple tries to get the right font look (should have wrote down what it was). Seems like not everyoneís fonts are the same but I found it and itís off the to do list, allís good. Iíll get new registration stickers to replace the ones I have to rip off to paint the boat when I register the race boat at Dept of Natural Resources tomorrow and that should be it for the decals.


February 8,2011

And here is that "something special".

The real deal and almost perfect.

February 15,2011

Still kind of waiting on stuff. Waiting on materials. Waiting on spring. Those kind of things.
I did get a new step pad for the front of the motor box. When you flip it forward it rests on the deck and before the last one it would rub the paint off where it met the deck. I fixed it with a small stair tread before. Looked fine but this new step pad has a neat shape and chrome frame around it. Should almost look like an accent piece then a rubber stop.

Finding the old name inspired me to get the registration numbers in the same style font. They are a little different but you wont be able to tell from the transom and the bow. I donít like the spacing of the letters they have now so when I install them Iíll tighten them up some.

Then there is this side controller thing. You donít know much wasted money and time I have in this. Nothing fits right in the boat and the side bolster was to thick, then the seat was in the way. I finally got sick of it all after buying a second, expensive controller and it not working I pulled out the saw, did some surgery and mounted my eBay test controller to the boats bulkhead. Then fitted the bolster over top of the bulkhead, found out what was needed to be cutout of the bolsterís back, took the bolsterís upholstery off, cut the hole in the wood, fiberglassed the backside because the 40 year old wood was only 4inches across at one point now, shaved the foam down so the swing of the control handle didnít hit the bolster and it wasnít to noticeable, then put it all back together.
I donít think I'll be using this controller but this is what it will look like and now that it does work I can move on to other things. When I'm ready I can find another controler at my own pace.


 Trailer Time

February 16,2011

I think the next couple days I'm going to be working on the trailer. Nothing really major but needed none the less.
I really need to move the trailer's axle forward so the boat can come forward on the trailer but with this Shoreline that's not an option short of cutting the undercarriage off and re-welding it all back on.
The main issue and always has been is with the boat balance on the trailer. Like it is the rear rollers stop about a foot short of the transom. That puts all the weight of the rear half of the boat including the motor and drive on the glass bottom sheeting and not on something structural like the transom, keel or stringers. There is no way to use keel rollers at all with this trailer and the boat doesn't have stringers in the traditional sense so I am left with one option. Somehow making the roller cradle biggerÖÖ..SuperNova style.

Easy, much needed and put off for way to long, fix.

February 20,2011

So I order a couple pieces of 2 -¾" by five foot long galvanized, box beam a few days back and they came in yesterday. Had to go to the internet to find it. There is a shortage of ďgalvanizedĒ metal for some reason. My local guys didnít have anything at all.
Being it was close to 70 degrees in February I jumped on it just having something to do. So I took my box beams and my Harbor Fright drill press I never used before (I knew there was a reason I had to have it a couple months ago) and went to work. After pulling the old beam out of the trailer (with the boat on it) I copied all the bolt patterns on to the new beam. Iím not going to just spread out the two rollers on this long beam and hope for the best. Iím going to make it a three roller cradle and spread the weight around. Also the rollers will be able to support the keel area better with more surface contact.

So I drilled all my holes with my press and cut slots in the backside of the beams so I could get to the rollers bolts with a socket and ratchet. The drill press worked great about getting the holes directly across from side to side. Also no twisted wrists from the hand drill biting in the metal was an awesome thing. My wrists still hurt from all the drilling on the race boats trailer in the background. I sware it made of the hardest metal ever made.

I had to offset the center roller to the rear some due to a water pick up on the right side but all and all I think this set up will support the boat much better. I know it doesnít take much to roll the boat off the trailer now. With the trailer level, a simple but firm shove and it rolls. Thatís smooth and supported well.
One of the things that made this a lot easier then it could have been was that I replaced most of the shackles last summer during yearley routine maintenance. A couple of the steel pieces have rusted again but that happens every winter. A wire brush and a little primer and they will look back to new.
Besides a little bit of rust this trailer is hardcore. Heavy duty springs, new buddy bearings, new heavy rated trailer tires and bunk rollers and now this new support system. I think I have it just where I want it now. Maybe...


 Hold On

March  6, 2011

Just a quick update.
Seems like nothing is happening but it is in a covert way.
Normally I would have the motor out by now along with a few other things being I have some free time.
Itís also killing me to not know what happened to the damn motor last fall. But the garage is still packed with stuff form the race boat thatís also still sitting in the driveway waiting to be finished. Just waiting on that one missing part to be sent back to me and everything can go back in the boat. Until then there is no place for another torn apart boat.
I did order the couple things that finished up my must have list this winter. One was the paint.
This time after much debate I will start by shooting a couple coats of High Build Primer before I paint to seal it all up. Before now it was rattle can and blending with sandpaper. Iím sure there will be some of that this time to but a couple days before paint the whole thing is getting a primer coat and then sanded again before final paint. A first for me on a boat. Then I'm using Viper Red for the hull and Pure White for the top. To top it off I'm going to shoot a couple coats of Clear Coat to make it all pop.

Something is going to start soon if it means rearranging the garage and sticking the race boat in the side yard.
Iím not going to let these days slip by.

March 19, 2011

March is being not as warm as I would like. That and I still have the race boat issue but progress has been made on it's completion.
I do need it to warm up enough to inject the foam in the strikes. This time I not playing. All of them from front to back are going to be filled. Even the smaller ones up by the bow. The strikes were just not made well enough to hold up under the 40 years of pounding and the occasional log. The strikes are also made much thinner then the rest of the hull. Now they will be filled solid with closed cell foam that is impervious to gas, oil or about anything but it doesn't expand to well in under 70 degrees and there is so much of it to do.
I did get the lights on the trailer and also made a licence plate bracket out of aluminum. The last couple of plastic and tin all broke for some reason. I don't think it will have that issue anymore.


 Starting, I Guess

April 4, 2011

One way or another Iím going to get one of these two boats (19 or the 24) done in the next couple months and it looks like it wont be the 24 due to a few unsolved issues.
So itís time to get started on this one. The only problem is, itís was cold as Ö.. out for March and April has started off the same way. Except for one day. All the way up to 75* and that was warm enough to do one of the first steps.
Been wanting to do this since I fixed the one strike on the hull a couple years back. Long story short, all the strikes are hollow and have been damaged many times over the years. Small floating debris strikes at 50+mph is a big impact. Times that by almost 40+ years and there is damage that I couldnít even find. Tiny crack here, little pin hole there. Iíve tried a thousand times to make the strikes water tight but water always ends up in them somehow.

So I got out a bunch of saved Dear Park sports bottles and some PVC hose and made up some disposable injection bottles. Drilled all my holes spaced about 18 to 24 inches apart and then started making batches of foam. Enough to let it flow and expand but not so much that it over expanded and wouldn't travel up the strike. After it set up I would then inject another batch in the next hole moving from the stern to the bow.

I got it in all the way up to the last hole by the red paint and then shot in a small batch and let it push as far as it could up the strike. I wasnít going to drill holes in the red for obvious reasons.

After they were all filled with foam I then ground out the drilled holes and added four layers of fiberglass as the day came to an end. It was going to get cold again the next day so the last layer went on in the dark.
I am so happy I did this. I found a crack that I would have never found in the main strike on the drivers side and one of the smaller strikes had about 12 inches of the seam starting to leak along with one of the back corners had 3 small cracks. All so small that I never saw a wet spot on the hull from water leaking out as it sat on the trailer or never saw a crack but they were there and now they are fixed. Also filling the strikes has to add support overall to the hull and a tiny bit of flotation to boat.
The next couple days I plan on getting the boat off the trailer and re-doing the bottom first. I just want to get some of the hard stuff out of the way first.

April 7, 2011

Since it has become official that the race boat is not going to be finished ÖÖ.well I guess until sometime in the future the prime work spot has been taken over for the Great Makeover.
Already having the gantry built so I could install the motors in the race boat I might as well get another use out of it for the time being. Never thought about using it on the 19 until the day I was building it and then it dawned on me, why not. Getting the boat off the trailer was half the battle for the bottom work. Last time I did work to the bottom it sat on the trailer the whole time. Took a lot of days and a lot of bloody knuckles just to strip it and paintin but thatís whole other story.

I knew stripping it was going to be a bitch four years ago when I had to fix a spot on the bottom. Four years later it totaly lived up to it. The paint came off like tar. No matter how fast or slow you had the grinder set at. Light or hard touch on the hull. You only got a square foot before the paper was all gunked up with what the best way I can describe as liquid rubber that's dried.
Having the boat on blocks made figuring out how to do it a lot easier though. I had room to move and moving was the name of the game. The way it had to come off was like this.
First, go over area with the 7Ē grinder, set on medium speed and using a 24 grit sanding disk. Thatís right I said a 24 grit disk. Basically rocks glued to paper. Light pressure and just cutting the top of the paint off. Back and forth at a quick pace and then move on. The key was not getting the paint to hot from friction. Just enough to grab chunks and spit it off.
Second, after so many feet you would need a new disk no matter what. Install a new 24 grit disk. Go over area already done in the same fashion then cut the top of another section of paint until gunked up.
Third, new disk, go over first section for a third time and then on to second section for a second time. Then more cutting of fresh paint.
Forth, repeat, repeat, repeatÖ..until done.

After ten hours you have absolute destruction. You also have been speckled from head to toe with hot molten paint. You ground the piss out of your hull with 24 grit grinding disks that would grind a cinderblock to dust in 30 seconds. Add in a couple oops and I have lots of work to do.

 I figured it wouldn't be easy but to be where I am at now is a lot better then the dread I was feeling before I started this whole bottom project. I knew it was going to be bad but I always wanted to do this no matter how bad it was going to be. It's also is one of the main objectives to this whole makeover. When the boat is running the only thing that matters besides the motor is the wetted surfaces. This boatís bottom hull condition was always itís weakest link even with me re-doing it on the trailer once. I mean at one point in this boats life it had barnacles grow on the hull. Lots of them. Been painted a few times. Thereís only so much you can do with a trailer in the way. This time every tiny thing is getting fixed. Every strike sharpened, the transom sharpened and one last thing, Iím taking the hook out of the hull. I guess you can say Iím blueprinting the hull in a way. Just upside down and I've never done it before.
With all the paint gone I can get a much better look at the hook in the hull. The hook is not as bad as it looked when painted but it's still there and explains a lot on how the boat handles. I almost wish I could try a test ride just after fixing it to see what happens but like normal there will be some other changes like some motor work is going to be done and then there is this new prop. Itís supposed to be the catís meow for Volvoís. Itís a Solas 15 3/8 X 21L. Kind of small in pitch but thatís what's supposed to work if I run an Volvo 24P Ultra the way I do. If not I can use it on the Monza and get a 23P for the Nova. Iím just happy to see someone making a new prop these days for a Volvo Penta. But with all these changes I will never know what the hull changes would have done alone.


April 4, 2011

To much Bondo???

Been making good progress the last couple days.
I found tons wrong but at the same time I expected it. It just happens to be in different areas that I though I was going to have issues with. The front strikes have taken a beating. Not sure from what. Itís not like I beach the boat or run up on rocks at all and the trailer makes loading and un loading a breeze and never makes contact with them but the strikes are jacked for some reason. They will require a day by themselves to finish them to like new.
The main strikes are not that bad. There is the one spot back by the transom and the reason I filled them with foam to start with. The patch is in but the jack stand sits on the spot so it will have to wait until I have it back up on the trailer.
All the corners of where any fiberglass meets another fiberglass piece is getting a finger smear of Bondo fiberglass (using a drywall finishers term) to ďpoint upĒ up the corners. I am also using the fiberglass filler for anything deeper then the thickness of a sheet of paper.
Then there is all the red Bondo. No, Iím not building a boat out if it and the hull is not that bad. I've learned this trick off of T.V. Who says it just rots your brain? Every show I see folks doing body work rebuilding cars and such they always cover the whole fender, car or whatever in the stuff and then sand everything off that is not needed. I donít know if this is for speed or just so they donít miss anything but even though my arms feel like rubber after doing both sides, I like it. After doing the first side and sanding it out I found it only needs about an hour of work to finish it off. A lot better then going over and over finding a new spots that you missed over and over. Sadly doing both side is equal to doing a whole car. A whole car that is glued to the ceiling and you are on the floor.

March 16,2011

Half of the week was totally rained out and the other few days were questionable but I moved ahead anyway. Not like it was going to hurt anything.
The bottom wasÖwow! I had no clue. I think I could make a hobby just fixing and fixing and fixing. At the same time I may be over doing it, but what the hell, how often am I going to do this.
I found the hull had a hook in it on the passenger side for almost 3 feet long and almost a ½Ē deep at one point. The driverís side was better with only a ¼Ē hook at itís deepest.
Itís hard to explain how the hull was built in this boat, so I wont but because of the way it was built only half of each side had the hook and the deepest part was only at a single point over the 3 feet but I did take an enormous amount of the hook out thatís for sure.
I also took out the motorís water pickup and filled in the whole. It has to be moved. I will be able to plug the flushing hose into the back of the boat with the fresh water inlet but will still have to crawl under the motor to shut the intake valve offÖÖÖah no. Not sure where Iím going to put it yet but I knew itís not staying there so the hole is fixed.
Iím not using bottom paint this time. I am using Rust-oleum Topside with a special activator that will make it dry fast, harden up more and add gloss. The only thing, if the additive is inhaled it may kill meÖ.just kidding. I will be rolling the paint (ya, ya, ya - itís the bottom and I will be using a special and proven technique to make it looked sprayed) but if I was spraying this stuff I would basically need a fresh air supplied bio-hazard suit to use it. Bad stuff.
The plan is over the weekend to try to get a couple coats of paint on it so I can get it back on the trailer the first of the week and then I can finish the places that it sits on now.

March 20, 2011

It didnít turn out to bad and a hell of a lot better then it was.
The additive for the Topside paint was the best. Made the paint in 24 hours harden up like a rock and is already as hard as any two part paint I have sprayed before. There is a couple spots to finish after it is moved off the blocks and there is the transom but the best part is I can whip out a brush and after a couple coats you will never know the difference. The transom will have to wait until I get the drive and shield off the boat. Plenty of time for that.

I also put new axel shackles and plates on the trailer. 30 bucks and about 20 minutes without the boat sitting on it. To simple not to do.
Why did I add a picture of my trailer jack? It has always been put on the other side. Even one I put on it. Always had to step over the trailer tongue to lower or raise the trailer with the jack when hooking and unhooking it. Just one of those stupid pains in the ass I that never dawned on me to fix. Now it is.

 Needed Dash Work

April 21, 2011

Now the real fun begins.
This poor dash board has been cut up so many times itís starting to look like Swiss cheese. I've had two dash set ups and there is the one that came with the boat that had a bunch of holes cut in it already. Earlier I built the ďdashboardĒ itís self that covers this mess but there was no way I was just going to cover this up. Also there is the issue of the crack that happened last summer after nose-diving the boat in some 5 foot rollers coming off a cruise ship. Everything has to and is getting fixed. Seen or unseen.
Instead of cutting the whole back off the dash like I would have liked to do I decided to take a different path. Itís not like it rotten or anything. Just a lot of holes and two major ones right in the middle where the most stress is from the weight of the deck. It was only a matter of time before it broke and it did. So for the most part I replaced the missing parts.
I did cut out a large section out of the middle (about two feet by the full height) but for the rest I just cut out patterns of the missing wood. Then smeared both edges with gel epoxy and jammed them in. After that set up I then used the left over syringes from the epoxy to inject mixed epoxy into any of the gaps that remained. When I did put the wood in I recessed it from the face the depth of the fiberglass thatís on the face.

I then cut all the patterns out in fiberglass and proceeded to fill in all the missing shapes with glass until it came to the top and then added a couple layers that were over the ground down edges of the face glass. That only took about 50 layers. I then ground everything down again. Making it level all the way across. I also did this on the inside while holding all the wiring out of the way at the same time. Now that is some real fun.

Then it got really, really fun. Installing 5 layers of fiberglass across everything on the backside while again holding all the wiring out of the way, laying on your back while fiberglass resin dripped on you. An unforgettable experience. It was all down hill from there. Another 8 layers on the face across everything, let it all set up and then a light sand down. I even went as far to hit it with a layer of glass Bondo just to ďfinishĒ it off. Another light sanding and a couple coats of primer before I closed the garage door for the night.

Already for the new cut outs.

 Hull Repairs

March 26, 2011

Let's get this thing fixed.

With the dash done it was time to move on to other things and yes there is a method to my madness.
There is a couple day long projects that need to be done that all start with the removal of the deck plate that the motor box is screwed to. No deck plate and the motor box just flips over. It wouldn't be a big deal but the motor boxís wood had to come out and be replaced with foam. The best way to do that is with it standing on end so the foam will sink to the bottom before expanding. It was naturally the thing to do next.
Ran some cuts down each side and across the top of both boards and pealed back the delaminated fiberglass sheet. Got all the wet and rotten wood out with a lot of hammer and chiseling. Cleaned it all up and used some duct tape to put it all back together. Then poured in the foam and let it do it's magic.

I got the smaller of the boards done (just trying to figure out how to do it) and started on the bigger one and ran out of foam. I could have sworn that I had another gallon in the garage but I don't. Itís now on order and will be here in a couple days.
Even though the foam pushed out the bottom panel a little (more sound deadener) it was a simple grind down the edges with a disk grinder and then a couple layers of fiberglass. About as much as the thickness of the bottom sheet. The nice thing about this foam stuff is it grabs with what ever it comes in contact with. The bottom sheet is more adhered to the foam now then it would be if you put the foam down first and then laid glass over it.

So time to move on to a little more destruction or what I like to call ďfoam prep work.Ē
The front deck. It's almost as bad as the dash with it's holes. Any repair in the past is coming out. And around all those past repairs the underside fiberglass is coming out and any water affected wood is also going to be removed. Then I will put the underside glass back together and then fill the whole area with foam to start the repairs.


April 29, 2011

More destruction on the inside for the last couple days. Iím kind of glad I didnít have the foam or I would be doing it and I wouldnít be this far along on the bow deck.
It has been a major pain to say the least. I have found things wrong (that I didnít fix) and it all was done half ass. Nothing from the factory leaked. Everything added after did. A simple little cleat that someone put in decades ago and was removed before I got it did all the damage in the pictures About a 3 X 3 area of rotten or wet wood. The wild thing is the area next to it is not affected at all. Like brand new wood so this foam thing is the perfect solution. If not for it the top would have to come off the boat and the whole underside would have to come off and be replaced and thatís if you could keep the deckís shape intact when doing it.
So I take out my 4 and ½ inch grinder with a steel cut off wheel on it. Itís amazing how easy it goes through glass to the depth you want. Cut three slashes in the dead spot area. You can hear it when tapping on the deckís underside and the bad spots all correspond with something installed in the deck. Then pry off the bottom layer of glass. Not as easy as you would think being I cut back far enough for solid wood so itís attached real well.

Then itís hammer time (and chisel). I also have a bent piece of all thread for digging in the corners.
Clean up the area all the way back to where it meets glass or is into dry solidly attached wood. All within a space of about 14 inches in height.
The worst was the very point of the bow. Another 10lbs on me and I would have never got there.
As of this repair I am all the way back to the windshield for gutting and setting up for the foam pouring. I should be done with this one tomorrow and I think there is one more small one to do. The nice thing about it is anything that is reinstalled through the deck now will be surrounded by foam that is impervious to water or about anything else. So even with sealant failure there should never be anymore damage from water.

On the foam itís self, the seat I did on the motor cover is insanely strong. Just as I figured. Like the strikes in this boat or the stringers in the race boat this foam stuff is one of the greatest things for boats since they put a motor in one.

May 4, 2011

Lots have been going on and Iím going to have to make it a short update somehow.
I got all the bad spots cut out of the bowís deck. After that it took some creative ways to do some upside down fiber glassing while holding everything in place until it dried. After a couple days all the inner liner was back where it should be with the wood removed from behind it.

 When the foam came in I was waiting on the first thing I needed to finish was the motor cover. Just to get it out of the way.
After many pours it was filled and I put it all back together with new glass. I then found out that it was a bit to thick and hit the top of the motor. Glad the motor was still there for this even though I would rather it was gone. It didn't take much to dish it out and then laid another layer of glass over the whole thing. So what I thought was going to be a quick and easy accomplishment turned into a all day adventure but I'm happy with the results. This time I plan on painting the inside of the box so you will never see what you see now.

On to more foaming. This was a bit different. Normally you just pour or inject it in and let it do itís thing. This time I had to provide vents for different areas under the deck due to angles and the foam had to go to every square inch of missing wood. No vents and the foam would built up pressure and left voids. So just like the strikes, I used some lengths of pvc tube, a little Pam spray to get them to slide in and to pull out when they got locked in with foam, and a couple Deer Park sports bottles. Mix it up and squirt it in.

So it was an injection here and let it blow up, another injection to fill up the rest and have it blow out all over the place (that way i was sure it was filled). From there it was workable in about 10 minutes and the next day it seemed even harder at full strength.

After filling all the voids and before I could start any of the fiberglass I had to strip the deck. The non slip stripes came off horrible. First the rubber part came off and then glue but it all had to go. When the white paint started to chip off I realized that all the white paint also had to come off. I mean every square inch had to go and even the primer underneath. The first layer has always had issues and they have come to an end now that ist's gone.


May 8, 2011

Then the fiberglass work began. At least 20 layers of fiberglass cloth built up to fix any thru hull repairs. I'm not taken any chances this time and having gravity in your favor made the glass work easy. Still having wet resin when I was out of repairs was a first for me in many weeks. So it went real quick and easy. After I got that ground down I then did a layer of fiberglass Bondo over the major repairs.

Just like the bottom we are going over everything with the red Bondo as if it was a finishing putty. Lots of sanding to do but this time I'm not going to take any chances that we missed something. That and the deck is full with pox marks and I am also finding ever little snap and screw repair that has been done over the last 35 years. All will get a few layers of new glass over them and then again the fiberglass Bondo before the red stuff. I forgot about all the different hurricane tops that were installed on this thing. Everyone just adding new snaps. I have about 25 of them to fix already.

To prep it for the rest of the white paint removal I started to take some stuff off. By the time it was done everything but the docking lights and the ALLMAND on the sides were gone off the boat. This is the first time I have looked at the transom's deck with nothing on it in a decade. I kind of like it.
All the white is gone except for the motor box and around the windshield. I have a few days of repairs before I will to take it off so I'm holding out for the last minute. The motor box need some modifications for the new hinges so I will strip it when I take it out of the boat.
Just progress. Nothing big going on.


May 13, 2011

 Man, the weather just wont cut me a break.
A couple days it will be nice and you just start getting into things and bam another three days of rain. Either way I'm still getting done but man what a can of worms I opened.
First to discover that all the white paint had to come completely off and then to discover what was underneath it. OMG!!!!
It took the better part of a day to just strip the hardware off of all the white areas. Then it was time to figure out what was going back and where. After a little while about the only thing I was sure of was the bow cleat was going back in the same spot and the front pop up nav light was going back. I was going to put the original bow eye/cleat support and bow light back in but then realized that I didn't like it so close to the nose like it was. So I'm back to doing it the way it was but for the rest of the stuff I'm not sure so I'm closing up everything. I mean I know the rear cleat is going where the other one was but the hole seems to be off a little and the rear vents are going in but just a little over from where the old holes were cut out at. So instead of screwing with it I'm done with it.
So with this transom lid a lot had to be fixed. The holes for the pop up cleats (notice the big crack running from the seat corner to the hole for it), 4 vents, 2 rod holders (ya, rod holders, came with the boat and never took them out), ski pole and gas fill with a number of other damaged areas.
The process is to route out any cracks or even jell stress cracks and then fill with a 2 part epoxy, let that set up and grind off any excess. Then it's on the fiberglassing. For the pop up cleats I still had the wood from the hole that was cut out (I keep anything I cut out of the boat) and I just put them back in with a lot of epoxy. I'm not going to be able to get to the corners to fiberglass the underside so the epoxy took care of that. The rest I had to use the wonder foam. It's as strong as plywood core and adhesion was always perfect with the foam. Add in that the area was horizontal for a change it was to easy not to do it. I'll be able to do the underside of these with fiberglass but it can wait until the motor is out. That has to happen soon.

This is not the only area that needs this kind of work . The front deck looks like you beat it with a chain. After the paint came off every repair showed it's ugly face. Forty plus hurricane top snap holes to repair alone. Grind out, layers of glass, glass bondo, finishing bondo, sand, sand, sand.
I did the whole area the same way I did the bottom. Basically embossing the whole thing in putty. Sand almost all of it off and find the bad spots. Then start working on them. That's where I'm at now. I think I need a full day to wrap up the white area and then I can move on to the red. I hope it's a lot easier. Oh, I forgot that I still need to do the motor box. Add another day.


May 19, 2011

 Fixing everything that has been fixed over the last 38 years is starting to be a pain in the ass.
I always throw out large numbers of things repaired like over 40 hurricane top snap screws this day. Another 30 spots on that day and I always think people doubt that it is really that many.
So this time I counted them.
95 holes total.
9 donít require any repair and will be reused, 84 do require repair, 3 holes will be re-drilled but at different locations.
Before you install anything please think long and hard about it. Six sending units installed on the same transom over the years is insane.


May 25, 2011

Hull work, hull work, hull work.
Just like the white all the red paint had to come off. For the most part it was stuck good but there was places that you could get under with a putty knife and strip of six inches. Iím kind of shocked. The paint has been on for 10 years and never had an issue. Go figure. I wish it would have been good to go but at least now itís all gone and I wont have to worry about it ever again.
With stripping the red paint came all the prep work to get it ready for paint. It had to have set me back at least a week.

With that done though the next thing had to go was the Volvo transom shield. The only way to get that was to pull the motor and outdrive. And so it happened.
After I got a chance to fix all the spots I had fix but on the inside. What a pain but everything got a couple layers of fiberglass just to seal everything up.
I also gat a chance to fix all the transom shield bolt holes. Itís not rotten but over 40 years and me putting shield after shield and bigger and bigger motors in it the holes are starting to crush. Mainly because of to small washers being used and cranking down on the bolts to much because of a old seal. It all got ground out and layer after layer of glass to make it level with the rest of the transom. When I install the drive the next time Iím going to cut some aluminum stock and make some extra large washers to spread the load around.

With the rest of the hull almost ready for primer I left the motor box until last.
I call it the hump. I had to wait until the motor was out before I could take it out of the boat and itís the last thing that will be needed to be stripped, fiberglass repaired, fiberglass Bondoíed and then finish Bondoíed. Tomorrow I should be able to finish it even though I spent most of a day on it already. I look at it all the time and though I knew what was wrong with it but after getting it apart I discovered I was wrong. Couple major cracks, vent holes had to be filled in or cut out bigger for the new vents, the new hinges had to be shimmed with glass so they sat flat on the box. Then of course the same process used on the hull and this was on the outside. On the inside I ringed all the outside edges about three inches up with three layers of glass just to strengthen it and fill all the pop rivets holes from holding on the vinyl edging.
 I hope tomorrow I'll get all the loose ends cleaned up and have it ready for primer the next day.


 Paint Hell

June 14, 2011

Itís been a couple weeks since the last update for a few reasons.
First, I went to Maine for 9 days and it was just in time to.
 Why just in time? If I wouldnít have gone I think I would be looking at a pile of ashes in the yard.
Prep work out the ass. More Bondo and sanding then I have ever done before. From 32 grit to 1000 grit. Block sanding for what seemed like for ever. Shoot a high build primer. Block and wet sand another insane amount. Tape the boat up. Shoot the red........ OMG! I can see everything. Every tiny repair. I wait a day block sand everything again. Take what Viper Red paint that I'm using and mix it with what Flame Red (slightly darker) I have left over from the stripes on the Monza. Shoot it again. Looks better but no where as good as I need it to. Wait another day. Block sand again but now Iím out of red paint that I couldnít match anyway.
I only had 2 days left before I left for vacation so I shot the white. Not the best performance or result. I think it was to hot and it was setting up to fast. Now I have no time left and I have to leave it like it was. At that point I was done. It was best to walk away.
While I was away though the whole time I thought I would have to re-shoot everything again.
So after my time away. I get back with new energy and after another hard look I still think the white has to be re-shot but I'll gave it a try to fix it. After some color sanding it was not looking that bad. So I did a little touch up and let it sit for another day. Then prepped up the red area again being the now Candy Apple Red (even more darker) I ordered when on vacation came in.
Today I re-shot the red. Not to bad. The only thing was it was a little cool out today so the paint was still a little soft for the rest of the day so I decided to not do any other work to the boat besides a couple touch up spots on the bottom paint.
Tomorrow I'll give the touch up spots on the white some wet sanding and the red a good color sand and then itís on to clear.

June 19, 2011

Even though it started to rain half way through the first coat of clear and made me stop for the day. The clear has been done. No matter what itís now on to something else. lol
It didnít turn out to bad. One thing, Iíll never spray clear outside again. Bugs Iíve never seen before came out of nowhere and found their way into my clear coat. Lucky I used a one part paint as a basecoat. If I have to I can polish the clear completely off but I donít think it will come to that.
The red came out near perfect. It was almost a waste of time to clear coat it but I also wanted to cover the black where it met the red to seal that edge so after a color sanding so the clear would stick it had to be done.
Iíll work on the white again in a little while. I think a good compound and wax will fix it up. No matter what itís a 1000 times better then what was and I have to move on before I go paint insane.
It is amazing how well this boat looks even when it was at itís worst. Iím looking over the movie of the rebuild and still kind of shocked on some of the stuff that needed to be fixed. I looked at it as if everything was broken, rotten or just wrong. It will be really hard to show someone a picture of the before and say I spent a few months fixingÖÖÖ..well everythingÖ..

After the clear went on I then realize I got nothing to do unless I can get in the boat. Ahhhhh, no. Thatís not gonna happen. So I decided if I cant get in the boat to work Iíll bring parts of the boat out side.
It started with a hatch cover. There is a total four. There used to be three at one time in the past but someone decided to cut one in half so they could use the space underneath. Good idea but the thing is they never put a corner back on the fiberglass. So basically over a couple decades the sharp corners of the deck lid have dug into the wooden supports on the side while filing the corners off of the lid.

So I ground down the edge of the lid and built a mold on the end of it out of tape and cardboard. Fiberglass, fiberglass, fiberglass. Until it was thick enough and tall enough to be ground down level with the rest of the edge.
Iím lovin the fact that the whole cock pit and under dash is getting painted. I know Iíve said this before but everything is getting done no matter what and it will all match when done so who cares.
So one was done and I thought why not another. So I took the deck lit that sits under the front fore deck. It had a horseshoe cut out of one end where a past owner vented a bilge blower through there. I kind of understand what he was doing but along with the three cowl vents in the front deck that I just fixed again and the two in the rear transom deck along with the motor box having twenty holes in it I think it was overkill to say the least. So I did the same as the last procedure and fixed it also.
I've been thinking about it and I may install a three inch flush mount vent somewhere in the lid in the future just to keep the air fresh down there.

Being itís Saturday and having a full day, today I thought I would take on a bigger project. Iím moving the batteries to the back again.
After installing the big block it was to tight to put the batteries in the motor box anymore so they got moved to the front of the gas tank. A bit of a necessary evil that had to be done. I always thought I would change it one day but never got to it.
So the plan is to move the gas tank forward six or seven inches along with the shelves in front and back of the tank that are glassed in.
Seems simple enough and for the most part it was pretty straight forward except for it being a lot of work. Gas tanks just donít move in this boat and shelves donít slide.
So after I finally took the seats out it took about 6 hours to take everything out and then put it all back together again just seven inches away. Both shelves are glassed back in. All the blocking is in for the tank and I cut and drilled new support wood that holds the deck covers up. Iíll wait to install them to after the painting of the cockpit.

Having a little time left and after doing the other two deck plates last night I decided to fix the edge of the third out of four deck plates that is in the motor box. No one can see it but I can so again this is the time to do it.
 This one is a little tricky. I want it to follow the curvature of the motor box lid just to be cooler and it will make more room to get to the batteries. Every inch counts.
When I was done glassing it was a little late to do the grinding so we will see how it turns out tomorrow.

 June 27, 2011

At some point you have to say enough is enough and move on.

After the tank was moved it was time to start locking things down. So I cleaned up the lattice work I have in the bow area to keep things out of the bilge water. Got all the hoses and wiring in along with a new sending unit for the tank. Moved the hydraulic lines around for the trim system.
Then I painted everything from the very nose of the boat all the way back to the transom with a couple coats of my home made paint and color. Well, at least everything you will see. Gave it a day or so to harden up and then it was time for the move back to the driveway.

After all the paint was hard enough to walk on it was time to move back to the driveway for the fit out. But first some simple work had to be done to get some of the bigger things out of the yard / garage to free up some space.
After getting the support boards in for the deck plates they were an easy one to start off with. The curve in the last plate came out perfect. Looks like it was supposed to be like that and gives plenty of room to get the batteries in and out.


 Fit Out

The start of the bling, bling.
Spent the better part of a day just getting the motor box pieces on so it could go back in the boat also and free up even more room. Donít look like much but there's a lot there.
New white fiberglass edging all the way around the outside edge. Riveted in place anywhere that it would want to come off at. Like around hard corners and places it would get pulled on for any reason.
New grab handle more in size with the box that attaches with a much cleaner look.
Three new vent covers. I had to fill in a couple of the twenty holes that were drilled along this edge and then cut new holes the size of the new vents before the paint. Finally got to install the vents and really see what it was going to look like. IMHO a lot better.
I used a cool looking step pad on the front of the box where it rested on the deck when it was open to prevent scratching of either.
Last but most definitely not least, new hinges. I hated the old hinges. They were meant to unlock so you could remove the motor box if needed. Iíve only removed the motor box two times since Iíve had the boat and both were for paint. So I will do the work if need in the future to unscrew the six screws to never have to use the old ones again.
It doesnít seem like a big deal but if you ever had your motor box open up because bounced sideways over a wave (like that never happens in a boat) you would understand. They would also come apart about 50% of the time you would just want to open the box.
The main issue was just finding hinges big enough and strong enough to hold the box. I ended up finding these from a refrigerator supply company. Stainless steel and made to hold up and industrial freezer door so they should hold up good.

Even though I had the patterns to the windshield it was about the only help I had when it came to it. I ended up using pop rivets to fill in all the holes left from the hurricane top snaps. Had a couple places to fix on the frame where it was coming apart. Also had to get a broken off bolt out of it. Then had to find and get a lot of new hardware in stainless steel where the zinc pieces melted away. A new way to install the seal so it wouldnít bunch up in the heat it took the better part of two days to get it right.
But before that I had to get the in deck compass installed. Good thing to because it would have been a nightmare with the glass there.

Now Iím just trying to empty boxes and get them out of the house or garage.
Iím going with the cleats (now that I have a matching stern cleat) from bow to stern instead of side to side just to see if I like it. I can always change them later if I want.
The pop up bow light went back. I was thinking original but it was a pain in the ass when it came to anchoring and always in the way. Flush mount horn went back also. New anchor light with a lid that belongs to it and closes proper.

Lots on the transom side of the boat. Just the two vents and they are not covering holes just cut into the transom deck. I used three inch PVC shower drain inserts. They basically pound into the three inch hole sawís hole and stick out just below the under side. I did have to extend one so I could attach the vent from the bilge blower but besides that they make a nice watertight seals and look a lot better then just a hole.
New chrome bilge pump outlet. A lot nicer then the plastic one before.
New pop up gas fill that you really cant see.
New transom shield seals and fresh paint job on the shield it's self. After all the repairs it fit real nice and tight this time. Not that the last time was a bad install but it did start leaking after 6 years. Only a drip but that was drip to much for me and one of the main reason itís July and I have not been on the water with this boat. I should have started this project in the fall but I got held up for other reasons but the last time I had it out I noticed the shield leaked and knew I couldn't hold off any longer an the makeover.
And thatís about it for the transom. Almost nothing and thatís the way it should be.

And here's another story.
It took half a day to get the batteries straightened out. Again a simple task but again everything had to be changed. Pretty much all the wiring had to be resized (shortened). And I had to buy a new battery to replace the one I used else where over the winter. It was different. Another trip to the auto parts store. Then to get the switch mounted, wires run and strapped up, boxes screwed down in the proper place and it all wrapped up, time flies.
 Then it was off to the wiring harness. Get it all separated back out. Mounted the distributor control box to the transom. No place for it on the 496 exhaust this time.
New bilge pump.
Vent blower is mounted behind the seat but you can get to it if needed for service.
New steering pole holder thing. I donít even know whatís it called but it holds the steering cable to the transom. My old one was cracked. Not dangerous cracked but why chance it?
 New water pick up piping to where the oil cooler inlet will be. With a inline outlet for the freshwater inlet on the transom. I wont ever have to drag a garden hose into the boat to flush the motor again.
And I could go on and on but the bottom line is itís ready for the motor. The motor on the other hand is an issue but more on that later.

I also got the throttle / gear controller mounted to the side of the boat. I am so looking forward to using it. No more leaning into the dash to push the throttle. Now I can sit back in the seat where I belong.
Itís a bit of a trick to get it to work here. First the boat was never set up for it, thereís a lot of stuff back there and last it on the opposite side for most boats. That's the main reason I used the prototype instead of something new. Once I got this one to work I let it go at that.

July 8, 2011

After 6 or 7 tries and two completely cut out dash boards I think I have one that will work. After spending two weeks on the one over the winter with the super glaze on it, installed the damn thing and after an hour in the sun the glazing started to peal off the face of the board. So I had to make a new dash board by tracing the last one and proceeded to finish it 3 different times. The first came out bad. The second came out perfect but the next day I flipped the board over and laid it on a box and it left big creases in the board. Strip it again and this time I use the same stain and ValSpar clear coat but this time I use the secrete additive and the next day it was hard as a rock. There goes about 3 weeks of off and on time of my life that I will never get back.

Took about 3 days to sort out all the wiring and then move everything from one side to the other. Switches to the right side of the wheel now. Gages to the left/center of the dash. Trim To the throttle handle. Add in just moving the steering cable up three inches took over an hour with the rerouting of the cable and all.
Then I had to get the dash pad in before I could put the steering wheel in. The dash pad has never been there before being I just made it a few months ago and the is many compound angles it has to be bent in to make fit so it was a bit of a struggle.

 The next was to get the side panel in so I could finish off the wiring  for the trim system and control handle for the throttle. I know the purest are going to say ďthatís not how a Nova is set up.Ē I say the throttle in the dash is a foolish thing that needed to be fixed. At some point someone tried to make the boat bigger then it was. Throttles on the dash are for cabin cruisers. This is a speed boat. And you would understand if you ever took a wave at a not so great angle leaning into the dash.

The rest of the interior is going in slowly. Everything is fighting me every step of the way. Bolts to short, holes not lining up but what to expect being everything is new. It may look like the old interior but itís a lot tighter, fits better and even the lines in the seats have to line up also. I think I have to adjust one seat back but over all it came out nice. I know the center seat covers the vents but there is an airspace between the two and the motor box still should breath better then it did before.
Then it started to rain. I still have a couple hours to button up a few things and to get the front seats in. What Iíve been waiting to do for 6 months. Whatís another day?

July 23, 2011

Wow! I didnít realize how much time had past since Iíve done an update. Sorry about that but Iíve been real busy to say the least.

As things started to come to a close on the upholstery I did a little exploratory surgery on the motor. What I thought was a simple fix is no where near it. But more on that later.
To wrap up were I left off at. All the upholstery is in. Again itís not perfect but a lot better then it was before and with the color I chose it should hold up a lot better then the lighter color that was in it before.
The new front seats are more in size of what they are supposed to look like. Iíve only seen pictures of what the original seats in the boat looked like. Strange enough not a single Nova that Iíve found has the original seats so no measurements. It was just a ďbest guessĒ to get them close to what they should look like but I think the new seats are at least more proportionate to the front of the boat.

 I have to say they are one of the most comfortable boat seats Iíve ever sat in. Itís like you put the boat on. Not just sitting on the seat. Add in the new side controller and itís like sitting in a whole different boat. A boat you want to drive. Like when you sit in a sports car. I was a bit worried about being able to see all the gages when I laid out the dash like I did but they all seem easy enough to see. Having the switches for the lights and such seems so natural where they are now. Out of the way but right there where you need them. I found a place that you can order the little name plates for the switches and even have them make custom plates with what ever you want on them. I had to get two custom plates made. If not I would have had to use two plates to label the first two double switches.

And with a couple trim pieces the upholstery was done.

With that done I could finish up the interior lights. I used the night setting on my camera so thatís why everything looks so bright. Itís more of a nice warm light that when underway at night it shouldn't screw up my night vision.
With the power back on it almost seems like a working boat again.

Just to finish up a couple things while I was knee deep in the motor I went ahead and put the speakers and new Pioneer 200 watt amp (Thanks Randy) in. I can hear some of you now, ďloud musicĒ. I like my stuff to sound good. With gas prices now I can see I'll be spending more time parked then screaming. Not that I would pull into a quiet cove blasting but there is places that itís fine to jam.
As much as I hated to even put registration numbers on the boat itís a necessary evil so adding a ďTime WarpĒ flair to the font was a must. I also lettered the transom. The 10 year old decal was a bit of a problem to get off the backing and I ended up pealing off individual letters and placing them on by hand. Next time I will just get new.
A little of this here and a little of that there and I pretty much put the cover on it and it sat for the next week.
Now to make it go.


 F_in Motor

July 10th - July 23rd, 2011

After having to take the whole motor apart this is what I found.

A spun / feathered rod bearing.
This was the last thing I thought that happened. Glad it happened so close to the dock but for the most part the damage had already been done.
Not sure why but the oil pressure dropped off (not fatally though) and then it started to make a noise. Normal cause and effect but then again I found itís not. Thereís a reason the oil pressure dropped off so I had to investigate. But for right now I had to get fixed what was right in front of me that was all tore up.

So the damage ended up being, the crank was wiped out, one rod end spun out, 3 pistons had galled up their wrist pins, oil pump obviously was done for, metal in the pan meant metal in the rest of the motor including all the rubber oil lines and the list goes on. Basically itís screwed. And who says that it wont do the same thing again when I put it back together? I still dont have a cause.

The crank needed to be fixed no matter what and I cant do it myself so the next day I took it the machine shop. It had to be cut .020 under on the mains and the rods. It got tore up real bad. I also had the guy order me bearings for the crank because they would know what size it was going to be before I would. Just faster and off my plate.
Get home and start ordering other stuff. Over the next couple days I find out itís next to impossible get anyone to move for single pistons or single rods. I do get them at least ordered but they were on back order before I even started my order. After a lot of phone calls I actually made progress but they were still weeks out at best. No one wanted to break up a full set. Even the factories who built them. I finally had enough and bought full sets of each. Glad I did to. It was only a couple hundred dollar difference. I found out the rods had got super hot and and blacken which made them weaker. All the pistons were jacked. Galled to hell. Even the ones that were totally free when still mounted.
The guy at the shop where I was having my work done said, ďthatís why we use floating pinsĒ. I looked into it and the were only 30 bucks more then the standard rods so I went with the floaters and saved myself a few bucks because I still would have had them mounted if I got the press pin style.

Been here before.
Everything came in about the same time as the crank came back from the machine shop. It almost seemed like a full time job getting everything in line but it happened.
Over that time I also was investigating why the motor did what it did. The best I could come up with, and this is a long shot, I painted it with metal flake paint. Who knows? Maybe a couple metal flakes got in the oil pump or bearing and wreaked the place. But when I go to pick up the crank and bearings I stumble on what is more likely happened.
Iím talking to the machinist at the shop and he says that he had to order a different rod bearing then what we talked about before. A standard bearing was not right for the crank and a beveled bearing was needed because of the shoulder of the crank will chew up a standard bearing. Something about the way they build high performance cranks and cut the journals. Now that makes more sense. Ground up rod bearing ends in up the oil and "it was on" from there. Sad. I wish they would have told me being I bought everything from the same shop. About a 20 dollar difference between having the right or wrong bearing could have saved all this.

Took my time and cleaned everything a couple times then did it again and that's on what I didnít just replace. Took a couple days to get it all put back together. By day three it was in the boat. Now it was time to go back to wiring and get what was left of the harness hooked back up even though a few things had been moved around. Also had to chase down another broken wire. I would rather rewire the whole boat then try to find a break in an existing harness.
Got it all hooked back up. New exhaust on. Plumbed, wired, filled, gassed up, controls connected and then fired it up. 75psi oil pressure and all the rest of the gages are exactly where they should be except for the gas gage. It's always to low. lol.
I do like the 496 exhaust. Gives it more of an off shore boat sound.


August 22, 2011

It's been a couple weeks for an update because I'm ass deep in the raceboat. It was almost like when this one was winding down the race boat was winding up, fast.
I've had the 19 out only a couple times so far and I'm making progress. Projects like this are never perfect right out of the box.
It started off with a timing issue and then my ignition box started doing something weird. At WOT it kept sounding like the Rev Limiter was kicking in. Tried a bunch of different timing settings. Set the Rev limiter to 7 grand. Still the same thing. Had me a bit worried being the motor was only a hour old so I took it home.
Worked on the raceboat again until I ran out of things to do and then came back to this one for another go around.
This time I checked all the wires for everything connected to the ignition. Cleaned the fuel filter and reset the Rev Limiter on the box to "off".
Today I took it for a ride and I think I may have something to work with here. Made some major changes to the boat over the spring so some things are not going to be attributed to just the prop but what a difference. The new Solas 21P Left had better take off grip. Definitely got the boat up and out of the water. To get the boat up on plane took 4 to 6 hundred rpmís less then before. Once the boat was on plane I could actually stay on plane 4 to 6 hundred rpmís lower then I could with the ultra. I didn't have GPS with me so I don't know what the top end was but it felt faster.
One thing I did notice was that I would get the boat up to cruising speed (3 grand), set the trim on the outdrive and when I went up through the power ban to wot I found that the prop liked the drive lowered some from my starting point. That was very strange to me being all the other boats I've had like the drive raised when giving it gas but it worked.
My top end is to high at 5500rpms though. So now I'm on the hunt for a 23P and if that don't work, over next winter I'll have it bent to a 25P.
To me it's a whole new boat. It drives different and feels different. There was a lot of changes made from the balance of the boat to filling the strikes with foam. It sounds different with the new exhaust. Seats are different and even the controller is on the other side. It's gonna take a while to figure it all out again.
Last, my clear coat on the white is turning brown. It's time to contact the paint company.  

Everything In Five Minutes.
If a picture says a thousand words then here's about 2 billion words for ya.


 New Beginnings

March 2012

It's the beginning of a new year and I have been so looking forward to it. This is the year for styling and profiling. Well, at least I hope so.
Over the winter while working on a couple other boats (yeah I said couple) I've had this sitting in the back of my mind ever since the last ride last fall. So I picked up a couple things that were needed so I can fix things like the screws in the steering wheel that rusted for some reason but Grant stood behind them and sent me new. Also some typical stuff to take the boat out of its winter hibernation. One of the big things was a 23 pitch Solas prop I've been wanting for the last couple years. If it turns out to be the improvement I expect from the 21P that I used last year it will be the ultimate prop for this boat. If the 23P is not enough and being a new prop it can always be bent into a 25P.
 It's only March and I don't even have it uncovered yet but I so can't wait. So let's see how it works out.
Updates will follow.

It's almost time to take the ax out of the shed.


June 24, 2012

Believe it or not but it seems like I'm still am in shake down mode.
Getting a late start this year due to entering the Nova24 Race Boat in the St Michael's Classic Boat Show and some other reasons.
I pulled the boat out of it's winter sleep a couple months ago. Got it cleaned up and fixed up the trailer like I do every year. All the rust removed and primed an anything that was needed was replaced.
The boat looked great but for one thing, the white paint and the clear coat. It looked like a toasted marshmallow. So after wet sanding it for an hour out came the screw gun and anything that could be removed easy enough was taken off and then the tape and plastic was used to cover anything that was not taken off. That's right, I shot it with new paint and clear coat. Tried a couple way to remove the toasted clear coat but it took so much that I ended up burning through it in a couple spots so at that point there was no option. Now that its done I could not be happier. The toast is all gone and it's back to normal. I still have some compounding and waxing to do but had to stop because it was time to get the  24 ready for the show.

The show came and went and we are proud to say that we won ACBS 2012 Best Race Boat for the Nova 24 race boat but it's time to get back to the fun.
A few days before the show I got the 19 started because we were going to need it to go see the Blue Angels. It was just like where we left off last year. That motor sounds mean, real mean. Like always as soon as I get one trip under my belt I already have ideas for changes.
One was, after hitting a few wave on the way to the Blue Angels I found that the parking light was rolling around in the bilge under the anchor. Not a good place for something made of tin and plastic. So after doing this on a couple other boats I install a couple of those plastic clips on the backside of the dashboard that light pole snaps into and now it will never be in the way and will always be accessible. Another thing that used to drive me nuts was how hard you had to push the trim switch to make it work. Had to take the handle all apart but a new one is now installed and it works like it should.
One last thing that I got a chance to do thanks the race boat and the boat show. I finally had to bite the bullet and install the fuel fills in the race boat so I had to get about 16 feet of 1-1/2 fuel hose to do it. Not cheap at all but I did find that if you ordered bulk it was a lot cheaper. So I figured what I needed for the 24 and then added in what was needed for the 19 and it came out to about the same price as ordering just 16 feet. Because the fuel hose in the 19 was near 40 years old with a bunch of splices in it from all the different gas tank installs (moving it to rebalance the boat) and the rubber was starting to crack, it had to go. Today I installed it. Perfect from end to end.

The last of the original boat.

 It's Over ?

Oct 15, 2012

Not sure if the season is over yet or not but its close no matter what.
Like I have said before, it was the 24's summer to shine.
Even though we did do a couple things to the 19 it was mainly the work horse this year. While the 24 was miles away being loved on at the boat show the 19 was taking us out to see the Blue Angels at home. Along with it being the back up rescue boat for the other restores we have done this past year. We never really gave it the attention that it deserved this time around.

We fixed anything that we could came up with like the trim switch in the throttle handle or found the best flowing oil filter but all and all we just used it this year.
One thing we did get to try out was the 23P Solas. I'm not really sure about this one. We may have reached a tipping point on props. The WOT rpm's were still at the five grand mark but you could tell it was a bigger prop. Cruising speed was great but you could tell that the top end wanted a smaller diameter prop. The boat has also developed a steering pull that I cant get all the way out no matter what I do with the trim fin on the outdrive including custom making one. Never had that issue before using a Left hand prop. Going to have to figure it out because I'm not a fan of the pulling.

November 5, 2012

I think the end has come and to honest if it isn't I'm not taking the risk.
Went away to Florida for a few days. Before I left I thought there was at least one more ride left but while there they had a couple record setting cold days and there was also a hurricane that hit the east coast. Didn't make for the greatest trip thinking the house may not be here when we got home but beside a few trees getting tore up we made out OK and a lot better then they did up north. But IMHO the hurricane screwed up or weather for this fall and seemed to have sent us right into winter. Below freezing for the next few nights with the possibility of a north-easter hitting us later in the week. The last thing we need is more cold, a chance of snow and a lot of wind but its coming and the season of "winter" is not even close yet.
I've been prepping for this day for the last few weeks now. All the other boats were winterized and done except for the race boat. I took the 19 out a few days ago to get the fuel stay-bal through the fuel system and motor. Everything ran so good I had a hard time coming back to the ramp and it was almost dark when I got home. Longest 5 minute ride I've taken in a long time. The boat likes the cool air and seemed to pick another 20hp because of it. I will take free HP any day.
I never did use the boat like I planned this year. Just to much going on. At least a lot of the time was sucked up by its big brother the race boat but the 19 deserves its day in the sun.
2013 is going to be the year of the Nova 19.
This coming spring be looking for big things to be happening.
To start I'm going to take it to the 2013 boat show. Now that the 24 opened a couple doors last spring with its ACBS Best Race Boat award its time to get a true Brownie boat a little recognition even if it was built by Allmand. Even though it's in the best shape its ever has been there is still a couple things that will have to fixed like a stress crack that I'm not sure if it was possible that there could be one where its at but its there.
 I wish I would have spent a little more time bloging about the happenings to the boat over the last few months. A lot of things happened while other projects were going on and just got forgot about. Like I took the internal baffles out of the exhaust. They drove me nuts. Almost sounded like a bottom end knock at low RPM's. The exhaust sounds a lot better now. I got a trim fin from an Outboard motor that fits the Volvo but its off set a lot further back. Took a bit of adjusting but for the most part it has the outdrive straightened out steering wise now.
Not sure what I'm going to do about a few things but I've got a winter to figure it out but if you think I put a lot of time in getting the 24 ready that will be nothing compared to what I do with the 19.
Last, I have a idea that may be a major upgrade but buying the race boat's custom exhaust killed the idea until I made a sale of all the left over exhaust I replaced with the custom exhaust so it may now be back on the table. We'll see.

 Wolf In Sheep's Clothing

December 6, 2012

Well it's not 2013 yet but with a early Christmas present to myself 2013 is going to start off on a whole new road.
I just happen to find the Holy Grail of Volvo outdrives. Cost as much as the boat originally did 12 years ago after negations for weeks and I had to go on a 4 hour drive each way to the most northern point of New Jersey to get it but here it is.
A 1.31 to 1 Volvo Penta is now home and sitting in the garage.
Over the next couple weeks I'll get it ready for the 19 by changing the coupler, closing up the water inlets, maybe adding a nose cone if I can find one and painting it up.


December 18, 2013

The last couple weeks have been spent making things like this project a whole lot easier. The garage got a total makeover. Everything has been sorted out, boxed, labeled and has a place where others of the same are located. Not that I didn't know what I had but it was more of what I would have to go through to get it out if it was even where I thought it was. And then there was one or two things that I planned on doing something with that totally slipped my mind and were hidden away to good.
Now I am knocking out things I didn't want to fool with in a day instead of having a huge mess in the way of doing anything else for days on end. Also now there's space for a project to sit safe and clean for whatever reason and I can move on to something else. It's like a whole new world.

Now on to the wolf.

I think I over did it with the foam.
What foam and why?
The Nova 19 picks up water for the motor from the bottom of the hull and for that matter it was just moved and upgraded last year so it will never be changed. There is no reason to have a water pick up in the front of the drive to disturb the water flow to the prop. Also what most people never think of that have water their pick ups in the hull is water is still going through that pick up, in the drive and then out the tube at the top of the drive and shooting back at the transom shield like a fire hose. That's a lot of drag for no reason and water is not supposed to be shooting back at the transom shields rubber donuts seals. Even a drive shower would not put out as much water as an open water pick up would. Also cooling in not an issue due to most of the water tube is on the outside of the gear case and does nothing for cooling the drive.
The first time I ever saw a drive case streamlined the issue was water got in behind it, froze and cracked all the filler out of the closed off vents. It took a while for me to come up with a solution but a couple years ago I installed a nose cone on a Volvo drive and I came up with filling the cavity with two part closed cell foam from top to bottom so if any water makes its way to the inside there will be no room for it. Even if small amount made it inside there would be no chance of freeze damage. Last, if I have to take the drive apart the foam will just snap off at the joints of the drive with very little effort.

And now the 1000 layers of epoxy starts. I'm using it runny so it will grab the surface more then the stiffer stuff will. First it starts off with a serious grinding with a 60 grit sanding disk and my 5" grinder. Smoothing out the drives aluminum as much as I dare paying a lot of attention to the grill area. Then fill the grill, hole in the bottom and anything else I could see. Then it was time to get out some duct tape.

Before the duct tape I bent a piece of leftover stainless steel sheet metal (not sure of the thickness) to a fine point and then prayed it apart so it made a nice "V". Then I shaped it down to fit the contour of the front of the drive. It will be the new leading edge for most of the drive and at the very bottom I started it off with a chunk of 1/4" aluminum. Fill them both up with epoxy and smashed them on. Duct taped it all up so the epoxy would not run out and ratchet strapped it down.
I've got to say I am loving this outdrive stand that I got extra 20 bucks when I bought the drive.

The first big smash of epoxy and metal also included a couple little chunks of 1/4" aluminum to fill in some of the bigger gaps. They were to big from the start and when everything set up anything not need was ground off. I'm sure it looks like I'm making the whole thing out of a lot of epoxy but there isn't really that much. It's more being used as a "body filler".
This time around I'm not going to use a made "nose cone" for all the reasons that are all over the web about Volvos and nose cones. They are not as bad as people make it out to be but when you put the issues all together I kind of understand what is happening. I'm not a hydrodynamic engineer by a long shot but you can just look a Volvo Penta and the aftermarket nose cone and see what they were doing. In my opinion they just did to much with the cone and changed the flow of the drive. It's like they changed the center of balance for the drive if that makes scene? The lower case's front nose sticks out to far with the nose cone and the drive steers by the nose instead of the thrust of the prop causing all kinds of issues. Or... a outdrive (to me) drives like a forklift (steering by the rear wheels) and with a nose cone it drives like a dragster or a long chopper. Where you kind of point or stab the drive in the direction you want to go.
In the 19's case it solved some issues and caused some new issues so this time I'm going to make a much smaller version of it but with the same properties. Something like a Volvo 290's case. If anything it will do nothing and for the 30 bucks invested so far if I pick up .001 mph it will lower my average on how many dollars it cost per mph since I owned the boat.

So after a couple days of filling and sanding and filling some more things started to take shape.

A whole lot of aluminum and epoxy dust on the ground.
After a couple hours of hand sanding to get the finial shape I did give it a layer of bondo just to see if everything was smooth and then sanded off 99% of it then it was time for paint. Everything looks better with a coat of paint.
Over all it looks in between a Volvo 290 and the aftermarket nose cone... maybe a Mercruiser case. Not sure how its going to work out but there is no looking back now.

Now to flip it back over and get the rest of the stuff done.


December 21, 2012

A lot of taping and another couple cans of paint.

So it is set up and drying now. It's been very damp and rainy out the last few days so it's taking extra time.
Then the rest can be put together.
One thing is the little H/M steering fin zinc. Boy has those things become rare.

Ready to go.
Stroke of dumb luck, a couple weeks ago I ran across all the stainless steel pins for a Volvo 280T transom shield on ebay. So what's the big deal? After finding more of these transom shields then anyone I know, for some reason my drive on the 19 always had odd assortment of pins from the original 28T, a couple from who knows where and a couple I made. One of the hang ups are all of Volvo's bolts and holes are in metric. Try finding stainless steel, metric, round stock 10 years ago when I installed this drive and all I have is a grinder to make any modifications. Now I have every pin, screw, washer down to the cotter pins for it all.
Last, back in ancient history, I had to modify the original drive to fix the steering helmet bolt. The new drive is like it just rolled off the showroom floor. Helmet bolt is perfect, steering fork is super tight, steering cable and steering wheel were all fixed during the last make over and now a matching set of pins and bolts with all the hardware in perfect condition. I have high hopes about how it handles steering wise this spring.

 Show Time
April 15, 2013

We are hip deep into the race boat again. Got it rebuilt and ready to go and then found the trailer needs major upgrades. Everything is ready to go for it also but the boat needs to be removed from the trailer and the marina it's going to sit at is still full of winter boats. Sooooo.... Out of the driveway it goes and the 19 moves in.
It's show time again. We are all signed up and paid for the St Michaels Boat Show again this year.  It was debated over the winter if we wanted to do it again this year but now its done and we have to go. It's in 60 days but we learned last year to give this whole boat show thing plenty of extra time. It's better to be done early then changing out an exhaust hose at the show while the judges are walking up like with the race boat last year.
Not only is the boat show the goal. We also have a few things in the garage that we are dying to get done to the boat like the new MSD box, 1.31 Volvo outdrive and a long list of other stuff.
Cant say we are off to a good start. Had all those issues a couple years back with the clear coat on the paint. Looks like there's still problems even though I re-shot the white because of it. Now the red is real dull with what looks like fine scratches by the hundreds. So while we are forming a plan on what and how we plan on doing all the things we need to do we are working on the red paint. More on that tomorrow.


April 17, 2013

We are getting no where but at the same time ...
The process is getting pretty extensive on our last try to save the paint. Started off with trying everything we could  think off and any combination of what we had though of. All the way down one side of the boat. Marked sections off with tape and went at it and went at it and went at it over and over until we found something that worked.
The combo that works the best is, wetsand with 1500 paper, wash, wetsand with 1500 again. Then Meguiar's Ultimate Compound which got it looking pretty good, then Nu Finish (ya the stuff you see on TV) it's pretty abrasive but not as bad as compound, Turtle Wax - red Color Magic Wax just to fill in anything I couldn't get out, then Turtle Wax Color Back, another abrasive finisher but not as bad as Nu Finish and last but not least Mothers Synthetic Wax to top it all off.
I'm not stacking the waxes by using all this stuff. I figure that when the next one is applied it's taking off most of the surface wax that is there and making the clear coat a tiny bit smoother along the way. Now the Mothers Synthetic Wax is different. It's meant to stack up. Have one coat on now and after a day or so we will give it another coat and then we will see from there. From what we understand three coats is a good starting place. They say a single coat should be good for about 6 months. We plan on putting it to the test.

Getting sick of wax on, wax off but more of the same is on the way being its almost time to tackle the white paint. It just needs to be color sanded , compounded and waxed but its the perfect time to fix a small stress crack by the rear seat and blend it in.
One odd ball thing we did get done while waiting on wax to dry, we custom built the rear trailer roller sets a couple years back and one set was back by about a inch and a half to far and was just touching the transom. Jacked the boat up, moved the rollers forward by one set of holes, bolted it up and drilled new holes for the last bolt in the row. All good now.

April 23, 2013

Got the red paint waxed finally. Had to do something different for a day or so. Just had to get away from the componding and waxing before my arms fell off.
Moved into the motor compartment. Not a lot to do in there but there was a couple things.
Many years back we started to crimp all the electric ends and connections. Then we moved to wire looms for everything and colored zip ties with everything taped off. Never like the tape. Looked good for a year or two then it would start to unravel or get sticky. Then we started to use the rubber/plastic shrink tube on the ends and liked it. Then we found at the Harbor Freight store a 4 size (1/4 to 1") set of the shrink tube for next to nothing compared what it cost everywhere else. Now every time I go there we buy a few boxes just in case they sell out of the stuff some day. The last motor we did (the Biesemeyer) was in a flat bottom drag boat and it showed. Every connection, branch of the wire loom and anywhere else we could think off we use the shrink tube. Turned out great and we don't think it will ever look any different. Now we want to do it like that on every wiring system we do. The only problem is it's near impossible to do to an existing wiring harness unless you are willing to rip everything out and start over. You have to start from the beginning of the harness and in most cases you have to be five steps in front the one you are doing or you are back tracking.
What does this all have to do with the 19? I was determined.
The 19's wiring harness is one of the oldest I have built. These days I will buy a Merc harness and cut the ends off and use it as the base harness with their wire color codes to make it easy. When I first built the 19's harness all those years ago I bought rolls of wire and strung it out in my basement. Overkill is an understatement. A gauge needs a ground, run it to the motor block. Lights need a ground, run it to the motor block, etc, etc ... I bet I could hook a battery to the dash board and start the boat without even getting the wiring hot by doing it. Not that I would. Even though it is the safest harness with it's overkill and bigger gage wire its also bigger (thicker) and stiffer.
I did what I could and since the new MSD-box left over from the raceboat had to be installed I did get back pretty far into the harness with the shrink tube along with adding some better grounds for the ignition. So now most of what you see all has shrink tube at any end or junction of the looms. The rest will have to wait until .... hopefully never or when the motor is out. What ever come first. The MSD box changed out the Pro Comp ignition box that has been giving us issues the last couple years. Nothing performance wise. Just like the Rev limiter never seemed to be right and stupid stuff like that. I know people have had issue with MSD boxes in boats but I bought this one for the race boat. Its made for off road racing (meaning its built a little tougher then the street version) but if it dies I will get a better one or have it rebuilt by for MSD for $75.00 or less guaranteed. We are least going to give it a shot.

Now what the hell is that?
We have the alternator blues. No matter what we have done at a certain rpm the ALT belt would start to vibrate and hit the alt's fan leaving black soot on the motor box. Crank and water pump pulleys have been changed. For that matter the crank and waterpump have been changed to. Still happened. Measure off the crank, perfect. Measure off the water pump, perfect. Alt square to the others, perfect and still did it. Different fan belts, thinner, thicker, etc and still did it. Had the same fanbelt on the motor for two years at one point after we just accepted that it was going to happen. Looking at the belt you would never know anything was wrong. Look at the motor box and see soot and know it was hitting somewhere.

We got a new welder over the winter and one of the main reasons for buying it was because of this alt issue. The top slide brace was bent in about seven different angles to get it to fit around the cooling system and to the right place for the alt. That left it a bit springy. I heat treated it a couple times but that only did so much. So we welded in some 1/4" steel where it mounted to the block to more then double the thickness then added corner braces that also matched the bends of the original and also doubles the thickness. Got's lot of practice with the welder and it turned out pretty nice and super solid.

We also put a bead of weld down the bolt that holds the bottom of the Alt and then ground it down until we had to tap it in with a little force. A nice tight fit and no chance of it to shift. I wish people were not so screwed up about the money they want when it come to these kits to move an alternator to the top side on a BBC that uses a short water pump. The long pump, they use in cars, the kit cost nothing. Short pump and they cost more then what I paid for the boat. We hope this works. Our next step would be welding it to the manifold.

April 25, 2013

Never thought we would be here again. Both rear corners of the deck at the transom have developed stress cracks once again. They were fine but it was only a matter of time before they got worse. So we took out the rear seat backs. Got out the grinder and took it down to the core wood.

Then we started to build it back up a layer at a time. After about twenty layers we got it built up enough where it was almost level with the surrounding areas. More grinding and a first layer of fiberglass bondo. A lot more to do but we are starting to see an end.


April 28,2013

It's nice having the time to do these thing right. We get to a point to where it will take longer to set up, dry or what ever then it's worth waiting for and we just put it away for the next day.

Got ourselves a few layers of primer on and then let it set overnight. Spent the rest of the day wetsanding, compounding and waxing the front deck. Got everything done all the way up to about five feet from the repair areas. We'll do the rest after the paint is done and hardened up for a couple days.

What always comes next? Paint.
For painting the repair area out of a new gallon of paint it matched up well.
We used a new, smaller, siphon feed sprayer. A whole lot more control in a small area like this. Also we used this stuff that is a clear coat blender. It basically thins out the newly sprayed paint until it blends and levels with the surrounding areas paint. Worked pretty well.
I've got to say though, after all this work on the paint it would not break my heart to repaint the boat again. I guess it will be OK for a couple more years but it didn't live up to what was expected. The boat is in the best shape it's ever been but a good primer, block sand and new paint (a different brand) would be icing on the cake. Oh well, something to look forward to in the next couple years.

We know it seems like we are doing things backward and in some ways we are. Polishing the sides and then do bodywork and paint on the top side is not the right way to do things but we are on a schedule once again. Body work takes forever if you don't have enough of it to keep you busy. Do something and let it sit and then do something else and let it sit some more and once again we are at the sitting stage. We want to paint to harden up a little before we attack it with 1500 grit wetsand and compound so we will move on to other things for the next couple days.

Back to our first buy of the off season.
Our looking like brand new Volvo 1.31 outdrive. Had to do a little house cleaning before we could install the drive. We had a trim cylinder that just started to show a small drip from it when it sat over the winter. We also wanted to check out the cylinders themselves being we haven't looked at them for a few years. Just wanted to make sure if it was needed that they were in good enough condition and could be rebuilt. Still one of the best deals I ever made was for this transom shield. When it first came in the mail I though we wasted $400.00 with they way it looked. A little cleaning, a little paint and it's been painless for 10 years and the trim cylinders still look brand new.
This time around we tried a little transmission stop leak. We took the cylinder off and ran the stuff trough it a couple times by hand and then filled it up half way on both side of the stroke before putting it back on. Then we siphoned out and replaced some of the fluid in the pump with the stop leak also before running it up and down a few times getting the air out of the lines. We'll see how it works out but we are very encouraged about knowing it can be rebuilt in the future.
We had to take the cylinders off anyway. Over the winter we ran across an auction on eBay for the original pins that held the cylinders to the transom shield. The top ones we found from another drive and modified them to fit the 280T. The bottom ones we made out of galvanized bolts and a grinder. Like all Volvos the pins have to be metric and try to find metric round stock in stainless steel. The ones we made fit but not like they came from the factory. All of them got replaced today with the eBay set that fits perfect. Every pin, washer and cotter pin like it came from the factory.
I remember making the original pins. Being we had very little in the way of a shop back at our townhouse it was hours of work on the back deck and in the driveway making something that would work. With the new garage and the garage makeover this past winter making or modifying parts now takes minutes and they are done so much better.

So it's on. Not sure if it's the final install but everything looks good so far. Did have to modify the steering helmet with a grinder a little bit. About a 1/4" where it came in contact with the drive. I guess the Volvo 250 helmet is a bit smaller. Anyway it was a small fix.
Still a little concerned about the 21P prop. With the drive being a lower gear ratio we took off the 23P but we don't have a 19P in stock (we haven't need one for over a decade) but at $300 a prop we will have to wait until to see what the 21 does before we go buying another one.

You have done well my old friend.
This is one of the last of the original pieces of the Nova. It's been with it from the start. Almost 41 years.
It didn't live the best life up until us and even though we fixed everything that was wrong with it the only thing we ever did on the inside was change the oil. We have thrown everything we could at it and it just smiled at us. We know of at least 10 motor combinations that have been in front of it from a Chrysler 318 to a Chevy roller stroker 496 and it never gimped.
A full make-over and a couple small upgrades will happen soon and then it will be covered and used as a back up drive. When you get something like it you would be foolish to let it go even if it doesn't have use at the moment.

April 29, 2013

So lets go in this direction for a little while.

The new axles and steel for the race boat's trailer is becoming a work bench.
Once we found out what was needed to fix the r/b's trailer and the hell we had to go through to get it all together it kind of dawned on us that the 19's trailer is pushing 30 years old now. A lot has been done over the years to keep up on anything that is wrong with it but stuff wares out.
While doing all the r/b's custom trailer stuff we found out that a trailer that's mass-made and a lot newer was a whole lot easier and cheaper to fix. So we bought a new axle and hubs and bearings for it.
Donzi is having a big get together in a few days about 600 miles away. Always wanted to go but trailers were always an issue. Not any more. There may even be a trip to Maine for the 19. Something we have always wanted to do.

Even though it was supposed to rain all day I think we may have got about 6 drops but it did hold things off a bit. Not like you want to open everything up when it looks like its going to pour at any minute and the radar had us surrounded with rain the whole time. So we took it one step at a time so if it started to rain we could just walk away.
Started with blocking the boat up on stands and getting all the old hardware off. With the force and cutting it took to get everything off we knew it was time for a new axle. Hard to see everything when it's installed. Now that it's all taken apart it was easy to see the axle was on it's last legs. Took the slipper springs off also so we can get new bolts installed.
At that point it did start to rain and finding out that we didn't have everything to start the install we called it a day.

April 30, 2013

One of the things we did when we made the garage over this winter was put in a small clean desk area. Not that it looks very clean at the moment. We wanted a place for the phone, calculator, paperwork and cheap laptop and such. Stuff you don't want sitting around in the mess. Even added a pull down blind so if things get to messy in the garage it can be pulled down and protect what's inside. Today we found it handy watching radar for rain storms. It rained most of the day but there was brakes now and then and we knew when they were coming and were ready.

One of the things we have been doing on all the trailers lately is to use undercoating on the fenders. Just a can from Home Depot but it covers and holds up very well and is even cheaper then a can of paint. The fenders are 30 years old and show no signs of age. The insides have been primered a couple times but never looked that great. A can of this stuff and it's done.

When installing the slipper springs we replaced the hardware with new. After looking on-line at the springs info we found that they called for 9/16ths bolts. When taking them off we found them to wobble a little at the front mount. Measured the bolts and they were 1/2". The mounts were also only drilled out for 1/2". So now they are drilled out for the right bolts and washers. A whole lot more solid. Sometimes a 1/16th of an inch means something.
New U-bolts, nylon nuts and bottom plates. Everything torque down to specs.
Really like these axles. They are drilled down the center with an outlet at the back bearing and a grease fitting on the outside. I packed the bearings by hand as normal but after the hub was built and installed you just snap on the grease gun and start pumping until it comes out around the castle nut. Completely packed. The best thing besides the grease starting in the back is when it does come out around the castle nut it's not like buddy bearing where it just squeezes out and you have to wipe up what you could and then the rest would sling all over the wheel. You pop off the little rubber cap, grease until you see grease come out and then snap the little rubber cap back on. It's all contained inside the bearing cover.

April 30, 2013

Most of the day was rained out but we did get the wheels repainter, installed and the trailer back on the ground.


May 2, 2013

We are falling behind.
Figured we would be done with the 19 by now and moved on the 1959 Biesemeyer we also plan on taking to the show. Now you can see why we started early. It always runs over and we could spend another week or two just tinkering around with stuff.
We are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel now though. The last couple days have been balls to the wall. Got most of the boat scrubbed out of all the winter scum. Found this new mold cleaner at Home Depot. Not that the 19 had much but they all have a little after a winter and we even run air dryers in most of the boats. Just the price we pay for living close to the water I guess. The mold is always way up in the bow where you are laying on you stomach getting wet and gassed from the cleaner's fumes. The new cleaner came in a good bottle that sprayed like up to 7 or 8 feet. I leaned under the dash, sprayed it down, waited five minutes, hosed it off. Clean as the day I painted it. The cleaner was also a two pack. The other bottle is a mold inhibitor. Good for like six months. If it lives up to the cleaner it may be one of the best products I have ever bought. Fingers are crossed and I may have to go get a few more bottles before the sell out or change the formula.
Simple green took care of the rest of the cleaning.
Still working on the white paint. All of it is color sanded, compounded and a single layer of wax. Still have another one to go. I am a little pissed how nice the repair turned out. If the rest of the boat looked like this I would be singing the paint companies name from the roof tops. They did replace all the paint and clear coat but to be honest to make it right means stripping the boat down again to it's bones and we want to use it for once. There will be another time for that. By then we will be probably be into blowers and surface drives to.
More work on the trailer.
Wire brushed down all the rust, Still amazes me that a galvanized trailer is put together with plain steel parts and bolts. We have replaced a lot of the bolts over the years but all the "pieces" are custom made for a 30 year old trailer and not so easy to find. There is also nothing wrong with them except they rust and look like crap. So every year we spend a half hour or so and get what rust off we can and primer up those areas to slow them down from turning to dust. The next time the boat goes to the water we will also take a can of paint to get the areas that we couldn't before we get the trailer wet again.
We also did a little work to the bottom of the boat. A lot of folks think we "bottom painted" the boat when we really painted the bottom of the boat. The reason it's black and not the red like the rest of the hull is for a couple reasons. The first reason which decided the whole thing was the boat didn't look right. Photo shop is a wonderful thing when thinking about stuff like that. One quick picture of it all red and that was over. Why is it black? It looked the best to us even though the top is white. White was the only other option because other colors looked horrible. White in the end though made the lines of  the front half of the boat look weird and it's also not very practical in brackish water. Black is easy to take care of and most of all around here, it's easy to fix. We hit more crap out there in a year then most do in a life time. There is always some scratch or chunk of missing paint or trailer rash to fix. We did it originally with a gallon of Rust-Oleum gloss black with the Valspar enamel hardener with exactly that in mind. A simple spray can from Home Depot of Rust-Oleum gloss black and you are in business. We have done a couple spots with it and it's basically the same thing. Looks the same too except being a little more cleaner then the rest. Holds up just as well as the original also. Sand the edges of the surrounding paint down, give it a squirt and it's done. After the first ride you will never see it again.

 That Ain't Right

April 5, 2013

So much to tell.
Well we finished everything we were going to do before the show. We'll give a once over before we go but the plan was at this point to burn some gas and get the cobwebs blown out.
We finished all the waxing so we could get the rear seat backs reinstalled. We did fix one of them. When you looked at the back of the boat from the garage (eye level) you could see that one of the backs was lower then the other one. We took it apart and stuffed a little more pad inside the low side and put it back together. Looks better but I think it may be a bit higher then the other one now.
It was time to wake up the beast.
I have to say this is the time I hate the most. The motor has been sitting for like 6 months this year and now you just expect it to crank over like it was used yesterday. Stock motors have some tolerances built in them so when they sit it's not as bad. This motor is tight. We have put so much time and money in this motor that if you looked at the stack of bills from it you would think we were stupid. With just the big block Chevy we started with a 454 and after all the builds we don't think there is a single part left over from the original build down to and including the block. When stuff sits stuff happens and when stuff happens on the water it's not like you can get out and walk.
Cleaned out the fuel filter, hook everything back up and hit the key. After a few revolutions (mechanical fuel pump, I do love how fast those electric fuel pumps get the motors started after it's been sitting) fuel hits the carburetor and it starts right up and when I hear it it's a sound that I've been waiting to hear for months. I didnt just want to hear any motor. I love the way this motor sounds. It just sounds mean like it's saying if it wasn't in this heavy 19 to hold it back it may have the potential to kill you mean. lol.
Get everything buttoned up and it's time for a ride.
Take it down to the ramp. Get it started and go to back up and already having an issue with the reverse lock on the drive. It's an easy fix if I have to weld it to the outdrive but a pain when already in the water.
Put it in gear and I knew we were on to something, something good. When just putting along at idle the boat moves unlike before. 6 or 700 rpms and I bet it was doing 6mph and riding totally flat on the water. Before to go 6mph you would have to give it gas which made it sound like it was going faster then it was (cops in the Inner Harbor loved that) and it pushed the stern into the water making a bigger wake then it should have for going as fast as it was. In other words it got to much of the wrong attention for as slow as it was really going.
Cruise speed was more "normal" numbers. The boat is fast for as big as it is but to cruise at 45 mph you would have to do 4000rpms. Not good for a big block unless you have unlimited money. Now I bet its somewhere near 3400 and you are going 45+mph. Something that is so needed unless you are just going a mile or two at a time and around here that would never happen. Last winter I took it down the ramp just to run the staibol through the fuel system. We figured that was about 15 mile of just running back and forth around the channel.
Top end.....sick. Boat handles better. WOT is 47/4800 and I bet it's a mile or two faster then it was also.

Not sure, We did do a couple other upgrades this spring but according to our figures it is not supposed to be reaching the rpm's it was (which was perfect at 4800 wot) with a 21P prop on it but it was. Some how going from the 1.61 to 1 with a 23P prop to a 1.31 to 1 with a 21P prop only dropped it's wot rpm by maybe 400 from 5100 to 47/4800.
We found out all this in a couple minutes and the drive broke.

Well that's not supposed to be like that.

I think that's supposed to be down there.

Should have knew better. When I first put it in drive it thumped like a Mercruiser. After three minutes of moving and being excited and half hour of sitting and being a bit worried how I was going to get back to the ramp me and my rare classic boat were getting the drag of shame by two kids on a worn out jet ski.
It was still early and after I got the boat put away (it was flawless by the way, no leaks, motor ran great, everything worked) I had to take the drive off to make sure it wasn't something broke off the back of the motor. The company I bought the crank from had some issues a few years back about broken cranks. I didn't expect it to be this time and it wasn't.
So now it must be the $800 and 600 mile ride to get it outdrive that I had to have.
I expected a lot of things to be broke but not the vertical shaft. When I first got if off I would have put money on it being the sleeve between the upper and lower shaft that's supposed to strip out if you hit something and such so the shaft don't brake. The shaft broke about an inch below it. This should not have happened. At least not anything I did. The same shaft is in all the Penta drives, at least as far as I can tell. I'll go ask DonS over on iBoats the Volvo guru to make sure but if so it's the same shaft that's in my 270 that I just took off that was on the boat for 40+ years.

We are on a race to find out why it did what it did. Just checking on parts last night we ended up buying a shaft. Happens a lot. I find something broken and go to look for a replacement or options and something will be there with a auction ending in a couple hours so we'll pass not being ready just to find out that we should have jumped on it with both feet. Happened again last night. Went looking for the shaft so we will know what options and pricing we were facing and a really nice one came up for 25 bucks plus shipping. Couldn't let it go.
I am a bit worried though. There is a reason the shaft snapped. After looking at some pictures on-line of another broken shaft repair they found that the lower gears broke off a tooth. If that's the case there is no fixing this drive to a 1.31 without major money and we probably could buy another 1.31 for less. Know more tomorrow.

May 9, 2013

Rebuilding a Volvo 250
Been a couple days, let's catch up.
Did a lot of studying again on-line and got the drive apart. Figured out how a Volvo drive works even if we don't have all the tools and such to do a professional job. With any other Volvo Penta we would be on eBay looking for another lower so if we screw it up all we can say is we tried.
Had to take the drive down to just a shell so we could get the vertical shaft out. Kept every shim and seal in order for reinstall. Still never found a reason why it did what it did so I guess we will just say it happened and be happy it was not the rare 1.31 gears.
We do know it's all about the tools when fixing these drives though.

My ghetto tools.

A simple manual will show you what to do when you get inside but getting there is whole other story. Special Volvo tool this and special Volvo tool that for step after step. We looked at most of them and figured we could make something else work in place of them. Like the prop shaft bearing case required a special slid hammer that attached to where the prop nut goes and would yank the bearing case out of the housing. We found a 5/8 long nut (the kind you use to put two pieces of all thread together) and a piece of all thread and for about 7 bucks we had their special $170.00 slide hammer. Didn't even use it in the end. Found if you have two thin flat blade screwdrivers there is gaps at the top and bottom of the bearing case where the bolts go in and a couple even taps on the screwdrivers in those areas and it will slide out like a draw on casters. I would have been really kicking myself if I would have bought that Volvo tool after finding out how easy it came out.
 Then there was a block of wood and a long prybar to get the vertical shaft out. Old school all the way baby. lol.
Just like the picture above. Getting ready to put bearings on the vertical shaft without a press (mine is not big enough for ... anything). Learned this from an old V-Drive builder. In some V-drives like the one in the race boat you have to get a bearing on a shaft and into a case all at the same time. The way to do it is a combination of cold and heat. In this case the shaft spent most of it's time in the freezer and I use a big block of aluminum and a torch to heat the bearings up to a couple hundred degrees. Take shaft out of freezer drop the hot bearing on the shaft and "clink" it drops right to the shoulder perfectly flat. Give it a minute to cool and drop it all back in the freezer and then do the next one the same way. Just got to have your steps down because there is no going back to step two when you are at step three when doing it this way.
And as for my ghetto tools, they were just there in case a bearing didn't seat right. The bearing after it hits the shaft is cooling by five degrees a second if not faster. No time to look for the right tool to fix it if the bearing gets stuck half way down the shaft. We did find it funny that here we are working on a fine tuned gear box with our pipes and hammers and that's all you saw in the picture.

Got all the white stuff off of the seals and started soaking them in transmission stop leak. Learned that on a farmer's message board. Not sure why I was there being I don't have a farm and never plan on being a farmer. Anyway, they soak old belts, hoses and anything rubber in the stuff when they cant go out and buy new for some reason. Makes the rubber plump up or something. I don't know what it does but it works. All the seals looked like new after sitting in it for 24hrs. We would have bought new but the money they wanted for two gasket sets that we were only going to use a couple rubber seals out off each one made no sense. Also when we took the original seals out they looked great to begin with.

We took a chance and it may have paid off. We found that the driveshaft we took out had the same number on it as the one we got on eBay. The one from eBay came with bearings and such already on it that were semi shot but it didn't matter. We planned on using everything from the original set up except the broke shaft and putting the new shaft in its place like it was always there and see what happens. After playing with the new shaft (insert 6th grade humor here) getting it ready for the new/old bearings and shims I thought it may be wishful thinking but I was almost sure the new shaft was thicker (at the top half) then the old one. So I got out the micrometer and checked. The old shaft was .625 thick and the new one was .687 thick. Don't sound like much but it ends up being the thickness of a penny or something like 20%. That adds a lot of strength.

Finally got everything cleaned up and enough put together so we could start assembling the lower unit.
Like said, we just put everything back together like it came out. Not much more we could do being we didn't have the shims to change things and would need to be ordered if it didn't go back together right. At least I will know what to order.
Did try a dry fit first. Didn't want to start bolting things down just to find out we crushed two gears together or something. It worked out with no binding or anything. Pulled out the dial indicator and checked it like the books says. Everything looked good and within specs so we went ahead and put it together for real to see if the numbers would be the same. When done the dial indicator said .002 lash at the shaft or according to the book that's dead on perfect. Now that's some luck. I hope it holds out.

Now that's what it's supposed to look like down there.
All three main pieces are together now. Seems to turn as nice as it did before and there ain't a drop of oil in it yet. We have our fingers crossed that it's all down hill from here with this project. There is still a few things to finish up. We installed a new U-joint when we put the fine spline yoke on it this winter. For some reason it's real stiff so we are waiting on a new one to show up. Along with a new prop zinc ring and bellows. Had to take the old zinc off so there is no better time to replace it and I noticed that the bellows on the boat, when the drive was raised you could see very fine cracks on the bottom side. Probably good for another year or two but why take the chance of getting water in my bellhousing bearings.
When we get the missing parts this will be a done deal and we'll see if we just wasted our time or did something good.

April 11, 2013

Finished up everything I could today.
The u-joint didn't come in so I didn't get to put the drive on the boat on yet. We did fill the drive with new oil. At least we can see if it will leak any while it is still sitting on the stand. It didn't leak when we took it apart so we have our fingers crossed.

Took another shot at fixing the reverse lock. Shorten the draw spring and it now snaps back like a bear trap. Also filed the jaws so they have a little more hook in them. Like I said before, if this don't work this time and being the boat has trim I'll have to figure a way a locking it to the trim bracket if I have to weld it there. May be a little tough to get back off but we don't plan on taking it back off any time soon (we say with our fingers crossed).

Normally we wouldn't give a crap and just put the u-joint we took out back in but ...

They never come out easy. I've had to use a disk cutter on most of these outdrives when we take out a u-joint for the first time. This one didn't require all that but it did take a little beating to get it out and as normal the pins from a couple caps fell everywhere. Did try the caps on it after I did get it out to see if it still hung up and was stiff. Damned if it wasn't free on two of the side and stiff on the other two. Used the same cap on all four points too and the same thing. I cant see anything wrong with it but there's something. It may have went away but again why take the risk. But it is pissing me off that I ordered the u-joint Monday morning and it's not here yet. That's the issue with on-line orders. I've ordered things on a Friday afternoon and had them on Monday. I ordered two dock lines (need them for the show) that matched the two I have now. That was 22 days ago. Sent an email asking what was the hold up? Only response, "sorry, we'll send out two more today". That was five working days ago. If the u-joint don't show up by Monday I'll pick up one local and I'm sure I'll find a future use for the other one if it ever shows.

While I was at it I got out my little Dremel with the disc with tiny flaps of sand paper on it. It was perfect for resurfacing the insides of the driveshaft parts where the caps go. When it spins inside its like a tiny cylinder hone so if anything it will make the hole more round and not screw it up. I know this yoke has been on two out drives from me alone and I got it from ebay so who knows how many u-joints have been installed in it and banged back out. Thirty seconds to a minute back and forth and the surfaces looked factory new and the caps fit much better.

May 12, 2013

The u-joint didn't show up again yesterday. Got tired of it and went up to the local boat store and paid way to much for one. We'll use the one that come in sometime later I'm sure. Had to make a couple more stops but by mid afternoon I was ready to go on finishing this project. Got the prop zinc on and the new u-joint in. It was smooth as butter to install and then in it flopped around with almost no resistance just the way it should be.
Got set up to install the drive and then the rain came. They were only calling for a light rain for a short time. It rained so hard that it rained sideways and when it hit the side of the van it bounced off and went over top of it. After a couple hours we called it a day.
So today we were thinking we'll get the outdrive on and do a test drive. It was so windy that no one was out and it was super rough at the ramp so we knew it wasn't going to happen. Did yard work for the better part of the day and then put the drive on just to get it out of the garage. The wind never let up and is still going now so no test drive today.


May 16, 2013

Still working on the boat to get it ready for the show that is coming up in just a couple weeks. You would think for a boat that was redone just a couple years ago it would be a cake walk but is far from it.
Just today I had to reset the depth finder sender into the hull. It was attached to the hull real good but apparently the back half broke loose. Sometimes the depth finder would work and other times it wouldn't and always at the wrong time. I wouldn't even have one but our boat ramp has some low water in places and the bottom is always shifting. Lucky its a soft bottom because god knows I've hit it enough. The boat has to be in at least three feet of water before you can take off and get on plane without hitting bottom and every year you don't know if there is 3 feet of water 30 feet or 300 yards from the ramp so it was a must to fix.
Had to repaint the screws in the steering wheel again. The first time they rusted I got a hold of Grant and they sent me new screws. Had to take all eight back out and repaint them today. Most money I have ever spent on a steering wheel and every spring I have to repaint the screws. Hummmm...
Changed the oil in the motor and added a couple loops to the cover at the transom side so it could be tied down better and not sag in a heavy rain leaving a puddle in one corner.
After days of bad weather, not being ready or out of town I finally did get a chance to take the boat out for a ride.
It held together even with running the crap out it with no mercy. No one was out being it was the middle of the week so I went up wind from the ramp and just beat crap out of the drive and if it broke there was a chance that I could drift back to the ramp. lol.
I have to admit that my confidence gone. Put the other drive on it and I'll go anywhere until the gas runs out. This drive, not so much. I already hear a harmonic ... sound or something. I'm thinking it may go away or it could be the prop or it could just be me I don't know.

More tinkering ahead but we are getting there.

May 31, 2013

This thing is driving me crazy. The prop shaft and such feels just like my other 270 when you twist them. Everything is tight, everything is new but this drive is not given me that warm and fuzzy feeling. I mean it's just where I want to be gear wise but I swear to God it feels like the u-joints are screwed up or there is some kind of harmonic thing going on. I just don't like the way it sounds.
I had it out again today and it has all the symptoms of bad U joints. Maybe not "bad" but not so good u-joints. More pronounced when turning to the left than the right but from 2800 to 4000 RPMs you knew it was there. Once you got into it, it tended to go away but you are pretty much going straight at that point anyway. The drive was just off and I checked the u-joints and even installed a new one on the front half and there didn't seem to be any hangups with the joints at all. I'm going to have to take the drive off and give it a good looking over tomorrow. Check the u-joints, check the prop on my little motorcycle wheel balancer. It's not perfect but if the prop is off by even a gram or two it will show on the balancer. Then I'll see where I stand. Seriously thinking about taking a day or two and given the original 270 a makeover just in case. The last thing I wanted do is drag it all the way down to the ACBS show and then get the drag of shame by another jet ski.
Starting to wish I would've left this 250 in New Jersey. But how else do I learn?

June 1, 2013

I did plan on taking the drive off yesterday but thing got totally sidetracked chasing ghosts with the Biesemeyer.
Along with a river cruise the boat show folks are now talking about also having a poker run. Not sure if I'm going to do it or not but I sure would like to have the option. So even though today I wanted to take the drive off I decide to do something else so when I do take it off it's going to be a cut and dry decision whether it's going to the show or the 270 is going. After already checking the prop and finding it close to perfect balance it's has to be something obvious with the u-joints or we are going to have to hold off on this Volvo 250 project and go back to the tried-and-true 270 for now. That's why we did what we did today.
Like I've said before I have never really been a big fan of the aftermarket nose cone for Volvo Penta drives. It just sticks out too far forward of the steering axis and makes the drive steer by the nose. It's like pushing the stick through the water while only holding one end. If you slightly point the nose of the stick to the left or right it takes off in that direction. So with the disk grinder, pencil and a straight edge I ended up cutting about 2 inches right off the nose of the original 270 drive's nose cone.
I didn't want to take the whole nose cone off because that would've meant doing a lot of extra work that was already there. The plan was just to shorten it and then feather it back. I figure between cutting, grinding and disc sanding I had about six hours into it before I got to do any filling. It takes hours for the epoxy to set up so I only got one layer on before the day was done.

Maybe I'm jumping the gun a little and it will be a simple fix for the 250 but if not, there is always options.
Maybe find a good working bottom end and take the 1.31 gears out of the 250 and this Volvo/Mercruiser prop shaft I've had sitting on the shelf for a couple years and build something a little radical. But that will have to be a future endeavor because there is no time for an experimental projects before the show and the next project is the race boats trailer.

June 2, 2013

Had threats of rain all day so I didn't want to get everything wide open. Did install the new battery to replace the one that I stole out of it for the Biesemeyer. While the motor box was open I also did a little more touch up paint on the motor along with armor-all'ing all the rubber.
I like it when I'm at this stage with a boat. When you are using a artist paint brush to touch up paint on the backside of a motor you know you are at another level. I know for some of you your boats are ready for a show when you pull them out of the garage. I don't have a garage (I do but it's only big enough for a work shop) and I boat in the bay (not in some lake with cleaner water then what comes out of my well). You can also say I like to drive my boats. If I wanted to "cruise" I would get a pontoon boat. I don't abuse my boats but I don't baby them either. Especially the 19. It gets it the worst because it's my boat. So let's just say that they are not always perfect to the many reasons.
The two that I have for sale are kept pretty close to perfect just because you can have them in a shambles if somebody wants to come look at it.

Being we were dodging rainstorms all day we kept the projects close to the garage. That meant getting the bottom of the Volvo 270 drive pretty close to finished. The JB Weld pretty much filled everything. Filed all the excess off with my rasp and then put a super thin layer of bondo on just to sand most of it back off. Then a couple layers of good primer and a little more wet sanding (all this for the bottom of an 40-year-old outdrive). A layer of flat black and then three or four layers of gloss black. Leaving it set overnight before I let flip it back over again. Little concerned with having it upside down. There is a little basket inside that will catch anything as oil flows through the outdrive. Having the outdrive upside down kind of empties that basket if there's anything caught up in there. Think I may have to change the oil in it when I'm done.


June 4, 2013

Alright, this crap is getting out of hand. I had such high hopes for today and it started off bad, got a little worse, and then got even more worse.

Yesterday wasn't so bad. I got about 20 layers of paint off the top half of the original 270, cleaned it up the best I could, primed it a couple times and even did a little wet sanding. Wasn't really going for perfection but there was no reason not to put a little effort into it. And it took some effort to get the 40-year-old drive that's been beat hard and put away wet so many times back to semi-smooth again. So there is a lot of new paint on their now. I'll have to give it a couple weeks to harden up some before I'll fool with it anymore. I figured if I had to use it, before I would store it away as a backup drive would be the perfect time finish it off.
Now that it's fixed the way I want it there will be no second guessing on attempting to fix the 250 because the 270 needed all the work I just did to it and what will be easier and what will take less time and less risk and less worry, etc, etc. If the 250 is not a simple fix there is nothing easier, less worry, less risk of failure, etc, etc then the 270 that has been on it for 41 years.
So today is the day.
Grab the tools I need (I think I could do this in my sleep I've done it so many times) and start wrenching doing a crime seen investigation all the way. Marking the driveshaft , propshaft, looking for slack in either, checking to see if the prop was touching anything, checking u-joints, everything and anything to at least give me an idea on a direction. Did all this while still on the boat and as I was taking it off.
Something I did find was water in the drivershaft bellows.

I'm not f_in kidding either. Brand new bellows with a hole in it. It was a small hole and when I had the boat out both times I really didn't spend much time with the boat standing still so the bellows was out of the water most of the time. I don't think I have to worry about the bearings in the bellhousing but damn! The boat is going to sit in the water for a couple days for the first time in 20 years and sink at the pier or at least destroy my brand new in the box (8 years ago) bellhousing that has never had water touch a bearing. Not sure how it got there but the hose clamp screw is on the other side and I use a 1/4" socket. Just easier.
Finding nothing obvious with the 250 I made the sad decision to put the original 270 on the boat until I can figure out what was going on. I really shouldn't say sad. I mean it's a great running 270 with a nose cone finally the way I want it and in pretty good shape after the make over. It just don't have those 1.31 gears.


After going to Cobe Marine for a new bellow, just like it was going home it went on like it was always there. I guess in a way it deserves to be there for the show. I think its the only original part left from when I originally bought the boat all those years ago. It even has a nose cone and a 280T transom shield but the same old 270 drive (with it's bent up prop and had to be tied up so it wouldn't drag the road when I first got it) is under it all.
After getting the 270 installed I got the 250 up on the stand, cleaned up a little and started to check again. The u-joint closes to the drive had the tiniest bit of slack in it but thought it was no big deal and I had a new one on the shelf to replace it with anyway. Then I check the prop shaft. Checking for slack or wiggle. Lock it in gear and spinning the shaft got a lot stiffer. Some was expected but not that much. So I grab the yoke and give it a spin and even out of gear it a lot stiffer then I remember and I was also just playing with the 270 and it was as smooth and easy as a roulette wheel when in neutral. And then as I'm spinning the yoke it hits a stiff spot like something in the bearings.
It's done. The 250 project is a failure. Sadly I cant look back right now. Just got to keep the fingers crossed for the 270 for now and come up with a plan B for this 250. At least for the gears.

June 10, 2013

The time is drawing near. In 3 days Time Warp goes to the show. We are about as ready as we can be. Of course there will be something we have missed. Got our fingers crossed it isn't something major.
Took the boat out the other day with the 270 drive's new configuration and were pretty happy about how things turned out with it. More prop bite and more control. The boat tended to flop over on one side or the other at high speed unless you got the trim just right. That's all gone now and you can pretty much put the trim where you want. Things are still set up for the 250, like the idle had to be dropped back a bit and such but now we're in the process of putting things back the way they were. Finding the perfect sweet spot takes a bit more than a timeing light. After a few more rides we'll get it.
Not much to do on a rainy couple days so they gave us a chance to get the storyboards put together. We have gigabytes of pictures and information on this boat. Little hard to condense it down into a page or two. Spent two days on it and that's all I have time for. Have to move on to other things now so we will see.
The next update is likely to come after the show so wish us luck.


June 12, 2013

Just one quick update.
Something that was well-deserved and long overdue. Sometimes I forget on how much work this thing does so I can have all these classic boats. It really started off with just two clean spots for the magnets I made up last winter but they made the rest of the van look dirty so I then did the whole thing. Now the outside was good but the insideÖ it was a couple hours before I got through the whole thing but again it was needed and a good way to start off summer.


 I Failed The 19

June 18, 2013

I asked Brownie over a decade ago about the Allmand Super Nova. And I quote, "I have a couple bastard kids around".
Well here is two of them.
1972 Allmand Super Nova / 1972 WellCraft Nova 24

This year's goal was to get the 19 a little bit of recognition and I have to say that it was totally my fault that it did not. Not saying I didn't try. Not saying that there wasn't some obstacles but I truly think if I would have put a tiny bit more effort into the whole deal it would've won.
The nice thing about a ACBS, they keep the winners scoresheet and as far as I know don't make it public but the rest are there for you to take so you will now why you got the score that you did. That way it's not a guessing game on what they liked and what they didn't.
In full disclosure the "race boat" class is smaller compared to the class that the 19 was in. It was truly up against some serious boats and a whole lot of wood. I had to know so as I'm thumbing through the stack trying to find the 19 scoresheet I noticed the points are totaled in the upper right-hand corner for each boat. I would'nt have looked but it was too obvious. Also the 19's sheet was the last so I had to look through the whole stack. I'm not guaranteeing it but from what I gathered the 19 came in second place in it's ACBS class.
Now that's an accomplishment all by itself and yes I am truly proud of it. Especially being in a much larger category and not to mention its fiberglass but.ÖÖ.
Things didn't start off well. I'm on my way home on Thursday night and I get a text from the wife saying that they got a tornado warning phone call and are headed towards the basement. About the same time the road I was driving on got one of the worst downpours I've ever seen. When I get home the main road is literally covered in leaves like it's a grass lawn and there's tree limbs down everywhere. And wouldn't you figure it, home base has no power. I got a boat on the way the show and have no power and I have no water (well water). And the boats covered in whatever was picked up in the wind just a few minutes before. So after BG&E promised and promised and promised that the lights would be on they never did come back on until 9:30 the next morning. So my little "prize" I bought myself last year at the boat show came in very handy but trust me I was not really happy getting the 19 together for show a with a hurricane lantern. I guess I'm lucky that I also bought a little lantern headset from Harbor freight for like six bucks. Now that came in real handy.

Don't you hate it when watching the big football game and ends with a big question mark? A missed catch or a bad call or a whole lot of what-ifs. That's kind of where I am at now. Trust me I have no intention on trying to change anything that has already happened. The game has been played and it's over. Time to get ready for next year. But.... Just for me to feel a little better or little worse on how you look at it I think I need to confess.
When I read my scoresheet I knew it was my fault that the boat didn't have a better chance of winning.
Did I ever tell you all how much I hate bike rallies?
It seems like every weekend these days there is a rally of some sort and they are starting to drive me f_in nuts. It's bad enough that they pretty much take over at least one lane of any road and then you have all the rubberneckers and people that are afraid to pass them jamming up traffic for miles in the other lanes. Today was a whole new experience. It usually takes about an hour and 15 min to get to St. Michael's from my house. Today was one of the bigger rallies and about the most disorganized one I've ever seen. You would've thought that they were burying a president or something. Main roads closed all kinds of different directions, exit ramps blocked and worst of all they closed down the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to let them all go by in a group. What normally is a 10 min. ride turned into an hour and 20 min. Long story short I was late getting to the show and I never did see any of the judges for the boat and to be honest I'm not even sure if it was uncovered when they came to see it.
 Like I feared it showed on the judging sheet. "Owner not at boat" was orinted at the bottom of the page. I guess I'm lucky they even looked at it all being that the cover was thrown over most of the interior. Maybe they came back and looked at it later. I'm not sure. Next year I'll be on time if I have to sleep my Van.
 Another thing was I really lacked a nice storyboard. Even the guy with the Nova next to me had a couple art easels with big displays and here I just had a couple sheets thumbtacked to the pier. Strike one and two. And here's one of those gray areas, there was a deduction for something where I understand why they did it but I think if I would've been there and explained the reasoning behind it I may not have gotten that points deduction. And there's your strike three. The boat overall received a 93 out of 100. Who knows what those extra couple points what have meant but I didn't bring my A-game this year and left money on the table. I take full responsibility and next year is going to be a little different. Maybe I'll paint flames on the boat. That always gets attention. LOL I know one thing. I will be giving a few more rides.

Oh well, boat bling is only part of the fun. The real fun was grabbing a couple of these ACBS, old wood boat, guys tonight and taking them out for a ride in the 19 You would've thought these guys just got off the Miss GEICO arce boat. Even ran into them at the gas station on the way out of town and they were still talking about the ride. To me it's one of the things that makes it all worth it.
One of the guys that I took out, his wife grabbed me on the way out of the awards tent and wanted to thank me for taking her husband out. "He was so excited when he got back to the hotel room last night...". Lucky I had someone else needing my attention and said thanks and quickley moved on. I'm thinking that's all I wanted to hear of that story. LOL!
New axle and hubs on the trailer made the ride down and back almost an afterthought and the 19 ran flawless and is now safe and sound put away in the driveway. There's always next year.
Now it's time to treat it like a boat again instead of a show piece. After some work on the race boat I'll be back to revisit this outdrive thing again.

 We Fall Down

September 26, 2013

You ever do something thinking that you are doing a good just to have it turn to crap?
Had a small top end oil leak with the 496 in the 19. IMHO this motor is one of my greatest accomplishments. Spent more time, money, effort, research and leg work then I have ever have on a motor before on it. I even spent a number of hours detailing the block alone.
The last couple months I've started to notice a tiny puddle of oil between the valve cover and intake showing up after an each run. It was no big deal. Maybe a teaspoon that could be wiped up with a paper towel but I was not into this at all.
So after a massive amount of investigation of where it was coming from the conclusion was the intake manifold gasket. I hate intake gaskets. You fill one motor with water because of one and you would too. A couple weeks back I finally had enough and decided to replace it so I won't have to do it this coming spring. Everything pretty much went like clockwork. Test ran it a couple times in the driveway after I was finished. Again it was perfect.
Today was the first day I got to take it out and run it for real. Did about a mile circle and stopped back by the ramp to check things over. The same puddle was there but this time it was the milkshake brown. Pulled the boat and brought it home. Checked the dipstick and the oil looked normal. So then I pulled a valve cover to see how bad the water got in. Luckily it didn't look too bad. Just a couple spots of milkshake looking oil but the rest of the head had clean oil in it.
I kind of think I know what the deal is. The intake has been off and on so many motor builds that I think it may have lost a little material on the runners so I this time I ordered a set of Mr Gasket Ultra Seal .125 thick gaskets and while I was at it I ordered a set of valve cover gaskets to fix the original oil leak.

October 1, 2013

Well that was a total failure.

I guess you can say things didn't go too well. What started off as a simple oil leak has come all the way to the motor sitting in the garage. I installed a new intake gasket, got the motor running and let it warm up. Then I checked the oil and it still looked clean but just to be on the safe side I went ahead and flushed the oil system and then put new oil and it. Started up the motor and let it run for a minute or two and then check it again after shutting it down. This time it was super milky white and I knew right away that there was something majorly wrong but I went ahead and changed the oil again just to see but got the same results. Stick a fork in it because this is done.
No matter what at this point I wouldn't even consider trying to clean out the water that's in the motor by any other means then taking it completely apart and reassembling it. That meant that it has to come out now because it's not going to stay this way all winter.

October 3, 2013

It's been a couple days and I got a lot done.
Got the motor taken apart. Pretty damn sad. And all I can say is, "it was a simple oil leak". Sometimes I just don't know to leave well enough alone. But then again it would've bothered me every time I went out so I guess it's better fix it no matter what it takes. I just wish it wouldn't take so damn much for something so simple.
I've taken apart waterlogged motors before and this is not as bad as it could be. I did find water in the cylinders, water and exhaust and water in the oil of course so like I said I'm glad I didn't wait because the clock was ticking. I think I beat the clock though because all the journals on the crank and the cylinders and such all looked no worse for wear.
Took two days to get everything down the last bearing, flushed out (I use diesel fuel) and then even though we are having an unusual fall with temperatures in the 80's I broke out my space heaters and basically baked the block, pistons, rods, crank and such for 24 hours to dry out what I used to dry it out with in the first place.
Then it was decision time. To be honest the motor has very few hours on it in the first place and is just getting past the break in period. With this stroker 496 everything is more expensive. The bearings, rings, etc, etc are all special order and usually takes weeks to get but I wasn't going to let that sway my decision if they were needed but to be honest again I never really ran the motor above idle with water in it and besides the water inside its perfect. If I could snap my fingers and have it gone there is no reason to take it apart again besides fixing what I suspect is another bad intake gasket install. So I basically kept everything in order when taking it apart, cleaned it all up and put it all back together the same exact way with the same bearings and rings to all the way up to the pushrods and rockers. I inspected everything a couple times and they looked as good as the day they were installed. I didn't even hone the cylinders.
Lucky or unlucky enough I had enough left over gaskets to get a lot of the bottom end together before the gasket set I ordered to finish the job showed up. At least I wasn't waiting around for anything.


October 4, 2013

Trying to squeeze out any little upgrade I can out of this nightmare. This involved one of my favorite new tools, the welder and something I wanted to do for a while. The MerCruiser alternator and sea water pump don't really work on my set up so I just copied what was on the Chrysler motor that was originally in the boat years ago and have made many modifications since then. I finally got the alternator bracket the way I wanted this spring and this time around it's the raw water pumps turn. With some changes to the oil cooler I got the pump much lower on the motor and closer to the crank pulley. One of the things that needed to be done was the removal of a broken off bolt in the block (before I got it). It was painted over so times that I almost forgot it was there. Thought there wasn't much of a chance to get it out so I attacked it with just that mentality and after about 20 minutes it was out and the threads were not destroyed. That made it pretty easy to rotate the pump down and in with the new mounting bolt hole. Then I broke out the welder and basically double the thickness of the pump bracket so it would be a lot stiffer and straighter with little chance of it bending out of shape again causing the pulleys to wobble.

Moving the water pump opened up all kinds of new opportunities to change the water pickup system and oil cooler. The oil cooler is a pretty big one compared to anything that came with the original motor. Also all the fittings are three-quarter inch. The inside diameter of the 3/4" fittings makes it so there is no restrictions in the oil flow. Lot of people miss that and use bigger coolers with smaller cooler inlets and outlets which basically restrictor oil flow. It takes three-quarter inch to make it the same diameter as the hoses that go back and forth to the filter. But that also makes for big fittings that stand up tall and get in the way. Moving the water pump made it so I could get the cooler tucked up closer to the motor and with a new bracket to hang it off the motor mount which made a whole lot cleaner look and more solid install.

Another thing along the lines of cooling systems upgrades are these little block drain extensions I came up with. When the motor is sitting in the boat  you can't even see this area and you have to reach around blind trying to get the brass plugs in and out. More then one time I've spent 5 or 10 minutes trying to get one in the wrong hole. Also after 30+ years of service the drain hole threads are getting a little tough to work with. When blind, forget about it. So I made these little extensions so I don't have to deal with the block itself at all anymore. They are also straight runs so I can still stick a screwdriver in there if needed. Still looking for little plastic wing plugs like the ones that are on the exhaust manifolds so you wouldn't even need a wrench to take them in and out.

October 5, 2013

Today started off with taking the heads apart and rebuilding with new seals.

Thought I would be setting the motor back today but one thing lead to another and here I am.
Resurfaced all the mating surfaces with a big belt sander when I had each head apart. Then I noticed something that has probably had something to do with all my issues over the last couple weeks. The water passage in the heads where the intake manifold mates, the bottom runners are only half as thick as the intake runners (for the pistons) and that's the way they came from the factory (checked another set I have). Not sure why they did this? When water leaks in the motor its a whole lot worse than an intake air leak.
Anyway, I came up with this idea while the heads were off. I could tilt them on the bench and use gravity to "ramp up" the water runners with a little JB Weld. Used some acid and a wire brush to get the inside the of the water runners down to shiny metal. Mixed up a thin batch of JB Weld and used my finger to rub it in real good as far as I could reach all the way around the runner. Let that set up for a few minutes (was using the quick set) and then did a couple more layers building it up at the mouth of the runner and sloping it back to original metal. Then let gravity do its thing as it leveled out on its own. Did have to use my Dremmel and a little sandpaper barrel to round out some lumps but it turned out pretty good. Then used the beltsander to resurface the whole intake runner to make it all flat.
I used to just fill the top of the choke heater with JB weld because the Edelbrock Air Gap intakes I use on all my Chevys doesn't cover the top cutout in the head (then crap and water gets down there and starts to rust and such). Now I'm doing the water jackets too just for the hell of it because even new factory heads don't have enough metal going around the bottom water runner for an aluminum intake to mate up to for me. I also ramped up the water runners in the intake. Like I said before, this intake has been off and on so many times that it could use a little help. It may all be kind of crude but I'm pretty sure it's going to be effective.

It took forever to put it back together. I guess giving up on installing it today kind of lead me to taking my time on every tiny thing. I was trying to plan for 10 steps ahead on anything. Any issue that came up when taking the motor out was addressed. Like the way the water intake hose was attached to the stringer. The issue was the only way to un-attach it was with the motor out but you couldn't take the motor out with it attached so it got pulled out with my motor hoist. Now I can disconnect it all from the boat with a single hose clamp (in plain view 6 inches in front of the motor) and a snip of a single zip tie.

When near done it was kind of late but I had everything ready so tomorrow it would be as easy as pushing it out and dropping it in. One last thing I needed to do was run some bolts through clamp ring on the bellhousing with a little PB Blaster. At 1:45am I snapped a stainless steel bolt off about an inch and a half inside the bellhousing. The reason it snapped is because I was trying to straighten out the threads in one hole in the housing with it. The bolt squealed when taking it out when pulling the motor (the first time ever with this bellhousing) so I knew something was up but I didn't expect it to be that bad. Not sure how it got that way in the first place. I'm sure I would have remembered having trouble installing it the last time. Well I ran the bolt in and out a couple times and off it broke. Tried for a half hour to get it out with a drill and easy outs. With the angle you had to drill at and as tight it was in there I was just making a mess of things so I quit for the night.

October 6, 2013

I can't say all the hold ups are due to the motor issues. Like I was saying before, if something needs any work for any reason it's getting done before the motor goes back in.

The battery tray needed to be beefed up a bit so I did it a whole lot more then needed just because the motor was out. Another thing is the thru hull depth finder sender. Have a Hawkeye high speed D/F now but since I moved the transducer off the transom after the last makeover and epoxied it to the inside of the hull it never worked right. I did it a couple times with the same results. So I thought I would do a thru hull but the best place for it was under the motor. Now the motor was out I went ahead and did it also.
Let's just say, know now why the transducer wouldn't shoot through the hull...

Oh, and that's solid fiberglass. Five layers of it. It may be the keel but that's still a lot of glass.
So getting it all back to ready for the motor install took some of the time that I should have been using finishing the motor but it had to be done and in this order so not to waste time.
No reason to put a pretty motor in a crap hole.

Some more paint and shrink wrap on all the wiring I could get to while the motor was out.
But, the day started off with me taking the bell housing off and drilling the crap out of it to get the entire SS bolt out of the hole from last night. By that time the hole was so messed up we had to use a Time Sert thread insert in it. Thank God we have them in stock. Truly a way to make real new threads in any metal.
Put the bellhousing back on and it was time to put it back in.

October 7, 2013

Finally got the motor back out of the garage and back in the boat. Again taking my time. No reason to be in a big hurry at this point. Re-adjusted a few things to get the motor to sit even better then it did before. Fit like a glove. The extra little thing really paid off. Sure hope I never have to change that depth sender cause we will never get it out with the motor in.
It was not really a pretty day. Windy and cloudy and at the end a little rain that cut things off early. Still have exhaust and a couple small things to finish before starting it. Have my fingers crossed.

October 13, 2013

Six days of rain. I don't think it rained 6 times in the last two months. Got a couple hour break in the weather to finish it off today. Started it up and it purred like a kitten. Did notice a tiny tinge of white in the oil so I filled a glass jar with some from the oil filter and let it set. I need to take it to the ramp and take it for a spin around the block so to speak to get it hot (cant do it on the hose) and then change the oil again then see what happens. No matter what though time is running out so this has to come to a conclusion.


October 31, 2013

As you can see in the last picture (of the motor) the oil filter mount was a hodge podge of brackets and spacers. It started off tall enough but when we changed to a larger, taller oil filter is when things got messed up and pieced together.
I think one of the biggest complaints about the MerCruiser 496 is the upside down oil filter or when using 496 manifolds on an other BBC is the lack of a remote oil filter mount. We already have enough issues keeping things clean when doing an oil change and the upside down oil filter is just out of the question. So even though it's a 496ci (stroker) and we are using 496 manifolds we kept the 454 remote oil filter system.

Did I mention how much I love my new (and first) stick welder?
So we have a couple chunks of left over stainless steel brick-sill we picked out of a dumpster on a jobsite a couple years ago. Our original use was to make little platforms that could be bolted to the stringers sides for the transmission mounts to sit on in the race boat. Since then we have found a 100+ uses for it. Without a welder though its just a big piece of "L" metal and limited to that use only.

Now we have a welder and looking for things like this to practice on (if it failed it's not like it critical or anything) we gave the existing oil filter mount a look and thought why not just make a new one but bigger. So we took the old one off the motor and copied the foot prints (has to fit around the risers just right) on each side on the new metal and then got out the grinder and cut off wheels until we had the two pieces that we could just reverse and put back together.

After some welding and then a little more grinding this is what we came up with. For only being four inches by seven inches tall wide and about an inch and three quarters on the top and bottom and most of the middle missing it still weighs almost three pounds. Solid is an understatement. After a couple coats of paint you would never know it was two pieces.

I hate flash photos at night. They always look so bad.

Having the old one as a pattern made all the holes perfect and it bolted up like it was had always there.
We also made one for the race boat. The rear motor in the r/b, because the remote filter is on the back side of the motor (because the motor is in backwards) the filter mount is different with longer legs and "U'ed out" so it doesn't require one like this.

 Doing It Again

June 20, 2014

The year started off with the never-ending winter. When our area is normally in a spring weather cycle we still had snow on the ground and more on the way, Lots more.
With spring arriving late so was everything else and with other projects going on I waited to the last minute and it was late May when I got the 19 out of its hibernation. I say last minute because the St Michaelís boat show was only about 25 days away. After having some issues last fall I thought I should give myself some time for future ďissuesĒ that may pop up after the first start of the season. Didn't even want to do it when I did because we still had not had a "nice day" yet this spring.
I was ready for the worst after such a sucky winter when I pulled the boat cover off but was presently surprised. She made it through the hell undamaged. A little dirty but nothing that wouldn't wipe off. Got the motor fired up in the driveway. Let it warm up for a while and then immediately changed the oil just checking if there was any water in it after last years water in the oil issues. The oil was clean a whistle.
Grabbed my son and we went to the ramp for a first ride of the season and put about 15 or 20 miles on it at varying speeds. Oil pressure was great along with the rest of the gages. Pull back up to the ramp getting ready to load it back on the trailer and notice a stumble. Shut it off and back the truck and trailer in and go to start the boat back up and I knew there was something wrong. It was like someone pulled half of the sparkplug wires off. Pull it on the trailer and take it home. Start checking things and once again I find lots of water in the oil. Now this is flipping me out. I checked before we got to the ramp, at the ramp, while we were out and now all of a sudden it has water in it again and this is not a good time for it to happen again (if there ever is).
I immediately drop everything and start on the taking it apart for removal to find out what the issue is now. At this point I needed something that screamed ďthis is whatís wrongĒ before I took this motor and tossed it in the river. So I take it apart like a CSI agent, again. Iím using a scope down all the water passages before I would remove a part looking over everything to see if there are any cracks and such. I get it all the way down to the short block and still haven't found anything. Now I'm thinking the block so to get it ready to take to the shop for pressure testing and fluxing I'm pulling lifters out and can't seem to get one out for some reason. It moves but it took vice grips and a lot of tugging to get it out and I know it didn't go in that way. Just happened to be #5 exhaust too. When I did get it out I pulled out my micrometer and long story short, either getting water in the motor or water in the motor and this insane winter blossomed the lifter because it was bigger than the rest and not uniform from top to bottom. After running hard it must have got stuck leaving the exhaust valve open and when I restarted it was sucking water. A totally different reason with the same result, water in the motor again. This is now the third or forth time in a row.

I was so mad at the situation and having no time for major repairs like this I went and ordered everything and like I've said before, this is no easy task. This motor has been built piece by piece from all over the country. Not like I can go to Summit or something and fill out a list. One place still only takes phone orders but I needed everything like have listed for this motor down to the part number. There was no time for changes.
You know how things you don't care about happen quick and the stuff you need to show up takes forever? Well thatís what happened and on top of that I had to buy all the paint for a Donzi project I'm redoing because I needed a cup full of the clear coat to spray the new intake. Not playing around this time. All new hoses, new oil cooler, new intake, rings, bearings, roller lifters, gasket set, rebuilt the heads with new seals, anything. If it came apart it was apart, gone through and rebuilt.


We made the boat show and it ran like a champ. The sad thing was we entered too late because we didnít know if we were going to make it at all this year and were ineligible to be judged which leads to a dilemma. Next year the race boat is eligible for judging again and Iíve already proven that having two boats at the show is not a good way to do it.

496 Stroker ready to go again.

August 16, 2014

We haven't been out much due to catching up on projects like the Donzi and the massive new motor in the Biesemeyer (they're at Resurrection Marine .com). This spring and summer started out jam packed with projects all the way back in January but with the late start because of the bad weather and these unexpected's this spring this may be the summer of unfinished projects. Even the motor in the 19. The motor has been run, great oil pressure, sounds great, got this tiny oil leak that I cant find where it's coming from. In a car you would never know it's there. In my off white bilge, every drop shows up like an ocean oil spill.
But like the first day I bought this beast there is alway more to do.

One of the things Iíve done was getting rid of the plastic radio cover that was on the dash. Itís my boat and I want a stereo but the judges didnít like it last year so I had to do something. We really donít have any wood working tools so to speak of. Some basic stuff but nothing we really needed to pull off something like this but we did have time so I worked at it a bit at a time with my grinder and a set of wood chisels. Had to make the door basically hollow with wrap around edges Ö in wood. Kept going at it until it was done and then ordered and installed a faceplate of the SuperNova logo in the center of it being it was nowhere else on the boat. It turned out nice and itís almost like it was meant to be there. A metal plate and some magnets in the inside and even thought we have had it out in rough water it has never popped open.

We made some minor changes to the oil filter mount prototype we made earlier. The newer 2.0 version is shorter with a reversed mount so the filter fits closer and lower to the exhaust manifold with still giving the bigger filters plenty of room for a clean removal and install.
Beside that we are just trying to keep up with the maintenance of both the boat and the trailer along with building up trust in the motor again that it will get us home no matter where we go. That's going to take time but I hope not to long because we have stuff to do this fall. Fun stuff.

 Fade Out

October 23, 2014

The season started off with a bang literally and ended with a whimper and we're not sure if it's over yet.
After killing ourselves fixing the motor along with the appearance of the boat through the endless rain and bad weather this spring, just for a boat show that we entered but couldn't be judged, we really didn't expect much out of the rest of the season. For that matter the boat really kind of sat for a time while we licked our wounds. Also gas being at four bucks a gallon didn't motivate things much either. Like we have said before, there is nothing close to here and it's nothing to run 20 miles just blasting around the basin for an hour or two and that 800cfm carb can suck some gas. Easy 50+ bucks an hour to go no where. Also no trust in the motor to go far away (just because its new don't mean it will get you home) all added up to staying close to home. If it was calm water we played with the Biesemeyer for the first part of the summer trying to figure that hot mess out. Just needed a change for a little while.
Made our way back to the Nova as the summer kicked in. Finally chased down an oil leak. Took forever (weeks) and had to use a camera to find it. Found one of the oil pan bolts was leaking or at least that's what I'm going with. After getting into a position that no human should be in I took out the bolt and ones on both sides of it, squeezed RTV into the holes and covered the bolts and squeezed it all back together. It's been holding so far. Really don't want to have to pull the motor. This whole mess with this motor over the last few months was because of a simple oil leak. This time I'm using the "keep it simple stupid" method and just fixing what's needed.

Oil is coming from....oil cooler, remote oil lines, oil pan, valve cover dripping between the exhaust manifold??? Had to slide the camera in under the motor on delay to get this picture. Even though you can take the top end of the motor apart sitting in padded seats the bottom of the motor is a totally different story.

Also fixed an exhaust leak. One of the fiberglass joints between two rubber elbows kind of collapsed under the T-clamp's pressure. The exhaust never dripped when running in the driveway and apparently when it did leak the water would run down in such a way that it followed a rubber hose and came out under the motor and dropped in the bilge. Never saw anything besides the water in the bilge which is why I was looking for a leak in the first place. Taking all the pictures looking for the oil leak helped figure it out.

The Blue Angles came back again this year. Was home for both days but sadly Saturday was about rained out for anyone without a cabin cruiser. Sunday my neighbor took this picture from a 41 footer. Well over a thousand boats there and about half of them took off at the same time. Deep channel and shallow sides, it got very nasty very quick. He took the picture as we were coming out of a trough that you couldn't even see the boat at the bottom. He said we were there and then gone and then we were back again. I thought it was fun. The wife hated it. Calls it the worst boat ride ever and will be a long time before she gets back in the 19 again (like it's the boats fault, ).

White caps for a far as you can see.
First time ever we have been busting through a wave with the bow while taking a wave over the transom at the same time.

Then there is this.
After taking pictures of the wife and kids leaving on a cruise ship I clicked the camera on video and drove home. Wish I would have had a better way of holding the camera down but it was a last second thought.


Oct 30, 2014

Fall is falling meaning the colder weather is on the door step. You can tell where I live by the way the wind never stops and the water gets blown to the other side of the bay making high tide not so high and low almost turns our boat ramp into a drydock. This seems to happen every year not to mention that our ramp is shallow to begin with which lead me to an issue.

This whole trailer has been modified in one way or another in almost every way because of the shape of the boat and the way it's balanced. The trailer was up to the task when the boat was first put on it all those years ago (a larger boat used to sit on it) but it sat real high on the trailer and where we lived before parking was so limited we pretty much had to cram it up against the fence to keep it from being hit. We finally got it to sit right and in the process got it to sit much lower meaning it didn't flop off the trailer at the shallow ramps which really worked out for where I live at now. Even with all the recent mod's it was always kept at the same height except for one small thing, the new axle. Keeping in tune with every other change there has to be an upgrade and the axle was no different. The axle the was being replaced is 1.5X1.5 square tube. The new axle is 1.75X2.75 and being the axle goes between the springs and frame it took about an inch and a half of spring travel out before the shackles holding the axle hit the frame. Not like it was constantly banging but over bumps it shouldn't have it did so I've been trying to come up with a simple fix.

The only idea I had was moving the axle to the bottom of the springs. The issue with that is it would raise the whole boat about 6 inches between the axle and spring and also meant a lot of work changing the fenders and such. All we really needed was about an inch and a half to get the original travel back and if it hit from there it would be normal and we could live with that. After looking at a couple trailers the shackles for the spring eyes were real short on the 19's trailer compared to the others so we checked out the Trailer Super Store and sure enough they had the shackles premade and ready to be welded on. This of course meant the trailer carriages had to come off being I have no chance of welding them on upside down but after looking at them they could have used new U-bolts and brackets anyway.
Got everything broken down easy enough. Always goes real easy when you don't plan on putting any of it back. Cut off the old bracket and ground it down. Lined the eye of the longer bracket up with marks I put on the carriage and burned it on. May have over done it considered to how small the original weld was to hold them on before. Got everything primered and then a couple coats of cold galvanizing and then reinstalled everything in reverse order. Before tightening down the second carriage we got out the tape measure and made sure that the axle was lined up to the ball. After everything was said and done it did change the geometry of the spring to axle ratio but that's only if the trailer stayed at a constant height which it doesn't so I don't think its going to matter anyway.

So to test out the rebuild on the first warm day that came after we took it to the ramp. Not much of a test but it was either going to work or not. Seemed fine, didn't notice a height change got the extra height needed. Even the tires in the fenders look better.

While at the ramp ...

Ya, we took it out. Pretty sure we got this personal best top speed number when chasing down a Donzi Hornet. I think it needs a bigger prop but I'm afraid of fooling with this Solas prop that has seen better days just because it works so well. Not to mention the cost to do it is more then we paid for the prop originally. Also the motor is still making me nervous. Like the pin has been pulled on a hand grenade but for now ....



May 19, 2015

Didn't really use the 19 much last year after the show. I did get in some trouble with it late last summer but that's a story for another time and another reason I didn't use it much. When I did use it though it seemed fine. Motor was strong, no noises, no misses and the oil was clean and after a spring/summer of chasing water in the motor from intakes and such I was pretty happy.
Then I had to hear something last fall. Flushing the motor in the driveway (had to be in the driveway), at idle you would hear this tiny pissssst ÖÖÖÖ.pissssstÖÖÖÖ.pissssst from the even banks exhaust if you sat in the right, rear seat. Alright, I'm nuts. I'm gonna hear this over 4" exhaust that's only about a foot long belching out 10 million decibels of noise and I only hear it if I sit in this certain seat, in the driveway, while the motor is at idle rpms???? Probably just the flappers echoing off the garage door or something. Can't say it wasn't in the back of my mind all this past very long winter though.
Then it did it Ö I heard "it" ÖÖ again this spring. Same seat, driveway and rpm and there it was. Just changed the oil a week before, clean. Just had it out minutes before and it loves the cool weather and ran great. I had no time to chase ghosts and being it was a cold spring and I had other projects it would have to be good enough until after the show.
Went on with the other projects until my cutoff date to either do something with the 19 or just to leave it. Lucky/unlucky enough I was actually done what I wanted to down to the last day so there was no pressure one way or the other. Figured what could be the worst, a bad valve? At least the motor didn't have to come out. Spent the next half of a Saturday breaking down the top half of the motor just to find water has been in the motor again. Not bad but is any water good.

At this point the show is no longer the issue and before the day is over I had the motor out.
This is driving me nuts. I think of myself able to turn a wrench and I use BBC Chevy because itís a simple motor and even though I have the most time and effort in any motor in this one (the Kiekhaefer motors were much more expensive but I just cloned them, I didnít ďbuildĒ them) I just canít seem to get this one right again. It was a great motor for a long time but for some reason it hasnít been a great motor for a while and it was time to find out why.
Took forever to get the motor broken down and everything cleaned up before starting on the heads. Didnít see anything along the way with the rest of the motor except for some milky oil in #4ís piston rings so I had my fingers crossed the noise I heard in the driveway and some other issues would be found in the heads.
The picture says a thousand words. Bad exhaust valve seat in #4. Guess I missed it when I did valve seals during last springís quick dewater rebuild. The heads are 1.19/1.88ís that I bought used years ago and probably have been on 10 different versions of what started off as a 454 since Iíve had them. Looks like we will be looking for heads this winter. Just hoping my machinist can clean it up enough for a summer cause Iím not paying spring/summer prices for a new set.
So the motor is out in and in as many pieces as it can be. Doing fiberglass work inside the motor box like moving the depth finder sender to new location and filling in the old 2Ē hole, a couple alterations so the oil cooler fits better, anything while the motor is out that is needed. Fingers are crossed that my guy calls me back with ďitís fixedĒ instead of ďyou need a new headĒ cause new heads after this springs new motors for the race boat means Iím not going to the show.


May 24, 2015

It took a few days but things are half back together. Most of the motor is done except for the head that I have to pick up today. My machinist says its on it's last legs but should be fixed. We'll see. Putting all the knowledge and tools that I bought for the Kiekhaefer motor's heads into them to help them last the season and then it happened.
Do you know there is a difference between Permatex Black and Ultra Black? Not only is there a difference but one is made for motors and the other cant be used in a motor at all. Really hard to tell the difference between the two tubes until oil starts shooting out all over the place.
Caught it when I was putting the intake on. Lets just say I was up until 3am rebuilding to the point where I started the day before. The wrong rtv is all gone except for the oil pan which I'm starting in a few minutes. Just have to flip a total motor over on the stand, not going to be fun but shouldn't be as bad as the pulled out head bolt that happened about midnight last night.


The one on the left is for motors. The one on the right is not. Says so (by the little red arrow). I put a tube of their clear sealant (also not for motors) in the middle to show that they use different color tubes for their other products but yet a black sealant inside basically the same color tube is just a mistake waiting to happen and it did.

May 30, 2015

I was half way through building the motor when I was fooling around with the caulk gun before setting the intake and just flipped the tube around enough to notice the "not for engines". You could have picked up my jaw off the floor. The worst thing is I went to another store for another tube and couldn't find it so I asked the clerk and he came back with (you guessed it) the same wrong stuff. I guess I'm kind of lucky I take a lot of pictures because the best I can tell from them is the one wrong tube seems to be the only wrong tube I used on the 4 motors this spring.
But the hits just keep coming. Like I said the other day when resealing headbolts I ended up pulling the threads out of the block on one bolt. Lucky/unlucky enough I've been down that road before and have a Time-Sert kit in stock. Had to take the intake and head back off and reinstall again but it could have been worse. Then I went for the oilpan. I also took the rear main cap off and resealed the ends of it also. Got this newfangled one piece oilpan seal for a Mark IV motor local for almost $40 bucks. It's the only one anyone carries anymore and wouldn't you know it I couldn't get the oilpan on with it in place unless bent all the flanges and it still didn't seal right. Another big mess. Get it all cleaned up and find another $12 cork and rubber gasket set after 10 phone calls and waiting a day. Install the oil pan again and get the rest of the motor together and ready for install.
Installed the motor and hook everything up. While installing the ring that holds the bellhousing to the transom shield I striped out another bolt. I knew it was only a matter of time after the last install. I'm kicking myself now for not attempting fix while it was out. Finish most of the install and hit the key. After a couple turns the starter breaks loose and lets out this loud squeal. Something broke and it's now junk. Did some bending that should get me into Cirque du Soleil and made an attempt at trying to get the starter off with no luck and I knew that I had to remove everything I just installed on that side of the motor to remove it.
To many bad things were stacking up to high and not even having the motor started yet I decided to pull it back out again and fix the things that needed to be fixed. I ordered another 3hp mini starter with bolts (one was bent also). Replaced the ring gear with a new one I had in stock. The new one looks like uuuuuuuuuuuuu. The old one looked like vvvvvvvvvvvvv and is one of the reasons the starter couldn't get a good grip on it. Also had to take the oilpan off again and re-torque the rear main due to when I reinstalled it I only torqued it to 80lbs instead of the 110lbs it should be. Fixed the threads in the bell housing. Now it takes a 7/16 bolt instead of a 3/8 but it's no big deal.

 Outdrive Hell
June 16, 2015

At this point the only goal was to get it to the boat show under its own power. With the motor back together and in the boat it was time for test drives but first the outdrive had to go back on. Figure I might as well change the oil and grease it up while I had it in the garage on a stand just because. While the oil was draining I was greasing up the U joints when I noticed that it would stick when I spun the yoke and no matter what I did it wouldn't get better. I couldn't believe that I had never noticed it before. It couldn't be run this way and was another setback that we couldn't afford. Lucky enough I found someone who had a top end and had it to me in a couple days. Now it was time for a test drive.

Thought it was the top of the drive. Put the new top end on. Take it out for a very short ride. Come back and drain the oil and it looked like metal flake honey.
I then noticed that there were blister of paint and filler from when I put the nose cone on. It's been on for years and yet now it blisters? Had to be because the case got real hot and the cold water shocked it off. There has to be something wrong with the bottom end. Flushed the drive out, refilled and ran it in the driveway and the oil came out clean but I didn't refill it this time.
So I've been thrashing an insane amount of hours the last couple days trying to come up with a solution. It may have come from my giant box of Volvo parts but I'm not sure yet. After semi destroying one bottom end and pulling apart two others with the left over parts of a failed build I preceded to first understand how the drives were built and how to put one back together. Not sure if I totally got it or not but gave it my best shot.
So I have this drive. The bottom end consists of 3 different drives including 1.56 gears from the Volvo 250 I got a couple years back and then broke the first time out. I did find that the 250 and the 270 are totally different beasts. I'm almost sure that a 250 total bottom end would bolt up to a 270 but there is nothing inside that's the same except for the gears (he says with his fingers crossed). Everything is bigger in the 270 which makes the prop shaft threaded differently for the bigger bearings and the vertical shaft is just bigger overall. The gears (replacing the 6 cylinder gears) seem to come out in the same place even though one is bigger than it counterpart and the other is smaller than its counterpart. I also found out that the most sought-after Volvo prop shaft that lets you use Merc props on it that I've been holding onto for the last decade with dreams of one day using is also for a Volvo 250. It's now destine to sit on a shelf forever.
The case was from one drive and the bearing case was from another and the gears from a third. The center section from my original drive and the top came in the mail the other day. So tomorrow the drive from five will go on the boat for the first time. Thinking the first test drive will be from the public ramp at the boat show.

June 20, 2015

Well, that didn't work out to well. Took the boat out for a short ride while still home. It didn't feel right from the get go. Motor was flat and had a different sound. So I played it safe and packed it up on the trailer and crossed my fingers it would hold together long enough to get from the boat ramp to the boat show's dock a half mile away and that's about what it did.
After the show I had to see because as much as it killed me it never moved from the dock the whole time at the show as much as I wanted to take folks out and blast. Just the ride over assured me that we wouldn't have made it back if I did but the show was over and I'm on the way back to the ramp so there was no reason not to at this point. It didn't take but a couple hundred yards to make me back it down and head for the ramp. As I'm waiting on another boat to pull out I have the motor running and the motor box open and notice water leaking out between a head and the block. I get the boat out and on the trailer and then have an hour and a half ride home to think about what the next steps really needs to be because this cycle has to end. It's just getting stupid at this point. So changes are coming but not sure when I can get to them and what I can even do at this point.
The end of June is not the best time to be looking for and buying parts and machine shops are booked up for weeks if not months.
I don't even have to look inside the motor to know the last time is the last time I will be using the heads and block that's in it now. Everything has gotten thin over the years. The heads had the prior issues and the block has now puller 2 head bolts out and the others, even though they were brand new bolts seemed like they never really got a good bite in the block. Hard to explain but when installing them they were all torqued down to specs but they felt soft like they were ready to pop with another pound of torque. Now water is pouring out between the two and it's getting way too expensive with its $150 set of rings, $300+ in bearings, expensive head gaskets, etc, etc to just keep trying to hold it all together.

 New Start
July 26, 2015

The 19 just sits over in the corner looking pretty all covered up and not able to move. The last few and the next few weeks will be filled with major projects going on with the Nova 24 race boat but they are not a 24 hour thing and I already made my wish list for when the next motor build for the 19 begins. Always looking and so far we have a set of main bearings ($30 bucks off) and now we have a set of heads. Not just any heads but the same exact heads that were on it. Not only the same head casting numbers but they were made within 2 months of the old set (not that it matters). What are the odds? Next, they were ported and polished by Mullen Race Engine/Cylinder Heads out of Cali and then were never installed. Besides the valve stems needing to be cut for smaller valve seals they were ready to bolt on. I was pretty shocked when I opened up the shipping box for what I paid for them in the middle of summer yet.
The plan is to take everything that I just installed in the old heads and reinstall them all in the new set. Except for new valve springs. The old set had single springs to get past not having the seats cut for smaller seals. Come a long way over the years and this time they are going to have triple springs and the smaller seals. Have all the tools to do it this time along with spring seat cutters and shims of all sizes. But, still not having a block the new heads are just expensive paperweights now that always seem to be in the way.


Sept 30, 2015

I feel like Steve Martin in the movie "The Jerk" when he saw his name in the phonebook.
The new block is here, the new block is here!!!!
Had a real hard time finding a block over the summer. I figured as much. Really wasn't even thinking about it happening anytime soon. Every four bolt BBC listing I saw for sale started off with "rare 1960's bla, bla, bla" and when you looked up the casting number it came out of a 80's pickup truck but they wanted that "rare 1960's bla, bla, bla" money. Just people trying to milk every dollar out of you they can. We had time so we didn't bite. Came across an ebay listing for a full 454 - 4 bolt main motor in Texas a couple weeks back. The price for the motor wasn't bad but shipping was great so it really peaked my interest. I email the guy because we are really trying to just get a block and not pay for the rest of the motor that will either end up going to the recycling bin or a back shelf somewhere just to be recycled later. We go back and forth a couple times and he basically says he will take the motor apart and just sell me the block and main caps at a radically discounted price of what he wanted for the whole thing. Like we weren't ready to buy the heads because being too early (this is supposed to be an over the winter project), here we go again. Just can't let deals like that go by cause we will pay for it later if we do.

Pick up the block tomorrow at a local shipping office (kept the shipping price even lower) and then it goes straight to the machine shop just so it is in line to be done. They are about 10 days out and won't schedule you unless your stuff is there. The issue is now I have to get the old motor out and taken apart because they need the stroker pistons out of it to match the cylinders in the new block. By the time I do get it to them there will be only one work day this week and then the weekend so we have 3 days to get the old motor out and taken apart rain or shine and it's been raining a lot, like record levels lot.

Got to start to empty this super expensive box.

October 6, 2015

Block came in to the shipping office the other day. Loaded it into the truck and went straight to the machine shop. Didn't even unwrap it. The seller was 77 years old and sounded like he had no reason to lie about its condition so I took his word on it until I got to Ken's shop. We open it up when there just to see and to get the bag of head bolts packed inside out of the shrink wrap. Was really pleased with its condition by just looking at it. Almost a shame to cut it 60 over when the stock sizes could have been used but it's a future 496 not a 489. Also the blocks casting number is known for having thicker cylinder walls so it shouldn't hurt it to much.
Lucky or unlucky enough I've done this motor removal thing let's just say enough to know the best way to do it. Add in we have power and air tools at the ready we were ready. After doing a number of motors in the race boat this season the 19 was pretty simple but again it all depended on the rain. It seemed to work out to when it was raining is when I didn't need to be outside and not when I did. Just dumb luck.
Motor is broke down to the last bolt. Everything has been cleaned and the pistons have gone to the machine shop for cylinder sizing. Now we have piles of parts all over the place. Some that sadly have to go to the dump but at least it's almost time to build something.

October 11, 2015

Now we had the old motor broken down we have the old heads with a whole lot of brand new parts in them that were only used once. Also a box full of new parts never used and two head castings that have never been used, all needing to be put together. But we didn't buy all this cool stuff just to slap them together. Learned a lot over the years since we bought the heads that are being replaced.
Even though the replacements were ported and polished by professionals we still found some areas we wanted to pay attention to. They did a really good job. Most of what we did was on the outside.
After disassembling the old heads we made sure to keep everything in order. Even though everything is roller and going in a new head we plan on keeping it as if the block and head castings magically disappeared and the new appeared in their place keeping everything else in exactly the same place.
Now to start with the new head castings. Had to cut the valve guides for the smaller stem seals with my Comp drill bit. It's as easy as it looks on you tube. I've done 4 or 5 head sets now and the drill bit has paid for its self the first time. Next after cleaning them up and making sure no metal was in the guides it was time to check all the valve spring heights with the valves going in their final places to make sure the spring pockets don't need to be cut any deeper which they don't and the pockets are also wide enough for the new springs with a tiny bit of cleaning up. I did find out at this point that one of the new keepers was the wrong size and the old ones were for different springs. Also we were having an issue with the new locks which was my fault for ordering the wrong ones but the keeper was just an odd ball in a brand new set.
Still went on to lap all the valves to the head's already 3 angle valve job that had this protective red coating on them so they were still factory fresh. Then everything had to be scrubbed like it had never been before. All the protective coatings (I guess it was a packing oil of some kind) and any file shavings had to go. Boy once it was done though and even though they were blown out and then towel dried and put in front a super-hot space heater they flash rusted almost instantly.


October 13, 2015

After letting the clean castings bake in front of the heater overnight getting them up to about 120 degrees for 8 hours, they were good and dry. Then they had to be taped up so nothing was open and then were painted. Just had to at least get the outsides sealed up.
After un-taping and giving everything a wipe down with lacquer thinner it was really time to assemble something. All the valves went back in with the new oil seals. Then the locks and keepers (the replacements were here in two days) that went on that certain valve stem were used to measure for final spring heights. All the spring pockets were deep enough to get a couple hardened shims under each. When they were done every one was in between spec and -.010 of spec spring heights. Figured if anything after use the valve measurement may get a tad longer as it all seats better. Sure wasn't going to get shorter and that's the reason I went with the shorter measurement of the spec only.
Then the new triple springs, keepers and locks were installed. Giving them a couple taps each with the soft hammer to make sure everything was seated right. Then the rocker studs and 7/16 pushrod guides and  new longer stainless steel valve cover studs so there will be plenty of threads even with the thicker reusable valve cover gaskets.
Stuck the roller rocker on their studs to make sure they stayed in their place and all of a sudden we have something for the new motor done.

October 15, 2015

Knowing that we still had a few more days before the block was ready we decided to get into a couple other things. Like said before, we have learned a lot since those way back days under the back porch of our townhouse building motors in Shanty Town. Also it doesnít hurt having a whole lot more tools. The tools this time was files, Dremmel and a lot of porting and polishing stuff. We planned on doing some porting and polishing to the new heads and such but after they were already done and done so well we knew we had some catching up to do on the rest of the motor.
Started with the intake. It was still pretty new after only being used a couple times. There wasnít any restrictions with the carburetor flange so we just left it. The intake to head flanges still had everything that they came out of the factory with which meant it had plenty of metal to cut into without worrying about going all the way through. But it also meant that there was plenty of metal that had to be removed. Used the intake gasket and a Sharpe to mark out the mating surfaces and then went to town on them. One side of a runner need a ¼ inch removed while the other side just needed the corners cleaned up but the next runner it would be just the opposite. Figured we had about 10+ hours into it before we were happy with the runners matching the gasket and smoothed out as good as the heads were done. Then a box sander was used to clean up the flanges and to add a tiny bit of texture to them to hold the gaskets better. After a good scrubbing bath and a few hours in front of the heater it was set up on the "clean shelf" waiting to be installed.

Now we have the heads and the intake ported there was only one other thing(s) left that needed to be done before all those tools could be put away and the mess cleaned up. Donít want aluminum shavings flying around while trying to build a motor. Even though the exhaust for this beast is just aluminum MerCruiser 496 exhaust (weíre sure you could go back through this website and find a hundred praises we have for them) why not get the best out of them we can? So we also ported the runner ports to the exhaust gaskets. We never did run the restrictors between the manifold and risers. Some swear by them, we on the other had never found any water in the 496 exhaust, even from condensation, that didnít get there due to other reasons. With the restrictors in they cut the port down by at least 20% so they still are sitting on a shelf in the shop.
All this porting and polishing stuff may not be perfect but it has to be worth it for just the loss of weight from all the missing aluminum. Lol. To be honest we are not expecting much out of this porting stuff anyway but once the heads were done it was a no brainer to go ahead and finish the rest to as good if not better. But itís not like itís the only thing that's getting done so we are thinking all the effort will get lost in the wash so to speak. Just like any one other part would mean nothing by its self the porting (we hope) will just add to the total package.


October 18, 2015

Once again, the new block is here, the new block is here.

Like so many before the biggest and baddest motors get hulled around in the humble Chevy van. Picked up the new block along with the pistons from the shop today. The bills are stacking up quick but hopefully this is the end of them. We should have everything else to finish the project already at the garage. The block looks to have been soaked / washed real well and is exceptionally clean. So much so it looks like they sandblasted the caps they are so clean. Had them line bore it, punch it 60 over and put the cam bearings in. In our hurry it never dawned on us for a second that we needed to do alterations to the block and should have done them before it we took it to the machine shop.

Again the motor was so clean it looked like they even painted it but Ö.
Out came the grinder, dremel and hand files. We knew from the old block what needs to be removed so nothing hits on the inside form the stroker crank. Also we had to remove anything on the outside while we were at it. I cut myself pretty bad on a sharp chunk of block slag a lot of years ago and now any motor we build gets it all ground off. Plus it looks better. The inside just needs a little around the pan rails and any slag elsewhere. The oil drains are always good for some. A number of hours later we stopped before there was no block left. After blowing and vacuuming it out the best we could it was once again it was time to use scrub and bottle brushes, rags, lots of cleaners and the hose. After that every bolt hole, nook and cranny was blown out a couple times and then it sat in front of the space heater baking for the next 18 hours.

October 20, 2015

First things are first. Since the motor stand bolts up to this end making it near impossible to do anything behind the bracket the first thing was to put it on the floor tail up and paint it after we put the cam and oil galley plugs in. Didn't want the cam bearing to get paint on it and the caps are plain steel and needed to be painted for a marine environment. Maybe an hour dry time and we drove in the brass core plugs, put the stand bracket on and got it up on the stand.

Somethings we learned the hard way. With the old block there was an oiling issue at one time and the timing chain sprocket ate into the block like a drill bit. Found out that it needed a hardened shim in between the gear and block but it wouldn't have helped alone without an oiling hole in the block going to the cam bearing oil galley. Small hole with chamfer edges a tiny bit and the problem was solved. Another thing we picked up on working on the real offshore race motors was the drilling of both oil galley plugs. The way it was explained to us is, boat motors sit without running for long periods. When started they will vapor lock at the ends of the oil galleys leaving the front lifters drier longer than the rest as it works the air out. We have done this to a couple motors now and never saw an oil pressure difference so it can't hurt and if it does nothing but squirt oil on the timing chain and cam button its a plus. Now on to the other hundred pieces (we've counted) like the rest of the core plugs, oil galley plugs, block drain kits, sender fittings. There's 30+ pieces just getting the block ready before you even get to crank and caps. If you count every nut, bolt, ring and part of a BBC (or every part you will handle during a total rebuild) Ö we stopped counting after 800+ pieces.


October 22, 2015

And the building just keeps going and goingÖ
I usually install the cam first just because of convenience. Never having this rotating assembly in this block before I wanted to get it in and make sure it spins free before anything else goes in the just in case we have to take it apart again because of something missed. Just being cautious.
Everything went fine and it wasn't long and the bottom end was together.

From there it just took time. Sadly it was time that was running out fast. As the date says, it's late Oct and to be honest we were happy just to get the motor out before the weather turned bad a few weeks ago. Now with the way it's working out there may be a short window to get the motor back in. But before that we had to finish putting it back together and that's what we did. Being we have done this over and over and everything was sitting ready to be installed it was just step by step until it was done. We had to leave a couple things off until it could be installed but they were also ready to go when needed.

Just because a weather window coming up didn't give us license to short change anything. If it wasn't ready it didn't matter being it wasn't supposed to go back in until next spring anyway but we sure would like to have the extra space in the garage over the winter.
With no surprises popping up we had it ready and on the motor hoist waiting for the day. Have to wait for the rain to stop and get above 60 degrees for the first time in a week but they say its coming but this time of year it may not happen at all until next spring.


October 26, 2015

Had the motor hung on the motor hoist for two days with all the air, electric and any other tools we could think of laid out for what looked like some sort of motor installation competition. Then the weather broke for 36 hours, didnít expect to have that long. We had air tools out just to drive in two motor mount lag-bolts because it would have saved 15 minutes. Probably took longer to take the air-tools out and put them back then we used them. We figured at best we would have a couple hours one afternoon to do the install. It was all about time, not anymore. Sure did make easy work of it though and we learned with a little fore thought and organization not only can we take the motor out in no time but we're pretty fast at putting this one back in too. Got to say though this is one thing we would like to fall out of practice of now that we basically have a brand new motor with all the parts we dreamed of over the years all in the same place.

Because it didnít stop raining until the afternoon at the point in the picture it got dark at 5pm like it does this time of year so we had to wait until the next day to finish it up. Again though we had little to do and it all went back on like itís always been there. It left so much time that we also installed the outdrive and pulled out the deck plate and replaced the fuel line from the fuel tank pick up to the fuel pump. Taking out and installing so many motors over the years got it so it was just a little too short. This time we left a little extra slack on it just in case there is another next time.
So here we are. Motor is done and installed. Temp is dropping like a stone and rain is moving in again. At this point there is no reason to start it even if there was a future chance of a nice day (cause there isnít one in the 10 day forecast). Just would have to winterize it as soon as we shut it off because it may be OK now but this time last year it was cold enough to break a block and its no fun winterizing a cold peice of wet steel when its cold out. Also this time of year when no one is out on the water is not the time for a ďtestĒ drive. Oddly enough we're not so worried about the brand new motor. Itís the outdrive.

November 19, 2015

Happy Nov 19 Day!

Just an update. The decision made to just let it sit until next spring was an easy and so far a good one. No reason to push fate so to speak. Plans have already moved on to other things. Like no real faith in the outdrive has us thinking that itís something we need to address over the winter as much as we can. Itís still hard for us to believe that the drive that was on it for 40+ years just decided it was done on what seemed like a normal day when we have thrown so much more at it over the years. The only thing left of it today is a couple parts and the gear set. The rest went to the dump with the old block and heads. The mid-section is on the drive thatís on the boat now along with the 1.5 gears from the Volvo 250 and a bunch of parts we got off the internet. Now you see why we are a bit concerned.  





Lists / Spring 08' / Fall 08'

Back In Control / Spring Is Here / Thats A Wrap

New Decade, New Motor / Motor Build III

The Great Makeover / Winter Sucks / Getting Started / Trailer Time / Hold On / Starting, I Guess / Needed Dash Work / Fit Out / F_in Motor

New Beginnings / More / It's Over ?

Wolf In Sheep's Clothing / Show Time / That Ain't Right / I Failed The 19 / We Fall Down

Doing It Again / Fade Out

Again / Outdrive Hell / New Start



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