Monday, September 7, 2009

Starting Relay

Just read back over and realized I left the starting relay saga un-resolved. Well, it turns out I was able to track the part number down to a Sierra number. O'Riley's auto carries Sierra parts. Turns out they had the relay in stock and it was less expensive than originally advertised. Long story short, problem was fixed in about an hour for less than $20.

Labor Day

Ok, its been a while, but I have been busy. Finally got to the lake today. All ran well. Little swimming and tubing with the kids. Accidentally ran the lower unit into some mud. Little disappointed that the clutch did not kick out and let the unit swing up. No damage seemed to come from it so all is well.

I modified the trailer with some V-Bunks on the second roller, the idea being to lift and center the boat as she comes on to the trailer. This worked like a charm !! Just kept her roughly centered as I approached the trailer. I felt her hit the bunks and then slide down on to the rollers and just coasted right up into the forward rest. WOW, no fussing and wrestling. Just hook up the winch line, snug it up, shut down and jump in the truck. Think I am going to add some stern guides to help center her up there. She is sitting a little to the left on the trailer.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Depth Finder Works !!!

Short trip out to Keystone today. While gone for the last couple of weeks I send the Garmin 178C back for service. Recall, that the depth finder side of this unit has not worked yet. So, prior to going to the east coast for 3 weeks, I sent it back for warranty service. It was waiting for me when I got back. Dropped it in and took her to the lake. IT WORKS !!! Took a couple of tries to figure it out, but Garmin ( tech support was great, consistent, and easy to work with. They never tried to make it sound like the problems were my fault, or an installation problem that I was responsible for. They gave me a check list to run down. After running through the list they said it was their problem please send it back. They first thought it was the transducer, so I exchanged that part first. That was not it, next they said send back the whole unit, which they exchanged in about a week. Great support by my standards. I have spent many hours arguing with other vendors so this was refreshing. Anyway, the 178C worked great.

However, the starting relay is going out. Turned the key, heard clicking but no starter turning. Little trouble shooting found that the relay was not closing. Out comes the pock knife, bridge the contacts, and she fires right up. We stopped for lunch at a beach. After sandwiches, she fired right up so its on the way out. Checked the diagrams and the parts list, guess what, at some point in the past some one bolted up a non-marine relay on the motor. Really no surprise there, as the marine relay is pretty expensive, but that explains why it failed as it is not sealed. I am sure the contacts are corroded.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Keystone Last Weekend Jun 2009

Took out our exchange student through the Girl Scout camp program. Boat ran great. Did a lot of tubing and swimming. Ended up spending almost 5 hours on the water. While swimming I anchored the boat in about 3 feet of water out from the beach. Here is the interesting thing, when I put it back on the trailer there was hardly any water in her. Maybe the water is due to not getting the plug tight enough. Or maybe with use, some of the seals are starting to swell up now.

The bad news is the Garmin 178C did not work again. The new transducer was installed, but still no depth. I sent the whole unit back for service. The good news it is under waranty and so far Garmin has been easy to work with. Hopefully this will do the trick.

I put her on the trailer. Still got it to deep. The bow never hits the lead roller which I think is what is required for it to center up properly. Next time I am going to lay the rollers out flat and back up until they are just in the water. Then see what happens.

Hope everyone had a safe 4th.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Out on Keystone

Took the boat out with the family on Keystone lake today. The tilt works great. Doesn't require the "bumping" back and forth to get it to come up. There was not much water in the boat and there is some spraying up around the top of the intermediate housing on the transom. When beached today for swiming the water was shallow and the stern drive had to be brought all the way up to clear the bottom. Ended up coasting up to the beach. Anyway, this all suggests that the water is coming from the top of the exahust housing area. Will spend some time inspecting that area next.

Put in at Pier 51 and ran North and West up to Kingsport marina.

To end the day, Stacy put her on the trailer for the first time. Did a great job. Still think I am getting the trailer to deep.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tilt Gear Box Fun

Well the parts came in this weekend and I got the box back together but not without a lot of fun. First attempt, replaced the bushing slid in the clutch assembly then put in the worm gear shaft and gear. Replaced the O-Ring on the end cap. Tapped it in pace and reinstalled the snap ring. Then I got up in the boat and and put the hammer blow coupling and the motor in placed. At this point I turned on the key and tried to run the tilt. NOTHING but some clicking. So, I took the motor off. In the process the motor came apart. I set that a side for the time being. Stuck a screw driver into the slot where the coupling sits. The shaft would not turn. Took the whole thing apart again. Checked all the alignments, and then put it back together. Got back in the boat and tried turning the shaft. This time it worked without any problems.

Now back to the motor. I tapped the armature out of the end cap. Reassembled the armature into the brushes. Slid the case over the armature and then tapped the end cap back on. Then I wrapped electrical tape around it to hold it all together. Applied power to it and it worked. Reinstalled the motor and coupling and everything worked. Back out side to the gear box. I installed the gear box outer cover and noticed that this tended to add a lot of friction to the system. It appears that it preloads the clutch shaft in the axial direction. It appears that up to an 1/8" spacer would be ideal, however, the shaft would float about a 1/32" if this was used. Anyway, I did not put a shim in as the book does not show one. After the cover was on I tried running the motor. it ran good but did not "coast" as long as it used to when the friction was lower.

At this point I installed the sector gear back on to the lower unit and gave it a shot. All worked. Clunked it down hard several times and everytime it lifted the unit back up. She's ready for the water again.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Memorial Day

Took her out with the familly for the first time. Of course everything worked great !! NOT. The tilt would not come up at the first beach. After a couple of tries I just heard the motor running. Oh well, we still had a good time. Did some tubing behind and all ran good. Little challenging getting on to the trailer. Got to get some side rails to take care of cross winds and not put the trailer in so deep. We were doing some swimming so I snapped a couple of photos with her on the beach. Even beached, the lower unit was still just clear of the bottom.

So got home and pulled apart the tilt mechanisim. Discovered that the tilt worm shaft is broken. BTW, if you need parts for the OMC Stringer Stern drives you have to check out Crowley Marine. They have online diagrams and access to Bombardie's catalog for factory support.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

5-10-2009 Lots of Flooding

Took her to the lake today for its second outing. Grey overcast and lots of rain for the past two weeks. I knew water would be high and it looked like the day might be scrubbed due to rain. Got to the New Manford ramp and the ramp was under water, gone !!!! if you look at the pictures from April of the boat in the water that is the New Manford dock. The dock was still floating, but the ramp going to it just disappeared in to the water. There was no room at the top of the ramp to even line the rig up and back into the water. As I could not identify the ramp area we decided it was not worth risking it.

Drove over to Pier 51 area. The water was very high on the ramp, however, the ramp was still there. Decided to give it a try. No problem launching. Beached the boat as the docks were also under water there as well. First time I have run the boat with the lower unit tilted. The OMC book says that you can do this at low power settings for short periods of time during loading / unloading. It seemed to work just fine. Steering gets very vague but that is to be expected. It allowed me to bring her right on to the shore as well as back her of the shore and keep the prop out of the mud.

The GARMIN 178C installed easy enough. Today was the first opportunity to take it out and try it. As expected the GPS ran flawless. However, the depth finder did not run at all !!!! Well, not exactly right it said it was intermittently 200 ft off the end of the ramp. Thats not right. The rain started so I finally packed it in for the day as the water was to cold to get out and play with the transducer.

The boat ran great. Engine fired up easily, but the choke is still an issue. Had to pull the flame arrestore and manually close the choke. It started right up when I did that. Think I am going to install a manual option on the choke or maybe adapet and outboard electric solenoid to actuate the choke instead of relying on the spring.

Once I got home with the boat I filled up a kitchen trash can with water and put the transducer for the sonar into it. Well it worked just fine in the trash correctly reporting about 2ft of water. However, it only did this after I found the reset all button, so I am thinking that some setting had gotten messed up at some point. Remounted the transducer. Hopefully it will work next time out.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

4-19-2009 Garmin GPS 178C

Out at boaters world today and purchased a Garmin 178C GPS / Sounder. Unit looks pretty cool. Can't wait to get it on the boat and see how things work. Assuming it works as advertised I will have to add the InLand Lakes CD from Garmin as well.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

April 11, 2009 ON THE WATER

Made it to the water today. Boat ran good, however, it has to be warmed up or it will not run! Ran it for about an hour today. Maybe a little longer. There is a leak some where. Next time will have to take a flash light and poke around some around the engine areas to see if I can see where it is coming from. Hopefully something obvious and easy.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

April 4 Update

Well I had hoped to have some photos of it in the water by now, but the weather in OK has been crazy. 6" of snow followed by 70F weather. Anyway, with that going decided to go ahead and replace the carpet in the cabin. All of the parts came out easy except the floor. Ended up cutting the floor out. The new floor went back in with no problems. Also the side boards and bunks are back in with new carpet.

Installed the rub rail insert today. It turned out to not be to hard but lots of tedious work. Looks great, had gotten use to seeing the big gap in the corner etrusion, so to have it filled in with the correct parts is really nice. She is truely ready for the water. Just need warm weather. On that note today was 77F. Tomorrow will be 45F.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

3-21-2009 Ready for the water !!!!

yes, I know I have to get some photos posted. The good news is the interior is back in the cockpit, all of the life jackets are on board, all the systems work and the engine even started yesterday with out complaining !!!

I installed a the bilge pump on a wooden block and then sealed the block to the bottom of the hull. The block is painted with many coats to give it a chance of living for some period of time. I did not want to put any new holes in the hull just to mount the pump. All the wiring is cleaned up. Also changed out the prop for one that is in better shape but still not perfect. Got find someone who can over haul the prop.

Pics and a first time one the water report should be next.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

3-10-2009 Water Tight

Well, this weekend was not what I had hoped. Spend a good portion in bed sick. However, was finally able to get after it on Sunday afternoon. Sealed the stern drive boot to the transom so now she is water tight. Installed the thru hull fittings for the bilge pump as well.

On tuesday the rest of the cockpit carpet was installed. This is really getting exciting as now she really looks like a boat ready to run. Just have to put the screws back in the floor now. Once they are installed the rest of the cockpit area interior can be installed. Then it is on to the floor in the cabin. The plan there is to remove the existing floor covering. Coat the existing wood with epoxy and then install new carpet. Pictures coming soon I hope.

Friday, March 6, 2009

3-6-2009 Back From the Mechanic

Well, I brought her home yesterday. Love the Hemi in the Dodge. It tows with no problems. Anyway, the OMC stern drive is ready for the water. Only task left to do below the water line is seal the boot to the transom. Interior components are continuing to go together. Hopefully this weekend get the sealing done and the fuel tank installation completed. Once that is done need to get the carpet installed. Then its off to the lake for a test run.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

2-28-2009 Seat Stands

Spend yesterday and today making new ply wood boxes for the aft passenger seats. They are all built up and ready to be final sanded and painted. Then its time to mount the seats back to them. Think I am going to make a ply wood top to mount the seats to instead of mounting the hinges directly to the box. This should provide some additional strength. Not sure if I am going to hard mount the boxes to the floor or just let them float there.

Friday, February 27, 2009

2-27-2009 More from the mechanic

Well it turns our that the ball gears were lose on the drive shaft in the intermediate housing so all of that had to come apart. Turned out that the shafts were ok, but the bearings are shot. So as it is all apart already the bearings and the gears going to be replaced. Only thing left will be the shafts. The good news is the water pump is ok as well as the spline shaft that it rides on.

Good news is when it is all back together I should not have to worry about the stern drive.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

2-26-2009 Update From Mechanic

Well, the word from the shop is that the alternator may not be working, the thermostat needs to be replaced, and the exhaust manifold is cracked. The good news the crack is on the outside of the unit and can be repaired with a little JB Weld we hope. He is taking a look under at the stern drive now. Hopefully the word tomorrow will be good. Oh yeah, the Carb needed to be rebuilt.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

2-21-2009 Took it to the Mechanic

Well it trailered out to the shop today with no issues. Amazing the tires were even ok after sitting for 6 months. Should be out there for about 10 days. Pickup put the numbers on it put the interior back in and then its time to hit the water. Goal is to have it in the water by April.

Friday, February 20, 2009

2-20-2009 Misc Update

Been working on all of the wood for the seats, foot wells, etc. Most of it is complete. Attempted to change the oil using a suck plunger through the dip stick using a Wal-Mart special suck pump. Well that was disaster. It did not work. Type C oil showed up. Tomorrow taking the boat to mechanic tomorrow to have him go over the lower unit and complete that oil change.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

1-31-2009 Trim Installation

Today I replaced the trim unit that jacks the front of the motor up and down. This turned out to be easier than expected. I put a bottle jack on the center stringer of the boat and supported the motor using a block of wood under the oil pan. I then removed the front mount from the motor and the hull. The new (used E-Bay find) mount bolted in the same place, however, the cross bar casting was not exactly the same. The new one is much beefer than the one removed. Once installed, the new motor was connected to the wiring and I extend the jack screw and removed the bottle jack. Final attach is waiting on new fasteners for the hull mounts.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Cleaned the area around the bellows to prepare it for reseal to the hull. To cold to use sealants today.

Installed the tow rings through the transom and torqued down the bolts.

Swept the interior and cleaned up some. Installed grounding wire on fuel tank. there is 5 gallons in it so it really should be grounded

Took apart one of the foot boxes and made patterns for a new one. Cut out a new one and got it ready for assembly.

Very close to being water tight.

Monday, January 5, 2009

To Cold

Tried to work on the boat, but it is to cold !!! Even to cold in the shop !!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Closing Things Up

Today was both rewarding and frustrating. The plan was to come out this morning and fire up the engine. Only she would not start. Cranked and cranked and cranked but no fire. Not even a sputter. Pulled the plugs and took a look. of course they were fouled. Cleaned them, but them back in and nothing. At this point I was ready to drag it to the mechanic and say I was done. However, after lunch came back to it and got some help from my daughter so that I could pull the plugs and see if they were sparking. Well they were. So, now what is going on. We have a half tank of gas and spark so next thing to check was gas flow the carb. However, before doing that I noticed that the choke plate was not closed all the way. So, while crankeing I pushed the choke plate all the way closed. The motor fired right up !!! Wow. Everything worked fine. Prop engaged correctly and there were NO LEAKS wow. we might actually have this figured out. I properly drained the cooling system in prep for tonights sub freezing plunge. After about 4 hours I decided to see if the motor would start again hopefully more easily. I also purchased some B-12 Chemtool to clean the throats and the shafts on the carb. So I hooked the cooling system back up and turned on the water flow and turned the key. She fired right up !!! Everything checked ok so I shut down and drained the system again.

Installed the boarding ladder over the transom. Next step is to install the tow rings on the back. Then have to seal up the stern drive bellows.

Friday, January 2, 2009

It Runs Again

Well I got the last of the engine mount bolts installed. Was surprised to find how much one side had fallen. Had to bring it up using a drift pin. Filled holes with J.B.Weld prior to installing the bolts so they should be in their good and well sealed.

Engine took some cranking to get started. After it got started it ran just fine and restarted without any problems. Had to let it warm up before it would pickup the prop. Not sure what is up with that. Also had a couple of minor leaks in the new exhaust plumbing. A couple of tweaks on the clamps and that seemd to clear up the problem.

Planning on starting it again tomorrow. Hopefully it will light right up with out any problems.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Transom Is In !!!

The transom is installed. All of the bolts are installed. All that is left to do is install the aft engine mount bolts. Completed the installation of the exhaust riser and the front plate on the exhaust manifold. Once the gasket sealer sets up its time to flush the system and make sure there are no leaks.