Friday, September 20, 2013

Back online

I have both engines up and running.  I plan on pulling the boat from the water on 10/5.  Wish me luck.  At that point I am going to winterize the engines and then gut the back half of the boat.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Getting better.

Well I can put our run about issues to bed.  We took it out for a hour and we didn't experience the issues.  Came down to bad coil and distributor cap corrosion.

As for the houseboat, I puttherebuilt carb on and changed the fuel lines.  The boat fired up and idled without issues.  I am going to pump out the tanks next week.  More to come later.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A small victory. Maybe...

My last post detailed the fuel issues with the houseboat. As mentioned awhile ago I have a lot on my plate right now but I forgot to mention our other boat's issue.  The day after initially discovering the houseboat's issue I dropped my wife and mother in law off at a festival on the riverfront.   I took them down in our 19 foot bayliner.  The boat started and ran great.  Once I powered down the idle I notice a lot of hesitation and the boat would stall.  A long story short and 2 weeks later I cleaned up corrosion from the distributor cap and now the boat seems to be running really well.  Final test is tomorrow. 

As for the houseboat, I am going to pump the starboard tank out this weekend.  The carburetor is being rebuilt and I will run new fuel lines when I reinstall it.  Hopefully this gets resolved and I can get through this season.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Gas it up!

A picture is worth a thousand words.

This is what 75 gallons of gas in my starboard tank looks like.  I imagine the port tank looks just the same, however that engine is running ok.  So it looks like this off season will consist of me revamping my fuel system as well as my electrical.

I had this on the list for this year in the beginning, and then I took it off.  The boat got angry that I promised it new tanks and then took the promise away.  So here are my plans:

1. Pump out the starboard tank
     -This will take awhile.
2. Replace the fuel lines in the engine bay
     -Currently these are copper and steel.  I am going to replace them with CG approved fuel lines and put a clear inline filter in front of the carb.  Currently there is a fuel/water separator.  All the lines will be new from there out.  I will replace the rest of the lines when I replace the tanks.
3. Get carburetor rebuilt.
     -I have the carb off the starboard engine.  With all the crap in it, I want to clean it up.  I will get the port side rebuilt in the off season.
4. Replace the fuel tanks.
     -This will wait until the off season.  I plan to get them close enough to empty and put in enough gas to get up river and pull the boat.  I will have to really think how I am going to do this.  I will probably have to remove a large portion of the rear salon as the fuel tanks are under the aluminum stringers.  I will then need to cut those stringers out and hopefully remove them without destroying most of the salon. 
5. Since the floor will be removed for this, I will run all new plumbing for the houseboat at this time.

I will be using for my new fuel tanks.  I have heard great reviews for their service and price.

This boat will end up being about 90% new when I am done with it. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Updates and Electrical Designs

   First a quick update on the trip up river.  I went back down to the boat and I noticed that it still idled somewhat rough and just didn't sound right.  After jumping in the engine bay to work on the generator, I noticed that I didn't even plug in two of the spark plug wires.  DUH!  Once they were plug in the boat started right up and ran great.  The trip up river went very smooth and I didn't experience any issues.  That was the longest running trip that I have had the boat on since I bought her.  It was about 90 minutes up stream and about 105 minutes on the way back.  We really took our time coming back. 

Since that weekend, I haven't had time to go back to the boat.  I have been out of town for all of the 4th and working on the house.  I am having issues with my generator not pumping water.  I believe the impeller in the water pump has gone out.  After talking to the gurus on the houseboat magazine forums I have to do some work on my intake.  I need to put a check valve inline and make sure that I prime the pump before firing it up.  The issue I have at the moment besides lack of time has been knowing what impeller the pump even takes.  I will find out when I finally tear it apart. 

In my big plans for this winter, I am going to rewire the entire 12volt system.  Currently the wiring is pretty old and the 12 volt panel is just breaking apart.  I will go with a 13 slot Blue Sea panel to match the AC panel I put in last year.  I have created the following schematic for me to follow when installing.  I plan on installing a board in the back of my console to mount bus bars and terminal blocks to.  While redoing the 12v I am also going to rewire all my gauges.  I don't plan on replacing them at the moment, but as with everything on this boat, I will more than likely have to.  Here is the schematic I came up with.  Let me know what you think.  Click on the link to see the full size and you will be able to actually read the captioning.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Another learning experience

Luckily I have people that have been wrenching on cars and boats for a number of years to help me out.  In taking on this boat, I have had little to zero mechanical knowledge in regards to engines.  I still have very little, but I am learning. 

My friend was able to beat the thermostats out of the housings and I was able to try and get the boat running again last night.  After replacing the thermostat, the engine would start but immediately stall out.  I sucked a good bit of water that was sitting in the carb so the amount that went into the carb had to be pretty significant.  We decided to pull the spark plugs and turn it over to get any water that was left over out so we would at least get some ignition.  I had replacement spark plugs so we just went ahead and swapped them out.  After restarting, the engine sounded better but it was still wanting to stall and wouldn't idle.  My buddy cleaned some corrosion off the distributor and gave the carb a quick tune up and now it idles as she should.  I plan on going back down Weds and Thurs to just run the boat for awhile and make sure everything still checks out.

Things I learned last night:

1.  Spark Plug Gap
       -I had no idea what this was even for
2.  How the distributor worked and the corrosion inside it

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Frustration of inheriting mistakes

Well, I will tell you that buying a used boat is always an adventure.  Assuming that work by the previous owners is done correctly is always a gamble.  Today we were at the boat, shocking we had the time to go there, and we were hanging our new blinds.  We are taking the boat up river to the baby shower this coming weekend and I wanted to start the engines to make sure everything was good.  Well, the starboard engine wouldn't start.  At first it wouldn't turn over but then finally started turning over and not firing up.  Assuming it was an old battery I ran to advance auto and bought a new battery.  I meant to replace the batteries this spring anyways.  New battery hooked up and still no go.  I decided to just go ahead and install my new thermostat and replace the failed one.  Upon inspection with my friend, he informed me the current thermostats are installed upside down.  To make matters worse, they are stuck in the housings.  My buddy is going to attempt to remove them tomorrow.  I went ahead and ordered two thermostats and housings.  It seems like I will eventually have a brand new engine if I keep buying new parts.

So the plan is to get the new thermostat in if my buddy gets the old housings cleared out tomorrow.  If not, I will replace the whole thermostat housing and thermostats when I get them.  Hopefully I can crank through the water in the fuel tomorrow as well.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Nothing to see here folks

Well, I was completely wrong about my engine.  Turns out I didn't change the oil when I replaced my exhaust manifolds.  After speaking with the gurus at forums, they were dead set against it being a cracked block.  I decided that I would flush out my engine.  This pretty much involves me just changing the oil a bunch of times.  I was able to drain the oil as much as possible and that did the trick.  We have the boat docked and gave her a good wash.  Hopefully we get some time to use her soon.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I'm BACK!!!!!!!!!! It isn't good.....

   For all you followers for this epic story, I thought that I wouldn't have much to add this year other than the new windows being installed in the boat.  Oh how wrong I was.  We finally found some time to get the houseboat launched on Sunday.  Things seemed to be going so well.  The batteries weren't drained and required very little charging.  We were able to get the majority of the water out of the engine bay without issues.  It only took about 2 hours to get the boat ready and dropped in the water. 

    After being in the water, I let the engine warm up and started to check all the fluids.  Well the port side that had water issues last year started to add a lot of water to the oil.  So that pretty much means that engine is shot. 

    So you are asking yourself, just what is he going to do?  Well, I have sadly prepared mentally for this event since I saw the water in the oil last year.  I am going to suck it up and pull everything out of the back of the boat.  The generator, engines, and transmissions are now coming out.  I will probably look to get the generator a tune up.  It seemed to be running pretty rich.  The engines are going to get a couple of new long blocks each.  Since I just purchased new manifolds last year, those will fit nicely.  The carbs on the engine are both new Edelbrocks so those will fit nicely on the new one.  I want to purchase a couple of new end plates for the exhaust manifolds just so everything is new.  I will also buy a new hose kit to replace all the old hosing on the engines.  As for the transmissions, I am taking those to my friend who is the best transmission guy in the area.  He is going to look them over and let me know what I need to buy so he can fix them.  I will have to do a little housekeeping after getting the engines back in. 

So, I will have more information today on what I am going to do but stay tuned.  I am planning to take a lot of pictures and write down a lot of info.  Hopefully this blog will continue to help people that run into the same issues that I have.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sorry for the neglect

It has been way to long since I posted an update on here.  Things have been a bit crazy since November of last year.  I put the boat to sleep for the winter and life has been going non-stop out of the water since.  My wife and I sold our house in December.  Shortly after that, we found out that we were pregnant.  We have since found out we are having a girl.  We should be closing on our new house in the next week or two and then the work on it begins.  We are gutting it and installing all new electric.  This year will be a busy one with not much work getting done on the boat.  I have pushed my plans for the boat off until later this fall and into next spring.  I hope to really finish up on the boat next year.