May. 1st, 2010

petermarcus: (Default)
After a year off or so sorting out my career in this fun economy, I'm back to rebuilding my boat.

A quick recap -- a couple years ago, a friend's 19' Bayliner was parked in my sister's yard, under a tree. There was a small sapling growing out of the bilge. The boat had been dunked at one point (the plug was left out as the trailer was backed into the water and by the time they got the boat off, parked the car, and got back to the boat, the water was halfway up the engine.)

So, it was a mess. But it was a bargain (I basically paid for the trailer and got the boat) and I love a challenge and anyway, I stare at a computer 10 hours a day, so it's nice to work with my hands on something like this. Even though "restoring" a 1994 Bayliner 19' is pretty much like "restoring" a rusty 1994 Ford Taurus -- not exactly the most unique specimen.

The dampener and water pump was rusted to the block, and a lot of the exterior parts (like the starter) were gone, too. I took the engine apart, down to the block, and have been putting it back together again. The inside of the engine was surprisingly clean and shiny given the crappy exterior. I had to clean off the piston heads and get new rings, but the cam and crank were fine. I doubt there was 500 hours on the engine since '94.

I got the manifold this week, which has been updated a couple times. Alas, the manifold was a little wider than the old one, so the bolt only went in a couple thread-lengths in the block. I figured the gasket would compress a bit, but nope -- I pulled out the top couple threads and chipped the block:

Thankfully, it didn't reach to the exhaust ports. I ran it by an online boat forum, and consensus seems to be epoxying a stud in the remaining threads with a nut/washer instead of the bolt. And a lot of gasket sealer on that side. The stud will be there forever now, but I can live with that as long as I don't accidentally break it off next time I need to take off the manifold.

Of course, no one in this town had the studs I needed (even with all the boats), so they're on their way from internet/mail order and I can't actually get this manifold put on until next weekend. After the manifold, it's the new starter, cleaning and mounting the carb, some new hoses and an exhaust riser, and I think this engine is ready to test.

I have a few soft spots in the boat deck I need to fix with new plywood/glass, and I want to reconfigure the layout a bit (room to fish, yet benches for the family) but I can at least get the boat in the water while I'm sewing new boat cushions.

Oh, and an MP3 player. I need to put in an MP3 player.


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