WELCOME TO RIVER DAVES PLACE

Saved From the Scrapyard #2

Shlbyntro

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So, some of you may have noticed in my Ultra thread that I have taken a few breaks here and there to do some small projects on my big boat, a 1987 Thunderbird/Formula F-35 PC. With my Ultra close to the end of its restoration run and now in the hands of my friend whose taking care of the gel coat for me, I'm starting to get ready for my 2nd round of work on the Formula. Unfortunately my first round took place before I was an inmate but I will post the pics that I have and name off some of the work already done.

Let the record be set that this boat was never in any danger of going to a scrapyard but it was in need of a new home as the previous owner was leaving the lake for some ocean boating and had already upgraded to a Formula 41PC and was self admittedly neglecting this one.

Anyway, I purchased this boat just shy of 2 years ago towards the end of the season and hauled it out that winter. While it was out, it got:
-A bottom job
-Compound and wax
-New shaft packing
-Props sent out for refurb and balance
-Both main engines (merc bluewater 454 mags) stripped down to long blocks in the boat and resealed all except for oil pan and rear main
-full tune ups on both mains and genset
-full fuel system overhauls on both mains and genset.
-all engine servicing to set the base line
-new led underwater lights
-all new led cockpit and cabin lighting
-air conditioner recharge and acid flush.

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Unfortunately late last summer after a handful of good trips out, the port engine developed a knock which has had me spending more time in the slip and only idling out on occasion until I can get around to replacing said engine come this upcoming off season but will be making small repairs and upgrades to her in the water throughout the summer until then and will be posting updates.
 

Shlbyntro

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So last weekends project was tearing down some of the old and dated.... we'll call them "room dividers," and making some new ones that were less dated. I had to break out my sewing machine and relearn how to use that thing but it all came back pretty quickly.

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I think I will be going for a retro luxury vibe inside the boat as many of the original components are still there and in tact. This boat is a well kept time capsule from the 80s and I want to pay respect to that by keeping as much of it as possible while also updating some things to make it more boater friendly

Next project will be new floors for inside the cabin to get rid of that crappy commercial office feeling carpet.
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Socalx09

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Can’t wait to see what you do. The ultra turned out great!
 

Shlbyntro

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New graphics for the name. I designed and ordered this in conjunction with my Ultras name so please pardon the double post
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Shlbyntro

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Some small improvements made this weekend. New microwave, there was nothing wrong with the old one but it was ugly as sin. Also new bed spread that fits the art deco/nouveau look I'm going for on the interior. I think it needs a pop of red!
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Shlbyntro

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Was able to talk my friend and his wife into coming out for an evening booze cruise on the boat over to Emerald Point Marina for the Grand Opening of the Emerald Point Bar and Grill (formerly Carlos N Charlie's.) The place was bat shit crazy insane. We were lucky to break our mooring 10 minutes before the band wrapped up!

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This is the courtesy dock at 1230 am. no overnight mooring allowed if that says anything.... it was a good night
 
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Shlbyntro

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So had a small incident occur last weekend on the Formula. Coming back at nighttime, my stbd nav light fixture developed a direct short inside the housing a started an electrical fire. No flames but the wire roasted itself along with the housing. And filled the cabin with that special smelling smoke. The boat design is so old, that it was designed with only one 25amp circuit breaker to protect all of the boats accessories together. I found that they are not protected individually to prevent such incidents like this one. The wire is absolutely inaccessible and though it was still feeding 12v to the front of the boat when I checked it the next day, I didnt trust it. So this weekend, I abandoned the wire and did a new run.

I did two runs of 14ga biplex from the helm to the front of the boat. For now, both nav lights have their own biplex running all the way back to the helm. But the idea was to have a 2nd run of wire up to the bow in case I need it in the future for something else. That way there is a hot and negative to use already in existence and I can bridge both nav lights to the other run.

While connecting to the dash, 3 of the switches were so brittle that they snapped at the back as soon as I pulled the dash panel so i had to replace those as well. I chose some oversized toggles for the nav and anchor lights and a different style toggle for the courtesy lights so that I can feel the different switches in the dark and know what they are without having to break out a flashlight.

After doing the run, I realized that the grounding to the dash was severely inadequate for all the accessories that have been added over the years at which point I had to make a new run of 8ga back to the engine room and installed a ground bus under the dash. The nav lights are wired up to it as well as the power port. I'll be slowly moving other accessory and gauge grounds to the buss as I continue to clean up and fix wiring under the dash.

I topped the day off by taking the boat out and dropped anchor underneath the Lake Travis Zipline.

Tomorrow I'll be partaking in the last day of the ROT Ralley downtown.

Here are some pics of the work. I forgot to take after pics of the work but will grab some for yall soon.

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Shlbyntro

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As some saw in the lounge , I had to cut my anchor last weekend after getting it caught on an underwater cable in about 70-80ft of water. So next project which is well underway is refitting the formula with a new style Lewmar Delta anchor. I'm fortunate to have this insurance take off that was free to me but had a severe bend in it. I took about 2hrs today with an acetylene torch and a long crescent wrench and have it pretty much straightened out. I'm letting it cool off slowly tonight so as not to shock the metal after getting it red hot for the straightening.

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I'll be installing a pivoting davitt on the boat with 200ft of new rode. I may go with a new windlass too depending on some numbers I'm waiting to hear back on. Good day though.
 

Shlbyntro

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After 6 weeks of being on the back burner, I finally found some time last weekend to install the anchor, marry the old and new davitts, and a new 250' double braid rode. I still have some work to do on the windlass itself unfortunately. For now it has to be helped up. I've decided I'm going to install some foot switches too.
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I also "installed" some pillows and a nice pin up poster I spent a while searching for to continue bringing together the cabin
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Shlbyntro

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In addition to last weekend, I got a wild hair up my ass today after working on a 50hz genset in a customers boat all day and decided to pull my generators out of the rafters. I plan on pulling my old but running Onan 6.5mcck out this winter and replacing it with one of these 2 in the hope that I can leave the genset running at anchor without filling the cockpit area with gassy exhaust fumes. I haven't decided which one yet, so I'm working on them side by side.

Left is a Kohler 7.5EKD, Right is a 5E
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I'm waiting on a parts genny from my buddy to steal the starter off and some other parts off of for the EKD. Leak down showed 5% leakage on #1 and 15% on #2. I dont know the condition of the fuel system or electronics yet until I try and start it.

The 5E, I know makes power but was having major engine issues when it was pulled and replaced with a new unit. The coolant system showed to be dropping pressure rather fast where I found a dryrotted nipple cap which I replaced but it was still dropping pressure. Leak down showed 50% in #1 and 15% in #2. Teardown showed the issue to be a blown head gasket on #1. Fuel system is also shot after sitting for 2years. I plan on regasketing the top end, hand lapping the valves, and a performing a full fuel system overhaul on this one
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Shlbyntro

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My parts for my 5E arrived today and I made a little bit of progress. The circulation pump and a lot of cooling passages were completely impacted. I'm not sure of the exact cause but it is likely some combination of mixed coolants, other contaminants, and low coolant levels that ries and left heavy residue behind.

I was able to get the valves sealing g again, cleaned the cooling ports on the heads, block, and intake manifold, and got the heads and intake installed on the genny before I called it a night.
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Shlbyntro

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Made some more progress on the genny today. I wasnt feeling too motivated with the heat so only got a little bit done. Carb is apart and in the dip for over the weekend and a new circ pump installed
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Shlbyntro

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And she lives! Making power and carrying a load :D

A very nice $300 and 35 man/hr gamble that couldnt have had a better result

 

Shlbyntro

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And in a strange twist of fate, I had this genset land in my lap, a Kohler 7.5EKD. A technician at another shop in the area diagnosed it 2 years ago as a bad rotor (rotating side of the generator field) and the whole unit was replaced under warranty. It was given to me a few weeks ago for spare parts. After just a couple hours diag. time, it turns out all that was wrong with it was only a bad crankshaft position sensor and a high pressure fuel pump.

So heres the question.
I now have 3 running and power making generators.

The 6.5kw Onan MCCK that is currently in the Formula. It's a great genset but being a carbureted flathead, it smells like a 69 Camaro and makes hanging out on the deck not very fun.

The 5kw Kohler 5E which is honestly my favorite marine genset. It is carbureted and the tech is about 10-15yr old but parts are very available and more affordable at the moment.

Or the 7.5kw Kohler 7.5EKD. A newer, fuel injected variant of the Kawasaki powered Kohler marine gensets but had a much shorter run than the E or ECD series gensets and they have a slightly more restricted parts availabilty and higher speciality which means higher parts costs in the future in the event of a failure but also more desirable overall.


I am replacing the port engine this winter and would need at least one engine out of the boat in order to be able to replace the genset due to configuration.

So the question?:
Do I keep the Onan 6.5kw MCCK and just deal with the fumes?

Do I take it out and replace it with the 5kw Kohler 5E. Less fumes but still carbed and about 15 yr newer tech. (500 hrs)

Or, do I take it out and replace it with the 7.5kw Kohler 7.5EKD. Almost brand new tech but also discontinued, and is fuel injected (145 hours) but has some evidence of saltwater use.

I will be selling the 2 gensets that I dont keep.

I am honestly torn.

 

HydroSkreamin

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I’d sell the 6.5kW Oman, install the 7.5kW Kohler, and keep the 5kW Kohler for backup. I’d run the FI unit for less fumes and better overall efficiency. I’m guessing the cost to run the 7.5 FI vs. 5 carby is close. Until it breaks...
 

Shlbyntro

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That's pretty much right on. But I'd likely be selling whichever I dont end up using. I like the idea of the 7.5 but am having a hard time breaking with the idea that the 5 is much much cheaper to repair in the event of a failure where as the 7.5 has $1000 fuel pumps not to mention the very expensive circuit boards and proprietary controllers. I also feel like if I install the fi genset then I'm gonna have to inject the main engines as well lol
 

Shlbyntro

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So decided to install the 7.5EKD but also decided to wait until next winter to haul her out of the water. I have other projects I really want to get to and cant do them all in a single off season. I'm still gonna be working on smaller projects on her though.

Today I made what I hope was the last repair for the Air Conditioning. I found that the AC is at the highest point in the cooling system with a 15ft input run and a 15ft output run for the cooling water. The cooling run at some point developed a siphon effect and was creating an air pocket to develope in the cooling coils which in turn was causing intermittant high pressure fault shut downs. I installed a high-loop on the output side of the ac cooling water in hopes of curving this. I also installed some new air return grates for aesthetics.

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Shlbyntro

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Well that was short lived. AC unit tripped again today. This time absolutely verified to be a bad ac water pump that feeds the cooling water to the ac unit. I replaced it with a take out I've had for a while that was replaced with a self priming unit in a houseboat about 4 years ago. These things aren't cheap! $500 for a glorified 115v bilge pump so I'm glad I held on to this one. Not in a fun spot, on my boat, its mounted underneath the port engine on the aft side.
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I also managed to fix the built in blender by installing a stand alone switch nearby. Not ideal but much cheaper than trying to track down one of these old units. I did do my best to make it look proper and made a clean install. Switch cover also matches my new ac grates :)
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Shlbyntro

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Well the old windlass sprung a leak during the last storm and it's been giving issues to boot anyway. So, I pulled one my spare units out of storage and went through it this evening. If weather holds out this weekend, I'll be attempting to install it on the old girl. It may be interesting as she currently has a horizontal windlass and I'll be attempting put this vertical windlass in its place.

I have to say, I'm pretty fortunate to have insurance takeouts of all kinds that I tend to hold on to and repair way down the road. If I recall correctly, this windlass came from the same boat my anchor did.
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Also, I have not officially named the boat yet as I have not put the decals on. but I am considering a name change. she was originally set to be named "Docked Wages" which a friend of mine came up with, but lately I've been considering "Dread Not" as I'm a ww2 history buff. Thoughts??
 

King295

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I can't comment on the name but really enjoy this thread. Its so different from the other resto threads and has a home renovation feel to it.

Thanks for keeping the updates coming!
 

Shlbyntro

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Some work this weekend. Lots of drinking too. Upgrading the windlass is a huge project, way bigger than I was expecting. I ran new 2ga up to the helm and new 4ga up to the bow. 70ft of battery cable all in. Then i made and cut adapter plates. Then cam the project of cutting out the hole in the boat. Where the windlass mounts was 6inches thick. Lots of hole sawing and cutting. Finally got the top half mounted. But the motor is too heavy and in an awkward position to where I'm gonna need help to mount it on the bottom. Then it will finally be done! I will have 4.5 days into replacing just a windlass. Guess I know better now, glad it was on my own boat and not a customers
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Shlbyntro

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And another day in, and another day not finished. Although I have made it over the hill. Motor is mounted, everything is fully wired. I just need to do some tidy up on the long cable runs that are running all the way from the engine room to the bow. I ended up having to take down the front main panel as I had to clearance the bottom of the deck to make room for the windlass motor. The bow of my boat is 6inches thick! And the shank for the windlass wasnt long enough for the motor to mount.
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DeltaSigBoater

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Great Thread!

A little FYI on the Liquor Dispensers...


There were 2 versions of these:
One made of Glass, the other made from Leaded Crystal. If you see a gasoline on water like sheen in the booze or the taste is a little off, then they're leaded.

One thing that is missing from them, as with most of them after 35+ years are the tags, that said what was inside: "Vodka" "Rum" "Gin" "Whiskey" etc., etc. which hung around the neck of the bottle.
 
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