Archive for the 'Antique Outboard Motor Collectors Inc' Category

29
Jan
17

Never Say Never Again: Another boat project!!

It is said to be a thing of legend…the fights the Fabulous Dorsey’s had!  I’m talking about Jimmy and younger brother Tommy.  Both fiery Irishmen from Pennsylvania…they we’re brother’s who were musical geniuses.  But they had many, many disagreements…that by all accounts led to fights.  Drummer Ray McKinley who played for them confirmed this when I interviewed him years ago.  He stated when asked about the topic (in his Texas drawl)…”OH maaannnn.  Their fights were legendary!  They would start to argue and then the bus would pull over and out the door they’d gooooo!  They’d roll around in the dirt along the highway until it was resolved!!”

The brothers ran a combined jazz orchestra and one night when Tommy was conducting he counted off the tune “Never Say Never Again” at a tempo that Jimmy felt was wrong.  The older brother called the younger out on the bandstand…and Tommy stormed of to start his own big band.  History was made!

Yes many years later the brother reunited and had a really fine swing orchestra.  Tommy directed mostly, older brother Jimmy was featured.  Both had volumes of hit tunes to draw from.  But since they did reunite…they found out you can “Never Say Never”!

So after the last boat project…I swore I’d never restore another boat. I’ve done several and this is boat number 11 so far as ownership.  Everyone one of them needed work.  So I was through…I thought!  But as the Dorsey’s found out…you can “Never Say Never Again!”

In a previous post seen here we made mention of our purchase of a 1958 Lyman 15 runabout.  While she appeared to be in great shape and we had no real plans to do a full restoration…we are doing a full restoration.

Here the deal!

We noticed at the end of last season that she was taking on quite a bit of water when we were out running in October with the Maumee Marauders…a sub-group of friends from the Michiana Outboard Boating Chapter of AOMCI.  This is a group who goes out informally and works, on or just runs our old watercraft and motors.  The wives are involved in it.  We might go for a few hours…or the whole day.  Here is a video of the trip.  This concerned us a bit, but there had always been a slight leak at the bow near one of the garboard planks.  But it seemed to be getting worse.  The other issues with the boat were largely cosmetic, such as paint and varnish.  Hardly a reason to tear the whole boat down.

However after reflection and some discussion with Scott Ramsey of Ramsey Brothers Restoration and my friend and Lyman guru Sonny Clark…Missy n me discussed it and decided a full restoration made sense.  My fear was that we’d paint the exterior this year, then decided to do varnish next year and the stripper would seep out between a plank and louse up the new paint outside.  So we “pulled the trigger”.

Sonny offered to assist us and give us his knowledge by letting us use his big inside heated shop.  His knowledge is based on restoring four Lyman’s, including a 13 footer he split down the middle and replaced almost everything on the boat.  He calls her “Kindlin'” ’cause she wasn’t much more than that…ready for the burn pile.

Also my feeling was that if we had to basically take the hardware and windshield off anyway…might as well do the full boat!  And so we did!!  I also figured we’d get to the bottom of why the leak seemed to be getting worse.  We did!!!  More on that later!

And so we finished the season and took the boat to “Sonny’s Lyman Emporium” to rest and be refitted.  Nearly every weekend we make the early morning trip 101 miles west to Sonny’s where he is usually waiting with his coffee…and an update on what he has done through the week.  Sonny has largely done a lot of mind-numbing and time consuming tasks such as removing all the putty on screws and clinch nails and replacing the putty.  He did the keel work, and a lot of the stripping too.  I can’t possible be there every day.  So we stay in touch by phone and plan our next weekends activities.

So here is where we begin the restoration.

When we left Sonny’s all the hardware was stripped off the boat and stored.

When we came back the next week, Sonny had stripped her decks and removed all the furniture.

So we set about stripping her in the week following.  The varnish that had been applied by the previous owner came right off.  (At least he tried to maintain her!)  But the original varnish was tough!

Missy, Sonny and me worked for a full day stripping her inside.  We found one rib that looks suspicious, but not damaged, possibly from water that sat in the boat.

The forward seat planks were butt-jointed together.  needless to say they eventually will give out…and did.  So Sonny splined them and glued them up with epoxy.

While Sonny worked on the benches…I began sanding the inside of the hull.  This is a tedious task working around all the ribs and the remaining furniture.

The end result is pretty good for a cursory sanding.

The following week we rolled the boat over and were surprised that she was in really good shape.  There are some issues we knew about, and then some usual things, but we determined pretty quickly that we had a situation at the keel that was at the root of our leak.

First the good news.  This boat had some work done that is necessary in most Lyman’s.  Her knee was replaced at some point.  The knee is a structural member that connects from the stem to the keel.  It is a rather large timber with some complex joinery that also involves attachment of the bow planking.  If you look at a lapstrake boat, they seem pretty simple, but look closely at the bow and stern and you find that the planking “flattens” out on both ends via some pretty unique joints.  So they are complex in this way.

So while the knee and two planks had been replaced at some point (Again a sign the previous owner loved his boat and cared for her!!), she certainly had a problem just aft of that repair.

Now that the boat is upside down, we can see what I already knew was an issue.  The keel had something going on at the garboard planks.  What I wasn’t sure, but we needed to find out and make repairs.

In the top photo left…after removal of the caulking you can see there is dry rot at the keel.  Our only option was to cut this area out to see what was involved and then set about repairs.  Top right, we cut the keel out for about 12 inches and began probing the area.  Much to our amazement the timber was in pretty good shape, and the damage was somewhat superficial.  Fortunately the garboard planks were still rock solid!

Upon finding the dry rot, we discussed several options.  The most invasive would be cut the timber out which would involve springing lots of planking and making a new part.  However the timber was actually in pretty good shape.  So we decided to chemically stabilized it and keep it in place.  To repair the damage we used a rot killing epoxy which not only hardens the wood, but also would encapsulate and kill the rot spores.  Then we filled the area with wood (Oak) dust and epoxy.  Smoothed it all out and epoxied a new keel in place.

After splicing the new piece of oak in…Sonny profiled the keel to match the original.  It will certainly be as structurally strong as before…or better in this case since the rot is mitigated.

Now…here is the reason for the rot.  This boat sits on her original Gator Trailer.  The trailers of 1950’s vintage were not equipped with a dolly on the tongue.  So after a trip…whatever water is in the boat…bilge…if allowed to stay in the boat will run to the bow and settle in the area affected on our boat.  The water just sits in the dark humidity of the enclosed bow and eventually it will become a breeding ground for rot.  Had the boat trailer had a dolly on the tongue the water would have settled across the entire bilge or toward the transom and being in open air, would have had little affect.

So now the stripping begins.  This was a tedious and tough process.

The week between Christmas and New Years slows down for me at work, and Missy was off for a shut down, so we spent most of three days bunking in at Sonny’s place to start stripping the boat of her white paint.  Once again, it became obvious that the man who owned this boat must have loved her enough to take care of her.  He had painted and varnished her.  And while not  particularly neat job of it…he did it!  And that probably has prolonged the life of the boat.

You must remember that boats of this vintage were expected to sit out all summer with the sun beating down on them.  There were no UV protectants in paint and varnish really in those days.  So the sun was hard on them.  The rain sitting in the bilge.  Sitting in the water all summer long at the lake cottage, etc.  That’s hard service!  Thus they were expected to live 5 to 10 years…then off to the burn pile.  Our boat is nearing 60 years of age as of this writing!!  So her rotting keel is pretty minor!!

Of course of the lapstrake styled boats out there, Lyman’s were well respected as being well built…and maybe in our boat’s case…OVER-BUILT!  There were others who built good boats, but Lyman’s were, and are well respected.

So back to the stripping of the paint.  The original owner had painted her, and the stripper took that paint off fairly fast.  But the original paint from the factory was HARD as NAILS!!  Three and four coats of stripper were required.  In hindsight I should have simply stripped off what I could, sanded everything.  Feathered the edges and primed and painted over the original paint.  Two reasons for saying this!  1. If old paint is still sticking fast to the surface…work on top of it.  2. Lyman’s paint covered the grain of the plywood planks beautifully.  Its going to be tough to get the grain to not telegraph back through the paint.

But alas we did strip her down.  This also meant uncovering every screw and clinch nail by removing the putty that was placed over them.  Not a job for the faint at heart.  Sonny and Missy did most of this work…I’m glad to say!

What you see above is about a half a day of progress.  The original paint is very tough and the store-bought strippers hardly touched it until several applications had taken place.  Our pile of paint flakes would grow many times over the next few days.

So while Sonny n me went about the process of stripping paint, Missy was doing battle hunched over a workbench stripping varnish off all the furniture parts.

All the furniture and the windshield parts are piled up awaiting their turn at Missy’s table.  The residual varnish was collected in a bucket.  Several buckets!

The paint pile continued to grow…and grow.

So that was it!  23 hrs of time just spent stripping paint and sanding her hull.  I did most of the sanding with my Dewalt Orbital Sander.  It finally seized up in the last hour of work.  But we got the boat ready to go back the other direction toward the water.  We had a basically clean pallet from which to proceed.

Upon return to Sonny’s a week or so later…varnish was continuing to be stripped, and Sonny had stained the transom and gunnels in preparation for final sanding and prepping for primer.  He had also finished up work on the keel repair.

Sonny has worked on the boat as a winter project.

Somewhere along the line I had seen a Lyman with varnished oak spray rails adorning her flanks.  This gave me an idea to follow suit.  But remember the tough…HARD paint from above.  Well it was also covering those spray rails.  Oak is by nature more porous than mahogany.  So naturally this could present a challenge.  But my resident stripper…uh…that is…Missy seemed up to the challenge as seen below!

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Now my wife has no hatred toward anyone or anything that I can identify.  But this day…I suspect she came close.  The paint was not only hard…but it was down deep inside every pore of the oak.  Sonny proclaimed…”I bet you end up painting those back.  There’s no way you’ll get that paint off there enough to varnish them!”

Ha!

Missy did and outstanding job using coat after coat of stripper and then a small wire brush to get the paint out of the grain!

So…after another week went by…we started back to work…

And Sonny sucked and sealed.

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Missy stripped…

I stained…

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Cans stacked up.

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I mentioned Sonny sealed…and he did…using a clear penetrating epoxy sealer…CPES.  We used a new product line from Jamestown Marine called Total Boat which is their house brand.  Sonny applied two coats or so.  What does it do?

It is a very watery…runny…epoxy that soaks deep into the wood and once the solvents flash out and evaporate, it leaves behind a cellulose fiber attached to the wood while sealing it in epoxy to protect it from future issues of rot…or at least minimizing it.

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All the furniture and windshield parts are stained and will get varnish.

After a week of setup time, a thinned 50/50 mix of varnish/mineral spirits was applied to every piece to seal the stain.  next four or five build coats of varnish will be applied before sanding and starting to do finish work.  You can’t have enough room for everything.  We improvised!

In  the two weeks since our last visit (We celebrated Missy’s Birthday!) Sonny prepped the boat for primer.  The keel was caulked and he actually put one coat of primer on the wood following the CPES and faired the hull and filled all the screw and nail holes.  Again…not a job for the faint at heart.

Upon arrival I wanted to go over the boat/primer to try and knock down some of the grain from the plywood planking.  I had spoken to Dave Ramsey at Ramsey Brothers Restorations who was kind enough to offer some advice.  So while I doubt I’ll get all the grain out…and the planks smooth…sanding is a good start.

Sonny had masked off the gunnels and transom.  These things don’t seem hard…and they aren’t.  But prep is 90% of a good end product…and 90% of the work.  The primer and paint are easy!  So I block sanded the primer and removed much of it in the process.  But this will hopefully yield a smoother final finish.

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Here Sonny has also meticulously taped of the transom which will be varnished and masked it to keep the primer off.

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After block sanding the entire boat with 80 grit by hand, I took a break while Sonny vacuumed and Missy wiped the boat down with spirits.  You can see how much primer I actually removed from that undercoat.  Once this was done…it was time to prime the hull.  This is the first time I felt like we were going back toward the water!

The primer we used is a two part epoxy primer from West Marine.  It is their house brand which I think has been discontinued.  So why did I used it?  Simple!

We dropped in one day to look at paint prices.  I looked down and saw it was on sale for 69.99.  Primer of this type is normally around 129.99 for the gallon kit.  I asked the sales person who made it for them.  (Let’s face it…West Marine doesn’t have a factory where they make varnish, paint, and primer. Someone makes it for them.)  She said Pettit made it and they West Marine was dropping it from their line.

Great!  I’ll try it.

This stuff is made for steel, fiberglass, and aluminum boats…but is commonly used on wooden craft too!  It falls right in line with the CPES and other such products.  However this is not easy stuff to work with.  We were going to spray it rather than brush it.  I sensed Sonny was apprehensive about that idea, but I bought some epoxy #97 Thinner from Petit for dirt cheap and it laid down and flowed out very well.  Spraying also make short work of the entire boat.  I used a fairly inexpensive HVLP Paint gun.

Sonny mixed and stirred.  I sprayed.  Be sure to wear a suit and PPE.  Respirator for sure!!

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I took my time and sprayed the whole boat in under an hour.  The toughest part is getting the bottom laps coated.  You have to reach over the boat from the opposite side to do it well.

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Coat number 1 was done by 11am.  We started the day at 9-ish.

So the plan was that we’d let the primer dry for about three to four hours and in the meantime I could be working on varnishing the brightwork. Missy helped by bringing the parts to my work table I brought from home.  I varnished and moved the parts back to the storage tables.

All the brightwork/furniture got a quick coat of buildup varnish.

I hope to push and challenge myself on the varnish and paint for this boat.  I’d like to do it once and not have to mess with it again.  So there will be many more coats applied.  But right now I’m just concerned with building thickness so I can safely sand without “burning” through to the stain.

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There are a number of parts made from plywood for seat supports and such.  These parts will get an oak stain…then varnish.  They were probably made from scrap pieces at the factory that otherwise would have been pitched or burned.  So while this is not beautiful wood (since it is made from the same plywood as the planking!)…it will still be seen.

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So after a bit of down time and idle chit-chat…we did a second coat of primer.  It’s not easy because you’re shooting the same color over top of each other. If we hadn’t gotten such a great deal on this primer…I would recommend buying two different colors to overlap each other to more easily see the coverage.

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After the primer was applied above we had lunch and then went out after the cloud of primer cleared and did another build coat of varnish.  Notice the gloss is starting to build up.

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And with this bow-on shot, you can see we are done for the day.

So our plan right now is that Sonny will do a little more fairing and filling and sanding.  When Missy n me make the trip next weekend…we’ll prep the hull again and shoot a final coat of primer in the morning.  Then we’ll kill time a bit and within a few hours shoot the first color coat of white.  More on that later though.

So for now…that is where the project sits.  We’re hoping she’ll look nice when we’re finished.  I doubt she’ll be a “showstopper”, but I have hopes of her looking like the real lady she is.  She has been an excellent source of fun and we have certainly put some miles under her in our first season.  We are honored to be her stewards moving forward.

Until next time…so long.

29
Dec
11

Beyond the Sea…horse!: Outboard motor restoration step by step…Day Six!

Ten and one-quarter hours spent working on this little motor so it can run…hopefully…another 50 years.  So far we have torn down the power head, the motor leg, repacked the lower unit, replaced the clutch dog (shift member), stripped all parts and primed and painted them…as well as decaling the hood.  Now the power head is going to be rebuilt and the final assembly of the motor finished.

Let’s get underway!

Power head components....EVERYWHERE!

This piston is pretty scratched from carbon getting stuck in the cylinder between the piston and cylinder wall.

Crankshaft bearings must be looked over with a critical eye. O-rings should always be replaced. These o-rings had given their all a long time ago!

Using a sharpie marker, I like to mark each connecting rod and related cap.

The motor block has been honed and all carbon must be cleaned from the block as well. Leaving excess carbon around cylinders and ports can cause heat issues.

As a matter of routine when a power head is over-hauled, at minimum new (or good) piston rings should be installed, and the cylinders honed to break the "glaze" or smooth surface of the cylinder walls. In this photo you can see the scratches from the honing process.

Used care placing the pistons in the cylinders. You must compress the piston rings so the engage the small dowel in the ring groove into a notch that is cut in the piston ring. Do not force the ring into the cylinder or breakage of the ring may occur.

Using needle bearing grease...or in this case Vaseline...we can now lay the 29 needle bearings into the connecting rods and rod caps. COUNT THEM! These bearings are not caged...there is no cage for the bearings to lay in, so they must be laid in the Vaseline to hold them in place until assembly is complete.

Half of the the needle bearings are in place on the connecting rods.

Once the bearings are install...all 29 of them...you may place the rod caps back on the matched connecting rod. Be sure to torque the connecting rod cap screws to the proper specs.

A low grade lacquer thinner is used to clean grime off all nuts, bolts, and hardware.

All original hardware is cleaned in solvent and readied for installation.

Using a new-old-stock gasket kit the crank case halves are mated beck together using 3M Scotch-grip 847 to seal it. This material is also used on all screw threads.

Final coat of paint has been applied to the lower-unit and transom clamp assembly.

This area was blemished with a drip. It is un-noticable now.

The exhaust leg has been installed prior to installation of the power-head.

Magneto ignitions use magnetic force to derive their power. No batteries needed.

I always clean the magneto plate to make sure it is spotless. This will allow you to quickly see if gasses or oil are coming out of a crankshaft seal later on down the road.

The coils and condensers checked good, so new plug wires were added, and the mag plate cleaned. The magneto is ready for installation.

A front shot showing the shifter and carb. The magneto has been installed.

New ends are attached to the spark plug wires. Neon spark testers are used in-line with the plugs to check for good ignition spark.

The flywheel and recoil have been installed.

The paint on the I.D. tag has faded or flaked off. This needs to be touched up too.

First lightly paint the I.D. tag with paint, then use a razor blade to lightly etch the paint off the raised areas.

With installation of the hood, this old Sea-Horse is ready for action again!

So after an additional two hours we have just under 13 hours of time in to making this old motor ready for action again.  Upon bucket testing and setting the carb jets, she seems ready to run.  Looking forward to spring to let ‘er rip on the river.

 

Hopefully this six part blog will inspire others to take on a challenge and give life to an old outboard motor.  Thanks for reading!

Greg

21
Dec
11

Beyond the Sea…horse!: Outboard motor restoration step by step…Day Five!

On Day five, we’re waiting on one piston that needs replacing and new rings, as well as some o-ring seals that are required for the water pump housing, the crankshaft journal bearings, and crankshaft seals.  The piston was ordered from Sea-Way Marine, but turned out the superceded part was not correct for this motor.  The original piston is scratched a bit, but can probably be reused.  However if possible, since the power-head is torn down, I’d just assume replace anything that is remotely questionable.  On this motor, almost every single rubber part was hard as rock!  Al the seals needed replacement to be sure, but even the water tube grommet was hard. (Odd!!)

So while we sit and wait on the mailman to show with the new parts, and the search for a new or used good piston is underway, let’s take a look at decals!

Decals seem to be another of those mystical, and magical thing that really can set a motor apart from the pack.  Remember being a kid and building that prized model car or truck?  Remember putting the finishing touch on?  THE DECALS!  You would soak them in water…waiting for ever, it seemed, for them to be ready to release from the backing paper and placed OH SO GINGERLY on the side of that wonderful model!! But somehow they just didn’t look as perfect as the box the kit came in?  How disappointing!  The “secret” will be shown later in this post!!

For now let’s start with self-sticking decals.  Most of my decals come from Peter McDowell of North York Marine.  His line of products has expanded over the last few years.  He also has made very subtle improvements to some of the decals that make working with them a snap!  Peter also works tirelessly to make the decals as authentic as they can be.  Am I endorsing or promoting his product you ask?  Damned right!  Peter is invaluable as a source for the classic outboard market.  He’s knowledgeable and willing to be helpful by sharing his wisdom.

So here is where we are…a green and silver hood that needs decals.  I should mention that even though this motor was given to me, I was fortunate it was a QD-12.  The decals on this motor are slightly different than the preceding years.  This was very attractive to me for that reason alone!

Here is our hood and our decals. I love that "crazy" Johnson script with the "Sea-Horse 10" logo. Slightly different than previous years!

To keep the decal from sticking entirely so it can be pulled up if need be for repositioning, a spray bottle with a mix of 75% distilled water, 25% alcohol and a DROP of dish soap is used to mist the area where the decal is to be applied.

Once the decal is laid in place and you are happy with it, use a plastic squeegee to squeeze the water from behind the decal. The vinyl decals can be stretched around compound curves somewhat. Make sure there is no grit of dirt on the squeegee as this could scratch the decal when rubbing it into place. To be safe you should actually use the backing paper laid smooth side down and run the squeegee over that so the decal will not be damaged in any way.

In about 15 minutes time, our hood has been decal-ed and is ready for use.

If you remember during a previous post I painted a 1956 Johnson 5.5hp hood with Johnson Cream while I was painting some other parts for our subject motor.  Now we’ll decal that hood with the same type of decals.  In my experience I have found it helpful to trim close along the decal in a straight line so there is nothing to get in the way of positioning the decals correctly.  Also your eyes tend to be accurate within a few degrees when “eyeballing” parallel and perpendicular surfaces.

Decals are paper backed vinyl with a self-adhesive. These masked decals are easy to line up and press into place. BUT! once they are applied, they're stuck! Care must be taken in their application.

PREP...PREP...PREP! Again preparation is everything! Clean all surfaces with denatured alcohol to get rid of any and all dirt, grease, or other filth that may affect adhesion. Make sure that the alcohol is evaporated before applying the decals though...or they may never stick again.

Using a spray bottle to mist a mix of distilled water with a DROP of soap added, and maybe a bit of alcohol, mist the area where the decal will be laid in place. This will allow you to move the decal if you get it mis-aligned.

Here our faceplate has the decal and masking applied.

Once laid in place, squeegee the water from behind the decal and smooth it out to make a permanent stick.

These decals are paper backed and after peeling the backing paper you are left with a mask over the printing that allows you to lay the decal in position and burnish it down with the squeegee.

This is the finished faceplate.

Our vinyl decals are masked in front and have a paper backing on the back to protect them while being stored. The backing paper must be peeled away to expose the adhesive side of the decal.

The area of the hood that is to be decaled is misted with water to allow repositioning of the decal if needed. With practice, you will get better and better at getting it right the first time!

In this photo and the next, the decal is showing though the paper mask that allows a perfect alignment of all the letters. Imagine if you had to place each letter independent of one-another!!

The Sea-Horse logo is made up of many smaller decals to make the one big logo! I strongly encourage clear coating these decals to avoid damage during use.

After the masking is remove, this is what has been left behind.

This motor is now ready for service. It's sure to be a conversation starter at the launch ramp.

Looks like new!!

So after 15 minutes to a half hour, this is how the decals are applied and look when done.  Tough part is to get things straight, but practice and patience will do wonders in this regard.

There is still one other type of decal to discuss and that is lacquer/water-slide decals.  These decals are printed on a very thin film, usually clear, then printed or silk screened with each color individually.  The more colors…the more fragile the decal can become.  As the layers of ink dry, on some decals up to half-dozen colors, the thickness of the decal is now much more than the original film.  When applying these decals I use fairly warm, not hot, but warm water in a long wallpaper pan.  The warm water softens the decal and its ink somewhat to make it my pliable.  After soaking for 15 seconds at a time, the decal will eventually lift.  Leaving it on the backing paper, it should be positioned in the area where you want it, then carefully slide the paper out from underneath the decal.

This medium sized decal must wrap around the tank on a Firestone motor. It will have to contour to compound curves of the tank. Here it is soaking in warem water and beginning to unroll indicating the decal is almost ready to be removed from the paper...IN PLACE...onto the tank. These decals have at least three colors, so they are fairly thick...and thus can fracture.

If the decal fractures into large pieces, use a spray bottle with slightly soapy water to wet the area around the decal and push everything together very carefully.  If you need to reposition a decal, especially large decals, use the same method and wet the decal before trying to move it.

WRINKLES!!! Arggh!! No big deal really, but to be expected on compound curves.

Okay…so now we have applied and positioned the water-slide decal on the side of the motor.  But, we also have wrinkles in the decal owing to the compound curves of the tank.  How to move forward?  Follow along closely.

First and foremost…WAIT until all the water has dried out under the decal.  I usually wait anywhere from 24hours to several days before proceeding.  However it is imperative not to touch the decal after it has dried as it has now returned to a fairly rigid state owing to the warm waters absence.  Remember the warm water made the decal soft and pliable.  Now it is back to its natural state.  Touching the wrinkle could cause the decal to crack or flake off.

To get the decal to lay down there are many products available from local hobby shops that sell model train, planes, and automobiles.  Products such as Micro-Set from Microscale Industries or Solvaset from Walther’s Hobbies are chemicals that are made to soften the decal and drive air-bubbles out from under the decal, then allowing it to snuggle down to the surface underneath.  These products will cause the decal to wrinkle usually and during this process you absolutely must not touch the decal!  If you do, you run the risk of the decal tearing, stretching, or being torn.  These decal setting solutions will INITIALLY CAUSE WRINKLES…but they should lay back down over several hours.

I find the Walther’s Solvaset to be slower, yet more powerful.  It also take much longer to let the decal lay down.  The Micro-Sol from Microscale seems to do the job fairly fast but if the decal has many layers of ink, it does not penetrate as well as the Solvaset.  With that said, you will develop your own preference over time.

I should also mention that once the decal lays down, if any additional wrinkles or air bubbles are left behind you can prick them with a fresh #11 knife blade and reapply the solution to allow additional setting to occur.  At any rate…several applications are usually necessary anyway to make the decals lay down completely.  Once the decals are set, the are not going to be able to be moved again, so make sure BEFORE applying the solution you are completely happy with the decal placement!!

The final outcome is quite satisfying. This little Firestone is ready for fun again!

So that is a look at the application of decals that are commonly used in our hobby.  As for our subject motor…we spent about 15 minutes putting decals on our hood.  So we’re sitting around 10 1/4 hours of labor to get the old Sea-Horse ready for summer.  Soon the parts will be in-stock now for rebuilding the power head, so in the next post we’ll give the lower leg a final coat of Sea-Mist Green and reassemble our old girl…and hopefully draw this project to a close.

Hope you drop by for a final chapter found here: Beyond the Sea..horse!: Outboard motor restoration step by step…Day Six!

Greg

16
Dec
11

Beyond the Sea…horse!: Outboard motor restoration step by step…Day Four!

Nine hours into our project and were sitting waiting on paint to dry.  This is where a project can really slow down to a crawl…WAITING!  Since we have some time to kill, let’s look at masking for multicolor painting.

First there are many kinds of tape that can be used.  Some are not suitable for this type of work due to their adhesive being too strong.  We also discussed proper preparation, and now will get into some reasons you must prepare your surface correctly.

Let’s start there…WHY so much prep?  Failure to prep each part by thoroughly cleaning will not allow the primer and paint to adhere correctly.  That is a very essential elements to keeping the paint where it belongs…your motor.  The bigger issue will come into play, and a lack of proper prep will be obvious when you mask for a second color.  After you have masked and shot the second color…and begin removing the masking tape, if the surface had any impurities that did not allow the primer and paint to stick to the surface, the paint will likely peel off with the tape.  There are ways to fix these issues, but it is best to simply take your time and properly prep the surface.

The sticky business of tape enters into the situation as well.  Yellow making tape is pretty aggressive in how well it sticks to a surface.  Fortunately we now have many options.  Any paint supply house will have green tape, blue tape, and even fine-line vinyl tape for really odd curves.

Green masking tape or the 3M blue tape from the hardware store are suited to masking for this purpose.  I prefer the green since it can be somewhat stretched and snugged down around odd turns and shapes.  It also adheres well to keep paint from bleeding underneath.  Blue tape is cheap and does the same job, but is less flexible, so often it must be trimmed to contours with a knife.

Fine-line tape is used in the auto body business, but has application in our hobby as well.  It is a vinyl based product that comes in a variety of widths.  1/4 inch is easy to work with and will easily go around most compound curves we would deal with.  The blue fine-line tape is for curves, but there also is a green or yellow fine-line tape that can be used for more straight masking and it is no as flexible as blue fine-line tape.  However this type of tape is fairly pricey and I rarely use it anymore for outboards.  (I do use it for model railroad painting though!!)

Now let’s take a look at masking our project…

Our hood has now been painted Sea-Mist Green. It is ready to be masked off and the dull-aluminum painted on the "wings" of the sides.

First while shooting the hood Sea-Mist Green, I made up some sub-assemblies that needed touching up. This is the leg of our motor with transom clamps and tiller handle in place. Most agree that OMC simply assembled their outboards and painted them while hanging from the crankshaft. This is evident from the paint patterns seen when disassembling these motors.  It is my preference to paint everything in pieces first, then sub-assemblies second, and fully assembled if need be as a last coat. (Often I won’t bother because of the risk of getting “shadows” on areas otherwise covered by parts that are in the “line of fire”.)

This lower unit shell had some sags that were objectionable. They were fixed by wet sanding and a quick re-shoot.

Same for the water pump housing. No more drips.

If you have a small dent or ding in a motor, the time to fix that is before painting with the color coat. After the epoxy primer is sprayed, you can use JB Weld on areas exposed to high heat or fuel, or in this case body filler. When it has dried, sand it down and re-prime, then paint.

First step: Place tape along the edges of the area to be shot with another color. Don't worry about overlap in the area to be painted. We'll trim in a minute. However...make sure there are absolutely no gaps where the paint can get through the masking tape.

Using a fresh #11 knife blade, lightly let the blade follow the natural groove of the shape or the hood. Use only enough pressure to go through the tape...A light hand is needed here. You're certainly not required to press so hard as to cut the aluminum! Take it easy and slow.

After trimming the masking tape, burnish the edge of the tape down firmly along the area to be painted to avoid paint running under the tape. A fingernail, un-sharpened pencil, or other similar object may be used for this procedure Cover the rest of the hood, again being sure there are no gaps where paint can get through the masking. Check it thoroughly before painting.

Our hood has had the second color, dull aluminum, added now. While in the booth the other dull aluminum parts were also shot. You can see the exhaust housing hanging in the background.

The other half of our hood and two small knobs hangin up on the rack behind.

And after carefully removing the masking tape, we are left with our finished hood.

So that takes care of painting a fairly simple hood!  Now it is ready for decals!  Clear-coat follows if you wish, but make sure you scuff sand the hood before decal-ing and clear-coating!

So we have about another hour in masking and painting the hood and a few other parts.  This brings our time to a total of 10 hrs to bring this old Sea-Horse around to like new!

Next installment will be decal the hood and discuss methods of application and types of decals.

There’s still lots of work ahead including rebuilding the power-head and some finish work.  I have run into an issue with getting a good piston to replace one that is slightly scratched, also a few o-rings for the power-head and crankshaft seals.  They should be along in the mail soon though!

Hopefully you’ll keep sticking around!  Part Five can be found here: Beyond the Sea…horse!: Outboard motor restoration step by step…Day Four!

Greg

14
Dec
11

Beyond the Sea…horse!: Outboard motor restoration step by step…Day Three!

When we parted company in our last post, 7 hours have been spent restoring our old Sea-Horse so far.  There is still much to do!  Paint, decals, rebuild the lower unit and power-head.  We had cleaned and degreased all parts, blasted the paint off all the parts, and cleaned everything to perfection before priming each part with DP epoxy primer.  Now the time has come to do the work that everyone seemingly is afraid to try.  Apply the color coat…the one that will be seen by everyone in the world.

Fear not!  You will make mistakes, but the advantages of using a hardened acrylic enamel is you can wet sand and file drips, runs, and sags to make touch up and a near perfect finish on your motor.  This however is something of an art, and requires patience, and time to do properly.  Of course, since I “always” get the paint to apply perfectly…I will make a few “mistakes” on purpose for the educational value of those reading.

Okay…that’s a lot of bull.  I always make mistakes!  It is inevitable!  However the real fun is in learning to fix those mistakes!  So in this blog post we will no doubt have some opportunity to explore various options on fixing these blemishes.

Let’s go to work!

Just like the primer, the paint gets mixed in a mixing cup.  Each brand has it’s own mixing ratios.  Unlike the DP primer, our Limco 1 acrylic enamel requires three elements to be mixed together.  First there is the paint, which is of fairly thick consistency.  Added to paint is a hardener that will chemically harden the paint within about three hours.  This is the element that is missing from spray paint, therefore the paint from a spray can never really hardens.  Last is a reducer that is added to the mix to thin the paint enough to allow it to flow out of the gun, onto your project, and lay down flat before drying.

This is the Limco 1 Sea-Mist Green from North York Marine. Also seen is the reducer and hardener, which is manufacturer specific.

Mixing cups have many graduations for various manufacturer's paints Limco 1 uses and 8 (Paint) to 1 (Hardener) to 4 (Reducer). This mixture is not represented on this cup, but a ratio that is close to the same is in a 4-1-2 ratio as shown. You can also just measure in ounces.

Next hardener and reducer (thinner) is added.

The paint will now be fairly thin in consistency. Stir well and slowly. Don't worry if the metallic type paints have "swirls" in it after stirring. It will spray out of the gun correctly.

Proper technique is simple really.  First set the pattern and amount you want to shoot by spraying paint from the gun on a piece of paper.  Adjust all those knobs we discussed in Part 2 to get the right amount, vertical or horizontal, and width of pattern.  Once you’re satisfied with the paint pattern…you’re ready to do the real thing on your parts.

Remember you need to stand back about three feet to allow paint to properly atomize with the air before hitting the part being painted.  You’ll need to have paint flowing BEFORE you get to the part.  In other words have paint coming from the gun before approaching the part, and after leaving the trailing edge of the part.  Keep your gun at a 90 degree angle to the part being sprayed.  Take your time!  Learning to allow the right amount of paint to flow onto the part is only achieved by doing this and getting a feel by making mistakes.  Practice on some junk parts if possible.  You can always add another coat, so when starting out you may wish to err on the side of too little…after all…too much becomes a mess quickly.

I shoot paint at about 30psi, standing three feet away and moving side to side at a moderate pace, allowing the paint to give good coverage to all parts.  Always be on the lookout for areas that are too thinly covered.  Undersides of parts are tough to get at…so you may need to hang parts high, then low to shoot all areas.  Turning the part as needed to get paint on every plane of the part is a must.  Be aware that if you have just painted a nearby area, you are adding more paint to that portion of the parts at the same time you’re painting the un-painted area.

You can shoot each part lightly and then wait a few minutes to allow the paint to set, then go back to a part and shoot it again.  Several light coats are better than ONE HEAVY COAT!  But remember, once the hardener is added to the paint, the chemical process of hardening is under way, so you must use the paint.  You cannot save it for a half hour…or use down the road in a few days.

The first coat is applied on all surfaces. Be careful not to spray too heavy or too close to the parts to avoid sags.

Small parts are hanging to dry.

All parts are sprayed Sea-Mist Green.

In this photo, if you look closely at the water pump housing near the middle of these parts, you can see runs forming from too much paint. We'll have to re-visit this and correct those drips later.

These parts were hung at the end of the rack as they will all be sprayed either dull aluminum or Johnson Cream.

Drips and runs…or sags used to make my temper flare, my heart race, and my day go to heck!  Not so much anymore.  After experimenting and consulting some experts, and mostly just doing fixes on my mistakes, I’ve learned this is part of the process.  Besides, after I have not worked on the motor for a couple of weeks, I generally forget the whole drip ever existed.  We have to make mistakes to improve our skills, and this is part of the learning process when doing a full restoration.

So without further adieu, lets fix some drips!!

Drips are a way of life on most old motors owing to the many, many surfaces that must be covered. These can be fixed with some effort.

Again, drip and sags that will be evident and must be removed and wet sanded to flatten the surface out so a touch up coat can be applied.

The bottom shell of the lower unit will often get a run or two owing to the odd shape and screw recesses that can collect paint, then release it to run wild.

Here are parts that pass the drip test.

The propeller was shot with Johnson Cream from Peter McDowell at NY Marine. Since it is tough to mix a very small portion needed for one propeller, I usually keep several spare props in a bucket to shoot with other parts of similar color. In this case I shot four props and a 1956 5.5hp hood.

I shot this hood along with the propeller, but we'll address it later in the blog regarding masking for two color paint work.

This housing will be the first part we will try to get ready for touch up.

This handy tool is a miniature file attached to a wood block that will gently file down the drip until it is flush with the surface. These tools can be purchased at your local paint supply house.

Holding the tool between two fingers, you gently, with nearly no pressure, run it over the drip in ONLY ONE DIRECTION. This will take a few minutes and some patience. Should the tool become clogged with paint dust, simply clean with a wire brush.

After filing the drip down, now we're left with the discolored area where the paint pigments have collected. To prepare for a touch up I usually wet sand the area using water with a drop of dish detergent, and 600 to 1500 wet dry paper.

The water is straight from the tap, but distilled water is better. Also I add a drop of soap just to keep things slippery! However the soap must be completely rinsed and the part totally dry before applying the next coat of paint for touch up.

The wet-dry paper is wrapped around a small hardwood block. Very little pressure is used in sanding the remains of the drip out. Allow the grit on the sandpaper to do the work for you. This will again take some time and patience!!

All of these parts have now had their drips, runs or sags removed. They have been thoroughly washed and will be allowed to dry before painting with another coat of Sea-Mist Green.

Unless there is a good reason to touch up separately, I usually will assemble sub-assemblies to shoot in their entirety...from all angles...with a second coat of color. This part has some thin spots on the back of the steering tube and the port transom clamp. This will get covered by a second and final coat of Sea-Mist Green.

It has been my personal preference to shoot the hoods separately from the rest of the motor.  Reason: I can mix one more batch of paint and give the rest of the motor a good finish coat to fix those drips and thin spots while shooting the hood.

This hood will not be difficult to shoot with paint owning to it’s mostly flat surfaces.  Hoods such as the mid-50’s Johnson hoods can be a challenge because they have so many angles and planes that must be painted.  We’ll discuss that in some detail later.  However this hood is very simple in styling and will be shot quickly and allowed to dry for a day or so before masking for the dull aluminum paint on the trim.

The hood is now prepped and ready for DP epoxy primer. The it will get a coat of Sea-Mist Green with the other sub-assemblies. After the Green has dried, we will have to mask off and paint the dull aluminum trim on each half.

Total time for this work was about 2 hours.  This leaves us with about 9 hours in this motor so far.

The next several steps are what I call the “Hurry-up-n-wait-stage”!  This is where you’ll walk in the shop, shoot some paint, and you can’t do anything else with the motor until the paint has REALLY dried.  In other words, the next day.  That is why I usually keep two projects going at one time…and sometimes a third to do minor work on such as a tune up.

Next time, we’ll have the hood painted and ready for masking and shooting a second color.  We’ll address in some detail the different tapes used for masking and procedures used in Day Four of our full restoration of this 1951 Johnson QD-12.

You can check out part four here: Beyond the Sea…horse!: Outboard motor restoration step by step…Day Four!

Greg

13
Dec
11

Beyond the Sea…horse!: Outboard motor restoration step by step…Day Two!

Painting using good quality paint can really make a final product stand out.  Peter McDowell explains the issues with using spray paint, which never really gets hard, on any product that will see hard service and or exposure to fuel.  You can read more on his website at North York Marine.  Peter also sells paint that is painstakingly matched to the original colors of our vintage outboards.  He’s a helluva nice guy, and very knowledgeable.

The main issue in painting a motor is preparation!!!  ALL parts must be totally free of all grease and grime, fuel, oil, and dirt.  To do this I use various stiff and soft bristle brushes and generic parts washer to get loose debris off each part after dis-assembly of the motor.

The old saying is "Cleanliness is next to Godliness!" "Tis true in this case. All parts must be degreased completely BEFORE using blasting media to get rid of paint.

Low grade lacquer thinner is used  to clean off the crud that is very stubborn or caked on.  Be sure to get up into nooks-n-cranies.  There are a lot of them on these old outboards.

For final prepping of parts, a clean bowl and clean lacquer thinner is used. I get my lacquer thinner in 5 gallon pails from the paint supply house.

Using a brush and lacquer thinner a final degreasing is underway. All grease must be removed before blasting parts to remove paint. Failure to do so will result in the blasting media just sticking in the remaining grease and potentially getting blown into the media and clogging your gun

In my post about Day One of this project, I suggested being into forensics is helpful.  This motor was suspected of being repainted somewhere along in it’s life.  It was painted a “correct” color of Johnson Sea-Horse Green which is darker than the 1946 to 1951 Sea-Mist Green.

Upon application of lacquer thinner to clean the main steering tube, this old Sea-Horses true colors were beginning to show.  The Sea-Horse green was wrinkling up and leaving behind the original color as seen below.

Here is where forensics that was mentioned in the Day One blog plays into the project. After application of lacquer thinner, the "second coat" of paint...Sea Horse Green is peeling like crazy...revealing this motors true colors.

The old dirty thinner used in the first cleaning can be reused to clean hardware used to put the motor back together. I use the original hardware always if possible.

After thoroughly cleaning ALL crud and filth off each part, blasting was done to rid each parts of it’s old paint and primer.  For this I use a generic blast cabinet and slag blasting media.  If a part is delicate, I may use soda-blasting as the media of choice.  The problem with soda-blasting is it works well, but the media is only able to be used once.  It also must be done outside of the shop.  The good thing is it is environmentally friendly in that it uses baking soda with is water soluble and thus easily disposed of with water.  Soda-blasting also does not dig into or etch the metal being blasted.  Additionally, unlike sand-blasting it does not heat, and potentially warp the metal being blasted.

All parts have been blasted in an inexpensive blast cabinet from Harbor Freight tools. Next it's time to prep for primer.

The power-head has also been cleaned and is stored in a tote until the cylinder block is finished being honed at the local marina.

Following paint removal, all parts must be cleaned again to remove dust and residue from the blast media.  Again, any impurities left behind will likely cause issues with primer adhering to the aluminum or could even cause paint to “fish-eye” when sprayed over those particles of impurities.  This will appear as an area that paint will spread out AROUND the particle or impurity.

Once the lacquer thinner has been used to clean all parts, they are hung up and allowed to air dry...or they can be blown dry with compressed air.

As always, when any motor is disassembled, mechanical issues arise.  A common issue found after a lower unit has been rebuilt is shown below.  A small dowel is inserted into a hole in the lower unit castings at the front and rear of the prop shaft.  The purpose is to “index” the bearing on the leading end of the prop shaft so it will not turn in the housing while under power, and the dowel at the rear (Prop-end) keeps the prop shaft seal housing from falling out of the lower unit.  Our front dowel has been pushed all the way down into the lower unit housing.  This must be removed and repaired as follows below.

Lousy photo...but in the area near the round edge you can see a little pin that is used to index the bearing on the prop shaft. This must be pulled out and replaced to keep the bearing from turning in the housing while under power.

Using a drill bit that is smaller than the dowel pin, drill a straight hole in the dead center of the dowel.

After drilling a small hole in the dowel, an easy-out removal tool, or even a sheet metal screw can be inserted in the hole to pull the dowel out of the housing.

The dowel is sufficently long enough that once it has been pulled out, it can be turned 180 degrees and re-inserted in the lower unit housing.

Here we see the dowel sticking out of the lower unit housing so it can now do the job it was intended to do by holding the bearings on the prop shaft in place.

Normally BEFORE priming and painting a lower unit, I would first rebuild and reassemble in to a sub-assembly.  However, upon further examination the weakest point of all lower units appears to be worn out.  The shift “sliding member” (OMC term) or “clutch dog” has had its ears worn by improper shifting.  Thus it will need replacement.  All OMC motors are designed to be “snapped” into gear!  “Easing” them into get creates premature wear of the clutch dog which engages the forward and reverse gears as shifted.

If in doubt...replace it. The clutch dog has seen its best days behind it.

The final preparation is to tape off, mask, or plug any holes that you don’t want paint to get into.  Despite primer and paint being only microns thick, it is enough thickness to complicate reassembly or create wear if clearances in drive shaft bearings are allowed to decreased even slightly.

To keep primer and paint out of the bronze bearings for the drive shaft, I use neoprene stoppers in the holes.

Any bearing surface within the steering tubes must be taped off to avoid being coated by primer or paint.

After a thorough cleaning with solvent, the parts are ready to be primed.  I use a PPG product from their Shop Line that is mixed with a primer hardener made specifically for this application.  Epoxy based primers are not of the self-etching type used on aluminum, but it does have some etching properties and seems to do well on a properly prepared aluminum surface.  It is touted to be good for most applications, and is commonly used in the automotive repair industry.

Primer used on most of my projects is an epoxy primer and hardener.

Per instructions, the primer is mixed 2 parts primer to 1 part hardener.

Using a mixing cup from the paint supply house makes mixing easy.

DP Epoxy Primers must be allowed to cataliyze with the hardener for 30 minutes after mixing.  This gives a bit of time for organizing parts to be sprayed in a logical sequence and any last minute cleaning that needs to be accomplished.

The clock is running!

During the 30 minutes we have waiting on the primer to do its thing, let’s discuss technique using an paint gun.  First and foremost…READ the instructions.  Each gun may vary.  The most basic features are a nozzle that allows a change in spray pattern by rotating the nozzle on the front of the gun.  There should be a knob to control with of the spray pattern, and finally a way to adjust the needle to control the amount of material/paint that can come out of the gun tip by pressing the trigger.

The gun! This is an inexpensive HVLP gun from Harbor Freight tools.

The business end of the gun! This nozzle can be turned 360 degrees to adjust the horizontal and vertical pattern of the spray gun.

This knob rotates to change the width of the pattern being delievered from the gun to the target.

This knob acts as a stop for the needle. Backing it out allows much more paint to flow from the nozzle, screwing it in restricts flow. There is also a stop nut that keeps the stop-nut from adjusting on its own.

Get used to this view! This is the disassembled gun. L to R: Gun, paint cup, needle, filter, nozzle, and needle stop nut.

So that is the basics of the HVLP gun.  This is a gun designed to put maximum material where it is supposed to go…on the part being painted.  This makes for less waste and better use of material than older styled paint guns.

After the clock has ticked off 30 minutes, we're ready to shoot the parts.

I use a stand for painting the underside of parts, then hang them to complete the job.

With parts hanging, primer is sprayed using and HVLP spray gun. Requires little air, and delivers plenty of material. Make sure you use no more pressure than needed...usually in the 20 to 40 psi range.

All these parts are now primed. Make sure all sides are covered with primer for paint to adhere properly.

Since I have some excess primer, I decided to prime so other parts that were prepped previously for other projects.

Okay, so now all the pieces and parts of the motor that need to be primed…are…well…primed!  What’s left?  Not much.  This primer requires you to paint the with the color coat within three hours to three days.  That is a pretty nice window of opportunity.  However, if your window slams shut, you will need to scuff-sand all surfaces to be painted with some 800 or 1000 grit wet dry sand paper or better yet a scotch-brite pad.

So that is it for Day 2!  Next we will paint the first color coat.  No doubt there will be the inevitable touch up and repair of a sag, drip or run!  So this is where the “artistry” will come in…along with patience, finesse, and a light touch!

All this work took 3.5 hours, so we now have about 7 hrs in our motor.

Hope you’ll join us for the next edition here:  Beyond the Sea…horse!:  Outboard motor restoration step by step…Day Three!

Greg

12
Dec
11

Beyond the Sea…horse!: Outboard motor restoration step by step…Day one!

All to often members of our Antique Outboard Collectors Club seem apprehensive, or at least mystified by all the things that are involved in full outboard restoration.  To fully restore an outboard motor properly you have to be librarian, historian, technology buff, technician, sleuth, wheeler-dealer, mechanic, blacksmith, artiste, body shop tech, electrician, cable rigger, forensics expert (novice), and a host of many more talents come in very handy.

Most of our members are amazing at some or all of these aspects of the hobby.  We have many who are simply amazing in their ability to resurrect the “remains” of an old detachable rowboat motor into an operational museum piece.  Some restore motors for display, and some simply return them to operating condition without all the pretty-business being a concern.  Some of our members also are very particular to purchase for their collection only old motors in amazing original condition.  You’d be amazed how many old survivors are out there hiding in garages and basements.

Either way, AOMC is an amazing array of folks to get hooked up with if you are getting into the hobby or just wish to get your old outboard running again.

I am not by nature a “motor-head”!  However seeing an old motor come back to “like new” condition is an amazing experience.  It is my personal preference not to care much about the cosmetic condition of an old outboard when buying one.  My concern is whether it is complete with all parts, and if now are parts able to be procured?

So with this blog post I hope to be able to take you through the basics of how the restoration process have developed for me and the sequence of events I use.  With that said, there are too many outboard motors to show every little nuance of dis-assembly and repair/restoration in it’s entirety.  Instead we will look at basic steps with accents on parts of the project I get the most questions about.  We will address basics of dis-assembly, parts storage for ease of location, cleaning, paint removal, re-assembly, prepping for primer and paint, priming and painting, and decal-ing using vinyl and water-slide decals and clear coating for their protection.  We also take a look at examination of the motor for repair and creating a checklist to keep us on track throughout the project.  (Authors note: I would add this is the system that works for me.  Everyone has their own system.  I’m no expert…so take what you can from this and use it at your own risk!!!)

The project featured in this series will be an OMC outboard, but one that is slightly irregular from the “modern OMC” of the 50’s when Johnson Evinrude and the “bastard step-child of OMC”…the Gale Div. motors began to be standardized, sharing most parts and designs.  This “standardization” began in the mid 1950’s, and parts are still readily available for most of those motors.  Fortunately, some of our AOMC members have started “Cottage industries” supplying parts for some of the outboard of earlier vintage with hard to find parts.

Lets take a quick look at some vintage OMC-style motors.

This 1937 Johnson PO is a motor that was fairly simple and reliable. The basic design was spread out both pre and post-war under different designation and variations.

The PO was around many years before and following WWII.  This motor chimed in with a “whopping” 22HP.  The design had deviation, but largely all that changed was the color.

This is a late 40's Johnson TD-20. The basic power-head design again was used pre-war and post-war. The designs were likely held over owing to manufacturing being for war production, therefore not allowing many new advancements in outboard motor technology...a luxury.

This is a 1954 Johnson RDE-16. This motor design first made its appearance in 1951 as an RD-10, and the basic design of the power-head would remain a staple of the OMC design for many years. With increases in horsepower using advances in piston size, crankshaft and carburetion, these motors reached 40hp by 1960. This particular motor was the first year the "Big Twin" was available with electric starting!!

Our "Chief of the Boat" Remy Marco Jones enjoying the quiet advances of the OMC "Super Silent" exhaust leg on a 1959 Evinrude 35hp Lark!

While we now have a basis on the OMC design, our motor is a “transitional motor” in that it has a non-standard carburetor and lower unit, but does have the “universal magneto ignition” that survived for decades on many, many OMC models!  Our project is a 1951 Johnson QD-12 rated at 10hp at 4000 rpm.  She will, when finished, be the primary power for our 1948 galvanized steel Star Tank & Boat Company rowboat.  In fact this motor is ideal for our little vessel to push us leisurely along for a relaxing trip on protect waterways.

Now without further adieu…here is our specimen!

Looking rather worn, this outboard is in fact in pretty good shape at first look. We'll see how she looks after further triage.

The hood on the early "QD" series was very cool and streamlined! The one on our motor was cracked on the port side, so a replacement was found at a swap meet for 10 bucks. (Pictured here.) However, it was also a pain in the rear since it took almost one dozen screws to hold it on the motor. The later easy-flip open hoods were much easier to deal with...especially at sea! Believe me I know!!

Upon examination of this photo you can see the throttle is more crude than the well known twist-grip throttle that came later. This motor has a synchronized spark advance and carburetor controlled by the sliding lever under the pull start.

The first sign of potential trouble shown by way of damage that has broken through the casting of the exhaust housing on the leg of the motor. This would take a fairly serious impact to create such damage.

The next sign of potential problems is the cowl (hood) bracket on the port side is also cracked and welded back into place. This would indicate to me that this motor has had a collision somewhere in its long life. This would fall in-line with the other damage found above. Outboard battle scars!

Something seen less often is inflicted by dealers who sold these motors, or owner who had to have the most latest-greatest motor. This fuel connector shows the original Sea-mist Green paint. BUT...look at the next photo!

The throttle lever has Sea-mist Green...but the body and the flywheel have shades of the later Sea-horse Green. Sometimes dealers or owners would "update" the color of "last years model" to move it out of inventory when the color change with a model year. The dilemma now is paint as manufactured or as found? For me it is a no-brainer. But I'm not saying which way we'll go with the project yet!

Using a flywheel puller from the local auto parts store, and three grade 8 hardened bolts, the flywheel must be removed to get to the magneto ignition. This can require considerable force to break the flywheel free from the crankshaft. An occasional "whack" with a rubber mallet on the side of the flywheel while under pressure can assist in this operation. NEVER...NEVER smack the flywheel on the top or bottom sides...as this could damage the crank or bearings!

The magneto has been update somewhere along the way. New coils would point to this. The original OMC coils of this era ALWAYS crack and fail and require replacement. These coils are readily available. at any OMC Dealer.

With the cylinder head removed, the pistons seem to be in pretty good shape. There is less carbon build-up than I thought a motor of this vintage would have. This again would bear out the initial thought that this motor has had little run time. The cylinders show little wear and no serious scoring or scuffing.

This view of the power-head shows the handy-dandy shift handle sticking out in front of the motor. This is very handy and a great feature on these older "QD" motors. However, to remove the power-head, the shift linkage must be removed.

After removing the power-head and other parts, the steering shaft is ready for disassembly for ease of cleaning and eventual cosmetic work.

This prop shaft has so much twine wrapped around the shaft, it has gotten between the rubber seal and the brass casing and actually caused the brass to bend out.

Fortunately the prop shaft was not ruined by being groove from the fishing line. The seal will be replaced anyway, but it is amazing the force that has been put on the seal!

Fishing line is a death knell for lower unit seals.

This motor has probably been used, per manufactures directions, with 30wt motor oil mixed into the gasoline. The carbon build up in the exhaust side is evident.

So after Day One, we have a pretty good grasp of what service will be performed on out motor. Now it is time to clean up parts and strip all the old paint off, We'll save that for Day Two!

So after 3 1/2 hours of work the motor has been disassembled and placed in storage containers for safe-keeping until Day Two when cleaning of each part, nut, bolt, screw, and all paint will be removed after degreasing.

Hope you’ll check back in with part 2 here: Beyond the Sea…horse!: Outboard motor restoration step by step…Day Two.

Greg