Archive for the 'Johnson outboard' 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.

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

04
Dec
11

Rhythm is Our Business…Business is doing swell: Captain Jones Vintage Outboard Restoration

Since January 2011 I  have been given the opportunity by three young men from Ramsey Brothers Restorations to move my outboard motor restoration shop into their facility.  The new location would offer me more room than my garage, a pain tbooth, and a large bay with an electric crane with which I could lift big outboards without breaking my back.  Not that I panned to go into business.  It is a hobby for me, but now a self sustaining hobby.  I even started a website at restoredoutboard.com.  Please check it out.  There are photos and info about work being done in the facility.

Big motor, big crane.

12 x 12 paint booth

So now as word has spread that there is a guy who works on old outboard motors as a hobby, many folks with vintage boats have begun to show up for help with their old outboard motors.  Most require a simple tune up, some a major overhaul.  Where is this going lead?  I just don’t know.  But in between working on helping others get their motors going, I have gotten to restore several for myself.  Here’s a few from the months past.

One of the first motors to be restored in my new digs was this 1937 Johnson PO-37 was purchased for 50 bucks on E bay. It was totally locked up...but...

After buying this 1937 Johnson PO-37 22hp outboard on E bay for 50 bucks, I spent twice that to drive from Toledo to Erie, PA to pick it up.  She was tied up and not serviceable.  I wasn’t sure she would be more than just a showpiece for my office at the new shop.  But after my friend Scott Parish came to lend a hand, we were able to use heat and penetrating oil to get her freed up.  We took the block down and everything inside was like new.  She did have a cracked cylinder, but another AOMC member found out I needed a good cylinder and sent me four of them to choose from.  A complete gasket set was purchased and she was rebuilt and repainted.  I still love to just see her on her stand when I walk in my office.  She looks so majestic.  OH!  Yes she does run now!!

After a bit of elbow grease and a full mechanical rebuild, including new piston rings, gaskets and seals and the cosmetic restoration, this old Sea Horse is ready to go for another 70+ years!!

I had the chance to do a little 3hp outboard for a customers grandson.  Very satisfying to see the results below.

This little 1953 Johnson JW 3hp motor was to be used as the first motor for a customers grandson.

Grandfather and Grandson with their restored outboard motor

Perhaps the best part of restoring vintage outboards is summed up in this photo.  A young man getting his rite of passage into freedom and responsibility.

The new Captain with his trusty little Johnson on the maiden voyage for a lifetime of memories.

Ironically, one of the very first jobs I was contracted to do was for a man who was in the Ramsey’s shop the day they met with me to test my interest in partnering with them.  This guy had a rather scrubby little Thompson lapstrake runabout he wanted to use on a no-wake-lake/electric only…no gas motors lake he lived on.  In fact this is a housing development built around and old quarry.  The fellow wanted something more vintage and unique than a pontoon, the prevailing vessel on his lake.  So the Ramsey’s were discussing the project while I stood by quietly.  As I listened…horror or horrors this guy aimed to put a little electric outboard motor on the back of his cute little Thompson.  It was more than I could bear the thought of!!
So being the quiet shy type, I blurted out…”You’re kidding!  why the hell would you do that?  It’ll look stupid!”
Following the eternal deafening silence of me breaking into the Ramsey’s sales pitch…all eyes on me know…me looking for a boat to crawl under…this fellow asked what I thought he should do.
I meekly said ” Well I dunno, but I’d be damned if i’d put some silly looking electric thing on the back of this boat.  Why don’t you gut an old Big Twin and stick an electric golf cart motor under the hood?”  Everyone looked at each other and then back at me.  The guy said “Can you do that?”
“I dunno” says I.
“Well get me some numbers and let me know!” says he!
After conferring with my friend Scott of Fort Wayne again, we both did research and found such things had been done before.  We discussed it over several months.  I had junk parts that were not worthy of a gasoline motor laying around.  So we set out to built an electric motor that was period correct for his boat.  So here tis!

Looks like a big twin on the outside...BUT...

So this was my first foray into vintage outboard restoration.  Making a vintage outboard modern.  Ugh!  Not exactly what I’d hoped for as a vintage outboard job.

Looks like a big twin on the outside...BUT...

So since moving into the new shop and having adequate shop facilities to perform almost any task from major and complete mechanical and cosmetic restorations to simple tune ups on vintage outboard motors, here are a few more pics for your review.

A sea of Johnson Holiday Bronze from 1956 and 1957.

Happy Customer Steve Shaltry with his '56 Johnson Javelin and a matching 7.5hp

One mans box full of trash...

A couple of neighborhood fellows showed up at the door one day I happened to be around holding this box of “parts”!  They offered them to me after finding them in a basement they were cleaning out.  I asked how much and they said “Nuthin’!  We knew you were working on motors in here and thought you might be able to use the parts!”

As luck would have it, I began sifting through the box and realized fairly quickly someone had methodically disassembled this Johnson TD-20 and cleaned it.  After two hours of reassembly, she was back in a bucket of water and running again.

Judging by her condition, not a dent in the tank…etc, I would say she was of very low hours, well taken care of, and maintained.  Lots of compression and she runs pretty well!

is another man's outboard motor. This one given to me by some local men who found it in a box while cleaning out a basement!! Yup! It runs again!

We were asked to set up a display at the Toledo Antique and Classic Boat Show this year.  So many lovely boats of every shape and size.  Many of my motors were hung on the runabouts at the show.  What a thrill and honor it is to see your work being displayed!

We were asked to set up a display at the Toledo Antique and Classic Boat Show this year. The two 1956 Johnson 15hp motors were an eye catching before and after display.

This 1955 Johnson RD-17 was converted to electric start and placed on a 1955 Lyman runabout. The boat and motor won a prize in its class!

Yet another 25hp Johnson, this time an earlier RD-16 with Electric start on its new craft.

Steve Shaltry and Sonny Clark brought this Century Imperial Sportsman back from a crumbling hulk. The 1956 Johnson Javelin was repainted by me and Steve did his own mechanical work.

So this is what has been going on to keep me from updating the blog.  My next post I hope to begin a series on how to do a full restoration from start to finish.  All to often I hear people complain about the price of a full mechanical and cosmetic restoration, but if you look at the balance sheet and the reliability of a properly restored motor as compared with a similar motor of comparable horsepower, the $$ is in my favor.  Besides…these motors have real style!

Stay tuned!

Greg

03
Jul
11

It was a very Good Year!: Call in the Sea Bees!!

Okay…I must say it has been a very long time, too long in fact to have posted a new blog.  Many exciting things are going on around me since Christmas time 2010 that have kept me occupied.  One has been that I was invited to move my restoration work into a real live professional setting with Ramsey Brothers Restorations.  These guys have an amazing ability to bring vintage boats back to life, but also thought my interest in restoring vintage outboards would be a good match for their facility.

So…that brings us to our title.  A tune sung with sensitivity by Frank Sinatra, “It Was A Very Good Year”…except in our case we are dealing with a GOODYEAR!  AND…this motor was most certainly not treated with sensitivity!

Not too may folks out side of the outboard motor hobby know the following about the Outboard Motor Corporation and their three divisions that made outboard motors.  Did I say THREE?  I did indeed.

Most folks are familiar with the fabled names of Evinrude and Johnson, but how many know about the Gale Division of Galesburg, Illinois is questionable.  The Gale Division made a third “price point” brand of motors under their own banner of the Gale Buccaneer, but they also made outboards for “house brands” such as Atlas Royal (Atlas Tire stores), Spiegle Department Stores under the Brooklure name, and many other.  In his case another Goodyear Sea-Bee.  Gale-built motors also featured a fuel pump, whereas the “flagship brand” motors still used pressurized fuel tanks.  Otherwise this motor is very much a typical OMC Big Twin outboard and shares many parts with its Evinrude/Johnson sisters.

I have a great fondness for America’s great trademark names such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi Cola, Firestone, Auto-Lite, and Goodyear.  As the matter of fact I have flown in almost every mode of flight EXCEPT the Goodyear Blimp.  I hope to do so some day.  (Hint hint!)

About three years ago I found this old motor languishing away in retirement at John Fisher Marina in Erie, MI.  I’d been keeping an eye on it for some time as I thought it was a plain, but lovely motor.  It had these lovely, simple lines and silver trim.  Of course there was a Goodyear logo emblazoned on the front of the hood.  But what really caught my eye was the HUGE billboard speed lettering down the sides.  In grand pure white with a yellow 3 dimensional outline was the words “SEA BEE” and “Electro Start 25”.  It screams of a company who was proud of their product.  How often do we see that today.

HELLO MARKETING DEPARTMENTS!  A little pride please…but only if your product deserves it!!

How fantastic is that "speed lettering"!?!?

Notice the “Electro Start 25” is different on each side The 25 stay put leaving a bit of a crisis as to what to market this thing as. Is it an “Electro Start 25” or a “25 Electro Start”?
What she needed most was determination from someone to see her run again.  what she had going for her was a motor block that was not seized up and showed no signs of overheat, her magneto ignition had been updated too.  So other than time and effort, a full mechanical and cosmetic restoration was possible.

Okay! She was hanging on a rack when I bought her. She is a bit tattered, more than I thought actually as you will see!

Her flanks had been though a pretty bad run-in with a dock or another boat.  Those lovely silver trim “swooshes” on he side…one was busted and missing pieces.  The lower unit was shot, and her tiller handle was long gone by scavengers.  One transom clamp handle was missing and her paint was badly faded.  In fact great quantities of labor went into figuring out what she should look like through some amateur forensic work during her restoration.

Here are some photos with descriptions of her during triage.

When I found her, I thought just the starboard "swoosh" was cracked. Not quite! The whole starboard cowling was busted in two pieces.

The cowling was broken right along the line of the "swoosh". In fact the fiberglass "swoosh" is what was holding the entire side in one piece!

The last two inches of her silver "swoosh" was sent to Davy Jones' Locker upon impact I suspect.

Here is the rear starboard cowl bracket...cracked in two. Ugh! What did this motor hit!?

Both starboard brackets that hold the side cowls on were broken. They had to be welded back together since I had none on hand.

This motor must have really struck a dock or been in a pretty serious crash to have cracked the cast aluminum cowls and bracket in such a manner.  All you can do is find replacement parts used or have the old parts fixed.  I am fortunate to have a local welder who is very confident, and patient with my little projects!

Now we’ll continue to take a look at more of the motors surprises as we check her over.

The power-head appears to be in reasonable shape. No signs of overheat which would show in the way of burned paint on the cylinder head.

Things ain't always as they seem though. Both spark plug holes had been stripped out. One had a Heli-coil and the other some kind of Rube Goldberg fix was made. Oy!

After pulling the Cylinder head, I was grateful that I hadn't tried to start her up. I could have ended up with Granny Clampett's Corn Squeezins!

Some good news was that her magneto ignition had been update to modern coils. Usually the 50's vintage OMC coils crack and give sporadic or worse than hoped for performance, necessitating replacement.

And the big news that affects most old outboard that were improperly stored, mice get inside (IE: the corn in the cylinders!) and urinate on stuff. This can cause things to be stuck or even the acid in their urine to eat aluminum parts. The manifold is a mild example.

So what we now know at this point is that she has a pretty good chance of survivability on the mechanical front.  Her power head will get a complete tear down to make sure our furry little friends have not destroyed the bearings, all gaskets will get replaced, new seals on her upper and lower crankshaft bearings, new pistons and rings, and the cylinders will need to be honed before rebuilding and repainting.

So the tear down of the entire motor begins as does a search for parts.

The lower unit had been left submerged for most of her life and water had infiltrated here gear case, thus a new lower unit was the way to go on this.  My buddy Scott Parrish from AOMCI offered up a freshly rebuilt lower unit from his supply, so now after tearing down the power head the short block was sent out for machining.

When you park your boat at the end of a run, if you don't pull it out of the water, you should generally tilt the motor up out of the water to avoid such issues as we see here. This is a fresh-water motor. imagine what salt-water would do to the aluminum housings.

Now since the short block will be at the marina machine shop for a while, the time has come to assess the cosmetic needs of this old Sea-Bee.

Clearly paint and decals will need to be redone, but what color of paint!?!  It’s a metallic blue, but what shade?  The decals are uncertain too!  After searching the web and checking in with members of AOMCI, no one had any really info or photos of this model year.  So…what to do!

Sand the paint and look at the layers, just like peeling an onion or counting rings on a tree limb.  As you sand down, the story unfolds.

Upon pulling the motor apart and giving it a good bath, the original, unfaded color was found on the lower shroud pan. It looked a lot like good old Evinrude polychromatic blue to me. The pan is from the Sea-Bee, while the throttle knob laying in the pan is from and Evinrude of the same vintage. We have a match!

It would appear from this photo that the Sea-Bee logo was blue with a yellow outline. Not so! It was white at one time, but the sun had faded the while lettering back to the blue background. We can tell this because the blue within the yellow outline is much "richer" than the blue elsewhere on the hood, thus it was not exposed to the sun's UV rays for the same length of time as the rest of the hood.

The "Electro Start 25" letters are white with a yellow/gold outline, so it would be safe to assume this is proper for the entire motors lettering. Also note the Evinrude Polychromatic Blue that is preserved where the "swoosh" on the side was.

So after a visit to Clear Image Graphics in downtown Toledo, I met with Erin and Frank who said they could do the work on the graphics for a reasonable price.  They took photos I sent them and did a great job as you will see later!

Now with the motor disassembled, work can begin in earnest.

Here again is the starboard cowling. It is completely cracked in two! I sent this out to Diversified Welding of Toledo to have it welded. The big problem is that when it was broken, it also distorted the cowl. I spent about and hour heating it and pounding it back into shape.

The fellows at Diversified do some pretty odd jobs for me. I was pleased with the end results, but there will still need to be some work done to "fair" the cowling so it looks correct.

Following a good scuffing with a 40 grit sanding disc and an angle grinder, I poured a blob of JB Weld on the cowling in the low areas. Why JB Weld? It tends to be somewhat self-leveling and leaves a smooth surface to work with when dry.

Next my attention turned to the silver “swoosh” that is prominent on each side of the lower cowlings.  Other Gale-built motors had their own styles of trim, but this one speaks of speed!  Unfortunately, during the crash that damaged this motor, the “swoosh”was busted into some number of pieces.  Part of it was missing as we saw earlier, and the corner was cracked and damaged.  Sometimes the best way to fix something is to break it.

At this point the three or so pieces that were holding on by fiberglass strands were pulled loose and again JB Weld was used to put everything back together…and fill in the gaps.

Three pieces were broken aways and hanging by a thread, so using JB Weld they were put back in place.

Grinding away the bulk of the JB Weld with a die grinder, sanding was done to finish up the process. The corner will be filled with JB Weld as well.

Fortunately the port side was largely unscathed. This left the "swoosh" in tact and able to be used as a template. The trim pieces are mirror images of each other, so by making a template of the port side trim and flipping it over 180 degrees it will make a good template for the starboard side trim.

Wax paper was used to hold PC-7 epoxy in place as seen in the photo above. This left us with a block of epoxy to work with and shape as needed for the Starboard "swoosh". The template made from the port side trim was traced on the back of the starboard side and then a sander was used to shape the epoxy as needed.

One of the ways OMC's Gale Division cut costs to keep the "House Brand" motors a bit less expensive than their "marquee brands" was to skimp by not painting parts like the recoil pull starter, hood brackets, and in this case, even using a plastic propeller! This one is nicked and chewed, but salvageable.

By placing a bit of tape under the damaged area, a dab of JB Weld can be used to fill in the void. Please note: This propeller will never see regular service, but will be used only for show owing to the fact it appeared to be original to the motor. Do not ACTIVELY use a prop that has been damaged and repaired in this way.

Now while all that epoxy is drying, the fun begins!  After soda blasting the paint from all of the parts, prepping and DP Epoxy Primer was used to get all the pieces ready for a fresh coat of Polychromatic Blue.  The paint is available through NY Marine of Canada.  Peter McDowell has done extensive research to match this paint to its proper colors for most major manufacturers of outboard motors from the 50’s.

Parts is parts...

Motor pans and shock mounts in the paint booth.

I am fortunate to have a 12 x 12 foot paint booth with a monstrous exhaust system to rid the booth of fumes.  However, it still requires changing filter and cleaning regularly to keep debris from getting in the paint.

A bit of extra attention was given to the Goodyear decal on the front of the hood. It was in very good original shape. It also showed some wonderful patina and a scratch or two. If possible it is nice to leave a reminder of how far the motor has come after being restored, so this would be a way of doing that. The decal was clear coated first, then masked off to preserve it from the new blue paint as seen in this photo.

Again using a sander, the propeller was profiled and readied for painting. Notice the JB Weld filled the chips very nicely

The starboard "swoosh" still had some issues after being sanded, so a skim coat of JB Weld was laid over the PC-7 to smooth things out a bit. After re-sanding, it too will be ready for primer and paint.

So now after a lot of fuss and feather, the final assembly is underway.  The paint is applied, as are some of the decals.  The trim and propeller need a fresh coat of silver paint too.

One other detail that had to be recreated on the new section of the "swoosh" was the area that receives the countersunk pan-head screw. This was done simply by placing a washer into a gob of JB Weld, then sanding to profile.

Following sanding and profiling the plastic propeller, it was primed and painted

The old Sea-Bee's starboard side cowling still did not want to fit, so a bit of blacksmith-ing had to take pace with a torch and so careful bending to make a better fit! Thus it is missing in this photo.

Following masking and painting the hood and side cowls reassembly begins.

This is the same starboard cowling that was cracked in to two pieces. Not really noticeable at all now.

From her port side, she is starting to look like a motor again.I still just really dig those big, huge sweeping letters down the side. The same for the vintage Johnson outboards. The Evinrude outboards had that big "billboard logo" sporadically over the years too, but never struck my fancy so much!

And so now following application of decals, trim and control knobs…this Sea-Bee is ready for action!

Front view. I'm really glad that I was able to save the original Goodyear decal on the front top of the hood.

A view of her starboard flank...where all the damage was from an unfortunate "incident" sometime in her life.

And her port side.

She is a real beauty. I'm lucky to have bought this motor for 50 bucks and got her back to where she should be. I'm looking forward to giving her some action soon along the river.

In closing I need to thank Scott Parrish of the Michiana Chapter of AOMCI for his donation of a good lower unit, a donor cylinder head, and decals for the operating instructions, as well as little odds and ends where needed.  I have not seen many of these old OMC-built Goodyear motors around.  I can only surmise that if you were seriously considering “high horsepower”, a Goodyear dealership would have been low on the list of places to buy.  I’m sure there are more out there, but probably only a handful by OMC standards.

Coming up soon we’ll share a very special project for a customer who lives at a residential development built on an old quarry.  The problem is he has a vintage Thompson lapstrake boat and cannot run gasoline motors.  Tune in to see how Scott Parrish and I tackle his problem.  It’s coming soon!

05
Dec
10

Anatomy of a Motor: Mother Nature’s wrath on an old Sea Horse!

This motor has literally been blown…by Mother Nature…in a tornado.  She rode out a tornado on June 5th, 2010 in Monticello, IN when the backshop of Fillinger’s Marine was destroyed by a big ‘un.  That same tornado dropped in on Toledo suburbs in Lake Township, destroying their police station and high school.  Also Milbury, Ohio got hit with the F-5 tornado and it levelled a good portion of the town.  Five souls were taken that night by the storm.

This old Sea Horse was found several hundred feet from where she started her flight at Fillinger’s…in a field…battered and bruised.  Before she was a pretty good specimen of her breed.

I wanted her when I saw her at the AOMC Constantine, MI Super Meet in July, but upon seeing the damage, I was hesitant to pay 75 dollars for her.  Stewart Fillinger, who had used her on his boat as a teen, assured me she would be a good motor, but I declined.  Besides, there was another one like her under the tree for auction later in the day.

When the auction began, Stewart rolled up in his golf cart.  I expressed how much I’d like to have the old SD-15 for my collection.  He suggested I bid on the one at the tree, and if I lost it…we’d let that set the price for his.

The auction began, and quickly the price skyrocketed to 25 BUCKS!  I gave up!

I asked Stewart if he would take less…and true to his word he said “Well, looks like todays market price is 25 bucks.  So 25 bucks will do it”  I was dumbfounded.  He even loaded her up in the truck.

So the restoration began by finding a few spare “parts motors” at the boneyard.

Mother Nature punched this Sea Horse right in the nose. The dent is big enough to put your fist in.

There was a lot of minor damage too. This little chip was missing from the lower unit.

 

This is a two and one half-gallon fuel tank that wraps around the powerhead. I wasn't sure that this dent would come out, so I got another tank to replace it. Turns out that tank was even worse!

As I got into the project, I thought about the night the storm hit.  I found out that Stewart had been so kind as, when approached about help to clean up what was left of his business, to send those kindly folks to the church next door that had sustained damage too.  This resonated with me.  It kept me thinking.  I knew Stewart only slightly, but what a guy he must be to make a gesture like that.

But like most good outboard technicians, they take care of their own stuff in a much less desireable way than they take care of their customers.  Stewart was no exception.  He had obviously not run this motor for a long while.  The carb had enough varnish in it, and on it to varnish a small sailing craft!

The fuel filter bowl was full of old varnish from ancient fuel being left to die there. The breather was coated as well!

The agonizing process of removing that big dent had to start when I found my replacement tank had more body putty than what I would need to bring the original tank back to specs.  I set about the three or four-hour process of plugging the fuel line fitting holes with rubber stoppers and using compressed air into the tank, in conjunction with a propane torch to heat the heavy aluminum around the outside edge of the dent.  Then by spraying cold water on the aluminum occasionally, the aluminum would contract.  Worm was sped up by lightly tapping around the edge of the dent with a rawhide mallet.  The vibration with the compressed air causes the dent to slowly pop out into its normal shape.

After thoroughly washing the tank out, I closed off all pipe fittings with rubber stoppers and pumped 15lbs of compressed air into the tank. Using a propane torch, the aluminum was heated and cooled (using cold water in a spray bottle) and the majority of the dent was slowly removed.

Tools of the trade. you can substitute dry ice for the cold water. Just heat, then lay the dry ice over the dent. Works very well!

A dent in the side before...and after. Unfortunately, the decals cannot be saved in the kind of work. Too bad!

With most of the dents eliminated, work turned to sanding the tank to give some tooth for the body filler to grab.  I used a base coat of PC-7 two-part filler, then sanded it and used a skim coat of J.B. Weld 5 minute epoxy over the PC-7.  The J.B. Weld has a nice smooth surface.  When sanded there will be enough roughness for primer and paint to grab hold of.

A thick coat of PC-7 was used for the main filler. This can be purchased at you local hardware store.

Other smaller dents looked to be "old damage".More little dings had to be filled!

More little dings had to be filled!

After sanding and sanding, the tank finally looked as though it was saved from the scrap heap and would be placed back on its perch atop the powerhead from whence it came.

With J.B. Weld applied, more sanding...finish sanding will follow.

The dents in the tank are now largely removed or reduced, filled, and ready for finish sanding and primer and paint.

Attention now is going to shift over to the mechanical from the cosmetic.  Compression, spark, and fuel.  Three components that must be had to have a working motor.  This motor has compression…LOTS OF IT!  Spark is non-existent, and we saw the carburetor earlier.  No way that is going to supply good air/fuel mix to the spark when we do get it!  So let’s dig into the carb.

This baby is caked with crud!

The carb must be disassembled completely and cleaned.  All passages must also be cleaned and cleared of any obstructions or dirt and varnish.  The carb is a barrel-type, float feed.  It takes fuel in from the glass fuel filter bowl, through a wire mesh screen which traps dirt, and feeds the fuel to the float bowl by way of air pressure from the fuel tank.  Yes this is a pressurized fuel tank…just like those old OMC suitcase tanks everyone is afraid of!  Pressure is pumped into the tank from the cylinder by way of a check valve on the side of the block.  One the downstroke of the piston, pressure is pushed through the check valve and air is pushed into the tank to force fuel toward the carb.

I digress.

Once the fuel bowl is full a float made of cork rises with the fuel level and closes a needle valve in the bottom of the bowl, thus no more gas is allowed in until the fuel level drops the float, opening the needle valve.  The needle valve is place vertically within the carb bowl.  A check valve with another fine mesh screen is below it.  This MUST be cleaned, as this is where a great deal of sediment gets stuck.

Next the fuel is fed through two needle, a slow and high-speed needle which feeds fuel into the barrel valve that allows the fuel to enter the manifold, and on into the block and cylinders to be burned by our elusive spark.

Carb parts!

I used aerosol carb cleaner to cut the goo in the carb passages and generally clean the parts. Then everything was soaked in lacquer thinner to get the rest of the gunk of each part.After cleaning everything thoroughly, the carb is reassembled and ready for action.

The carb float should be re-sealed.  Back in the good old days, before the government decided ethanol was a grand idea, shellac was used to protect the cork from the gasoline.  Now with ethanol in our fuel, the shellac will likely peel off, so the cork must be protected.  You can use model airplane fuel-proof hot dope, or I use CPES from Smith Brothers.  It is a thinned epoxy that soaks into wood, or this case the cork, and protects it by encapsulating the material it is applied to.
Now lets figure out why we have no spark.  The coils in the magneto ignition of this type are not known to fail, but we have no spark on one of the high tension wires.  First thing to do is completely dissemble the points and clean them to a high luster.

To get to the magneto, you'll have to use a flywheel puller to pull...uh...the flywheel. Mine was purchased at the car parts chain store.

Next we’ll examine and clean the magneto.

Upon checking the coils with a multimeter, one was found to be open. Thus no spark! Having removed it, and taken one from a donor motor, it will be replaced.

The magneto has been rebuilt, the points cleaned and reassembled, new plug wires have been added too. Be careful when soldering the wires to the coil lugs as you can damage the coil windings with too much heat for too long!

When putting new wires on these solder-type coils, you should first tin the wire with solder by stripping the insulation off…then applying solder to the twisted wire.  Then place the tinned wire into the solder lug on the coil…and using just enough heat to do the job, quickly heat the wire/terminal and flow solder onto the lug.  Do not linger long or the small fragile wires inside the coil could be burned open…leaving you back at square one.

Now that we can safely assume we’ll have spark…at least until we reassemble the entire motor…lets go back to cosmetics.

I usually clean and degrease using lacquer thinner or citrus degreaser and water, then soda blast the entire motor while it is still assembled.  All openings at the carb, fuel lines and exhaust are plugged to keep soda out of the motor.

I use a soda blaster from Harbor Freight tools.  It’s cheap, but effective.  However, the soda is not cheap!  two 50lb bags will be used for this project.  Soda, unlike sand blasting, does not harm the soft aluminum.  It also is biodegradable and washes away with water.

After soda blasting, the motor is cleaned and grease seals replaced on the lower unit. Then in preparation for primer and paint, the entire motor must be cleaned with lacquer thinner or a cleaner to get rid of any residual grease.

BASF DP epoxy based primer will be used.  This is a primer and catalyst that is mixed per the instructions.  It must be left to set for 30 minutes to introduce the catalyst into the primer.  This is a good time to get moisture out of your air lines, check the gun…in this case HVLP from Harbor Freight…and check you pressure at the compressor.

After priming and painting the motor…as an entire unit…as much as is possible, the carb is place back on the powerhead.  Also I was able to locate a new-old-stock tiller/throttle handle for this motor from Sea-Way Marine in Seattle.  So it has been put in place as well.

Our nice shiny carb is bolted back in place.

Repainted and nearing completion, with the flywheel and magneto back on the motor, now is a good time to check for spark.

I decided checking for spark was a good thing to do now, before putting the fuel tank on the motor.  Using a pull-rope and spark checker grounded to the motor block, each cylinder was checked.  The spark was nice and hot, and blue.  It should jump a 1/4 inch gap.  You should be able to hear the snap of the spark too.

Now with the mounting of the tank, belly pan and decal, this old Sea Horse looks grand again!

The decals are from American Outboard and Salvage.

What great lines and form these old motors have. It's called "STYLE"!

On the cart waiting for spring.

 

I would like to mention that since my test tank is frozen, I was only able to test the motor for a second…ONLY because it does not have an impeller water pump.  Doing this to any motor with a water pump will burn the impeller up in seconds with no water to lubricate it.  This motor having no impeller still should not be run out of water…BUT…when the recoil was pulled…she fired right up…LOUD AND PROUD!

It’s December…and now I can’t wait until spring.  However, this motor will not stay with me.  She will go back to a good home…in Indiana…where she was kicked around by Mother Nature.  She will go back to a good-hearted man who helped his neighbors, despite facing challenges of his own following a destructive force such as a tornado.  I will present it to him in January at an outboard meet held at his newly rebuilt marine dealership in Monticello, Indiana.  25.00 well spent.  And maybe a little more.

Greg

01
Sep
10

The “New Deal”: An Alumacraft “FDR” restoration part four: Just in time…

Work stalled on the Aluma Craft “FDR” for a good part of the summer months.  She was used as a test bed for motors that were repaired or restored.  But a vision came by looking through the windshield I acquired at an AMOC Swap Meet in Constantine, Michigan.

I was wandering around the swap meet, hoping to find a windshield, but with little hope of finding one the correct with.  This Aluma Craft was to have a typical late 1950’s Taylor-Made plexiglas windshield.  Taylor-Made has stopped production on these vintage windshields…and they were expensive anyway.

After walking around the for a bit, I saw a windshield in good shape sitting next to a trailer.  It was too wide, but generally could be bent slightly to reduce the width and should fit the boat.  I asked the price and was shocked the vendor only wanted 20 bucks for it.  Whata deal!

With the Taylor-Made windshield, the boat no longer looked like a fishing boat.

 Other hardware came by way of a derelict old Shell Lake fiberglass boat that I scrapped out due to the hull being cracked. 

Now with a new view through the windshield, I had a vision for finishing the boat before the Toledo Antique Boat Show on August 27th, 2010.  So the work commenced in earnest.

My neighbor contributed a bundle of teak strips from her father who had passed away.  Upon getting this little gift, I decided wood slat floors would look nice, and it would be easier to walk on.

After cutting to length, the teak floors were screwed and epoxied together, then routed with a round-over bit on all edges. Sanding and varnishing followed.

Seats were next!  My local fine wood dealer was kind enough to glue up some choice mahogany planks for me.  I then used a wood strip to create and trace an arc on the wood that would compliment the lines of the boat.  Then cut out the middle of the front seat to replicate the original design of the seats.  Then as always…more sanding and eight coats of varnish.

The depth of the mahogany is really brought out by the varnish.

While each coat of varnish was drying, I had time to sand, buff, and polish the hull.  YES…SAND!  Starting with 220 grit and working my way down to 1500 grit, the sides of the hull were sanded to get rid of the “dock rash” from years of use.  Also those pesky little aluminum warts at the end of scratches were sanded away.

The tools for the job are a variable speed angle grinder/buffer, 3M heavy-duty buffing compound, 3M polishing compound, and coarse and fine wool bonnets, foam bonnets, and microfiber cloths.

The power plants for this vessel will be twin 1954 Johnson QD-14 10hp outboard.

These two outboards will provide the power to drive the "FDR".

The seats were installed following varnishing and wiring the boat.

A view from the rear.

The teak floors were installed in the cockpit. Also note at the bottom of the photo the dual Johnson Shipmaster Throttle to control the twin outboards.

In honor of my lover of jazz, and my working on the railroad as a bridge tender, a name came to me while working on buffing her out.  I wanted a musical name, but then the idea of reflecting my job just seemed natural.

The Aluma Craft "FDR was christened "Swing Bridge"...combining two musical terms, and the type of railroad bridge I work on was a natural.

At 4pm on Friday August 27th, 2010 the “Swing Bridge was finished just in time for the Toledo Antique Boat Show.  I pressed my 1957 Johnson Javelin into service due to not having time to test the 10hp Johnson’s beforehand.

She was unveiled for public view on Saturday August 28th, 2010 at the Toledo Municipal Marina.

Basking in the sun, the "Swing Bridge" sits at the Toledo Antique Boat Show.

Aside from having some chrome hardware refinished on the 1957 Johnson Javelin and the deck hardware, the “Swing Bridge” is a fast and fun running boat.  She rides well and doesn’t leak…and attracts looks as she travels up and down the river.