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I just replaced motor, transom and outdrive brand new


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Posted at the request of Tangledline:



In July of last year I loaned my 1989 Penn Yan Tournament 212 to a good friend of min to  take on vacation because we couldn't get his boat completed on time. Anyway he managed to make a mistake and return for the ocean during low tide and  suck mud and sludge into my cooling system. I didn't notice until Fall when i went to winterize the engine and no water came out the right side drain. i used wire to try and open the channel but didn't work. This engine never showed signs of overheating throughout the Summer. So i decided to pull the engine to flush the block and if need be to remove the freeze plugs and clean out the cooling channel.  I pulled the block, flushed the cooling system and decided to spin the engine upside down to look at the bearings. I looked at a main and rod bearing furthest from the oil pump as recommended from some online readings. I found  some bearing wear and slight scoring in the bearings. this is a GM 4.3l Carb engine.  I started looking around and trying to find a machine shop i was comfortable dealing with. I came across a shop about an hour north of me and gave the guy a call. I left a message and about 15 minutes later he called me back, I explained my issue and he asked is this a saltwater motor, Yeeeeesssss, i replied. He instructed me to toss the block and start over.I told him the boat came from the Great Lakes and i only recently started using it in the ocean plus i remove the boat and flush it every trip. I was told to go back and remove all  freeze plugs and flush the engine again i was amazed at the amount of rust the came out of the block. Probably 2 lbs if rus was all over the driveway. I finally disassembled the engine completely bagging and marking everything taking the motor down to a bare block except two oil plugs and cam bearings. I loaded everything in the truck took it up for him to access. We decided we could use this block and proceeded with the rebuild process.


New pistons, rings, oil pump, cam, crank and rod bearings, timing chain and gaskets. After the parts arrive i received a phone call that there was a 4" crack on the side of the block just below the head. He asked if it ever leaked water my response was NO all the rust must have sealed the crack enough to seal the crack. So i needed to look for a good block. I started looking around for a block of the same casting and found a complete engine from a Blazer  with the same casting numbers. Yes you can use Truck engines in marine applications! Everything was exactly the same except the Blazer had electric fuel system.  I opted to convert to electric fuel pump instead of machining for the  mechanical fuel pump rod and bolt holes. I disassembled that engine and again took that block to be cleaned and checked for cracks after a few weeks i got a call the engine was completed.


Engine was  hot tanked, Bored .030 crank machined .010,.010 and assembled with the above mentioned new parts. The heads were redone( i had to provide a second set because the original head head was cracked between the valve seats of 2 cylinders. my bill was $2021.00 for Machine and assembly plus the $679.00 for the new internal parts i provided. You can buy Engine Tech kit for about $379 but he didn't recommend them. 

I brought the engine home and painted the block with engine paint, added  an OEM OMC electric fuel pump from a newer model (94) created a factory type wire harness to connect the electrical with the same color wiring as in a diagram. $200.00 give or take.

Ok so now i am waiting for warm weather to install the motor and i decide to look into my out drive noise i had when i raise the unit. Upon disassembly the upper unit i found the  main shat bearing jacked up which took out the main drive shaft internal drive teeth. I weighed my options and decided it would be or cost affective getting away from OMC and moving to something else. I researched a  conversion kit from SEI the will allow you to attache an Alpha1 gen 2 outdrive to an OMC transom. It was listed at $550, I shopped around and found it for $350  the only catch is you may have to change the shifter\throttle lever assembly in the cockpit which i had to  so that was $400 o found an open box for $250. Which now brings me to the icing on the cake. I removed the bell form the OMC and decided to clean the gimble and transom mount only to find the were excessively eaten away(the fitting for the trim lines). I looked on line for a replacement part only to find they are unavailable so i looked for a transom mount in better condition ($210) & new seal kit was ($100) which leads me to removing the unit from the boat only to find the rot in the wood. it was so soaked I was devastated!I ended up getting lucky and my transom is for the most part fiberglass with only a 2x4 ft section where the motor and sterndrive goes through the hull. i spent the day chipping out the damaged would from the boat and ordered a section of COOSABOARD  which is coming tomorrow ($250). I have to cut and fit it to the boat then fiberglass it back to the transom (est $200 for materials). Once that is complete i can reassemble my baby. I should also mentioned i converted the ignition system to HEI ignition (1994) and HEI coil with wiring harness and completely rebuilt the carb.


In summary 

Engine approx $3000.00

Gimble conversion $600.00

Transom repair approx $700.00

SEI Alpha1 Gen2 sterndrive $1000.00 (new) 

 I have invested about $15k into this boat since i brought it home from Lake Ontario. Last year i completely replaced the  the gauges and upgraded the electronics,  that was $5k. I built a Stainless Tube framed hardtop which i planed to enclose this season however funds will squash that until next year





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I bought this boat 2 years about from a guy up there and I fell  in love with the boat. The trailer fell apart on my way back home for a revisit to the guy who sold me it and at the time i didn't understand why he wouldn't  go out with us on the boat to show us around, and now i wonder if he maybe knew of some of the issues. Anyway that's water under the bridge.  I now have a boat that i know what is in it and feel comfortable in what i have done to make this vessel reliable and comfortable. I just need to get everything back together and tested  before this Fall when the Stripers return from up North. I had plans of coming to Lake Ontario last year but you season went by too fast. 


All the pictures i have included are from over the last two years. I learned how to sew and created a new enclosure for this boat with plans to create a hardtop. Towing a bimini enclosure just sucks. Last year i learned Autocad and designed my gauges before actually creating and cutting my new dashboard. Everything fit where the original cutout was except the 2 HDS9 displays. I also learned how to TIG weld Stainless tubing creating the new hardtop. Once the frame was completed i wired the frame for forward and rear lighting as well as the anchor light, mounted the frame and realized it has to move forward about 1.5 inches. I need to fill existing holes and remount in correct position. At the beginning of last years fishing season i lost a cylinder thinking the worst the motor blew only to find the head was the cause of the loss. I replaced that and July started the domino effect in this initial post. Motor cooling system jacked up. bearing damage from cracked head, outdrive bearing messed up damaging lower unit. transom and gimble unit corroded excessively  and the transom rotted out. So you see i am at the point where i cant turn back or stop. I have to see it through to the end where hopefully she will provide me many years of happy service and unforgettable memories.


Last year was our first Striper experience where we caught huge stripers. My fishing buddy and our daughters have our personal best catches on this boat. the year before my ex and my daughter fished non stop 6 hours catching catfish on the Delaware River. When i say six hours i mean the action was  cast and reel for all but 20 minutes. We caught so many fish.


This season was going to be my season. Planed to Striper  and Drum fish the Atlantic Ocean and fish the Delaware River during the Striper migration as well as the catfish spawn  then head up to Lake Ontario for some Trout and Salmon experience. With the unexpected expenses to the boat this year and the Corona Scare i am not sure how much funding i will have for fishing and might be forced to stay close to home. Minimum cost to take the boat out is $100  for bait and fuel, to come to LO its minimum $250 without staying over night.  And no one wants to share expenses they all want to fish but no one realizes the costs involved in having a boat and passion to fish.

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OMG, Getting old. I forgot to also mention i purchased a Closed cooling system the the salt water will only flow through the heat exchanger. The will only be Coolant in the engine block which covers two obstacles i had. Winterizing too early losing out on late Striper fishing and having to drain the block several times before actually stop using for the season. Now i just have to flush the heat exchanger and open a bolt that removes the top and bottom of the open part of the cooling system that has salt contact ($700.00). I still have to figure out mounting location and the hoses that were not included but Summit Racing has a good selection of Alum. tubing and hoses  for race setups. I have stainless tubing i can bend however my radius bends are about 9 inches so i have limitations making DIY piping

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In changing to Elec. Fuel system and HEI ignition  i am able to carry spare parts that are pretty easy to change on rocky water. I cannot imaging setting up failed points on the water. I would be puking the whole time. I placed the parts in a vac seal bag and took all the air out protecting then from corrosion. Along with adding spare plugs, cap and rotor.  I mean i cannot take everything along but a few common parts that are known to fail gives peace of mind. I mean how many people keep spare engine parts in the trunk when they travel.


Most recently i have been going out alone so if something should fail id have hopefully what i need to get back. The Atlantic Ocean is a big body of water.

Edited by dbitting
Forgot to add something
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  • 1 month later...



turns out like any other project it gets bigger than expected. While cleaning up the outdrive i decided to look for a noise the unit had when trimmed up. disassembled the upper unit discovered a bearing took a **** and in turn took out a shaft with splines in the lower unit. I decided i was not going to fix it but convert to Alpha1 on anOMC gimble conversion. I purchased a new unit cleaned  epoxied and painted the new unit all new seals and bearings. i gutted the transom where the drive mounted, i installed Coosaboard laid a fiberglass layer between the old fiberglass and the new boad left that dry then shaped the coosaboard and placed 3 layers of 1708 over the inside.

 i installed the new transom mount with the conversion kit to accept the alpha 1 drive. Also had to replace the shift/ throttle to change cable direction. spent several hours cleaning up wiring, added 2 new blowers and hoses. epoxied a removable bilge assembly. installed new drain plug assembly that retains the plug. hopefully i can place the motor and get the closed cooling system figured out. i will post more pics when i get them from my phone





















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You may wonder why not just change all over to Alpha1. i didn't want to change the hydraulics and steering assembly at this time.  2 1100 gph bilge pumps under motor with independent breakers and switches wired to different batteries, Since NJ is closed and only one person per boat gives me more time to finish things right. Stripers will probable be North of me before this Covid-19 BS is over 







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I was looking at that but couldn't find what i needed.  i have the crank, ps pump and alt pullies from a truck motor but no idler or tensioner pulley and  brackets

There is enough room to do that replacement after the motor is back in the boat. this was an unexpected project and funds are running low. If i didnt already have an Alpha 1 drive in my garage from another boat we were going to repair this would be sitting this season. At this time i think i can only access the Delaware river tidal waters  and travel south to the bay. I have not confirmed yet but covid-19 has put a damper on boat access 

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i have one side from a 350 chevy, can't remember which side, i haven't looked at it in forever. but you're welcome to it if you can use it. i don't know if the v8 stuff fits the v6 though.. they might be different. i seem to remember something about having to upgrade the heads too when doing the conversion.. mounting holes for the brackets i think. i could be totally wrong about that though, it's been a long time since i did that project (sbc swap in a jeep). i sourced all the parts from a local junk yard for cheap. i think the serp setup i used was from 1997-2001 model years if i recall correctly. but again, that was a 350 v8.

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You are correct the 4.3l will take SBC mounting components and you are also correct about the mounting holes in the head. when i went to the electric fuel pump i had to make a bracket to mount the filter and pump assembly in the original location, however the hole in the head was missing. i have a complete assembly for a serp belt from a S10 blazer v6 but the brackets are huge and include AC so that is why i put that upgrade off.  the brackets are bulky. i also looked at Summit Racing for a drive kit and they are way too much to justify the cost. In weighing  the wants and needs if the boat i decided to just keep the vbelt config.

since i am confined to work form home i have limited time to work in the boat and weather is hit n miss right now. I get a few hours a week and. the weekend to work on the boat. Sunday i created a lift to attach an atv winch to lift the motor back in. in lifting the beam i made a mistake and all my drilling and bolting the beams together failed because i pulled on end out and all the weight ripped the  bolted end apart. I managed to get the beams back up in place just lower than i initially wanted them. i have to add supports to handle the vertical load of the motor and will be ready to drop it in place. kinda at a standstill until i get the motor in. the closed cooling system did not include the cooling hoses soi have to mount the mounting bracket in a location i desire then figure out hose routing. The upper and lower cooling hoses to the motor are the issue the pump hose and hose to risers are simple 1 and 3/4 heater hoses. i am going to order silicone hose once i know the length. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Its been a while since i updated but here we are. the motor is in, closed cooling installed. I did run into an issue with the conversion kit from OMC to Alpha1. failure to reed the requirements. I thought the out drive i already had was correct however when i got it from the garage it didn't fit. i called SEI and they said i needed Gen2 i had a Gen1. i had to find another out drive. installed an gen2 drive and broke the motor in on land. going to try getting on a like this week and test props as now the drive has changed.  I have OMC drive parts and a complete, new SEI 106 gen1 Alpha1 drive unit if anyone is interested. in fact i have Ford 5.8l and Gimble, drive unit if someone is in need of power plant. motor ran when removed form boat. its stored in my workshop. never ran SEI106 drive. motor is 233 hp 1975 ish block was replaced because it cracked. thats all i know. it ran when i removed it. pics and price can be provided if interested.








Edited by dbitting
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Don't take this the wrong way, please... I admire your determination,  as well as your  dedication to a boat thats special to you,but it sounds like you are way underwater, in the boats value and what you you have in it... Not a bad thing if you really like the boat, and will get use out of it...

 I have seen other  similar horror stories to yours and they are usually on  I/O  type boats... So expensive  and complicated to fix... Outboards today are crazy expensive as well, if you buy new, but clean used  ones are readily available at fair prices and can be installed in  a very short time with a few  simple hand tools....  Transoms are easier to fix on most outboards as well, and the
"pour in" resin fix  has a great track record...


  I dunno, I know you like your boat, and I extend to you my best wishes for some well deserved  long lasting peace of mind, and wonderful times aboard her with friends and loved ones.
 Personally, I have  NO use  for an inboard of any type, especially with the quiet smooth 4 stroke outboards being built these days,,, Over the years, I have seen too many total disasters such as what you have gone through, where the motor, and the final drive and the  transom all went to crap at the same time, and the boat wasn;t worth near as much as the repairs would cost.. You are a better man than me for sure, I would have bailed out on it... BEST of luck on it from here on !... That boat owes you some great service after what you put forth  in time, emotion, sweat, and money!!!!,,, bob

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First off Bob no worries Everyone has an opinion and your comments are appreciated. First id like to say this was never my plan to make this kind of investment. i only found out later the seller want completely honest when o purchased it.  The season after i bought the boat i fitted the boat with $4500 in. electronics that included autopilot and 2- HDS-Carbon displays with all the bells and whistles. the next year the motor lost a cylinder. Im committed so i replace the head at the end of the season my friend suched sand into the block. pulled the motor to remove the freeze plugs and flush the motor. while flushing it i decided to flip it and remove the pan to check the condition of the motor, turns out it needed to be rebuilt. Took it to a machine shop and after ordering the parts to rebuild it and already machined the crank did we  find the block qwas cracked 4 inches just below the head deck.  It never leaked water. I found another block and completed the rebuild. the story is listed at the initial post but i am committed  because i like the boat and have already invested well more than the boat was worth.  I don't regret the investment however if i knew i was replacing the motor and drive this year i would have sold it. 


Since i fish the ocean and often alone i wanted something i know is solid without spending $45k on a new boat. i have no plans of getting rid of the boat. i know what i now have. It may not be new or look new but i will feel confident if what i have invested in her. any used boat out there will need lots of work because most don't pay attention to detail and many owners don't know how to properly maintain them. 

You mentioned Outboard vs sterndrives, now that i owned a sterndrive i would agree outboard has their advantages especially if fishing into the cold weather season. now that i added closed loop cooling i can extend my season into December 


Its simple if you have a hobby and are not spending money there is something wrong, some cost more than others. If i thought about the money i would sit home and drink, it is cheaper! Hunting, Golf, Motorcycles, Classic Cars all are expensive hobbies. Boats are no different.



Thank you for you comments

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  Glad she's up and running.. You got the "death by a thousand cuts" syndrome.. Just one thing after another after another.. Then you look up, and find you are WAY under water, but what do you do?.  Junk it and lose the multiple thousands you already ?pent???.. Tough decision... Some will bail, some will forge ahead and damn the torpedoes... You did what was right  for you in this  case, and as I said earlier, I wish you only the best with it from this point on,,,


 ANYONE can get beat on a purchase, of a boat, motor, car, house , whatever...

 Lots of people know something is compromised, and its life is short, so they polish it, tighten it, tune it, so it looks, works and sounds fine... Until it doesn't... I  am 66 and can't tell you how many cars trucks, boats, outboards I have bought for good money, that never made it even a month without major issues.. Its easy to hide problems from a prospective buyer, and all too many people have no problem doing it... Enjoy your refurbished ride, I hope it lasts a lifetime for you... bob


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i took a half day off yesterday and went to the river. the wind was crazy but i pushed on. the boat ran great i just have to adjust the sift cable and fix the idle screw keeps backing out. i was impressed i managed 30.9 mph with strong wind in my face and going against the tide back to dock. currently  i have a 14 x 18 prop on but the recommended size is a 14 x 21. the 14 x 21 should bring the rpm down to 4600 rpm instead of 5000 rpm at wot. i have a ss quicksilver 14 x 21 prop but wanted to replace the hub, arriving friday.

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