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Dschouest42

Fixing Up An Old Aluminum Hull and Engine

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So, I got my paws on a very run down old aluminum hull that needs a lot of TLC, paint, and maybe an exorcism. This boat has been sitting for about six years according to the previous owner, and it mainly has a handful of problems:

1.) The rectifier will not charge a boat battery. A diode may be bad, and it needs to be replaced. Not hard considering I am a budding mechanic and can switch it easily.

2.) The steering cables are locked up. I need to know what I need to do to replace these, as I have no experience really with hydraulic lines. 

3.) The wooden floor is rotten and needs to be replaced. Not a hard fix. I am also going to extend the deck about three feet back, towards amidships.

4.) It needs new fuel lines and a fuel tank. Not hard.

5.) Second biggest headache: The power tilt does not function anymore. Two ideas: either a bad motor, or the switch in the throttle assembly went bad.

6.) Single biggest headache: I need new numbers on it. The owner and I did a bill of sale, but, he doesn't have the boat registration. I will need to contact LWF (Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries) for what to do.

7.) The owner cannot locate the key for the ignition. He may find it yet, but, at this point, I doubt it. It is a throttle, choke, ignition, and kill switch all in one. Can I have a locksmith make a new key, or does it need to be changed out?

I need help with #2 and #5 mostly. Does anyone have much experience replacing these?

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2) Just buy a new cable helm assembly 

shop around though some places are much cheaper than others for the same product 

 

3) Just make sure you remove and replace water logged foam. Rotten floors usually mean wet foam

 

 

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Here is how to start on the steering cables.  Start at the engine side. Take very good pictures of how each one runs and where each one attaches (if it is a dual cable setup)  Mark each end of a cable with paint and the location it attaches to. Use two different colors. Now watch where it runs to and tie ropes to each one so you can pull it out and pull the new ones in. Pay particular attention which way the way the cables route around the helm. It is also possible the problem may not be the cable but rather the helm with the cables disconnected turn the wheel and see which has the problem. You will need to measure the cables to get new ones.

For the fuel lines go to your local boat dealer and get the newest ethanol rated marine fuel lines in bulk ( purchased about 10 feet to go from my tank to the deck fitting and from the deck fitting to the engine. Just take some rough measurements

Now for the power trim. You never mentioned the brand engine. For example most Merc need a fully charged battery, there are most often at least 2  trim switches  a series of relays located under the engine cowling and then the trim motor that runs the hydraulic pump. For me I would start by making sure the battery is fully charged, next I would remove the engine cover, and using the closest trim switch test for power to and thru it and then power at the relays. You can easily determine where the problem is by using some jumper wires and jump the wires that were hooked to the relay feeding the pump motor directly.  If it runs while jumped look backwards in the system, if it does not work then the motor operating the pump has failed.

I hope this helps. If you give us info about the make and model and year of the boat and motor I am sure we can be more specific.

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Bang on the trim motor with a crescent wrench. 

?? Ok don't do that but in all honesty it might be seized and a light tapping might fix that. 

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Trim: there is an up and a down solenoid. They are typically located on the side of the motor that the trim switch is located on. Jump the two posts on the solenoid with a screw driver to see if it goes up or down. If so you just need a solenoid. The solenoid a tend to wear out more than the trim Motor. 

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Thanks for the input guys! I get paid this week (some money from a side job I worked on earlier this year) and Im gonna be putting a good chunk of that dough to getting this boat fixed. I might not be able to go after many bass before winter, but, Ill be able to go chase some redfish and speckled trout when they start to stack up!

Here is more information:

-The motor is a 1996(?) 40 hp Johnson.

-The hull brand is Alweld, based in Arkansas I believe.

 

Honestly? Im excited yet nervous about this little venture. But I think itll be worth it.

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The key code is probably under the throttle cover.  Take that code, and order another from a Johnson dealer. 

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You didn't mention throttle cables as you may not have tested them yet. If so search YouTube on throttle cable replacement. Look for part numbers on the cables close to the throttle. The model number gives length and fittings for your application. I had to do mine on a Mercury last year. Make sure the adjuster nuts are in the same position as the cables you take off and you will be good. 

Look for and grease any fittings around the motor/trim.

YouTube how to test if your trailer bearings are good or need to be replaced before you tow it any distance. 

I ordered extra keys to my 35 year old Mercury on line with the key code as @J Francho says.

 

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Money is in! I have to get some tires for it right now. What is the average size trailer tires does one need for a trailer about 16 feet long?

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what tires size is on there now.  There are trailers for boats that long that use 8",10" 12" and 13" diameter tires. If you can not read the sticker on the trailer then try to read  the sidewall of the tires. You will need to purchase "trailer" tires which are very different than passenger tires. I am sure you have a trailer supply place somewhere near you but you can go to their website to research what you need. Match the diameter, size ratio and load rating. For instance my trailer for my 17 1?2 foot Lowe uses Loadstar trailer tires in a ST175/80DX13 load range C. I can go with the same tire in a load range D if I can find them but not a load range B. The B load range will not support enough weight to be safe.  Check out Eastern Marine's website here:http://www.easternmarine.com/

You can order from them but it maybe possible to get them from a supplier closer to you. Another great supplier is to call The Tire Rack.  They will help you get the right tire and will ship them to your home.  A lot of the time an RV dealer and boat and utility trailer dealer can get them as well.

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How about some pics. It would be great to see the before and after shots

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