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Ranger 375v Restoration

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Click here for latest update (03/15/2019)

 

Early spring 2018 I purchased a 1987 Ranger 375v for 2k. It was in rough condition BUT the motor and hull were sound. Since then I've done a lot of work on the boat. When I first bought it, I was terrified at what I was getting myself into. I wondered if I threw 2k down the toilet. I'm very glad to say that it turned out nicely. This is has been an incredible learning experience for me. I definitely leveled up my DIY and mechanical skills. Looking back, I can laugh at myself for forgetting the drain plug, being nervous backing down a ramp, and worrying up things I know how to do now. 

 

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I recently made the decision to purchase a 1987 Ranger 375v for $2000. I did as best inspection as I could and everything seems good. You can follow that here:

https://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-forums/topic/202045-trying-to-buy-a-used-ranger-375-for-incredibly-cheap/

 

5a939eb485e77_Wholeboatpicture.jpg.43f7a075b9c2d640b2c1bb1112690abf.jpg

 

 

There's a laundry list of things that need to get done. Here's the order:

  1. Rust needs to be cleaned off. Particularly at the coupler. Steel wool and rust remover should do the trick. The coupler and the hitch ball sieze, its a pain. Done
  2. Winch needs to be cleaned or replace. I might just replace it. Done
  3. It needs to be cleaned. The compartments and bilge are filthy. Everything must be taken out and scrubbed with mold cleaner and bilge cleaner Done
  4. The port fuel tank might need to be cleaned. I need to see how much varnish is in there. Dunno how well adding gas and seafoam will work Done
  5. The fuel lines need to be switched out. I ordered ordered a pair. Fuel line connecting tanks needs to be repaired.  Done
  6. Batteries need to replaced. Already have one for crank. The trolling motor batteries will be replaced later, not important now. Done
  7. Surprisingly, the important gauges seem to work. Verified tach and trim. Fuel gauge doesn'ts seem to work...need to inspect that Right side works. left side doesn't but should be easy to fix
  8. That being said the wires need to be cleaned and the terminals need to be cleaned of corrosion and rust.  Done
  9. Need to check the kill wire at the engine to figure out why the engine doesn't shut off. Worst case scenario is a busted power back.  Done, had to replace CDI
  10. The trim jack seals are leaky, I need to replace those. Parts already ordered. The tool to do it is $150. You can get it for ~$70 online. Sort of ridiculous Done
  11. Transom screw holes and keel chips need to be plugged. The hook eye at the front of the keel is a little loose. Need to fix that. 
  12. Fiberglass restore and polish
  13. Re-carpet with 18'x8' teal carpet 
  14. Need to test livewells and possibly replace some pumps
  15. Need to test bilge pump
  16. Seastar steering seal needs to be replaced
  17. Install Ultrex
  18. Install Fish Finders
  19. Bow ring needs tightening or reinforcing plate. 

 

 

My goal is to make it fishable for ~$1000. Add cosmetics and upholstery for another ~$1000. If I go over, that's fine, a tournament ready boat for $5000 is still an astounding deal for this area. 

 

Spreadsheet detailing total cost as of 3/16/2018

 

ranger cost.jpg

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So right off the bat I have a few questions. Regarding the fuel port fuel tank. It's been empty for a while. What's the best way to clean it? Should I just fill it up and put some sea foam in there?

 

For fuel, would car gas with sta-bil work? What's the best way to get fuel?

 

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  1. Rust needs to be cleaned off. Particularly at the coupler. Steel wool and rust remover should do the trick. The coupler and the hitch ball sieze, its a pain.  Easy peasy...General maintenance and can replace if needed.  
  2. Winch needs to be cleaned or replace. I might just replace it.   Another easy replacement.  I would at least replace the strap.  
  3. It needs to be cleaned. The compartments and bilge are filthy. Everything must be taken out and scrubbed with mold cleaner and bilge cleaner.  Get after it but if you are going to replace the carpet, I wouldn't stress too much over getting it clean.  I used a bucket, a scrub brush a mix of white vinegar and carpet cleaning solution that goes in the carpet machines (Bissel).  Scrub rinse repeat.  Purple Power from WalMart in the bilge.
  4. The port fuel tank might need to be cleaned. I need to see how much varnish is in there. Dunno how well adding gas and seafoam will work.  Inspect the tank it is important to get any particulate out of there because it will end up in you motor or clogging your filters.
  5. The fuel lines need to be switched out. I ordered ordered a pair. Fuel line connecting tanks needs to be repaired.  Good idea.  Dont forget the bulb and engine lines. 
  6. Batteries need to replaced. Already have one for crank. The trolling motor batteries will be replaced later, not important now. You need good batteries as soon as it's affordable.  They will strand you on the water.  
  7. Surprisingly, the important gauges seem to work. Verified tach and trim. Fuel gauge doesn'ts seem to work...need to inspect that.  Check continuity at your sending units. 
  8. That being said the wires need to be cleaned and the terminals need to be cleaned of corrosion and rust. Double check ground wires.  Most all electrical gremlins are ground related.  
  9. The engine won't turn off. Both key and killswitch don't work. I verified the killswitch switch is sending a "stop" signal today with a    circuit checker. Little disappointed because that would've been an easy fix. Now I have to check the CDI. I found the white wire that      needs to be connected to the ground. Just need to check it.....Help from anyone with experience in this would be awesome. 1987 Yamaha 150Pro V.  I thought kill switches interrupted continuity to the motor.  Just check all of the wiring including the ignition.  
  10. The trim jack seals are leaky, I need to replace those. Parts already ordered. The tool to do it is $150. You can get it for ~$70 online. Sort of ridiculous.  I replaced the rams and seals on my Yamaha with parts from SIM Yamaha and I don't think the tool was that much.  I would replace the rams AND the seals.  They come in a kit.
  11. Transom screw holes and keel chips need to be plugged. The hook eye at the front of the keel is a little loose. Need to fix that. Access through the nose, pull front panel, put locktight on the threads.  
  12. Fiberglass restore and polish This deserves it's own post.  Wet sand, compound, seal, polish.  
  13. Recarpet. This will be a huge pain and I'll do this last. Anybody know if trailer bunk carpeting will work?  Only on the bunks.  Deck carpeting is different.  Lots of suppliers.  

You didn't mention anything about the motor or trailer (other than the coupler).  On the trailer you do need tires and the bearings repacked/replaced as necessary.  Lights all work?  The important thing is the motor.  New filters after you put all of the new lines in, water pump/impeller and lower unit service.  I would have a leak down test done at the mechanic to see if your seals are holding.  Pressure test lower unit, check prop seal.  I would definitely spend some time with the motor AFTER it is deemed runable.  Decarbon/filters/plugs, etc..  Let the journey begin.  B)

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87 Ranger, check the transom, they were still wood then, when you pull the screws holding the transducer cables out, check for rot.  Then pull the transom saver/support and bounce on the outboard to see if there's any movement/flex.  If you see any please take to a repair shop before doing anything else.

Clean the insides out when you have the lids off to do the re-carpet.  Easier to get in there and clean/access, also when you are pulling off old carpet all sorts of junk falls in and you have to clean out again...  

Carpet from Bass Boat Seats, 16oz is basically what was in there stock.  20oz for a little plusher experience.  

A jar of Marinetex to fill in transom holes and small scratches in the gelcoat/glass.  Keel shield  isn't a bad idea either.  Get the Pro Tec refurbish kit for the gel coat.  

Check the area the TM is mounted to see if the bolts are tight or if there is any cracking.

If you are going to recarpet... SERIOUSLY look at installing a Trolling Motor Tray.

Got any pictures of the deck and seats?

I redid an 88 374v and am glad I did it, just the experience of re-carpeting the boat made me realize that I never want to do it again! LOL  But by this Spring for ~4500 I'll have an 18fter with Linked Garmins, new carpet, 150 Merc, no holes anywhere and an 80lb TM with Tray, and a Powerpole. 

 

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4 hours ago, TOXIC said:
  1. Rust needs to be cleaned off. Particularly at the coupler. Steel wool and rust remover should do the trick. The coupler and the hitch ball sieze, its a pain.  Easy peasy...General maintenance and can replace if needed.  
  2. Winch needs to be cleaned or replace. I might just replace it.   Another easy replacement.  I would at least replace the strap.  
  3. It needs to be cleaned. The compartments and bilge are filthy. Everything must be taken out and scrubbed with mold cleaner and bilge cleaner.  Get after it but if you are going to replace the carpet, I wouldn't stress too much over getting it clean.  I used a bucket, a scrub brush a mix of white vinegar and carpet cleaning solution that goes in the carpet machines (Bissel).  Scrub rinse repeat.  Purple Power from WalMart in the bilge.
  4. The port fuel tank might need to be cleaned. I need to see how much varnish is in there. Dunno how well adding gas and seafoam will work.  Inspect the tank it is important to get any particulate out of there because it will end up in you motor or clogging your filters.
  5. The fuel lines need to be switched out. I ordered ordered a pair. Fuel line connecting tanks needs to be repaired.  Good idea.  Dont forget the bulb and engine lines. 
  6. Batteries need to replaced. Already have one for crank. The trolling motor batteries will be replaced later, not important now. You need good batteries as soon as it's affordable.  They will strand you on the water.  
  7. Surprisingly, the important gauges seem to work. Verified tach and trim. Fuel gauge doesn'ts seem to work...need to inspect that.  Check continuity at your sending units. 
  8. That being said the wires need to be cleaned and the terminals need to be cleaned of corrosion and rust. Double check ground wires.  Most all electrical gremlins are ground related.  
  9. The engine won't turn off. Both key and killswitch don't work. I verified the killswitch switch is sending a "stop" signal today with a    circuit checker. Little disappointed because that would've been an easy fix. Now I have to check the CDI. I found the white wire that      needs to be connected to the ground. Just need to check it.....Help from anyone with experience in this would be awesome. 1987 Yamaha 150Pro V.  I thought kill switches interrupted continuity to the motor.  Just check all of the wiring including the ignition.  
  10. The trim jack seals are leaky, I need to replace those. Parts already ordered. The tool to do it is $150. You can get it for ~$70 online. Sort of ridiculous.  I replaced the rams and seals on my Yamaha with parts from SIM Yamaha and I don't think the tool was that much.  I would replace the rams AND the seals.  They come in a kit.
  11. Transom screw holes and keel chips need to be plugged. The hook eye at the front of the keel is a little loose. Need to fix that. Access through the nose, pull front panel, put locktight on the threads.  
  12. Fiberglass restore and polish This deserves it's own post.  Wet sand, compound, seal, polish.  
  13. Recarpet. This will be a huge pain and I'll do this last. Anybody know if trailer bunk carpeting will work?  Only on the bunks.  Deck carpeting is different.  Lots of suppliers.  

You didn't mention anything about the motor or trailer (other than the coupler).  On the trailer you do need tires and the bearings repacked/replaced as necessary.  Lights all work?  The important thing is the motor.  New filters after you put all of the new lines in, water pump/impeller and lower unit service.  I would have a leak down test done at the mechanic to see if your seals are holding.  Pressure test lower unit, check prop seal.  I would definitely spend some time with the motor AFTER it is deemed runable.  Decarbon/filters/plugs, etc..  Let the journey begin.  B)

The killswitch does interrupt continuity to the motor by grounding it. Inside the killswitch for Yamaha motors there's a white wire (For other brands it's usually black with yellow stripe) and a black ground wire. When the lanyard is in the white wire and black wire are disconnected. When you pull the lanyard there's a conducting metal plate on a spring that is pushed onto the white wire and black wire end. This grounds the engine and shuts it off. The white wire leads to a terminal on the CDI, as does the black ground wire. I verified that the switch works by checking the wires and the conducting plate. I'll probably have to double check. So now I have to check the CDI on the engine. It's as simple as running the engine and then connecting the white CDI terminal to the groud CDI terminal. If that doesn't work I need to take it to the mechanic.  

 

The motor runs fine, it's just turning it off is a problem lol. The trailer is fine too, before I bought it we greased the bearing buddies and I replaced the trailer tires. Brake lights and turn lights work. I just need to replace the clearance lights but those should be easy. We also replaced the fuel separating filter. I'm definitely taking it to the mechanic as soon as I can, the problem is the mechanic I want to take it to is on vacation until the 27th. 
I just remembered the steering cables probably need to be replaced. There's play at the steering and I can move the motor side to side a little bit before hitting resistance. 

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55 minutes ago, webertime said:

87 Ranger, check the transom, they were still wood then, when you pull the screws holding the transducer cables out, check for rot.  Then pull the transom saver/support and bounce on the outboard to see if there's any movement/flex.  If you see any please take to a repair shop before doing anything else.

Clean the insides out when you have the lids off to do the re-carpet.  Easier to get in there and clean/access, also when you are pulling off old carpet all sorts of junk falls in and you have to clean out again...  

Carpet from Bass Boat Seats, 16oz is basically what was in there stock.  20oz for a little plusher experience.  

A jar of Marinetex to fill in transom holes and small scratches in the gelcoat/glass.  Keel shield  isn't a bad idea either.  Get the Pro Tec refurbish kit for the gel coat.  

Check the area the TM is mounted to see if the bolts are tight or if there is any cracking.

If you are going to recarpet... SERIOUSLY look at installing a Trolling Motor Tray.

Got any pictures of the deck and seats?

I redid an 88 374v and am glad I did it, just the experience of re-carpeting the boat made me realize that I never want to do it again! LOL  But by this Spring for ~4500 I'll have an 18fter with Linked Garmins, new carpet, 150 Merc, no holes anywhere and an 80lb TM with Tray, and a Powerpole. 

 

Yep, the transom checks out, I did that first when I was inspecting the boat before purchase. 

 

I'll take a picture of the deck and seats when there's better weather. Out of all the times San Jose decides to rain (never) it decides the entirety of this week :(

 

Trolling motor tray is a good idea, I'll consider that seriously when it's time to do the carpet. 

 

Nice, is that ~4500 including the price of the boat? Like I said, ~1000 to get it fishable, and ~1000 to make it look pretty but not too stressed if it goes over by a bit. I'm including the cost of tools like jacks, orbital buffer, etc. which is inflating the cost. 

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I agree /w adding a recessed trolling motor tray when you re-do the carpet. It's such a cheap upgrade that is worth it's weight in gold. 

 

You can use the marine grade carpet from Lowes on your deck if you want to save some money but I would suggest just getting the good stuff from Cabelas or bassboatseats.com. Just order a little extra for the bunks. 

 

Replace the bulb /w the fuel lines and make sure it's OEM. Don't get the cheap walmart bulb/lines. 

 

Cleaning the inside of the tank can be tricky. You can throw some Startron tank cleaner, seafoam, stabil and gas in the tank(after you drain the old gas out) and just let it sit in there for a while then run it. It will eventually loosen all the junk and clean itself. 

 

Use marinetex for the hull patching. Definitely recommend a Keel Guard. I think they retail for 160 ish but I found mine on amazon for 70-80$. Definitely worth it..especially for beaching. 

 

Don't try to fix the winch. Just get a new one. I recommend the Fulton if you can swing it. OEM is fine, too. 

 

Definitely check out the trailer bearings. 

 

Locktight the threads for the hook eye after you patch/secure it. 

 

For the motor problem, check all your connections and grounds on switch and motor harness, make sure nothing is touch each other or wires touch posts, etc. Bad/loose wire will do that. 

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4 minutes ago, Further North said:

This is going to be fun to watch, thanks!

Always fun for the onlookers. Not so much for the participants. 

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4 minutes ago, slonezp said:

Always fun for the onlookers. Not so much for the participants. 

I dunno.  in 1980 a friend and I built a VW kit car...Aztec 7.  Had a buncha fun.

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8 minutes ago, Further North said:

I dunno.  in 1980 a friend and I built a VW kit car...Aztec 7.  Had a buncha fun.

As a journeyman tradesman I can appreciate fixing and/or creating things with ones own hands. As a guy who'd rather be fishing on the weekends than "fixing" on the weekends, my appreciation goes out the window. :D

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1 hour ago, slonezp said:

As a journeyman tradesman I can appreciate fixing and/or creating things with ones own hands. As a guy who'd rather be fishing on the weekends than "fixing" on the weekends, my appreciation goes out the window. :D

Haha, yeah I'll be giving up a lot of weekends for this. But I've wanted a bass boat all my life. And I think doing this will be a valuable education for me. Already in the past 5 days I've learned so much. And I haven't even really started in earnest. 

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Question regarding the steering. There's a little bit of play at the wheel. There's also side to side play at the motor. I can turn the motor a little bit before it stops. Anyone have this issue before? I'm not sure it's an issue at the helm. I can feel the steering cable as soon as I turn the wheel. It's just takes some time before the motor starts turning. 

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13 hours ago, slonezp said:

As a journeyman tradesman I can appreciate fixing and/or creating things with ones own hands. As a guy who'd rather be fishing on the weekends than "fixing" on the weekends, my appreciation goes out the window. :D

I couldn't be more aligned with that statement if I spent a week trying to write it myself.

 

  • I've been on the classic English sports  car journey...bottom line, I want to drive, not fix the thing...
  • I've been on the classic SxS Shotgun journey: bottom line, I want to shoot, not pay for a gunsmith's kids to go to college.
  • I've been on the "buy an old boat and fix it up" journey...bottom line, I want to fish, not work on the boat.

What I learned from all of those journeys was that while I love the classics, and genuinely admire the time, dedication, hard work and raw talent it takes to get them up to a usable state and maintain them...they are not for me.  For example, both the SxS shotguns I own and shoot these days were made less than 15 years ago...

 

I really like other people's classic cars, other people's classic shotguns and other people's old boats...

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23 minutes ago, Further North said:

I couldn't be more aligned with that statement if I spent a week trying to write it myself.

 

  • I've been on the classic English sports  car journey...bottom line, I want to drive, not fix the thing...
  • I've been on the classic SxS Shotgun journey: bottom line, I want to shoot, not pay for a gunsmith's kids to go to college.
  • I've been on the "buy an old boat and fix it up" journey...bottom line, I want to fish, not work on the boat.

What I learned from all of those journeys was that while I love the classics, and genuinely admire the time, dedication, hard work and raw talent it takes to get them up to a usable state and maintain them...they are not for me.  For example, both the SxS shotguns I own and shoot these days were made less than 15 years ago...

 

I really like other people's classic cars, other people's classic shotguns and other people's old boats...

If it floats, flies or f***s, rent it. ;)

 

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4 hours ago, Tim Kelly said:

If it floats, flies or f***s, rent it. ;)

 

That always makes me laugh...but I gotta go on record as disagreeing with two outta three.

 

I want my boat, set up my way.  I dislike the idea of fishing out of "rental" boats so much it has kept me from doing a fly-in trip in Canada...

 

I'll let you guess which of the other two I disagree with, but I'll tell you that I've been exceptionally happy being married to the same woman for 27 years... ;)

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2 hours ago, Further North said:

That always makes me laugh...but I gotta go on record as disagreeing with two outta three.

 

I want my boat, set up my way.  I dislike the idea of fishing out of "rental" boats so much it has kept me from doing a fly-in trip in Canada...

 

I'll let you guess which of the other two I disagree with, but I'll tell you that I've been exceptionally happy being married to the same woman for 27 years... ;)

But did you take her for a test ride before making the final purchase? j/k ;)

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1 hour ago, slonezp said:

But did you take her for a test ride before making the final purchase? j/k ;)

Upon reflection, I believe the opposite is where the truth lies...

 

...and I'm delighted to have passed whatever the test was.

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I fall square in the middle.  Yes, I want to be fishing but I am cheap so if it is within my skill level and a shop manual, I'll give it a whirl.  You can save stupid amounts of $$ performing your own maintenance or you can spend stupid amounts of $$ taking the boat to your trusted mechanic for everything.  Knock on wood, I haven't had anything I couldn't handle myself with the help of a good friend who is also a bass boat owner and was at one time a helo mechanic.  

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10 hours ago, TOXIC said:

I fall square in the middle.  Yes, I want to be fishing but I am cheap so if it is within my skill level and a shop manual, I'll give it a whirl.  You can save stupid amounts of $$ performing your own maintenance or you can spend stupid amounts of $$ taking the boat to your trusted mechanic for everything.  Knock on wood, I haven't had anything I couldn't handle myself with the help of a good friend who is also a bass boat owner and was at one time a helo mechanic.  

I agree, and do most of my own maintenance...but to me, there's a step up between maintenance, fixing broken things (see above references to English sports cars, classic SxS shotguns and old boats) and another (huge, IMO) in taking on a restoration project (which is what this cool project looks like to me).

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good luck brother. i hope everything works out for you. 

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UPDATE #1

02/28/2018

 

Thanks everyone for the encouragement. I have the first update. 

Well I solved the issue temporarily of draining the bilge. I bought a farm hi jack and jacked it up and put it on a saw horse rated for 1000lbs. The problem is, getting it down was dicey. The trailer kind of dropped a little bit when I tried to winch it down. Crappy farm jack was supposed to take it down notch by notch but that didn't go right near the bottom. Good thing I gave the bilge a decent cleaning. I'll be looking at paying for storage. I think this is the right move regardless because our driveway is pretty crowded. And I don't want to jack it up again. 

 

x5tZrd5.jpg

 

Cleaning

When I got the boat, it was pretty freaking dirty. So the first thing I did was clean. The bilge was filthy. Oil residue everywhere. I tooked out all the batteries and I scrubbed the battery tray and the tanks the best I could. I dumped bilge cleaner in the bilge and just scrubbed and scrubbed. The result is a lot better.

 

ynMki0I.jpg

 

BQUDqIU.jpg

 

After cleaning:

 

EqSBYT3.jpg

 

Fuel Tank Issues

So one issue I had right out the bat was replacing fuel lines. To do so I wanted to take out the fuel tanks. I started with the port side one (right in the picture). I could not get the SOB out. I disconnected all the hoses (had to cut them, were pretty much sealed on the fittings and I'm replacing all those hoses anyway) and I tried to pry out the tanks but no dice. Without prying out the tanks, it makes it super hard to access the fuel tank select valve. 

 

Another question I had was, why do the fuel tanks have 3 fittings? One is fuel output to valve then to engine. One is the gas cap filling input. What's the third one for?? 

 

With these issues, I'm going to take it to a mechanic on Saturday and get a quote. I could try and brute force the tanks, but I'm afraid of possibly breaking something. I want to get the mechanic's opinion on how much a fuel refitting would be. The only parts really would be fuel lines, maybe some cleaning, and adding fuel. I bought two yamaha fuel line assemblies. I'll also ask the mechanic what I need to do for the livewell pumps and possibly bilge pumps. Any idea what that cost will be? Yes maybe I can do this myself, but if there's one thing I don't want to screw up, it's fuel lines in the boat. At the very least I can try and figure out the livewells, but getting fuel operational is #1 for sure. 

 

Trim Seals

The next thing I tried to address were the leaky trim seals. I noticed that they were very loose. I bought an adjustable pin wrench because the yamaha tool is $67-140 dollars depending on where you get it from. Yeah screw that. I inspected the outer o-ring and it seemed fine. Dumped more jack fluid in there and tightened it up. I didn't see jack fluid leaking but I could hear air. So maybe the inner o rings are damaged. Regardless I bought some caps and o rings and will be trying to fix that. 

 

36554.gif

 

Cost So Far

With the coming California rain I won't have an update until after the mechanic visit on Saturday. I am currently $3,333 dollars into this project, including the cost of the boat. I have $611 dollars in actual boat parts (trailer wheels, battery, fuel lines end caps), $347 dollars in tools (Building up a nice tool collection lol), and $374 dollars in accessories (boat cover, tarp, adjustable hitch ball etc.). 

 

5a97a8d4151b0_Netcost.thumb.png.3145ebaee053e2a2bde365207f70454c.png

 

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I just want to thank people again for their encouragement and very detailed advice. It's a herculean task to restore a boat, but the journey will be educational and memorable.

 

Sometimes I think of the daunting task of doing all the things I listed and I laugh at myself, "What are you getting yourself into", but again, life's about challenges. I'm only 26, I'm not married and don't have kids, and I have some free time available. If there's a time to restore a boat it's now. 

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I will say your bilge is looking good!!  :)  Keep the updates coming!!  

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