View Full Version : Late 70s Starcraft rivetted aluminum /w "Eliminator" jet

06-27-2013, 12:49 AM
So we just brought this boat home last week. ive managed to gather some info on it. im not sure of the exact year, but i know its a late 70s because of the olds 455 and eliminator jet combo. it was brought up here(vancouver area) from the states in 95 and from what i understand it was completely gutted and rebuilt. i mean every rivet replaced, completely new decking and interior, new paint, engine rebuilt, etc, etc. of course what was once new is now old again after another 20 years, but the hull looks in excellent shape and i was happy to hear it had been re-rivetted.

i can tell the people who rebuilt it back in the 90s didnt cheap out and did quality work. im new to the 455, but i see a lot of thought went in to the build and lots of aftermarket performance parts. the electrical looks nice too with all heavy guage wires, dual batteries, nice dash/switch panel and plenty of room for upgrades.

the way i see it this boat will be more of a freshen up than a project considering the shape its in, but im still a boat newbie so it will be a nice learning experience too. its been sitting for just over a year, it will need new carpet all inside, new or repaired canvas and(im hoping) some minor engine work. the big question mark is the jet. from what i understand it was made in the 60s-70s, was ahead of its time, is quite rare today and parts do not exist. i am still new to jetboats and boats in general, but at this point i am planning to get the motor running and reassemble the jet and just see how she goes. anyhoo......here are some pics.


Last Mohican
06-27-2013, 06:59 AM
That is a big jet boat. Pretty cool. Seems like Tom over at Jet Boat Performance worked on one with an Eliminator jet a while back. He will more than likely be a good resource for you. I will see if I can find the thread on it.

Found the thread. Tom will be a big asset if the pump needs work. He has already converted one of these jets to use readily available parts.

06-27-2013, 10:52 AM
We have another member here at VJB with an Eliminator Jet Drive. It is a big aluminum boat as well. Here is a link to the thread http://www.vintagejetboats.com/showthread.php?3350-74-Starcraft-with-an-eliminator-jet-drive-In

06-27-2013, 05:02 PM
Looks like they did a good job on your boat. The Eliminator jet drive was made in Lewiston Idaho from the early 70's til the late 80's. Almost 20 years. Designed by a fella named Mike Brown. Originally installed in the Snake River Marina (different ownership now, and it's in Burley I think. It is 3 stage, and was built for the coast guard and fish and game to catch poachers in Hell's canyon. At the moment I can't find the file that has the person's name, but an individual works, or used to a couple years ago in Valley Marina in Lewiston. I think his name is Mike, not Mike brown tho. He worked on them when they were new, has some used parts, and knows some machine shops who have dimensions for a lot of other parts. They were made about 40 miles from where American turbine is now located.
I recieved this message from a guy and have no reason not to believe it.

"the eliminater jet pump was designed by Mike Brown and my dad's cousins were partners with him. They owned Snake River Marine in Lewiston, ID and were also a boat dealership. They used it primarily on Starcraft hulls...so that is why Starcraft doesn't know much about them...since they were installed on the boats in Lewiston... What was unique about the Eliminater Jet was it was a 3-stage pump and a low RPM/high volume pump compared to a single-stage pump high RPM/high volume pump with say a Berkeley...so it moved more water at low RPM's...thus the success of using a 350 Olds...but the 455 apps were popular in Hells Canyon...Back in 1976, the Coast Guard bought several Cabin Cruisers with twin pumps to catch salmon poachers on the Snake River...It has a water-lubricated bearing...so you need a "Y" fitting attached to a garden hose to run it out of water....just yank of the rubber hose on pump and attach "Y" and turn on hose...part is for engine cooling...part is for lubricating water bearing...it will make a HORRIBLE noise if you start engine without watering that bearing...drop me an email if you have a question...maybe I can help...we had one for 20+ years... ...Mike"

You have a neighbor up there who has one with a 350 in it like I do. He is the only person I have talked to with one who didn't like it. I can't find the town he's in, but it's near the Chiliwac river, and I think he said just a couple miles from the border on I5. One in central Wa, one in Wyoming, neither of which I have been in Contact with, and one other I forget about. And I had a friend who had one in the 70's and 80's. He wishes he had it back. A guy in Spokane Wa had one for sale in a trashed fiberglass boat with a rusted out 350 who wanted to sell it for $2500. He's mad at me, I offered him $500 for the jet drive if he took it out. I wanted a spare.

They are made to be sloppy so sand and small rocks won't destroy them. I think the tolerances with new parts are supposed to be higher than Berkely has with worn out. I have had no problems with mine since I got it, hope I didn't jinx myself. O, I was told by 3 or 4 people that the main thing to break was the snoot by bumping into things.

Well I'd better get back to work, Don't know much more, but if I can help I can. Your boat does look good like I said earlier. O I'm about 70 miles NE of Spokane Wa. Pm if you want or if I see something here I will try to respond. I usually check in every couple of days to see what's going on.

06-27-2013, 05:48 PM
Thanks Heyyou for dropping in, I knew you would have more info then most on this setup! :like:

06-27-2013, 06:35 PM
I've got specs on a couple bushings I think. I'm on a different computer no and don't have some of the info here. From what I've seen and read of what Tom at Jet Boat Performance does, it should work quite well. but isn't really what is supposed to be with this jet drive. I would really like to get a spare drive to take apart and see what was what with, but there's not many original left. From the way my quadrajet carb was plugged, it's a wonder it even ran, according to the mechanic who cleaned it. I told him it needed it at least a year ago. Now I have an Edlebrock 1409 (I think on) John the mechanic says it should be way more power, had to get another choke and put on, but that's running good now. Trying to put a new shifting cable in, and it not really doing what I want it to yet. Every year so far I gt on the water and the bucket won't move. One year I'll check first. New cable came in today the old one kept binding up on me. With the cup shut, and the motor reved, you can get a lot of water in your bilge. Now to find out from where.

06-27-2013, 08:25 PM
If it was easy Heyyou, everyone would make it to Hells Canyon!

06-27-2013, 11:24 PM
thanks for all the info, esp heyyou thats good stuff! i did actually read toms thread on the retrofit and heyyous, probably the main reason i signed up here.

as far as the jet goes it looks like everything is there to bolt it back up. i read in your other thread about the tolerances being about .07 which is a good thing. the big bowl is pretty ground up(from rocks i guess) but since there is no replaceable wear ring there is not much i can do. im gonna smooth it out and play with the shims. the boat came with two new sets of bearings(which is nice as they are $30-40 a pop online). only thing missing that i can tell is some kind of seal at the transom. there is a ring that bolts on to the hole of the transom, looks like it is suppose to have some kind of rubber seal sandwiched between it and the transom to seal around the jet and prevent water from entering the bilge. i think i have a plan for that but any insight would be great. the way i see it is it has a stack of 3 bearings up front, sandwiched by oil/grease seals. these bearings are greased. then between the 2nd and last impeller the shaft runs on a water lubricated rubber bushing. this one is still intact but a little worn out......does that sound about right?

im actually pretty excited to see how this thing works. i talked to one guy who knew the owner of it back in the late 90s, said he took a ride on it a few times and remembers it went like stink!

aside from the jet, i looked at the 455 motor today. i pulled both valve covers and everything looks clean and good inside(was nice to see roller rockers in there). i also manually turned the crank, feels good. checked a few sparkplugs, no issues there. i noticed a remote oil filter and an electric oil change pump so oil changes should be a breeze:). carb is a carter afb and it looks clean, i may pull it off for a closer look. in the next few days im gonna do a compression test and if that checks out then it should be good to fire up.

the only downside so far is i noticed one of the aluminum exhaust manifolds has a crack along the top. i pulled them both off and i will water test them each. i think the one is ok inside and out, and if the other is ok inside i may try to patch the crack........anyone care to comment on that idea? 455 olds manifolds seem to be pretty hard to find.

06-28-2013, 03:24 AM
Any decent welding shop, can weld up that manifold, it's just cast aluminum. Most transom adapters, are sealed to the hull with good marine grade silicon. Also there is an excellent epoxy available, that will fill the gouges in the aluminum housing. It is called "Devcon F" 2 part Aluminum Epoxy Putty. Just try to get it very close to the finished size, before it sets up. It is just like aluminum when it hardens!

06-28-2013, 06:38 AM
Keep us posted here, I'm interested in pics of the drive taken apart too. I'm at my other computer now, not sure how to send pdf files but I'll try as pics. Hope this works. These pics came from a Mike Shaw up in Canada too. If you'd like I can e-mail him and see if it's ok if I give you his e-mail. He's the guy unhappy with mainly the way things were installed in the boat. I have to install a shifter cable on mine today, so I'll try to see what seals it all together in the transom. Your one pic shows me just what I need to do to turn mine. I've been contemplating getting brave (I work outside in a sandy area, and with parts availability) and taking the reverse splash guard off, turning that part over so my controls will be like other boats (pushing forword should be natural to go forward, but it's embarrassing to hit reverse at the dock with a boat behind you. I might also be able to get some sort of a diverter, like a place or something. Yours should really scoot. How long is you islander anyway? The marinas, the guy who e-mailed me about his family involvement, previous owner, and a friend who had one in the 80s all say I should get 60 with my 350, but with my plugged carb I could only reach 34. Good luck with yours. Oh for some parts it's Mike at Valley boat and if it's ok to give a number 208 743 2528. If the number gets taken out, pm me. get enough of these old pumps, and maybe we can get reliable info and parts supply.

06-28-2013, 08:16 AM
Without regard , perhaps one of our finest works was this transformation of the Eliminator Jet (affectionately called the Seattle sewer pipe" To the Mixed flow conversion my son Josh created Before and Afterhttp://i147.photobucket.com/albums/r319/jetboatperformance/2010%20misc/DSC00292-1.jpg http://i147.photobucket.com/albums/r319/jetboatperformance/2010%20misc/DSC00010-1.jpg

06-28-2013, 07:24 PM
It looks excellent what he did. As I recall didn't he tighten up everything too, that should have given it more oomph also. I just had to replace my first part on mine in almost 3 years. The first pic is of it. Every time I turn around, and the first trip of every year so far, My shifter cable would bind up. This year included. I bought a new shifter cable, and same thing. The first bolt out of the bucket and it started going up and down while removing the bolt. Have a close look at the first pic. Having a new bolt machined now, hopefully it will fix my problem. Also biztyke was wondering on sealing between the pieces going thru the transom. These pics are taken from about 1/2 inch. You can see a thin, probably between 1/16" and 1/32" of soft pliable, even after painting over it material. I took a piece of truck innertube, and it was close to 3, maybe even 4 times the thickness. Tom probably knows just what it needs there, I would imagine the berkleys need it too.

06-28-2013, 11:17 PM
thanks guys for all this info! tahiti thats what i figured on the manifolds. ive dealt with cast iron manifolds before and from i was told you cant repair those as easy but this looks like something fixeable. i actually bought a tin of "lab-metal", it looks to be about the same kind of stuff as that devcon f you mentioned. im gonna give it a go.

tom, your thread on the eliminator retrofit was the first one that popped up with a search, it certainly does look like a fantastic job! im gonna see what ive got to work with here, i dont think its in that bad of shape actually, but if the need ever arises i may just think about an adapter like that.

heyyou thanks for the pics. my boat is 22ft long. i never realized that i may have reversed controls......not that big of a deal to me but interesting. i too needed a new shift cable, got that today as the old one was all rusted and seized at the end. your pic confirms what i thought. im gonna make a big 3/8" o-ring out of some black rubber vacuum tube. cut it to size then but the ends together with superglue. once that ring is bolted down im guessing everything shoud squeeze together and seal nicely. its an idea worth trying anyways. thanks for the pdfs and contact info. those 2 bushings are actually in great shape on mine but what i wouldnt mind is replacing the rubber sleeve that the first bushing you listed rides inside. anyways i will certainly keep this updated, for now here is every pic i have taken so far of the jet disassembley.


Last Mohican
06-30-2013, 07:18 AM
Thanks for posting all those pics. Always cool to see the inside of these different pumps.

06-30-2013, 10:02 AM
Yes, thanks for the pics. My internet is still messing up, I tried to send this a couple hours ago. I'm trying to organize pics and info on this drive for people who want it. It's sort of hard to get stuff. Plus I want the info for me, so I guess others will too. I haven't heard back from the other guy in BC near you, about giving you his e-mail. He has been good about returning my e-mail. It was his info on the bushings.

07-04-2013, 01:10 AM
so not a whole lot to report on this yet, but i have a feeling i will have this thing in the water by he weekend of the 13th.

the lab-metal aluminum epoxy i was planning on using was obviously sitting on the shelf for a while, so i had to take it back. good thing is i managed to track down some devcon f and will hopefully pick that up tomorrow. i got some acid based aluminum brightener to clean the impeller fins, manifold and jet cowling so everything that needs devcon or welding is cleaned and ready. found a shop to weld up the manifold so should get that done tomorrow. i installed a new shift cable today and freed up the stuck steering cable. i also syphoned off some of the old gas in the tanks, got 40 liters so far......i wonder how much more is in there. i just finished fixing our old boat up for sale, and it had over 120 liters of old gas in it. ive been using it in the jeep though, mixed with new gas and its actually saving me some money. also found a mid 80s 9.8 kicker for $200!

i will be putting the jet back together in the next few days, i will try and remember to take step by step pics and post them here.

T8er S.
07-04-2013, 06:03 AM
We love pics. :like:

07-04-2013, 09:12 AM
I tried that lab metal on my boat. I had to thin it a lot, it just clumped up and fell off otherwise. I Used it to fill in some big dents and scratches. I found and I never measured, I miixed it a little bit thicker than you would epoxy and it stayed pretty well. Even probably 1/8" thick tho and it would sag if it wd put on overhead, and run put on horizontal. After it hardened I hit it with a hammer qite a bit and it wouldn't break off. A piece on my trailer, not boat. Been on 2 1/2 yrs+ and no problems yet. They way it came out of the cans, it wouldn't stick at all. I wiped later doused the area with the thinner as it said, and it sill didn't stick til I thinned it. Not sure how thin you'd want to mix it tho. The more thinner you put in the quicker it sets up and more brittle it gets. And you did better than me on a kicker. I paid $400 for a 1984 10 hp Honda 4 stroke that had been on a sailboat.
Still waiting on the machine shop to finish the bolt, pin, whatever for mine. He said Wed, possibly tuesday and he'd call. I think tomorrow I'll call him.

07-07-2013, 12:49 AM
so, as usual(you know how it goes), i havent gotten near as much done as i'd hoped i would. but today was pretty good. i finished cleaning it for one thing. it sat for a while so the outside had green all over it. the canvas is in decent shape, but it needs new windows and a good clean and seal. so i took the canvas off to do that, and i actually bought an industrial sewing machine so i can replace the windows myself. its actually cheaper to buy a machine and the material than it is to pay someone to do it, plus i can sell the machine after i am done! but the canvas is not a huge priority right now. all the seats/vinyl is in good shape but it was pretty dirty. couldnt find anything to take it off, but after some googling i tried mr clean magic erasers.....they worked great! i just made sure to rinse good with water after. i also finally got that devcon f stuff and did up the impellers and cowling, you can see in the pics. im gonna sand/grind everything to shape tomorrow and hopefully assemble the jet. i get my exhaust manifold back from the welder on monday, and after that i can finally fire up the engine and see how she sounds! anyhoo, here are a few more pics.

edit: regarding the lab metal. the can i got looked like it sat for a while. it wasnt hardened, but it had formed into kind of a rubbery mold.....no way it would work like that. i tried thinning it out, but it would have taken a while to mix all the clumps out. i woouldnt trust the end product anyways so i took i back, but today i found the little stick i was using to mix it and the stuff dried out pretty tough.....felt like concrete. i will probably try it out another time, but the devcon stuff seemed to work well(its a 2 part though). and you did allright for a 4 stroke, those are hard to find(at least around here). this one is a 2 stroke so i will need an extra gas can(which is too bad, the boat is already plumbed with a quick connect gas hose for a 4 stroke). no biggie though.

before cleaning:

after cleaning:

devcon f on the jet(hope it holds!):

07-07-2013, 07:16 AM
That's been at least repainted once. Original color of the pump impellers, etc was International orange, just about the same as traffic signs. Looks like it should run like new when you finish. Doing good work.

07-07-2013, 04:00 PM
The boat looks like it cleaned up great! A little trick I learned working with that Devcon F, If you take a regular rubber sanding block, and put the sandpaper around the curved section of the block (top) the curvature is very close to the profile of the pump housing!

Last Mohican
07-08-2013, 12:51 PM
Magic erasers worked like a champ for me too. They were the only thing that would clean the interior of my Rebel. I had a friend that tried them on his vinyl after my success and they did not work at all. I felt kinda bad about it. They worked so well for me and not for crap for him.

07-09-2013, 01:00 AM
so i got the jet half put back together today. when we bought this boat we kind of figured the jet was toast, we spent a fair bit of time pricing out replacements. but now that we are actually working on it it is coming together quite nicely.

im certainly no expert here, but i am very mechanically inclined and am good at visualizing how things work(or dont work). so far this old jet is looking like a really solid design. of course i wont know for sure until its out on the water, but i am very optimistic about it.

so here are the pics i promised. the impellers and cowling all sanded back to shape:

there is a sleeve that sits in the jet housing, i first had too punch that out this sleeve holds the back 2 seals and 2 bearings, i had to take the grease fitting out to punch this sleeve out. here are a few pics of what came out.

as you can see the PO let the old bearings/seals kind of self destruct. the sleeve was somewhat beat up too, but functionally it looks like it will still do it's job. i cleaned it all up with a flap wheel and sanding disc, then stuck new seals and new bearings in it. also put a new seal in the bearing cap.

07-09-2013, 01:27 AM
next up i slid the bearing Assembly in to the jet housing, put the last bearing in the cap and bolted it all back together.

then i put the splined coupler in place and installed the jet shaft.

i had to slide the shaft all the way forward, put the key in for the front end, along with 2 washers and a big nut then slide the shaft back again. the i put one spacer sleeve on along with the first impeller(i will take a pic of that tomorrow).

thats how she stands for today. hopefully i will have it back together tomorrow. the jet came with the boat uninstalled but loosely assembled, so im putting it back together based on that. hopefully everything will fit properly, but i may have to move some shims around. well see.

Last Mohican
07-09-2013, 05:48 AM
Nice job. Good to see it well documented. Could be very useful for someone else down the road.

07-09-2013, 09:21 PM
The three impys would have got me excited but that box of parts would have scared the shit out of me! Very good post, this is archive material.

07-10-2013, 12:08 AM
got her back on, for the most part. unfortunately the completion pics arent as thorough as the rest, but it is all pretty straight forward.

i think originally this thing was put together with great big o-rings. unless i spent a god bit of time smoothing things out and remachining parts, i doubt any o-ring material would seal right so i used black rtv to mount the cowling over the first impeller. i did a bead on each surface, this part is inside the boat so i want it sealed as best i can.

now i missed a shot here, because the big heavy first bowl is put on with the second bowl and 6 long bolts go through it all in to the jet housing. i put the first heavy one(first picture abov) in place and held it, i then slid an aluminum spacer and the second impeller on the shaft and placed the second bowl over it, then bolted it in to place.

after that i slid a stainless steel bushing on the shaft, this slides in to a rubber bearing/sleeve that the back end of the jet rides on. this is what i believe was referred to earlier as the "water lubricated bearing", and i dont doubt it would squeal pretty loud if run dry. this pic shows it placed on the shaft, but it gets pushed inside that rubber sleeve shown in the last pic above.


then the last impeller, lock washer and big 1 5/16" nut finished the jet shaft assembly.


and here i just took a picture of the last bowl and steering/reverse bucket in place. i didnt bolt it on today because i dont have a socket big enough to tighten everything up.

based on how everything fits now its looking pretty good. its a fairly loose fit all around compared to newer style jets, but all sources so far confirm it is suppose to be that way. i still have to figure out some kind of rubber seal around the jet on the transom, i have a few ideas. i will take a few pics of the finished(at least testable) product tomorrow.

and as a side note, i did a compression test on the olds 455 and got 125psi across the board except for #4 which was 115. my googling tells me a freshly rebuilt 455 like this should be 130psi, if thats the case then im not too worried about this engine. still gotta finish sucking the old gas out of the tanks before i can fire it up though....

07-15-2013, 12:30 AM
well, i said id have her out on the water by now. didnt quite get there, but got close!

finally got the jet al back together. i had to play around with the shims(and actually make one to et it just right). i managed to get the first and third impeller to about .05 and the second s at .07 tolerance. its all within what ive heard is acceptable and she spins nice and smooth.

i had to make my own gasket for the transom ring. the jet is slightly off center so i used two sizes of rubber vacuum line and made a big ring.

then had to shave the top f the compression ring down a bit so it would fit, clamped it all down and i think it sealed pretty good.

and all bolted up with steering and reverse bucket cables hoked p.

also got the manifold back all welded up. the gaskets on both between the risers and manifold were shot so replaced those.

got the engine all bolted back together ad fired her up at the end of the day.....shes alive! she sound really good. only ran it a few minutes, gonna dial her in tomorrow and do a water run some day this week. we used fresh gas, but we ended up draining about 275 liters of old gas out of that thing so at least i know it has some decent range. i did get a video of the engine running, but some bad language was recorded(excitement for it sounding so good). i will take another, hopefully while the boat is in pitt lake!

07-15-2013, 07:57 PM
Man you've answered a lot of questions I've had about mine. I've been really leery of tearing into something that works just to see what makes it tick. I'm definitely gonna find a way to save this to my computer for future reference. Let us know the speed. I've been told mine should do 60, but even with a new carb and fuel pump, I'm still no where near that. Finally got mine back on the water, but still have a few more adjustments to make too. Good luck with yours.

07-15-2013, 09:53 PM
thanks, and i will keep this updated. its pretty much at the stage we can take it out on the water, but there is still a lot of work to do. regardless we are pretty happy. the boat was bought with the idea that the engine, jet or both would need to be replaced and so far its looking like both might be keepers. i guess the lake test will tell. after the mechanics are proven the interior needs to be redone(the seats are ok) and we want to put in a small galley for extended trips.the canvas work is yet to come too, it will be interesting to see if my sewing skills are up to snuff.

i was hoping to get her out on the water the next few days, but work has intervened so probably not gonna happen till next week. sure looking forward to it though!

07-15-2013, 11:47 PM
great play by play pictorial! Besides helping the curious like me, I'm sure, the assembly view. will surely help out another Dominator Jet Owner!

Last Mohican
07-16-2013, 07:40 AM
Great progress. The next person to disassemble that drive is going to love you for using RTV on the bowl. Hopefully you are not the one taking it apart. LOL.

07-17-2013, 07:40 PM
Hey, when you have to make your own parts, you use what works. I've used some too, and in Temporary situations, even household silicon caulk. It gets you by in a pinch. My new shifting cable, and fish finder cable to the transducer, but as I say, they will get changed. Wish I could find clear RTV. My trumpet tips have RTV White, wished I could find more of that. Just need to be in the truck shop when the right chemical salesman comes in.

07-17-2013, 10:15 PM
Great progress. The next person to disassemble that drive is going to love you for using RTV on the bowl. Hopefully you are not the one taking it apart. LOL.

LOL, actually i already had to take it apart. i had to rearrange the shims because the first try wasnt right.

using rtv wasnt my first choice, but using it was a result of having no better option, being a bit lazy and avoiding a bunch of potentially unnecessary work. i know you can buy o-ring material and make o-rings, but this jet and all its pieces has been repainted and used/abused for so long that the original sealing surfaces would never seal. i could get them to work but it would require quite a bit of machine work. at this point i still dont even know how well this thing works, all i wanted to do is get it to a workable state and take it for a test run. if she runs ok, ill figure out a better way to seal it the next time i take it apart.

10-10-2013, 03:15 AM
ok, long time no post but thats life.....something always gets in the way.

got her out on the lake for the first time a week ago, but got pics and vids taking it out today. the first time we took it out the tach didnt work, the right fuel tank gauge didnt work and the reverse bucket on the jet was set off so much that we basically had no reverse. also we have digital degree indicators for the trim tabs(bennett) and one was not working.

so we got the tach working(it was just siezed up inside, sat too long). got the trim tabs working, and its a good thing that tab indicator was iffy because the hydraulic line to that tab was leaking as well.....so all that got fixed. also adjusted the reverse bucket cable. the fuel tank is still iffy, but we also found that the vents for the tanks had been taped of(i assume for storage) so we freed those up. anyways, here are some pics and vids.

the nice big forgiving boat launch for boat newbies:) plus no-one else was around, it was great.
there she is in the water off the dock
some more pics of the boat and the surroundings.

and heres a vid of the jet going, we managed to get her up to 45mph which is not bad for this old jet. im sure if we spent some time fine tuning the clearances we get get a little more, but 45mph on a 22' cuddy cabin is good for me for now.*i agreed to try the youtube stabilizer feature so the vid looks a little warped at times.


heres a vid of using the 9.8 merc kicker. it managed to get the boat going pretty good, but i would imagine any kind of turbulence would make a big difference there. still, should be enough to get out of a jam, and certainly good for trolling.


taking it out this last time we noticed some exhaust build up in the cuddy, but we also forgot to put the blower on when we went out. after we put the blower on it diminished quite a bit, but there may be an exhaust leak there. we also noticed some milky oil on the breather off the valve cover and a little on the dip stick. everything in the engine looks great, and it could just be moisture from sitting for several years but to be safe we are gonna drain the oil, pull the heads and inspect, then put her back together with new oil. it will also give us a chance to look at the cylinders, mic em and see whats been done with em.

overall we are very happy with the outcome. we paid $6k for this thing with trailer and so far she is turning out to be a winner.

10-10-2013, 09:41 AM
Lookin good. My 21 actually 21' 8" Holiday will only get to 35 so far. We've both got big deep V boats. A lot of difference between them and the glass speed ones that (trying to think of better ways to say this) are a lot closer to being flat. Now I know I'm gonna hear about that statement. I didn't try my 10hp Honda kicker for speed. Trolls nice tho. So does the big motor if it's not too windy or too much current. I put separate controls for forword, revers and speed, made a big difference controlling the boat at a troll. I've had to free my reverse bucket up every spring, as it binds up during the winter. You might check yours after a long spell sitting. And as for the vents being taped shut, I'm having a hard time not leaking fuel out of mine, even tho they are a lot higher than the tanks. That might be why they were taped, but I would think they wouldn't vent worth beans that way. Keep up the good work. I'm thru for the winter myself. Time to think about correcting some of my problems before next spring. Should have time then. 24 1/2 more weeks to retirement, if Washington can do their job.

10-11-2013, 01:52 AM
yes i know i have a more of a deep v boat than a lot out there, but that was actually what i was looking for. something as a kind of all around-er. i'd like to be able to do lake, river and even some ocean given conditions. i live right off the coast and i would really like to be able to make trips to vancouver island and up the coast. ive also been told by a few people now that 45 for a boat like mine is nothing to be ashamed of. im still gonna probably try and fine tune that old eliminator jet but that will definitely be a project for next year, right now i'm just happy she works as well as she does!

i think the gas vents had just been taped for sitting, i didnt notice anything leaking after taking the tape off. but trying to fill up at the gas station was a pain, the back pressure kept blowing gas back out, i will see next time if taking the tape off made a difference,

today we pulled the intake manifold off. looks like on these olds 455s there could be an issue with sealing between the intake manifold and heads for the coolant ports. a bad seal would cause coolant to leak into the lifter valley. for now that's what we are gonna try out. everything else inside looks mint and the hour meter on the dash says 250hrs, but i did notice some pitting and questionable spots on those coolant ports(on the edelbrock alu intake manifold). so we are gonna clean everything up and put her back together per recommendations ive read online(rtv around coolant ports, spray gasket everywhere else). do an oil and filter change and take her out for another 3hr run or so. if we still see enough milky stuff in the oil then depending on how much we will either try another oil change or we will pull the heads and maybe timing chain cover. so far i think we have been on the ball enough to avoid any bad bearing damage, so hopefully this will fix it.

next up is to get the new windows in the canvas for the winter. we've got the window material and thread, and the industrial sewing machine.....we just need to get a few quirks worked out and she should be good to go. id like to keep running the boat out until at least november, but i also want to be able to button her up for winter.

the upside is this is one project of mine that actually seems to be coming to fruition!! ;)

10-11-2013, 06:14 AM
Don't forget the oil filter with the oil change. I changed oil 3 times til it dawned on me. Enough water stays in the filter to make it milky. And I agree with the deep V being a more all around. For fishing, or strong current it's much better too, I think. I get sort of nervous when I can't see land, so the ocean isn't a good fit for my boating. Opening the vents up should help a lot with fueling up, I learned that on my outboard, I put in a 20 gal tank with a vented cap. Had to pour gas in very slowly. Never did find a pump to pump that slow. I keep talking about putting a heater in mine for winter fishing. We've had a couple nights freezing here, and supposed to get in the mid to upper twenties next week, and I'm a pansy. I've been told it's real easy, but haven't even done much research yet on it. Your boat looks and sounds like a real winner, I wished my finish work looked near as good. I don't have the patience any more. In a couple years I'll maybe sand mind down and refinish it. I've got a small exhaust leak, probably manifold gasket, but I'll check that in the spring. Too much to get ready for winter yet this season. I think it's a bit milder weather there, I know Seattle is, and one of my brothers lived in Port Angeles a couple years, in the mid 60's. I also have friends in, or were in the area. Good luck with your next outing with it. I'm sure you'll get the bugs worked out.

10-11-2013, 11:44 AM
The Boat looks great BizTyke! 45 mph is very respectable for this type of Jet Boat! HeyYou had a bit more work to do when he started his project, but I think his boat is 10 times better, then the vessel he started with. Thanks for keeping us updated with your builds! These are very Kool & Unique Vintage Jet Boats!

10-12-2013, 01:47 AM
well one of the guys at the local parts store i know has a jetboat with a 455 in it. turns out the "turkey pan" gasket that was in it was not what we should be using since we have a edelbrock performer intake manifold we should be using the newer single piece performance gaskets. so we got a set of those and he seemed quite sure any leaking caused by the turkey pan should be fixed by that. so tomorrow im gonna get the intake back on. we found the "qwik drain" oil change pump wasnt quite up to snuff so we are gonna pump out the old oil using a pump we have lying around and look at a new impeller for the qwik drain. so we are gonna get the oil changed out, and yes i got a new filter for sure......in fact the guys who had this boat before installed a remote oil filter so its right up top and easy to change.

our plan is to button this thing up tomorrow and have her ready to roll, then sunday we will take her in and try to fill that finicky gas tank again and take her out for the day. let her run nice and hot and long for the day then check the oil and go from there.

overall shes turned out great. i mean the motor seems to be pretty good, with lots of top mods. the jet seems to be salvageable(and at the get go we figured both jet and motor might need to be replaced). if we can get to the full confidence stage in the motor/drivetrain and get new windows in the canvas then the only thing left is a killer sound system :)

10-12-2013, 01:55 AM
then the only thing left is a killer sound system :) Over transom headers would definitely be a cool unique look when trolling on the river!!

10-12-2013, 06:31 AM
That's cheating putting the oil filter where you don't have to be a contortionist to get to. I've got a quick drain pump, but I think an air siphon (vacuum, whatever you want to call it) hooked to a compressor is quicker and easier. I spray it in a 2 1/2 gal jug with a rag over the nozzle and top of the jug. I discovered that method right after I messed up an impeller trying to get the last oil out with water in it, just before it dawned on me to change the filter. I'm not too bright sometimes. Sound system is in my future too, I think. I didn't get to spend the time on mine this year, but there's always next year.

10-14-2013, 12:27 AM
so after getting everything back together again on the engine ive run in to a new problem. she just doesnt run right at all and cant figure out why, all details are posted in a thread a started in the engines section: http://www.vintagejetboats.com/showthread.php?8224-olds-455-bad-idle-hard-start-after-some-work&p=81495#post81495

any tips would be appreciated.

10-14-2013, 06:52 PM
On engine problems, I know nothing. Actually on most things, but I'm sure someone here will know.