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Thread: Late 70s Starcraft rivetted aluminum /w "Eliminator" jet

  1. #1

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    Late 70s Starcraft rivetted aluminum /w "Eliminator" jet

    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.

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  3. #2

    Re: Late 70s Starcraft rivetted aluminum /w "Eliminator" jet

    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.
    http://www.performanceboats.com/jet-...jet-drive.html
    Last edited by Last Mohican; 06-27-2013 at 08:19 AM.
    89 21' Eliminator Daytona - 454 BBC / 76 SleekCraft Ambassador - 455 Olds / 74 SleekCraft Rebel - Pontiac 400

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  5. #3

    Re: Late 70s Starcraft rivetted aluminum /w "Eliminator" jet

    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/showt...r-jet-drive-In
    It's Impossible to Lose Your Footing, If Your On Your Knees"

  6. #4

    Re: Late 70s Starcraft rivetted aluminum /w "Eliminator" jet

    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.

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  8. #5

    Re: Late 70s Starcraft rivetted aluminum /w "Eliminator" jet

    Thanks Heyyou for dropping in, I knew you would have more info then most on this setup!
    It's Impossible to Lose Your Footing, If Your On Your Knees"

  9. #6

    Re: Late 70s Starcraft rivetted aluminum /w "Eliminator" jet

    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.

  10. #7
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    Re: Late 70s Starcraft rivetted aluminum /w "Eliminator" jet

    If it was easy Heyyou, everyone would make it to Hells Canyon!
    Heavy Lake Lay Up Family Boat Ready To Race Any Takers

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  12. #8

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    Re: Late 70s Starcraft rivetted aluminum /w "Eliminator" jet

    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.
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  13. #9

    Re: Late 70s Starcraft rivetted aluminum /w "Eliminator" jet

    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!
    It's Impossible to Lose Your Footing, If Your On Your Knees"

  14. #10

    Re: Late 70s Starcraft rivetted aluminum /w "Eliminator" jet

    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.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by heyyou325; 06-28-2013 at 07:43 AM. Reason: forgot something

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