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New motor on order for boat

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Finally came to terms with my budget and ordered a motor for my boat. So after sitting on the trailer for a year it will be back together sometime in July. New Motor is a 383 390hp at 4550 and 456ftlbs at 4250 so I can put the fast prop back on and maybe go to a even faster prop. As my old motor got tired I had to de-prop to keep the RPM's where I wanted them and still preform decent. Using my saved data from when I bought the boat this will put me back at a 33 to 34 mph cruise at 3400 RPM. The extra HP will however add over 1000 RPM's to top end which with the 17 will put me in the mid 50mph range if it will pull a 19 that would give me a chance at 60 plus. That might be fun but less fish able. This motor will make nearly 100hp more at 5500 than my old motor made at 4200 which is where it maxed out with the 17 prop when I bought it 7 years ago.

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A update the boat has made a few fishing trips now and of course died on the last trip again. However I learned a few things in the last few days. 1st thing I learned was Halls never put my boat together correctly or fixed it once in the 12 times it has been in their shop since I bought it from them. I have located the cause of nearly every issue I have had for the last 7 years to the fact the ballast resister was by passed in the wiring harness. Perhaps the previous owner did that as a repair and switched coils to run without one I don't know. However Halls put the correct coil on it which requires a resister. This has caused issues since the day I brought it home as the coil heats up which causes it to miss badly after running a while. Then it begins to eat the points and condenser which makes it run even worse then it dies. The result is every time it died I would take it back in and they would tell me this or that was bad and replace it then the boat would run fine for a fishing trip or 2 and the cycle would start again. If I had a fresh tune up and only made short evening fishing trips I would have no problems. But to fish a long day nearly always ended badly often with the boat barely making it back to the dock or being towed in 8 times. I have fished the big lake since a kid in the 60's and have only ever been towed 8 times all in this boat not happy. The idea that all of my problems are the result of a 13 dollar part the dealer did not install is making me even more un happy. This has cost me 2 carb rebuilds 3 shift interrupters 4 coils and several sets of points and condensers and plugs oh and 2 distributors because when they could not figure it out they decided it had to be the distributor was worn out.

Have I mentioned I hate parts changers had any of them bothered to read the parts they installed they would of seen clearly printed on the coil the words requires external resistor. Those words mean you can't have full voltage at the coil. With my also replaced high output alternator I was getting 14.2 v to the coil which means I was running roughly 22 amps thru the points and shift interrupter and coil. they should be running around 9 amps max with around 6 v at the points and they were running more than double the amps and volts which explains why the thing has been so unreliable. The sad part is I know this stuff but because I don't work on boats I let them tell me what was wrong so many times I just replaced points and plugs myself. I would come in with a miss and sure enough the plugs were fouled so I change them and it runs good. The next time it would do it I would check the points and sure enough they were bad so I replaced them. When the coil would no longer fire I replaced it as well. However all of this was the result of a boat dealer that never did the repair right to begin with. This is why I hate parts changers they never fix the actual problem and I let them drag me into their web of BS. In that I am also to blame and I should know better. However this will be fixed this winter and expect a much better running boat in the spring sorry for the long rant.

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Thanks for the accurate observations on marine mechanics around our area. It amazes me that these people charge us $80-$150/hr. for their incompetence, which doesn't seem to get any better from one decade to the next. If so many are certified professionals, how come they can't fix our motors right the first time? It's a short season too as we all know, and marine mechanics are almost never available on the weekends, when boaters need them the most, another short-coming of their trade.

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I should also point out the boat has also been worked at in several other shops in west Michigan and not one found a simple problem. And like I said I also fell into the trap of changing parts without troubleshooting. Even though I know better I never once put the voltage and coil choice to test. I bought the correct OMC parts every time expecting better results. Every tech I talked to said to make sure I had 12v or better to the coil when the fact is the coils should never see much over 9v. The one exception is it should see full voltage during cranking because the starter motor will drop the voltage during cranking and if the lowered cranking voltage went thru the resister you would have weak spark trying to start it.

Remember insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

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Listen to this too: called a mechanic for service in mid-late July, he was on vacation. Another one was in mid-August, for a customer, he too was on vacation. Then another one for another customer in late August, he was in Hawaii on vacation too. Can you believe with our short season, that any of these guys would leave town, and go on a vacation, when they have 6-8 months of sleepy time when boats are stored, to do their vacations? When I asked one owner why the vacation times in the middle of hustle and bustle for fishing, I was told, the employees want good weather vacation time, not during the fall/winter months. Since when do mechanics/employees dictate to their bosses when they get to get off?

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Jim,

It's good to hear an honest report on mechanical problems from a respected mechanic like yourself. I know what you mean by parts changers. I try and do most of my own mechanical stuff because if I do have a problem on the pond I have a better chance of diagnosing it and possibly fixing it to the point where a limp in is possible. After the limp in a thorough repair is mandatory. I do keep a few extra parts onboard and a few tools.

I do have one question that I know you'll have a good answer to. Is there a reason why you have not opted for electronic ignition? Points and condensers can be a PITA. :) I know the electronic stuff can go bad also.

Thanks in advance. This is a very good thread.

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Well Frank cost is one issue though not a big one the real issue is the OMC shift interrupter system I installed a Pertronix electronic system 2 years ago and it did not fit well but worst of all it would not let the boat shift correctly. They sent instructions on how to make it work but the results were not that good. Right now we are packing to move so money is going to be tight til spring. This means I will likely just make the correct repairs to get it running correct for the first time in many years and save up my money. The end result is I now have a system selected and will convert to fuel injection and electronic ignition next year some time. But in the meantime a 13 dollar part will solve the actual problem along with a change in some wiring.

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Listen to this too: called a mechanic for service in mid-late July, he was on vacation. Another one was in mid-August, for a customer, he too was on vacation. Then another one for another customer in late August, he was in Hawaii on vacation too. Can you believe with our short season, that any of these guys would leave town, and go on a vacation, when they have 6-8 months of sleepy time when boats are stored, to do their vacations? When I asked one owner why the vacation times in the middle of hustle and bustle for fishing, I was told, the employees want good weather vacation time, not during the fall/winter months. Since when do mechanics/employees dictate to their bosses when they get to get off?

Try and remember we are not slaves we also have a right to enjoy our time off when we want it. Also it is not easy to just pull the kids out of school in winter to have a vacation that works with your schedule.

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Well Frank cost is one issue though not a big one the real issue is the OMC shift interrupter system I installed a Pertronix electronic system 2 years ago and it did not fit well but worst of all it would not let the boat shift correctly. They sent instructions on how to make it work but the results were not that good. Right now we are packing to move so money is going to be tight til spring. This means I will likely just make the correct repairs to get it running correct for the first time in many years and save up my money. The end result is I now have a system selected and will convert to fuel injection and electronic ignition next year some time. But in the meantime a 13 dollar part will solve the actual problem along with a change in some wiring.

I hear you on the funds. I used a Pertronix on my 140 Merc for a few years. I was able to sell that set up with the distributor for $100 and then bought a complete Delco system Dist, Coil, and Wires for $200. I think the Merc uses a quick ignition kill for the shift. I only had one issue with shift interrupter using the Pertronix and 0 issues using the completed Delco kit. Good luck with the move.

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When you run two predominantly summer businesses, and have no others to help most of the time, you get stuck working 7 days a week. This isn't by choice, as much as it is by duty and requirement. For at least the last 10 years, I've worked May 20th-Sept. 20th without one day off. It's hard, tiring, and darned if you don't. God bless those that can get summer time off for fun, I know I very seldom have any time to do anything else but work, eat, and sleep.

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I feel you Ed having been in the RV repair business for 15 years summer is our bread and butter but You still have to use your vacation time and employees with kids only have the summer months to do anything with their family. Myself my kids are grown and gone so instead of a long vacation in the summer I use my days to make a few longer weekends for fishing and family.

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I guess at this stage of the game, and long before, my kids and now grandchildren, are the businesses. Shame, didn't want or ask for it, but still have to do it. So, have to work, and be happy, that's the ONLY time to make money, and unfortunately, that's what has to pay bills for me the whole year round. Not putting anyone down for vacations deserved. That's just my take on my life nowadays, it's work and make money, or gripe later about lost income. I've tried hiring people, it doesn't work though. Lost income and goodwill is all I got.

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LOts of people wonder why I don't run my own business anymore. Too many no's no vacation no paid holiday no paid over time The list of no's is long. On the other hand there are a lot of plus's I just never got that far it seemed like I was always trying to survive.

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LOts of people wonder why I don't run my own business anymore. Too many no's no vacation no paid holiday no paid over time The list of no's is long. On the other hand there are a lot of plus's I just never got that far it seemed like I was always trying to survive.

Jim, Been there.

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Jim, many yes's now may equal no's later. Or vice-versa, each individual has that choice to make in life. No one is another person's conscience. Or his decision maker. Just remember, what you did today and before, will be reflected in some later date, whether you are here or not, or really don't care! That in the end, may be of true relevance on your entire being here. Just think about it, and objectively, not personally. It truly is sobering if you think it through entirely, and ultimately. Happiness is not always a gauge God made for us that we can measure life's existence and quality on. Success and relevance of life is the measure I try to use for a gauge. Each of us are our own keepers.

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Yep Ken was installed still working on other problems not very happy with Hall's since they spent all my money and it still does not run right. Has way more power than it ever had however they still did not fix the ignition problem which is a bad ballast resister. They changed my coil my distributor my shift interrupter and a bunch of the boat wiring yet never addressed the reason it gets hot and quits which turns out to be a ballast resister in the wiring harness. If instead of changing all the other parts they had figured out a 13 dollar part was the problem I would not dislike them nearly as much. I would still think they suck because this has been a problem since I bought the boat from them 7 years ago and they never figured it out then either. I too am partly to blame as I never added it up til now I just kept changing parts and going fishing. Several other places have also not been able to figure it out. However Hall's is the Four Winns Dealer they darn sure should know how to service what they sell. Even though the coil clearly states " requires Resister " on it they never thought about the fact it gets full voltage meaning the resister failed shorted. In fact they even used the coil connection to power the new electronic fuel pump they installed so they clearly knew it was getting full voltage. The coil and shift interrupter are only supposed to get around 9vdc at idle not 14.2vdc from my high output alternator. So instead of 6vdc at about 9 amps to the points and shift interrupter the circuit is running over 12vdc and nearly 22 amps thru the points and shift interrupter and coil. This has had it burning up points fouling plugs and ruining condensers for years and also cooking coils and shift interrupters. In 7 years it has had points and condenser changed over 10 times. with the next coil I will be on number 4 plus 3 shift interrupters and soon to be the 4th distributor. All of this to fix a problem they never even found. I hate parts changers they find a bad part and change it and never even try and find out why it failed.

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