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89 Sunsetter Mechanical Updates Questions


Pete89Malibu

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I have been letting a local marine shop look over the 89 Sunsetter we recently purchased just to confirm what I already thought...it is in need of some updating. Here are the items that I KNOW it needs:

1) some gel coat repair right at the drive shaft mount. I am definitely going to let the shop handle this simply because I have no clue how to do gel coat work.

2) a tune up including converting from points to electronic ignition. I have worked on many flavors of 350s but never a marine version. Is there anything special about converting the points that I need to be aware of? Would it be better to just go ahead and convert to HEI ignition and swap out the distributor?

3) a new starter. the one that is on there has issues with the solenoid. Again, having worked on other 350s, this looks to be about the same starter replacement as any other one. Is it imperative to install a marine specific starter?

4) add a second battery along with a battery switch. Having worked on various electrical components too, this seems fairly straight forward too. Oh and what is the mounting location for the battery? Mine is in the rear of the boat. The shop said it should be under the passenger seat. If I need to, I believe I can re-route the battery lines to their correct location.

5) replace the water separator filter.

So...what are y'all's thoughts to me handling # 2-5 and letting the shop handle #1? Or, should I just let them handle all of it and start with a clean baseline and keep up with the maintenance myself?

TIA,

-Pete

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Congratulations on the new boat & welcome to 'The Crew'

For 1 are you talking about the top of the strut? If so, that could be more than a simple gel coat repair. Without more info it's impossible to tell.

2) is pretty easy to do yourself. Not sure if converting to HEI will gain you much.

3) You do want a marine specific starter as the case is specially constructed to prevent any sparks from exiting the starter. The swap out should be pretty easy.

4) is pretty easy either using a Perko switch, Blue Seas 'Add-a-battery', a battery isolation solution or a Stinger combiner relay.

5) You should do either way - it's a pretty easy fix.

You may want to look at the rest of the line, there may be a simple can filter near the gas tank that you want to replace too - not sure on the '89s - or what someone may have added since.

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martinarcher

Congratulations on the new boat & welcome to 'The Crew'

For 1 are you talking about the top of the strut? If so, that could be more than a simple gel coat repair. Without more info it's impossible to tell.

2) is pretty easy to do yourself. Not sure if converting to HEI will gain you much.

3) You do want a marine specific starter as the case is specially constructed to prevent any sparks from exiting the starter. The swap out should be pretty easy.

4) is pretty easy either using a Perko switch, Blue Seas 'Add-a-battery', a battery isolation solution or a Stinger combiner relay.

5) You should do either way - it's a pretty easy fix.

You may want to look at the rest of the line, there may be a simple can filter near the gas tank that you want to replace too - not sure on the '89s - or what someone may have added since.

Right on.

2. Not sure about HEI for the Merc. I thought about it when I converted mine, but Pertronix makes an Ignitor drop in points replacement that made it cheap and easy so I went that route. I would be curious to hear if anyone has done a HEI conversion.

3. Starter should certainly be marine rated.

4. Yep. The Blue Sea's Add-A-Battery kit rocks. I added it to my Skier. The battery in the back is the correct and original location for your boat. Most guys with the Sunsetter add another battery to the opposite corner of the rear. Here's a thread with pics of mine installed.

5. Yep. this is an easy one. Just spin it off and spin a new one on just like an oil filter.

Good Luck! Post up some pics!

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Do y'all have any sites for picking up the parts for what I listed above? I have searched and of course, there are several that are found...but...which ones are the best?

Thanks for the replies y'all,

-Pete

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martinarcher

Here's the best price I've found for the Add-A-Battery kit....

http://www.marineboatsupplies.com/blue-7650-solenoidbattery-dual-circuit-system-p-6665.html

These guys are good for marine engine parts. I assume you have the 5.7L Comp Ski Merc. These guys also have good selection of parts, but their sit takes a bit more work to traverse.

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  • 10 years later...

@martinarcher and others... I have an '87 sunsetter with the 5.7 ski/260 mie engine and Mallory distributor. Having a difficult time confirming which pertronix kit is appropriate. Which one did you use on your boat?

 

does this count as a necropost???

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