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87Warrior

1987 Sunsetter Resurrection

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Michigan boarder

Sorry, I can't help with your questions.  But I can tell you that your starting point is where many 80's Sunsetter owners hope to end up at - that boat looks to be in fantastic shape, all small stuff to fix.  Nice boat!

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Woodski

@87Warrior:  Dang, nice vintage boat and great color combo & low hours, I would call that a prized possession.  As for some answers to questions and in no particular order:

1.  Raw water pump, if the one you have is all brass there is no 'upgrade', just a similar expensive or lower cost replacement although the 1 piece plastic housing works okay but does get marred due to debris in the intake water.  Stick with the original if you can.

2.  Transmission fluid for the Velvet Drive, I prefer the 10 wt. hydraulic oil option which is what these units originally used particularly pre '90's.  Both work, but my experience using each is the hydraulic oil is quieter and eliminates some idle clatter you will notice using ATF.  I use Mobil 423 and not the cheap stuff from TSC, Mobil does have some good information on their website.

3.  Water separator is a universal spin on filter, it should be the common one but when you replace check thread and gasket diameter to verify.  Double hose clamps are a good practice on pressure side joints, I do water system also (raw water pump as an example).

4.  Great Lakes Skipper is an auction website that buys old stock and resells, they may have some items that you can use, that will be hit and miss.  There are some vintage boat sites you will want to surf for that may carry the odd switch / gauge, etc.  Good luck hunting that stuff.

5.  My guess on the oil on the fuel vent line is from the crankcase breather system which feeds in to the spark arrestor, over time you will build up oil residue in the spark arrestor and it will find a path downhill.

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87Warrior

Thank you for the tips @Woodski. I have a suspicion finding good used hard parts for the ol' Malibu will be the biggest hurdle I will encounter. This boat is quite special to me for a number of reasons, but the biggest reason is from the family connection and memories made with it. I hope to restore that tradition!

 

 

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BusterSaunders

Man what a great project. Looks like all small repairs. I look forward to seeing you getting it running. 

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ski40mph

The filter/separator on my 1990 is Mercury #35-802893Q, Sierra # 18-7845.

If you replace the impeller yourself, tighten the bolts handtight and then install it and tighten if needed. Too tight and you'll burn up the impeller and the housing. Check them again after your first and second run, but do not overtighten. Another way to check is feeling the housing after the engines been run. If the housing gets hot, the bolts are too tight. Last time I did mine I was feeling the housing as soon as I started the boat. When it got hot I knew they were too tight.

Just last week i saw a complete square frame windshield for sale, somewhere. I think it was Searchtempest searching malibu.

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87Warrior

Thanks for the part number @ski40mph. That is the filter I had planned on buying and trying. Thanks for the impeller tips. I've searched the entire lower 48 via searchtempest and came up empty handed, though I saw plenty of surf gates.

In regards to the windshield, I stopped at the local (only) glass shop in town at lunch today to inquire about replacement glass. They are able to order a piece of tempered glass with what looked to be matching tint. I brought in a piece of the shattered windshield to hold up to their tinted samples and their lightest bronze was practically spot on. The quote was surprisingly inexpensive even being cut to a pattern, right about $100. I guess my weekend plans just changed to windshield frame repair. Hopefully I can get either the frame pulled and reinforced or get a spot on pattern of the glass made so I can get that glass ordered on Monday.

Does anybody know if the port and starboard side windows are just flipped side to side? From what I could tell, it didn't seem like the glass has a front or back side.

Edited by 87Warrior

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87Warrior

To answer my own question above, I can say the port and starboard flat windows are the same size. I pulled the port side windshield and wing window then made a template of the glass. My local glass shop was able to cut and temper a new 3/16" bronze tinted piece of glass for the boat for $60. Not bad!

In order to complete the installation I still need to find a replacement pass thru hinge or get this one repaired. I have contacted Taylor Made, Ocean Dynamics, American Marine and even Malibu for a basic hinge I would cut to fit, but have come up empty handed. I guess I need to chat with my local TIG welder to get this hinge patched up.

Can anybody recommend an adhesive backed foam that is 1/2" wide? The base of the windshield frame is lined with this where it meets the hull. 

And now I have a conundrum in regards to the motor oil. I know picking an oil weight is as sacred as naming your first born, but the engine tag on this Mercruiser caught me by surprise. It calls for SAE30 (SE rating, obsolete these days) motor oil, not a multi viscosity oil. I suspect any 30 weight oil on the market today would exceed the requirements for this old block. Any reason to switch to a multi viscosity oil if we have no intentions operating it below 32 degrees? 

IMAG1649.jpg

Edited by 87Warrior

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MadMan
1 minute ago, 87Warrior said:

To answer my own question above, I can say the port and starboard flat windows are the same size. I pulled the port side windshield and wing window and a template f the glass. My local glass shop was able to cut and temper a new 3/16" bronze tinted piece of glass for the boat for $60. Not bad!

In order to complete the installation I still need to find a replacement pass thru hinge or get this one repaired. I have contacted Taylor Made, Ocean Dynamics, American Marine and even Malibu for a basic hinge I would cut to fit, but have come up empty handed. I guess I need to chat with my local TIG welder to get this hinge patched up.

Can anybody recommend an adhesive backed foam that is 1/2" wide? The base of the windshield frame is lined with this where it meets the hull. 

And now I have a conundrum in regards to the motor oil. I know picking an oil weight is as sacred as naming your first born, but the engine tag on this Mercruiser caught me by surprise. It calls for SAE30 (SE rating, obsolete these days) motor oil, not a multi viscosity oil. I suspect any 30 weight oil on the market today would exceed the requirements for this old block. Any reason to switch to a multi viscosity oil if we have no intentions operating it below 32 degrees? 

This is my line of thinking when it comes to oil viscosity.  I never start my boat unless it's warm out, so a multi-viscosity is not needed.  Straight 30 will be fine (not non-detergent).  By the way,  I run straight 40.

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Woodski

@87Warrior:  As noted above, no need for multi viz if you don't plan on cold weather boating although your battery may appreciate a little less friction for that first crank and perhaps a bit quicker oiling of the rotating elements if you do end up with multi viz oil.  Oil choices as you may have noticed get beaten to death on this and many forums.

For the adhesive backed foam, try McMaster-Carr, they have lots of options.

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Andrew999
On 4/10/2017 at 2:54 PM, 87Warrior said:

To answer my own question above, I can say the port and starboard flat windows are the same size. I pulled the port side windshield and wing window then made a template of the glass. My local glass shop was able to cut and temper a new 3/16" bronze tinted piece of glass for the boat for $60. Not bad!

In order to complete the installation I still need to find a replacement pass thru hinge or get this one repaired. I have contacted Taylor Made, Ocean Dynamics, American Marine and even Malibu for a basic hinge I would cut to fit, but have come up empty handed. I guess I need to chat with my local TIG welder to get this hinge patched up.

Can anybody recommend an adhesive backed foam that is 1/2" wide? The base of the windshield frame is lined with this where it meets the hull. 

And now I have a conundrum in regards to the motor oil. I know picking an oil weight is as sacred as naming your first born, but the engine tag on this Mercruiser caught me by surprise. It calls for SAE30 (SE rating, obsolete these days) motor oil, not a multi viscosity oil. I suspect any 30 weight oil on the market today would exceed the requirements for this old block. Any reason to switch to a multi viscosity oil if we have no intentions operating it below 32 degrees? 

IMAG1649.jpg

I'll take a pic of the stuff I used tomorrow and post it. My boat is more of a restomod so I didn't spend my time hunting down specific factory parts but with yours being so stock and so close to perfect I don't blame you for keeping it as close to original as possible. Got me Jelous over here. On your windshield I was missing the pass through window completely on mine so left it off I might make some sort of all plexi one some day. Everything other than that pass window and one piece with the hinges is mirrored. I took mine completely off removed it all and and sent it to powder coating. It's pretty solid and can't imagine why that broke unless someone was leaning on it and took some chop. The plastic on the little supports is somewhat flimsy though. Check for the rubber surround since it's tempered its tough as hell until a point touches it so maybe a random screw got it. 

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87Warrior

@Andrew999 - Thanks for the advice. This weekend I managed to get the windshield frame repaired and completely rebuilt. I took all of the glass out and cleaned the rubber strips that hold the glass in place.

I reassembled the windshield exactly how it came apart. Even the sun faded edges lined up where they should have. I then loosely fit the windshield to the hull using the existing holes drilled into the fiberglass.

IMAG1702.jpg

The gap for the pass through is about 1" too much, even though the frame is sitting on the hull exactly where it was. I tried adjusting it but nothing worked. Using the factory drilled holes just isn't working, for some reason. Is it possible the boat has relaxed some in 30 years to cause the gap?

With all of the windshield frame screws removed, except for the back three on the wing windows, I adjusted the frame so it fit together nicely.

IMAG1703.jpg

Here you can see how much further inward the frame is sitting. 

IMAG1704.jpg

IMAG1705.jpg

It looks like I need to drill holes for the new frame alignment, I don't see any other option. Luckily the old holes are neatly tucked under the weather strip of the frame so color matching isn't critical. What should I use to fill those holes?

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Andrew999

I know there is wood sandwiched in that area so keeping water out is a good idea but if it's under the weather stripping I wouldn't worry about it maybe a couple dabs of sealant then drop on the windshield and be done. I can't imagine it sagging to cause that gap but maybe it's possible. Was there a lip or clasp that was there to hold it? The wood pieces that sit under the console there if those sagged or dropped somehow it would have come closer together. Good to see you got it together I know I'm late to the party. 

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87Warrior

The pass through does have the lip and clasp. I noticed some odd wear patterns between the pass through lip and the starboard window frame. It looks to me like the window frames have been slowly pulling away from each other for many years based on the wear on the frame. 

IMAG1701.jpg

Edited by 87Warrior

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Woodski

@87Warrior:  the answer to your question is yes, the boat will change shape over time along with changing shape whether sitting on a trailer, in the water or on a boat lift depending on the lifting points.  It wouldn't surprise me to have an inch of flex at the uppermost point of the windshield.  I know mine flexes some on the lift compared to the trailer or water.  You might want to check either with window open or back at original position to make sure no undue stress is put on window when on water or lift compared to trailer.

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Sunsetter89

@87Warrior awesome boat brother! rare to find one in that shape these days, i notated all the answers to your questions as i will need the answer to them as i work on my 89 project so thanks for asking them!

as for the weatherstrip, im not sure specifically what your wanting to use it for but home depot or any hardware store should have something similar used for doors or window gaps. 

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87Warrior

@Sunsetter89 I was not able to find a 1/2" wide and 1/8" thick adhesive backed foam locally. McMaster-Carr had a few options, but more pricey than I cared for. I found some on Amazon that worked well on the bottom of the windshield frame. http://a.co/9GgJQtU

I got the impeller rebuilt this evening hoping to fire up the boat this weekend to do an oil change. Although mother nature seems like she wants to derail that plan with rain and a high of 45.  

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87Warrior

Wow. Wow. Wow. 

Last night the Mercruiser sprung to life. Pumped out the 8 year old gasoline in the tank, about 15 gallons worth, dumped in 12 gallons of fresh non ethanol premium and attached the garden hose to raw water intake. Since the oil and filter were changed before starting it, we wanted to turn the motor over a few times to get the new oil filter filled up and verify the oil level was correct before it started. One crank, two crank, three crank and the dang thing fired. Verified the oil level, hit the key one more time and it was idling in the driveway... and we didn't touch the carburetor :surprised: Simply amazing.

The next step was a water test. 78 degrees, no wind and a Tuesday night 'crowd' on the lake. 

IMAG1718.jpg

A new issue has surfaced. The steering is very stiff, especially to the left. The steering wheel also sits a 1/4 turn off when moving straight ahead. I have just started researching this problem, but am hopeful somebody can steer me in the right direction (no pun intended).

The fuel gauge still doesn't work. It sits below 'E' and doesn't move. I tested the fuel sender and it registered 60.3 ohms when the tank was about 3/4 full (based on my eyeballing) so the sender seems to be working. I crawled under the dash and tested the resistance at the fuel gauge, no continuity between the sender (+) and ground (I checked against every ground I could find). It is my assumption the sender (+) signal wire is broken. 

Edited by 87Warrior

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MadMan
17 minutes ago, 87Warrior said:

 

A new issue has surfaced. The steering is very stiff, especially to the left. The steering wheel also sits a 1/4 turn off when moving straight ahead. I have just started researching this problem, but am hopeful somebody can steer me in the right direction (no pun intended).

 

Stiff steering is almost always caused by the cable, you might need to replace it.

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Michigan boarder
1 minute ago, MadMan said:

Stiff steering is almost always caused by the cable, you might need to replace it.

Unless it is only stiff in one direction.  If it steers easy to the left, but hard to the right, your rudder may have too much play and is binding.

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87Warrior

Thank you for the quick tips! The steering is stiff both ways, but it is much stiffer to the left. It is stiff underway, when idling and when on the trailer. I will crawl under the boat and see if there is any play in the rudder bushings. The steering cable is probably original and 30 years old...replacing it would probably be a good idea anyway.

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martinarcher

Congrats on getting her up and running.  I always say old engines just want to run....they just sometimes need a bit of coaxing it get fired up again. :) 

You can check out the how-to redder rebuild I did in the how to section of the site.  It should be exactly the same as your boat and cleaning up the rudder shaft and polishing the surfaces, replacing packing will really help.  The steering cable is probably also due for a change as other noted.  An easy test is to disconnect the cable from the tiller arm and see which is stiff (the rudder or the wheel).

Good luck!  Have fun with it!

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martinarcher

Funny to read your story on the windshield.  Mine is EXACTLY the same as yours.  The pass through is opening up slowly over time.  The center door opening needs closed up by 3/4" to an inch.  I haven't taken the time yet but I think the bolts that hold my frame in have come a bit loose allowing the outer two halves to come apart a bit.  If I pull in on both sides I can slide them in where they need to be.  

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87Warrior

@martinarcher - I guess I never finished up the windshield story. When I removed the windshield I noticed most of the screws in the corners of the frame were loose. Since the glass has some wiggle room in the frames there was a lot of play between both sides of the windshield. Tightening up those screws along with the screws holding the frame to the hull really stiffened it all up. But I stil had the gap, no matter how the windshield was adjusted. I ended up drilling 6 new holes on each side. 4 under each front window and 2 under the side windows. These holes and the old holes are covered with the weather stripping. It fits together perfect and if the frame gets tight after the boat has been on the water awhile, I can easily revert back to one of the other sets of holes as I only filled them with silicone.

IMAG1719.jpg

Edited by 87Warrior

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