Sunday, November 2, 2014

Summer 2014

Friends and Family having fun in the Newport Harbor
during Summer 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Back on the Water

My forward failure was from shattered prop shear pin. Presumably, these should only shear it you hit something with the prop. I definitely didn't hit anything the night we lost forward but... this motor "hits" pretty hard when it goes into gear.

In the last two summers I've spun a prop and sheared off 3 or 4 cotter pins holding the beehive nut. (This has resulted in loosing 2 prop nuts and a prop to the bottom of the bay. The second prop would have been lost also but my son went diving in 12' of water and found it standing on end in the muck off the end of our dock.) Per my friend Mike's advice, I'm now only using brand-new 5/32" diameter stainless cotter pins which seem to be staying put. But now I assume I shattered a prop shear pin putting the motor into gear!

When I took in the lower Amber Marine said "somebody" (me) put a steel shear pin in the prop. I'm not sure if it was mild steel, stainless or what but it was shattered and they replaced it with a brass shear pin. When I bought the boat both the spares in the cowl were steel and this is what i have used as the replacements. Amber made me a custom brass shear pin. Cool huh?

Unfortunately after I reinstalled the lower and was running the motor in a bucket to test the cooling and shifting. As soon as I shifted the motor into gear I immediately sheared the new brass shear pin!  Since I had one spare steel shear pin left in the cowl, I installed that one.

Dinner at Woody's Warf... dock the boat, order the Prime Rib! 

Since the motor hits so hard, in order to try to soften the blow when going into gear I set back the idle as far as I could where it will stay running when shifting into gear. Hopefully this will reduce the shock. Maybe this will also reduce my cotter pin, prop shear pin and prop failures.Time will tell.

To replenish my spare parts inventory I went to West Marine and bought another set of 5/32 x 2 stainless cotter pins. But West Marine didn't have any shear pins the size I needed so after a trip to Minnie's and digging through a bin of ancient shear pins, I found a set of stainless 1/4 x 1-1/4 shear pins for .95 cents for the pair. These went into the boat tool box along with the cotter pins, a spare beehive nut and my off-the-bottom-of-the-bay SMC-626 prop.

So far so good, we ran the boat all day Saturday and Sunday with multiple stops and starts and everything is still in tact. 

Oh yea... reverse? Not yet, I need to re-index the shift arm on the upper shift lever as I'm running out of travel. The shift arm hits the stop just before the transmission shifts into reverse. Brad at Amber says I have reverse it just needs some fine tuning. He offered to do it Saturday night but I figured I'd work on it next week when its out of the water for its mid-week flush and bath. Yes, I take it out of the salt every week and wash the boat and flush the motor. Stay tuned.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Shattered Prop Shear Pin

Amber Marine has a good lower for me to pickup. They were able to piece together one working lower from the three I dropped off. They took the drive shaft and shift rod from my 60 lower and installed it in the long shaft rebuilt lower I purchased earlier this summer.

The problem? My forward failure was a shattered shear pin!

It appears my lack of reverse was the clutch dogs on two of the gear sets were worn out. This comes from idling too high as you are pushing the motor into gear. Click, click, click, grind, grind, grind, fail, fail, fail.
Part F is the clutch dog. It locks into the gear B and A.

For Reference, here's one from a 75hp McCulloch Outboard (source)

If I want a spare lower (which of course I do) I will need to 1) find a new set of gears or 2) have one of the clutch dogs and gear sets welded to build up the corners and then ground down to the proper profile then sent out for hardening. (eek!)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fix Reverse (and now Forward)

Step 1 - Make Sure the Lower Unit is Working Properly
I was referred to Amber Marine in Costa Mesa to take a look at my lower unit. I'm told Brad guys will actually work on these ancient motors and that he is an honest and skilled guy. So I took all 3 lower units to him (59 Short Shaft, 59 Long Shaft, 60 Short Shaft).

I'm not sure there is anything wrong with any of them but I wanted him to review, inspect adjust, reassemble, reseal and return at least (hopefully) 2 working lowers. My guess if there is anything wrong in the lower(s) it would be in the cam selector or the pin that rides on the cam selector.
The cam selector is shown in Neutral. Move it down for forward, up for reverse.

Its important to remember that the lower is a sealed unit that needs to be properly sealed and pressure tested after reassembly, I figured having a pro perform these inspections/repairs is the way to go.  

Step 2 - Make sure the Upper Shift Mechanism is Working Correctly.
If the lower unit is correct then the only other culprit would be the Upper Shift Mechanism. There is a shift arm on the starboard side of the motor that is clamped to a rotating shaft. The shaft has another arm (under the power head and inside the motor case) that is attached to the top of the shift rod. If this has slipped or moved then the full shift travel would not be transferred to the lower.
If the lower is fine, I will pull the power head to inspect fix the Upper Shift Mechanism.

Hopefully I'll know a little bit more about my motor in the next couple weeks. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

You Only Break Your Leg on the Last Run of the Day

One of the things on my "to do" list has been to sort out an issue with our lower unit on the Flying Scott as we have never had reverse. At the beginning of this season I adjusted the shift linkage on the motor and voilá I had reverse! But no forward. I then swapped my original lower for a lower unit off a 1959 Flying Scott parts motor I bought last year. (So far I've used the starter, a cowl latch and the lower unit from this motor. So I'd say I've gotten my $50 worth out of it.) The lower was a direct swap but I still had no reverse.

The key to success to having no reverse is to always dock where you
can pull out
or... have a small boat.

I determined either 1) both lowers had a failed gear slide or 2) the upper gear shift connector had slipped. Since servicing the upper gear connection would require removing the power head, I decided to adjust it to allow forward to work and to live without reverse for another summer

Ultimately the goal was to keep the boat in the water until after a scheduled September visit by our daughter and her boyfriend. All summer, Karen has been insistent that I don't mess around with the lower unit and that I don't break something trying to fix something. In August I bought a newly rebuilt 1959 Flying Scott lower on Ebay and had it ready to install. But given my promise, I decided to wait to mess with it until after summer was over.

After our successful family weekend visit and because the weather has been so nice, in mid-September we decided to keep the boat in the water through the end of October. We figured we'd enjoy a few more weekend harbor cruises before we called it a season. I though maybe I'd swap the lower at the end of October to test it before storing it for the winter. This would tell me if the problem was actually the lower or if it was in the shift linkage below the power head.

Then last Friday night it happened. We were cruising to have dinner and stopped by a friends dock to chat. When I fired the motor and pressed it into forward... nothing but a revving motor. Did I loose a prop? Did I spin another prop? Is forward gone the same place reverse went? As the tide was drifting the boat down the channel out towards the open ocean, I grabbed my Coast Guard mandated paddle, jumped up on the bow and paddled back to the dock. (Ok I only got about 15' from the dock but the tide was going out.)
Paddling against the tide going out to sea.

Fortunately our friend Larry was coming in on his inflatable and he saw me paddling. He came over to help saying "Either that's the worlds largest canoe, or you need help." Larry towed us back to our dock during what may have been one of the best sunsets of the summer. Safely back at the dock in the dark I decided to wait until morning to investigate.
Whats better than having a boat? Friends with a boat.

Sunday checked the prop nut and prop and verified I still no reverse OR forward. Along with the paddle, fire extinguisher, horn, life jackets and throwable flotation device, one of the first accessories we bought for our Dorsett was a Sea Tow membership. We finally got to use it. We had "Rio" from Sea Tow take us over to the Newport Dunes where I keep the trailer so I could pull the lower unit.

Getting my money's worth out of my Sea Tow membership.

My goal was to just swap the lower with my newly acquired lower unit and put the boat back in the water. Unfortunately when I went to do the swap I realized the rebuilt unit was off a long shaft motor and would not fit my short shaft motor. With my head hung low, I loaded both lowers into the back of my truck and put the boat in dry dock until I can get a known working lower on the motor. Last run of the summer = broken lower leg.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Trixie, Our Friend's 57 Glasspar

Mike is my friend with a boat problem... last Summer after I had lost a prop I stopped Mike on the sidewalk and asked him for some advice. I knew Mike would be the right person to ask because at the end of his dock sat three boats. One of them "Gumby", a vintage Glasspar, was of a similar age as our Dorsett. But how I knew Mike was the right person to ask was the fact that he was also renting another dock down the street to keep yet another boat in his collection. He's a guy with a boat "problem".

Mike, Linda and Karen riding in Whisky Tango

From this chance encounter we developed a friendship this summer. Last month Mike sold one of his boats (a sexy 18' vintage Donzi) and as part of the sale he took in trade a 57 Glasspar.

1957 Glasspar at home docked behind Schotzi.
Mike and Linda (and friends) doing a flyby.

This Glasspar is an all white boat and features a very distinctive split windshield. Mike and Linda told us they think the boat needs a name and a pop of color.

My suggestion is to add a little color while tying in the existing white exterior and grey interior and silver motor colors. With a nod to the 55 Chevy, my thought is to create a 50's-ish side panel using the silver from the motor and trim it with a bold colored arrow stripe that follows the side lines of the hull. The finishing touch would be to customize the motor with a matching side panel graphic and stripe. This would give the boat a little extra visual flair and could all be done with vinyl.

Inspired by this... only it floats.

A friend of Mike's suggested the name Trixie. So using that as a working title, here's my take on a color scheme.

Speed Racer's Trixie... girl power!
 How about a Atomic Age theme? It matches the motor.

Joe Cool? The sunglasses match!

It'll be fun to see what they end up doing but no matter what, it's a really cool boat!

 Mike and I at the helm. Trixie is a hot rod, see the dash?
Obligatory harbor cruise sunset picture.

Check out the film Glasspar Zombies with the 1957 Avalon.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hailing Port Balboa, CA

We added our hailing port lettering to the transom of the Dorsett. The lettering comes from the sign on the old Balboa Market which is sadly now a parking lot.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Keep it Turning

Earlier this year a seller on Ebay was parting out a running 1959 McCulloch Flying Scott and I bought the starter immediately. (You can never have enough starter parts for your Scott.) So I now have 4 starters.
  1. The original Starter that came with the motor. (Currently lost at my friends shop but it'll show up.)
  2. My first replacement starter bought on Ebay from ($189)
  3. The starter that came on my 1959 Flying Scott "parts" motor bought on Craigs List. ($50)
  4. The second replacement starter bought on Ebay ($45) from a private seller parting out a running motor.
When I first bought the boat the starter #1 was the problem (or so I thought). When I brought the #2 starter to Advanced Marine they said it was also bad. So when we first put the boat in the water, the #3 starter was the production starter on the motor.

The #3 starter was used all summer with the exception of failing once when the return spring broke. This failure allowed the starter gear to stay engaged on the flywheel even after the power to the starter was stopped. This was fixed by replacing the spring with parts from the #2 starter.

This Spring I bought #4 so I put #4 on the boat. (The newest one is always the best right?) I ran this starter until mid-July when it failed. The starter turns just fine but the gear won't "spool" up to engage the flywheel. So I pulled the starter and put #3 back on.

So to get #2 and #4 back in service it need parts and look what I found...
API Marine in Florida has Delco-Remy 10 tooth gears with return springs. This kit should fix the problem with both starters. I'm going to order 3 kits. One each for the starters and 1 spare. Hopefully soon I will have an army of working Flying Scott 60 Hp starters.

Next year I'm going to test a theory I have about the #2 starter bought from Zorkos. This starter is like new and should be great once I replace the stolen parts. I originally thought it was "too tight" and that's why it wouldn't turn the motor over so I was using the "loose" #3 starter. Later I figured out my battery cables were too small and I was starving the starter of the Amps. The light gauge cables allowed the worn #3 starter to turn just enough to fire the motor and the new battery cables allowed #3 to work great. My theory is the #2 starter with the heavy cables will be the best setup. But I promised my wife I wouldn't "fix something that's not broke" (aka "Upgrade") the motor until after the summer boating season is over.

"We scrapped those." — API Marine

"We don't even show that number in our system.
Where did you see it?"
— Go 2 Marine

Let me Google that for you it folks, its your web site not mine... Click Here 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

What a Workout!

Last week we were the "pace car" for a motivated Stand-Up-Paddleboarder. We were cruising around the harbor at our normal 3.5 mph and passed him at the south end of Balboa Island near the Balboa Yacht club.

I think he liked our speed so he sped up and stayed on our tail the entire way around the harbor. The cruise took us from Balboa Island past Mariners Mile up to the PCH bridge at and then back under the Lido bridge past Lido Isle and the shipyard back down the peninsula past the Newport Yacht Club around Bay Isle until I was exhausted watching him paddle and we docked back at home near the Fun Zone. What a workout!
Ready to leave the dock at the Newport Dunes
Who's driving this thing? I forgot to put down the speedo pickup.
I feel like I'm being followed.
Back home at the dock. A perfect first day of Summer!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Robert Paxton McCulloch

Anybody wanna go fast? McCulloch was a racer at heart and the Flying Scott was the last in the line of his go fast goodies. This is an excerpt from on Robert Paxton McCulloch:

In 1946, McCulloch moved his company to California, changed its name to McCulloch Motors, and changed its focus to lightweight two-cycle chainsaws. He did some development work for Kaiser-Frazer at the time, but didn't return to the automotive field until 1953, when he launched the VS57 supercharger, the result of those earlier patents. As with his earlier supercharger, the VS57 initially was produced in kit form for Fords, but soon was available for a wide range of cars and engines.

Kaiser became the first manufacturer to install the VS57 on its cars from the factory, starting with the 1954 Manhattan. Studebaker followed on the Golden Hawk and on the Packard Clipper in 1957, the same year Ford famously offered the supercharger as an option on the Thunderbird.

By then, McCulloch had set up a separate division within the company to produce the superchargers under the Paxton name. McCulloch also had developed two other superchargers: One, used on the Novi cars at Indianapolis, helped their V-8s produce 650hp. The other, the VR57, used a variable ratio and featured numerous improvements over the VS57, not the least of which was the use of engine oil to cool and lubricate the supercharger.

In 1958, McCulloch sold the Paxton division to Andy Granatelli, again changed the name of his company (to McCulloch Corporation), and changed focus once more--to outboard motors. To test those motors, he bought 26 acres at Lake Havasu in Arizona, where he eventually founded Lake Havasu City.

Paxton was again vaulted into the automotive limelight when Carroll Shelby teamed up with the company on a blown 1965 289 Shelby Mustang. The Paxton supercharger option was produced in limited quantities for the Shelby GT-350 Mustang, from 1966 to 1968. This set-up was also available as an over-the counter dealer installed option on standard small-block V8 Mustangs from 1965-‘72.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Watch out for the 75HP Head Gasket!

Previously UN-beknownst to me but the 60HP power head gasket and 75HP power head gasket are different. The Only difference is the location of the cooling hole that allows the water to circulate up into the motor. Imagine my surprise and chagrin when I fired up the Scott and the motor started overheating.

After a complete re-tear down, I found the culprit. Here is the the 75 HP gasket on my 60Hp base see the hole location in the gasket? The second pic shows the base.

 I ordered a new gasket and they were kind enough to verify I got the correct one this time!
Since I had the motor off I also changed the lower main seal. Mine had a chunk missing. (in the pic below right upper). Laings Outboards had one in stock that was a functional replacement.
The cap is held on with 4 bolts and is fitted into a machined area of the block. It has a small rubber ring to seal it. To remove the cap, remove the bolts and tap the cap to rotate it in the machined area. Then you will expose the bolt holes and you can use a dental pick to lift the cap a little bit at a time. I worked my way around 3 or 4 times lifting a fraction of an inch at a time. Once it's lifted a 1/4" you can gently pry it out.

The new main seal (in the pic above on the right lower) just presses into the cap. Then you can reassemble it and go boating!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Remove the Powerhead on the Flying Scott

Last year I broke a bolt removing it to replace the bracket holding the spark plug wires. The result was a little water leak that I patched externally (so of) with silicon. I decided to fix it right but I need to remove the power head to get to the 3 bottom bolts of the side cover.

The Scott Service manual says:
  1. Remove the hood, then remove the screws that secure the powerhead to the adapter plate.
  2. Disconnect the Fuel Line, battery and junction box leads from the powerhead.
  3. Lift the powerhead assemble off the drive shaft.
The Flying Scott powerhead has thirteen bolts that hold it to the motor plate. Mine had two regular 3/8" hex head bolts with 11 allen head bolts. As you can see this was serviceable with the motor still hung on the transom. I used a ball end hex wrench to access the 11 allen-head bolts. The regualar bolts were removed with a 3/8" open end wrench. On the starboard side it required a socket with a cut off 3/8" drive as a mini-extension to get to the bolt. I was able to turn the square extension with the open end wrench.

The Scott Service manual should have said:
  1. Remove the hood, then remove the screws that secure the powerhead to the adapter plate.
  2. Disconnect the Fuel Line, battery and junction box leads from the powerhead.
  3. Remove the starter, solenoid, rectifier, carburators, caburator linkage, distributor, flywheel and charging system to significantly reduce the weight of the powerhead assembly.
  4. Lift the powerhead assemble off the drive shaft.
After disconnecting the battery cables, throttle cable, fuel line and electrical harness and removing the 13 bolts I removed the powerhead. It was heavy, it's not a one man job. In order to do this alone with no motor hoist, I tipped the motor to the up position and got in the back of the boat. From here I was able to lift the power head off the prop shaft. Then I sat the motor on a table with wood boxes that was the same height as the boat and then I hobbled out of the boat.

I next removed the lower cowl (just four nuts) and stuffed a rag in the lower to proceed with the degrease clean-up of 50 years of grime.

I removed the side cover of the powerhead and had two broken bolts to replace. The bolts were so soft I was able to drill the middle of the bolts and retap the hole to the original 1/4-20 size. Note the salt, compliments of the Pacific ocean. I always flush the motor after running it but salt residue remains!

After cleaning the inside and sealing up the motor. I thoroughly degreased and cleaned the motor. Then I gave it a fresh coat of red engine paint. Autozone calls this Chevrolet Orange Red.

I reassembled the motor with new stainless hardware from Lowes and gaskets from The side cover uses two gaskets, and there is one at the base of the motor where it sits on the motor plate.

Putting the motor back in without the accessories was much easier. Holding the motor, I stepped up on a sturdy chair and was able to easily put the motor back in place. Check out how nice and clean the lower cowl area is now!

Here's the motor with all the parts back in place and reassembled.

The side cover gaskets are sandwiched with an aluminum plate. This plate allows water to flow around the exhaust port and into the spaces cast into the walls of the motor.

If you look close you can see my modification:

For the bottom 3 bolts I cut off 3 1-1/4" long 1/4-20 bolts and red Loctited them into the case. Then I used 3 nuts with lock washers to hold on the cover. This way in the future I should be able to remove the exhaust cover without having to remove the powerhead.