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View Full Version : My Outback Sunk!! Need advice



hclymer4
10-03-2012, 05:05 PM
Hello everyone. Just want first off say thank for all the information on this site. I have found it very helpful during the repair process of my Outback. Long story short... my 2001 Outback LS sank at my father in laws boathouse. We unfortunately had left the lake when it happend and from what we heard the stern was under water only being held up by the lines tied to the dock. The bow was apparently still out of the water. After the boat was taken out it got mixed up in a lawsuit for about a year and sat out in the weather uncovered. :x When my father in law finally recovered it in court he was ready to wash his hands of it and decided he didn't want to anything to do with it. Thus he gave it to me and I have been spending my nights trying to fix her up. So far everything has gone really well. The interior has cleaned up surprisingly well. Magic eraser is literally magic. The windshield is off at the powder coater, new speakers and head unit are waiting to be installed, the electrical onboard is all good, and best of all the engine is now running. Had to get fresh gas, new spark plugs, fresh oil, rebuild the Holley, new battery, rebuild the starter, and rebuild the water pump. After all of that she fired right up!! :D Now I want to figure out why it sunk in the first place!! I have inspected the hull and from the naked eye there do not appear to be any cracks at all. I do know however that the bilge pump was completely shot. Here is some background about the weekend she went down. The boat sat floating at our dock unused all day on Saturday. Sunday morning took I took her out for a spin when the lake was glass. Went to the boat house to fill it up with gas and proceeded back to our dock to leave it for the guy who picks it up stores it for us while we are away. Under no circumstances did I hit anything or do anything out of the ordinary on that short 20 minute boat ride. As I was leaving I remember noticing a dampness in the back carpet that was just a tiny bit more than usual. I didn't think anything of it and 4 days later I got a call saying it had sunk. The strangest part is that it was floating on saturday and something during that short uneventful ride must have caused it to go down. I have amateur at best knowledge of boating mechanics (growing by the minute thanks to this forum and repair process). What do you guys think could be the cause of this? Obviously I am going to get it professionally looked out before I put it back in the water but I would like to at least have some sort of idea going into that. My father in law thinks that it could have been a large wake to come over the bow and overwhelm the bilge but all of my days on that lake I've never seen a wake capable of doing so. Any feedback would MUCH appreciated. Hoping to post some pictures of the before and after as well. Thanks!

motosno963
10-03-2012, 05:14 PM
i would check you fiberglass exhaust..in my 04 i had a crack in it and didnt know..i had it at my buddys camp and the next day after launching the boat i had about 4 inchs of standing water above the carpet..i pulled up part of the floor after i pumped out the water and when i was looking at the mufflers i noticed every time a wave would come in a little bit of water would come through the crack..id also check around you platform for leakes and maybe where your plug would go..maybe someone forgot to tighten it down..one other thing...i wouldnt use the magic erasers..after time they will dry out your vinyl and make them crack and break apart..from what i hear 303 and babes cleaning products are really good to use

sandm
10-03-2012, 05:53 PM
I would think in this case the erasers got the vinyl back in a usable condition, but I'd get some uv back on those seats asap. I have heard that the erasers are hard on the stitching as well.

as suggested muffler issues?
packing seal leaking?
bad seal where rudder comes thru?

I'd stick it in the water on the trailer with the panels all out and watch for water leaks.

bergermaister
10-03-2012, 06:55 PM
Yep - if there is no visible damage to the hull then next would be to inspect every peace of hardware that passes through the hull. Exhaust, rudder, propshaft, rear plug, swim platform brackets...

Dang that sucks but hopefully the rebirth will be a great story.

zabooda
10-03-2012, 07:48 PM
Anything below the waterline can be the culprit. Plug, intake hose, exhaust system, shaft penetration, ballast intakes and sabatoge. Refloat it with the floor out and check it out. No water in the engine?

skiyaker
10-03-2012, 08:51 PM
I'm sure you've already done it but take a good look at your tracking fins also. My buddy's malibu had one spontaneously fall off- noticed that the bilge pump kept kicking on and when we pulled it on the trailer there was a stream of water coming from the 4 holes where the bolts used to be.

beat taco
10-03-2012, 11:59 PM
Need pics!
Now drive to a boat ramp and float it! I would NOT unhook the bow from the trailer and have someone in the vehicle ready to pull out at your direction just in case you need to quickly get it out of the water.

Does your wiring harness have any trailer style plug connections down towards the bottom if the engine?

hclymer4
10-04-2012, 12:01 AM
Thanks for all the response. I really do appreciate it. I hadn't even thought of looking at the swim platform brackets. I have a gut feeling for some reason that it has something to do with the prop shaft packing. Another long story short... we had a deal with this guy that he would maintain the boat, store the boat, and bring it to the dock when we came up to the lake for free. In turn he would be able to rent it out while we were not wanting to using it. Horrible idea I know. This deal was simply an alternative to selling the boat for my father in-law. As expected this guy abused the boat to no end which I believe is why it ended up on the bottom. After this guy got it out of the water he began trying to get the engine running again. Mid-way through this is the point at which the lawsuit came into play and when he completely stopped working on it and let it sit. Fast forward about a year and half. Its in my driveway and the engine is in pieces. The one thing that I found odd was that the large nut on the prop shaft was completely loosened. The packing nut from what I gather on these forums. This leads me to believe that he suspected the leak came from there as well which is why it was completely loose. But this is just a hunch. I will take the advice here and put it in the water on the trailer and inspect for leaks around all of the places you guys listed. One question about the exhaust comments. Are you guy talking about the exhaust flaps under the swim platform or talking about something underneath the floorboard? To answer engine questions. We did a compression test and turned the motor over by hand and everything sounded ok. My only thought is that maybe the water didn't completely come over the top of the engine? Rebuilding the Holley really did the trick. It is was in horrendous shape. Can't recommend Carb Junky's out of Atlanta enough. They made that thing look brand new. After everything was put back together and all new fluids run she started up within about 10 seconds. Just about enough time for the fuel to run through the lines. The engine has about 900 hours on it so I know it wont last forever but really hopeful to get another couple of years out of it. Jake I do not believe so but I will check in the morning. Great advice on having someone on the ready to hoist her back on the trailer. Plan on doing that this weekend. I will post an update.

kaneboats
10-04-2012, 10:42 AM
Lets see some pics. And don't forget to get some 303 UV protectant on they vinyl right away. Check for hull/penetraition leaks before running the engine. Then run the engine and pay particular attention to the intake hose and the exhaust. You'll find something. Also, make sure you have a shiny new bilge pump in there.

chawk610
10-04-2012, 11:10 AM
900 hours isn't that much if it has been properly maintained... but I realize this is the issue. Sounds to me like there is potential to end up with a great boat after all is said and done!

Echo everyone else! WE NEED PICTURES! :)

hclymer4
10-19-2012, 11:55 AM
Ok guys. So sorry it has taken me so long to post an update/pics. I have been working on the boat a lot and somehow always seem to forget about documenting things. Good news is that I have learned why it went down in the first place. Last friday my Dad and I took the boat to lake lanier and put while on the trailer. The leak was so incredibly obvious. The prop shaft packing nut was leaking about 1 gallon every 2 to 3 minutes. This made total sense because like I said in an earlier post, the back carpet was a tinge more damp the usual. This leak was directly under the floorboard of the back carpet. Anyway on saturday we went to West Marine and pick up some 1/4 inch gortex packing rope. We fit 3 pieces in and re-tightened the pack nut. We went to put it back in the water and adjusted the tightness to allow for a drop every 30 seconds or so. At this point I got really nervous. It was on the trailer with no leaks I could find idling perfectly. I knew it was time to take her out and see how everything felt/performed. For the most part I was incredibly pleased. The idle was very good. Transmission shifted perfectly, temperature was good. We drove around for about 1 hour without any major issues. The only thing that I didn't like was a few times under full throttle as the boat was reaching full speed the power shut dropped off dramatically. As soon as I let off the throttle and gradually brought it back it would be fine. But it the power thing did happend 2 or 3 times. Anyway thats another topic for another day. It was all in all very exciting for me to bring it back to life and enjoy an hour on the lake with my dad. Here are some horrible pictures. I am going to take much better ones once I have it finished and detailed it. At this point all that is left to do is remake 2 seats that floated away when it sank. The back bench and side W bench. I have cut the bottom material as you can see in the pictures and just need to source out the proper foam and matching vinyl. The cause of the problem. Prop shaft packing nut underneath the sterns floorboard. 1632816329

Here are some pictures of the seats in the making 1633016331

Here are some of the ghosting I had to buff out once I removed the original letters16332

sandm
10-19-2012, 12:04 PM
nice job and congrats. bet it was a very good feeling to be on the lake again...

hclymer4
10-19-2012, 12:05 PM
Second maiden voyage1633416335

New Steering Wheel16336

hclymer4
10-19-2012, 12:11 PM
Powder Coated windshield being installed. Looks amazing. Want to do it to the tower at some point. 16337

Beautiful Lake Rabun in Lakemont, GA where this boat will call its home. 16338

mmandley
10-19-2012, 12:28 PM
Awesome man, so glad you could save her and put her back together again.

Thats a boat i dont think i could ever sell, due to the story behind it and its reserection from its watery death.

chawk610
10-19-2012, 12:45 PM
She's a naked beauty! Well done sir... well done.

maxpower220
10-19-2012, 12:45 PM
Awesome, nice update. I would think you may still have some water in the fuel causing your power problem. I would think that will go away after a tank or two, try some water remover when you fill up again.

If it were me, I would do another compression test and compare to the last one. If it hasn't changed, you probably will have no issues with another 500 hours on the engine.

hclymer4
10-19-2012, 01:05 PM
Thanks for all the kind words guys! Great advice Maxpower. I pumped what was originally in the tank out and let me tell you... it was bad. Dark brown full of water. After that I filled it up with about 6 gallons of fresh gas and added water remover treatment. Let it sit for a few days, gave the boat a good shaking on the trailer to try and agitate and sediment in there. I syphoned out those 6 gallons and they looked overall pretty good. When I had originally got the motor running in the driveway with a fake-a-lake we had bypassed the fuel tank and simply ran the fuel line into a nice fresh portable gallon of gas. On the way to the lake we connected the fuel line back to the tank and filled it up. Upon the initial start the motor ran awful. Black smoke, choking out, and barely idling. My thoughts are that it had to burn the reminisce of crappy fuel that was still in the lines out because after about 1 minute of that it was like a light switch and ran perfectly. You could just tell that it has gotten a taste of the new gas. So hopefully thats the end of my gas worries.

kaneboats
10-19-2012, 01:22 PM
Nice job! So glad you could recover her from the watery depths. Here's to years of good boating!

bergermaister
10-19-2012, 05:39 PM
Powder Coated windshield being installed. Looks amazing. Want to do it to the tower at some point. 16337

Are my eyes playing tricks with me or are you missing part of the tower leg on the port side there?


Oh, and definitely nice restoration work!

GreenGhost
10-23-2012, 04:24 PM
I'm new here and don't want to hijack this thread, but I'm wondering if the symtoms listed in your quote are usually caused by water in the gas.

I purchased a 97 Moomba Boomerang in the middle of the summer for what I thought was a good price.

Ran fine on the hose in the guys driveway, but would barely start when I got it home. I had a friend, who is a former marine mechanic rebuild the carb. When he took it off there was a gasket missing, and the high speed screw was completely closed. We also found ewater in the gas. I syphoned the water/gas out of the tank, and added dry gas, but it still doesn't idle, and sometimes puts out black smoke. It also sounds like it is backfiring through the carb when running close to WOT. I just had it winterized, but am trying to figure out where to start next spring in getting it running right. My regular marina specializes in outboards, and I've heard some stories that doesn't make me want to take this inboard to them, since their shop rate(like most marinas) is so high.

Thanks


Thanks for all the kind words guys! Great advice Maxpower. I pumped what was originally in the tank out and let me tell you... it was bad. Dark brown full of water. After that I filled it up with about 6 gallons of fresh gas and added water remover treatment. Let it sit for a few days, gave the boat a good shaking on the trailer to try and agitate and sediment in there. I syphoned out those 6 gallons and they looked overall pretty good. When I had originally got the motor running in the driveway with a fake-a-lake we had bypassed the fuel tank and simply ran the fuel line into a nice fresh portable gallon of gas. On the way to the lake we connected the fuel line back to the tank and filled it up. Upon the initial start the motor ran awful. Black smoke, choking out, and barely idling. My thoughts are that it had to burn the reminisce of crappy fuel that was still in the lines out because after about 1 minute of that it was like a light switch and ran perfectly. You could just tell that it has gotten a taste of the new gas. So hopefully thats the end of my gas worries.

kaneboats
10-24-2012, 12:44 PM
Start with your friend. That sounds like your best shot.

mmandley
10-28-2012, 11:59 AM
I'm new here and don't want to hijack this thread, but I'm wondering if the symtoms listed in your quote are usually caused by water in the gas.

I purchased a 97 Moomba Boomerang in the middle of the summer for what I thought was a good price.

Ran fine on the hose in the guys driveway, but would barely start when I got it home. I had a friend, who is a former marine mechanic rebuild the carb. When he took it off there was a gasket missing, and the high speed screw was completely closed. We also found ewater in the gas. I syphoned the water/gas out of the tank, and added dry gas, but it still doesn't idle, and sometimes puts out black smoke. It also sounds like it is backfiring through the carb when running close to WOT. I just had it winterized, but am trying to figure out where to start next spring in getting it running right. My regular marina specializes in outboards, and I've heard some stories that doesn't make me want to take this inboard to them, since their shop rate(like most marinas) is so high.

Thanks

Im not a huge fan in Carb rebuilding, its a lost art form in the automotive world and a lot of guys think they can do it and cant. I for one feel that most of the time if the guy isnt at least 60 he is BSing you on being a card rebuild expert LOL.

Anyhow seriously, buy anew Carb. Its like 500 bucks, no issues then and put it on.

Sounds like a timming issue if its back firing threw the carb at full throttle. Sounds like it isnt advnacing enough, might look into the Distributor and check the timming advance springs and weights to make sure everything is clean and working smoothly.

lewisb13
10-28-2012, 11:29 PM
Im not a huge fan in Carb rebuilding, its a lost art form in the automotive world and a lot of guys think they can do it and cant. I for one feel that most of the time if the guy isnt at least 60 he is BSing you on being a card rebuild expert LOL.

Anyhow seriously, buy anew Carb. Its like 500 bucks, no issues then and put it on.

Sounds like a timming issue if its back firing threw the carb at full throttle. Sounds like it isnt advnacing enough, might look into the Distributor and check the timming advance springs and weights to make sure everything is clean and working smoothly.

You need to RETARD the timing, not advance. If the Carb is backfiring at WOT then the spark plug is firing while the intake valve is still open. Mike probably just said it backwards but no blowing up engines around here lol

GreenGhost
10-29-2012, 10:43 AM
Thanks for the replies.

Figured the timing was part of the problem, but we didn't have timing light.

I'm thinking the electronic choke might be part of the black smoke problem also.



You need to RETARD the timing, not advance. If the Carb is backfiring at WOT then the spark plug is firing while the intake valve is still open. Mike probably just said it backwards but no blowing up engines around here lol

BensonWdby
10-30-2012, 03:12 AM
Did you pull the distributor cap ? I just replaced mine on my 99 Mobius with 400 hours. The posts were severly corroded. So much so and so consistenly that if you did not know better you would swear that this is how they were supposed to look. Cap - rotor - plugs - and wires - just removing things from the equation. I also found that some (but not all) of the plugss were wrong. Not sure how that happened since I bought it with 30 hours and don't remember ever having the plugs done.

GreenGhost
10-30-2012, 11:03 AM
Thanks, didn't check distributor cap, but did check the plugs and they all looked good.

The boat has been winterized, so I'm just looking for iddeas on where to start in the spring.

Sounds like a general tuneup may be inorder.





Did you pull the distributor cap ? I just replaced mine on my 99 Mobius with 400 hours. The posts were severly corroded. So much so and so consistenly that if you did not know better you would swear that this is how they were supposed to look. Cap - rotor - plugs - and wires - just removing things from the equation. I also found that some (but not all) of the plugss were wrong. Not sure how that happened since I bought it with 30 hours and don't remember ever having the plugs done.