Fabrication

motor boating!

A buddy of mine is converting his outboard river boat to an inboard. Going from a outboard prop to inboard jet. 


The motor is a GM made Ecotec supercharged in line 4 cyl 2.4L. Mostly stock Except some EFI, exhaust, and cooling components. 240HP. And the super charger is off of a 2.2L Ecotec… the 2.4s didn’t come with them.

The outboard that came off was 80HP. 

He had a custom boat(among other things ) welding shop that another buddy works at chop, channel the boat and build the motor and jet pump mounts in the boat. Then he’s done all the install, wiring, tuning(most of it) etc himself. 

There is a lot of custom stuff done with this motor, it’s a popular one to swap into things, but this is the only jet boat, and IIRC only boat of any kind in the world with one!

I was out with him on Monday the 18th for the first ever in water running and tuning. We spent 9 hours on the water, only about 45 min running it. The rest of the time was chasing fuel supply issues, mostly mechanical, but also in tuning the computer control of the EFI.. 

I’ve learned an Epic amount of stuff that I didn’t know about how EFI systems work.

There is a lot of his builds details posted on a couple forums;

https://www.cobaltss.net/forums/2-4…5-supercharger-2272-mv-jet-boat-build-322969/

http://www.meanchicken.net/webmain/forum/viewtopic.php?nomobile=1&f=69&t=19737

Apparently jet boats are Really popular in NZ? A lot of the info hes using came from down there!

http://www.nzjetboating.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=30216.0
It just amazes me, the new motor and jet setup is only about 100lbs heavier than the old setup, if that much, he’s still only drafting 6″ under this thing,(on step it has to be 3″ or less!) With selling the outboard motor off it, he’s almost broke even, and gained 100+ HP ( 80 to 240, but ya lose some to the jet pump).

Unfortunately I lot all my video and pics from that day except one shot;

Yeah, the scenery is pretty epic too! 🙂 

That lake is unique in the area, and relatively new, only been there a couple years. It’s only about 1/2 mile,  maybe a touch more across the London way, 1/4 the other way I’d guess… BUT  It’s within 2 minutes of the industrial part of town, and 5 minutes from metro/downtown,  a 10 min max from just about anywhere in Fairbanks.

 It’s Deep, has a great launch and floating dock, picnic areas, bathroom facilities,  and allows power boats. That last one is the big thing… Otherwise it’s a 1.5 to 2 hour drive to a lake that allows powered craft. Otherwise it’s the rivers… But playing in a current can get old, and these are shallow water rivers… Can be less than fun at times.  

It’s perfect for this project, as shallows and a current could be killer for testing a new motor! 

As a bonus, this lake does outlet into the Tanana river, so it has options.  And fish.. 😉 
So, onto the next time we were our with it, last Saturday;

[​IMG]

Junk yard GM ecotec 2.4L with a supercharger from a 2.2L. Full custom setup for fuel delivery and injectors( the only GM part left is the rail itself). The jet pump unit is top of the line made by Scott. 

[​IMG]


Our day out the first time that Monday, 9 hours on the water, 45 min run time mixed with problems…. But it did run all the time… or would run for short times.

This last time out on Saturday, boat was in the water 6 house before we got it to run at all… uhuh. 

First 3 hours it would fire over but not stay running. We were trying to run it without an O2 sensor (which technically it should do!) since the machinist that’s making the O2 adapter for the marine water jacketed exhaust had the sensor. 

No go. 
We had his spare sensor, but different plug/wire harness and colors. Tried unsuccessfully to hot wire it in. 

Drove the 40 miles(1.5 hours) round trip and picked up the right O2 sensor. 

Installed. 
Then it wouldn’t even fire! 
Checked and found no spark. 

Serriously turning into a rough day at this point. After over an hour of checking everything, I found a main fuse blown. We’d shorted out something and blown power to the whole setup when hot wiring the first O2 sensor! Oops!!

Them it ran great! Other than a hick up or two at about 3200 rpm, where it would stall out, and if you pushed it, the compute would kill the electronic throttle… 

We found out later that the tuning/computer fuel tables transition at that point to a higher rpm/load setup, but it not set right and it leans out too far– enough to cook the motor fast– computer was doing right to protect the motor when it was cutting off. 

So that will need chased in the programing, to richen up that tables’ mixture curve. 

For the rest of our testing we kept it below 3K without a hitch.

Its a non issue for general run though. We hit 50% throttle and 25 to 30 mph at 2800 rpm or below depending on load in the boat. 


And there is the big point; load in the boat. 

First run with around 900 pounds in the boat and it went “on step” within a boat length, and ran like it was empty! 

So we bumped up to all we had.

Two 50 gallon drums, two 20 gallon drums all full of water, my friend and I, and we had 1800 pounds in the boat. 

With the full 1800 in it, it took maybe 40 feet to get on step, then ran 40% throttle to 25 mph, at around 3000 rpm, ran fantastic, circle after circle in the lake, without a hitch. 

Never bogged, never pulled bad… was almost like an empty boat!! 

:D

Technically, the hull itself is only rated at about 1800 pounds, so add in motor, jet pump, and gear weight etc, we were a good 500 pounds over that. Ha! 

So the most weight you could ever safely have in there, and more than you’d ever really need to, and it ran basically like the loaf just wasn’t there.

100% success to the project! (A single 66″ moose, 2 guys and their gear last fall with the 115 hp outboard, he couldn’t get it on step, and they got back with less than 2 gallons of gas to spare. Almost didn’t get back, basically!) The point wasn’t a speed demon, but a super weight hauler for hunting. I think he’s got it. ;)

A bonus too, on about the third loop around at constant rpm/speed, the fuel ratio suddenly improved by dropping on air percentage.. anything over 15% is bad, and 17ish on up will cook the motor. 

We were running between 14 and 14.7 to start, at cruise speed. OK but not great. It suddenly dropped to 12.5. The computer is learning what it can do, and what the motor needs, and is tuning itself. 

At this point, the more it runs, the better it should run the mixtures as it continues to learn. Shouldn’t have to worry about it as much. 

Anyway, our last two runs of the day, part one and two from in the boat. And part three from the launch, while we waited for some kids to get out of the way of loading on the trailer. 

Slight hitch at the end of this next one… lol. 

Sorry you don’t get to see me.. (lucky you actually! ) we started out both filming, but he ran out of hands between throttle, steering wheel, and phone… lol.

So, anyway, this has really been a lot of fun for me, I’m super grateful he’s included me, and allowed me to be a part of helping with this. 

  As you all know, I Really enjoy custom work, things out of the ordinary. Along with my automotive interests, growing interest in boats, and absolute (if probably a bit weird)love of troubleshooting, improvising  and chasing a problem,  I really am loving this project. 
As I type this, he is mounting the marine water jacket exhaust(last few days anyway), and custom O2 sensor mount. Be interesting to see how, or if, that changes the run of the motor. 

All things stay good, and God willing, on the 3rd of August this boat is one of three going on a church group fishing/camping trip. 3 days in Minto Flats, one of the biggest and most remote norther pike hot spots in the state.  Yes, I’m going! 😉 😀

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Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Automotive Work, Custom, Fabrication, Fishing, GetOutdoors, Improviser, Modifications, Outdoors, Summertime, Vehicles, Wiring, Wrenching

New ATV Taillights.

Well, brake lights anyway. 

I’d had to take the stock brake/tail light off when I mounted the rear winch right where it had been.    

Then the rear accessory recievers, and the bumper, and it left very little realestate for putting it back– Especially since it’s bulb housing is 4″ off the back of the light… It needs 6″ depth where I had rack cross bars at. 

Had bought a 2″x3″ trailer marker light for this, but even it was a bit big to fit in the space I had left, and too thick to end up behind the bumper face. 

Then, I remembered the marker lights that came with my big trailer,  that were left over when I cheated and mounted reflectors instead.  1″x4″. Perfect for between rack and bumper, recessed from bumper face.  Just so happens that the space between the frame rails there is 9.75″. Perfect for 2. 

Made a mount bar from 1″x3/32″ 1095 bar stock. 


Paint,  mount lights,  and mount between the frame rail tails with the upper bumper bolts.  

(Ignore the scratched paint around holes… I scraped it up to ensure it all grounded.)

These lights are nice. They’re a base plate that mounts and wires, then a sealed  water proof 2 bulb unit plugs/snaps onto the top.  Should be easy to change when burnt out, but being sealed I can’t see them ever burning out very easilly. 

I wired it to the brake light circuit, intending to later add another couple lights under the rack as constant on taillights. 

 I might end up just making one of these a taillight, leaving one a brakelight. Won’t be symmetrical anymore, but it would work! We’ll see.  ðŸ™‚ 

Anyway, they’re pretty bright, here they are with the park brake locked, in daylight, on a bright sunny day.  

Categories: ATV, ATV Accessories, Custom, Fabrication, Modifications, Vehicles, Wiring

ATV Turn Signals.

This has been a long time in the works.  I started ordering parts in early to mid June. Took about 3, 3.5 weeks for everything to come.  Then I had to find time to start it… 

Then decided I had to do the fuse block first, which took several days over last week. Now I’ve finally got the turn signals wired in, which also too a few days spread out over several total. 

Covering the fuse block install and the turn signals, I believe I have about 50 hours in this wiring and mounting. 

 Yes, I’m epically slow at wiring! 

Why turn signals? I dunno, just seemed like it’d be cool . 😎 Why not?  (No, unlike in some states I can’t make a quad street legal in Alaska.)

When I get the second flasher hooked up and have hazard lights, that could have a practical use, for emergencies, or simply visibility. But, these I don’t really need–but who cares? 😉

I bought two styles of small cheap motorcycle turn signals, off ebay. Serriously, these things were about $5 a pair!  

I originally intended the round ones for the rear, and the pointed ones for the front, to match a bumper bar angle.

But in the interim while waiting for them to come, I mounted the front bull bar,  and changed the bar angles and openings.. 

Tuned out great though, I really think the look fits better this way. 

I did the rears first, designed mounts, and spacing, working off the right side… Then got ready to mount the left side and realized it didn’t clear the rear winch motor. Oops. 

Slight rearrangement, flipped the brackets side to side, and turned over, and a small angle, and it’s perfect!

The brackets are a simple angle iron, but at least 3″ on one leg… Not common, and especially not in my scrap bin..  

I remembered some 2″x4″  rectangular tube I got from scrapping a BowFlex.  Slightly bigger than what I wanted. Then again I remembered some other older tube I had, that is 1.75″X3″. Used that. 

Cut off 1″ long, then split into two “L”s.  

Worked great, being tubing made by  forming then welding it up one side; It has a crease halfway along one long side. 

That gave me a perfect locator to drill mount holes exactly the same distance from the end on both. The crease also worked as a centering locator on the front bumper tube, keeps it from twisting as easy.   For the rears I used the other side Ls, that were flat and straight. 

 The rears mounted;

Bracket is on the lower bumper mount bolts, sandwiched between frame and bumper. Since these lights had ground wires, I ran them to the upper bumper bolts.

The fronts turned out to be really easy, using the exact same brackets, bolted to the bull bar, and angle trimmed to match it for looks. 

And amazingly they ground! Even though that bar isn’t directly bolted on, it has great continuity! I didn’t have to use the ground wires I first installed.  (These lights came setup to ground off their mount studs,  I was adding wires.)

Yes, I’m an electronics techs’ nightmare lol. 😉 Looks worse than it is actually, it’s all cleanly routed together(as clean as possible without a bare frame to start with anyway), down each side of the wheeler, and zip tied off. 

If I was installing everything at once it would get wire loom/covering… but I don’t have that luxury(kinda glad actually –that stuff is expensive!)

Hot wired test half way through;

Finally had to pull all the front plastic half way through… really wanted to do it with it on, but my hands are just too big.. lol. 

Getting the wires from the switch pod tail run..

More progress;

Yeah, I even did indicator lamps. getting fancy here, I know! The custom dash in my truck doesn’t even have the indicators installed and it’s been 4 years since I put that in! Lol. 

Finished, front;

And back(hard to see, but they’re there); 

And dash/switches; 

The other two switches on that pod are designed as a 2 position low/high light switch, and a momentary horn button. 

When I get the hazard flasher wired in, I’m going to use the light switch for them. Simply leaving nothing on the “low” circuit for “off”,  and “on” on the “high” beam position/circuit. 

Not completely sure about the momentary button yet(working on an idea though!). 

Categories: ATV, ATV Accessories, Automotive Work, Custom, EDC/MT use, Fabrication, Improviser, Modifications, Vehicles, Wiring, Wrenching

ATV Rear bumper/brush guard

After I got the front guard on, on my trail ride test run, the day I posted about, I also did some brush busting. Going forward was great, a lot less worry with that push bar, I was plowing over sma 2″ to 3″ diameter trees! 

But when I couldn’t get through where I was trying to make a trail, turning around meant a 12(more like 20!) point turn in narrow quarters, pushing against/over what I had to… And it was a lot of pushing against the rear rack, rack walls, and fenders. 

Decided then that I need a rear bumper/guard. 

Lots of research later, I decided on the simple tube bumper style, and preferably one big tube. Hoping I could get curved ends.. 

To the scrap pile we go!

Bunk bed frame ends, just happened to be wider than the racks and plastic, but narrow enough to match overall… 

Some creative cutting, and more cutting… 

Amazed me, those 3/8″ cross bars were solid, not tubing! 

Mock up of Mount positioning…

Simple brackets, angle irons welded into slits cut in the tube. 

Getting it all squared and oriented right, those slits aligned, and the brackets squared in to get the curved bumper ends level/square was a pain… But worth it.  

And some welding, which I didn’t get pics of.  Worked out perfect… Ran everything together, got it all. Then decided to touch up a spot, ran about 1/4″ of bead, and the wire stopped… Ran out of welding wire right there! (Man, that roll went FAST!!)
Had to move the winch fairlead down about 3/4″ to clear. Was easier to do that than notch the tube. 😉

 Voila, crooked bumper mounted. 😉 

I’d squared and leveled it to my accessory receivers… Forgot that the left side of the rack is still tweeked down a little, thus that tube is low on that side as well.  

Adjusted the mount holes, little bigger for some tilt, and thus a level bumper!  

Not sure I like the clearance I ended with. The rack wall corners stick out further than the bumper corners.

And everything else is only an inch, or two inside it…  The idea was a brush guard more than anything, and a push bar so I don’t push with plastic or rack, and it should accomplish that.

  Will run it for a while and see if I need it spaced out some (thinking 1″ max), but I *think* it’s ok. 

Also wasn’t thrilled about the winch roller fairlead being recessed slightly.. But it’d take an extreme upward cable angle for it to rub the bumper, so that too *should* be fine. I didn’t want to space the fairlead out very far, reducing it’s stiffness to its bracket (figure all the pull of the winch, and weight of the wheeler rides on this rollers when in use!).

Amyway, thar she be!

Categories: ATV, ATV Accessories, Custom, Fabrication, Modifications, Recycle, Repurpose, Scrounging, Vehicles, Welding

ATV Brush guard/bull bar/bumper. 

I wanted a brush guard for the Prairies headlight area. Not sure what Kawasaki was thinking when the guard loops ended up below the lights, with nothing really behind them, and Nothing in front of the lights… 

Also wanted a bumper, not just for protection but for pushing things.  Had planned it to probably be separate from the brush guard, but wasn’t adverse to one piece either..  

Not having a tubing bender, I went through Everything in my scrap piles with a bent tube or corner trying to find something I could make work, even if I had to weld it all up in a loop… Nothing. 

Then I remembered this set of chrome motorcycle engine guard bars that my Dad bought 20 years ago, but couldn’t use, that I knew I still had a couple years ago… somewhere.  Was easy to find, amazingly(my scrap piles are literally that; piles). 

 Perfect width for the headlights, and the brackets, when bent in a touch went between the existing uprights almost as if made for them. 

But, when swapped around, put on “backwards” from intended use direction it put the outer sweep toward the back as needed.  Only problem there was all the mounts were now useless… 

The downward taper angle fit the flow of the machine shape, and the fender cut angle really well too. 

But I wasn’t sure how I really liked it with my first couple mock ups…

Liked that it fit around the lights great, and even though it stuck out a lot, that’s what I was after for a push bumper (too close to the plastics and you still break plastic if you hit anything hard,  defeats the purpose of having a bumper!). 

It is still a bit more forward than I’d prefer, but it’s not Too far, in my opinion. 
 Anyway, didn’t have anything to lose,  wasn’t using the bars anyway, so I started cutting brackets off, and trimming to fit around the winch.

Have I mentioned how much I Really like my angle grinder? 😆

One side down, one to go..


The look improved, but still with a “But…”  Got it all mounted, and still a “But..” 

It seemed to frame and magnify the big square hole above the winch, like a gaping open mouth below the eyes(headlights). (No, couldn’t close off the hole,  radiator is there… although I do have a grill in mind)
Figured I’d live with it for a while.  Decided to go ahead and paint it.

 Bang! That did it! In black instead of chrome, it blends in and it just plain works!  ðŸ˜ŽðŸ‘âœŒðŸ‘Œ 

Love it when a plan comes together!





You will also note that I cut the front racks wall/upper front horizontal bar off. It was mangled beyond being worth the work of straightening it. MUCH cleaner look without it. And, the plan is a wall set for the front like I did on the rear,  anyway.

Now, the mounting bolts. I wanted to drill the new bar, and run the u-bolts through, and around the existing brush guard bars. 

I couldn’t get u-bolts the right width.  So I got what I could, a size bigger,  and did full crosses around both… it’s not perfect,  but it’s pretty damn solid, and working. 

 And like the bar itself, painted they blend in , and don’t look bad. 

  I *think* I can make my first plan work with u-bolts a half step in between these and what I wanted. Might try that in the near future, as I’m able to afford more hardware. 
Will also be interesting to see how well the headlights work through it, this fall when it actually gets dark enough to tell.  Of course by then I should have the new LED lights installed, but still, I’m hoping it works OK, and doesn’t shadow terribly.  

Categories: ATV, Custom, Fabrication, MacGyver, Modifications, Outdoors, Scrounging, Vehicles

Improvised mud flap, 2.0

The wheeler was missing the right side front of rear fender flap since I’ve had it.

Here is the factory left side one;

To get a factory one for the right side is a $40 or $50 proposition,  plus almost that to ship it to AK. uhuh.  Have you ever known me to buy anything I can possibly make? Lol.

 I replaced it… or Macgyvered it once before, but the plastic I used, an old Chevy floor mat, while flexible, was too stiff. It wouldn’t flex, and buckled into the tire, got tore out when the fenders flexed. And I’d only used zip ties to hold it in anyway.  

Nice soft flexible, but thick rubber this time. What was the rubber you ask? A fancy aftermarket truck floor mat! 
Actually the second thing these mats have been used for other than floor mats… I forget where I got them but they were cheap or free, with Built Ford Tough molded in the center. I used them as rear wheel mud flaps on my 78 Bronco for a year till they got tore off… 

Cutting to size;

Fitted and bolted;


Large washers under the bolt heads, and larger on the back side to prevent tear outs.  Even had some rubber backed washers I’d saved when taken off some fancy self tapping screws a while back. 
Used them to run a zip tie through to spread out the pull, also to prevent tear through(had to splice on a smaller piece to go all the way up the fender edge as far as the stock flap does).


The spliced on piece is also held under the upper most bolt for the main piece. 

Looks good even if I do say so myself! And more importantly my right foot shouldn’t be covered with mud all the time now!
Now, I finished it, and left it, but wasn’t sure about the attachment to the floor boards. The stock ones are only held with the two centered screws, but…. 5 minutes later I decided I Really didn’t like it, and added another further outward hole to the floorboard corner. 

Much better!

If I can find the other floor mat, I want to add extensions to both sides, to fill this gap between where these front flaps stop and the rear most flaps. 

Categories: ATV, Automotive Work, Custom, Fabrication, Improviser, MacGyver, Modifications, Outdoors, Scrounging, Vehicles, Wrenching

ATV Rack extension/retaining walls.

Got tired of having to strap/hold stuff down, especially for the fast 50 yard, or even 50 foot jaunts around the property. Thought it’d be nice to just trow something on and not worry about it sliding/bouncing off. 

Thought “oh yeah, they make those walls for the racks”  but I ain’t got, nor willing to pay $60 or more for one. 

$5 in welder wire, scrap scrounged steel, and 6 or 7 hours over a couple evenings is a lot cheaper and easier! And more fun too! 

Gotta be one of THE coolest tools I’ve bought. It’s astounding how handy a cordless angle grinder can be, especially with a cutting wheel! 

It’s amazing what you can do with 2 grinders , 2 cutters , and a welder, some old furniture, with a little imagination. 😎😉👍 

Needed some medium weight tubing, and finally saw an old futton/couch thingy frame in my scrap pile. 

Pulled a loose slat out, and it was sturdy but not too heavy, seemed heavy enough (both durable, and thick enough to weld).
Cutt all the slats out of one side,  got 12, 23″ pieces. 
Trimed, striped paint from ends for joints, measure, layout, bent some corners (2nd set of corners I did butt joints, for ease of layout/assembly, but it wasn’t as nice a finish).

Cut and welded it all up in two evenings. 

Those corner clamps are made for cabinetry & carpentry , but are a gift from God for layout and holding while welding too!  Makes me wonder why I never though to use them for this before.

It took about 11 of the pieces total.  10.5 really, but one piece I have left is 23″ worth of short chunks, not a whole piece. Have one whole one left. But I also have another 12 left to be cut from the other half of the couch frame!

Yes, it looks tall, but that’s only about 6″ which sounds short to hold things in place. But it’s what I found was average for the factory and aftermarket sets of these walls,  so that’s what I went with.  Still sounds short, but looks tall to me.. But I like it. 

Here, mostlt finished, painted and mounted, with the accessory mounters secret weapon(amazing what you can hold down with u-bolts, and also the strength/secureness they have).

 That might seem light duty for this, but you have to remember that the rear rack capacity is only about 130 pounds, and I’ll be strapping anything big/bulky/heavy to the rack itself, not the wall. 

Here you can see the contrast in the corner styles. 

It does get two more things before it’s really completely finished; 

Some holders/brackets at the front corners for a removable front cross bar.  And some mesh walls all the way around, IF I can scrounge some cheap or free mesh.

 I might go back and grind/smooth some of the rougher welds too. 🙂  

Really liked this one, it was a challenge,  needing to not only design and build, but keep everything true, straight, and square so it would all line up. Had to tweak it a couple times, even cut, bend and re weld the widened cut (sorta like a pleated spot?)once to take twist out.  

Was a fun challenge welding round tubing too, hadn’t done that before.  Also uphill/downhill, and upside down, sideways, and various angled welding, which I’ve not done a lot of. 

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, ATV, Custom, Fabrication, Improviser, MacGyver, Modifications, Outdoors, Scrounging, Vehicles, Welding

Exercise,  not as intended.

Needed some bolts for upcoming projects, my hardware bins are getting kinda sparse. So I took the free bow flex I hauled home last year the rest of the way apart.

Pretty good haul of steel stock, cables, and hardware! Some pieces of steel, and cables I’ve had plans for, for a while. The rest I’m sure I’ll find uses for soon. 
#freesteel #freehardware #scrounger #McGyver #fabrication 

Categories: Fabrication, Improviser, MacGyver, Materials, old tools, Scrounging, Welding

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