Newb with a 1977 Kona 454 BBC
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Newb with a 1977 Kona 454 BBC

  1. #1
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    Default Newb with a 1977 Kona 454 BBC

    So I've been a wanting a jet boat for years now and after watching my buddies build theirs over winter and going for a ride I decided to start looking. Finally found this one that looked like a good candidate so I gave the guy a call. After talking to the guy I agreed I would give him the full asking price if it runs and drives. Well he decides to take off to Sturgis so when I show up I'm left dealing with his dad who doesn't know much about the thing. He couldn't get it to start and was stumped why it wouldn't so he starts digging into it to find out why. Meanwhile I'm talking to the neighbors and they all verify they've heard it run recently. So after a couple hours of messing with it he throws in the towel. The price sure went down quick after that!

    After getting it home and looking I think the starter solenoid may be the issue. It's got power coming to it when the key is turned but it's not clicking and it's not sending juice to the starter. I can jump the posts and get the starter to spin but it won't engage. Of course it's got a Tilton super starter so I have to wait for a new solenoid to come in the mail.
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    Last edited by SlurpJ; 08-07-2017 at 08:29 AM.

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  3. #2
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    Default Too late now,

    It's too late now, but NEVER, never, never buy any "running" boat without seeing it running on the water, NEVER.... I'm sorry to say the odds are not in your favor, and I fear you troubles are just beginning...
    I hope I'm wrong,
    Ray
    LOUD BOATS SAVE LIVES

  4. #3
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    This is my first jet boat, but not my first boat. I know the odds are not in my favor. I know the motor runs from talking to neighbors. I'm worried about whether it was properly winterized before it was put away. If not everything will get parted out and in goes an LS engine!

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  6. #4
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    Decided to pull the valve covers to see what it looked like underneath. About threw in the towel and started pulling the engine when I saw evidence of water in the oil. Checked the dipstick and it looked fine. Looked for evidence of someone changing the oil recently but the drain plug and filter have a coat of dust and oil and appear untouched. Doubt you could suck it up through the dip stick due to location. Upon further inspection the top rear valve cover bolt has gotten water in it and it looks like that's were it came from.

    Managed to ID the carb as a Holley 4150 1000 CFM mechanical secondary I believe

    Is the Basset exhaust supposed to have weep hols at the bottom? I couldn't feel any.
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    Last edited by SlurpJ; 08-08-2017 at 12:37 PM.

  7. #5
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    So the solenoid for the starter finally arrived so I pulled all the plugs and cranked it over and it spewed some water out of cylinder six. The heads will be coming off to check it out hopefully this weekend. May just go ahead and pull the whole thing so I can check the bottom end as well. A friend thinks it may be a 496 based off the fact it's got a flex plate and neutral balancer.

  8. #6
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    Finally got around to doing some more work on it. I put air to cylinder 6 and could hear that coming out so I tore the heads off. Not really sure what to think of what I'm seeing. The intake manifold had obvious signs of water in it but only on that 6 cylinder. The intake port on the head also had signs of water over a very long period of time, very rusty. It didn't appear to have a bad intake gasket that i could tell but I probably didn't look close enough before I took it off. The number 6 piston and chamber had obvious signs of water but were really in fairly decent shape, cylinder walls are not rusted out and still have decent X hatching. Exhaust port also shows signs of rust on that cylinder.

    So now I'm left wondering how the water got in. Did it sit outside and collect rainwater? I would think that would cause rust in almost all the cylinders. Was it a intake gasket leak on that cylinder that was ran that way for quite some time which would explain the large amount of rust. Or could it be leaking at the head gasket and getting pushed up into the intake?

    Thoughts?
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  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlurpJ View Post
    Finally got around to doing some more work on it. I put air to cylinder 6 and could hear that coming out so I tore the heads off. Not really sure what to think of what I'm seeing. The intake manifold had obvious signs of water in it but only on that 6 cylinder. The intake port on the head also had signs of water over a very long period of time, very rusty. It didn't appear to have a bad intake gasket that i could tell but I probably didn't look close enough before I took it off. The number 6 piston and chamber had obvious signs of water but were really in fairly decent shape, cylinder walls are not rusted out and still have decent X hatching. Exhaust port also shows signs of rust on that cylinder.

    So now I'm left wondering how the water got in. Did it sit outside and collect rainwater? I would think that would cause rust in almost all the cylinders. Was it a intake gasket leak on that cylinder that was ran that way for quite some time which would explain the large amount of rust. Or could it be leaking at the head gasket and getting pushed up into the intake?

    Thoughts?
    Im wondering if m water got in thru the carb?




  10. #8
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    OK so it's been awhile since I've been on here. I managed to track down the source of the water getting into the cylinder although it took some time. It was coming in through the top of the flame arrestor when stored outside. So I'll be ordering a different style that won't allow that to happen. Got it put back together and after some difficulties with the timing and rebuilding the carb I've got it running really good and it sounds great. The heads may come back off this winter so I can rebuild them and touch up the port work that's already been done.

    I've spent the better part of a month dealing with the pump. Mine ended up basically being unusable as the shaft was bent which took out the bowl and spun the wear ring trashing the suction housing. I managed to find a brand new in the crate berk pump and I bought that minus the C bowl for a really good price. Picked up a G bowl from a member on here that's in great shape but needs repainted. Someone had put a zerk on top and was using grease so that was fun cleaning all that out. Once I get the bowl painted it'll be close to time to start putting things back together. Although I've got to figure out if I want to run the bronze Aggressor B cut it came with which probably needs the wear ring area turned down since it's a little rough or I have a like new berk A cut I could use. I've heard the Aggressor B is equivalent to the berk A as far as the cut goes? I've been trying to figure out what I should do while I have it apart to help with performance, there's no rush since it's winter here. Thinking I may go ahead and sand the suction, bowl and impeller smooth. On my old suction housing someone epoxied and smoothed out the cleanout hole, is this worth the effort? I know I can buy one but money's tight right now. Would it be a good idea to put in a stuffer now while it's apart or is there any noticeable performance gains?

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