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Cocoloco
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521 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have received some cool replies and private messages on my first post about the old flats. Lotsa questions about how I did it and some guys want me to tell the story. I will in a couple weeks, just for fun. But today I want to go on a mission to encourage others to salvage old flats and talk a bit about how to do it. Also to report some improvements I feel can be made. First of all make sure the boat has a good bottom or at least is repairable for reasonable money. Stress cracks are just age lines and will fill unless they are deep and wide. Micro balloons and resin are best. AS far as the Gel Coat thing, for shit sake, go on line and you will see many experienced glass people recommend urethane over Gel coat on repaints. "It's not gel coat, it's not gel coat, the sky is falling." :schreck: And its the time to sand and polish the Gel Coat, if you are any good at spraying it yourself, good F-in luck if your a newby. Urethane is newby friendly and you can look pretty good at it without much practice. Clear and 1200 paper are the trick. I learned to repair glass years ago and I'm no expert but I can make it stick together and grind it to shape. You can too. Ya know with all the information on line you can learn anything in short order. Just follow the instructions.

As for power this is where I am done to the done done with the old iron motor deal. If I had not had the mounts headers and other parts for a BBC I wouldn't have it. Why? Well lets see! I can go to any junkyard and buy an LS aluminum motor with iron heads, that weighs about a ton less, for about $1,000 running with enough life to last my boat until it rots. Its a 100% duty cycle motor. I can buy chrome stainless steel headers on line for $300 and put lines on them. The rear mount is the same and I just bet I can fabricate a couple front aluminum plates. I can put a turbo 400, powerglide or whatever behind it for cheap and find a direct drive replacement for the converter on the boards for $50, bought three in the last two years. IF I really don't don't care about reverse, its a PTO (used $60) and hook it up to the v-drive since I got the shaft anyway. Now I know I am going to just send the purists into orbit here but here goes, an ELECTRIC WATER PUMP. OMG call the flat police. But my premise is, if I can keep a good alternator on the boat and keep it charging why not. I mean somehow those idiots at the car companies are making electric fans cool motors, idiots. And the obvious for all the shrieking flat guys out there right now. When I stop at the sand bar or club, if my motor is running a little warm from the water temp in the lake or river, I can turn on the ELECTRIC WATER PUMP.

Lets say I paid $500 for the old flat. Add an LS $1,000. Headers and lines, welding $600.00. Then paint $400. Intake for motor $300. Carb from ??? $200. And you go to work on all the little shit for who knows what. I say you can do an old flatty with an LS motor for $5-6,000.00. Not the national debt and one real cool part with its LS and nice paint. Scrounge around the boards and craigslist for parts. Hell I have put parts on this boat I bought two plus years ago and stuffed in a box. An HEI just won't let you down and they are damn near free if you're gonna use an iron motor. Go for it guys, do something cool, build something cool. I'm not saying build rat rods but lets tell the boating world, it's ok to build an old flattie and not spend a fortune.

I was at Parker last summer and I saw a guy pulling one of the Big Berthas with his kids on it, with 1969 Lavey flatty. What a blast from the past that was to see someone actually pulling people on the water with a flatty.

The other thing I want to point out is the old complete flatties with odd motors. Those are the solid gold standard of history. The nailheads, the 390 fords, Poncho 389's and I just saw a 401 AMC motored flatty. It sold in about ten minutes for $1,000, complete and it ran. I was soooo pissed I was ten minutes late to the guys house. It would have been a bidding war between me and two other guys who knew what the hell they were looking at. There are still a lot of old flats less motor, as one guy posted. Don't pass on one because all the mounts aren't there, that stuff is everywhere, what you can find on these boards and asking on craigslist is amazing. The delta, San Diego, Orange County, Needles, Havasu, Texas and Bullhead are laden with old boats and old parts, go to craigslist and ask.

Oh I went to start the boat this weekend. Hadn't looked at the wiring I was so busy with other things. Well, lets say, it won't start this weekend. Lampcord? Really Hackmaster? That cat needs a beatdown. So I cut all the wiring out and started over. That black flexy wire conduit can hide a multitude of sins.

:thumb:GO GET EM' BUILD SOMETHING AND MAKE IT YOUR OWN. SAY YOU DID IT AND DON'T GIVE A DAMN IF "THEY" LIKE IT.
 

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My Peace
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670 Posts
I'm totally digging what you're laying down about being able to build a reasonable boat on the cheap! I think we have about $4000 in our current flat, and it's a great little 70mph family ski boat. Hull with rigging, $800. Sold headers, -$150. Built a 427 BBC, $1500. Wet exhausts & OTs, $300. Powder coating, $600. New interior, $600. Lots of wet sanding to bring back the metal flake and re-spraying the black stripes orange, $100. Painted the trailer and redid the bunks, $100, etc. Boat looks great from 5 feet and just looks comfortably used up close, and we don't have to worry about walking on it with dirty feet. Does everything you could ask and runs like a top!

I really want to build an LS powered flat as a next project. Only problem I see with the LS is the headers- I don't want them! For a ski boat it's logs or nothing, and while there was a thread a while back about Ford Cleveland logs working on an LS, finding those is like finding hen's teeth.
 

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Cocoloco
Joined
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521 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Really cool and I had a thought about the logs.

I'm totally digging what you're laying down about being able to build a reasonable boat on the cheap! I think we have about $4000 in our current flat, and it's a great little 70mph family ski boat. Hull with rigging, $800. Sold headers, -$150. Built a 427 BBC, $1500. Wet exhausts & OTs, $300. Powder coating, $600. New interior, $600. Lots of wet sanding to bring back the metal flake and re-spraying the black stripes orange, $100. Painted the trailer and redid the bunks, $100, etc. Boat looks great from 5 feet and just looks comfortably used up close, and we don't have to worry about walking on it with dirty feet. Does everything you could ask and runs like a top!

I really want to build an LS powered flat as a next project. Only problem I see with the LS is the headers- I don't want them! For a ski boat it's logs or nothing, and while there was a thread a while back about Ford Cleveland logs working on an LS, finding those is like finding hen's teeth.
I don't know what it would cost to have logs made for LS motors but I have decided to contact a foundry and ask. I am sure it will be at least $15,000 dollars. And I can't see anyone being able to recoup the investment in any reasonable amount of time. My thought is that if I do get a number from a foundry and it is not north of $15,000 too far maybe I start a membership drive so to speak, where many guys in the industry and interested restorers all donate to the cause. Frankly I think once the logs are in production we could see the LS motor become a huge part of the repower world for jets and flats. When the word got out I can then see the investment being returned sooner.

A company called Performance headers makes LS headers for turbo charging. Stainless chrome with pretty short primaries. But, so what. We aren't racing our river flats and they can't be as restrictive as logs or stock exhaust. They sell for around $350 last I checked. I will extend the collector 14" and put water through them. They are pretty close to the block and about valve cover height. Something to consider. Right on though for your project. I have had a few guys PM me and want me to detail how I did it cost wise. I will soon. Thanks for weighing in.
 

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My Peace
Joined
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670 Posts
I don't know what it would cost to have logs made for LS motors but I have decided to contact a foundry and ask. I am sure it will be at least $15,000 dollars. And I can't see anyone being able to recoup the investment in any reasonable amount of time. My thought is that if I do get a number from a foundry and it is not north of $15,000 too far maybe I start a membership drive so to speak, where many guys in the industry and interested restorers all donate to the cause. Frankly I think once the logs are in production we could see the LS motor become a huge part of the repower world for jets and flats. When the word got out I can then see the investment being returned sooner.

A company called Performance headers makes LS headers for turbo charging. Stainless chrome with pretty short primaries. But, so what. We aren't racing our river flats and they can't be as restrictive as logs or stock exhaust. They sell for around $350 last I checked. I will extend the collector 14" and put water through them. They are pretty close to the block and about valve cover height. Something to consider. Right on though for your project. I have had a few guys PM me and want me to detail how I did it cost wise. I will soon. Thanks for weighing in.
Thanks for taking the initiative on the logs! I've considered just what you're talking about but with a kid on the way my life is too crazy to manage another project. I'm down on the membership thing- there's not that many people out there doing this kind of stuff but I think at about $500 bucks a set you could sell 30 of them. Maybe you could do a Kickstarter? That format would work perfect, and you'd end up with tooling to make more.

On another note, I also like what you said about an electric pump. That was another big stumbling block on the LS repowers I've seen, but why are we hung up on using mechanical pumps in the first place? I mean, I'm not running an alternator on my flat (mag + mech. fuel pump + mech water pump= why?), but you make a great argument. Hell, you can use a temp sensor to trigger it and now you can run the motor at exactly the temp you want without using restrictor valves and over-pressuring the motor at high Rs, etc.
 

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Cocoloco
Joined
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521 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Outside the box thinking is always best...

Thanks for taking the initiative on the logs! I've considered just what you're talking about but with a kid on the way my life is too crazy to manage another project. I'm down on the membership thing- there's not that many people out there doing this kind of stuff but I think at about $500 bucks a set you could sell 30 of them. Maybe you could do a Kickstarter? That format would work perfect, and you'd end up with tooling to make more.

On another note, I also like what you said about an electric pump. That was another big stumbling block on the LS repowers I've seen, but why are we hung up on using mechanical pumps in the first place? I mean, I'm not running an alternator on my flat (mag + mech. fuel pump + mech water pump= why?), but you make a great argument. Hell, you can use a temp sensor to trigger it and now you can run the motor at exactly the temp you want without using restrictor valves and over-pressuring the motor at high Rs, etc.
Thanks for the support on the logs. I think a practice or avenue of "we always did it this way", makes for lack of progress. You nailed the water pump thing. What a hosed up deal it is now. All the fittings and lines and overboards and pickups, hell you're gonna blow $300-$500 on just aircraft line and fittings. I went with an HEI and alternator, they seem to work in lots of boats. (SIC) If I didn't already have all the pump and lines I would have went to an electric pump on this one. I used to cool my dragster with a BBC by pushing water up from the two center ports just above the oil pan on the side of the block, it was original and guys wanted to know why I did it. I did it because it gave the water a chance to warm before it hit the top of the cylinders and the heads which stopped the cracking since we cooled after every run. Soon it was popular. I will do the same with the LS, even if I have to drill ports and thread myself. Your electric sensor idea is a great idea. The pump doesn't run when the boat is in motion because the cool inlet water is doing the job, when you slow or stop the electric pump would just sense the need and automatically cool the motor. NICE! Check valve! For all the snipers out there, that will solve your immediate knee jerk reaction.
As for the logs, I will try to locate a foundry and see what it will cost. If anyone knows of a foundry still producing logs for boats, please let me know. I will probably find it online but a short cut would help. I know there was one in Long Beach that is probably long gone that made Offenhauser and other racing and marine parts. I'll keep you posted.
 

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Or Seth, either one
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3,270 Posts
A company called Performance headers makes LS headers for turbo charging. Stainless chrome with pretty short primaries. But, so what. We aren't racing our river flats and they can't be as restrictive as logs or stock exhaust. They sell for around $350 last I checked. I will extend the collector 14" and put water through them. They are pretty close to the block and about valve cover height.
LS Headers +/- $170
Amazon.com: LS Turbo Headers LSX, LS1, LS2, LS3, LS6 (1 3/4" Primaries) Forward Facing Up: Automotive


I almost went the route of an electric water pump for my project, then changed my mind. I think for a N/A deal I'd consider it again. However, for those that would like to go mechanical, here is a damper and crank mounted mechanical water pump that will bolt right up.
Professional Products PowerForce Harmonic Dampers 80033 - Free Shipping on Orders Over $99 at Summit Racing
Johnson Pump | 10-24805-01 | Engine Cooling Pumps | 729321913836

Here's how 2sangers did a cam drive deal
http://www.performanceboats.com/v-drives/251538-river-rat-water-pump-ls-engine.html

While we're on the subject, here is 3/4 NPT and -12AN tapped water pump adapter plates
Amazon.com: LSX REMOTE MOUNT WATER PUMP Adapter Plate 3/4" NPT Chevy LS1 LS Camaro 551536: Automotive
Amazon.com: LSX REMOTE MOUNT WATER PUMP With -12AN Fittings Adapter Plate Chevy LS1 LS Camaro 564: Automotive

And front engine plates
Amazon.com: LSX Front Engine Plate 2 piece Aluminum Chevy Solid Motor Mount Block LS LS1 551803: Automotive

Jet Boat Performance has created a complete rail mount kit. Front and rear plates, rails... the whole sha-bang for $625
Jet Boat Performance, Rail Mount Kit
 
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