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Looking at buying a 1990 donzi 24' black widow , has 454 king cobra

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  • Looking at buying a 1990 donzi 24' black widow , has 454 king cobra

    4 of 5 say stay away from this , do all the k/c break or just hard to get parts , i have plenty of mechanics to fix it were i live , he wants $8000 for it , new msd ing., s/s exhaust , new interior and gauges , , has kid on the way ,,, any quick way to ck. Outdrive on the trailer ,

  • #2
    Re: Looking at buying a 1990 donzi 24' black widow , has 454 king cobra

    They were well built units, however it is near impossible to find some of the parts. It is also difficult to find a mechanic comfortable with rebuilding them. To check outdrive I like to pressure test for leaks and inspect oil. There are no guarentees with this method it will just point out the obvious. A sea trial is a must in this situation.
    1995 wellcraft martinique
    mbsports boss 210
    1998sea doo gtx


    • #3
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      Re: Looking at buying a 1990 donzi 24' black widow , has 454 king cobra

      Fortunately for you - I'll be able to let you know if you were smart by playing it safe.

      I now own that boat, just picked it up this weekend (drove 22 hours round trip to get it actually) - I thought it was a steal at 8500.. listed for 10, did you actually talk him down to 8 or is that what you just thought he'd take?

      I spend all day buffing and waxing the white parts of the hull.. looks pretty good. I've got connections for many marine segments so like you, I'm not worried about the engine.

      Also, this boat was probably one of the first to get the "daddy" king cobra on it, which shares much of the design structure of the late model volvo sx drives. The main gears are at the top of the unit, and it uses a cone clutch system instead of the dog clutch of the infamous cobras that liked to blow up due to the shift cable adjustment problem. The "daddy" is very rare and VERY strong, there's a few guys around here who work on volvo drives who have told me that this doesn't scare them one bit - volvo bought most of the designs from OMC when they went under anyways.

      As for the boat, there simply isn't anything like this for the price. I have no doubt that I can throw a new motor in there and double my money if it turns out I want to sell it. I believe the guy when he said it just went through a $15k restoration, because the cockpit is freaking gorgeous!

      He said the motor ran but had no power and no compression in a rear cyl - sounds like a valve or pushrod problem to me and hopefully it's something simple!

      PS I totally found this thread by chance when doing a search on here for "Donzi" to see what interest level there was for them on the forums - small world indeed!
      '90 Donzi 24' Black Widow (Z-24) BBC 454@490hp
      Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE LUX tow rig
      Land Rover Discovery II SE7 retired tow rig