1996 Four Winns Sundowner with 5.0 Cobra engine and drive

Lou C

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In order for that system to work the radio must be compatible with it and also you have to have a GPS unit that provides your location. Also there is a number you have to apply for through the Coast Guard that is the identifier of your boat .
Now you can get newer radios that come with built in GPS, that's what I'd do when I have to replace the one I have. Hooking these up is a bit tricky because each manufacturer uses different color wires it seems. I have a small Garmin GPS/Sounder and a Standard Horizon VHF. And also a portable Standard Horizon with built in GPS.
 

Lpgc

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I haven't read through the info my friend sent me yet. The radio shows GPS on screen but I left it turned on for an hour and it only read 999.999.999, are we saying the GPS function won't read my location on screen unless I get it set up so it can transmit my coordinates to the coast guard? I could do that but I currently don't have a radio license, thought I could get away not having a licence because its not a criminal offence and the coastguard would respond to my distress signal whether I have a licence or not. I could live without the sets GPS signal, my phone can show that and I know the coastguard can triangulate my position. I know I should have a licence but it seems a bit of a hoop to jump through and although not expensive seems an unnecessary expense. My ex Ofcom friend disagrees lol but he had licenses for just about every type of radio provided to him free by Ofcom.

Today I removed the top thermostat housing containg the thermostat, did look like there was some debris and maybe a bit of silicone holding the stat open. Removed the stat and cleaned it up, also cleaned and flushed out the housing. Refitted the stat just using the rubber O ring witouut any silicone sealant on it (previously used some sealant under the stat and on the O ring as per Michael Rommer YouTube advice). Made a gasket from gaset paper and refitted it. Then used some oxalic acid to clean up rust marks on the swim platfrom and tide marks from the side of the boat.. Wow this stuff really works well! Completely removed rust stains from where I'd left bolts on the platform over winter and cleaned up the sides of the boat. Next time I use it I'll mix it with wallpaper paste and leave it on the sides of the boat longer. Soon learned not to get oxalic acid on the galvanised trailer.. kept rinsing the trailer with the hose pipe.
 

Horigan

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Older radios typically receive GPS data via a NMEA 0183 cable (or NMEA 2000 for newer radios) with data coming from a GPS antennae. The function is to enable the distress button to transmit your coordinates.
 

Lou C

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Looking at the radio it does have the panic button so if it doesn’t have integrated GPS you’d have to connect it to a unit.
 

Lpgc

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I put the boat back in the river on Saturday, took my sister for a ride who hasn't been on the river since our mid teens around 40 years ago, she loved it. The boat is still on a mooring on the river.

Still haven't done a radio check. Was surprised that with the engine running there's ignition and alternator noise coming through the speaker even when the squelch is on. Didn't hear any radio traffic either. But next time I go to the boat I'll ask someone what channel they use and ask for a radio check.

My main concern is that the engine still isn't getting up to temperature. Before taking the boat to the river I removed the thermostat, cleaned it up and put it back in but its still running cold. The cast iron thermostat housing doesn't look in bad condition but I don't know if water is getting past it somehow, maybe past the O ring. First time I installed the thermostat I followed a Michael Romer video and used some sealant under, around the edges and around the O ring but I thought a piece of sealant was holding it open so this time I installed it without any sealant. How do you fit thermostats?
 

Lou C

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I never used sealant on the o ring only on the gasket where the stat housing bolts to the block.
 

Lpgc

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I haven't used sealant on the housing to block gasket, just used a bare gasket because it's easier to disassemble while I'm trying to fix the cold running issue but it doesn't leak. I didn't have a spare gasket last time I had it apart so made one from gasket paper, it was an easy gasket to make from paper because it's a simple shape/design.

The housing is rusty inside but the area where the thermostat seats doesn't seem bad and I cleaned it up with picks and a dremmel sized rotary wire brush. The O ring doesn't seem to fit great, looks like it doesn't fit deep enough into the groove but it does hold the stat firm against the seat and it doesn't look like water could get past it... But either water is getting through the stat or is bypassing the stat somehow or it wouldn't run too cool. I can't remember if I re-used the old O ring, used an O ring supplied with the stat or used a best fit O ring out of a pack of various sizes.
 

Lou C

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It was always my experience that the OEM o rings fit very snug & the stat was very tight in there. The Ford set up is a bit different than the GM (Chevrolet) set up because the mount area for the stat on the GM intake manifold is horizontal but the Ford design is vertical. Not sure if that additional adapter section in the Ford makes any difference. I would tend to think not so. Have you tested the stat in a pot of hot water? Does it close fully when the water cools off or stay open a crack? This is the usual cause for raw water cooled engines running too cool….it has to close all the way…
 

Lpgc

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Thanks Lou. I haven't tested the stat but it is new. I might refit the old stat before further testing. Me and a friend pulled the boat out of the river today but had a little ride of around 8 miles on it first, the gauge on the dash never moved above 120F even when I gave it some stick and drove flat out for a few minutes, I then put my hand on the inlet manifold and it was only hand warm. Because I can't remember if I used the proper O ring or one I got from an O ring set I might buy a new O ring from the marina. I could buy a new thermostat housing but that might be a waste of around £80...
 

Lpgc

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Did a little on the boat today.

Recap - the tacho was reading double actual rpm and the engine was running too cool.

Today the gizmo I ordered from Ebay (that I've mentioned earlier on thread) that converts tacho pulses from any engine to suit any tacho arrived and I fitted it. It wires to ignition live, earth, ignition pulses (coil negative), the wire between the coil and the tacho is cut and the output wire from the gizmo connects to the tacho. Can't really test it in the yard for fear of burning up the raw water pump or flappers but I did start the engine and the tacho seems to read closer to actual rpm.

Pic of the rpm pulse convertor gizmo with its cover removed showing the dip switch settings.

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While I was fitting the above I also wired in another gizmo that I've also mentioned earlier in this thread, a self powered unit (watch battery) with LCD display that connects to engine rpm pulse and has its own temp sensor. While I was wiring in the rpm convertor gizmo I wired this gizmo in at the same time. Being a digital tacho it should be spot on accurate and I can use it to confirm the dash tacho is reading correctly. The temperature sensor of this gizmo seems broken, it reads very high temperature all the time. I neary sent it back to the supplier but I wanted to get it wired in so I can use the tacho facility next time I use the boat and I have lots of temp sensors due to my job so should be able to find and wire in a compatible sender in place of the supplied sender.

I didn't take any pics of the LCD gizmo today but I've posted pics of it before.

Removed the thermostat housing and thermostat, found the thermostat held open slightly by bits of rust. I would expect the amount the stat was held open by the rust to make the engine run cool at low engine loads but I'm not so sure the amount it is held open by the rust would be enough to prevent it reaching normal temperature when giving it some stick, Also if the stat opened further when giving it some stick I would expect the trapped bits of rust to get through the wider gap. Still, I think all I can do for now is clean out the rust that is keeping the stat held open and refit it.

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I still haven't fully cleaned out the stat so haven't refitted the stat or housing.
 

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Lou C

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If there’s any rust flakes stuck in the stat you’ll have the result you see, 100-120*F. Over time sometimes the engine will clear itself and stop shedding rust flakes. What I have done when that happens is run it up on plane & then bring it back to idle. Then carefully tap the stat housing with a small hammer, sometimes that jars loose the flakes. It’s worked for me 2/3 times.
PS what Chrysler do you have? Looks like the early 2000 era based on the logo…
 

Lpgc

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If there’s any rust flakes stuck in the stat you’ll have the result you see, 100-120*F. Over time sometimes the engine will clear itself and stop shedding rust flakes. What I have done when that happens is run it up on plane & then bring it back to idle. Then carefully tap the stat housing with a small hammer, sometimes that jars loose the flakes. It’s worked for me 2/3 times.
PS what Chrysler do you have? Looks like the early 2000 era based on the logo…
I remember you mentioned tapping the stat housing earlier in the thread but I was expecting a problem with the seal around the stat.

How long before the rust flakes stop being a problem? I wondered if there was anything I could put in the cooling system to get rid of the rust without damaging the water pump or gaskets (particularly the head gaskets)? Was thinking maybe something like oxalic acid? I realise I'd need to put it in the engine cooling system, make a plate to blank off the thermostat housing but allow the pipe from the water pump to still connect, connect the output from the raw water pump to feed only the 2 exhaust manifolds, run the engine up to temperature a few times, then refit the thermostat housing (maybe without the thermostat fitted) and the cleaning solution / rust would be flushed out.

The Chrysler is a 2003 Grand Voyager 3.3 Limited XS, I've owned several Grand Voyagers over the years because I needed a people carrier vehicle. I stopped running them because of the weak A604 transmission that seems to fail too often when used for towing. 4th Gear is especially weak so just before I stopped running Grand Voyagers I'd keep it in 3rd when towing but even then I still had problems. I've rebuilt several A604's, some with bad box, some with bad diff, plus all the usual less severe solenoid pack problems. Heh I once made a good A604 out of 2 bad A604's, one with a bad diff the other with a bad box, put the good diff in the good box. The Grand Voyager I was in when I took the pic is the last one I ran and it was running fine when I parked it up around 6 years ago but it's a none runner now, it's been sat in the same place in the yard for those 6 years. I keep a battery charger connected to it, keep a few tools in it and sit in the drivers seat for a rest when working on vehicles or my boat so I can listen to the radio, use my laptop, can have the heated seats on in winter, lock it all up using the central locking. People joke it's my outside office, I sit in it to reply to emails etc, I'm sat in it as I write this. After Grand Voyagers I switched to Nissan Elgrands which have a bit more space, more powerful and arguably better 3.5 engine (though more complicated engine) and definitely a better transmission. I once nearly bought a 3.8 4x4 Grand Voyager but the Elgrand is 4x4 and tows my caravan (trailer) or boat pretty well without anything breaking. I see on your profile you run Jeeps... I recently scrapped a 1998 4L Jeep Grand Cherokee that was my dads. My dad died in 2008, I only used the Jeep a few times after he died then it was just parked in the yard for 15 years. Put a battery on the Jeep, it started first time and I drove it onto the scrap man's trailer. I convert vehicles to run on LPG (propane), have converted loads of Jeeps (all variants and engine models from the small V6 and 4L straight 6 through the 4.7V8, 5.7, 6.1, 6.2, 6.4, and supercharged models. One of my customers has a modified supercharged Jeep with around 1000bhp which is fun at the lights for surprising boy racers.
 
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Lou C

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I have to say your mechanical skills far exceed mine! I do mostly maintenance and have done some bigger repairs: on the boat the deck about 17 years ago; top engine overhaul about 7 years ago (new cyl heads & exhaust) this spring rebuilt the trim cylinders. Jeeps I’ve done all the maintenance & many repairs on them; we have 3, the old 98 Grand, the 07 Grand and 17 JK Wrangler. The 07 with the 5.7 Hemi is an excellent tow vehicle with plenty of power & the Chrysler 545RFE auto trans which IMO is one of their best reliability wise. This one also has electronic limited slips front & rear. Great for launching boats on any ramp.
Ok about the rust. You can probably rig up a way to fill the engine with a de rusting solution & then flush with water but the thing I’d be concerned about is the head gaskets. Might just do it with fresh water to be on the safe side. Some use barnacle buster which is a mild acid that loosens up any marine growth etc which is a problem in salt water. The other thing is storage. I don’t just drain mine for winter I always fill it with a good propylene glycol antifreeze with corrosion inhibitors. I think that reduces rust formation when the boat is in winter storage. I use West Marine -100 (freeze protection to about -50*f) or I mix my own Sierra propylene glycol mis with water 50/50. This is even better it is good enough to use as an engine coolant. Does it help? I think so because when I start the engine after 6 months of winter storage I see the AF exit first then clear water not rusty water! And this engine has been used in 100% salt water for over 20 seasons never flushed till the end of the season. If I eventually repower the boat with a reman engine for sure I’d put a closed cooling system in that will end the whole rust flakes issue.
 

Lpgc

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For sure your Jeep is a better tow car than the Elgrand I use.

Yes head gaskets, in fact all water gaskets including the water ports on the inlet manifold, various gaskets around the water pump area and the water pump itself are all concerns if using chemicals in the cooling system. I don't think I'll risk using the oxalic acid in it, might try some commercial stuff cooling system flush, not sure about using barnacle buster because it (like oxalic acid) is still acid. I haven't checked but I wonder if barnacle buster contains oxalic acid (also sold as hull cleaner, wood cleaner, rust shifter)? I used some oxalic acid on the swim platform to get rid of some rust marks caused by me leaving bolts on it over winter, then I used it on the hull, worked great.

You raise a point I've been thinking ahead about - how to winterise. It did occur to me that it seems a good idea to fill the engine cooling system and maybe as much of the exhaust and risers as I can with glycol type anti-freeze / coolant. I thought a good way to achieve it (and make sure it's mixed with water in the system) would be to disconnect pipes from the raw water pump, disconnect belt from the raw water pump, remove lower pipe from circulation pump to drain the system and refit it, drain the exhaust manifolds, remove thermostat housing, fill cooling system with antifreeze, refit thermostat housing, start the engine and let it run for a minute to circulate and mix the antifreeze, remove the thermostat housing, top up with antifreeze and refit the thermostat housing again, pour antifreeze into the pipes from the thermostat housing to the exhaust manifolds. I think that would be better in terms of both rust and freeze protection than leaving (or trying to leave) the cooling system completely empty because it would be difficult to know for sure if the engine block and manifolds are completely empty and coolant would prevent rusting better than leaving it dry. Before thinking about the antifreeze idea I was thinking about draining as much water out of the system as possible and leaving a low wattage electric frost protection heater (only comes on when temperature approaches freezing) in the engine bay 'just in case' I didn't get all the water out.

Heh, I might even remove the engine during winter to clean and paint it, prevent it rusting from the outside.

Is it OK to put some glycol coolant in the raw water pump? Are the marine rubber cooling hoses OK with glycol coolant?
 

Scott Danforth

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oxalic acid is as mild as vinegar. I just had 100 quarts I made to soak some rusty parts for welding and was scrubbing the parts with my bare hands in the tub.
 

Lpgc

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oxalic acid is as mild as vinegar. I just had 100 quarts I made to soak some rusty parts for welding and was scrubbing the parts with my bare hands in the tub.
I bought oxalic acid powder to mix with water, obviously to some extent strength depends on weight of powder versus quantity of water. But, like you say, even if I made it as strong as possible it still wouldn't be a very strong acid, after a certain concentration the powder just stops dissolving. I think I made it as strong as possible and had no problems using it with bare hands on a cloth, though I did keep rinsing my hands and at one point it seemed it was burning the inside of my forearm a bit lol.

Would you use oxalic acid, barnacle cleaner or anything else to flush a working engine you don't want to damage parts (head gaskets etc) on?
 

Lou C

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As far as using AF the first thing is to use propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol which is quite toxic and will wind up in your yard, driveway when you start up in spring. The way I have always done it is actually simple, I manually drain everything, poke the drains in the block manifolds etc (rust flakes again) disconnect the big hose at the bottom of the circulating pump & let it drain. Then I disconnect the raw water inlet hose hold it down in the bilge to drain. With the drive down I then fill this hose with AF till the AF runs out the water intakes. This pushes water out of the hose, power steering cooler and hoses that connect to the outdrive.
Next reconnect that hose, and replace the drain plugs bin the block & manifolds. Then, re connect the bottom end of the big hose on at the circulating pump & disconnect the other end at the thermostat housing. Stick a funnel in that hose & fill with AF till it spurts out the ‘stat housing no need to remove housing this way works fine. Reconnect that hose. Next disconnect the manifold feed hoses and fill each with AF till it runs out the exhaust. Then reconnect the hoses. In your case I’d make sure the impeller housing is drained and fill it with AF vis the hose that goes from it to the ‘stat housing. I’ve done it this way for 20 years, no problems or freeze ups.
 

Lou C

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As far as flushing I might use salt-away available here in the USA, then rinse with water…
 

Lpgc

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I'd forgotten about the pas cooler when I wrote my ideas for winterising, think I would've remembered when the time comes. See what you mean about not needing to remove the stat housing.

Does salt away shift rust scale too? Or what product will shift rust scale? The reason why I want to get rid of rust scale is because it seems to be rust that keeps jamming my thermostat open causing the engine to run cold.

I don't suppose it's possible to fit a filter between the output of the circulation pump and the stat? Or if it is possible it probably isn't a good idea for long term use (clogging would cause the engine to overheat)... but could be a good idea for short term use if the rust that keep causing stat problems eventually stops flaking off? If such filter were available (and cost effective) I wouldn't use it on the sea but it would be OK to use on the river and lakes where (if the filter clogged causing overheating) I could just remove the filter without being in a dangerous situation.
 
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Lou C

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Salt away will (or is supposed to) dissolve salt and calcium deposits, that may loosen some rust flakes, but once cast iron starts rusting, it is going to keep doing that which is why that stuck open thermostat is more or less a chronic problem we all have in salt water. I though of other safer ways to flush the engine, one being more involved, it might go like this:
remove the front circulating pump and fab up a fitting that fits over the inlet in the block that will accept a garden hose and another fitting that is closed for the other side. Then I'd take a spare thermostat housing with no stat in it and install it in place of the regular one. Take the big hose and install it on the end of the stat housing. Then with the garden hose connected to one side, and the other side blocked off gently fill the block till the water runs clear out of the big hose, you can also remove the block drains to flush that lower block area as well. Then reverse the process, flush from the other side of the block. This will not damage gaskets, but will get as much of the rust flakes out of the block as you can. Might be a good thing to do every other season. Now I have to wrap my head around making up a couple of adapters out of PVC pipe etc to see if it can be done. I'd probably used a couple of small block Chevy water pump gaskets as a template. This method would flush the block using water flow that is the same when the engine is running, on the small block Chevrolets, water enters on both sides of the front of the block, flows around the cylinders, then up through the cyl heads, then forward to the cross over in the intake manifold and out through the stat housing.

You're in rivers, right, so you are in fresh water, I wonder if your boat was used in salt/brackish water before you got it?
I think over time especially if you fill with a good PG antifreeze with corrosion inhibitors, you might see a reduction in this issue. For me, it is an every 3-4 seasons thing, not all the time. Don't want to jinx it though lol.
The filter idea might work but I wouldn't want to use it with a load on the engine, maybe at home on the water hose.
 
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