2/22: I've been adding a little here-n-there. One of these
days, I'll sit down and straighten out this whole site.
I'm working on the links page and trying to get more motor pics uploaded. I really need to get an A/V card so I can pull some screen caps off of video. I've got some great footage from the ACBS show in Clayton, NY that I shot last year. Also the whole Trojan resto is on video, so I don't have many pics.
Got a new motor!! Yipee!! A friend-of-a-friend had asked me if I had some parts for his motor last summer. I had what he needed, but he never called, so I forgot about it. A few weeks ago, the guy calls and asks if I want the motor! Seems he decided to buy a new one and never got the old Merc fixed. Now he is moving and doesn't want to lug the broken motor with him. I told him I'd be right over! At this point, I wasn't sure exactly what the motor was, just that it was a late 50's-early 60's 40hp. Merc. Also wasn't sure of the condition of the motor after kicking around in his garage all this time, but the price was right. When I got there, it was the only thing left in the garage, an oily mess in the middle of the floor and a box of parts. It was dark by this time, and the motor WAS free, so I didn't check it out very well. He brought out another box full of " extra boat stuff " and asked if I wanted that too. In the truck it went! I got home, unloaded, and started to take inventory. The motor turned out to be a Merc400 minus the gear case and magneto. The engine wiring had been butchered, but was savable. I put the top cowl back on and gave it a pull.....WOW! Major compression, good sign. I left the motor to investigate the boxes. The "boat stuff " turned out to be a bunch of cleats, a few bow eyes and a complete cable steering system minus the wheel. Opening the other box revealed the gear case ( I should say what was left of it) and the front cover for the 400. Every, I mean EVERY piece of the foot was apart. I still haven't tried to put it back together.
The next day, I started digging through my " spare " parts. I had a '59 Mk58A with a bad power head, in pieces somewhere in the shop. I found the foot and the mag, and away we go. I put the motor back together, played with the wiring a bit, and got big, fat, blue spark! I pumped a little gas in the carbs just to see if it would pop. 3rd pull, it popped all right! It started and ran for a good 30 secs. before running out of gas! Outstanding!
I cleaned up the carbs and straightened out the rest of the wiring this morning. The plan is to run the 400 on my Trojan for now. That way I can take my time on the '57 Mk55E resto. I'm waiting for my test tank to thaw out for a good test of the 400, but I'd bet it runs great.
That's all for now. Keep checking back, I have a feeling Spring is going to be very busy! Happy boating!
3/17: Been real busy! The '57 Mk55E is almost ready. I got the last few gaskets I need today. The painting is all done, I rebuilt the carbs and cleaned up the whole power head. All the hardware is back on the upper / lower cowls and the leg. I'll put it all back together this weekend, then all I need is a nice day to test it out! The gear case I'm putting on it for now is from my '58. The '57 has a small crack that needs to be fixed. I'll get it done by the time I'm ready with the '58, then swap them back. Can't wait to get the Trojan back in the water!!
I got the last piece I needed for the '56 Mk6. The recoil nut that engages the teeth in the recoil assembly was missing. I finally found one and she runs like a top. I was going to re-paint this motor too, but I think I may leave it alone. The original paint is pretty faded and at some point, someone sprayed some unknown red on a few spots. The decals are mostly there though. As ugly as it is, I kinda like it. It's got character!
I also picked up a set of points and condensers for the Merc 700. The originals were SHOT. Here's a tip, if you need a set of points for these motors, don't get them from a Mercury dealer. $40 each for the breaker assemblies, OUCH! I couldn't get them through Sierra, but Grubb's has them for about $12 cheaper. I'm hoping to get this motor going soon for a '61 Crestliner project. I still need a set of controls and wiring for it. I'm hoping to run across a set at a swap meet.
YAHOOO! New motor! I've got another KD4 on the way. I'm hoping it will be here next week. It's a descent, original, running motor. It's all there, except the prop, which I have an extra one of. It even has the "bra cups", they're missing on my other one. Most of the decal is still there and he thinks he has the starter rope that came with the motor. I mainly center on the bigger Mk series motors, but I'm developing a sweet tooth for these early "K" models. I'd really like to get a few of the '40 / '41 K's and a KD3S or KD4S (recoil models ).
I'm working on a complete overhaul of the site. More pics,
links, and a new look. Hopefully it'll be up soon. Thanks for stopping
by. Happy Boating!!
3/20: The new site's almost done, I'm still working on
the pics. I got the '57 Mk55E together today. I put it on the Trojan and
filled the test tank. Ran fine for about 10 mins. Then it started to knock,
AAAAAAAAAA! Sounds like a rod bearing. It was fine last year, so I didn't
mess with it. Maybe I should have. So, now I'm going to bolt on the '58
power head and re-build the '57. Very depressing. I'll let you know how
it turns out. Happy Boating!
3/24: Ok, alot's happened in the last few days. The '58
Mk55 power head has been transferred to the '57, and it runs great. The
'58 is the non electric model, so I had to change the flywheel and stator.
I learned something new doing this, the flywheel end of the crank on the
'58 is bigger in diameter than the '57. Because of this, I couldn't use
the '57 Mk55E parts, AAAARRRGGGGGH! Luckily, I saved everything I could
from a '59 Mk58AE motor with a bad power head and the flywheel fits perfectly(
a good thing to know for future projects! ). So now I've got a '57 Mk55E
with a '58 non electric power head, converted to ele. with the flywheel,
stator, and rectifier off a '59 Mk58A, a '58 Mk55 gear case( the original
one has a small crack in it that I haven't gotten fixed yet), and a '60
Merc 400 starter ( again, I keep forgetting to bring the original one to
the local fix-it shop). Eventually, I'll get all the bad '57 stuff fixed
and all back together where they're supposed to be. For now, it runs great
and I can't wait to get in the water! I tried yesterday, but the water
in Kinderhook Lake hasn't been brought back up high enough to use my buddies
launch, and the docks aren't in at the Hudson River launch (it may be in
the 60's, but the water is still too damn cold to stand in!).
On to other news. I got a nice surprise while working on the Merc 700 yesterday. I was checking out the wiring harness and it didn't match the diagram in my manual. I checked the ser# on the power head, sure enough, it doesn't match the motor#. I looked up the # on the power head......(drum roll please....) 1957 Mk75, yipee!! Now, this is bad news for the 700, but the old dockbuster is one of the reasons I got into old motors to begin with, the Mk75H is sort of my holy grail. So now I've got more parts to look for. I'm going to get it running and use it on the Merc700 for now, but look for the rest of a Mk75 and eventually, another power head for the 700.
I had the Mk6 in the tank yesterday too. Runs great, but won't shift into neutral. The linkage on top is fine and the cable isn't binding, so I need to tear into the gear case (yipee). Fortunately, I stockpiled a bunch of Mk6 parts over the last year or so, just in case. I should have whatever I need if it's not just stuck.
That's it for today. I may brave the cold water and put in the river tomorrow, docks or no. I'll let you know what frostbite on the feet/ hypothermia feels like. I've been playing with the idea of building a small, folding, portable dock type thing for just such occasions. The closest river launch to me has no docks, ever, which is fine in the middle of summer when I don't mind getting wet. There are times, such as going out to dinner at one of the restaurants on the river, when I really don't want to have to walk in the water. I figure I can make a folding plank about 20" wide with locking hinges and fold out legs on the end, and maybe a shorter set in the middle for support, that I can throw in the back of the truck and pull out whenever I need it. I'll call it the porta-dock, patent it, and make millions!
Happy boating to all!!
3/26: Just a quick update for now. New motors!!!! 2 Scott Atwaters, my 1st "green tank" Merc, a 2 nice Kiekhaefer gas tanks for the Trojan. The KG7 needs some work, but the compression is good, and everything that's supposed to move does. I'll do a full update soon. For now, check this out. Happy boating!
3/31: I finally got the Trojan in the water this
week! Only a 1/2 hr. ride, but it was great. The Mk55 is running strong
again ('57 w/ the '58 power head). This wasn't a planned trip, just one
of those things. I was sitting in the diner, eating breakfast with a friend
I work with, until we started talking about the boat. We moved on to the
weather and decided that now would be the best time to hit the water. It
was chilly (38 deg. I think), but there wasn't any wind and it was supposed
to start raining that afternoon, continuing for the next few days. We finished
eating, and off we went. The wind held off until we had the boat in the
water, motor running, just ready to cast off. Then it started. WOW, was
it cold on the river. At one point I was in the back tweaking the high
idle while my buddy was driving when we went through the wake of a barge.
He was turning into the wake and one wave caught the side of the boat just
right and drenched me, AAIIIEEEEEEE! That about finished my day, back to
the launch we went. We took the boat home and went back to work. I still
want to get a "freshen up" coat of varnish on her, but she's ready to go
I got a new toy in the mail Wed. My new KD4 arrived! Very nice cosmetically, most of the original decals are still there, and the "bra cups" are in tact. Unfortunately, the prop shaft is trash and I had a weak spark for a few pulls, then nothing. The compression is great, and there's no goo in the fuel system, so this shouldn't be too bad (hahaha).
I still haven't touched the S/A's, and I think the KG7 will be the next to develop a mid life crisis and rediscover it's lost youth. If you see a pretty, early 50's outboard motor driving around in a Ferrari with a 80's OMC, it's mine, please send it home.