450 Sundancer Advice

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Glen S, Jan 19, 2018.

  1. Glen S

    Glen S Member

    194
    Aug 10, 2009
    Sarnia, Ontario
    Currently boat shopping
    none at the moment
    Hi all,
    Been quite a while since I posted here. We are looking at getting back into boating and are going to look at a 1996 450 Sundancer on Sunday. It has 3126 Cats with 1300 hrs. Just wondering if there were any specific issues I should look out for or ask about.
    Does this model have a cored hull?
    Thanks
    Glen
     
  2. Blkbird

    Blkbird Active Member

    231
    Jul 5, 2010
    Lake Lanier, GA
    1997 Sea Ray 450 Sundancer
    Twin 3126 CATS
    How did the visit to the 1996 450 Sundancer turnout?

    To answer your question, my biggest concern would be the health of the engines. The 3126 had an issue with porous or "soft" blocks - were the engines rebuilt or did they have this problem? At 1300 hours if the problem hasn't occurred then it is not likely to happen now, but I'd still check.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  3. The Bill Collector

    The Bill Collector Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    450 Sundancer
    3126 Cat's
    Our boat is a '98 w/3126's and CAT replaced them in 2002 under the warranty. I called CAT when first looking at the boat and they confirmed it.
     
  4. ttmott

    ttmott Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    The weak link in the drive train for these boats is the Port Gear. This generation of the Hurth transmissions had a weak countershaft mounting and as the port gear runs with this countershaft in the drive path it has a history of failing. Many of these gears were changed to the stronger ZF 80IV units but if not have the survey look closely at the oil and filter for metallic particles and unusual noises.
     
  5. NotHerDecision

    NotHerDecision Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 28, 2016
    Houston, Texas
    2001 Sea Ray 460 Sundancer
    2014 Seadoo 155 LTD
    2105 Seadoo 130 SE
    2013 Mercury Dinghy
    Cummins 6CTA 8.3L
    The 450 is a GREAT boat! Reach out to Frank Webster as this is his boat albeit with 3116’s.

    Overall those boats are rock solid. As with any boat 22 years old many of the systems will need updated/rebuilt/replaced. So keep some boat bucks in your budget for deferred maintenance.

    I’ve been helping another member find a 450 and I will point out there are 2 cabin configurations, 3 engine options, and 2 cockpit/dash layouts.
     
  6. Blkbird

    Blkbird Active Member

    231
    Jul 5, 2010
    Lake Lanier, GA
    1997 Sea Ray 450 Sundancer
    Twin 3126 CATS
    Actually DJDaoust is selling his 450, a very fine example of a well kept boat.
     
    The Bill Collector likes this.
  7. The Bill Collector

    The Bill Collector Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    450 Sundancer
    3126 Cat's
    SOLD !!
     
  8. Blkbird

    Blkbird Active Member

    231
    Jul 5, 2010
    Lake Lanier, GA
    1997 Sea Ray 450 Sundancer
    Twin 3126 CATS
    David told me it was sold pending sea trial... no mention of money changing hands :)
     
  9. The Bill Collector

    The Bill Collector Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    450 Sundancer
    3126 Cat's
    [​IMG]
    DjDaoustMemberSILVER Sponsor
    213
    Nov 4, 2015
    La Crosse, WI
    1998 450 Sundancer - 3 Boys & A Blonde
    Cat 3126's
    We have an accepted offer on it.
     
  10. Blkbird

    Blkbird Active Member

    231
    Jul 5, 2010
    Lake Lanier, GA
    1997 Sea Ray 450 Sundancer
    Twin 3126 CATS
    DJ Daoust - sales rep extraordinaire
     
  11. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars

    At 1300 hours, the chances are that the engines were repaired or replaced IF they were soft block engines before now. However, passing a certain number of engine hours doesn't guarantee that soft blocks won't surface and cause problems. The casting number on soft block 3126's is "FAPS", but not all FAPS engines had softer than spec metallurgy. 3116's were not affected.

    Caterpillar repaired or replaced all FAPS 3126's found before 1/2004 after which they no longer warranted the soft blocks. This puts the responsibility for due diligence on the buyer of any 3126 powered boat. Here is how:

    1. Determine if the engines, one or both, are FAPS blocks.

    2. If they are, request and get dated receipts showing what work was done and the serial numbers of the engines repaired.

    3. If such records are not available, then you must include a blow-by test as a part of your engine survey. This is a proprietary test that can be done on Cat engines to measure the combustion gasses by passing the piston rinds due to excessive block wear.


    Missing this bit of due diligence carries with it a potential $25K/engine price tag, so don't gloss over it. If someone (the seller, a previous owner, the broker, Caterpillar, etc.) cannot produce a detailed receipt, then you have to do the blow-by test.



    Good luck with your search…….the 450 is a great boat in all respects.
     
    The Bill Collector likes this.
  12. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    450's are beautiful boats with a significant amount more room then my already beautiful and roomy 410 and the 3126's are strong and economical motors to run. I love my 3126 Cat's. The one and only complaint I have about my 3126's so far is the zincs in the aftercoolers. It's a stupid design and can be a real PIA to change if you let them go too long. The zincs caps themselves are easy enough to get to but the pencils parts like to stick in the holes when you back out the stainless caps. Best way to try to avoid big headaches is to change them often. The other zincs are relatively easy to get to and swap out.
     
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  13. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    One "trick" on changing the zincs is to install them with just enough torque to prevent leaking, then when removing them, tighten them about 1/8th of a turn before trying to loosen them. This breaks the lime deposits binding the anode in the after cooler or heat exchanger and allows you to remove them with a lower chance of unscrewing the anode from the plug.
     

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