Just bought a 88 Sundancer...let the repairs begin

Discussion in 'Classic Sea Rays' started by 2013grandsport, Jan 22, 2017.

  1. 2013grandsport

    2013grandsport New Member

    39
    Jan 22, 2017
    Palm beach
    1988 268 Sundancer
    single 454
    Hey guys, just bought my first sea ray. 1988 Sundancer with a 2000 aluminum triple axle trailer. Engine has 690 hours on it, and the boat is pretty solid. To get her running I need to start off with a carb rebuild, some batteries and a starter. I paid $3900 for the whole setup.
     
  2. NotHerDecision

    NotHerDecision Well-Known Member

    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
    Congrats!!! Without it pictures it didn't happen.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. 2013grandsport

    2013grandsport New Member

    39
    Jan 22, 2017
    Palm beach
    1988 268 Sundancer
    single 454
    ill work on that shortly. Not sure yet if she will even run. I figured the aluminum trailer alone was worth 2500 or so.
     
  4. Getaway

    Getaway Member

    875
    Oct 13, 2010
    Bay City, Michigan
    Lowrance electronics, Fishhawk speed-n-temp, Scotty electric downriggers and custom arch
    Single big block 454 Mercruiser engine and outdrive.
    Oh boy, you are in for a ride! :grin:

    At the price you bought it for, I'm betting the transom and stringers are a little soggy...??
     
  5. 2013grandsport

    2013grandsport New Member

    39
    Jan 22, 2017
    Palm beach
    1988 268 Sundancer
    single 454
    actually the floor is solid, as is the transom. I may however have rolled snake eyes on the engine. Appears its locked up. Starter engages, hear a loud clunk clunk, see the pulleys move very slightly, and then nothing.
     
  6. Getaway

    Getaway Member

    875
    Oct 13, 2010
    Bay City, Michigan
    Lowrance electronics, Fishhawk speed-n-temp, Scotty electric downriggers and custom arch
    Single big block 454 Mercruiser engine and outdrive.
    Great. The floor out in the cockpit area should be good and solid. There's no wood there.

    I would drill a core sample out of the transom and stringers and check the wood. If it is powdery or moist, she's wet. If it comes out dry and stringy, you're good!

    Do you have new batteries in her? That may help to roll her over. 690 hours is not a lot of hours at all. Mine had just over 3000 hours on the engine when I rebuilt it. And even at that point, the 454 was still running well.
     
  7. 2013grandsport

    2013grandsport New Member

    39
    Jan 22, 2017
    Palm beach
    1988 268 Sundancer
    single 454
    what should I drill it with, and where specifically should I drill? I appreciate your help in advance. I am a total NEWB...

    Also I only currently have one battery installed. Its old and I am not sure how good of a charge its holding. Should I have two>?
     
  8. Getaway

    Getaway Member

    875
    Oct 13, 2010
    Bay City, Michigan
    Lowrance electronics, Fishhawk speed-n-temp, Scotty electric downriggers and custom arch
    Single big block 454 Mercruiser engine and outdrive.
    I used a 3/16" drill bit and went about 1/2" into the transom wood (from the inside near the transom bracket). If the core sample comes out dry, just fill it with 3M 5200 or a 2-part epoxy. If the wood is wet or fine powdery, you will have work to do.

    Do the same thing down on the engine stringers near the motor mounts. Just be careful not to drill down through the hull of the boat, only into the wood and there is no need to go deeper than 1/2".

    Here's a pic of my engine bay with notes on where to drill. This pic was takes after my full sub-structure rebuild..

    [​IMG]

    Also, you should have 2 batteries with a switch for 1,2 or both. It is good to have a "house" battery and a "starting" battery. From what you are describing, it sounds like your starting issue is from a poor battery or connections.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  9. 2013grandsport

    2013grandsport New Member

    39
    Jan 22, 2017
    Palm beach
    1988 268 Sundancer
    single 454
    so I drilled in the transom and this sort of material came out. some of it is almost black, some is a dark brown, some is light brown.

    I take it, I need to junk the boat.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Getaway

    Getaway Member

    875
    Oct 13, 2010
    Bay City, Michigan
    Lowrance electronics, Fishhawk speed-n-temp, Scotty electric downriggers and custom arch
    Single big block 454 Mercruiser engine and outdrive.
    Oh boy. That is supposed to be dry plywood. Dark brown/black powdery stuff is definitely rotten core wood.

    Mine was rotten all the way up to the head. I completely rebuilt the boat from the head back to the transom including bulk head/gas tank supports/linear supports etc. etc. Unfortunately it's typical of these boats. Sea Ray did not seal the trim tabs screws and swim platform mounts very well. Plus, they ran the speedo tube through the transom just above the water line and put very little RTV in the hole.

    Did you check those other 2 points I showed you?
     
  11. Getaway

    Getaway Member

    875
    Oct 13, 2010
    Bay City, Michigan
    Lowrance electronics, Fishhawk speed-n-temp, Scotty electric downriggers and custom arch
    Single big block 454 Mercruiser engine and outdrive.
    One more thing to look for: If the transom wood is bad, you can grab the lower unit and lift up hard on it and see the transom flex. There will also be stress cracks in the gel coat propagating from the transom bracket on the outside of the boat under the swim platform.
     
  12. 2013grandsport

    2013grandsport New Member

    39
    Jan 22, 2017
    Palm beach
    1988 268 Sundancer
    single 454
    Yeah, I think between needing an engine, and now the transom being rotted, I am going to junk it. Sucks. I was really hoping to get a boat and get out on the water at some point. At least I have a trailer ready.
     
  13. 2013grandsport

    2013grandsport New Member

    39
    Jan 22, 2017
    Palm beach
    1988 268 Sundancer
    single 454
    The engine stringer came out stringy like you indicated,
     
  14. Getaway

    Getaway Member

    875
    Oct 13, 2010
    Bay City, Michigan
    Lowrance electronics, Fishhawk speed-n-temp, Scotty electric downriggers and custom arch
    Single big block 454 Mercruiser engine and outdrive.
    She's fixable, but it would take several months, 6-7 thousand dollars, a place to get it out of the weather, and lots of blood-sweat-and tears (if you do it yourself).....
     
  15. 2013grandsport

    2013grandsport New Member

    39
    Jan 22, 2017
    Palm beach
    1988 268 Sundancer
    single 454
    Think its best I find one thats ready to go. I want to keep the trailer it came on because its quite nice.
     
  16. Getaway

    Getaway Member

    875
    Oct 13, 2010
    Bay City, Michigan
    Lowrance electronics, Fishhawk speed-n-temp, Scotty electric downriggers and custom arch
    Single big block 454 Mercruiser engine and outdrive.
    You may have caught it before the water wicked its way forward past the transom.
     
  17. 2013grandsport

    2013grandsport New Member

    39
    Jan 22, 2017
    Palm beach
    1988 268 Sundancer
    single 454
    Yeah that may be true, but shes not worth putting that kind of money in and putting an engine in. I think it would be better to start with something a little less handicapped than this one lol.
     
  18. 2013grandsport

    2013grandsport New Member

    39
    Jan 22, 2017
    Palm beach
    1988 268 Sundancer
    single 454
    I actually am getting quotes to have it repaired for 1500 - 2000 dollars with some material known as RJ?
     
  19. Getaway

    Getaway Member

    875
    Oct 13, 2010
    Bay City, Michigan
    Lowrance electronics, Fishhawk speed-n-temp, Scotty electric downriggers and custom arch
    Single big block 454 Mercruiser engine and outdrive.
    That must be the epoxy stuff that you would pour to take up the space of the wood. I think it's call Sea Cast..??

    That stuff actually works pretty well and gives you a transom that is free of wood and will never rot again.

    I say go for it. That's a good price too as long as they know what they are doing. It is critical to have a finished transom that is the same thickness that you currently have.
     
  20. 2013grandsport

    2013grandsport New Member

    39
    Jan 22, 2017
    Palm beach
    1988 268 Sundancer
    single 454
    I think I will go for it, and get an engine for the boat and restore her. :)
     
    onegreatsteak likes this.

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