Jet Boating in the South Florida Canals

This is an edited post I put up on the Jet boat board.

I posted a couple weeks ago about finding #3 cylinder full of water, and wondering if that was bad. Here's the update.

I got new head bolts from ARP and cleaned the block threads. New gaskets from CP Performance. Lapped all the valves (replaced a bent one) and inspected the heads. Probably should have had them pressure tested, but couldn't find the time. Got a 3-50psi pressure regulator from Grainger, and a 0-30 psi gauge. Yesterday I got to put it all together. Those head bolts are sweet. They just spun home, unlike the rusty ones I had before. This time I left the head gasket bare. Reassembled everything, put the pressure regulator on the line from the pump before it tees to both sides of the engine. We got on the water about an hour before dark. Engine ran okay, but it felt really hot, and the temp gauge wasn't reading anything. The risers were real hot, and the pressure gauge on the regulator read 2psi. Adjusted it in and out, with no effect, and finally idled back to the dock.

This morning I pulled the regulator back out, and headed back to the lake. Boat ran fine for about 30 minutes, then I noticed oil pressure dropping below 30psi. Checked the dipstick, and milkshake city. Darn. So it's either a cracked head or a cracked block, and I'm pretty sure it's the block. I think the guy who sold it to me left it on the trailer over the winter with water in the block.

Anyway, we figured we couldn't hurt anything, so we headed down some of the canals around here.

The bridges around here are pretty low. Think we can make it?

It was a tight squeeze.

But we made it.

We hit some weeds along the way.

Fortunately I'm tall enough that I can reach under the boat and pull stuff out of the inlet. (in this shot you can see the handy craftsman choke adjuster stuck in the carb)

The starter fluid came in very handy.

As did the paddle after we got stuck in some bushes.

We passed a bunch of nice trailer homes.

And we made it back to the carport without assistance!

No, it wasn't 70mph across a wide open lake, but we still had fun. I'm going out of town next weekend, and I'll have relatives here for a couple weekends after that, so the boat's going back to the storage yard for a while, while I decide between short block and rebuilding a bare block.