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duckhunter
02-16-2012, 11:00 AM
Last summer my wife and I decided to get back into family boating. We have an awesome little 13 Whaler, but it is obviously limited in capacity and capability for a lot of the things we want to do. I tried hard to talk Mama into a 22 Classic, but it just wasnít very practical for toting around my 8 year-old daughter and her friends and we started looking at other options. While driving around after lunch one day my wife said that she saw a Donzi bowrider on the boat lot that we just passed. I thought she was mistaken, but did a U-turn anyway and headed back. Sure enough, it was a 21LXR that had been consigned to the local ski boat dealer in our small town in northern Alabama. We spent an hour or so checking out the boat, which was in amazing condition, and I made an appointment to come back for a sea trial. Ended up buying it and running it on the TN River last season and it has been a great fit for our family, and I love the fact that itís a Donzi.

This winter I have been tackling a lot of major and minor issues that just seem to materialize even on well-maintained boats. Last night I started digging in under the hatch to get ready for the upcoming season (and the Gorge run in June!). If I hadnít Conaníd the risers and broken two of the bolts I could probably have gotten another season or two out of the exhaust, but it is pretty crusty even though this is a low-hour fresh water boat. So Iím thinking my best option at this point is to cut my losses and throw some new manifolds and risers on there.

Iím leaning towards GLM aluminum replacements to lose some weight in the stern and because I donít feel like inducing a hernia trying to line up new cast iron manifolds while contorted in the engine compartment. Does anyone have any feedback on these things? Dennis Moore has small block GLM complete kits for $650 on his site, which is the best price I have found. Any other vendors or alternatives out there before I drop the hammer?

So bottom line Iím whining a little about unplanned boat expenses and looking for some input on the exhaust. Thanks!

duckhunter

zelatore
02-16-2012, 11:19 AM
Seems like you're taking the practical approach with the new exhaust. Certainly cheaper to put it on now than to try to milk a couple more seasons out of the old stuff and have a failure.

No problems that I've seen with the GLM aluminum stuff. There's plenty of alternatives from stock replacement to crazy expensive, but you're not going to find extra power in the exhaust alone so I can't see a benefit in spending more money unless you're planning to build a sleeper out of your bowrider. ;)

And yes, it never hurts to loose a few pounds (on the boat!) and the aluminum parts are sooo much easier to install.

olredalert
02-16-2012, 11:40 AM
----GLM stuff is pretty good and Dennis is (in my experience) very easy and good to deal with!.......Bill S

BUIZILLA
02-16-2012, 12:10 PM
this week I ordered my GLM manifolds from Dennis for the Flying Couch, if your getting risers he needs to know if it's for 3" or 4" hose, I didn't need the risers... one thing to remember on the GLM's is to tap every threaded hole, and take a flat file and sweep the gasket surfaces since the paint texture can be inconsistent, I think it's a great product for the price...

duckhunter
02-16-2012, 12:11 PM
Guys,

Thanks for the input. I really hoped that the stock exhaust would live to fight another day, but with two broken bolts and a good bit of corrosion it just isnít worth it. Unfortunately this will put a big dent in my boat slush fund.

Speaking of the depleted slush fund, I have a brand spanking new SEI 116 drive sitting on the workbench. The original Alpha had a lot of gear whine even after the dealer replaced the gimbal bearing. I pulled the top cover and the gears were good but the bearing and race were corroded and there was an alarming amount of bearing material on the drain plug. After comparing the cost for a rebuild I went with the new drive for warranty and peace of mind.


The motor is a 1998 350 Mercruiser 250hp; 2 barrel, Vortec heads, and roller cam. From what I can tell in the Merc manual it is the exact same specs as the 350 Mag that year other than the EFI. I was planning to put on a dual-plane high rise aluminum intake and 600cfm 4 barrel because it seems like it is starving for air on the top end. I think another 25hp would really wake it up and make a noticeable difference on this small stepped hull. Also need to re-prop (have a 19P Merc Vengeance on there) but that can wait until I throw some horsepower at this thing and have a good baseline. Unfortunately the fun stuff will have to wait until I take care of all of the ďgotta haveĒ stuff.

At the end of the day I just want a fun, reliable boat. This thing would be a sleeper for sure with a 383, but I am going to run what Iíve got until it needs a rebuild. Donít want to even contemplate what a pain it will be to extract the motor from under the hatchÖ

duckhunter

duckhunter
02-16-2012, 12:22 PM
BUIZILLA
"this week I ordered my GLM manifolds from Dennis for the Flying Couch, if your getting risers he needs to know if it's for 3" or 4" hose, I didn't need the risers... one thing to remember on the GLM's is to tap every threaded hole, and take a flat file and sweep the gasket surfaces since the paint texture can be inconsistent, I think it's a great product for the price..."


That deckboat is pretty sweet and it is kind of cool to have a non-standard Donzi. I have gotten a lot of thumbs up with the LXR because it is something you don't see very often. Not a "Flying Couch," but maybe the "Flying Recliner."

Current exhaust is standard Merc 4" and I have a Corsa captain's call diverter setup (the loud button). As tight as the diverters are to the transom it would be fairly difficult to adapt any of the cool (and expensive) aftermarket stainless risers. At my hp level I don't think it would make a difference anyway.

Good advice on chasing threads and checking mating surfaces with a file, I will do that for sure. Thanks.

BUIZILLA
02-16-2012, 12:40 PM
if you add a 4 bbl intake and a 650 marine carb it will put out about 290-300 hp, and you'll need a 21" prop, we have about 5-6 new and used Turbo props when you need that item... where you run WFO mph wise now will become your fast cruise speed after the carb and intake upgrade...

duckhunter
02-16-2012, 01:04 PM
BUIZILLA - that is exactly what I'm hoping for. I know the Vortec heads and roller cam are good to go and my big limitation is the 2 barrel.

I have been very impressed with the overall ride and handling of this boat. Had a little trepidation about the stepped hull at first but it has turned out to be a non-issue, just something to be cognizant of while driving. It has a notched transom, but is otherwise very similar to the 22ZX hull (and I believe identical to the Z22 hull).


It is definitely expensive to get meaningful speed gains in a boat. That said, I feel like I'm right on the edge of getting the hull aired out and really performing. Just need a little more power and the right prop for the application. DonziJosh mentioned on a different thread that the 350mag powered LXRs were solid 60mph boats (with a B1 I believe). With close to that power and an Alpha that probably isn't a bridge too far.

Ghost
02-16-2012, 01:49 PM
Zero pressure, but if you decide you're looking for a 650 cfm Holley 4160, I have two to choose from. 1 brand new (well, 45 seconds use ;) ) and a used one that also works perfectly. Either of which I would sell.

Just PM me if you are interested.

Regards,

Mike

glashole
02-16-2012, 01:55 PM
Just need a little more power and the right prop

sounds easy enough

duckhunter
02-16-2012, 02:03 PM
Sounds easy enough... just like all of my previous projects have been!

- Riser gaskets = brand new exhaust system
- Noisy bearings = brand new outdrive

At this rate some extra power and a prop will turn into a procharged 540 and a Konrad.

Ghost - thanks for the offer on the carbs. I will get in touch with you once I have the current projects buttoned up!

f_inscreenname
02-16-2012, 03:12 PM
GLM's are fine just do yourself a favor. Most GLM dealers are just straw buyers from the factory so check if they have them in stock before you buy. Last year it 3 months for me to find a set of BBC manifolds (everyone was waiting on the boat). Also SS Mercruiser riser are on eBay all the time. These risers never wear out or go bad so you may be able to save yourself a few bucks.

biggiefl
02-17-2012, 11:38 AM
There is a guy in FL on E-Bay that I got my GLM's from cheap and even though a BBC they were at my door the NEXT day...no wait with him. My bud also has a set of 4" SS Mercruiser risers for $300 if interested. You will be glad you got new exhaust, one small leak and you would be buying a new engine....don't mess with 14 year old exhaust, about 7 years too long even in fresh water.

I have a 13' Whaler and a 22C. The 22 is one of the most impractical boats made but I would not give it up for anything else. The 13' we mainly tow all over FL. My 22 was from Orange Beach until August. Dog is limited to the 13' as he has no way of getting his 85lb ass on or off the 22.

duckhunter
02-17-2012, 11:43 AM
OK, I spent last evening wrestling with the manifolds. Port side mani & riser came off like butter. The starboard side, where I had broken two of the riser bolts, was a different story. The riser was basically welded to the manifold where the two broken bolts went through. With enough persuasion via a 3' breaker bar, air hammer, chisel, and sawzall it finally saw the light and gave up. Three of the manifold bolts came out easy but the head of the fourth was 50% rotted away and I couldn't get any kind of socket on it. Out came the drill and air chisel and that bolt surrendered as well. Fortunately none of the bolts were rusted into the head... Exhaust ports and valves look great, so fortunately there was no water intrusion into the exhaust, but it wasn't going to take much more rot before I had a big issue.

Ordered $700 worth of GLM aluminum manifolds & risers last night and grabbed some spark plugs & wires this morning. Might as well throw them in while the exhaust is off.

This weekend's project will be cleaning up gasket surfaces on the head, some engine detailing, and hopefully checking alignment and mounting the new alpha drive. Manifold kit should be here next week. My wife is officially not amused with boat upkeep at this point... I have more $$ in Donzi parts in the last week than the whole Whaler/outboard/trailer rig. But at the end of the day she's the one who wanted a radio and a sunpad and it will be worth it to be out on the river this summer.

duckhunter
02-17-2012, 11:57 AM
biggiefl
There is a guy in FL on E-Bay that I got my GLM's from cheap and even though a BBC they were at my door the NEXT day...no wait with him. My bud also has a set of 4" SS Mercruiser risers for $300 if interested. You will be glad you got new exhaust, one small leak and you would be buying a new engine....don't mess with 14 year old exhaust, about 7 years too long even in fresh water.

I have a 13' Whaler and a 22C. The 22 is one of the most impractical boats made but I would not give it up for anything else. The 13' we mainly tow all over FL. My 22 was from Orange Beach until August. Dog is limited to the 13' as he has no way of getting his 85lb ass on or off the 22.



Our Whaler is a hoot with the 40 Evinrude on it - we call it the snot rocket. The guy I bought it from had it stored out in his Norm Abrams looking workshop and he had redone all of the mahogany the winter before I bought it. I figure if I ever win the lottery it can be the tender on the big boat...

We definitely love the classics and plan to get one after our daughter heads for college in 10 years. Until then this LXR is the perfect boat for family stuff.

I hit ebay pretty hard, along with aftermarket marine in New Orleans and a place up in Nashville. GLMs are somewhat scarce right now as was mentioned earlier. Ended up ordering off of the Moore performance website, which had the best price & shipping that I could find. I considered cast iron but it ended up only being $100 difference shipped due to the weight.

Tidbart
02-17-2012, 05:05 PM
Just a note on the GLMs. Keep an eye on the anodes. They will deteriorate over the next year or two depending on usage. I would pull them after the season and replace when needed.

Goes with the territory of aluminum manifolds, if you want them to last. Meant to post this info before you ordered, so that you could order a spare set, but I got busy. They are only a few dollars each.

Bob

duckhunter
02-17-2012, 10:02 PM
Had the day off of work and got quite a bit done on the Donzi. Cleaned up all of the gasket surfaces on the heads, checked compression, installed new Delco plugs, pulled off the old outdrive, and pulled the lube resevoir for a good cleaning (NASTY!!). Also yanked out the fuel filter/pump assembly and resealed all of the fittings with Permatex aviation sealant. There was a drip from one of the brass fittings at the fuel filter housing that I spotted on the sea trial and the dealer supposedly fixed it. Unfortunately he used some sort of green goop that didn't work well with gas because two fittings were blowing air when I cranked for the compression test. Scary to even contemplate if those started misting raw fuel into the bilge with a bunch of kids in the boat.

I was a little nervous about the compression test. Seems like a lot of other "routine" maintenance tasks have turned into huge, ugly, expensive projects. I was tickled to find that the compression was perfect. 180 high, 165 low, and the rest were dead nuts at 175.

So this weekend I will install the new drive and hopefully some new plug wires while the exhaust is in the mail. Bought a set of Accel wires to try but they were a little short. Does anyone have a recommendation or better yet part number for decent plug wires? Preferably something I can pick up at the auto parts store. The stock Mercruiser ones weren't that impressive, but apparently they are made of gold based on what they cost.

Still have a big list of stuff to do, but hopefully the big ticket items are taken care of. Just playing catch up on all of the ankle biters that come with a 15 year old boat.

Tidbart - good call on the anodes, I should have ordered some extras. Will have to do that when I order winterization supplies.

Thanks to all for your advice.

duckhunter

duckhunter
02-20-2012, 11:18 AM
Got the new SEI drive installed this weekend. Ended up hanging the upper/lower separately since it was a one-man operation. No drama other than having to clean the powdercoat out of the alignment holes in the upper for the dowel pins on the lower. Also installed the drive shower and a new prop hub.

New cap and rotor & some "made to fit" plug wires cleaned up the ignition system.

The bilge blower has been an issue due to the cheesy plastic thru-hull vents under the sun pad. Couldn't get the hose to reliably stay on the 1/4" of exposed vent outlet inside the engine compartment, even with a hose clamp. Went to Lowes and found a chunk of PVC that I could fasten inside the thru-hull fitting that gave me 3" of clamping surface to attach the blower hose to. My first inexpensive boat fix... Will eventually need to add some bling with stainless clamshell vents.

Now just waiting on the GLMs to arrive so I can prep and install them. Then I should be ready for the spring oil change and outdrive break-in.

We went to the boat show yesterday to get out of the rain and saw a lot of nice shiny new fiberglass. Similar size (21-22') bowriders from Cobalt/Crownline/Bryant/Regal were in the $40-$60k range and the dedicated inboard ski boats started at $50k and went north quickly. Makes me feel good about doing maintenance on an older, paid-for boat even if it isn't as fancy as the new stuff. At the end of the day there isn't very much you can do on the new boats that we can't do on the Donzi, although my wife and daughter did like the console heads on some of them. Gonna have to stick with the folgers can for a while I think.

duckhunter
03-06-2012, 01:26 PM
The GLMs came a couple of weeks ago and looked pretty good right out of the box. All hardware was included (riser bolts, pipe fittings, metal Quicksilver gaskets, drains) minus the manifold to head bolts. Since I had time, tools, and beer available I went ahead and spent an evening prepping them prior to installation. There was a good bit of casting flash in the exh ports that I was able to clean up with a die grinder, and I ran a tap through every threaded hole to clean out the powdercoat.

The biggest effort was cleaning off the mating surfaces between manifold and riser, which had pretty thick powdercoat. They were flat enough to run out of the box with the thick Mercruiser gaskets, but I took a straight edge and a file to them anyway to get them as flat as possible without visiting a machine shop. Took probably three hours total to get them ready to install.

The extra $100 for the aluminum hardware was worth it from an ease of handling standpoint alone. They were very straightforward to mount up and I didn't give myself a hernia like I would have wrestling with the cast iron pieces. Torqued everything down to spec and it was ready to test-fire.

Had the opportunity to start her up for the first time this year and she is running great (and no leaks!). Got everything up to temp and let her run in the driveway for 20 min and changed the oil. I definitely need a remote oil filter mount at some point, or a midget to climb in the engine bay. My daughter would fit but unfortunately doesn't have the hand strength to remove an oil filter. Retorqued all of the manifold and riser bolts, which had loosened appreciably after I brought the engine up to temp. Lots of gear whine from the SEI drive, but that is supposed to decrease upon break-in.

I'm also chasing a rattle from the Corsa diverters. Both of them rattle in the closed position (exhaust thru outdrive), the starboard a little louder than port. I've tried adjusting the threaded solenoid rods to no avail. It almost seems like they should have stronger springs, but I suspect that might affect operation of the solenoids as the system ages. It is somewhat quieter than it was last season and they only have three or four hours of runtime on them so I will probably just monitor the noise and see if it keeps decreasing.

Looking forward to getting the boat wet fairly soon. Going to try and knock out the majority of the outdrive break-in (10 hours) in a weekend and make sure everything is running well before loading up the family.