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TOPIC: 2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project

2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 18 Apr 2017 01:11 #1

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Got the tank out of my 2859 and there was definite corrosion issues. Wasn't going to be long before it was going to leak. But what really suprised me was how totally rotten the shelf that the tank sits on was. Push my hand right through it. Bayliner quality control missed the fact that all three Bulkhead pass thru drains from under the tank into the motor compartment were half plugged off with fibreglass from the chopper gun. The bottom drain was tilted about a half inch up so that any water that would run under the tank would never get back out.

Got going on stripping the bad wood out of the transom afterwards. Looks like I have more rot to the starboard side so far.

Stringers are 2x4's sistered together on end, with 2x4 forming the motor mount humps.

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Doug
1995 7.4l 2859 Bravo ll
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2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 18 Apr 2017 02:42 #2

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sketch, I see you're wasting no time tearing into your boat. How's the core around the keyhole? Hard to tell from the pic. Looks like the engine stringers solid. I also had a crooked drain tube in bulkhead aft of the tank. Lookin good so far B)

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2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 18 Apr 2017 13:07 #3

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Core around the keyhole is not too bad turns solid about halfway up. Out to starboard it's not so good. Thinking the trim tab and transducer were leaking pretty good.

Would you leave the stringers and just put new humps back on and refibreglass? They look pretty good. Moisture was built up under the humps only. They were not epoxied to the stringers. Nailed on and fibreglassed over Could epoxy new ones back on after the tank is back in. (Had to remove them to get the tank out or I would have had to cut into the aft bedroom wall to get enough room to lift it over the humps.

May try to pull the stringers out of the shell I left and laminate 3 pieces of 1inch plywood and epoxy bed them into the hull with new mount humps epoxied to that. Not sure yet. They don't look bad as they are.

Going to a fab shop today with the tank to see if they can weld a plate onto the bottom. I can go a bit higher so clearance won't be an issue. Weld on a new bottom to what's there in 1/4". Should last for another 20 years. Cheaper than a whole new tank. Has anyone done this before?

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Doug
1995 7.4l 2859 Bravo ll
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2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 18 Apr 2017 14:01 #4

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I have repaired several fuel tanks over the years most diesel and most steel but none that didn't leak. Reason being is you can't pressure test your repair and let me tell you no welder out there can do a perfect repair in one shot on old contaminated material, especially when the weld interface is overtop a previous weld such as would be the case when doubling up the bottom. I wouldn't do it, I would however look into the industrial epoxy tank coatings available and have your tank soda blasted and epoxied, i have used a product called armor coat before and it is still working well. Your stringers appear from the pictures to be solid but do show signs of moisture, check them out real good and if they are indeed solid all the way through then do your best with some heat and some halogen lights on the bottom of the boat and fans and etc to dry them out as much as possible before you start any glass work. Lots of good posts on here of others doing similar repairs, you should find lots of info and pictures.
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2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 18 Apr 2017 15:28 #5

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All this work to get that old tank out, replace it with a new one! Epoxy coat the new tank and it'll outlast you, me, and the next 5 guys plus if you ever sell the boat it's going to be a big plus IMO. Also IMO, Yes, if the engine stringers are solid do as GearGuts suggested. Don't get the halogens to close to the bottom of the hull and use fans on the interior. Once it's all dry then epoxy your new towers on.
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Dave
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2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 18 Apr 2017 15:36 #6

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Sketch, you are well in to your project, I see the rot so you will need to replace some sections for the stringers after drying the out look for thin Epoxy to poor in, procedure is to get the area- wood warm so it outgases then remove the heat let it sit 15 to 30 minutes the poor epoxy in, the cooling wood will help suck the epoxy. keep the pictures coming . :cheer:
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Old Glue

2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 18 Apr 2017 20:37 #7

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Gear guts. Are you saying that they could soda blast the exterior of the tank I have now and epoxy coat the outside? Is the epoxy coat thick enough to cover and seal the corroded spots I have and last for ,hopefully, years?

Thanks for the tips guys. This is a first time for me doing all these types of repairs. I've been studying all the forums for this type of fix and learning as much as possible. Fritzman and builder dude were the reason I decided to give it a go. They provided great info on their projects!

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Doug
1995 7.4l 2859 Bravo ll
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Last Edit: by sketch96.

2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 18 Apr 2017 22:13 #8

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Yep, If the tank isn't leaking now you can clean and coat it with the product of your choice. Each will have very specific application conditions that must be adhered to, success lies more in that than anything else. I have never used it on a tank before but I have coated a few aluminum boat hulls with west system g-flex epoxy and the stuff adheres very well and is quite thick giving a good film thickness of about a half millimeter and might be cheaper than the industrial tank sealant. If you were to properly clean scuff and top coat with interlux bilge coat I think you would have a pretty good shot at not having any problems as long as you own the boat. Of course the fact always remains that something could go wrong and you could have a leak in the future, but that leak would be identified immediately and repairs executed promptly because you always check your bilge for fumes before you start the boat right ? Right.

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2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 18 Apr 2017 22:32 #9

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GearGuts wrote: Of course the fact always remains that something could go wrong and you could have a leak in the future, but that leak would be identified immediately and repairs executed promptly because you always check your bilge for fumes before you start the boat right ? Right.

So if it does leak again in the future, you get to go through the process of removal and replacement again :woohoo: :huh:

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Dave
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2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 19 Apr 2017 00:05 #10

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I'd replace the tank. You were close to having a leak and why pass that karma onto the next owner. You could be responsible for the death of a family. New tanks aren't too bad price-wise. Document everything well and you'll increase the resale of your boat.

Don't skimp on a fuel tank replacement. Once the aluminum corrodes, there's no stopping it and it'll likely be another soon. IF.... you insist on repairing it, have a new bottom plate man uafactured and cut off the old entireley, but with good welders demanding good pay, then you'll be a wash if they're doing it right anyhow. Bite the bullet.
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2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 19 Apr 2017 00:13 #11

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Bit the bullet. Can get a new tank made here where I live. A lot cheaper than heading to Washington to get one from coastline. 1000 to 1200. For me to head down to Washington it would end up around the 2000 mark after exchange, duties, taxes, fuel and hotel.

Makes sense. And nothing to worry about for years to come. Thanks for all the replies!

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Doug
1995 7.4l 2859 Bravo ll
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2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 19 Apr 2017 04:27 #12

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I'm making a list of things to do and ran out of paper the list is so long!

Was thinking about the coupler and have decided to replace the input shaft on the leg and the coupler. there are 2 couplers available and one is the long snout steel spline version and the stock aluminum version. Is the steel spline necessary or is this mostly for high hp and work boats? is it overkill for a cruiser like the 2859?

also how do you tell if the rear motor mounts are worn out? do they make a hd version rear mount? It looks like,, from what I can tell, I have the older style non serrated mounts with the double spiral washers. When I look up a new mount kit it comes up with 865330a02. I see some bolt kits have the double spiral washer and others only show a flat washer along with the Fibre washer. What's the reasoning for the different washers?

Started to snow today so stayed in the shop and tore apart the gimbal assembly. Pulled the swivel shaft. Have the stainless one to put in. Looks like this may have been worked on by someone who forgot to put some parts back in. Its missing one of the fibre hinge pin washers and there is no shim under the gimbal ring (hope I described that right) the shim that the ring pulls up against when tightening the large nut on the swivel shaft. Both trim sender/limit switches were not working as the wiring had corroded off of both of them (are these absolutely necessary?). Much work needed there. Lots of parts to order to bring that back to new again!

seems the more I look the more I need to fix/replace.

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Last Edit: by sketch96.

2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 19 Apr 2017 16:25 #13

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Hi Sketch, cant resist chiming in once more, as for the tank I had a local fabricator move the fill and vent, since the tank went forward and it was pressure tested, so yes it can be done look for a welder the runs a Tig welder often and you will have your man. On a separate suggestion wile you have things striped, why don't you lighten the load and get rid of the concrete-under the port side shelf, I pulled out 180 Lbs. I think Dave will chime in since he did this some time back. :cheer:

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Old Glue

2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 19 Apr 2017 16:40 #14

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2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 19 Apr 2017 16:51 #15

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sketch96 wrote: I'm making a list of things to do and ran out of paper the list is so long!
seems the more I look the more I need to fix/replace.

I know the feeling, I still check off one item while adding 3-4 more :blink:
I thInk the aluminum couplers are fine, it's when the alignment goes out for whatever reason the aluminum coupler wears prematurely. With that said I think replacing the rear mounts with the new version is a must do. Me thinks there's a reason mercruiser redesigned those.

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2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 19 Apr 2017 18:57 #16

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On the coupler decision, I decided to replace with a steel one. The steel shaft splines are wearing the aluminum splines fast, especially when not at planing speed.
I would rather have the steel coupler put wear on my outdrive shaft, it is relatively cheap and I can replace it in about 2 hours myself.
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2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 19 Apr 2017 22:12 #17

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I already removed all the concrete and have replaced the deck. I bought a 2016 Merc pro 15hp kicker and am moving one of the house batteries over to that side with the start battery. My other house battery is up front under the v birth in the center. Both house batteries are new group 31 AGM. Fairly heavy. Fortunately it looks like I won't have to cut past that outer stringer and into the new deck I just installed. The rot is going to the starboard side. I will have to cut into the deck to get access all the way to the bottom to replace that section of wood I'm thinking.

Rear motor mounts.....can a guy install the new style mounts in place of the older style ones? Any difference in height? Any difference in longevity?

Just getting a list of all the fibreglass materials I need to order now. This weekends goal is to get all the bad wood removed completely. My new gas tank will be finished and ready to pick up in a couple weeks. Want to have the bed installed before then so I can drop the tank back in and get some space back in my shop.

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2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 19 Apr 2017 23:08 #18

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sketch96 wrote: I already removed all the concrete Nice, no sense in carrying around any more weight than necessary.
Rear motor mounts.....can a guy install the new style mounts in place of the older style ones? yup Any difference in height? I belive the new style mounts are a bit taller than the old style. Had to do with removal of the spiral wound washer I think. Any difference in longevity? The rubber in the old mount has likely deteriorated to some degree, could be a potential issue with engine alignment.

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2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 21 Apr 2017 04:55 #19

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Been researching the new style rear mounts and it looks like they actually sit lower. Merc recommends removing .272" from either the bottom of the front motor mounts or off the top of the hump. The front mounts won't go low enough in some cases.

This may help as I was right at the top of the mount stud to try to align the gimbal/coupler anyway.

Does anyone else have any experience converting over to the newer style rear mounts?

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2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 23 Apr 2017 16:36 #20

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Slowly but surely moving along with the transom and stringer removal. The one stringer extends from the transom all the way under the fuel tank up to the forward Bulkhead in front of the tank. I have removed the shorter sistered stringer that runs from the transom up to the rear fuel tank Bulkhead. The stringers were wet but still solid. I'm going to leave the longer stringer installed and let it dry for a couple weeks then install a new sistered stringer to replace the one I removed. This time I will bond them together with resin and stainless screws. They were nailed together from factory with no resin or glue between them. They also did not look to be bedded down to the floor.

The transom removal is slow going. The rot was only about halfway up the keyhole. It has extended out to the starboard side pretty good. It looks like the factory built the transom in seperate sections. In each spot where it is stepped it is a seperate section. The section between the motor stringers is one section. From the outside of the motor stringers to the outer stringers is another section and from there to the outside of the hull is again another section. I want to build a one piece transom all the way across from each outer stringer. Should be much stronger.

I've ordered all the fibreglass materials and am waiting on the marine plywood to arrive. I'm using poly resin for the build as that's what the boat was built with except I'm using 1708 mat.

Will be very happy when all the removal and grinding is complete!!!!

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2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 24 Apr 2017 02:46 #21

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Lookin good sketch, I was initially going to use poly also but after talking with some knowledgable guys about my rebuild I decided that epoxy was the way to go. Way stronger than poly resin and no stinky stink. It does co$t more and requires some sanding between layups if left to go to full cure (there's actually a no blush hardner you can use to minimize the sanding) but I'm happy with the results. On the wood structure not being adhered to the bottom of the hull, it was made for guys to set in dry then blast away at it with the chopper gun. Mine was the same, a great place for water to live :S

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2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 24 Apr 2017 04:14 #22

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did you have any issues with gelcoat sticking to the epoxy resin??

I was going to go with west epoxy but the place I bought from said gelcoat would not stick well to epoxy resin. Since the whole boat was built with poly I decided it would make it easier and there wasn't any issue with the strength of the fiberglass to start with (especially with the crappy job that was done from the factory). I will definitely be making it a lot better and stronger than it ever was.

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2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 24 Apr 2017 06:02 #23

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The Gelcoat over epoxy thing is debatable. I only had the few small repairs on the exterior of the transom that were Gelcoat over epoxy, my entire engine bay was painted out with Bilgekote after the glasswork was finished. Fritz may shed some light on using Gelcoat over epoxy, If I remember correctly he lays a coat of vinyl ester resin onto the tacky uncured epoxy layup and then applies the Gelcoat to that.
Some videos regarding
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2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 24 Apr 2017 14:48 #24

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Good morning to all, Yes Dave is correct Gel coat will not bond well to Epoxy, but vinelester will and that can be covered with Gel Coat, but from a time and cost point go with bilge coat or any white Epoxy braced paint, looks like the project is progressing good luck.
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2859 transom/stringer and gas tank project 26 Apr 2017 01:30 #25

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Got all the bad wood out and I can't believe how bad the factory work was. The section between the outer stringers is built in 9 pieces. 11 if you were to replace the outer 2 sections.

the center section between the motor stringers was done in 5 pieces. Looks like they used 1/2" against the outer fibreglass and then glued and stapled 1" on top of that. That section was very well bonded to the transom fibreglass. (Real tough to get off).

They stepped it down to 2 pieces of 1/2" glued and stapled together for the section between the motor stringer and outer stringer. That section just popped right off in one piece as it was only bonded in a couple small sections to the transom fibreglass. Not real strong at all. Big open voids with no filler at all along the bottom and at the joints where the different pieces meet.

I don't think it will be very hard at all to build a much stronger transom than the factory!

Right now I'm second guessing my decision to use poly resin over epoxy after doing more research.......although that center section was bonded extremely well!

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