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Capt. Don*

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About Capt. Don*

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    HSOList.com Family
  • Birthday 01/01/1900

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  • Location:
    Grand Portage, MN
  1. Capt. Don*

    FRP board

    I built a wheelhouse in 2002 and used chemlite frp on the walls and ceiling, I sold the house this fall and it looked as good that day as the day it was installed. Chemlite is a brand that is used inside refrigerated semi trailers and I had some, but I know Menards and others sell similar material. I built the house with steel tubing for the trailer frame and shelter frame trying to keep the use and weight of wood to a minimum. I used 1/16" luan mahogany as an underlayment to the chemlite, it was more than adequate as well as lighter and more rot resistant than plywood. I was able to light the 7x14 interior with one or two 12v florescent fixtures because it so bright and reflected light so well, it was a breeze to keep clean. I used the plastic rivet type fasteners suggested by the manufacturer and they worked very well. I have no regrets with this stuff and if I ever built another it would have chemlite on the inside.
  2. Capt. Don*

    91 Ford E-350 Cube Van Battery Drain

    It is possible that the alternator could be bad and draining, however, since you may not have the needed test equipment I suggest a simple test. Simply disconnect the battery cables after you park it for the day/weekend, at least overnight, reconnect the battery when you need it and see if it is still dead. If so replace the battery, if not, bring it in for proper diagnosis. I've seen many batteries test good, but be junk, especially with the newer electronic testers. Hope this helps
  3. Capt. Don*

    RABC permits

    I get one every year in early January, I go directly to the border crossing because I live 6 miles from it. Takes about 10-15 minutes at the most, make sure your passport is with you. I've heard of longer wait times in the summer, or about a month by mail.
  4. Capt. Don*

    Door ajar light?

    You have two different problems. I replaced a lot of latches on that vintage of Explorer on the driver door, the lock trying to move up but staying down was a teltale sign of latch wear. I would replace the latch with a NEW one and put the door ajar switch in at the same time after inspecting it. To inspect, remove from the latch, there will be two switches on the latch, one will have a phillips screw holding it in and one wire, that is for the alarm system, the one you're after just rotates out of the latch case and has two wires, Ford basic part number is 14018. When you get it in your hands push the little plunger in, if it doesn't move completely free or doesn't come all the way back out, replace it, you could lube it but in a month or two it will be doing the same thing. If it moves just fine, the latch hanging up can cause this problem, but these switches were notorious for failure.
  5. Capt. Don*

    Door ajar light?

    I think it would be just the opposite, if I recall, the system was designed to not allow you to lock the doors with the key in the ignition in the off position. The GEM looks at key in ign switch, if switch is closed but ignition off, it wont allow driver door lock to lock if driver door switch is closed, it will cycle back up. With key in ignition in off position, driver door lock will cycle back up if door is closed, (latch switch closed). If door stays locked GEM thinks door is open, (latch switch open) and allows locking. Good, simple test idea.
  6. Capt. Don*

    225 Optimax started running rough?

    Excellent recommendation, I have a friend that swears by him and has had him work on an opti he once owned that he bought new from them. bass, I didn't mean to offend you, sorry, I must of misunderstood the reason for spark plug replacement. best of luck to you
  7. Capt. Don*

    225 Optimax started running rough?

    I can understand your hesitation with repair shops, but, poking around and replacing parts is the wrong approach. I don't know what champion plugs cost, but NGKs for a 225 are expensive enough that I won't replace them if they are ok. This is where knowledge and experience come into play, knowing how to read a plug so they are not replaced needlessly. A bad fuel filter it more apt to show up at high rpm, high load as fuel flow is higher, not likely at lower or idle rpm and it contains a water separator. As far as water, get a sample from the bottom of the tank and let it settle, I don't think you will find any substantial water. My 3 boats have a combined total fuel capacity of 3090 gallons and I have never "topped them off" at the end of the season, and have never had a water problem and know numerous boat owners practicing the same. My fishing boat with the Mercurys has a fuel capacity of 300 gallons, I have over 900 hours on the engines and have never had water issues and have never stored the boat with the tank full, its just too much weight, I do just the opposite, run them nearly empty, add stabil, run til its in the motors and get it out of the water. I wish there were a "crystal ball" approach to help you but there isn't, I know, I've been there. I don't have any options where I live, the Merc dealer in Thunder Bay gave me a service manual because he had never worked on an opti before and felt with my 16 years as a drivability mechanic for Ford I would have a better chance of diagnosing it than him. and this was for a simple oil level alarm. I personally have found a good optimax mechanic in Florida, not because they have better mechanics in Florida, but because there are a lot more of these motors there and they run them 12 months a year. So, more broken motors, more opportunities to get the experience needed to properly diagnose, then and only then, make a repair, not like your Suburban nighmare. I am confident that there is a good optimax mechanic in twin city area, these motors have been around for ten years, I buy all my parts from Supreme Marine in Minneapolis and they seem to know whats going on. (Not that I'm recommending a non sponsor or anything, just trying to help a fellow fisherman.) Its hard to walk into a service agency and trust them to do what you are paying them to do, you hear alot of horror storys. Remember, more often than not the work is done correctly, the problem is solved, the bill is payed and all is good. Those storys just don't seem to be told though. P.S. I run both 87 pump gas from my tanker or 91 non oxy from the marina pump, (all depends on how much difference in price as the marina pump is much more convenient) with no differences whatsoever in performance or economy and we are talking hundreds of gallons a season.
  8. Capt. Don*

    225 Optimax started running rough?

    How did the plugs look? Unless you have a good understanding of direct fuel and air injectors, combination fuel and air compressor pressure gauges and other diagnostic tools and equipment, you can get over your head really quick. Trying parts on recommendations from others based on what was wrong with an engine they once had on these engines will add to big bucks wasted and a very high level of frustration. Sometimes its best to just face the facts and bring it to the dealer, spend the time doing what you do to make money and let them do what they do best to get you up and running. While your pocketbook may not like it, your blood pressure and overall well being will thank you. These are not entry level engines if you want to start doing your own work. Good luck
  9. Capt. Don*

    2002 200hp optimax

    My fishing boat has twin 2002 225 hp Optimaxes, it was rigged with smartcraft since new. This system is great, it gives you alot of information from one source. What sold me on smartcraft is "troll control", I primarily troll and this allows me to enter the rpm and the engine computer will hold that rpm for trolling. It it is too rough or windy to troll on one engine and two are needed you can set the speed you want to troll and it will automatically maintain that speed. I don't know what it would cost to upgrade, but it would entail running a new wiring harness to the engine, fuel tanks and speedo or gps, and shifter if you wanted DTS. Depending on your usage it may or may not be worth the cost to refit.
  10. Capt. Don*

    Loss of composure in Reverse. Saftey Report.

    I completely agree with "A"&"C", now "B"... don't take offense to this because thats not what is intended. I don't think the manufacturer is responsible for or should be considered liable for operating methods that you may have demonstrated causing the resulting damage. This is not a safety hazard, you operated it unsafely, hopefully/thankfully you weren't hurt. You realized the solution and stated it in "A". No need for a seat occupied switch, warning buzzer, etc. in the reverse circuit to add $1500 to the price of a sled trying to protect the consumer from themselves. Sorry about the damage.
  11. Capt. Don*

    Oil from exhaust ?

    Drive it! Teach the son to get into the habit of checking the oil every time he fuels. That is the best way to monitor oil consumption in any engine. No snake oil, (additives), needed at 116,000 it doesn't owe anybody anything. It in time may start using oil, oil is cheap compared to overhauls on older cars.
  12. I think the DNR has gotten a little too creative with their additional this and that. I spend $45 just to sport fish in this state, primarily on northern Lake Superior, an additional $10 trout stamp, where nothing is stocked or maintained. I spear from a darkhouse a few times at early ice, an additional $18 license, I think that is more than enough for one angler. The DNR has done a wonderful job of marketing, people actually believe these additional stamps, licenses, fees are a worthwhile expense. What is this extra money going to do that hasn't been being done already? This walleye stamp money, "going directly to walleye stocking or other directly related activities", that is a pretty vague statement and I wonder where the money that used to go to those things is going if the stamp money starts rolling in. It won't be long and we won't need to worry about mandatory stamps or additional fees, the DNR might just come up with a solution similar to transportation and the gas tax, no longer tax by the gallon, but rather by the miles driven and we will be paying per fish caught, or better yet per hour spent fishing. Enough already!
  13. Capt. Don*

    Prop Q on a 150 Optimax

    You are going to be moving more water by increasing diameter, which will translate into a higher load on the engine, potentially lowering rpm. I don't think a 1/4 inch will make a big difference, and your wot rpm should remain in range. I'm not familiar with Lazer II, but if you are not going from 3 to 4 blades the change will be minimal.
  14. Capt. Don*

    What's your boats name?

    Official names for the government: M/V Wenonah, M/V Voyageur II, All-Out. Several alternative names that are completely inappropriate on a family site.
  15. My experience with handhelds has been a maximum of about five mile range on open water, 25-30 miles with a fixed mount radio. Remember that VHF is line of sight, so best performance is on open water to another boat. I always have a hand held on board, they can come in handy. If you are on smaller bodies of water and don't need to talk across many miles, it will do fine. I am partial to Icom, but I've had good service from Standard Horizon. One feature to look for is if you can use regular AA batteries as well as the rechargable battery. This can come in handy if you don't have power available to recharge for a few days.
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