1982 280 Catalina - History

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Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:53 pm
Location: Upper Chesapeake

Re: 1982 280 Catalina

Post by robj » Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:36 am

Choke [Me]

So at this point ignition and carb is squared away, time to figure out the choke.
The P.O had it wire tied open and none of the mechanism was present.

It appears on SBC with a Quadrajet You can have the choke mounted on the manifold with a lever going to the choke lever, or a spring in a "case" mounted directly to the carb. It looked like mine has the setup for both, but the carb mounted system need a heat tube from the manifold to heat up the spring to open the choke.
There was a hole in the OEM log style manifold for that, but when I went to an old school carb rebuilding shop, they did'n show that type of system on that carb. So either the manifolds, or the carb was switched out at some point.

Of course the attaching bolt was broken off in the hole, so that needed to be drilled and tapped out. Of course the hole in the manifold needed to go to 5/16" as the hole was so buggered up up so a friend made me an adaptor bolt that fit the manifold, and was still 1/4" to clear the box surrounding the choke spring.

The choke unit was installed, but we had troubles on the test run where the spring expanded too far and push the choke plate open, then closed again. Grrr...
We, messed with it quite a bit, and so far still don't have it working right. But as the carb is rebuilt, 2-3 pumps on the throttle and it started right up. Good enough for now...

Next up, more fuel issues...

Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:53 pm
Location: Upper Chesapeake

Re: 1982 280 Catalina

Post by robj » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:33 am

The saga continues...

So with the engine running good, I figured we were home free. New plugs, wires, distributor, rebuilt carb., timing set, and if I recall correctly we were getting 25-27 MPH by GPS. It was pretty thrilling, as long as you ignore the fuel gauge!

So the next weekend, my son in law, Christian takes his sister and her kids out. I'm not sure where I was. And I get a phone call, the boat is running terrible, "I knew we shouldn't have messed with the carb, distributor etc..."
His theory is if it isn't completely broken, don't fix it. My problem with that theory is, you don't get to pick when it becomes completely broken! And it will probably be on a Sunday, at night, with a storm approaching...

Having a fair amount of faith in my ability as a mechanic, I said it has to be something else. From what he described It sounded like a fuel issue. Junk in the tank? In the filter?
The P.O. pretty much just putted around at 10mph, and here we were, getting it up on plane and hauling some serious a** with the old girl which could have stirred up 10 years of water/junk in the tank.

I had previously noticed the fuel line fitting pointed to the stern and the fuel line went all the way around the the tank and back up to the remote fuel filter. About 4-5' of unsupported rubber line just to get to the filter. This seemed pretty dumb to me, so I turned the fitting 180 degrees and replace the 4.5 ' of line with a piece about 12" long, a straight shot to the filter.
Christian was convinced changing this had upset the balance of the universe, so much so that we, ended up replacing the short line with a long piece of fuel line and routing it in the original manner.

I was actually holding my breath that change wouldn't make a difference...and thankfully for someone that gets the laws of physics, it didn't.

It ended up being the fuel pump. I guess the PO just putting around didn't really tax it much, and actually getting the boat to run the way it should was a little too much for it.

So a replacement was located and all was well. There was a bit of an installation challenge [brain fart on my part] but I'll save that for the next installment.

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Re: 1982 280 Catalina

Post by EmmettC » Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:23 pm

Funny, one of my fuel pumps just went bad on me. I noticed the starboard engine running rough the last time I took the boat out and thought it was a fuel filter. Life happened and I didn't get to the boat for several weeks and found a dead battery on the same engine. Replaced the battery and fired up the engine. It ran for about 3 mins and quit. Pulled the hatches and started it with starting fluid and it ran for a few seconds and stopped. Pulled the spark arrester off and saw no fuel in carb. Tracked it down to the fuel pump, so this weekend I guess I will replace that before I take it to be hauled out for the winter. Never ends!

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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:54 am

Re: 1982 280 Catalina

Post by Frankdmayo » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:27 am

very good Rob 28mph not bad in a 280 with a 305... I have a CC 251 a much lighter boat and don't think it would go much faster. maybe a 350 would help

Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:53 pm
Location: Upper Chesapeake

Re: 1982 280 Catalina

Post by robj » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:53 am

We got water in the oil the last time it was in the water due to a bad manifold and had a devil of a time getting it out as we couldn't run the engine. So I'm really not sure if it's good or how long it will last. If it's DOA I'm going to build a 383 stroker engine. It should really haul you know what. On the old Cat. site a guy in Texas did the same and went to a 4 blade prop to push it.
The old motor held pressure in the water jacket, the compression was good and the oil pressure was the same as before, so it may be ok. We'll see. If I do end up replacing the engine I'm going from raw water to fresh water cooled.

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