View Full Version : Sidewinder/Panther complete restoration plus a bit.

NZ Sidewinder
11-28-2020, 03:40 AM
My name is Phillip and Im from New Zealand in the deep south Pacific down below and East of Australia.
We are a small country of 5 million people but have a similar length of coastline as the USA so we are a boating Nation.
My background is in Engineering and design but these days I am a manufacturer of a Product.
At heart Im an innovator so rather go out and buy a ready made fast boat I like to build or adapt things and have had a few good boats over the yrs , mainly Axial flow jets (Hamiltons/ Kodiak) (Small block Chevs)
The Panther/Sidewinder is an iconic boat here and most if not all are rotten so it made sense to me to restore one.
I have two Sons that are keen boaties and they wanted a chick magnet to ski with so the 22YO sent me a link to this one for sale and here we are.
My current boat is what is known here as a Fryan 440 deep Vee which is a 4.4m Aluminium fishing boat that weighs about 280lbs plus motor (40hp Merc XR Lightning).
Its a good little fishing boat and will pull me up from a deep water start on a single ski but is no Chick magnet, especially with a name like "Bart".

This is the third thread related to this rebuild but I feel this thread is probably the right place.
There is a background story so Ill start back a bit, around the early 1970's.
In New Zealand early in the 70's a sleek new ski boat appeared around the ski lanes of Lake Taupo.
It was different than anything Id seen before and was called a Panther, manufactured by Plylite.
As a 12yr old I decided that whoever designed this thing was light years ahead of the rest.

Later I learned that the Panther was a close copy of the sidewinder and didn't originate from New Zealand at all.
This particular boat is a Plylite Panther and in NZ they carried the cast and chromed leaping cat emblem just below the gunnel.
The panther also had a racy instrument mount in the center of the Dash.
They were a mass produced ski boat that came new with Evenrudes from 115hp to 140hp and were probably good for around 45-50mph.
When you start to pull one to pieces it becomes apparent that they weren't manufactured with racing in mind, in fact they were very average IMO.
It appeared that this particular boat was assembled by a team of two fibreglass guys, one doing the port side and the other Starboard.
The starboard side was not too bad and the Port side absolute ****.
The Port side was very easy to dismantle, it basically fell to pieces because none of the glued components had bonded properly.

The boat was purchased from a family that had had it for 30yrs and was described as original which it was.
The motor was described as not going due to ignition problems but was tired also.
This was all correct and the motor was scraped.
The trailer was described as very poor but in fact it is very good and not requiring much work at all.
Ive built lots of trailers in my time and the seller got this part really wrong.

I paid 3k for the lot and towed it home.
It was obvious before I brought it that the transom was rotten but thats a good thing because it would be a shame to rip out a good one and the transom was coming out no matter what.
The job and photos start with a clean out of 30yrs of artifacts, the boat was a time capsule full of all sorts of old stuff.
Old bottles of tanning oil, old life jackets and very old goggles and snorkel sets.
bundles of small ropes, and old divers knief and various tools.
The owner told me that as the boat aged it got slower and this could have been due to increased weight.

So the photos start with the clean out477922

Then the Motor comes off477923

Then the transom starts to come out477924

Then the floor and Stringers477925

Then the Boat needed to be set up in a jig to ensure the hull went back together in a near to original shape but in my opinion the original lines were so far out of whack that it would be a matter of just getting it close and then putting enough glass on the inside that the hull could be blueprinted from the outside later

Then the transom and all the structure needed to be mocked up.
The ply pad in the keel here is the top of the pad and not a tunnel as it may appear to be.
This part is 8 inches wide but the total pad and tunnel width will be 13 inches.
The underside of that beam is the top of the tunnel as shown in the sketch
The silver Fat Max level shows the new floor level which is 3 1/4 inches higher than the original floor allowing for much deeper stringers and broader structure to resist torque loads on hull.
The transom is 3 layers of 18mm marine ply thats about 2.5 inches and the floor of the transom well is 1/2 inch ply which will be well attached to the Transom and also to the Transom Knee which is attached or part of the 6 inch keel stringer so the motor will never fall off not even the way I drive.

This is where Im up to so far

11-28-2020, 10:26 AM
Cool old boat! Looking forward to seeing it come together.

12-02-2020, 05:24 AM
Welcome to S/F!! Keep posting the restoration........it looks good.

NZ Sidewinder
12-02-2020, 01:54 PM
Yes ill keep posting updates until the boat is cornering hard around Bouys.
If I stop posting it's because the Boat didn't make the turn ..Lol

NZ Sidewinder
12-03-2020, 09:36 PM
Today I visited the local fibre glass shop to talk about construction joint adhesives and the guy showed me a 2 pot product he uses.
Its a tricky name to remember and it isnt an epoxy.
It is slightly flexible and will stick well to Polyester.
He said that its so strong that bulkheads can be glued and coved with it and thats enough.
So Im going to use it to bed and cove my stringers but also glass over the cove.
He also said he prefers to bolt the main transom knee of rough water boats which suits me because Ive spent my life bolting things.

We also spoke about sidewinders and Panthers.
He reckoned the NZ sidewinder was better built than the Panther and thats why most of the raced ones were Sidewinders and he told me about the mold defect in the Panthers which didn't find its way into the Sidewinders.
Look at the Chines where they meet.
I dont know how a company could allow a 1000 hulls to be built like this.478400

NZ Sidewinder
12-08-2020, 03:09 AM
The Transom is now encapsulated and ready for the knees and well to be attached.
The Hull is now the focus to get ready to accept the transom.
Lots and lots of work that takes a while to show results.
Reminds me of building houses, they take lots of time and money to get up out of the ground.478661
This is the outside face of the transom and needs another 8, maybe 10 layers of glass once glued in

NZ Sidewinder
12-13-2020, 04:03 AM
A little more progress for a lot of hours.
All the knee to transom and Knee to Pad structural joints will be ply to ply rather than poly to poly.
Then coved etc in poly.
The Transom isnt glued in yet because I intend to attach all the knees and the transom well to the transom and fully glass all that detail while the transom is on the bench.
Once thats finished the unit will be fitted and the knees attached to stringers etc

NZ Sidewinder
12-13-2020, 05:49 AM
Ply and Glass is good to work with but having got this far I now appreciate Aluminium and steel.
They are so easy and quick to fabricate with.
The ideal boat would IMO have a molded glass top side and Alloy Hull.

12-14-2020, 07:15 AM
Nice neat glass work. It takes some time working with glass to appreciate how versatile it is. I have used it on houses and have even made emergency repairs on industrial plumbing with it.

NZ Sidewinder
12-16-2020, 03:35 AM
Im trying this Glue
Crestomer 1152PA-P

Its a 2 pot (MEKP) gel that is compatible with Polyester

NZ Sidewinder
12-19-2020, 10:35 PM
479298479299The knees are now glued to the transom and the Transom Well floor is attached to the transom and also the top of the keel knee.
The two outside knees are attached to transom also.
None of this is yet glued to the hull as it will all be lifted out as a unit and fully glassed on the bench then fitted back in and glued and glassed to the hull.
There is a long 12mm Stainless bolt through the top of the keel knee and transom.
This 12mm bolt is in a 16mm (5/8) s/s tube that has a flange at the transom end so it can be sealed.
I may use the same detail for the engine bracket bolts also.

The spirit level is floor level479293


NZ Sidewinder
12-21-2020, 04:28 AM
Transom is now out to be finished before being glued and glassed back in.
All the ply will be encapsulated then re fitted and attached to the stringers 479332
It will also get some floor support cleats.

NZ Sidewinder
12-30-2020, 06:20 PM
Transom glued in with Crestomer 1152 A-P
Heaps of work yet but this is a milestone479943479944
The transom has a cove to the hull and will be glassed in as well.

12-31-2020, 11:03 PM
Looking good!

NZ Sidewinder
01-03-2021, 03:41 AM
Stock these boats are as rigid as a plate of jelly and the more I get into this one the more I realize they were designed as show ponies not race boats.
Here the sides are getting some knees.

NZ Sidewinder
01-10-2021, 05:39 AM
Today I started getting the stringers sorted.
The Keel Stringer has been joined using 12mm ply epoxied fish plates, the next two out are the same and the next two stop at the 8ft mark.
All will be fully encapsulated except for the upper edge which will be glasses after the stringers have been machined down to a finished height for the floor to glue to.
Each stringer sits in a strake so Ill lay extra glass in the strake recesses and out over the hull.
The Hull bottom will end up 1/4 inch thick which is heavy but it wont break.

NZ Sidewinder
02-07-2021, 08:48 PM
Ive made some progress now.
The stringers were a massive job and next time Ill use a composite instead of encapsulated plywood.
Ive used a lot of Urethane adhesive and also epoxy in this build.
The Urethane is a very good adhesive/cove/ gap filler.
My plan is to shift the drivers position back at least 14 inches and extend the steering column.
Id estimate that 150hrs went into the stringers and floor alone and I still need to tip the boat over and fabricate/blueprint the bottom.
Im aiming for a 100mph river boat and 70mph offshore boat.
The stringers have fish plates at the joins that are polyester encapsulated, epoxied on then coved and glassed in.
Keel stringer has fishplate reinforcing over the step and there are lots of cleats on the stringers for extra floor gluing.


Now Im doing the small fiddly bits of topside finishing including glassing all the floor edges and seams.
Ill also add a pair of sidewall knees midships.

NZ Sidewinder
02-21-2021, 05:01 AM
Stern corners back in place now.
There is a lot of structural glass and then fiddly details in the stern of this boat and it's going to be a relief to get out of the Hull and start work from the outside.
Having said that Ive now noted that the fore deck has some stress cracks across it from years of pounding on Lake Taupo's harsh chop.
Ill need to put a bulkhead up there and this can also support the bow flares which have been worrying me.
There is still 3/8 inch of 1708 mat to go on the outside of the transom yet.
Most of the structural connections including the floor and stringers and Coves use Urethane or Epoxy.

NZ Sidewinder
03-03-2021, 01:50 AM
Basically the Hull is fully glassed now with just the bottom to finish the Pad and blueprint.
Then full paint etc.
The whole time Ive been dreading weighing the beast and today the 300kg crane scales arrived.
I hung th hull from the rafters and put the scales first in the bow sling which read 156kg (343lb)
Then in one stern corner and that was 139.5kg (307lb)x2
So thats a total bare hull weight of 439.5kg (967lb)
Shes going to need some serious hp

I also glasses up all the holes in the dash with new encapsulated backing ply.
The part where the steering column goes got 1 inch ply fully glassed in really strong so I can put a steering extension tube on and push the drivers seat well astern.
This also keeps the drivers thigh bones (Femur) well clear of the lower edge of the dash.
Ill never forget rebuilding an aluminium Jet boat hull for a bloke who insisted he put the unit back in himself.
He stuffed up the nozzle linkage or the bucket pivot and first corner in the river on the try out the steering jammed and he hit the bank at 55mph.
That bottom edge of the dash snapped both his femurs.
Im thinking 250hp 2 stroke Merc on a bracket.483385

03-03-2021, 03:04 PM

I don't know how they Rate Hulls down under.....here in the States I had to fight like hell to get the 2012 Merc Optimax 150 hung on the back of mine.

The shop wasn't going to do it, insurance wasn't going to cover the boat....One day the guy in the shop crawled around with a light and he could just make out Max HP 150 on the ID Tag.......

Here's some pic's for Motivation now get back to work.

https://imagizer.imageshack.com/v2/640x480q90/633/aqxwMz.jpg (https://imageshack.com/i/hlaqxwMzj)

https://imagizer.imageshack.com/v2/640x480q90/924/grihkQ.jpg (https://imageshack.com/i/pogrihkQj)

https://imagizer.imageshack.com/v2/640x480q90/923/BZxcVc.jpg (https://imageshack.com/i/pnBZxcVcj)

Get a 22-23 Pitch 4 Blade SS prop....the 3 blade drove like a school bus on a Ford I Beam Suspension and I couldn't get it to plane....Rode Rough in even the slightest chop so the GF shut me down at 25 MPH.

4 Blade pop out of the water, flies flat and take all the chop you can through at it....Even my own Wake and it throws a hell of a wake.

https://imagizer.imageshack.com/v2/640x480q90/921/mGgg0Q.jpg (https://imageshack.com/i/plmGgg0Qj)


NZ Sidewinder
03-03-2021, 03:28 PM
Hi Karsten
Nice tidy boat you have.
Down here there are no rules about boats other than needing to be 15yr old to drive a boat capable of more than 5 knots.
Biggest problem here are Jet skis exceeding 5 knot close to shore.
Insurance is expensive for boats now and I insure for theft only.
This Sidewinder/Panther started out as a vintage restoration but quickly became a hot rod type project in that below the water line she is no longer a Sidewinder.
Down here these boats were often raced off shore with twin 150s or single 150s but were not a good boat to push fast with a single engine.
So I put a stepped pad in this one that will have side Dams that also add longitudinal edges too keep her straight and true at high speed.
Basically a copy of a famous NZ offshore race boat named Chindit.
Here is a photo of Chindit and also a link to a Utube Vid that makes my heart race every time I watch it.
My next build will be a copy of Chindit


NZ Sidewinder
03-11-2021, 02:15 AM
Today I put the boat back on the trailer for a better working height to finish the transom glass.
This is raw 1708 and it will get straightedge sanded and then Chop strand and Faired.
Ive added a mock up photo of the approximate profile of the Pad.
The tubes are urethaned in and are liners for the bung holes.
Once the Trasom and well are tidied up Ill turn the Hull over and start on the Bottom.483768483769

03-11-2021, 04:36 AM
Your build is coming out excellent! Why add the csm after straight edging the transom?

NZ Sidewinder
03-11-2021, 04:48 AM
Im not an expert in Fiber Glass but the general rule is to start with CSM and finish with CSM as the DB pattern can show through the paint.

03-11-2021, 09:02 AM
Sounds good to me, more glass is better than less glass

NZ Sidewinder
03-13-2021, 04:31 PM
More is better sometimes but I reckon Im pushing the envelope with this transom.
Here is a core from a bung hole.

NZ Sidewinder
03-19-2021, 05:50 PM
This is the old motor that came with this boat.
Its been laying in the grass for a few months and I just couldn't work out how to stow it so I could easily cannibalize it before it goes to the dump.
So I filled this IBC with water (1 ton) and hug the thing on it aided by a load binder.
It could easily have a ply bench top and a basic timber mounting bracket but this works fine for now.
Even twins could be worked on or stored on one IBC or even Quads.
This motor weighs say 330lb but Im sure 500lb is doable with some small mods or additions.
one thing is for sure, 500lb wont tip the 2200lb IBC over and water is still cheap.484199

NZ Sidewinder
04-02-2021, 01:31 AM
484861Today she got tipped over and I wasted no time in diving in.
It was a good feeling to grind down through the old hull to find the new Pad/Tunnel484856484857484858484859484860

NZ Sidewinder
04-03-2021, 10:26 PM
Today I spent a few hours surveying the hull bottom.
What a shambles.
Looking at the transom from the stern once the Hull had been leveled to the same datum as I used to do the inside work I wasn't really surprised that the optical level (dumpy level) showed that the starboard chine was lower at the transom than the port chine but the starboard strakes were higher at the transom than their opposites on the port side.
Basically the mold was pissed.
The hull has huge trailer Hooks out at the third strakes.
Also as shown in the photo by the yellow line the keel has a large bump in it near the entry 3/8 inch.
Is this likely to be a design feature??
I intend to recreate a knief edge vee from the trailer winch eye through to the step.
Looking at the Hull in its original form, it was a brave crew that took these boats anywhere near 70mph.
They were said to porpoise in the turns or not turn at all as well as get wobbly in a straight line.
It's all there in plain sight.
But even Steve Austin was just a regular guy until they threw 6 million bucks at him.

NZ Sidewinder
04-05-2021, 06:32 AM
484989Ive decided to put embedded stainless female threads into the flat pad area and form the tunnel with a Stainless or Aluminium sheet that fixes to the hull with countersunk bronze machine screws.
This way I can bolt on a variety of Hull forms by attaching them to the metal base.
In a stock form the plate will have a Dam along each edge as shown in green.
Once this is on, a few different forms can be added or subtracted such as a continuous Vee with dams or a delta Pad with Dams or even a radius Vee with dams.
If I want to race this boat in one particular racing organisation then I must not use a step in the particular class that would best suit this boat.
So for those races Id bolt in a delta Vee Pad which would have the same transom exit position but start at the top of the apex of the step.
Green is the metal base shape and what it would generally run.

NZ Sidewinder
04-14-2021, 08:01 PM
485546Well I may have got lucky.
Picked this beast up today
1999 225 2.5 promax
234 hrs
Un raced
Been used as driveway decoration
20 inch with spacer


04-15-2021, 09:58 PM
Dang, nice ProMax! Must be something going around, I just picked one up in similar condition.

NZ Sidewinder
04-16-2021, 01:48 AM
I weighed the Merc today
In 25 inch form with prop and oil injection = 192 kg (423lb)
In 20 inch form with prop and oil injection = 182kg (401lb)

1983 140hp Evinrude apples for apples about 150kg(330lb)

When I saw this beast I thought it would sink my boat but there really is nothing in it between the big Merc and the puny Evinrude.
Just over one and a half tot tanks of gas in weight but at least 100 real HP.485596

04-16-2021, 02:07 AM
Good to see the hull take shape.
I stay in Scotland and have a dateline "Bikini"
Similar hull so would defo like to see how the step pans out.
Mine has the trailer hook plus needs the entire floor lifted.
Keep up the good work.485597

NZ Sidewinder
04-16-2021, 02:58 AM
Great to see.
They look very similar and it would be interesting to see the point at the bow where the chines meet.
If the chines mismatch at the bow then the boats are genetically related.
The step and Pad are going to incorporate some unique features.
The pad will have a aluminium or stainless liner shaped like ] that.
Edges down.
Also embedded and epoxied in the step and pad will be threads for various hull forms.
One race class doesn't allow steps so a delter pad will be bolted in
That this stage the metal plate and vertical dams will stay in place no matter what hull form is in place.
Even if a V is bolted in the plate and dams remain.
The motor will hang on a 10 or 12 inch set back bracket and the pad and supports will extend back that same amount so as to in effect lengthen the Hull and retain forward/ aft balance.
The Keel V forward of the step will likely be may sharper.

04-16-2021, 03:50 AM
I read about your idea of the bolt on add ons. Interesting bit of design work.
I take the ] will have the edges as a runners ? Sort of tunnel like ?
I have a rounded pad just now. Not the best i was getting some serious porpoising then chine walk around 50mph so added a set of trim tabs these corrected the faults. Hopefully by blueprinting the hull i will remove these.
Just now i have two of these hulls. One in the picture ready for restore. I have a mod 140 1980 johnson cnc jackplate with added 2" so total of 6"-8" setback. Not sure how the hull will handle the setback. The other boat has a 120 evinrude looper. She is out the hole like a bullet but still a bit shake around 55mph
Would like a boat to handle some chop. I stay on the coast but the coast is on the north sea. Not the most calm of water lol.
Keep the pictures and updates coming. Very keen to see how you get on.

Feel free to PM any other pics you have



NZ Sidewinder
05-02-2021, 02:08 AM
This weekend I started the blueprinting of the Hull.
On a nice sunny Autumns day its an enjoyable task and one that needs to be finished before it gets too cold.
Ive spent a lot of time recently sorting the engine with a couple of spare lowers and a hydraulic jack plate.
One lower is Coned but doesn't have a low water pickup and the other two are going to get cones and one may even get carbon wrapped.
Both these two will have low water pickups.
The combined effect of a 14 degree raking transom and the jack plate will put the leg back at least 12 inches behind the lower edge of the transom so Im planing on extending the steel pad back to the bullet, effectively lengthening the hull.
This extension will be bolted to the main pad so can be tinkered with.486355486356486357

NZ Sidewinder
05-10-2021, 01:54 AM
While the weather is wet Im working on my lower units, 3 in total.
Two virgins and one coned.
The coned one had a split in the case through the nut thread and the other two are good but will need cones.
A race guy here described how he spent hours scratching out corroded threads so I got my brother to make a Tap to do the job.
The mandrel will likely be used for carrying a pinion setting disc as well (2,655 and 2. 575 inch).
Im keen to hear if anyone has ever made a cone by threading into the bull nose of the standard Bullet and attaching a machined Ali cone.
The lost wax method of creating the water galleries would be used to form the Car Bog within the hollowed out machined bullet.

There is 12mm of Ali in the casting at the forward end of the bullet to tap into.
Id say 3/8 UNC or 10mm.
My motor is now safely perched in the workshop ready for winter tinkering486688486689486690

NZ Sidewinder
05-15-2021, 01:15 AM
This is a C1 lower case that Ive taken the previous cone off as it didnt have a low water pick up.
This structure is the foundation of the new cone with a pick up.
The cylinder on the end of the bullet is the collection chamber and the back bone is the feed tube.
The collection chamber will have an aluminium cone that threads on and the pick up holes will be in that cone
It will get shimmed so that the pick up holes are in the correct orientation.
That 10mm s/s threaded rod is threaded into the gear case and sealed will locktite 577.
I made u drill guide that fits into the prop shaft bearing journal and a long series drill goes from the inside of the case, through the hollow guide and through the case perfectly on center.
The backbone tube will have small tabs on it and screws going into the leading edge of the case so that the bog and poly isnt the only structure holding everything in place.
At the top of the tube there will be a shaped cap and there will be two sockets welded off the sides of the tube down at the correct level as per normal. 486990

NZ Sidewinder
05-17-2021, 01:14 AM
A few more photos of the Gear case so far
The zinc washer represents the large diameter and position of the screw on nose piece.


NZ Sidewinder
05-19-2021, 12:11 AM
This is the fun bit
There is a lot of shaping and finishing to do yet and the Aluminium cone bullet point needs to be made but thats simple.
I do need to get some advice about the water intake to the pump.
When looking down into the water gallery with the pump removed there isnt much width available to drill and Tap a decent size hole for the fitting.
even 3/8 bsp would be a squeeze by the look of it.
The starboard side is the side with the most room but is still tight.
The port side is a really tight on a C1 at least.
It looks as if it would be necessary to cut away some of the cavitation plate also.
Any pointers on these issues??

NZ Sidewinder
05-19-2021, 11:03 PM
More shaping today and I made a wooden mock up bullet point to help with getting a good shape.
The wooden one can now be used to rough out an Aluminium one.
I think Ill wrap this unit in epoxy/glass or Carbon.487245487246487424

NZ Sidewinder
05-31-2021, 05:12 AM
Somewhere on this forum I read a post from an engine builder that he could build 2 engines in the time it took him to do a complete lower unit like this one.
Its amazing, the hours just vanish.
But there is progress, Ive shortened to driveshafts, stripped my mid section and ordered some parts out of the States, made a new short powerhead to plate stud, blasted and repainted my rusty steering yoke, cleaned up all the solid mounts and replaced one long bolt, shortened both the water tube and the gear select rod and cast an Epoxy bullet low water pickup and shaped it.
Not sure if the water holes are ideally positioned though.

NZ Sidewinder
05-31-2021, 05:12 AM
Somewhere on this forum I read a post from an engine builder that he could build 2 engines in the time it took him to do a complete lower unit like this one.
Its amazing, the hours just vanish.
But there is progress, Ive shortened two driveshafts, stripped my mid section and ordered some parts out of the States, made a new short powerhead to plate stud, blasted and repainted my rusty steering yoke, cleaned up all the solid mounts and replaced one long bolt, shortened both the water tube and the gear select rod and cast an Epoxy bullet low water pickup and shaped it.
Not sure if the water holes are ideally positioned though.

NZ Sidewinder
06-30-2021, 03:48 AM
These fishing Pro max motors are insanely difficult to fit with bullet proof offshore steering wings, the kind that can take the kind of punishment I tend to meter out.
But after 4 days head down arse up its almost done.
The wing is carried in part by the cowl plate but also substantially by a second horse shoe plate down at the level of the 3 large bolts that clamp the plates.
Ive changed the bolts out for studs and the lower horseshoe is held by these studs which can be extracted up through the three new holes in the cowl plate.
This enables the whole unit to be lifted off in one.
Between the cowl plate and the new lower horseshoe plate are 5/8 formed Aluminium packers.
The actual wing plates are slung below this mounting unit on solid Aluminium spacers.
This enables the Cowl base to fit on.
It wont break or bend Im sure of that.
Cant imagine another way of doing it.489669489670489671489672489673

06-30-2021, 04:29 AM
Wow, that’s a ton of work. Never seen anything like it. Hats off for the innovation

06-30-2021, 06:27 AM
Very cool project. Making your own parts is so time consuming.

NZ Sidewinder
07-01-2021, 02:16 AM
Today I finished the wings and started back on the lower Unit.
The water feed tubes are tacked up.
The pipes almost meet in the middle and are coupled with sturdy rubber hose.
Also tapped the feed tube holes.
Someone at Mercury must have been thinking of us when then dimensioned that water gallery.
The final finishing of the epoxy on the unit can wait till last now.489729489730489731

NZ Sidewinder
07-26-2021, 04:21 AM
Its been slow work but Im trying to just take my time and get it right.
Ive been making tools as well and putting the box together with old components just for practice and to work out where the traps are.
Tonight I worked out that a bit of heat into the bullet with a heat gun makes the main forward cone go in really easy.
No hitting required just a few taps on the tool.

I cut the inner race of the forward gear off with a grinder or at least ground the race down to paper thin on two opposite sides then used the puller to pull it while heating the thin parts with the heat gun.
In my early days I cut lots of these bearing races off with the oxy /acetylene torch.
Not a job for the faint hearted.

My pinion gauge tool locates on 3 places, the rear carrier ring, the main carrier ring and the forward bearing needle roller and also in the gear shift spigot journal if there is no gear in place.
The Carrier is bushed down to 32mm for the gauge shaft
The gauge is an adjustable 3/8 UNF bolt with lock nut.
The head of the bolt is polished spherical
Its set at a radius of half the 2.575inch.

Currently this box with a new drive shaft thrust bearing has 20 thou pinion clearance with a 30 thou shim so I need a 35 thou shim
Hope there is such a shim.

Ive got a good offshore midsection for my Promax but am going to put some serious work into designing a way to use the one piece adapter on the steel motor.
In the mean time Ill run the fisho leg and 2 piece.
Im thinking a Pan plate with no dump holes in it but just a small barbed hose fitting through the plate into the one piece and a hose that goes out through the case maybe with a flow regulator on it.
The entire one piece dump cavity with drain holes blocked could then become a poppet cavity with just one poppet drain .(dry Stacked)
The water pump could be cooled directly from a lower water feed tube, maybe 1/8 jet in through the lower case.
Looks like Ill have to either pull my power head off again to measure the pan (cowl plate) up so I can create a .dxf file to laser cut a modified one or try and borrow a plate to measure up. (big job)
Ill measure up the gaskets in that area as well and get them CNC cut here as well.
Its a bloody long way to get stuff from the States and Im learning real fast that boat shops dont really want to deal in parts for 20yr old Pro Max's.

When a pinion gauge like this is used you will find out real easy if your box is bent as the shaft will bind.

NZ Sidewinder
07-28-2021, 05:31 AM
Today I had a win
I bid on an Optimax Lower unit with a 25inch 13 tooth top spline.
I bid 400 buck thinking it might contain some usable parts but then again it might be junk.
I was the only bidder and won the on line auction.
The unit arrived today and it turned out to be a mint V6 lower full of good condition parts.
Just a C4 but ill put a 3.0L carrier in it and add a cone etc.
I have 4 now.