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  1. #1
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    Baja 184ss set up/outboard height help

    Hello everyone, my first post here!

    I have a 1984 baja 184ss with a 2.4 200 carb merc on the back. I have recently sent off my lower unit to have the previous owners home made nose cone removed and a low water pick up installed. Along with this I have just installed a manual jack plate with 6in of setback and I also have on hand a Allison cavitation plate. In some previous readings on the forum ive seen these older bajas like a bit of setback. I will be running a 24p chopper prop as well. My question is how do I set and or find the correct height to set the outboard at when running a LWP and chopper prop. I would like to start conservatively and work my way to raising the motor more. The hull does not have a pad, but in last years running it would do high 60s with a 23p prop, no setback or jack plate without any real chine walking. My goals for the boat is to have a low to mid 70mph boat that isn't a absolute nightmare to plane out.

    Any tips on how to set the height to be conservative would be greatly appreciated. Any other info is also welcome as this is my first faster boat i've owned!

    (to add, I have all digital gauges for water pressure, head temps, ect)



    -Skyler

  2. #2
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    I'm no expert in set up but maybe start with the CL of the prop shaft even with the bottom of the boat or slightly lower and keep doing trial runs and lifting the motor maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch at a time until you start losing water pressure, the handling gets squirrelly or you can't get on plane. Then drop it back a 1/4.

    Depending on the prop it might take awhile to get it dialed in.

    This is where a hydraulic plate comes in handy, have one for the Progression and it will be nice to drop the motor to get on plane and raise it once underway.
    Last edited by Pulse186; 03-04-2023 at 12:42 PM.
    Current: 2023 Progression 22, 2015 Mercury 300XS, 2018 Kawasaki Ultra LX, 1969 Hustler Wildcat
    For sale soon:
    1992 Checkmate Pulse 186, 2003 Mercury 200 EFI.
    Sold: 1991 POS GW Invader, 1976 Donzi Hornet II, 1994 Formula 232 LS, 2001 Regal 2660, 1990 Formula 206 LS, random assortment of jetskis.

  3. #3
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    Interesting. I thought that a heavier less extreme (vs VKing or SS2000) would need the prop a few inches lower

    I had a 16’ Baja and it ran the prop a lot lower than my SS2000, and was far less sensitive to prop height. But I have never been in a bigger Baja
    Last edited by David; 03-04-2023 at 12:36 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post
    Interesting. I thought that a heavier less extreme (vs VKing or SS2000) would need the prop a few inches lower

    I had a 16’ Baja and it ran the prop a lot lower than my SS2000, and was far less sensitive to prop height. But I have never been in a bigger Baja
    For his boat it might need to be, will definitely be a summer of testing. I'll be doing the same thing with my boat but the hydraulic jack plate will make it a lot easier.
    Last edited by Pulse186; 03-04-2023 at 12:48 PM.
    Current: 2023 Progression 22, 2015 Mercury 300XS, 2018 Kawasaki Ultra LX, 1969 Hustler Wildcat
    For sale soon:
    1992 Checkmate Pulse 186, 2003 Mercury 200 EFI.
    Sold: 1991 POS GW Invader, 1976 Donzi Hornet II, 1994 Formula 232 LS, 2001 Regal 2660, 1990 Formula 206 LS, random assortment of jetskis.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pulse186 View Post
    I'm no expert in set up but maybe start with the CL of the prop shaft even with the bottom of the boat or slightly lower and keep doing trial runs and lifting the motor maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch at a time until you start losing water pressure, the handling gets squirrelly or you can't get on plane. Then drop it back a 1/4.

    Depending on the prop it might take awhile to get it dialed in.

    This is where a hydraulic plate comes in handy, have one for the Progression and it will be nice to drop the motor to get on plane and raise it once underway.

    The Two props I have are mercury chopper props, small ears. I have a 24p and a 26p. The boat last year struggled to get the hull out of the water. Not sure the brand prop that was on it but I believe it to be a quicksilver brand 23p. Im hoping with the 6in of setback and a different prop I can get the hull out of the water some more, otherwise I may need to go back to a better though hub prop.

  6. #6
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    I had the rev to 5000 rpm and wait to plane experience with a Hydrostream Virage when I used over hub props. Adding a Bob's True Tracker was magical. Mercury small ears have worked well for me on a 16' Baja and on my SS2000.

  7. #7
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    I had a Baja 184 many years back and ran it with both a 140hp OMC V-4 and a 175 OMC V-6. I ran a 6 inch set back manual jack plate and found that running with the cav plate 2-3 inches above the bottom gave decent overall performance. Cranking the plate up higher gained only 1 mph or so. On the 140 I ran an OMC chopper (23 pitch SST-RX if I recall correctly) and the boat took a very long time to get up on plane. The chopper was only 1-2 mph faster than a 22 pitch OMC raker so I ran the Raker most of the time. With the 175 I ran a 22 pitch Raker and a 24 pitch Turbo. Great little boat- fast, good riding and nice looking with tri-color flake finish.
    Doug

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by staylor View Post
    I had a Baja 184 many years back and ran it with both a 140hp OMC V-4 and a 175 OMC V-6. I ran a 6 inch set back manual jack plate and found that running with the cav plate 2-3 inches above the bottom gave decent overall performance. Cranking the plate up higher gained only 1 mph or so. On the 140 I ran an OMC chopper (23 pitch SST-RX if I recall correctly) and the boat took a very long time to get up on plane. The chopper was only 1-2 mph faster than a 22 pitch OMC raker so I ran the Raker most of the time. With the 175 I ran a 22 pitch Raker and a 24 pitch Turbo. Great little boat- fast, good riding and nice looking with tri-color flake finish.
    Doug
    Thanks for the info Doug!
    I know I'll have a few trips out testing to see what will work for me. Mainly just worried about getting the boat on plane more than speed to be honest. I have a feeling it's a 70+ mph boat without much work. I've read good things about tempest props to help with bow lift. That was the biggest struggle last year. The boat was in the water all the way up to about a foot in front of the windshield. I will agree, it's a fun boat and does ride fairly well through some light chop we have on the great lakes.

  9. #9
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    I’ll suggest you try a 4 blade Trophy Plus while you’re fooling around with props to get bow lift. Many are really surprised when they see how well the Trophy Plus runs. On my current rig the Tempest lifts the bow a little bit better- but drives chine walk at higher trim settings. The Trophy Plus doesn’t have this issue.
    Doug

  10. #10
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    Iíll suggest you try a 4 blade Trophy Plus while youíre fooling around with props to get bow lift. Many are really surprised when they see how well the Trophy Plus runs. On my current rig the Tempest lifts the bow a little bit better- but drives chine walk at higher trim settings. The Trophy Plus doesnít have this issue.
    Doug

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