October 16, 2018 at 6:06 pm #17342
I purchased a 1988 Wellcraft V20 steplift this past spring and had an excellent season of boating on Lake Michigan. I have learned a little about this motor on some other sites but am always eager to learn more. So far, I am a big fan of the 3.7! The only issue I have had is that it losses coolant. I haven’t had time to figure out why/where but am hopeful to track it down in the spring. One other issue is that only one battery works. Both batteries are good but when I switch to battery #2, nothing works. Hopefully this is not too difficult to track down. This is my first I/O and it appears that winterization is super simple. Am I correct in that all I need to do is drain the intercooler? Do I need to do anything with the alpha one outdrive? I am also interested in the alternator conversion so will be studying up on that. Thanks in advance for any help!
October 16, 2018 at 11:22 pm #17344October 16, 2018 at 11:24 pm #17345October 16, 2018 at 11:59 pm #17346
- This topic was modified 5 months ago by david-schaffer.
Thanks for the reply! As luck would have it, I was able to run it on the muffs this afternoon. The is a steady coolant drip from the front left lower side of the engine. Behind the coolant bottle. There are bolts right beneath the leak. I’ll try to upload some pictures. Also, any thoughts on why the bolts near the plugs are rusty? Thanks
Can’t figure out how to attach pictures. SorryOctober 19, 2018 at 11:39 pm #17347
Isn’t the bottle on the right side? The pictures I looked at for the later 470’s show it on the right as you look forward. If so that is where the weep hole for the internal water pump is, which may indicate cam seals. You need pics, Dave. i am not sure what bolts you mean.
Does it look like this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RWyDKBzFS4October 20, 2018 at 1:16 am #17348October 20, 2018 at 12:41 pm #17349
Good pictures. Always determine left or right as sitting in the driver seat, so that is right front. The hose under the ignition coil is attached to the water pump outlet on the timing cover. Looks pretty certain that you have a cam seal leak. Like I said, pretty common. Not a bad job if you have the skill…rusty bolts are cylinder head bolts. No biggie. did you test the battery to see if it is any good? I drain the heat exchanger and fill it with 50/50 coolant mix as it has anti corrosion properties.October 20, 2018 at 12:46 pm #17350
This will probably scare you, but is all I could find. It is not as bad as it sounds… http://www.sterndrives.com/470_coolant_leak.htmlOctober 20, 2018 at 12:55 pm #17351
I did the sleeves on my 470 12 years ago and it has been fine. I change the coolant every 2 years. I also remove the drain plug below the water pump housing to assure all crud is drained from that area and rinse it with a garden hose thru the hose inlet. As the crud may be abrasive. Maintenance is the key. regardless of what others say about how terrible these engines are, I have found once you understand what is going on you will get years of service from them. Start reading and get familiar with the quirks in these units.October 20, 2018 at 12:57 pm #17352October 20, 2018 at 2:14 pm #17353
Wow!! This is a bummer. Thank you for the great information though. I really appreciate it. Does it make more sense to do an engine swap? I got a pretty good deal on the boat so I don’t mind spending some money on it. It seems for the cost of having someone make this repair, I could maybe do a swap instead? Thanks againOctober 20, 2018 at 11:13 pm #17354
If you have coolant loss you’ll need to address that right away. The speedi sleeve fix isn’t very hard to do at all. Just take your time. Much easier then an engine swap.
When I had my 470 I just drained the heat exchanger (raw water) side. I would also change my coolant every couple of seasons.
So many people hate this motor but for me it was a great “runner” for the 25 years I had it. Great on gas and had the torque to pull any tube, skier or boarder I threw at it. If you keep up on maintenance and do the upgrades the engine should outlast the boat. Just my opinion.
PeteOctober 20, 2018 at 11:51 pm #17355
An Engine swap will cost a lot more than speedies. All you can swap it to is another 470 which may have the same problem or one brewing. and I agree with bac bac. These engines go like hell on the water. Fix it.October 21, 2018 at 12:03 am #17356
Thanks for the insight. If there are any must have write ups for the repair as well as links to parts for this project, that would be great! Also, if there is anything else I should do while I’m at it, please let me know. Is the alternator upgrade worthwhile? Anything else? I’ll first try to find someone local that has experience with these motors. If I can’t find anyone it will have to wait until spring as I have no garage and the weather is getting bad. I am going to winterize it tomorrow. Which plug on the intercooler do I remove? Any other tips are appreciated. ThanksOctober 21, 2018 at 5:19 pm #17357
https://www.ebay.com/i/172022047629?chn=ps I gave you a link above on procedure. I just take off the cap on the forward end to drain the exchanger. then replace cap and add 50/50 mix. Do the Alt conversion. first thing I did. if you have any mechanical attributes, you can do this. First thing you can focus on is removing the front balancer after disconnecting the battery. get a universal puller at harbor freight. I think I also removed the front engine mount assembly, but not sure. If you do make sure it goes back just as it is or you will throw off alignment of the engine coupler and outdrive input shaft and yoke assembly. better read up on this. Search for info so you have a picture as to what to expect. It really is not as difficult as it seem. good luck. If Bob AKA ‘Stractor” comes on he will be really helpful. Hey, ya got all winter. Pick at it, a little at a time. This new board is starting to pick up a little and we will be here for your questions.Good luck!
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