1986 16' Lowe Project

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Joined: 05 Aug 2016, 22:03
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1986 16' Lowe Project

Post by Outlaw86 » 10 Aug 2016, 00:44

Welp, I got myself into two tin boats recently but this one is now at the front of the line as far as projects go. A buddy of mine knows Im always up to buy/sell/trade, everything I own except my wife and daughter can be negotiated on. So after getting myself in a little over my head with a 1974 Starcraft Chietain (another tinny) I'd been bellyaching about how I needed something to get me on the water ASAP. Well I get a call just 8 days after picking up the Starcraft, "Wanna swap one of those AR15s?"...absolutely. I recently picked up building ar15s as a hobby, finishing my own lowers and building them from the ground up. I'd built a 20" bull barrel AR for me to hunt with this year buuuuut...I enjoy fishing much more than hunting so that was the offer. The guy was valuing the boat at ~$1800 and I had about that in the rifle so it was a pretty even trade, though the other fella seemed to know he was getting the better end of the deal. I pulled up to the guys house, he was outside messing with the boat, getting it ready to show. 1986 Lowe 16' with a 1986 Mercury 50hp ELPT, the title shows the Lowe as a LAKEMA but I'm not sure what that dictates. Only downside I find to it immediately is it's a sticksteer (and the motor is 15hp over suggested max). Everything works pretty seemingly perfect except the trim motor which he admitted to having a problem going up, but thats no problem, I've replaced/fixed them before. The entire time the guy is walking me around the boat, all I see is the river, fishing, my daughter and wife enjoying days on the water. We agree to swap even and she's mine.

1986 Lowe, 1986 Merc 50, trailer, 2 fishfinders from the 90s, a MinnKota 40# All Terrain TM


and heres a shot of the layout, I love the open format, don't care for the stick-steering upfront but I'll make good use of the livewell in the center. I'll be putting in a rear deck and a side console placed so the edge of the rear deck will be the "driver's seat".


After getting it home and buying a couple new batteries for it. The following day after charging the batteries, I hook'em up and test everything before taking it out. Trim won't go up, solenoid clicks but no movement. After toying with it for a bit the solenoid gives out as well. So, no biggy, to O'Reillys I go, 45 minutes later, solenoid replaced. Still nothing...so heres when the fun starts, no where around me has the replacement trim motor, most places are even telling me it doesn't exist. After some google-fu and talking to a used parts dealer he informs me the trim set-up I have is extremely rare and only used on a few motors during an in-between time during 85-86-87. He points me in the direction of a part number that will fit with some minor modification to a bracket, so I get that part in the mail and on the way.

Heres the original f@#$ng trim motor:


After a couple days of wishin' I was fishin' I decided it, I'll run the boat without the trim, no big deal, I'll be using the trolling motor a lot anyway. So I go through my checklist at the house, making sure I have everything, muffs on, water on, try the motor. Starts right up, impressive for an 86, give it a few minutes...its not peeing. Ok, I've been through this before...impeller replacement ordered, it arrived today. So I head out, pull the foot...doh...forgot to put it into gear when before I pulled it...too late it's off now.

Maaaaaaaaaan it sure is puuuurty in here:

Just as I expected....


Now...how in the matter of 2-3 days did it go from peeing like a racehorse to the impeller not having a single fin...I have no idea but its replaced along with the top half of the housing. I go out after getting it all back together and put it into forward gear, grab a pair of pliers and something to guard the teeth on the gear-shaft? in the foot and turn it...without thinking I'd put it in reverse, with the gear from the controls in forward. So I slide it in, turn the flywheel via the prop just a little and she slides in like a champ....bolt it back up and realize my mistake, won't disengage out of reverse regardless of what I do at the controls. And thats when I left it to come in and make my maiden post here on tinboats. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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Re: 1986 16' Lowe Project

Post by derekdiruz » 10 Aug 2016, 08:28

Cool boat. I've got the same buying problem as you do! Lol. Looking forward to what's to come

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1986 16' Lowe Project

Post by onthewater102 » 10 Aug 2016, 08:39

Outlaw86 wrote:...
Now...how in the matter of 2-3 days did it go from peeing like a racehorse to the impeller not having a single fin...

^^^and that children is why we ALWAYS replace the inexpensive impeller on ANY used outboards we buy EVEN if they seem to pee when we get them.

Sorry you had this experience - but at least you caught it before you did any harm to the motor. Some people around here are thick headed penny-wise pound-foolish when it comes to used motors & impellers. Hopefully someone like that reads this & changes their mind and doesn't get their passengers stranded somewhere.
I have a marriage license and a fishing license, but I only carry one in my wallet.

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