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KLC Numerous Issues

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Trick414
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Location: Richland-Chambers Reservoir, Corsicana, Texas, USA

KLC Numerous Issues

Post by Trick414 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:44 pm

Heya all!

After 9 years, I've finally put my 51 Riviera in the water! I've had it in the water a few times since 2010, but I'm finally at the "pretty-much" done stage.

****If anyone is near Corsicana, Texas, I would sure appreciate some hands-on help!!!***

This is going to be a long post, with plenty of questions. I'll try to keep it on track.

I should probably give a quick timeline, so that we can see what we are working with. I think the timeline will be important.

Also, I should probably give a brief background on my experience.

I have a ton of pictures, but it seems that the forum is no longer accepting them, at least from what I can tell. I've posted in the Help section, but haven't received a reply. Other members have noted similar difficulties. I'm VERY tech-oriented, so I'm pretty sure the forum is not being maintained, which is a shame.

In any case, here's my brief background: I've rebuilt and restored a handful of vehicles and engines, all Chevrolet, going back to about 1973. I've read thousands of forum posts as well as books and such, so I THINK I have a sorta-good grasp on things, but I'm hardly an expert.

Back in the 80's and 90's I spent a lot of time at machine shops and talked to plenty of people. I think I kind-of know about engines. Again, not claiming to be an expert, but I can usually tell my way around an engine block.

Anyway, I purchased a 1951 Riviera, 18-R-526, in 2010. The engine was running and the hull was in "OK" shape. As best I can tell from all the documentation, it had been "restored" in the 90's. Although I'm no expert on Chris-Craft boats, it was apparent it wasn't the best restoration. But, the boat was complete, and the certified boat appraiser pronounced it worthy of further TLC.

I immediately pulled the engine and started work on the hull.

I put the engine on a stand and fired it up. It seemed to run just fine. Compression check showed 120 pounds on ALL cylinders, within a pound or two. I pulled all the accessories. The starter and generator went to Glenn Chaney for rebuild. I rebuilt the fuel pump and carb, and replaced all the gaskets and seals on the engine. I left the long block alone since the compression was good.

All the gauges went to Kocian Instruments. Steering wheel went to Backwards Unlimited. New gas tank from Rayco.

Around 2012 I had finished the topsides and dropped it back in the water. Engine was running fine, but the bottom was leaking.

Pulled the boat and flipped it for a 5200 bottom. Finished the bottom in 2014 or so, but finally started to work on the retirement home at the lake lot. Boat went in storage until 2017 when we got in the new house.

Early 2019 finally got around to getting her into the water!

Ok, that's the background.

Here's where we are today.

About 3 months ago I fired it up on the trailer. Blew a couple of "freeze" plugs. Lots of rust. Clearly, I should have drained it better back in 2014.

Replaced the core plugs and fired it up. All cylinders still at 120 pounds. Water flowing clear from the exhaust.

About 2 months ago we tried to take it out and see what she would do. Seemed to run fine for the 20 minutes we zoomed around the cove. Took it back to the garage and discovered a lot of water in the oil. Temp gauge wasn't working and it was probably running hot. Changed oil.

Further investigation revealed a blown head gasket. Replaced the gasket and fired it up. Ran it in. Compression still at 120 on all cylinders. Changed oil again to make sure no water.

Fixed the temp gauge problem (bad connector) and took it back out. Engine was running hot immediately, about 200. Didn't get very far, and took it back in. No water in the oil, but plenty of fuel in the oil. Water pump was leaking, probably from the weep hole. Several drops every second, nothing crazy, but way more than I would like. First time I had seen that.

Changed the oil. Ran the engine on the trailer. Water pump wouldn't pull prime from the bucket, but managed to get it primed with some careful water hose into the pickup tube action. Engine was already at 180 at that point and stayed there. Seemed to be running fine. Oil pressure started to bounce around with throttle action. Stopped the engine. A bunch of fuel in the oil. Still 120 on all cylinders.

Pulled the fuel pump. Diaphragm was intact, but some cracks in the rubber. Nothing horrible, and no smoking gun, but possibly the culprit in the fuel in the oil.

New fuel pump kit ordered and on the way.

So, that's where I'm at today.

Running hot, fuel in oil, and I still haven't been able to dial in the timing and carb.

I can only imagine that I'll be rebuilding the carb as well, as 8 years of ethanol gas probably didn't do it any favors.

I'm not sure about the running hot portion, as it might be the delay in the water pump priming, or possibly clogged passages in the block since I didn't properly drain and/or winterize it. I didn't worry about it too much being in Texas as far as freezing and it was inside. But, I didn't really think about the rust situation. The core plugs popping out early this year, along with running hot has me worried. The water pump is a D7229, so not sure what I'm going to do there. Fortunately, it's still pumping just fine, just a minor leak. I don't think that is the cause of the hot-running. I could be wrong.

As mentioned, I'll rebuild the fuel pump ASAP before doing anything to see if we can clean that up. The oil was pretty well thinned-out and smelly from the gas, after only 20 minutes or so of running on a new oil change. Need that fixed before anything.

Again, I still haven't been able to really set the timing or dial in the carb. I could be dumping fuel from the carb (although the fuel pump seems the usual suspect).

I'm pretty sure the reverse gear needs to be adjusted. The stuffing box isn't leaking any water, so that might be too tight.

And, if I hadn't mentioned it, I don't have ANY experience with old CC boats, or really any boats in particular. I've driven plenty of newer boats over the years although I've never owned one.

So, pretty much everything is new to me. I'm very mechanically inclined, but I have zero first-hand experience with these boats so I don't know what "normal" is. As I mentioned above, if anyone is around Corsicana, Texas, feel free to come on over and put some eyes on the situation. Room, food, drinks, pool, etc. are available!

Thanks for any insights!

Greg
1951 Riviera 18' KLC
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Bilge Rat
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Re: KLC Numerous Issues

Post by Bilge Rat » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:21 am

Any history of this boat running in salt water? Sounds like a cooling passage issue on the running hot. An infrared thermometer might show where the hot spots are if you can run it long enough.

You will need to re-torque the head after running and probably at least 3 more times after running on the lake or the head gasket will be leaking again. This is true even if you use the recommended copper gasket.
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Trick414
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Location: Richland-Chambers Reservoir, Corsicana, Texas, USA

Re: KLC Numerous Issues

Post by Trick414 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:35 am

I don't know if it ever ran in salt water. I've only got the history going back to the 90's on it. No salt water since then, and I believe the engine was rebuilt back then. So, I'd say no on the salt water.

I've re-torqued the head a few times, but thanks for the reminder to do it again, especially after running hot.

What temps do we normally see on the outside surfaces using an infrared thermometer?

Thanks!

Greg
1951 Riviera 18' KLC
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George Emmanuel
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Re: KLC Numerous Issues

Post by George Emmanuel » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:17 am

[quAround 2012 I had finished the topsides and dropped it back in the water. Engine was running fine, but the bottom was leaking.

[quote][/quote]Pulled the boat and flipped it for a 5200 bottom. Finished the bottom in 2014 or so, but finally started to work on the retirement home at the lake lot. Boat went in storage until 2017 when we got in the new houseote][/quote]

You didn't indicate whether you pulled the engine before flipping it over for the 5200 bottom. I assume you did otherwise it'd be messy, but if you didn't, all the sludge in the cooling passages would have migrated to the top of the block and perhaps caused some blockage

Trick414
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Location: Richland-Chambers Reservoir, Corsicana, Texas, USA

Re: KLC Numerous Issues

Post by Trick414 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:25 am

Yes, we pulled the engine back out.

Thanks!
1951 Riviera 18' KLC
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jim g
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Re: KLC Numerous Issues

Post by jim g » Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:59 am

Is the water pump a gear pump or a rubber impeller pump?

Might be best to post a picture of the pump.

Trick414
Posts: 137
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Location: Richland-Chambers Reservoir, Corsicana, Texas, USA

Re: KLC Numerous Issues

Post by Trick414 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:09 pm

Gear pump, D7229.

I’ll try to link to some pics.
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Re: KLC Numerous Issues

Post by maritimeclassics » Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:30 pm

Sounds like you need to pull the water pump and rebuild it or at least inspect the impeller and the passage ways. You should also rebuild the fuel pump and make sure your gaskets are properly seated and in place. I would then check the firing order set the engine on #1 top dead center, check the rotor and reset the points. At that point you know you have a good enough placement on the timing and the engine should run. Rebuilding the carburetors can be tricky if doing it yourself. there simple but a lot of little passage ways to get cleaned. I have been doing this for 25 years and that is something I don't tackle, I let the professionals do it. In the long run it saves money and headaches. The stuffing box is okay not dripping if the packing is new and you have not run the boat much. It will wear some and then you can adjust it. If its not new packing then it sounds like its to tight. If you do all this and you still have fuel in the oil you may need to dig inside the motor and possibly valve issues.
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jim g
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Re: KLC Numerous Issues

Post by jim g » Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:40 pm

Since the gear pump will not prime by itself. Its worn out. Also since it is leaking past the shaft seal it worn out.

The pump more then likely has an open shaft bearing bearing. Which will allow the water leaking past the shaft seal. As the leak gets worse all the water will not be able to leak out the weep hole and will feed more water into the engine. The pump needs to be replaced.

As far as I know there is no one rebuilding gear pump right now. The last place doing them in Maine has closed.

Your fuel in oil is more then likely your diaphragm. Since you said it had cracks in it.

If the carb is working fine. Idles and revs up good. I would leave it alone. Everything inside the carb is brass. There is no rubber in the carb.

As far as temp goes. You should be able to rest your hand on any part of the engine for a moment without it burning. The overheat problem could be due to rust clogging up the passage ways. Run it for a few minutes and feel different spots on top of the engine and top and side of exhaust manifold. You should find a hot spot which will tell you where the problem is. But I feel most of your problem is probably your worn out water pump.

Trick414
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Location: Richland-Chambers Reservoir, Corsicana, Texas, USA

Re: KLC Numerous Issues

Post by Trick414 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:44 pm

Thanks for all the help so far!

I've got the fuel pump rebuilt.

Will change the oil in the morning.

I'm going to change out the fuel as well. There is probably about 7 gallons in the tank, but at least some of it is 5+ years old. The engine started quickly and ran fine, at least at idle and off-idle when we ran it around a bit.

But, no big deal to pull it out and put in some fresh fuel. The marina people nearby "say" they have ethanol-free fuel. I don't really trust them all that much (for various reasons), but at least it will be somewhat fresh. I've got AVGas nearby at the local general aviation airport (100LL gas), but I'm still researching if that is a good option.

We will take it out again and see what happens.

I'll check and see if the water pump primes up quickly on the trailer from the normal pickup, rather than the hose-to-the-bucket routine.

I know the temp gauge and sensor are good, as I checked the sensor in a pot on the stove with a thermometer and ohm meter. The gauge itself was checked with various resistors against the tech sheet from Stewart Warner.

I had previously felt the engine at various points and didn't notice anything super hot. I could leave my hands on all surfaces for several seconds without discomfort.

In any case, I'll be getting a new water pump, either ASAP, or later in the fall if it is running at a good temp in the water.

I think the pump was flowing plenty of water while the boat was on the trailer. It was easily keeping up with a hose running full blast into the bucket. Maybe that's not enough flow?

However, when I took the pump apart, it was apparent that the shafts are loose. The gears look great, but it is apparent that water is getting past the main shaft and at least to the weep hole. I don't think any is getting into the engine (yet), as the water in the oil cleared up when I replaced the head gasket. I'm just glad the compression is still at 120 on all cylinders. A leak-down test might be in the near future as well just to be sure.

Anyway, personally I'm suspecting some rusted up passages, but I don't really know if that is a thing on these engines.

Worse case scenario, I'll pull the engine and pull all the drain plugs, freeze plugs, etc. and see if we can't blow them all out.

Valve adjustment would probably be a good plan as well, but I would like to see what kind of RPM's I can turn and/or if there is any noise coming from the valve train.

Speaking of, what RPM's should this particular boat make at WOT? I believe the prop is stock, but I've never actually checked.

As always, thanks for the help!
1951 Riviera 18' KLC
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jim g
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Re: KLC Numerous Issues

Post by jim g » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:05 pm

100LL will work fine. Just keep an extra set of plugs with you as the lead can clog them up. Its a higher amount of leaded in it then the old car leaded gas.

Max RPM is 3600 for the KLC. But it varies due to weight load. You should at least get 3000 to 3200.

Trick414
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Location: Richland-Chambers Reservoir, Corsicana, Texas, USA

Re: KLC Numerous Issues

Post by Trick414 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:56 pm

Thanks for all the help!

I swapped out all the gas for some 100LL. As mentioned, the fuel pump was rebuilt. Thankfully, no residue in the gas tank.

I bypassed the water pump with my house water hose. I keep the house pressure at 60 PSI.

I started with the hose into the intake at the exhaust manifold. The water flowed through the engine and back out the manifold at the exact same pressure and volume, as far as i could tell. Clear water, no indication of any blockage.

I removed the temp sensor and checked water flow from there. Still the same.

I removed the cylinder head to exhaust manifold connection... still the same.

I then fired up the engine with the hose cooling the engine. She creeped up to about 160 and held rock steady.

I swapped out the water hose with the water pump, and she stayed steady at about 160-170.

The water pump primed up immediately (after I pulled it off and greased it up), and seemed to be flowing fine. It's still dripping out the weep hole, so it needs to be replaced anyway. It was flowing "nearly" as good as my house hose supply, but not great. So, again, time for a replacement.

It actually dropped a few degrees when I backed off the timing a bit.

I could hear some valve tapping.

So, I'm thinking that I don't have any blockage in the engine itself.

I need to replace the water pump.

I'm going to adjust the valves this weekend (since they haven't been done since I've owned the boat).

And finally, adjust the timing (which might be at least "some" part of the overheating).

Anything else I might be overlooking?

Thanks!
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Re: KLC Numerous Issues

Post by jim g » Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:53 pm

You have to set the timing running down the lake wide open. Advance the distributor until you hear the engine start pinging. Then back off until it goes away.

Also will your running wide open adjust the high speed valve on the carb. If its running lean that can cause it to run hot. It also melts pistons. Screw it out until the speed starts to drop off. Then turn it in until it just starts to pick up speed. If you keep turning it in after that it will run faster but the cylinder temps go way up.

The valves on the KLC and up engines do tend to be a little noisier then the K and KL engines due to the camshaft design. So if you still have some noise after adjusting them its probably normal.

Trick414
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Re: KLC Numerous Issues

Post by Trick414 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:11 pm

Thanks for the reply!

I've got my cheat-sheet printed for setting the timing as you said. I've also got the factory guide, as well as a few other guides I've located over the years. This will be the first time I've actually done it, though.

When I rebuilt the carb 8 years or so ago, I set the low and high speed jets at the specified neutral spot. So, it will be interesting to see how much, if any, I need to adjust them.

At this point, I'm hoping the timing is the cause of my high temps.

As far as I can tell it was running pretty rich with the old gas. It's a bit harder to judge with the 100LL. But, I'm thinking it was rich. Plugs were definitely on the "rich" side, although not fouled up at all. So, hopefully just timing and a weak water pump.

In the morning I'll crawl my fat butt around the engine and see if I can dial in the valves.

I'll grab the wife and we will take it out early next week after all the tourists leave the lake this weekend.

Thanks!
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jim g
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Re: KLC Numerous Issues

Post by jim g » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:03 pm

To read spark plugs correctly you have to shut the engine down at speed not idle.

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Re: KLC Numerous Issues

Post by [email protected] » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:40 am

@Trick414 Will be curious how your jet adjustment goes - I have a '56 KLC with a Zenith 552M and don't think I've ever gotten it quite right.

If you don't mind me piggybacking your string, a couple of basic KLC Carb questions I'm wondering about:

1) For the 552M model, is turning in (clockwise) leaner or richer for each jet? The manuals say for the idle jet,turning in reduces air, so is richer, but I can't find anything definitive on the high speed. I’m assuming in is leaner there.

2) Similarly, what's a good starting point for each of the jets? Here the Zenith 261 manual (the carb that replaced the 552M after ‘56) says 1 turn for Idle, and 5(!) for the High Speed. I've been doing 1 and 3 turns for the 552M. Idle seems fine but looks rich on the high speed. There's a section in the X6X manual about "for full power" open up 5 turns so not to limit the power jet, but don't know if it applies to the 552M (see pic here - https://www.dropbox.com/s/0di6eslf3mzuted/IMG_0748.jpg)
Last edited by [email protected] on Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Trick414
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Re: KLC Numerous Issues

Post by Trick414 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:49 pm

[email protected] wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:40 am
@Trick414 Will be curious how your jet adjustment goes - I have a '56 KLC with a Zenith 263M and don't think I've ever gotten it quite right.

If you don't mind me piggybacking your string, a couple of basic KLC Carb questions I'm wondering about:

1) For the 263M model, is turning in (clockwise) leaner for both jets? The manuals for the Zenith 261 say the opposite may be true (turning in reduces air, so richer), but I can't find anything definitive on the 263M.

2) Similarly, what's a good starting point for each of the jets? Here the 261 manual says 1 turn for Idle, and 5(!) for the High Speed. I've been doing 1 and 3 turns for the 263M. Idle seems fine but I may be low on the high speed. I can turn it out a lot more without a change to how it runs. There's a section in the X6X manual about "for full power" open up 5 turns so not to limit the power jet, but don't know if it applies to the 263M (see pic here - https://www.dropbox.com/s/0di6eslf3mzuted/IMG_0748.jpg)
I haven't gotten there, yet! But, it's next on the list!

I'll let you know in the next week or so (hopefully) when I can dial it in.
1951 Riviera 18' KLC
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Trick414
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Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:39 pm
Location: Richland-Chambers Reservoir, Corsicana, Texas, USA

Re: KLC Numerous Issues

Post by Trick414 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:55 pm

Ok, new pump installed.

Cooling problems solved!

I changed the old pump out for the "M" pump - Jabsco 5850. Works like a champ! Needed a few adaptors from the Home Depot, but no big deal.

I was having some trouble with the ignition system, but traced it back to the generator. Glenn Chaney rebuilt it back in 2011 or so, but obviously something happened to it. It let the smoke out at high RPM. It was showing 42 volts on my voltmeter. I'm thinking that might be a bit much.

I'm thinking about going to one of those alternator conversions, but for now I'll just leave it disconnected until I get everything dialed in. The Optima battery should run it while I test everything.

I'm going to take it out next week and see what happens.

I'll be back with more questions, I'm sure!

Thanks!

Greg
1951 Riviera 18' KLC
Hull Registry

Trick414
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Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:39 pm
Location: Richland-Chambers Reservoir, Corsicana, Texas, USA

Re: KLC Numerous Issues

Post by Trick414 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:58 pm

Also, the valve adjustment went pretty well. Kind of a pain to get to, but once you get everything cleared away it wasn't too bad.

I had one intake and one exhaust valve that were tight, on different cylinders. Everything else was dead on.
1951 Riviera 18' KLC
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Jim Godlewski
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Re: KLC Numerous Issues

Post by Jim Godlewski » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:19 am

I responded to your photo question here. viewtopic.php?f=13&t=10757
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Trick414
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Re: KLC Numerous Issues

Post by Trick414 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:21 am

Thanks, Jim!
1951 Riviera 18' KLC
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