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Original 283: Refurbrish or rebuiild ??

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Original 283: Refurbrish or rebuiild ??

Post by ChrisCav63 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:53 pm

Hi CCABC Friends

I recently bought a 1964 Cavalier 26' Futura (to go along with my 1963) which has the original 283 motor. As I have all winter to work on the boat, I plan to restore as much of the running gear as possible. Since I have the cockpit sole torn out, now is the time to work on the motor/steering/fuel tank, etc. Pervious owner had boat for 33 years, used in fresh water only, short trips. Last in water in 2012, seemed to run fine when started but didn't run it on the water. Tach shows 1300 hours, not sure if that is 'total' or not.

What are your thoughts on restoration? Should I have the motor pulled and do a full rebuild ($$$) or should I just refurbish it for now? (Haven't checked compression yet, if low that may answer my question) At a minimum, I'm thinking new hoses, belts, plugs/wires, starter and water pump.

Any thoughts on these old motors and their quirks would be appreciated.


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Re: Original 283: Refurbrish or rebuiild ??

Post by jfrprops » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:40 am


I would replace the fuel tanks before I replaced the that comp. test and see what you have....thanks for saving a cruiser!

John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

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Re: Original 283: Refurbrish or rebuiild ??

Post by Katanna » Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:01 pm

Do the compression test. As long as it is close I would leave the internals alone. 283 will run forever. One of the most problem areas I have found with them is the distributor. The springs and the weights tend to rust and get hung up. Most of the time they can be cleaned up and lubricated.


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Re: Original 283: Refurbrish or rebuiild ??

Post by rgmxk22 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:52 pm

Not only would I do a compression test, if the engine is still in the boat and you could still get it running I'd check on the oip pressure too. If you had to rig up a temporary fuel tank (outboard tank maybe) and a garden hose and a few fittings to supply water to the water pump, I'd get her running to check the oil pressure. I'd take a know good mechanical oil pressure gauge and tie it into where your electric oil pressure sender lives and see what kind of oil pressure you have once you have her warmed up.

You could have good compression but questionable oil pressure. Knowing what the oil pressure is will give you more info to consider as you decide what this engine needs.

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