1997 Tracker 185 Pro Jet (MV1850) rebuild

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Novicaine
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1997 Tracker 185 Pro Jet (MV1850) rebuild

Post by Novicaine »

Here's a little video of more river testing this morning. It hit slightly over 30 mph on the GPS, not bad for the condition of the wear ring and impellor.
I did some tight turns and even with a really high bank angle, it didn't have cavitation, except for when going over a wake.
I think the removal of the water-logged foam really helped the handling -- it felt much more responsive and less tank-like than ever before.
All in all I'm elated with the changes so far from this rebuild, can't wait to get the UHMW on the bottom and finalize the interior.

Video at
https://youtu.be/g9NuFnatJRg

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fool4fish1226
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1997 Tracker 185 Pro Jet (MV1850) rebuild

Post by fool4fish1226 »

Looks and sounds great =D>
Work: A dangerous disorder affecting high public functionaries who want to go fishing

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Novicaine
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1997 Tracker 185 Pro Jet (MV1850) rebuild

Post by Novicaine »

Lots of progress, the wife & kids were out of town visiting her parents this week.

Remember this keel skeg that ran down the center of the boat? In this OLD picture you can see it:
Image

I cut it off, and welded up the rivet holes and seam... my logic is, if I need it for handling, I can add it back. If I need it for hull protection, I can add a UHMW piece. But when you hit a rock with that skeg the boat just stops because that skeg digs into the rock like a knife. And I need to sliiiiide over things, handling is 2nd.. I also roughed up the entire bottom of the hull and lower sides with a sander in preparation for "the next step"

Image

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What is the next step? Well I was debating putting UHMW on the bottom, I still might someday, but for now, since the bottom of my boat has rivets and is so beat up, I decided to have it coated with Hardline:

https://rhinoliningsindustrial.com/prod ... line/22/32

I came to this decision based on Rhino's Hardline info page:

https://rhinoliningsindustrial.com/case ... rasion/202

Which contained this "application note" for aluminum boat's:
https://rhinoliningsindustrial.com/gfGy ... 20Hull.pdf

I contacted the author of that note, who has this on his Predator in Alaska and he swears by it, so I decided I'd give it a try. If it doesn't work as I hope, I can always put UHMW on top of it, and the liner should at least make things smoother for the liner to mount to.

So I dropped it off at Zeibart in Ottowa, IL.. here it is 8 hours and $916 later ($100 for self etching primer, and about $7 per sq foot).

Image

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Check out how it ALMOST hides the rivets:

Image

They claimed they'd apply it 1/8" thick... I wanted 1/4" they said they'd try but it didn't sound like something they could control that accurately. I had them not do any "roughing up", tried to keep it slick/smooth as possible.

I have to wait 24 hours before I can flip it/use it...

My initial impression of the liner is that it is awesome stuff:
- When wet, it is definately slicker than the aluminum.
- It really smooths out the bottom in terms of previous damage, scratches, dents, and rivets
- Looks much nicer than bare aluminum
- If it stays stuck to the boat and is as tough as they claim it is, this really ought to help protect things.
- I noticed if I "slap" the coated parts with my hand they seem more solid than the uncoated parts... the aluminum flexes less.

So, here's to HOPING this product does what it claims. I'm a little leary, the product could be overstating it's ruggedness, the application might not have been done quite right, who knows? Lots of things could be wrong. But I like to try stuff out for myself, so here we are.

This weekend, I'm going to clean the carbs and start putting it back together. Eventually I'll repaint the back of the transom and upper sides, I'm thinking a camo theme would look cool to contrast the black sides.

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Zum
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1997 Tracker 185 Pro Jet (MV1850) rebuild

Post by Zum »

Looks good...hope all the reveiws in the future are positive ones.
Image

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lowblazah
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1997 Tracker 185 Pro Jet (MV1850) rebuild

Post by lowblazah »

Simply Awesome! You are making yourself one wicked river machine!

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Loggerhead Mike
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1997 Tracker 185 Pro Jet (MV1850) rebuild

Post by Loggerhead Mike »

Nice shop and slick job on the hull

Novicaine
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1997 Tracker 185 Pro Jet (MV1850) rebuild

Post by Novicaine »

Small update: I got it all put back together enough for another round of testing, this time with the Hardliner on the bottom and the deleted keel skeg (for a smoother bottom). The handling was a little bit more "wiggly" without the keel skeg, but when I turned the jet, it turned the boat, no problem. It felt fine. I didn't get a chance to test it more because the motor died about 1 minute into testing and water was coming out of the bottom 2 cylinders when I pulled the plugs out. Hopefully it's just the exhaust divider gasket, that has happened to me on this boat. I have a new gasket on order. Sigh.

Novicaine
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1997 Tracker 185 Pro Jet (MV1850) rebuild

Post by Novicaine »

New update: Bought a 1997 Rinker Rocket with a 120 hp Sportjet for use as a "donor" for my boat for two reasons:
1) In case I can't get my 90hp running. I think it's a gasket issue -- could end up being cracked block issue.
2) Make mine go faster, or more importantly, run at less rpms for cruising. The 120's jet is geared higher than the 90's. It's basically a 90 with one extra cylinder, one less carb (2:1 cyl:carb instead of 1:1), and higher gearing. All other parts mostly interchange.

The cost of the used Rinker is less than the replacement parts if a few components on my engine break (inlet grate, wear ring, jet pump housing, etc). I got a decent deal, it even includes a marine stereo with MP3 input which I'll use on my boat also. Also the 120 has only 2 carburetors than my 90 which has 3. So that's less carbs to clean/repair over time. Also, for a 1997 boat engine, I 'm going to need spare parts.

The problem? My wife a kids love the neat little Rinker Rocket sitting in the driveway and don't want me to gut it out!! They want to take it to a lake and go boating... We'll see what happens there. Maybe if I get my Tracker interior done, they'll like it better.

If everything around here wasn't so shallow and hazardous, I'd certainly consider using the Rinker instead, it's a nice lightweight little package for zipping around.

Novicaine
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1997 Tracker 185 Pro Jet (MV1850) rebuild

Post by Novicaine »

Here's my donor boat with the 120 hp Sportjet:

Image

Pulling that motor out:
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I have the new motor installed in the boat, just need to get the gas line and control cables hooked up.
I'm hoping to get one nice day of boating before winter sets in !!

PS:If anyone wants to buy the Rinker boat & trailer with no engine or jet, PM me.. I'm open to any offer!!

Novicaine
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1997 Tracker 185 Pro Jet (MV1850) rebuild

Post by Novicaine »

New update: I sunk it. :x

Details:
I got it all running with the new powerplant, it ran & handled great. Took it exploring on the river to see how it performed, and a few hours into it, we hit a rock just under the surface while on plane, maybe 10-15 mph, and it shredded a hole in the bottom and the boat filled with water in about 10 seconds.

Fortunately, we were only in a few feet of water, so the engine/etc stayed dry. Whew!

We had to tow it out of the river and through the woods with towstraps and a 6x6 ATV.

The bedliner bottom actually held up well ... the boat slid right through the woods, you can tell the liner saved the tin from some wear & tear. Looking at it, I think that with a stronger plate bottom, the bedliner would definitely be an asset.

My welds on the tunnel, even though they took a direct hit, held. Which was good to know.

The bottom line is, the bottom of my boat is too thin for bouncing off rocks. It's .100 material that is 15 yrs old and that's just not going to take a hit.

So... I may patch the holes with rivets, get the liner re-applied in that area, and stop attempting to drive in low water rocky conditions, or scrap the hull and eventually buy something more heavy duty, or maybe weld/bolt something like a 3/8" plate to the bottom. We'll see, but for now, I'm done for the summer. Time to get my mind off this project for now.

The observant reader may think: WHY? Why would you bother attempting this? I answer this: If you look at the river, it looks like a boat should be able to go on it. Very few rocks sticking up, it's generally dredged, and even the shallowest spots are 1-2 ft deep. So I look at it and think: I should be able to boat on that river, I am a man with tools. The flaw, I think, is that a sharp rock 2 inches under the water is actually a very difficult issue to surmount.

I'll try to post some pics one of these evenings.

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fool4fish1226
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1997 Tracker 185 Pro Jet (MV1850) rebuild

Post by fool4fish1226 »

Dang sorry to hear that - but still would like to see some pictures
Work: A dangerous disorder affecting high public functionaries who want to go fishing

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cyberflexx
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1997 Tracker 185 Pro Jet (MV1850) rebuild

Post by cyberflexx »

That sucks.. I hope you get it fixed and back on the water soon..
Alumacraft Build
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Novicaine
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1997 Tracker 185 Pro Jet (MV1850) rebuild

Post by Novicaine »

Here are some pics from my brother's camera phone from the night.
I'll get better ones off the real camera later...
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Kevin Turner
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1997 Tracker 185 Pro Jet (MV1850) rebuild

Post by Kevin Turner »

Late the party, I didn't see this thread 'til today...

All I can say is WOW! What an awesome project. Of course I'm sorry to hear of your struggles, but die hard River Rats never stop...no matter what hurdles Old Man River throws at ya!

Great Job!
Living the Americian Dream :-)

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PSG-1
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1997 Tracker 185 Pro Jet (MV1850) rebuild

Post by PSG-1 »

Wow, I just checked out this build. Nice work! Especially on squaring up the hull and tunnel. =D>

Also, an excellent idea on the complete removal of the center strake, those cause cavitation. I cut the center strake off my boat, about 2 foot forward of the jet intake, and fish-plated that area with a strip of 3" X 1/4" aluminum flat stock. But if I had it to do over again, I'd remove the entire center strake, and fish plate the whole thing with the 1/4" x 3" plate. It serves the same purpose as the angle/gutter, tying the 2 halves of the boat's hull together, but with a little added strength when compared to the .100" angle or gutter, or in the case of my boat, a piece of 2" x 3/16" aluminum angle serving as a keel to replace the original one that corrosion destroyed.

Sorry to hear about the hull damage to your boat, though, that's a bummer. Glad no one was hurt, and the boat was easily recoverable.

But, one good thing your horror story, it gave me a wake-up call, as I had been considering taking my jetboat to the fall line of the PeeDee River at Cheraw, SC, where the navigable river ends, and it meets a fall line, with rocks, boulders, and swift water.... as it goes toward the Blewitt Falls dam at Rockingham, NC.

As my jetboat is ALSO a 15 year old hull made of .100" material, as well as being a little weaker from slight corrosion pitting from marine use....something tells me I'd better stay my ass off that particular stretch of river, or I might be writing a similar story to yours. I've got 4 bilge pumps aboard my boat, with a combined GPH of about 2,800, as well as flotation foam in between the outer and inner hull. But I don't want to test it and find out!

I think I'll just stick to the lowcountry rivers, with logs and sandbars, they don't inflict instantaneous catastrophic damage like boulders or sharp rocks.
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Fishing, jet skiing, target shooting, jet-boating, and even a little oyster harvesting with Larry The Cable Guy.
Watch it all right here:

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