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P-60 Fix or make a mooring?

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Clyde Terrell
New member
Username: tropicalpengy

Post Number: 1
Registered: 02-2010
Posted on Monday, February 15, 2010 - 09:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So just got a new to me boat, by no means the first, or last, but this is my first Palmer. IHC Cub Low Boy tractor motor, With a wonderfully impossable to find parts list.
When we got her, about 3 weeks ago the motor was running great, aside from a terrible coolingproblemnodoubt caused by the excessive ammount of crud floating in the river following heavy rains and snow. The debris was mostly tiny particles offoating wood and organic matter, along with heavy rust deposits being sheis seawater cooled. The oil was dark butclean and she purred nicely. To remedy the overheating,(never let her go above 180 before shutting down intentionally)I passed muriatic acid thru lines and cleaned thermostat and pressure gate. Walla! an oldtrickworks again and she held perfect temp at 140-160 fluctuating with the 145 thermostat. all went well for about 3 hours worth of motoring and thenpower fell off...
Checked oil and now was milky, afraid i either ate away at the copper gasket, overheated onlyone cylynder and popped head gasket with remaining debris stuckin passages,and or have a leaky intake manifold/exaust manifold combo issue. Ive found the head gasket on ebay, and the manifold gaskets on a tractor parts site, think i could use a new carb, and some new plugs too...
I checked the compression starting from aftmost portion of the motor it goes 90 psi and visible water,115psi and visible water,110 psi and dry,105psi and dry with visible carbon buildup. im not sure of the firing order, so i listed it that way. being that some are wet and some are dry my guess is the head gasket only but am going to remove and pickle the manifold anyway. then convert it inert and possably coat the inside with some kind of heat resistant resin since i know I cant find another one. If someone knows where tofind another that would be super, or any suggestions on ways to preserve it, there is not much room in the eng room to build a heat exchanger to freshwater cool it. The boat is a coranado 35cc, any thoughts on an economic repower?
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Eddie Ross
Senior Member
Username: eddie

Post Number: 246
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 09:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If you are operating the boat in salt water, you will need a custom made copper head gasket. If you are in a lake or river you can use an aftermarket tractor engine head gasket. There is virtually no aftermarket support for P-60 parts that are not common to the IH tractor engine. New carburators can be gotten from Moyer Marine. Carburator rebuild kits can be gotten from tractor aftermarket sources. Spark plugs, points, condensers. dist caps and rotors can be gotten at auto parts stores.

For practical purposes you are maintaining an antique. You might want to repower with a diesel before doing any major engine investments.
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Nick Fort
Username: nfort

Post Number: 9
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 06, 2010 - 09:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have an Islander 30 that came with a Palmer P-60 that was in bad shape. I looked into installing a new diesel, and with all the work of new motor mounts, exhaust systems, linkage and the cost of a new diesel and trans, decided to rebuild the Palmer. It was an enjoyable project and I now have a Palmer that starts, idles and runs great and is much quieter than a diesel. The whole project probably cost less than $2000. I upgraded to a fresh water flush out. As Eddie states, the Palmer is an antique, but there is a lot to be said for a low tec engine that is easy to work on. I also like the fact that I am keeping my boat original. My Palmer was 28 years old when I rebuilt it. I feel like she will go another 28 no problem and with the fresh coat of paint she looks new. Enjoy Nick

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