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TOPIC: New to me Homelite 55

New to me Homelite 55 2 years 8 months ago #109523

First of all thanks for all the great information on this site.

I've learned a lot reading through old posts.

I just acquired a 1966 Whaler 16 with a 1966 Homelite 55. The boat is in beautiful shape, and the engine looks like it's been well maintained.

I've noticed the following:

- thermostat was deleted (with a metal plate over the housing)
- appears to have points replaced with electric ignition
- freeze plugs have been replaced with rubber type
- block plates on both sides have sealant on them (appears block was cleaned out at some time in the past)
- no oil filter
- shift plate has a molded ventilation hole in it



It runs/pumps great in a bucket but haven't tested it on the water yet.

My big question is cylinder #1? (bottom most) has about 10% leakdown @ 80psi while the other three have very low leakdown <3%.

The air leakage in the bottom cylinder appears to mostly be coming out the crankcase breather tube.

Is this something I should worry about?


The engine has been sitting for best guess 12 years.

It has a new impeller in it, anything else I should check-out before I see how she runs in the water?


Thanks!

Alan

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Re: New to me Homelite 55 2 years 8 months ago #109526

alant912,

WELCOME ABOARD. - Sounds like a nice project.

I suspect that one of the real Homelite EXPERTS here will be able to give you LOTS of help.

yours, satx

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Resistance to tyrants is obedience to Almighty God.
Thomas Jefferson, 1803

Re:New to me Homelite 55 2 years 8 months ago #109527

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post pics of the port and stbd side of the engine so we can see which exhaust, fuel pump, etc.
post model and serial number.
Change gear oil and engine oil, get a napa 4104 or wix 24104 oil filter on her.
If you don't have service manual or illustrated parts list I have them on bearcat55.com
What state are you in? Reason I ask is there was a good tech in MD that used to delete the thermostat the correct way, if not done correctly you will overheat the engine. Thus why you should post pics.
Re the compression I"ve seen many of them with initial low compression on one or more cyls, and then they even up after some running in time.
Usually you want to descale the block water jackets too. Since you are seeing some manner of rtv gasket material on the water jacket plate perhaps previous owner already did that for you.
And check the valve clearances.
These are nice running motors if you take the time to properly bring the maintenance up to date on them.

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Re:New to me Homelite 55 2 years 8 months ago #109528

Model is 460A 2F

Boat is from MD. One owner! :)

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Re:New to me Homelite 55 2 years 8 months ago #109529

Bill, Thanks for your help.

I emailed you engine pics as the forum says they are too large.

Boat came with a NOS homelite oil filter. Just ordered a WIX.

Very interested in a service manual, sent you an email.

It appears to have the mechanical fuel pump still with a paper filter prior to the glass one.

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Re:New to me Homelite 55 2 years 8 months ago #109678

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alant912 wrote:

My big question is cylinder #1? (bottom most) has about 10% leakdown @ 80psi while the other three have very low leakdown <3%.

The air leakage in the bottom cylinder appears to mostly be coming out the crankcase breather tube.

Is this something I should worry about?


The engine has been sitting for best guess 12 years.



Thanks!

Alan


Air leakage from the breather indicates it's getting past the rings. Chances are the rings are stuck from sitting all those years. I'd run it and check it after each time out.

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Dick Johnson

1989 16ft Sylvan

'57 Evinrude 18 (finally found a decent one)
'58 Johnson 5.5
'72 Johnson 6.0
'61 Homelite
'64 Johnson 18
'65 Homelite 55
'66 Homelite 55
'68 Bearcat 55 (3)
'70 Bearcat 55 (2)
'71 Bearcat 85 (Sold)

Re:New to me Homelite 55 2 years 7 months ago #110379

Thanks again guys for all the help.


I got the boat (1966 Whaler Eastport 16) out on the water for about 5 hours this weekend with a lot of running at WOT.

The boat only does about 20MPH at WOT with two people on it, and barely planes with 4 on. Is this reasonable performance for this engine? I don't have a working tach, but will try to get one hooked up the next time I run it.

I noticed the throttle butterflies appear barely open at WOT, but looking at the manual I think they are adjusted to spec....


Good news is I did a leakdown and compression test this morning and cylinder #1 is much better (compression 200 PSI & leakdown of 5% at 90 PSI), so looks like the a ring started sealing better.


Bad news is I am leaking oil from the top of the engine (which is getting slung by the flywheel out the back of the engine cover). I pulled the flywheel and the crankshaft seal looks newer, but I pulled it and ordered a replacement. FYI the dimensions were 45x60x7. () Will post an update on how it fits.

Also thinking about replacing the spark plug wires, anyone know part #s for these?

Thanks,

Alan

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Re:New to me Homelite 55 2 years 7 months ago #110441

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Throttle butterflies should open to max, 20 mph seems too slow, mine tops out at 26 to 28 mph, 16 ft aluminum hull, 12 pitch prop and 5400rpm. Napa should have 7mm solid core plug wires.

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Dick Johnson

1989 16ft Sylvan

'57 Evinrude 18 (finally found a decent one)
'58 Johnson 5.5
'72 Johnson 6.0
'61 Homelite
'64 Johnson 18
'65 Homelite 55
'66 Homelite 55
'68 Bearcat 55 (3)
'70 Bearcat 55 (2)
'71 Bearcat 85 (Sold)

Re:New to me Homelite 55 2 years 7 months ago #110467

Thx for confirming the proper throttle setup 4stroke. I'm not sure why the throttle was adjusted to only open part-way, but it's fixed now (just had to flip a cable housing stop). Can't wait to get it back on the water..

I was able to order the tune-up parts at Napa. The old wires look ancient, figure it won't hurt to replace them.

Hopefully everything fits!

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Re:New to me Homelite 55 2 years 7 months ago #110682

So got the new tune-up parts installed... Distributor rotor, cap and wires plus the top crankshaft seal.

Got on the water yesterday and she ran great at lower RPMs and is no longer leaking oil.

I noticed she had trouble maintaining RPMs over 5k for any sustained amount of time. I don't think this is a new issue, just more apparent now that I have a working tach hooked up.

Seems to me like a fuel starvation issue... Hooked up a "Mr Gasket" electric fuel pump when I got home, but seeing a lot of bad reviews I might buy a Facet instead.

Looking forward to getting back on the water to see what she can do!

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Re:New to me Homelite 55 2 years 7 months ago #110935

Got her back on the water this weekend with an elec fuel pump + rebuilt carbs.

She ran great and will now run at 5k RPMs consistently at WOT.

The boat has a 11.5" diam 12" pitch prop on it and will do approx 23mph and 5k RPMs wide open.

Boat is a classic whaler 16 with bimini top up and approx 500lbs in passengers.

Is this acceptable performance or should it go faster?


Thanks!

-Alan

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Re:New to me Homelite 55 2 years 7 months ago #110943

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Sounds like you are there. I have multiple engines and they vary on speed from 24 to 28mph. 16 ft aluminum Sylvan, 12 pitch prop, turning 5400 rpm.

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Dick Johnson

1989 16ft Sylvan

'57 Evinrude 18 (finally found a decent one)
'58 Johnson 5.5
'72 Johnson 6.0
'61 Homelite
'64 Johnson 18
'65 Homelite 55
'66 Homelite 55
'68 Bearcat 55 (3)
'70 Bearcat 55 (2)
'71 Bearcat 85 (Sold)

Re:New to me Homelite 55 2 years 7 months ago #110957

4stroke,

Thanks for the data points!

I was getting close to full performance, but couldn't get it to rev above 5k RPMs.

I think I may have figured it out...

Checked spark at each plug today which looked good, but realized that the Pertronix ignitor was acting up and was energizing the coil all the time (giveaway was arcing under the dist cap).

I don't think I friend the ignitor testing as I recall hearing arcs with the ignition on pereviously, but a new one is on the way...

Looking forward to seeing how she runs with the ignition working properly. I think I may have all the bugs worked out of this thing!

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Re:New to me Homelite 55 2 years 7 months ago #110991

I have a Bearcat on a 1970 16' Whaler hull (Sakonnet) and get about the same performance you describe above. Can't tell you off the top of my head what prop I am running.

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___________________
1970 Boston Whaler Sakonnet w/ Bearcat 55
1960 Chris Craft Continental w/ 283 ci V8

Re:New to me Homelite 55 2 years 7 months ago #110994

Great, thanks for the data point.

Glad I'm getting good performance from her.

The good and bad news is she really doesn't go much faster wide open and cruises close to 20mph at around 4k RPMs.

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Re:New to me Homelite 55 2 years 7 months ago #110999

That's exactly my experience. I remember my dad saying the Bearcat 85 had crankshaft bearing problems, so he never let me run our 55 hp over 4000 rpm for fear of the same, especially because it didn't get you but a couple extra mph.

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1970 Boston Whaler Sakonnet w/ Bearcat 55
1960 Chris Craft Continental w/ 283 ci V8
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