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TOPIC: 1971 Glasspar Newport Cruiser - Rejuvenation

1971 Glasspar Newport Cruiser - Rejuvenation 1 month 1 week ago #145852

I introduced this boat in the Main Forum back in October.



It's a survivor that has a seized Mercruiser 215E (Ford 302) engine.


My plan is to repair the engine and rejuvenate the boat, keeping originality in mind, while adding some subtle modern touches making the boat reliable and comfortable for my family.

I'd like your help/advice as I make the journey to get it back on the water again
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1971 Glasspar Newport Cruiser - Rejuvenation 1 month 1 week ago #145853

During September, I carefully stripped the boat of all mechanicals, interior and bright work, and cleaned and cataloged everything. I created a workbook of items I need to rebuild and or replace and have been seeking parts accordingly.

The floor and transom are in excellent condition.


I gave the hull a good cleaning



The boat has been delivered to a local fiberglass/gelcoat artisan to help restore one of the side decals and repair gel coat bumps, bruises and modifcations from owners in the past.

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1971 Glasspar Newport Cruiser - Rejuvenation 1 month 1 week ago #145854

After trading ideas with my fiberglass guy, I've decided to have him cleanup the floors and interior transom and put a layer of fiberglass on it to seal everything up.



First couple decisions I'd like your advice on:
Would you apply some paint or gel coat to the interior floor, transom and sides?

It was originally equipped with a rubber/vinyl type flooring which is worn out around the engine housing. I carefully removing cleaned and boxed it up for use as templates.

Can you still find same or similar versions of this floor covering?
Would you reinstall the floor covering or would you just use a painted/gelcoated interior?
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1971 Glasspar Newport Cruiser - Rejuvenation 1 month 1 week ago #145858

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Since you asked...I'd tear that floor out of there, remove any/all foam, re-foam, re-deck with 1/2" marine plywood sealed top and bottom with CPES...THEN fiberglass everything.

Pressure wash the entire interior and paint the bulkheads with a good marine paint, two coats.

You may want to consider Marmoleum flooring. ( www.greenbuildingsupply.com/All-Products/Sheet ) I've used it several times...great stuff. There are a few wood grain samples but I'd go with a neutral light solid color. I'm using Marmoleum Mica #3729 for my current restoration.

I'd also buy a marine standard rotation crate motor for $2,645 from Atlantic Marine... www.atlanticmarinestore.com/ford-5-0-302-engines/
Recycle all your bolt-on engine parts. Repairing your old engine won't be cheap. Crank, rod and cam bearings will need to be replaced, rings, rebuilt heads...new everything...even a full gasket set! Might as well buy it all done for you...done and done right...with a guarantee.
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"Vintage quality beats new junk every time." - J. S. Hadley
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1971 Glasspar Newport Cruiser - Rejuvenation 1 month 6 days ago #145860

Thanks for all the information and advise Nautilus. This is exactly what I was looking for. You have a great reputation on this site.

I had a couple boat shops/marinas look at the boat once I removed the interior. One place pulled out a moisture meter and was surprised at how dry everything was. Is there a benefit to modern/fresh foam? Or is this a 'better to be safe than sorry' piece of advice? With all your experience, considering ease of maintenance, do have a preference for flooring? (painted or carpeted)

Related to the engine, mechanicals are probably to part of the boat I'm most comfortable with. I agree, it will be difficult to to have the block/crank/heads cleaned, inspected and machined (replace guides/seats, pistons, rods, camshaft, rockers, bearings) for less than $3K. Still, it's original to the boat, and although perhaps foolish, I like the 'numbers matching' block with Mercruiser serial number. It supposebly only has 400 hours on it, which looking at the internals, I can beleive. If the engine turns out to be cracked, I will go your route.

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1971 Glasspar Newport Cruiser - Rejuvenation 1 week 5 days ago #146027

Took a look at the 'Convertible Top' frame as the sales literature defines it. It's a fully enclosed stern cover in which the sides can be removed via snaps and the rear panel removed via zippers and snaps leaving a bimini style top. Of course it can all be unsnapped and removed if desired. I like having options depending on weather conditions.


Unfortunetely it was left to withstand the central Canadian winter the last couple years. The ice and snow piled on, bending the frame and tearing the zipper out of the rear window panel.


I determined the frame tubing diameter and created a set of blocks that I could screw to the outfeed table of my cabinet saw.
The blocks were created by routing 3/4" 'round nose' into some 1" x 2" wood


I used the blocks to securely hold the frame to the table and placed a bottle jack in strategic positions to straighten it.


The results although not 'like new' restored the frame to near original shape


Once I get the boat back from my fiberglass guy, I'll send it over to a shop with the original top and frame for a refurbish.

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1971 Glasspar Newport Cruiser - Rejuvenation 1 week 5 days ago #146029

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Great work! Also some great thinking going on there which translated to great results. Fine example of the 6 “P”s… prior proper planning prevents poor performance. Some call out the 7 Ps, but I am keeping it family friendly rated G.
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1971 Glasspar Newport Cruiser - Rejuvenation 1 week 3 days ago #146041

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Nice work. I wudda put it in the crotch of a maple tree and leaned on it. Eyeball it and then finesse.

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1971 Glasspar Newport Cruiser - Rejuvenation 1 week 3 days ago #146043

Chuckle....this is where the problem starts with me.

I've never had the finesse of many of the other craftsman of this community.

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1971 Glasspar Newport Cruiser - Rejuvenation 1 week 3 days ago #146044

Finally got back to my Cruiselog Hour meter.

The bezel had taken quite a shot at some point and has a good size dent in it at the top of the gauge.


I found a 2 inch Oil Pressure gauge from the same era on eBay shipped for $34. Using a piece of scrap 1/4" masonite, I cut a 2" hole into it and glued it to a piece of scrap 3/4" plywood. I then took an old, small flat blade screw driver, placed it in a vice and bent it to about a 75 degree angle


The jig held the gauge bezel fairly firmly so I could carefully work my way around the donor gauge using the screw driver to pry back the bezel lip and ultimately remove it. (apologies for the blurry photo)


The match looks pretty good to me.


Cleaned up the original gauge glass, gasket and gauge face with some Griots glass cleaner (mild stuff) and a few q-tips.

I applied a very thin layer of RTV black to the lense gasket and gauge lip and then slipped the replacement bezel over onto the gauge and clamped it back into my gauge holding jig. Using a 1lb ballpeen hammer and a 'relieved' square chisel, I slowly worked my way around the qauge several times, carefully rolling the bezel lip back over onto the gauge body.


The results turned out pretty well. If you examine the underside of the gauge, you can clearly see some small tool marks as opposed to the clean finish a die or rolling wheel would leave, but this is all hidden when the gauge is installed in the helm.

I appied 12 volts to it as a bench test and it happily ticked over in 6 second increments. Success!


Installed back in the helm.

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1971 Glasspar Newport Cruiser - Rejuvenation 4 days 11 hours ago #146080

Took a look at the signal system. (horn) It is a 13" Sparton.


The horn button was sticking and the horn itself made no sound.

Intersting that the horn button was made in Japan.......


Disassembled the switch by carefully prying each of the 4 tabs back which held the cover on. Determined nothing was broken, so just gave it a good cleaning.


Applied some dielectric grease to the contacts portion of the switch. (got a little carried away initially) Used an acid brush to smooth out and a cloth to remove the excess grease and then reassembled. (took lots of pictures so I knew how to put it back together)


Functions very smothly now and passed the bench test with flying colors


When I applied battery power to the horn, nothing happened.
(my bench top power supply doesn't provide enough amps to trigger the horn's electromagnet)
Decided to take a look inside by removing the two mounting bolts and drilling out 4 rivets


Determined some old friends had moved in previously and setup house.


The electromagnet and plunger/diaphram looked pretting good for being over 50 years old! The red arrow points to the contact.


For those interested, the principle of the electric horn is fairly simple and ingenious. When not energized, the contact, which also acts like a spring, is closed (touching) and the diaphram/plunger is in the out or extended position.


When energy (12 volts @ ~5amps for this horn) is applied, the contact which is closed, allows energy to pass to the electromagnet, which pulls the diaphram/plunger in (elctromagnetic field). As this happens, the contact opens/seperates, cutting the energy to the electromagnet, which allows the diaphram/plunger to spring back out.


The cycle repeats itself rapidly, producing the annoying sound we all rely on.
When the hornets moved in, the soil home they constructed eliminated the abilty of the horn diaphram to move.

Cleaned everything up with some brake cleaner and some light 3M pad scrubbing. (be careful not to damage the diaphram)


Purchased (4) 8-32 x 3/8" stainless allen head screws and nuts at my local hardware store, to replace the rivets. I put a thin layer of RTV clear on the gasket surfaces (both sides) of the diaphram and used Loctite 'blue' on the nuts when assembling.

I then used my grinder with a Norton cutting wheel to carefully grind back the outside edges of the four nuts. This allows the rear cover to fit back on securely. The red arrow points to the adjustment screw.

I initially turned the adjustment screw in/out until I achieved ~3 ohms.
0 ohms likely means the contact is not closed. (back your adjustment screw out)
Many ohms points to a failed electromagnetic coil.


I applied battery power to the horn again in couple second blasts and turned the adjustment screw in small increments until I received the loudest sound.

Aside from some polishing, ready for reinstallation.
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1971 Glasspar Newport Cruiser - Rejuvenation 4 days 1 hour ago #146087

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very cool, and very informative posts. Most people would be looking for replacements in your situation. I am sure that someone will benefit from the info like this that would normally just try to toss the parts and replace. I come from the same place, If it is broke, tear it apart and see if I can fix it. This mindset for me started as a child. I was always curious how things worked and would disassemble my toys when broke to see. This got worse later as I started to dissemble the toys before they broke LOL but there was many times that I would make repairs of my own so I could continue to play with the toy instead of tossing it out. Now this has got even worse as I have a hard time tossing broken items saving them for parts for future repairs. you never know what you might need. I can see how hoarders get started.
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1971 Glasspar Newport Cruiser - Rejuvenation 3 days 20 hours ago #146088

Thanks Lenny!
Like you, I get a lot of satisfaction out of returning older neglected and unwanted things back to service.
The hardware and accessories on our older boats were engineered during an era when things were built to last. The replacements for many of the these items are flimsy and engineered for lowest cost production and disposable. Can you buy chrome anything for your boat any longer? Much of it just needs some good maintenance.........

I've been following your restoration thread and admire the patience and resolve you have to strip all those layers of paint off your boat. It will be a great accomplishment when you complete this dingy phase of your restoration!
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1971 Glasspar Newport Cruiser - Rejuvenation 3 days 8 hours ago #146107

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Thanks for the horn information. Now I have some great information for a spring project… darn insects and critters seem to always be causing more work. I would rather try to fix my original 1965 dual horn rather than replace it.
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1971 Glasspar Newport Cruiser - Rejuvenation 2 days 20 hours ago #146114

Thanks Doctor.
I sincerely hope your project goes as well as mine did. These old horns seem to built very well, so I think the odds are likely very much in your favor! Rather do it now than during boating season...........

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1971 Glasspar Newport Cruiser - Rejuvenation 18 hours 30 minutes ago #146125

(disclaimer: I'm not an Electrical Engineer)
Took a look at the tachometer. It was mentioned it may not be accurate.


It's a stock 1971 Mercruiser and appears to be manufactured by AC. Haven't been able to find too much information on AC. (AC Delco??)



Started by measuring the gauge bezel which was 3 5/8". Dividing that in half, set my hole cutter to a radius of 1 13/16" and cut a hole in some 1/4" fiber board to hold the gauge.

This style cutter works well, but even at a low 540 rpm, if find it a bit unnerving.

Studying the gauge, there is no clear way to adjust the scale from the outside, so will have to open the gauge and investigate further.

The Blue arrow points to ground. Red arrow to 12V power. Green arrow is the coil signal supply. (brown wire on my Mercruiser harness)

I carefully pried the bezel and face off the gauge and determined it's entirely Solid State electronics.


Doing some research I discovered there are a couple ways to bench calibrate electric/solid state tachometers.
It's easy enough to supply 12 volts to the tach using my bench top power supply or a battery. The more difficult part is supplyiing the signal provided by the ignition coil when the engine is running.

Enter the DDS Signal Generator and some math.
I purchased this on Amazon for $29.99.


So here's the concept. The Tach listens/reads ignition coil pulses/discharges. On our older engines, one ignition coil supplies spark power to all cylinders via the ignition distributor. (modern engines have an ignition coil for each cylinder) I have a V8 4-stroke engine. For each revolution of my engine, the ignition coil needs to supply 4 pulses/sparks.....4 cylinders fire/go through their power stroke.

Here's the math:
4200 rpm (my target peak revolutions per minute)
divided by 60 seconds (determines revolutions per second)
divided by 2 (4 stroke engine meaning each cylinder only fires once every 2 revolutions)
multiplied by 8 cylinders (determines sparks per revolution)
4200/60 = 70/2 = 35 x 8 = 280 Hz (Hertz equals the number of cycles per second)
You can adjust the variables to meet your engine as needed

Using the DDS Signal generator set to Square wave, I can create signals that simulate an ignition coil.
280 hz = 4200 rpm
210 hz = 3150 rpm
140 hz = 2100 rpm
70 hz = 1050 rpm

I pulled the needle off my gauge and will replace when gauge is working at a predetermined rpm.


I connected my bench top power supply to the ground and 12V terminals on the gauge.
I connected the DDS signal generator to the ground and signal terminal on the gauge.
Next I set the DDS signal generator to Square Wave, 280 hz, and energized the circuit by pushing the run/stop button. I slowly turned the AMP dial on the side to full power and the gauge began reading the signals.
I then carefully pressed the needle back on with a tweezers at the 4200 mark on the gauge scale. Took a couple tries to get it accurately placed. I want the gauge to be most accurate at 4200 as that's recomended power peak.


Checked at 210 hz


Checked at 140 hz


Checked at 70 hz


Once I was happy with the guage's accuracy, I carefully cleaned it and reinstalled the bezel


It took a little time to research and aquire the DDS Signal Generator, but this was definately one of the more interesting projects I've completed recently.

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