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nkorep2 04-29-2012 02:01 AM

New 1990 Prostar 190 owner
I just purchased a 1990 Prostar 190 with a 351 in it, that is in dire need of a lot of TLC. Im gonna bring her back to life. The hull is in excellent shape which serves as a good starting point. Some elbow grease and the boat should shine. The motor and transmission are a different story. The story I got is that the boat was owned by an older guy who used it to ski with his daughters. They grew up and lost interest in boating, so the boat more or less sat for a while out in the elements. The guy thought about fixing it up, but he decided it wasnt worth the effort to get the thing running again. So it sat for a while longer until he sold it.

The guy I bought it from was planning on restoring it, but lost interest when he came across a center console fishing boat. He has like 5 boats at his house. He saw that the transmission was sitting in water at one point so decided to pull it as well as the motor, since that wasnt running either and likely needs a rebuild. So, he bought a rebuild kit with instructional video for the transmission, which looks nice and clean and in pieces currently. The motor turns over manually, but def needs a lot of work. Ill start tearing it down tomorrow and hopefully I will be able to save it without giving up an arm and a leg.

The interior is completely shot so will have to be replaced.

Things that are obviously missing from the boat are Carb, 1 exhaust manifold and riser, and starter. Seems like everything else is there. Im looking forward to learning about this mastercraft specifically and engine rebuilding and boat restoration in general. Ill be needing a bunch of help along the way.

The basic plan is as follows:

1. Get motor and transmission running and installed (motor may just need to be replaced)
2. Electrical such as gauges (not including a stereo)
3. re upholster 2 front seats
4. Then I'll work on making her look good on the outside
5. Then go back to finish the interior, rear seat, side panels, and then any final touches like stereo.
6. Fix the trailer
7. Play on the water

Would love to hear some advice or motivating thoughts, this is something Ive wanted to do for a while but havent taken the plunge till now.

curtish 04-29-2012 02:16 AM

Welcome. You are off to a great start providing lots of pictures. These resto threads are always fun to follow. Lots of good info available if you search the old threads. And if you don't find what you are looking for, just ask. :)

jhall0711 04-29-2012 02:26 AM

We all love project threads here... Especially when they are kept up to day with pictures. I have a 1989 prostar which will be an identical power train set up as yours with perhaps the exception of the transmission. (you will either have a 1:1 or the 1.5 :1 powerslot. Motor will be a 351 Ford. Im sure you know these basic things. We all love to help out as much as possible so please ask away. A lot of the more senior members are a wealth of information and have done most things at least twice.

Good luck; keep us up to date.


nkorep2 04-29-2012 02:38 AM

Anyone have a good source for Ford 351 rebuilding? Maybe a book or online source that would preferably have lots of photos?

mikeg205 04-29-2012 09:56 AM

Good luck...can't wait to see the final result.

Miss Rita 04-29-2012 10:38 AM

The nice thing about restoring old MC's is that if the hull is sound virtually every part you need is readily available. (Once exception is the dash panel, hope yours is OK) The 351 is a reliable-as-a-rock engine, no problem with rebuilding it. You've addressed the tranny issue. Places like will have most, if not all, of the mechanical bits you need.

We like pictures!

nkorep2 04-30-2012 02:36 AM

Day 1:

So I got a chance today to start working on this project. Got about 4 hours of work in. I started the engine tear down. There is obviously corrosion on the outside of the motor and as I quickly find out within the cooling system. The story behind this boat is still kind of a mystery even after the work today.

I removed the valve covers and the valves all look good on both sides of the motor.

Upon removing the hoses that attach to the thermostat housing, you can clearly see a ton of corrosion, someone must have used this boat in salt, or at least brackish water. I feel like the housing can be saved, maybe? It seems largely solid, but there is def a lot of rusty build up inside. What do you guys think?

I then pulled the hoses from the water pump. One side of the pump, I assume exit, was totally gunked up. Not sure what this is from. Maybe the Original owner ran through some muck that was sucked up into the system. It clogged the cooling system and the boat was put up without rinse which lead to the corrosion seen throughout? Idk, trying to figure it out. Anyone got any ideas regarding this?

The water pump is actually in pretty great shape, I didnt get a photo of it, but it spins smoothly and freely. I dont think it needs replacing, just a thorough cleaning. I then removed alternator, distributor, fuel pump and oil filter. Im assuming Ill have to replace all 4 from the list. There a way to clean the distributor, alternator, and fuel pump to see if they may work still?

I dont have a good image of the alternator, its a gonner anyway I think. I think removed the intake manifold. Everything looks clean with the exception of the cooling "ports" if thats what youd call them. I think this part can also be salvaged.

Then I removed the heads, and looks what I see! Water....actually, as I was separating them from the block, water started coming out. So the question stands, how did the water get in the cylinders? The motor turns over fairly easily by hand with the right socket. Can water get into the cylinders if the motor sits outside in the rain without a carburator on top of it? It sure is an awful lot of water that came out for the cylinders. It was like this on both sides, about the same amount on both sides.

Heres a close up. There is some rust, but it wiped away really easily with a paper towel.

So this is where I am now. I dont have the motor on a mount so I couldnt just remove the oil pan and finish the tear down to see what the rods look like. Hopefully I can get to that towards the end of the week. Assuming that the rest of the inner parts are in decent condition, is this motor worth rebuilding? I realize there are a bunch of questions in this post, but hopefully you can at least appreciate the photos and then answer them :)

I might potentially have the opportunity if this motor is a bust, to save up for and get a chevy 350 marine to install in this boat. Id rather keep the ford and not spend the money on another motor if I dont have to. I guess Ill figure the next step once the motor is completely torn apart. BTW, I only had one bolt thus far to give me trouble. I got it out with a manual impact driver that my buddy had. Neat little tool, never used one before.

Thanks in advance for all of your help.

mayo93prostar 04-30-2012 08:48 AM

I think the heads and block should be useable as long as it does not have any cracks. Yes, water can get in through the carb opening with no carb. I would replace the circulating water pump and exhaust manifolds and risers. Skidim has many parts, and I have used them quite a bit. However, for exhaust manifolds and risers, I found them cheaper at Good luck.

Jerseydave 04-30-2012 09:43 AM

Water in the cylinders could be from an open carb.....or the boat filling with rain water if the owner left the plug in. Didn't you say the trans had water in it? I would think the engine got water in it the same way.

You may want to check the cost of a complete long block instead of all the machine shop work plus internal engine parts (pistons, cam, etc.)

nkorep2 04-30-2012 12:05 PM


Originally Posted by Jerseydave (Post 834754)
Water in the cylinders could be from an open carb.....or the boat filling with rain water if the owner left the plug in. Didn't you say the trans had water in it? I would think the engine got water in it the same way.

You may want to check the cost of a complete long block instead of all the machine shop work plus internal engine parts (pistons, cam, etc.)

Wouldnt that mean the water was like 3 feet deep inside the boat? Makes me sad thinking that is possible. I didnt see a water line or anything like that on the interior, but maybe its there. I'll look at that once the motor is apart completely.

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