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Old 01-22-2011, 12:29 PM
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Default 1990 3.0L OMC Cobra good or bad??

Hello,
I'm a little new to the boating industry here but I am in the process of picking up a used boat for the family. What I have my eye on is a 1990 Bayliner Capri 17' with a 3.0L OMC Cobra engine. Looks to be a ford series engine.. It is from a dealer asking price seams very low at $1500. Motor runs, shifts and has good compression.. 3 cylinders at 160 the last at 155. I'm just wondering if there is any issues to be concerned about with this motor. I'm very new to inboards. I do tinker and consider myself relativley mechanically inclined. I just don't want to get into trying to rebuild an engine.. (the major stuff) In anycase the cosmetics of this boat are ok.. a little sun faded and upholstery is split in a few spots but I really just want to get on the water and maybe pull the kids in a tube here and there nothing too radical. Any thoughts on this and what to ask and look for yet would be greatly appreciated.
thanks,
Rob
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Old 01-22-2011, 01:49 PM
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The 3.0L was based off an ancient 2.5L (1963 or so) Chevy 4cyl and was or is still being produced by Mercruiser. Intake and exhaust manifolds on the same (port) side of the engine.
The Ford engine was the 2.3L Mustang/Ranger engine. Single overhead cam (SOHC). Timing belt cover should be prominent and intake and exhaust are on the opposite sides of the head.
In any case, $1500 is "walking around" money in boating. The trailer, condition of the boat, etc would make or break the deal. You can expect nothing for this amount of money. If it runs, run it. When it breaks, throw it away.
Any sort of boating is not for the faint of wallet.
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Old 01-22-2011, 01:57 PM
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Bad bad bad bad
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Old 01-22-2011, 02:20 PM
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So I'm thinking you guys think I should stay away.. Thank You for the info.. Also just an FYI the trailer and boat itself is in my opinion pretty decent.. but again the motor is a concern and it is a ford version of the cobra which I think is hard to get someone to work on it and parts are scarce..
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Old 01-22-2011, 04:22 PM
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In a lighter boat they seem fine, but they have been put into some heavier boats or boats that don't have much hull efficiency. Seen a lot of burnt valves in these things.
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Thank goodness that in the scheme of things you are broke, powerlesss and inconsequential, because with the shortsighted alternatives and idealogy you have you'd be much worse than those you complain about.
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Old 01-22-2011, 04:32 PM
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I'm not a fan of that engine either, but for $1500 WTH..... Sea trial it, and if it runs good go for it. It WILL nickel and dime you, but that's cheap money to be on the water.
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Old 01-22-2011, 04:52 PM
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yeah, I'm expecting to nickel and dime for this money.. I'm trying to get on the water cheap and if I'm out there a couple times a week for few hours during the summer I'll be doing good. I'll invest more into a better boat if I start going out on a regular basis.. I'm used to a small fishing boat with a little outboard on it.. Like I said I'm more worried about an engine going to hell and can't get it fixed ect...I'll keep you posted with what transpires if anything on this one.. again, thanks for all the feed back.
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:16 PM
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All those bayliners are rotten by now. Pull back carpeted areas. The plywood will crumble.
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:16 PM
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You will be farther ahead if you keep looking for a Mercruiser. The parts are a lot more available and way more of them new and used.
OMC's and Volvo's are no where near as common making their parts more expensive.
You don't have your location listed so it's hard to tell which market you are in.
The Bayliners are a very bottom entry level boat, especially the small runabouts. There are some real dogs in the boat market and even some quality level boats that have been neglected making them dogs.
Just know the basic boating slogans-
B-O-A-T= Break Out Another Thousand
Two days a boat owner will never forget- The day he buys it and The day he sells it!
Boat- a hole in the water you pour money into!
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:45 PM
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there are a ton of boats for sale on the cheap. put another thousand in and get a better boat. if you put money in that boat, you still have a bayliner with a cobra drive
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:49 PM
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They want 1500 for that boat, that's what I payed for the boat in my signature. To put it bluntly, its a nothing boat. Keep looking, but more importantly, what are you looking for out of a boat?
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:31 PM
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The first thing you need to do is decide what you want to do in your boating. Was this boat used in fresh water, salt, both? Was it stored indoors or outdoors uncovered? Our second boat was an '89 model Bayliner Capri 19 ft. boat with an OMC Cobra 3.0. It was a like new 2 year old boat when we purchased it. The little Chevy motor was a piece of cake to work on. At the time I was working as an ASE Master Truck tech, so it was a breeze to keep and maintain, which was a good thing because I use my boats exclusively in salt water. The wife and I spent many great times and a lot of nights on that boat, but by '96 it was nickel and diming us. I got rid of it while it was still in good shape and got $6,500 for it. My bet is the boat your looking at is "used up" and then some. If you're going to buy an old inexpensive boat, I'd look for a center console with an outboard. You'll spend much more time on the water and less tinkering. As others have said, you probably need to save a bit more. Our very first boat was a '79 Glastron with a 100 E'rude I lucked up on, including galvanized trailer for $1,100, but that was 22 years ago, the boat was 10 years old then. Ran the piss out of that one for three years and sold it for $1,500.....only boat I ever came out ahead on; beginners luck I guess. From there on I was hooked.
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by workinpr0gress View Post
They want 1500 for that boat, that's what I payed for the boat in my signature. To put it bluntly, its a nothing boat. Keep looking, but more importantly, what are you looking for out of a boat?
your boat rules - good buy !
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:50 PM
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Cobras of the late 80's had some inital internal problems, the year you are looking at should be OK.
Verify that there is NO water in the lower unit juice.
Verify that the outdrive shifts OK under load. Shifting OK on the trailer is not a good test. The intermediate shift cable is a maintenence issue, it needs to be replaced every 5 yrs or so.
If you get the boat, spend the money on some shop manuals, Ken Cook publishing should be able to help.
Cobra parts are available, but be ready to wait and pay $$$.
My cobra has been problem free since I rebuilt it to spec, oh oh now I've jinxed it.

Good luck
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
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your boat rules - good buy !
Thanks, looked for a good Potter SC for a long time, this one really brought me back to having my own boat again. I will be up to about 4600 and I don't know how much time but enough. But I did about 200 in work to make it safe and reliable when I bought it.

First post, http://www.thehulltruth.com/dockside...-seacraft.html
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Thank goodness that in the scheme of things you are broke, powerlesss and inconsequential, because with the shortsighted alternatives and idealogy you have you'd be much worse than those you complain about.
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Old 01-22-2011, 07:20 PM
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midwest region, madison, wi to be exact. boat is in chicago, IL..honestly I'd rather have an outboard motor, easier to work on. Just havn't found the right one. this one just came along so thats why I'm looking into it.. again, thanks to everyone for all the insight.
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Old 01-22-2011, 07:33 PM
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Wouldnt take it if it were free...
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Old 05-29-2011, 06:20 PM
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I have had 7 omc cobra drives on four winns boats . The best boat I have ever owned is my 1989 freedom with a 2.3 ford It revs a little higher than most 4 cyl. I have it on a small lake and tube and ski with it . The best part about omc drives is you get a great boat at a lesser price. I look for omc drive boats people give them a bad name. The odd part is people wont buy a boat with a omc drive no matter what the shape of the boat is. I asked a dealer to get me a part for my lower unit it was in stock I also asked him if he could get any part he said parts are a five day wait and any new part for the cobra unit is still being produced. I hope every one keeps up the good work I love boats at half the price . So please dont buy any boats with omc cobra drives .
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Old 05-29-2011, 09:35 PM
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my 3.0 has been a little workhorse since the day i dropped it in. and it's attached to an even older OMC electric stringer. Now that the drive was professionally rebuilt i haven't had a moments trouble. Can't say much about bayliners though, especially the small ones. good luck!
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:30 AM
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The OMC drive system is not bad but some parts are getting to be hard to find and so are techs who can adjust the shift cable right. A Bayliner of that vintage could be wood rot city. I would not buy another older boat with wood in the framework, after re-habbing one already. Way too much work, the repairs can easily exceed double the value of the boat if you can't do it yourself, and if you do fix yourself, it can take up a whole summer (sweating in a Tyvec suit) Not Fun....

Boating is not cheap, if you try to do it on the cheap, you can get into something that will suck up cash but not be worth anything when you want to sell
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