Ecotec 2.0 LTG High School/Home Build

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CWAIS
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Location: Pardeeville, WI

Ecotec 2.0 LTG High School/Home Build

Post by CWAIS »

This last year was a tuff one for my Technology and Engineering Classes in our school district, up here in Wisconsin. We started our planning process the year before starting with the hull, this build was going to be my retirement boat (not ready to retire yet but getting very close).
13’- 0” by 7’- 9” by 26” sides Alum.
3/16” Bottom and 1/8” sides
18” grass rake
6” walk boards
5/16” poly
Power plant was going to be a Ecotec motor out of a 2014 Cadillac ats 2.0 ltg turbo. We found one about 25 miles away at a salvage yard. Only had 35,000 miles and was rear ended with no/accessories. We put a couple of questions out to a few different people on southern airboats and got some good information to get started. Russ (“OneBFC” on Southern Airboats) was great, he gave us some do’s and don’ts and we made a list from there. We slowly accumulated parts. Then Eddie (“Fishsticker” on southern airboats) started a thread. Just by following his thread we gained so much information. If it wasn’t from Eddie it was from someone who chimed in with a comment. What a great group to be associated with!!!
Next the gear box, we went with a Ballistic gear box, 2.3 gear ratio. I’m not going to tell you it was easy getting this gear box but we did get it and it looks great.
The prop wow so many options, everyone I talked to was just great and helpful.
Talked with:
Patti at Whirlwind Props
Darren at Sensenich
Andrew at Water Walker
We went with Sensenich 2Blade 79” NGR but I think we could have gone with any of them and it would have worked out great.
Next we needed a wiring harness and ECU, so we looked around and found a place in Michigan
Called “SWAP Specialties” They said that they could build us a harness and tuned ECU with more than 320 HP. We were sold, they even gave us a school discount. This started around the end of October and it would take a month. Month turned into months, wiring harness came end of February but no ECU? Many unanswered phone calls and e-mails and text. (I mean Many). End of August a ECU shows up. I had purchased an ecu from a 2013 Cadillac ats manual transmission because I thought we were not going to receive one. We had started to tune that one but could only produce 3200 rpm’s out of it. This new ECU gave us hope, we plugged it in with less codes but could not break that 3200rpm’s. Meanwhile we had another tuner friend that was very familiar with the ATS 2.0 LTG turbo. While he was working behind the scenes. I sent a message to Andi at Swap Specialties and got a response right away, he said he would recheck the tune that he had sent to see if anything was wrong, I have not heard from him since.
We had a breakthrough in our tune (Thank God). We are now running at 5200 rpms with our blades pitch at 17 degrees (3 inches in from the tips) which I think is between the 2 and 3 mark on the prop.
We have some room to tune now or tweek what we have. We also had trouble with heat running up to 235 almost 240 for coolant temp. Changed the thermostat no difference. Our conclusion was that we had air trapped somewhere. We drained coolant again (made a mess) took out the thermostat and drilled 2 x 1/8” holes in it and put it back together. Tested once since and it rounded off at around 170. It probably should be hotter but at least we shouldn’t overheat while testing.
I need to back up a little here to fill in some gaps. This last year I didn’t feel that I had the right mix of students to build an aluminum hull. I checked with, Jake Tupper at Gale Marine Inc. and he was just swamped. An airboat friend of mine Mike Moeller said he was going to order a hull from Alumitech and that he and his dad were going to go down on a little trip and pick it up. He said for some gas money he could bring back two, so I called Alumitech to get a price on a hull and ordered it. Once we had the sizes for the hull my students started building the trailer (it went very well). They got done with the trailer just before Mike and his dad got back with the hull. Mike also picked up some gorgeous seats from Buttraxx, thanks for timing that just right for our pickup Rusty! Then we were shut down for covid19. Trying to teach shop class from home was rough but we got very creative and it helped us all survive this terrible time. I decided I was going to finish this boat a little bit at a time in the pole shed so I went to work. Engine stand, seat stand and then cage. It was good for me because I love it when I’m busy. I have to say that I didn’t build this one by myself, my wife was asked many times over to come out to the pole shed hold something, lift something for me or hold a flash light on a weld area so I could see what I was Welding.
I would like to thank everyone that has helped us over the years on our airboat projects, this will be our 5th airboat build and many of you were big contributors over the years. Especially that group of people back in 2014 when it all got started. Justin Ficken (JT540) got us a 0-320 turn key engine ready to go and we were off to the races.
Here are a few pictures of the finished project minus the floor.
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IMG_2699.JPG

CWAIS
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Location: Pardeeville, WI

Re: Ecotec 2.0 LTG High School/Home Build

Post by CWAIS »

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CWAIS
Southern Airboat Member
Posts: 235
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:47 pm
Location: Pardeeville, WI

Re: Ecotec 2.0 LTG High School/Home Build

Post by CWAIS »

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CWAIS
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Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:47 pm
Location: Pardeeville, WI

Re: Ecotec 2.0 LTG High School/Home Build

Post by CWAIS »

Here are a couple of short clips of the Maiden Voyage. This thing sits high in the water and is on plane with two people as fast as you give it gas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjsiVmP ... =chuckwais

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r6AXHe ... =chuckwais

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glades cat
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Re: Ecotec 2.0 LTG High School/Home Build

Post by glades cat »

Big congrats again on another great build. Let's hope all this Covid dust settles so school kids can get some hands-on learning.
"Leave a legacy...Preserve the irreplaceable"
12' x 7' sled built by Scorpion, Cont. O-470-K, 72" Whisper Tip
Rigged by Gladescat & sons in 2009

CWAIS
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Location: Pardeeville, WI

Re: Ecotec 2.0 LTG High School/Home Build

Post by CWAIS »

Thanks glades cat. So far this year we have been back in school, that could change anytime now. There are a lot of cases in our area. Stay healthy!!!

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keys2pines
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Re: Ecotec 2.0 LTG High School/Home Build

Post by keys2pines »

Looks awesome! I think you should build boats in your retirement.
12x6'8" Frank Barnes deckover, 383 DD, 72" Sensenich JM
Our keys house for rent, 10% off for SA members https://rentalsfloridakeys.com/view-uni ... /#image-10 :usa:

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kwanjangnihm
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Re: Ecotec 2.0 LTG High School/Home Build

Post by kwanjangnihm »

Great job!! I could only wish I had shop back in high school and learn how to build an airboat!!

This was the first thing that came to mind when FS spoke of getting the air out of his system!! (drilling one or two holes) :salute:
CWAIS wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:14 am
We also had trouble with heat running up to 235 almost 240 for coolant temp. Changed the thermostat no difference. Our conclusion was that we had air trapped somewhere. We drained coolant again (made a mess) took out the thermostat and drilled 2 x 1/8” holes in it and put it back together. Tested once since and it rounded off at around 170. It probably should be hotter but at least we shouldn’t overheat while testing.
He'll cut your throat, baby, stick you in the back, drive off in your Cadillac.
He's more trouble than you think, he'll kill your sugar, leave you in the drink.

CWAIS
Southern Airboat Member
Posts: 235
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:47 pm
Location: Pardeeville, WI

Re: Ecotec 2.0 LTG High School/Home Build

Post by CWAIS »

Thanks Keys2pines and kwanjangnihm ! I'm hoping to do more riding and less building when I retire.

Gary S
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Re: Ecotec 2.0 LTG High School/Home Build

Post by Gary S »

Congratulations on the retirement. Kids are going to lose a favorite teacher.

Old Yeller
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Re: Ecotec 2.0 LTG High School/Home Build

Post by Old Yeller »

NICE JOB!!
What a great project to get those students motivated... way cool

CWAIS
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Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:47 pm
Location: Pardeeville, WI

Re: Ecotec 2.0 LTG High School/Home Build

Post by CWAIS »

Thanks Gary S and Old Yeller. Gary got about two or three years left to retire but getting close. The boat should be broke-in by then.

FISHSTICKER
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Location: French Settlement Louisiana

Re: Ecotec 2.0 LTG High School/Home Build

Post by FISHSTICKER »

Boat looks fantastic brother! I might have mine back together by the end of the day today if I can get my chores done this morning :D . I purchased one of those vacuum assist coolant tools. I'm going to add a port at the radiator in the return line to introduce the coolant and pull the vacuum from the fill reservoir at the top.

CWAIS
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Re: Ecotec 2.0 LTG High School/Home Build

Post by CWAIS »

Good luck Eddie

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