good job!!!! yes its the best to know that your hard work and effort put you on the water. take heed of the guys warning of the manifold/ riser issue. i have a acid tank if you want bring them out and i'll soak them for you and we can inspect them. you've come this far, don't stop short now. cost almost nothing, gaskets and your time. could save your motor, or if they're ok, give you piece of mind.
Tommy, You have come a long way and I am proud of you. It sounds like you are well on your way to being a lifetime boat owner.
I have some questions about your cooling system though. In your first post you said that the risers were getting very hot. I didn't read in this thread what you have done to them, if anything. What did you do to fix the problem?
You recently said that the impeller was checked. How was it checked? Simply by water flow, or did you take it apart and look at it? Impellers need to be replaced every other year, whether they pump water or not, whether the boat is used during that time or not. After a few years the blades on the impeller get stiff and start to crack. Then, all of a sudden, several blades fall off at the same time and get sucked into the cooling system and get stuck somewhere, usually where it is hard to remove them from. That only happens when you are using the boat on the water away from land and your tools or spare parts. It almost never happens in the driveway when you are checking how the motor runs. Do us all a favor and replace the damn thing before that happens. Sure, it is a Pain In The Ass, but it needs to be done and the sooner you do it the sooner you won't be afraid to do it again in 2 years.
Keep up the good work, and don't forget to post your first successful fishing trip.
"Impeller checked, great condition" you say. Please tell us you did not spend the time to remove/separate the out drive and then not change it out? You have done some good things, but to be honest, this does not sound like one of them.
As others have indicated, don't risk your engine over a fifty dollar kit and a few hours work. If your boating on the pacific, you can not afford to make bad decisions!
GENTS! i am happy to report! after alot of struggle, tears, money, sweat, and alot of hard work. It is up and running! and Went to the 150 last weekend, and Alas. TOMMY CHANG is on the F*in BOARD BABY!. ALL OF IT AFTER EVERYTHING. YEEEEAH BUDDY! thank u all! for the help!