As we all basically know, the Q series of Chris-Craft marine engines went through an evolutionary phase of development and some things that were iron got changed, including the intake manifold and the routing of cooling water, etc. In reality the Q is a formidable unit, well designed, producing good power and very reliable. The Achillies heel of this system is the intake manifold, which has been known to rust out over time, and these are in short supply at high cost. The manifold is Q-specific, in otherwords, it is so specific to the way the engine is turned around and hooks to drive belts, cooling outlets, etc., that Q owners dont have the chance to swap to any number of other intake manifolds that would otherwise fit the small block Chevy. The Q intake is the only one that works for a Q motor. It has all the proper cooling ports and has a built in carb wedge that just makes it work so well.....if you can find one. Therefore anyone with a Q engine has the potential of being without much of a choice for a replacement, other than to look on the recycled motor circuit for one that may still be good.
The motor will run with an aftermarket intake, of course, and actually with some great improvement depending on the selection. The Edelbrock Performer RPM is a popular choice for small block V8 motors looking for an upgrade. The problem is dealing with all of the other issues like water flow, drive belts for water pumps and alternators, etc. Kris has done it.............here is his report!!
"327Q runs sooooo nice. One pump gas, starts right up and purrs at 700 RPM's,
advancing nicely thru 3800 so far. Pretty sure she will see 4200 at some
Custom intake,exhausts,Risers, and water system performs flawlessly...No hot
spots yet after 30 minute run time. Will run it thru the paces shortly.
I am now living proof that the 327Q does not require the original
Intake...It can be done.
In order to put the Q conversion concept into the proper perspective I am adding the photos below of my own projects, some of which I believe are more complex than putting an aftermarket intake on a Q motor and hooking up a thermostat. This is intended to disperse the myth and the fears that "only a Q intake can be used on a Q motor"
These projects use custom plumbing, which I see really no different to accomplish on a Q motor. That being said, I would fully expect to have to give a little blood perhaps in the area of knuckles to complete this task.
This was a relatively easy conversion of the 427 Standard Cooling System to accommodate the new DUI distributor. This was easy and very lucky because all I had to do was rotate the standard Chris-Craft T-fitting and replumb it.
This is a MUCH more complex operation, using a new 350 4-bolt main marine long block and hooking everything back up to flow like a 327F but with vertical discharge manifold (much easier said than done)
This is another rather complex conversion on my 427 project, and you can see I removed the entire recirculation pump system on the motor. This was done for simplification, physical fit reasons, to remove weight, and to avoid hanging that monster out on the end of an aluminum intake manifold. The result is a return to “old school” 427 setup similar to what was raced in the drag boat and flatbottom boat series in the early and mid 1960s, where the sea water pump did all the work.
These photos are presented to put the Q conversion project into perspective. It’s not an easy "bolt-on and go boating situation", but it certainly “can” be done and still use all of the Q recirculation and cooling features.