CHRIS CRAFT COMMANDER FORUM ® .......A photo-intensive technical reference file and ongoing newsletter regarding the original fiberglass Chris-Craft Commander series. This is an independent not-for-profit and non-commercial web site, not affiliated with the Chris Craft Commander Club ~~ or ~~ Chris-Craft Corporation. Our mission here is to "have fun and share information" about the Commander series (and those associated fiberglass boats on the Chris-Craft family tree) for your individual personal use, and by doing so help promote the good name of Chris-Craft, and help preserve, restore, and appreciate Chris-Craft boats. The main reference feature is the ever expanding MASTER INDEX File which contains what we believe to be the world's largest collection of documentation photos and technical information on the Chris-Craft Commander line of boats, (like these original brochure scans, featuring the iconic first 38 Commander styled by Fred Hudson, and many of the great Dick Avery renditions that followed) , (a huge collection of Chris-Craft 427 tuning and specification information), and a few words about how to use the forum.

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350Q Reassembly (photos restored to this thread !!)

November 17 2006 at 9:37 PM

Mark Weller  (Login mweller)

OK the block is back along with all the parts for reassembly. Here are some photos of what I came home with tonight from Sandusky.
I will break this up to make it easier on the dial up folks.

Block fresh from machining
[linked image]

Long view of block
[linked image]

Looking down the mains
[linked image]

Edit comment:

When Mark changed from his APYC web site all the links to photos were lost, but your intrepid forum host archived the photos because the thread was so good, and now we have been able to recover some or all of them due to reading the code on the old photo links and comparing them to codes in the archived files........whew!



This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on Jan 2, 2013 3:56 PM

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Mark Weller
(Login mweller)

350Q Reassembly Part II (photos restored)

November 17 2006, 9:41 PM 

OK here are some more for your viewing pleasure

Block Casting numbers with a reference from the site I believe Wes mentioned

[linked image]

Hmmmm is that a 4 bolt main I see?
[linked image]

Back end of block or the front depending on the way you see it.
[linked image]

This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on Jan 2, 2013 4:00 PM

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Mark Weller
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350Q Reassembly Part III (photos restored)

November 17 2006, 9:46 PM 

Ok some more Pictures from the Garage

Nice cylinder bore and hone.
[linked image]

Deck job on the block
[linked image]

Some rather good looking Pistons
[linked image]

The Crank still in the plastic bag
[linked image]

And last for now the rest of the parts as you can see all quality stuff
[linked image]

This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on Jan 2, 2013 4:02 PM

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Mark Weller
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350Q Reassembly Part IV

November 17 2006, 10:44 PM 

Ok no more pictures just some facts for you guys. My machine shop work was done at Griffs Engine and Machine Co in Sandusky Ohio. Gary Griff is awesome in my book I received 3 seperate papers with my engine when I picked it up detailing exactly what was done to the block. I will try to scan them in to the computer so you all can see but here is a quick breakdown

1 machine and recondition block, crank and rods for 350 Crusader engine.

1 350 Marine Master kit 495.71 disc 31% 342.34
1 ARP rod bolt kit 69.90 disc 31% 48.50

Labor to clean, machine and recondition short block components 950.00
for a grand total of 1340.84
I don't think it was a bad price and I think anyone would agree with me when they see the breakdown of what their idea of machine and recondition a short block is. I will get it scanned.

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(Premier Login FEfinaticP)

How big is the motor now?

November 18 2006, 9:11 AM 

Have you done the math after the overbore? Of course it won't make much of a difference, but just curious about what we're going to have to call this one now.

With Tim's latest precautionary note about flat tappet cam wear due to lower zinc and phosporous ratings in the new-car oil specs, I'm sure you'll be dumping plenty of assembly lube on this puppy !

Good luck with the reassembly. I figure it will be a pretty exciting day when you guys fire this one up (in the driveway?) hooked to a garden hose?

Regards, Paul

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Mark Weller
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Displacement Math Lesson

November 18 2006, 9:37 AM 

Ok now you want me to remember what algebra or geometry which one was that to figure out the displacement of a cylinder. Hmmm let me see bore x stroke x pie x number of cylinders is that right? Ok Ok it is actually stroke x pi x radius squared. Ok here we go stock dimensions
Bore 4.0 stroke 3.48 for this lesson pi = 3.14 so Bore is 4.0 so radius is 2.0 square = 4.0
3.48 x 3.14 = 10.9272 x 4 = 43.7088 x 8 = 349.6704 or 350 CI
Ok now the bore is 4.030 so the radius is 2.015 x 2.015 = 4.060225 here we go
3.48 x 3.14 = 10.9272 x 4.060225 = 44.36689 x 8 = 354.93512 or it is now a 355 CI Like you said Paul not really gonna matter 5 cubic inches is not that much when you are talking about 350 total less than 1.5% increase. OK class dismissed you can go get ready for the OSU vs Michigan game.

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Thanks for the math lesson !

November 18 2006, 12:22 PM 

So you're running a Weller 355 eh? Not bad ! Wish I had one just like it for my Skiff project. I'm working on it!

Regards, Paul

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(no login)

a Weller 355, arf arf

November 18 2006, 7:44 PM 

Has a nice ring to it! Nice work Mark, great photos too. Makes me want to do another one! Only problem, they keep getting heavier and heavier, like building a boat in the basement. Sounds like you have a premium set of parts to go back in that bad boy. Good luck, have fun, smell the roses!


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Tom Slayton
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Good luck on that assembly, Mark

November 18 2006, 1:42 PM 

Now that all the machine work is done, that looks like it is going to be some fun. Great photos, by the way, thanks for taking the time to document all of this.


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Dave Mehl
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Steel crankshaft on that one?

November 18 2006, 7:20 PM 

Just curious about the Q crankshaft, wondering if it's the forged steel. Good job Mark, looks like you are on the way to a very successful engine rebuild.


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Mark Weller
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Crank (photo restored)

November 20 2006, 9:48 PM 

The Crankshaft is forged steel as you can tell by the forging line in the picture

[linked image]

This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on Jan 2, 2013 4:03 PM

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(no login)

Nice documentation Mark

November 21 2006, 1:38 AM 

Congratulations for taking this job on, and also for taking the time to document it so well that you can share it with us like this. This is good stuff!

Ernie Hamilton

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Mark Weller
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350Q Reassembly Part V (photos restored)

November 22 2006, 12:24 AM 

Ok did some work tonight got the block painted to an extent then realized it would be better to disassemble it and paint in pieces than trying to paint as a shell.
And after I took it back apart I realized I might as well get the cam, crank and mains in. So here goes

Cam being inserted and prelubed with moly prelube.
[linked image]

Cam inserted and getting ready for cranshaft
[linked image]

Crank in waiting for main caps to be installed (whats wrong with this picture?)
[linked image]

Ok mains are on and I am done for the night motor back in its blankey!
nothing is torqued down yet bolts are just snug so nothing moves. Still need to finish
getting the crank shaft timing gear the rest of the way on and set valve timing.

[linked image]

This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on Jan 2, 2013 4:07 PM

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I'm jealous of your 4-bolt mains

November 22 2006, 8:19 AM 

Looking at the casting numbers on the so-called 327F I got, it now appears it's a swap out from a Chevrolet passenger car or truck, with two bolt mains. Strange however, the 283 and 327F books don't show 4-bolt mains, so I'm wondering if this may be another improvement that came along with the Q series.

Cool photos, good luck on the rebuild.

Regards, Paul

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Mark Weller
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350 Q Books

November 22 2006, 8:42 AM 

My parts book doesnt show 4 bolt mains either Paul my biggest problem at this point is it doesn't show any breakdown of the oil pump or splash shield either and the fact that you can't seem to buy an oil pump that accepts a threaded oil pump pickup as the Chris Craft pickup is a custom job for the huge oil pan. I am now searching for a 3/8 NPT tap to cut threads into the Melling HVHP oil pump I got with my rebuild kit. The old oil pump sure looks like a Melling pump. I even think if I wanted to I could disassemble it and use the base from the original pump but I am thinking last resort there. Meanwhile it is off to the local plumbing supply houses today to see if I can find a tap or get someone to tap it for me.

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About that oil pump

December 1 2006, 9:06 PM 

Hi Mark,

I'm at the end of a grueling work week so I'm not as sharp as I should be, but I recall a LOT of discussion in the past with some of my ford buddys on the Ford motor forums, that the HV pumps are okay, but the HP pumps are not necessarily a good thing. On a stock motor, I've been advised the stock oil pumps are fine. I don't want to pass on any bad info, so this may be something you'll want to check into with some people who know more than I do about the SBC, and they should be easy to find because I'm mostly a Ford guy.

Hope your project is coming along fine, we're trying to stay warm down here in TN right about now, as I suspect you are too.

Regards, Paul

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(no login)

Oil pump info, for your reading enjoyment !

December 1 2006, 9:55 PM 

Here are various postings from some of my FE hot rod buddies. Bottom line, stock pumps and HV pumps are fine, but stay away from HP pumps.


I ran both types.

The high pressure pump I run has 40 psi MORE than the high volume pump did, cold at idle.

The high pressure pump has 20 psi MORE than the high volume pump did WOT hot, also.

When idling hot, they both were about the same, 30 psi. Which is plenty. You only need 10 psi to keep your bearings afloat in oil at idle.

On a hot day in the summer, in traffic, my oil pressure does not go below 30 psi with the high pressure pump, even if my water temp happens to hit 200 in traffic and it's 98 degree out. That's plenty- you only need 10 psi to keep bearing afloat at idle.

High volume is commonly seen as insurance for opened up clearances, making sure the supply is adequate to meet demand; and also for continued hi rpm running. It is a larger pump.

Dave Shoe has on many occasions described that within an FE, high volume might cause more harm than good, by pumping the contents of the pan mostly to the top of the engine, and leaving the pump starving under hard acceleration, when the oil sloshes to the back.

A special pan with baffles to prevent oil sloshing to the back, and with extra capacity should accompany a high volume pump, if in a light weight acceleration FE car.

But back to your original question, do you need a hi V pump? someone should be able to answer that based on bearing clearances etc.

If you have a stock oil pump you don't need restrictors. You can add .090" restrictors if you want.

If you have a stock 5 quart oil pan, I sure hope to hell you have a stock oil pump.

If you've got a pan with more than 5 quarts capacity, and have installed either a HP, or HV, or HP/HP oil pump, you'll need to install restrictors in the head.

.090" is a good starting point with a HP or HV pump and hydraulic cam (rockers remain under tension and leak less).

.080" if you've got an HV/HP pump or else mechanical lifters.

.070" if you have both HV/HP and mechanicals.

.060" if you still have occasional smoking problems when you stick your foot back into it after a high RPM romp.

I prefer a lengthy orifice (a half inch or longer st the given diameter) to a shallow orifice, as restriction is both greater and more consistent from part to part.



I would stay away from the High Pressure pump as they tend to erode bearings. I would go with a High Volume pump whenever severe service is the normal use for the vehicle, BUT YOU MUST HAVE AN INCREASE IN OIL PAN CAPACITY TO PREVENT PUMPING THE PAN DRY. If the vehicle is just used as a daily driver with an occasional street race, the stock oiling system is more than adequate. Windage is not a problem on the top end of the motor, and a lot of oil up there doesn't hurt. As a matter of fact, the oil is all you have cooling the springs. You do want to be sure the oil can drain back to the pan quickly though. A windage tray between the pan, and the block will prevent the oil from becoming aerated. You don't want to be pumping bubbles. Also I fill the oil filter with oil before I install it, to prevent dry starts.

I have had this problem in an earlier engine. A Hypo 289 / 271 HP. I was running a high pressure pump with a Shelby 7 quart oil pan. When the motor was sent to be blueprinted, and disassembled, the bearings were obviously eroded. You could follow the path the oil was taking. The machinist knew right away what had caused it to happen. I didn't believe him, so I took the bearings to a couple of old timer friends of mine that had years of racing experience under their butts, and they looked at the bearings. Without another word they said, "You running a high pressure oil pump?" These old timer racers had seen this problem many times. I switched to a High Volume pump, and have never again seen this problem until about five years ago when a friend of mine showed me a set of bearings out of his 340 Plymouth Duster. He asked me if I had ever seen this before. I said, "Yep. Are you running a high pressure oil pump?" He said "Yep."


High volume pumps run at a higher pressure than stock pumps, BUT Not nearly as high as a high pressure pump. I would bury the needle on my gauge that read 120 psi at 2,500 rpm with 40W racing oil with my HP pump. At operating temperature it would read 90 psi. That is enough pressure to wash the soft bearing material away. I never had it happen with a HV pump though. Just don't install the high pressure spring that sometimes comes with them.


Unless you're racing hard all the time, a good oem pump with a windage tray is all you need. That keeps oil in the pan and not too much on top and on the bearings. Save yourself the worry of emptying the pan for no reason. I've used both and won't use a HV or HP pump again even when I race. I have as of yet to see an advantage using anything but good oem. Just remember the oil pump is not a hydralic pump but rather simply a supply pump. I run synthetic 10/30 in a hot 390 with 100hp nitros shot and have never had an oil related failure using an oem pump. I've blown a head or two, but that's another story.


Had two engines go over 500,000 miles using high volume
pumps, and large oil pans. Both were raced quite often, and driven hard on a regular basis. Never did it with a stock pump. The most I ever got was between 250 and 300,000 miles.


The type of pump will be determined by a marriage of it to your..clearances in the bearings, and the rpm band your engine runs in. As I stated in the last post, if you are running the high end of stock clearances, and it is used primarily for the street, the High Pressure pump would work well. The 427 motor runs in a higher rpm band, which makes the oil supply a little more demanding than a 428 I feel. Still, an HP Melling would do the job in my opinion. Back in the 1960's, guy's like 'Gas' Rhonda, who ran 427 side-oiler motors with great success, didn't have high volume oil pumps. They ran a modified stock pump, with higher pressure. If anyone reading this remembers Gas Rhonda, and how he used to run, maybe you'll appreciate the point I'm trying to make. I knew Gas Rhonda casually back then. He was at the top of his game.


In 1967, I ran 430 ci. and even 462 ci. Lincoln MEL motors blown and injected on gas. The MEL motors are big country cousins of the 428/427's. The bearing journal area size is much larger than the 428/427's, therefore, needing more oil! Back then, I figured out that the oil inlet hole in the block from the oil pump, was too small. I drilled them out to the filter the size of the discharge size of the pump. I don't remember that size now. I ran aluminum rods, which requires a little more clearance for bearings, and the clearances I used were, are you ready? - .004 on the mains, and .005 on the rods. I used a stock oem oil pump, because that's all their was, and removed the oil relief cap for the spring. I added two 1/4" galvanized washers, and ran it. The engine would pulsate when idling, but the pressue for idle was about 60 lbs. It ran 80 lbs. of pressure in the lights. I spun this big ole monster to 7,200 rpm through the gears, and went through the lights at about 6,800 rpm. The point is, what a modified stock pump could do with just pressure increase. Read what Mario says in his post on this thread. He makes, as usual, some valid points about all this.

In closing, I think that blue-printing for the street, makes more sense. That is, attention to detail, rather than trying to over-engineer. Having the oil pump blue-printed by a competent shop would be money well spent. This is my opinion only, and you will have to make the final call.


A little advice please. I have an apparently stock 428CJ and am changing the dented oil pan. I'm staying with a stock pan. So should I stay with a stock oil pump? No oil mods as far as I know. Not for racing, but I may eventually do a pass or two.

I always use the HV pump.


And in the end, here’s a posting your forum host wrote in 2003 about the subject. Sheesh, the guy has an opinion !!! eeek!

I contend FORD did a better job engineering the 427 than the guy at
the local parts counter can, and much better than I can. Therefore,
I recommend staying with the stock oil pump. Justification to follow.

Just because they SELL a HV and HP oil pump for the 427, and just
because it will FIT a marine 427, is NO justification to bolt one
on. These aftermarket pumps are for specialty non-stock applications
and are simply not needed in a stock marine motor. Here is a thread
for your perusal, between two very informed friends who have raced
and built the 427 engines for a long time. I thought it would be
enlightening to show what kind of problems you can get into when
modifying something that is already well proven on the NASCAR tracks,
etc. Note the comment about the standard top oiler being a very good
oiling design, and the side oiler only being developed to serve the
needs of the SOHC "cammer".

Although there is something to be said for a HV pump, the stock pump
works just fine. One problem with the Ford heads, is if you get a
pump that pumps too much volume (such as the HV), and you don't
modify other parts of the motor accordingly to accept this additional
volume, you can, indeed, fill the heads with oil (especially at
higher rpm) and this will cause lots of oil to get sucked through the
valve stems. I understand some people go to the aftermarket pumps
because they build a "loose engine" intended to run at the drag
strip......and this is NOT the formula you want to use in a stock
marine engine that's going to last a long time and consume little
oil, etc. Guys, from everything I've heard, the stock Mellings oil
pump is a fine unit. Henry Ford spent untold millions developing
this engine in the 1960s, and they generally ran them until they
broke, found the weak link, fixed it, and then ran them again until
they broke. On something so basic and important, I'm sure Ford
engineers gave the oil pump due consideration.

Here is the exchange, for your reading enjoyment............


I think I may need to add oil restrictors to my engine. It's run-in
now with the new heads about 1,200 miles and it's just starting to
puff under trailing throttle after the rpms have been up for a while,
so I think I'm pulling oil down the guides. Heads are Edelbrock, so
they have good thread on PC seals, but it has Erson billet rollers
and shafts so I lost my stock stamped oil deflectors. I suspect I'm
piling a good quart in each valve cover after a run through the
gears, and with a little wear on the seals by now, they're letting
some oil by.

What's the best way to do this restrictor thing today? Decades ago
when I was previously into FE's a friend machined (2) little aluminum
bushings with orifice drillings - the bushings simply fit in the
annular space around the rocker shaft bolt/stud under the stand that
feeds the oil to the rocker shaft on each side.
Does someone sell such an item now?


Ed drills the oil feed passage larger than factory FE heads, so the
standard Holley jet doesn't work.

Orifice diameter typically ranges from .090" to .060", depending on
pump, cam, stuff like that. Solid lifter cams allow more oil to flow
upstairs, since the rocker is unloaded for part of the cycle, whereas
hydraulic cams always load the rocker, keeping the oil feed hole snug
against the rocker. some aftermarket rockers create a whole different
kind of flow dynamic upstairs, so you've gotta hypothesize,
experiment, and speak to folk about your particular setup, being
careful to not follow bad advice that is so often offered.

A factor not often spoken of is the length of the restrictor. Whether
the orifice is about 1/16" deep (typical carb jet), or 1" or so deep
(drilled rod), the flow can vary greatly just by the length and

The port to restrict on each head is readily available with the
rockershafts removed. It's the port that travels up through the head
to the drip tray. Since I don't know exactly what restrictor is
preferreed for Edelbrocks, I'd recommend being creative and
experiment a little. Hopefully someone else can clarify. If no one
does, the orifice diameter will likely be close to .070", and the
weight of your truck will hopefully prevent it from accelerating so
hard that oil will tend to slosh out of the poan to the rear of the

I lived through this issue for a couple years, rapidly wearing out
bearings and hearing hydraulic lifter clatter on hard turns with an
80PSI/HV pump. When I installed a performance pan, the oiling
problems went away and bearings lasted a long time. Still, I'd get
the occasional smoke bursts after a hard romp, and eventually moved
on to restricting the heads to resolve that.

I've still got a new 100PSI blueprinted pump from FPP which I had the
guts to buy 15 years ago but never had the guts to install. I now
know how to install one properly, but don't presently have any
applications that need these specs. Maybe someday.

I've seen a few FE motors blow, and know of others that have blown
because they followed the "written word" on upgrading an FE oiling
system. The only good documents on how to upgrade an FE oiling system
will start by discussing the oil pan. When you've found one of these
articles, thn you are on the right track. Invariably, any article
that starts off with "the FE top oiling system is bad", is NOT a good
article, as top oiling has always provided great performance on the
track. The sideoiler came about because of the Cammer's unique oiling
requirements, not because there was a noted deficiency in the FE's
top oiling system. The topoiling FE is a great racing oiling system,
and has proven itself for decades, despite what many writers will
have you believe.

You don't need to run drip trays. Just get a good balance to your
oiling system, and start thinking of what type of pan and pump you
will install next convenient chance you get.

HV and HP oil pumps on 427 motors

I knew there were standard Mellings
pumps and also HV/HP pumps, and by nature I thought the HV and HP
were one and the same. I've heard a lot about "not needing" so-
called upgraded pumps in the 427. I have heard a lot about the
aftermarket pumps causing problems, as I understand they can put
additional and unnecessary strain on oil pump and related drive
components. Most of this informatin comes from people who have
increased the power of the 427 up into the 450 to 600-hp range, and
they think they need more oil flow and pressure, which may be true;
however, when engines are hot rodded like that, you need ALL of the
related issues taken care of like additional drain-back holes,
restriction of the rocker arm assy (to avoid putting unnecessary oil
up there when the real priority is getting it to the main bearings),
etc., etc. Without proper mods to go along with those higher
performance oil pumps, they can fill your valve covers with oil at
sustained higher rpm and starve out the mains. The standard oil pump
(Mellings) is certainly not a "weak link" on a marine 427. From
everything I've heard, the standard
Mellings type oil pump is fine for marine non-hot-rodding use.

Paul Pletcher

(bottom line, stock pumps are okay, HV pumps are okay, but HP pumps are not okay unless it's for a specific racing application)

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Mark Weller
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December 12 2006, 3:28 PM 

OK I have finally got back to working on the motor. I was installing the pistons last night when the ring compressor jumped and I ruined a top compression ring, mind you this is a moly ring so. I called Hastings today since I can't find a single ring locally just sets. Explain to me this 1 top moly ring is $9.34. A set is around $39 a single cylinder set is $7.34 so which one do you think I bought?

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That's a no-brainer

December 12 2006, 6:35 PM 

Crazy how things like that work out. Janet bought me a 17' wood speedboat, gosh, must have been 20-years ago now. The price was $650 if we took the boat (and the old boat next to it) ~~ or ~~ it was $1000 if we just took the 17' wood speedboat.

We've since restored the 17' speedboat and installed a healthy 327 with 300-hp. The other boat is now a full size half model, mounted on the wall of the living room. It sat around on the farm for years, and finally after it was barn wood gray, I decided to see if I could cut it in half, because it was really a gonner. It had been repaired with the wrong wood, it was fiberglassed, they used drywall screws, etc. So I took a chain saw, cut it down one side of the keel, left the steering wheel (starboard side) and rudder operational, finished it up like a Steinway piano with new transom, dash, and top decks, and the dang thing sure looks good in the house. Yes, I'm nuts. It just does me good to be reminded frequently.

Back to your motor reassembly. Hope your luck is all good. All the best,


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(no login)

Pay more to get less, pay less to get less, pay less to get more

December 12 2006, 9:18 PM 

Crazy the way things like this work. The world doesn't seem to reward a guy who wants a single top compression ring, lol.

Good luck on the project, Mark. You're a good man for doing this job yourself.


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