New CCC owner q'sJuly 14 2010 at 7:46 AM
|Ben (Login FXA-27-0064-H)|
I'm a proud new owner of a 27 commander (FXA-27-0064-H). The boat has been on fresh water all its life, but I live on the ocean. I would like to add a closed cooling system to the boat. Does anyone have any tips on where to locate a kit to do so? The engine is a 327, see pic below. Thanks in advance for any help.
327F powered 1965 Commander 27 !
|July 14 2010, 9:55 AM |
Hey Ben WELCOME ABOARD
, the 27 can be a lot of fun!
That FXA-27-0064-H is the number 64 boat built in the first year of manufacturer for this model, 1965, in the Holland, Michigan plant. That year they made 75 boats, then 145 in 1966, 80, 70, 95, and 70 during the last year of production which was 1970. That looks like a 327F with 210 hp, good engine! Weight was about 6200 to 6500 pounds.
The 327 motor block and exhaust logs are easily protected from salt but of course your final dumping zone (the risers) will be suffering a bit over time and will need to be watched. That's the issue with any salt water application and the only way to avoid that is to go to stainless steel but replacement risers are available when needed at much lower cost.
I don't have the 327 closed cooling diagram just now but I'm copying the 427 system here for you, as I think it will be virtually identical for the smaller motor from a circulation point of view. Study these, purchase the right equipment, you'll be good to go.
Basically you are bringing in (salt) water through the bottom of the boat directly to the heat exchanger, and that salt water goes NOWHERE else except being ejected out the riser.
Now your engine cooling system just runs through the internal section of the heat exchanger to bleed off heat, using antifreeze. Note the surge tank.
Some people have used heat exchangers that have integral surge tanks, such as the nice installation below from Mike Burdette, which I believe are Volvo Penta heat exchangers. Mike also is using different exhaust manifolds on these rebuilds. I just included these photos as a reference for you.
From time to time I see SenDure heat exchangers (Chris Craft standard for the big blocks) on ebay and those would be big enough to handle any small block heat evacuation needs. Some of the marine recyclers will be able to provide that stuff, or the exact system for your motor model if you find em.
Re: 327F powered 1965 Commander 27 !
|July 14 2010, 9:04 PM |
Thanks for the info. What is the clue that identifies the engine as a 327F? - I apologize if this is a dumb question but as stated above I am new to all this and eagerly learning...
327F model number location
|July 14 2010, 9:56 PM |
There should be a metal Chris Craft plate on the port side water cooled manifold log that has the 327F model number stamped on it on the lower left corner of the tag in the Model Number field and the engine serial number a little to the right in the Engine Number field. There is a similar Chris Craft metal plate on the starboard water cooled manifold log but id does not have the model or engine numbers stamped on it. All this assumes the manifolds have not been replaced or if they were that someone took the time to to attach the Chris Craft patent plates to the new manifolds.
Looks like tags are missing from your engine?
|July 14 2010, 10:56 PM |
Hey Ben; After I wrote the post I saw the picture in your first post which probably tells teh story that the original patent plates got tossed at some point in the life of your boat. I suspect even though the plates are gone there is a trail. The cylinder block probably has the serial number stamped on it. According to my old Motors Manual Chevrolet stamped engine numbers on a pad on the front right hand side of the cylinder block. On passenger car engines the serial number was followed by a 2 letter code that told more about the engine version including the cubic inch displacement. This might not be the case for our marine engines but it is understood the 327F solid lifter engine is a Corvette engine. Your boat is apparently a 1965 model according to Paul's decode of your hull number. There are a ton of Corvette pass car codes for 1965 327 such as HE- 327 with manual trans, HF- 327 hi performance, HG- 327 with fuel injection (not used in our boats), HH- 327 super high performance etc. I have a 327F in my boat but still have not snooped around enough to have ever seen the engine number stamped on the block. If you find the serial number on the block and it has a 2 letter code, post it and I will see if it lines up with one of the pass car codes listed in the Motors Manual. Even if there is no letter code if you find the serial number you could request the hull card from Mariner's Museum in Newport News VA. They get 40bucks for a copy of the hull card and a list of documents available for your boat but the hull card is a treasure trove of info about exactly what equipment your boat was built with and it includes the original engine number. Click the link below to learn more about the available info for Chris Craft boat owners.
Re: Looks like tags are missing from your engine?
|July 15 2010, 6:49 AM |
Thanks for the info and pics. It looks like your 327 is "standard cooling"? Or am I not seeing the heat exchanger? If you have fresh water cooling I would appreciate if you could post some pics of the key components to help me out.
forgot your question..
|July 15 2010, 6:57 AM |
Yes the tags are missing, It looks like the manifolds were replaced with the OSCO units. From what I hear these are the less expensive replacement units so are typically more common...?
|July 18 2010, 9:30 AM |
Nothing wrong with the OSCO castings, they may not bolt or plumb up exactly like the CC version but they do essentially the same thing.
Standard cooling, not closed system...
|July 15 2010, 9:15 AM |
Hi ben; You are right, mine is in a boat that never saw anything except freshwater on the Great Lakes and connecting waters. The Oscos are cheaper. If you had the tags they could be intstalled on the Oscos but I doubt you have them. The blanks show up occasionally on E-bay and at the restoration places. If you had a set and knew your engine serial number and it turned out to be the original engine and you were interested in restoring the boat like original they would be valuable. If no for any of the above, not worth the trip. Good luck with your boat, keep us posted on the progress. If you want to see all the gyrations I went thru with my 65 fiberglass sea skiff here is a link to the thread...
Standard versus Closed ( crate motor comments too - beware )
|July 15 2010, 10:10 AM |
While the industry uses the term fresh water cooled, why I don't have a clue, to denote their closed loop antifreeze systems, many people equate fresh water cooled with the fresh water that comes up through the bottom of the boat.
What is more descriptive in my mind, is the use of the Chris Craft term "standard cooling" to denote the raw water cooled boats, and the use of their term "Closed Cooling" to denote the antifreeze system.
Here are a couple closed cooled 350 V8 motors from DUCKTALES, which Don Hancock took out and replaced. Perhaps Don has the systems now?
A note about the 350 V8.
The 350 is identical in outside dimensions to the 283 and 327, but the 350 "can" have 4-bolt main bearings. The marine grade 350 is a good engine for sure. They made a 350F as I understand it, which would be a nice package without the idiozyncracies of the Q series. There are no 327 motors with 4-bolt mains, and Corvette was able to get some pretty impressive power ratings in street form with their 2-bolt design so I wouldn't lose any sleep over a 2-bolt motor. You can get a 350 crate motor to replace a 327, for instance, but beware.........that crate motor may actually be a generic Taxi Cab motor and not the steel crank Corvette marine version that the 327 is. I say this because I was aboard a newly repowered Sea Ray one day with a new crate motor of sorts, and we were all quite dismayed at the performance, and we were wondering what cab this thing came out of before someone painted it black and sent it to the boat owner.
That's what we refer to as a Krylon rebuild.
The motor was actually rebuilt, but was some anemic version that had less power than the old motor the guy hauled out. The boat as I recall, would not even get on a plane with the 4 guys aboard, ha. I also heard the Q series motors have a particularly nice cylinder head, which is a step up from the generic taxi motor, so guys, just realize these little marine motors (and big blocks too) have some particular issues that make them special.
Looks like an F, walks like an F, quacks.........
|July 14 2010, 10:35 PM |
.......but is it an F?
Okay fair question about the 327F, first of all you said it was a 327, I checked the Essential Guide before posting and saw the 327F was offered as the single engine power, along with a Q option too, but don't think the Q came along until after 1965. In addition, it LOOKS like a F motor but with replaced risers and some strange work on the ends of the exhaust logs themselves. One too many castings, like they came off an old 283 flywheel forward. Did I nail it?
Re: Looks like an F, walks like an F, quacks.........
|July 15 2010, 6:55 AM |
Thanks Paul, I guess my question should be what is the difference between a F and Q?
Captain Jack below...
|This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on Jul 15, 2010 11:04 AM|
Hey good looking captain !
|July 15 2010, 7:58 AM |
The 327f is rated at 210 while the 327Q is 230. The F is flywheel aft, the Q flywheel forward with motor turned around driving the transmission from the front side of the motor. My preference is the F like I have in my 20' fiberglass Sea Skiff because it is the basic Corvette motor with low 8.0:1 compression ratio, will run forever and is easily fixed by just about any machine shop. The Q uses a specific intake manifold found ONLY on the Q series CC motors. The F can use many or just about any intake for a SBC motor but the Q must use the Q intake, which makes them a bit of a challenge if you need one. My parents have a pair of 327Q motors and they're very nice performers, but my 327F powered 35' wood Sea Skiff now long gone was the fastest boat in our marina for a while.
The 327F and 283F represent the second generation of Chris Craft small block V8 motors. The first series used the same oil between transmission and motor and was flywheel forward, a 1958 invention. The F came along using a thermostat and better cooling, with flywheel aft. They were used mostly in cruisers. Many people think the 327F is the best small block motor ever put in a boat due to simplicity, the benefits of traditional marine low old style compression. I sure love mine!
I'm interested in the prop you are using and the rpm you run at planing speeds. Once on a plane, how far down can you go with reduced rpm and still keeping a clean water stream off the bottom of the transom before the boat wants to settle back into the water? Just curious
Great photo by the way, a young boy like that will be taking note of everything. When I was this age I was allowed to fish for bluegills on the docks of Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania, where I then started taking note of the gleaming wood Chris Craft boats coming in and departing the docks. WOW I thought, those people look like they are having FUN. Then I started noticing the motor sounds, copper exhaust pipes, and was a boating fan at an early age.
Lucky guy, to have a dad with a Chris Craft Commander! I'll bet Jack thinks the boat is a hundred feet long from his early perspective. Get a fishing pole, some good bait, a picnic lunch and head out for some fun!
Here's a copy of my 327F, it has an old style carb in this photo, which has been replaced with a new Edelbrock 1409 since then.
prop, speeds, etc....
|July 15 2010, 8:06 PM |
We are taking delivery of the boat tomorrow and are hoping to get it in this weekend for some trials. We need to get some time on it in the water to learn and generate our short term and long term "to do" lists...At this point all I know about the prop is shown below:
Before it is launched I will get the prop #s then once it is in I look forward to gathering RPM/Speed/Plane info. Being a geek, that is the fun part for me. Is there any data listed here that I can use for comparison?
Re: prop, speeds, etc....
|July 16 2010, 6:47 AM |
With a boat weighing in around 6200 pounds and having 210 horsepower, it has the same general power to weight ration as a 38 Commander weighing in at 18,000 pounds and having 600 horses. I would think speed would be similar at around 30 mph wide open, varying with the number of people aboard, etc. What is much more important than top speed, which should only be used on rare occasion in my opinion, is the efficient cruising speed on a plane, and then efficient cruising speed at displacement (non planing) speeds. Most of the time the most efficient planing speed is the slowest speed at which the boat will get up on a plane and provide a clean water stream off the back of the transom, as Paul noted in a previous posting. The most efficient displacement speed will be where the boat is not plowing heavily, and you'll pretty much be able to sense this.
What many people don't realize is much fun and low fuel consumption with little engine wear can occur at displacement speeds. There is little need to be making a huge wake and consuming lots of fuel unless you really have to go somewhere. Some of the most enjoyable times with our family have been just getting out on the water running at slower speeds and enjoying the day. The 27 looks like a fun boat for a small family, pay attention to all safety issues, strap those beautiful kids into their life jackets and tell them not to turn any switches! If your boat does not have double batteries with a switch from one to another, get one!
One last thing I forgot to mention in my dissertation here, is the prop. You'll know if you have the right prop if the wide open throttle speed obtained is up to the manufacturers rated max for the engine, which I think is 4000 rpm for the 327 motor. It's a cruiser, not a speedboat.
Good luck, have fun.
Re: prop, speeds, etc....
|July 16 2010, 12:03 PM |
Tom I think your comments and observations are pretty much on target, as ususl.
I looked up the spec this morning in the Essential Guide, and I see once again it is essential but not accurate.
It does not list a single 283 for this boat, but yet I see this being listed in this very early CC literature below.
So maybe Conrad is accurate after all, could be this early literature was wrong.
This is 1964 literature and it is likely the engine options eventually changed to a single 327F or twin 283F motors.
The original hull card from the Mariners Museum would certainly solve any doubt, should one want to spend the money to find out.
I have not found any speed info on the single engine models, so I'm interested in knowing the basics as noted earlier.
What is the slowest engine speed they can run while still keeping the boat up on a plane. That will tell a lot.
Your points are well taken, this is not a speedboat and should not be operated as such. It is a small cruiser. I tell people if you want to go fast, get a go fast boat. Racing cruisers is like racing motor homes, it's nuts, although it has been done.
Looks like my tests will have to wait...
|July 17 2010, 1:11 PM |
Found a leaky strut. I am in process of resealing it. What is the "stock" backing inside the hull that holds the strut in place. What I pulled out seems to be not original... any ideas or pics of the inside hull strut mount would be appreciated.
|July 18 2010, 12:00 AM |
I think the strut assemblies were bedded in twith a polysulfide, like Boatlife Lifecaulk. The stuff is pliable, very sticky, will last almost forever.
Of interest, I just ran the boat through my computer program, developed with the assistance of Gordon Millar's formulas, and I plugged in 6500 pounds and 210 hp, and the resulting speed is 29.78 mph, which is pretty close to the seat-of-the-pants guestimates.
Strut backing II
|July 18 2010, 8:18 AM |
I did get the life caulk to bed the strut, but on the inside of the hull I found what appeared to be a section cutout of a modern car plastic bumper as a backing plate inside the hull, complete with some red paint flaking off. Kind of scary but at least we found it before launch, simple test of watering it down from the inside showed some dripping through the bolts and around the base.
Looking at the rudder assembly I assume that the plywood is what Chris Craft used? What about simply using fender washers?
2nd question - the bronze hardware is not readily available at the local marine stores, can you think of an issue substituting a few stainless or brass washers for ones that are missing?
Also the boat came with a folder of manuals that seem to be original and are providing hours of great reading and information. If you or anyone would like some info on the 327, paragon, or generic CC boat manual I can try to scan them in and put together in a pdf.
|July 18 2010, 8:48 AM |
Paul and Ben:
I would take a little time and create a backing plate to use instead of washers just to be on the safe side. The strut can take an awful hit should you run aground of something and can pull a washer right through a hull. 3/32 stainless steel plate is a minimum I would use. I have used mahogany completely covered in epoxy as backing plates on my 38, set in place with life caulking, then drilled through from outside the hull. The holes got a good dose of caulking as well as the stainless bolts to hold the struts in place. I am hoping the coating of caulking will prevent any cross corrision between the two metals. If you are worried about that, just use bronze bolts if you can get them.