1976 Sleekcraft Aristocrat Build
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1976 Sleekcraft Aristocrat Build

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Default 1976 Sleekcraft Aristocrat Build

    Just a heads up. I'm in the very early stages of a build and looking for some advice.

    The boat is a 1976 Sleekcraft Aristocrat with 888 sterndrive. I would like to get some better performance out of the boat and understand that it's too heavy to become a match for some of your boats. From what I've come to understand, more than 500 hp is a waste on this heavy hull. If this is wring, please correct me. I'm not interested in selling the boat because it's been in the family since it was only a few years old.

    Once the power baseline is set, I need to pick an outdrive that can plant it. I know the 888 can't handle much power and not afraid to modify the boat extensively to get a reliable power plant and driveline in this lake boat. So far, I've been looking at IMCO drives, but these are very pricey and hardtop justify for the level of performance I'm trying to get.

    At this point, I'll take a step back and let those with some experience and constructive criticism offer their advise.

    Thanks in advance,

    Carey

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  3. #2
    kenny nunez
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    Default 888 drive

    If my memory is correct you have a 302 with 351 heads and cam which was rated @ 188 hp. I had a stern drive shop from 75 -03. If you still have the original drive and want to go with a later and higher hp then you will have to replace the lower gear case with an Alpha style which is easy, or replace the drive unit.
    If the Gimbal housing is still in good condition it is not a big deal to upgrade to more power. It just depends on how many cubic dollars you want to spend.

  4. #3
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    Default

    Thanks for the reply, Kenny.

    The original 302 has been gone for years. The existing 351 is toast and I'm looking to build a chevy engine.

    As for the outdrive, it's in good mechanical condition, but has some corrosion issues. At this point, I'm thinking I would be better replacing the entire drive with something that isn't nearly 40 years old.

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  6. #4
    kenny nunez
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    Default engine time

    From my experience it is really hard to scrounge up all the parts to make the conversion. The best and less time consuming way is a new power head from either Pleasure Craft or Marine Power. If you can find a used complete package from a re power then it can be repaired and made reliable. Just be sure to get all the parts.

  7. #5
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    Default

    Perhaps I didn't explain the request with enough detail. I want to build a new engine and replace all drive components such that the boat is capable of running at least 60mph reliably all day.

    I'm hopeful that this will attract more attention from the crowds.

    Also, this will be my first full engine build. I'm looking for any books that would be recommended.

  8. #6
    kenny nunez
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    Default so ya wanna go fast

    Why not check around the Houston area at some of the performance marine shops. I am sure that they can steer you in the right direction. Their advice will probably save you time and money and can help you locate the parts you will need.

  9. #7
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    Default Flywheel Housing and Engine Alignment

    I'm looking for the correct flywheel housing (I've always called it a bellhousing) for my new Gen 6 BBC to mate to a Bravo 1 outdrive.

    All I can find suggests that the part number I'm looking for is 865657A4 (or 865657A04). I'm confused as this appears to be the same for a sbc and bbc. Is this true?

    Another question, can I set the engine and figure out the motor mounts without a crankshaft in the engine? I would really like to not have a complete engine to deal with when figuring out motor mounts.

    Thanks in advance.

  10. #8
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    Default

    bump

  11. #9
    kenny nunez
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    Default stringer set up

    To get the alignment right you need the crankshaft mounted with the flywheel and drive coupler so that the alignment shaft can be inserted. The Chevrolet either sb or bb are the same pattern, you need one of the "pre Alpha " series as the spread between the mounting bolts changed. Also you need the correct diameter flywheel to fit inside the adapter housing.

  12. #10
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    Default

    Kenny, thanks for the reply.

    I have a few questions:
    1. If the pattern where the bellhousing mounts to the transom assembly has changed, wouldn't I need the bellhousing for the Bravo 1 I'm going to install?
    2. Is the 865657A04 bellhousing part number correct for the Bravo 1 outdrive?
    3. If I'm going with an externally balanced crankshaft, what flywheel should I be using?

  13. #11
    kenny nunez
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    Default Bravo 1

    I closed my shop in 03, however I am pretty sure that the Bravo transom plate has the same pattern as the Alpha. Mercruiser changed the transom plate around 1977 and 2 of the mounting studs were moved slightly and the transom cutout was widened. You may be in good shape if you have one of these. If not try to borrow a transom drill fixture. Mercruiser changed the inner transom plate around 96 and moved the 2 engine adapter mounting bolts closer together. This moved the engine about 2"forward. You will need the correct engine adapter to mount it to the inner transom plate. I suggest you check with some engine builders on the flywheel.
    Last edited by kenny nunez; 07-28-2015 at 08:45 AM.

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