Penta upgrade to Alpha or Bravo? ? ?
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Penta upgrade to Alpha or Bravo? ? ?

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    Default Penta upgrade to Alpha or Bravo? ? ?

    I guess this is the age old question but I'm considering some upgrades to the boat this winter in addition to the new paint

    My 82 21' Eliminator has a SBC 350 in it and what we have come to the conclusion of a Volvo Penta 250 (or 270 no tag) outdrive which works well. My only drawback is the lack of an ability to trim the drive while under power and power steering.

    Is it worth the headache to upgrade to a Mercruiser to gain that and set the ground work for future performance upgrades? My plan is to strip the boat to the hull over the winter and repaint the entire thing so I don't have a problem with re-doing the transom mount to accept the new drive.

    What do you guys think? Anyone done this before, Other than the drive and Gimble housing is there a lot of other modifications?

    I think I added enough info to get the question started but I'm still fairly new to the boating scene and can add more if needed.
    1982 Eliminator 21' Sport
    Chevy 350
    Volvo Penta 250 Outdrive.

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    Senior Member GT Jets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_g View Post
    I guess this is the age old question but I'm considering some upgrades to the boat this winter in addition to the new paint

    My 82 21' Eliminator has a SBC 350 in it and what we have come to the conclusion of a Volvo Penta 250 (or 270 no tag) outdrive which works well. My only drawback is the lack of an ability to trim the drive while under power and power steering.

    Is it worth the headache to upgrade to a Mercruiser to gain that and set the ground work for future performance upgrades? My plan is to strip the boat to the hull over the winter and repaint the entire thing so I don't have a problem with re-doing the transom mount to accept the new drive.

    What do you guys think? Anyone done this before, Other than the drive and Gimble housing is there a lot of other modifications?

    I think I added enough info to get the question started but I'm still fairly new to the boating scene and can add more if needed.
    You can get hydraulic trim on the 290 and power steering was an option as well...May pay to look around.

    As for the switch to a Merc platform, you better really like the boat, because IMHO that is a lot of hard work...Just my .02c
    GT


    Quote Originally Posted by Quickjet View Post
    Put a 300 on the back of it, Flywheel it and a nosecone. $15,000 later you'll have a 65 mph pile of shit......

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    GT Jets thanks for the reply. I think I've been blinded by the masses and all of the talk about Merc outdrives that I never thought of even looking at a different Penta model.. GOOD CALL

    I do like the boat a lot, is it my ultimate gotta have boat? Probably not but it is pretty cool none the less.

    Are you pretty familiar with the Volvo Drives? Is the transom mounting similar throughout the model yeas? Would it be a fairly straight forward pull the old drive out and install the new one then run the plumbing and electrical for the additional trim and steering?

    I have a service manual that I think covers through the 290 drives which would be a good place to start looking through to see what the features are.

    I'll start doing some digging around online and swing by our local marina and talk to the tech's there too to get some opinions.
    1982 Eliminator 21' Sport
    Chevy 350
    Volvo Penta 250 Outdrive.

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    i just recently installed my 290 out drive, and aside form me breaking the trim pump, the drive has been problem free so far. also have been hearing these drives are" bullet proof ". im pushing well over 400 hp to it and with low rpm shifting, not slamming it out of the hole, it should work for me for a very long time. there is also the dp (duoprop) sx out drives that seem to be very strong and offer great performance. definately something to look into before you jump over to a merc out drive.

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    Thanks Jeff! Was your install a new app? Or did you change from a different outdrive on your boat?

    Just trying to get a feel for everything I would need to do for the swap. Sounds like the most logical thing to do would be to stay with the Volvo brand and work from there.

    400HP would probably be the max I would try to stuff into that boat (stroker motor ) it would be nice to keep it as consistent and family friendly as I can without going crazy,, thats what the drag car is for!

    Forgive me if I use the wrong terms But the plate that goes from the motor to the transom would stay the same? All I would need to find/buy would be the gimble (i think that is the name) housing that connects to the back of the boat and then the stern drive..
    1982 Eliminator 21' Sport
    Chevy 350
    Volvo Penta 250 Outdrive.

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    Senior Member GT Jets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quickjet View Post
    Put a 300 on the back of it, Flywheel it and a nosecone. $15,000 later you'll have a 65 mph pile of shit......

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    My boat was set up for a 290 but was missing one. I fountains a pallet wrapped 290 never used, and traded a guy an atv for it. I don't know if the 270 and the 290 use the. same gimbal. I have a ton of 290 parts including a gimbal. ill check on its condition if your interested and make you a smoking deal if interested. Find out if the gimbals are the same first. Less you have to buy the better. yours have power steering?

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    That would be awesome Jeff. I'll do some digging around to see if thy do use the same gimbal or not.

    Right now my boat does not have power steering at all.
    1982 Eliminator 21' Sport
    Chevy 350
    Volvo Penta 250 Outdrive.

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    Man I wish I was a bit further along in this project,, that looks like it would be a decent option depending on its condition!
    1982 Eliminator 21' Sport
    Chevy 350
    Volvo Penta 250 Outdrive.

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    Why can't you trim the drive under power?

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    The model drive that I have only allows for the drive to be raised for trailering, and idle propulsion.

    There is a bar on the bottom of the gimble mount that the drive rests on when lowered, that bar can be moved (unbolted and slid out, then put in a different position) to achieve different drive angles (trim) but that can only be done when stopped.

    Reverse has a hook type of mechanism that when the drive is put in reverse it clamps down on the bar and prevents the drive from pulling up.

    I was thinking of this project last night after going through the CP catalog, and was thinking about possibly converting to a jet drive. They sell a complete berkley setup for about $3000 with a hydrolic place diverter... take that and the stroker motor I was planning for the drag car and that could be an option too....

    Here is a link to the kit, http://www.cpperformance.com/p-427-1...-exchange.aspx

    It says w/exchange,, not sure how much it would be for a new install,, Darn west coasters sleeping in while the rest of us in the midwest are plugging away killing time at work
    1982 Eliminator 21' Sport
    Chevy 350
    Volvo Penta 250 Outdrive.

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    Lord of the Drinks Havasu Hangin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffz0rz View Post
    Why can't you trim the drive under power?
    The older Volvo 270 and 280's did not have trim- just an electric motor that pushed the drive up for trailering. When the drive was lowered, it rested on some stops and hooks. The forward motion of the prop mostly held the drive down- it only took 100lbs of rearward force to swing the drive up (so less damage would occur) if you hit something. In reverse, the hooks grabbed 100% to keep the drive down while backing.

    The problem is that many people thought this lift motor was for trim...and it really messed up the lift motor and transom shield using it that way.

    Volvo introduced the 280T model (t="trim"), where the mechanism that locked the drive down in reverse was replaced with some funky (retrofit) trim cylinders.

    The 290 was the first package to have trim, but the 280 and 290 drives were identical- the only difference was the transom shield where the rams were mounted. I believe the hole in the transom was similar, but the bolt patterns were a little different. Bell housing and coupler was the same.

    If you are shopping for transom shield parts, the key is to find some freshwater stuff. Most of the saltwater stuff has been coroded pretty bad.
    "Warming the globe...16 cylinders at a time."

    Quote Originally Posted by Rexone View Post
    Perhaps I'm gay...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Havasu Hangin' View Post
    The older Volvo 270 and 280's did not have trim- just an electric motor that pushed the drive up for trailering. When the drive was lowered, it rested on some stops and hooks. The forward motion of the prop mostly held the drive down- it only took 100lbs of rearward force to swing the drive up (so less damage would occur) if you hit something. In reverse, the hooks grabbed 100% to keep the drive down while backing.

    The problem is that many people thought this lift motor was for trim...and it really messed up the lift motor and transom shield using it that way.

    Volvo introduced the 280T model (t="trim"), where the mechanism that locked the drive down in reverse was replaced with some funky (retrofit) trim cylinders.

    The 290 was the first package to have trim, but the 280 and 290 drives were identical- the only difference was the transom shield where the rams were mounted. I believe the hole in the transom was similar, but the bolt patterns were a little different. Bell housing and coupler was the same.

    If you are shopping for transom shield parts, the key is to find some freshwater stuff. Most of the salt water stuff has been corroded pretty bad.
    Thanks a TON Havasu Hangin' you worded that reply way better than I did when I was trying to explain how that motor worked. I live in Kenosha Wi. so there is all fresh water stuff around here, a 290T may be on the radar for me yet. Maybe even a trip into the Penta Dealer to pick the brain of a tech or two. I'm guessing that there has to be a template out there that people would use for mock up and cutting of the transom for new installs..
    1982 Eliminator 21' Sport
    Chevy 350
    Volvo Penta 250 Outdrive.

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    Lord of the Drinks Havasu Hangin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_g View Post
    Thanks a TON Havasu Hangin' you worded that reply way better than I did when I was trying to explain how that motor worked. I live in Kenosha Wi. so there is all fresh water stuff around here, a 290T may be on the radar for me yet. Maybe even a trip into the Penta Dealer to pick the brain of a tech or two. I'm guessing that there has to be a template out there that people would use for mock up and cutting of the transom for new installs..
    No worries, partner. I'm taxing both my brain cells trying to remember this stuff...lol.

    Yes, when I installed my new (old) upgraded transom shield, I got a template with it, so the Volvo techs should be able to point you in the right direction. I don't really know the compatibility between the 270 and 290's, but it's probably worth a shot to investigate. If you could find a good condition 290 transom shield, and it only required a couple extra bolt holes, that may be a good option.

    Like GT Jets said, converting to a Merc would probably require more time and money than the boat is worth- probably better to sell it and start over.

    The only problem I had was that when you are dealing with obsolete parts (like me), there is less info on the internet- it took some time to network on the phone (rotary, of course).
    "Warming the globe...16 cylinders at a time."

    Quote Originally Posted by Rexone View Post
    Perhaps I'm gay...

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