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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok this is a noobish question but honestly I do not know the answer. I know for a fact the electrical systems (wiring, alternator, starter and such) are different as well as the exhaust manifolds and as far as I can tell often times the cams are different too (higher duration I believe??) as well as the cooling system but beyond on that stuff are they really all that different? For a guy like me with a engine budget measured in hundreds not thousands, what would need to be done to a motor pulled from a car especially the cooling system. I have a very basic understanding of how that all works but putting it into use is another thing. Also the starter is kinda grey to me as well, never had my family's old 1988 Mastercraft down far enough to get a grasp on the difference there either. I am asking this because I am getting alot of interesting offers on project boats here but they all need motors. And I so happen to have a AMC 258 I6, Ford 302, Ford 460 and a Chevy 350 (EFI with electric fuel pump not sure if thats a cause for concern for marine applications or not) sitting around. Some bolt on stuff doesn't scare me at all but I figured I should ask folks who know more than I do about this before I get too gung-ho and get in over my head.

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Ok this is a noobish question but honestly I do not know the answer. I know for a fact the electrical systems (wiring, alternator, starter and such) are different as well as the exhaust manifolds and as far as I can tell often times the cams are different too (higher duration I believe??) as well as the cooling system but beyond on that stuff are they really all that different? For a guy like me with a engine budget measured in hundreds not thousands, what would need to be done to a motor pulled from a car especially the cooling system. I have a very basic understanding of how that all works but putting it into use is another thing. Also the starter is kinda grey to me as well, never had my family's old 1988 Mastercraft down far enough to get a grasp on the difference there either. I am asking this because I am getting alot of interesting offers on project boats here but they all need motors. And I so happen to have a AMC 258 I6, Ford 302, Ford 460 and a Chevy 350 (EFI with electric fuel pump not sure if thats a cause for concern for marine applications or not) sitting around. Some bolt on stuff doesn't scare me at all but I figured I should ask folks who know more than I do about this before I get too gung-ho and get in over my head.

Regards
Stay with the chevy and junk the rest
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Stay with the chevy and junk the rest
I get that alot as a 3rd generation Ford guy haha Ford cars and engines have been good to me in racing thus far so I don't see why not to continue using them on the water as i have on land. I don't have any problem with Chevy or their fans but I prefer Ford.
 

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I get that alot as a 3rd generation Ford guy haha Ford cars and engines have been good to me in racing thus far so I don't see why not to continue using them on the water as i have on land. I don't have any problem with Chevy or their fans but I prefer Ford.
What sort of boat is this going in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What sort of boat is this going in?
Well I dont have a hull yet I am looking at a couple different ones. But what I am looking for is what people in my part of the world call a hot boat, big exposed engine, shoots big ass rooster tails out the back and goes fast:happy: to put it as simple as possible. Probably not the answer you was looking for but its not set in stone what the said motor would be going in just yet.
 

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Auto vs marine

You've already touched on a few differences, but the one, maybe the biggest one, that you failed to mention is "skirt to wall" clearances.... An automotive engine runs hot compared to most boats. The block expands, as do the pistons, with temperature. In a "open cooling" application you're using the entire body of water as coolant, so the block never sees the sustained temperature needed to expand the block/bores. For this reason, you need to add a few thousandths to the piston skirt to wall clearances because the pistons do get hot and expand..... Many ventures with automotive engines, fresh out of the car/truck, are very quick failures. Additional piston drag plays hell on rod bearings.... Oh, and the oil systems are also quite different.....

Plainly said, most automotive engines die a quick death in a boat, especially a jetboat. Asking an engine to attempt to compress water is about the toughest thing you can ask an engine to do....AND, boats do not coast...
Ray
 

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A chevy engine is the best way to go when you have a thin wallet. When you come up with your hull, just ask some of the guys @ MHB for some stuff..We all have "give away parts" and would be happy to get another boat in our area.
 

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You've already touched on a few differences, but the one, maybe the biggest one, that you failed to mention is "skirt to wall" clearances.... An automotive engine runs hot compared to most boats. The block expands, as do the pistons, with temperature. In a "open cooling" application you're using the entire body of water as coolant, so the block never sees the sustained temperature needed to expand the block/bores. For this reason, you need to add a few thousandths to the piston skirt to wall clearances because the pistons do get hot and expand..... Many ventures with automotive engines, fresh out of the car/truck, are very quick failures. Additional piston drag plays hell on rod bearings.... Oh, and the oil systems are also quite different.....

Plainly said, most automotive engines die a quick death in a boat, especially a jetboat. Asking an engine to attempt to compress water is about the toughest thing you can ask an engine to do....AND, boats do not coast...
Ray

ZZ4 crate motors, not marine,- tunnel jet boats- SEALED motors-40 to 60 minute WOT races, open cooling, How does this work?

my 3 jet boats
454 k30, replaced cam, heads and intake, over 100 hrs
350 Burb motor, intake and headers, 7 seasons
454 indmar marine #8 piston failure, destroyed block, less than 25 hrs, go figure

Daniel
Mash on it
 

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Well I dont have a hull yet I am looking at a couple different ones. But what I am looking for is what people in my part of the world call a hot boat, big exposed engine, shoots big ass rooster tails out the back and goes fast:happy: to put it as simple as possible. Probably not the answer you was looking for but its not set in stone what the said motor would be going in just yet.
I also suggest BBC, but it's your $ and your (eventually) boat. Probably 75% of the guys here / and 75% of the boats you will be near on the water have BBC. Therefore, fun parts are abundant and inexpensive - and the guy beached next to you would likely be able to help with any problems that occur on the water. There's like THREE guys here with fast Fords, but that's about it.....:)grn

That being said, piston clearances, as mentioned is one concern - the next is valve guide clearance. Probably the two MAIN differences - but NOT deal killers. Several people here have taken a GM crate motor and shoved it in a boat without any issues. The only real difference to the oil system is usually a bigger pan and associated pickup/screen and windage trays always help since RPM is higher than street use. Pistons for cars are usually set around 3 to 5 thou, whereas boats and car drag motors are usually in the 7 neighborhood. 5 is fine in a boat AS LONG AS YOU GIVE IT SOME BREAK-IN. Same with the guides, usually a bit tighter on car motors. So, as long as a good oil (suggest synthetic of whichever brand you like) is used and you EASE INTO the RPM, you'll be fine. Tighter guides have more friction. Boats spend most of their life at 3000 or more, where are car on the street is usually 3000 or less for 95% of it's life.

So, for example, If the boat with car motor is driven real easy (below 4000) for 10 hours, with NO WOT RUNS.....then some occasional blips to 4000 and 5000, momentarily, for the next 10 hours, all of the metal/metal parts get to make their homes and mate together for long-term usage. If the tighter guides aren't allowed to do this, the higher RPM right out of the gate causes a bit higher heat, right? The heat expands both the guide(s) and the valve(s). So now those clearances become even tighter. If not allowed to make a home before high-rpm/WOT, valves can start to slow down and "stick". Hot enough, and they become "stuck". All sorts of nastiness starts to happen after that.

A few here have used, for example, GM ZZ502 crate motors - with zero changes other than oil pan. A similar break-in method was followed by just getting 25 or so hours on the motor before really asking alot of it.
 

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There's like THREE guys here with fast Fords, but that's about it.....:)grn

Boy, is that a bias statement. Do a search for "Ford Motor Pictures".
 

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I'll be one to go against the grain here... :p

Drove my 4x4 over to the place where my boat was parked. Pulled it up against a tree, pulled the engine out(460), swapped a few things off the old boat engine(429) onto the 460 & dropped it into the boat. The things I pulled off the truck engine to get it ready for the boat was the exhaust manifolds, the water pump, alternator, & power steering pump. Also the oil pan & oil pump, had a 10 qt. pan with a rear oil pick up when it was in the truck. Pan was too deep so had to pull the 5 qt. front sump pan & oil pump w/ front oil pick up off the other engine & put it on as well. This engine was not a fresh build, had maybe 9,000-10,000 miles on it by then. I did this as a quick fix to get me by for a boating event & maybe the rest of the summer till I could build something else.

That was in 2005 & haven't missed a season yet, I'm still running it to this day, lol... Heading to the river for the weekend tomorrow, matter of fact. :D

Not saying it would go that way every time, but it is possible. :cool: If I personally was picking out of those choices listed, I'd go with the 460 Ford with the 350 Chevy as a second choice, mainly cuz I wouldn't want to screw around with the fuel injection. Good luck with your decision & project. :))THumbsUp
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow lots of good info here guys thank you. I understand both sides of the battle here, It makes sense why the wall thickness would be issue with how the cooling system is. On the other side of things I feel that a car engine with some modifications would be ok in a boat but with that being said I don't want to shoot myself in the foot by messing up from the start. Going fast would be nice but as long as this boat I am envisioning in my head can outrun the bastard jet-skis that plague Devils Lake I'll be very happy:happy:.
 

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Wow lots of good info here guys thank you. I understand both sides of the battle here, It makes sense why the wall thickness would be issue with how the cooling system is. On the other side of things I feel that a car engine with some modifications would be ok in a boat but with that being said I don't want to shoot myself in the foot by messing up from the start. Going fast would be nice but as long as this boat I am envisioning in my head can outrun the bastard jet-skis that plague Devils Lake I'll be very happy:happy:.
c-dub,

It all depends on the thickness of your wallet, and the patience of your wife:shock:

Wikus
 

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Out with the Ford.... In with the Chevy!
Maybe we're just lucky but pretty much everyone in my group of friends are running bbc's that came out of trucks. A simple cam swap and a couple lil goodies and most of them have been running multiple seasons with no actual internal failures. Not to mention they have been ran hard.
 

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There's like THREE guys here with fast Fords, but that's about it.....:)grn

Boy, is that a bias statement. Do a search for "Ford Motor Pictures".
Don't get all wadded up . . . that was all in fun. I have TWO Fords in my 30-car fleet. One of which is a '67 Ford Galaxie convertible with a 390 FE. It's mainly a stocker, but has a Performer (not RPM) intake, no headers or anything fancy. Even with the stock HIGH gears, it plants you back quite well. I am impressed with the power for being fairly stock. But, when it comes to boating, I'll stick to BBC or LS power.
 

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Don't get all wadded up . . . that was all in fun. I have TWO Fords in my 30-car fleet. One of which is a '67 Ford Galaxie convertible with a 390 FE. It's mainly a stocker, but has a Performer (not RPM) intake, no headers or anything fancy. Even with the stock HIGH gears, it plants you back quite well. I am impressed with the power for being fairly stock. But, when it comes to boating, I'll stick to BBC or LS power.
Just two?....:hmmm: I have a 66 Galaxie with the 428, [Q-code] I ran the Edel Performer on it for many years not ever thinking another manifold would, could make much difference on a mild, not much more than stock engine but just recently I swapped manifolds for a FoMoCo 67 Police interceptor aluminum piece, no other changes and there was a significant difference in power that even the uncalibrated Butt-O-Meter could feel the difference. Even an improvment in fuel mileage. My Galaxie has a C6 and 2.75 rearend gears, probabally the same as yours. Just throwing it out there that if you want to improve on it a tad and run across a P/I manifold, I recommend it highly. BTW, when it comes to boating I'll stick with my BBFs.;)
 

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And I so happen to have a AMC 258 I6, Ford 302, Ford 460 and a Chevy 350

Regards
I get that alot as a 3rd generation Ford guy. I don't have any problem with Chevy or their fans but I prefer Ford.
I fail to understand the problem making a decison. Seems pretty clear to me. This whole Chevy is better than Ford thing is a bunch of bullshit. The Ford will make plenty of good reliable power on the cheap. AND I RACE A CHEVY!!! So the stupid ass arguement will fall on deaf ears with me.

If you have the BBF, use it!



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You've already touched on a few differences, but the one, maybe the biggest one, that you failed to mention is "skirt to wall" clearances.... An automotive engine runs hot compared to most boats. The block expands, as do the pistons, with temperature. In a "open cooling" application you're using the entire body of water as coolant, so the block never sees the sustained temperature needed to expand the block/bores. For this reason, you need to add a few thousandths to the piston skirt to wall clearances because the pistons do get hot and expand..... Many ventures with automotive engines, fresh out of the car/truck, are very quick failures. Additional piston drag plays hell on rod bearings.... Oh, and the oil systems are also quite different.....

Plainly said, most automotive engines die a quick death in a boat, especially a jetboat. Asking an engine to attempt to compress water is about the toughest thing you can ask an engine to do....AND, boats do not coast...
Ray
Great point there.
 
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