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Okay, firstly, I'm a Chevy guy, mostly because of the old cars that I enjoy. But, with brand loyalty aside (if at all possible), why weren't Dodge/Chrysler 440's as prevalent in all of the old performance boats of the 60's and 70's? IIRC, the 440 was produced between around '65 to late 70's, when all of these boats were getting stuffed with 460's, 454's and 455's. Just morbidly curious. I have no plans to build a Mopar powered boat, but I've often wondered why they weren't as common. I was thinking that it could have to do with relatively thin cylinder walls, cylinder wall flex and/or likelyhood to experience core shift? I don't know much about the Mopar big blocks.

Nik
 

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a.k.a. "Mean Pair"
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Just a wild guess... I'd assume it's the age old inclination of our minds to follow the bigger is better deal. No other logical reasoning comes to mind.
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They got stuffed in a few v-drives by guys that could build the parts they needed. The marine market was always a little short on wedge marine parts. Great motors. :))THumbsUp
 

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It would be due to cost, Chevy is cheaper to build HP,,,,,
 

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To my understanding it is the exhaust port. Not size nor performance. But the angle, the floor of the exhaust port being horizontal or almost. This made that engine more prone than most for water from water cooled exhaust flowing back into the combustion chamber and potentially hydro staticky locking the engine. I remember this from overhearing conversations from my Dad as a kid in the 70's. Please correct me if we are wrong. Hopefully when Spike gets back from Idaho he can correct me or elaborate.
Merry Christmas!
Darin
For what it's worth They would of ran Zoomies or bent the tubes more down for the water to weep out if these motors performed and were cost effective boat guys would be all over them ultimately it comes down to the dollar.
 

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Okay, firstly, I'm a Chevy guy, mostly because of the old cars that I enjoy. But, with brand loyalty aside (if at all possible), why weren't Dodge/Chrysler 440's as prevalent in all of the old performance boats of the 60's and 70's? IIRC, the 440 was produced between around '65 to late 70's, when all of these boats were getting stuffed with 460's, 454's and 455's. Just morbidly curious. I have no plans to build a Mopar powered boat, but I've often wondered why they weren't as common. I was thinking that it could have to do with relatively thin cylinder walls, cylinder wall flex and/or likelyhood to experience core shift? I don't know much about the Mopar big blocks.

Nik
If you look back to the 60's a lot of Pontiac and Cadillac engines were used
 

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J J Custom

I have an 1980 18' "JJ Custom" (looks like a Challenger splash), jet boat with a mildly built 383 Mopar.... Things like water system plumbing can be a nightmare because the intakes are dry, no cross over from bank to bank, and the water IN flange is also the water OUT flange. Headers are hard to find as are ring geared flexplates, (most auto ring gears were on the converter) so you're stuck with a heavy clutch type flywheel.... Boat will hold it's own up against similar Olds, Chev, or Fords....
Ray
 

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I’d guess it was better marketing from GM and Ford willing to sell off pallets of not very needed big blocks to the boat makers when the emission/gas crunch era hit and kinda sidelined most of those engines for automotive use.....
 

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I have an 1980 18' "JJ Custom" (looks like a Challenger splash), jet boat with a mildly built 383 Mopar.... Things like water system plumbing can be a nightmare because the intakes are dry, no cross over from bank to bank, and the water IN flange is also the water OUT flange. Headers are hard to find as are ring geared flexplates, (most auto ring gears were on the converter) so you're stuck with a heavy clutch type flywheel.... Boat will hold it's own up against similar Olds, Chev, or Fords....
Ray
Times Two. Been there. And don't me get started about the Starter. It bolts to the Trans and the Trans supports the nose of the starter. If you just bolt it to the engine plate with no nose support, it will break the aluminum part of the starter every time. If you can find a Marine Aluminum bell housing, it will be for a specific ring gear size. THEN, mounting the front of the engine is a challenge. There are no big mounting bolt holes on the block. I had to use the Aluminum Timing Cover with some creative machine work. 5/16" bolts. Other methods are to use the water inlet and exits with the engine plate and 3/8" bolts. It was fun when I was younger. Now I prefer the Chevys because after 7 or 8 of them, you can put them together in your sleep. My two cents.
 

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Yep. agree...

Times Two. Been there. And don't me get started about the Starter. It bolts to the Trans and the Trans supports the nose of the starter. If you just bolt it to the engine plate with no nose support, it will break the aluminum part of the starter every time. If you can find a Marine Aluminum bell housing, it will be for a specific ring gear size. THEN, mounting the front of the engine is a challenge. There are no big mounting bolt holes on the block. I had to use the Aluminum Timing Cover with some creative machine work. 5/16" bolts. Other methods are to use the water inlet and exits with the engine plate and 3/8" bolts. It was fun when I was younger. Now I prefer the Chevys because after 7 or 8 of them, you can put them together in your sleep. My two cents.
I too prefer anything before the wedge Mopars....( For a Hemi installation I'd work for weeks/months to "make it work" if you know what I mean.....) I did not choose this combination, just got stuck "making it work", which is another story...Oh yeah, it also has a Jacuzzi pump....Which again I did not choose...

Ray
 

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Mopars are really strong Engines , make good power simple to build and lots of performance parts available, built serviced and rigged several over the past...

 

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People......there's really a simple answer as to why more boats were equipped with the 427/454 Chevs, the 460 Fords, and the 455 Old's. The three manufacturers offered crated packages to the Marine engine suppliers , like Hardin, Aero-Marine, etc. Ford was supplying 427s, and later, 460 to Holman/Moody. Hull manufacturers could buy an already marinized complete engine from these suppliers and simply bolt it in to their hull, wire it up, and it came with a warranty.
A good percentage of performance boats were ordered in a Stage 1, or Stage 2, both less engine, and the owner supplied the power of their choice. As far as Mopar wedges are concerned, the 413, 426 wedge and max-wedge, and 440s were all performance engines, and were used mostly by the custom builder. Realisticly, their lack of overall widespread use has nothing to do with a "design flaw", or lack of disireability. The other engines were just more widely packaged . And...we haven't even touched on how bitchin' the 392/426 Hemis are, have we?
 

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Why weren't dodge 440's used in boats like olds 455, Chevy 454 and Ford 460's?
Nik
Mostly because Chrysler ended regular production of the 383/400's and 440s in 1978, and their decision to end production was made long before then. And so Chrysler was effectively never a big contender amidst the big jet boat craze of the 1970's and all the jet boat manufacturers who needed engine programs.

Chrysler Marine did have a strong presence in the 1960's--mostly around inboard boats--with their small blocks (273, etc ), and also with their outboards (they bought West Bend). Then Chrysler Marine's outboard offerings took precedence over the V8 engines in the 1970s.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
This thread has produced a lot of good information! Thanks to everyone for helping me understand.
 
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