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327QA Completion

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Chad Durren
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327QA Completion

Post by Chad Durren » Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:21 pm

I've finally completed the resto of the 327QA engine from the '69 Commander SS. If you've followed "quitchabitchin's" restoration of his 327Q, you'll find them to be very similar. The only difference between the two engines is the V-Drive assembly of the QA. Thanks goes to Andy for paving the way for non-motorheads like myself, as well as the gang from the Commander Forum for the inspiration and guidance. Below are a handful of before and after shots. When the weather warms up, I'll get the engine running again and share a video.
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1952 CC 18' Sportsman
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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by jfrprops » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:08 am

Great progress...keep at it......push Andy to post some more pics of his boat too.

John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

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Paul P
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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by Paul P » Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:43 pm

A few years ago when I was in a notable shop that buys and sells vintage watercraft, no names need be mentioned, I saw a Greavette that was for sale and the price looked pretty attractive. I looked the boat over and the impression was "I can do this". So at the point where I already had the "buy-signs" in my head, I then decided to lift the engine hatch and take a look at the power end of the power-boating culture, this being a blue-blooded heirloom boat from our friends north of the border.

At the point where the hatch opened far enough to actually SEE what was inside, it was the proverbial "big build-up for a big let-down" and my jaw dropped, and if anyone was around they probably heard me gasp and mutter a few words under my breath. The darn thing had a new Chrysler V6, yep a new one, all spanking new and it may as well have been in a white mini-van for all I cared at that moment. I shut the engine hatch, turned and walked away. Now a Chrysler marine V6 may have some merit, but none I am aware of in a Greavette. I can think of any number of other motors of vintage and not-so-vintage lineage that would have been more appropriate for that hull.

What this said to me was, the "vintage power belongs in a vintage boat". I would have been delighted to see any model Hercules, or something more exotic from the era, and even a nice Chris-Craft 283, but a new stickered-up V6 just ruined the provenance and desirability (and resale value) of the boat.

A 327QA may not be "all that vintage" these days, but it will be some day and just seeing one in such fine shape in a classic boat is going to be some fun for anyone who is fortunate enough to see it at a boat show, at the gas dock, or perhaps sitting out front some trendy waterfront restaurant or yacht club with the hatch open. Thanks for avoiding the yellow spark plug wires, lol.

Seeing this restoration with the detail given to original power gives assurance that when the hatch is lifted, people will give long looks of inquisitive appreciation rather than disgust, and the boat will be a true classic and not a "classic poseur".
"GOOD JOB".........no, make that "GREAT JOB !!!"



:-)

regards,

Paul
1956 17' CC Sportsman, 300-hp
1957 17' CC Sportsman, 95-hp
1966 20' CC fiberglass Sea Skiff, 210-hp+
1973 23' CC Lancer inboard project, 427/375-hp.
1966 38' CC Commander Express, 427/300-hp(2)

So many boats.........so little time.....but what a way to go!!

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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by quitchabitchin » Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:37 pm

Looks great Chad. What are your specifics? Did you change out the cam? Did you keep the stock heads? Valves? Valve sizes? I would like to see the differences between mine and yours. I used a larger cam and newer heads with larger chambers and valves.

As for posting more pictures of my boat, well John, unless you want to see more of the same old stuff, I have nothing new to post. My engine is finished besides new belts and spark plugs, the boat is painted but needs sanded and buffed, the interior is 60% complete! the bilge cleaning and paintwork is 95% complete, the hardware needs to go back on, and I am still waiting anxiously for the teak to be cleared by a judge so I can get my hands on it for the flooring.

The sad part is I have not touched her since November or so simply due to a lack of time. My small children require a lot of my time, my youngest especially, in fact, I just got back from a 5 day trip to Clifornia where she received cord blood stem cells as a treatment to help heal her brain. To see more of her story, Facebook users can see her page at http://www.facebook.com/sweetsophiaspage. She is our main focus right now as the first few years are extremely important in her abilities later in life. We had a an awesome trip and it was kind of nice to get away to the fantastic Southern California weather while the Ohio Valley was experiencing sub zero temps. Here is the view from our room.
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FLASH1969 Chris Craft Cavalier Ski-230 HP 327Q

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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by jfrprops » Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:53 pm

All the Best Andy, you have your priorities and the boat can wait.

As to my end: I got the marine exhaust manifolds back on the flathead today and just need to make up a good...SAFE...lift and reinstall program. Going to use a chain fall for small increments and backhoe loader to lift. I will have a helper with safety chain....as I let down they will follow with the second chain....got to put the boat back on the trailer first though.
Kind of cold for that work right now.

John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by Chad Durren » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:45 pm

I agree, boats can wait. Family is always first. Best of luck with Sophia's new treatment.

I decided to keep the original heads and have them rebuilt.

New: 1.94/1.50 valves, guides, springs, push rods, hardened seats. New alternator, distributor cap, exhaust risers & elbows.

Rebuilt fuel pump & carb

The block was decked & honed (slight overbore .003 ?). New Lunati 10120100LK cam and lifter set, new pistons & rings, new oil pump. The new cam is only a tad more aggressive than the originals, and the rebuilt heads breathe just fine. Original crank and flywheel were balanced.

Every gasket replaced.
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1952 CC 18' Sportsman
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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by Chad Durren » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:54 pm

Some head casting information I found useful.

John, you're on your own with that Argentinian stuff! ;-)
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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by quitchabitchin » Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:49 pm

Interesting...is this a 327QA or a 350QA? My 327Q, which is rated at 230HP, had the 520 heads, power pack heads with smaller valves and the 59cc combustion chambers. With that being said, I would have to believe that the heads on your engine would produce more power than the power pack heads. My new heads have the 78cc chambers and 1.94/1.60 valves. I used the same cam, it is roughly .0030 larger on both the intake and exhaust lobes with a slightly longer duration, this should be a good setup and be basically the same as yours.

What plug wires did you use? I haven't bought any and was not real impressed with the last set of Accel wires that I used.
FLASH1969 Chris Craft Cavalier Ski-230 HP 327Q

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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by Chad Durren » Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:07 am

It's a 327QA, I still have to apply my new decals. Someday, we'll have to run them together to compare. You are much closer to completion than me. I have not touched the hull. Your ski boat is gonna scoot, and sound great.

The plug wires are from CD's Engine Shop. I believe he made them to length, using what looks like Standard, silicone, 7mm, copper stranded core. I'll double-check with him. I think Summit sells Standard Motor Products wire.

I used 7mm Packard wire on my K engine. I bought the wire, terminals and boots from Restoration Supply Co. and made them myself. Easy to do and give you a nice, tidy look.
1952 CC 18' Sportsman
1969 CC 19' Commander Super Sport

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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by rgmxk22 » Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:29 am

Excellent job on the resto Chad. Your engine looks fantastic.

Ron Michael
72 CC XK22
Ohio

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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by quitchabitchin » Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:35 pm

"Someday, we'll have to run them together to compare. "

I would love to....I forgot to mention that I also have a 350 crank and it is bored .0030 over, so I guess you could call it a 355Q. :D
FLASH1969 Chris Craft Cavalier Ski-230 HP 327Q

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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by Chad Durren » Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:57 pm

Oh yah, well I'll spray non-stick cooking spray on the hull. 327QA-PAM :D
1952 CC 18' Sportsman
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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by quitchabitchin » Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:27 pm

Nice. Pam. Good call. With the Commander hull, I would have to think that you won't be needing that spray, especially in a little chop. I have a theme song for my boat-"Flat bottom girls make my world go round...."
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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by mfine » Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:04 pm

Chad Durren wrote:Oh yah, well I'll spray non-stick cooking spray on the hull. 327QA-PAM :D
Get the stuff Clark put on his sled in Christmas Vacation.

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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by Chad Durren » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:52 pm

That's what I was thinking - "non-caloric silicon-based kitchen lubricant". 500 times more slippery than cooking oil.
1952 CC 18' Sportsman
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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by quitchabitchin » Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:29 pm

I just noticed that your oil filter is in the normal location, it does not have the relocation kit that my Q has. I wonder if it is because of the space constraints or if you did not use the relocation kit?
FLASH1969 Chris Craft Cavalier Ski-230 HP 327Q

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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by Chad Durren » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:13 pm

I just chose to keep it in it's original position. There is quite a bit of room in the engine bay on the SS. I can easily reach the filter by hand but may have some issues if I need to put a wrench on it. I would have to remove the water pump intake hose to get at it.

I can always relocate it later if it becomes an issue. Learning things the hard way is how I roll. :?
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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by quitchabitchin » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:27 pm

Was it originally mounted on the top like mine? I don't have much room for removal the way it is mounted in the boat and would probably make an even bigger mess if it was mounted underneath. I did score an NOS oil filter though. I will break the engine in and swap filters a time or two before I run this one.
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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by Chad Durren » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:02 pm

To my knowledge, it has always been mounted below. There were no signs of it being relocated. Nice score on the NOS filter. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled.
1952 CC 18' Sportsman
1969 CC 19' Commander Super Sport

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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by jim g » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:44 pm

quitchabitchin wrote:Was it originally mounted on the top like mine? I don't have much room for removal the way it is mounted in the boat and would probably make an even bigger mess if it was mounted underneath. I did score an NOS oil filter though. I will break the engine in and swap filters a time or two before I run this one.
Have a graphics sign shop scan it and print it out on sign vinyl and then stick it to a white filter. No one will know unless they get real close. You will also still have a nice and clean cool looking book end.

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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by quitchabitchin » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:06 pm

Good call Jim. I will look into that.
FLASH1969 Chris Craft Cavalier Ski-230 HP 327Q

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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by Chad Durren » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:26 pm

Some photos after the decals and final detailing.
before_after.jpg
1AFABBDF-3FFE-4419-B577-B96392755C14_zpsv8d0dw9q.JPG
B25AC47C-3569-4930-99FB-D970E7BE9ACB_zpsl0rqxhju.JPG
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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by jfrprops » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:36 pm

Really looing good! Go boating!

John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by rgmxk22 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:50 pm

Beautiful job detailing your engine! They never looked that good when Chris Craft built them. I was wondering though, it that a new PCV valve hose running from the the carb to the valve cover? If so, where did you ever find one?

Ron Michael
CC XK22
Ohio

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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by Chad Durren » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:04 pm

Thanks guys! Although, I won't be dropping in the boat any time soon. The hull work has yet to begin. As long as I keep moving forward with something, I'll ll eventually have a finished boat.

Ron, the PCV hose is the original. I just rubbed off the old paint with a Scotch Brite pad and shined it up with Armor All. The blue paint must have protected it from the elements as the hose had no cracks or signs of deterioration.
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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by quitchabitchin » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:16 pm

Nice work Chad!!!
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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by rgmxk22 » Thu May 01, 2014 10:31 pm

Hi Chad,

Thanks for the info about that PCV hose. It looks that good in your pics that I thought maybe you had found a source for these hoses. Since my FLV uses the same hose, I would have been interested in a new one.

I know what you've went through detailing your engine since when I bought my XK, let's just say the engine didn't sparkle. I didn't pull mine out, so I'm sure yours outshines mine, but I've been there cleaning, painting, detailing and I even cleaned the hoses up too.

Again, you did a fantastic job on yours.

Ron Michael
CC XK22
Ohio
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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by Chad Durren » Tue May 06, 2014 9:55 pm

Decided to fire it up tonight. Matt Byrne stopped by to lend me his ignition button. After 10 minutes of start-up failure, I discovered I had the fuel valve turned off at the filter. Duct-taped the pipes on to get the full effect. Crank up the volume.

Now, if I just had a boat to drop it in...

https://vimeo.com/94287685
1952 CC 18' Sportsman
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Re: 327QA Completion

Post by mfine » Wed May 07, 2014 6:16 am

Nice!

I am sure all of us have spent plenty of time debugging fuel valves in the closed position.

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