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From Archive: Hercules Engine Overview by Mechanicer

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From Archive: Hercules Engine Overview by Mechanicer

Post by Club Archivist » Fri Jul 28, 2006 7:14 pm

Quite often the Chris Craft designation for a series of the Hercules engines had a "base" designation. Like "B", "K", "M", and "W". Then there would be more variations. Quite often when an L follows the base letter, it means a long stroke variation of that base engine with, of course, more horsepower. A third letter in the alphabet soup usually designated a gear reduction Paragon transmission, and could be either 1.5 to one or 2.0 to one, with corresponding letter or possibly something else. I believe that there was a KFL, and of course the KBL. When a letter other than L followed the base letter, it quite often meant more carburators. I know a little more about the "M" series than the "K" series, as I have owned several boats including my present one with "M" series engines. I grew up in Canton, Ohio home of the Hercules engine plant. I have been to the factory several times over the many years. Unfortunately it is no longer in business having all of it's guts and tooling auctioned off several years back. I was there after the auction and saw some of the big machinery being loaded onto big semi trailers. It was so sad. The Hercules engine was a wonderfull thing. Economical to run and maintain, strong, heavy, torquey and with a beautiful mellow tone. Siggghhhh..........

Here are a few examples-

Chris Craft "K" (Hercules QXD) 95 hp

"KL" (Hercules QXLD) 105 hp (long stroke)

"KLS" (Hercules QXLD) 105 hp w/reduction gear box

Chris Craft "M" (Hercules JXD) 130 hp

"ML" (Hercules JXLD) 145 hp (long stroke)

"MLR" (Hercules JXLD) 145 hp w/reduction gear box

"MCLR" (Hercules JXLD) 175 hp w/twin carbs- w/reduction gear box

In my limited Hercules research I found that while Chris Craft liked to vary the stroke to determine horsepower, evidently Hercules liked to offer the engines with different bores as well. In other words they had QXA's, QXB's, QXC's, and QXD's as well as QXLA's, QXLB's- .........etc, etc.

Well good luck to all whose power is out. May you soon be restored!

"Adonis III"
1953 35' Commander 145 hp MLR's
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