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My modified 427 engine project for the 23 Lancer Inboard

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Paul P
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My modified 427 engine project for the 23 Lancer Inboard

Post by Paul P » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:22 pm

Hello guys,

Here is an update on my 23’ Lancer inboard project and the 427 motor modifications. This is a classic Lancer hull designed by Jim Wynne, the series has a strong following and I believe the 23 Lancers will really gain in popularity as years pass by. They are great performing boats and they are pretty hefty too. Original power was always from small block GM power in the 230 to 235 horsepower range, through a 1.5:1 gear reduction, spinning a 15 x 15 cupped RH prop.

CC never put the 427 in this particular version of the 23 hull, but they did put it in the 23 Commander and Italian Monte Carlo, the latter being a rebadged Commander for the Italian market and both sharing essentially the same hull but using V-drive instead of the inboard with prop pocket.

My boat arrived on the premises without a motor and complete windshield. There was no motor box, no rear seats, most all the wood side panels and ALL of the vinyl was bad. Essentially I started with a raw fiberglass hull that needed a lot of patching.
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Since I had a pair of 427 motors sitting in my shop since 2001, I thought about using one in the Lancer. Those motors are laden with iron and more suitable for a cruiser than a Lancer runabout. Many things began working on me, including the fact that I am a dyed in the wool Ford guy because my Grandfather had a small town ford dealership in Pennsylvania when I was a kid, was Ford’s MAN OF THE YEAR in 1957 for the Cleveland Region. Then I attended the 2010 Bay Harbor Vintage Car and Boat Show, had the absolute pleasure of hanging out with Tom Flood, Diana Webb, and serving as a judge at the boat show with them, and I wrote a report about the event that Bill Basler was kind enough to publish in the BRASS BELL following the event. Naturally there were fabulous boats there everywhere and Chris Craft boats swept the event, winning more awards than any other brand as we would expect due to the quality of the boats and the sheer numbers Chris Craft produced. There were some Gravettes and Hackers that won too, naturally. However…..drum roll please…….I did see two 23’ fiberglass Lancer Inboard hulls that had been converted to the gentleman racer format. Both of these converted Lancers had big block power sitting in the engine bay and here are the photos of those installations. Naturally, seeing THIS started me thinking more seriously about using a big block Ford motor in the same Lancer hull, but keeping the hull and interior of the boat in stock form.

Here is a 454 GM motor sitting in one of the Bay Harbor converted 23’ Lancer hulls.
Image

Here is a 426B Chrysler motor sitting in the other converted 23’ Lancer hull.
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Once I saw these motors the decision was made to go ahead with the 427 installation, after all it was already a Chris Craft motor. As I got into looking at the setup more closely it became apparent that the 2.5:1 gear reduction Paragon transmission would not work. I sourced a 72C Borg Warner Velvet Drive with a 1.5:1 ratio, the C version of this transmission is rated for higher horsepower ratings, although the smaller version has been used successfully in racing, I did not want to take any chances with the transmission. I also had two complete pairs of aluminum exhaust manifolds and risers I purchased years ago (for my 427 powered Commander) before I realized how different the Chris Craft cooling system was. As a result they sat in boxes, but NOW there was a chance to use them.

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The ends of the risers had to be cut off in order to open them up for 427 exhaust duty, and the entire exhaust system was opened up to 4” diameter pipes.
ImageImageImage


The 427 is an industrial motor, although the block is fairly light weight for a motor this size due to the NASCAR and Le-Mans racing pedigree of the 427, the industrial versions did get a little thicker cylinder walls as I understand it and this is good for boat owners. However, all the iron CC bolted onto these motors is what makes them so heavy. Weight in a cruiser is more tolerable than in a runabout, so reduction of weight = free speed. That iron intake weighs 80 pounds, I know because I weighed it. The aluminum replacement weighs less than 25 pounds. The idea was to remove as much weight as possible and increase the power in reasonable ways.
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Chris Craft 427 motors come with two different cylinder heads. The 1968 version of the 427 has smaller “acceleration” ports that were supposedly used for emissions purposes, and since I have both sets of heads I researched the issue very carefully because I naturally wanted to use the best one for the job. Cylinder heads contain a lot of horsepower, but most of the time that power is realized in the upper rpm bands. In the end, the rpm range of this motor (not to exceed 4500 , perhaps a blast to 5000 on occasion) just would not warrant changing from one head to another, as the FE wedge head design is a good one from the start and just fine in this rpm band. Incidentally, the Shelby GT 500 KR uses the same cylinder head I am using here.
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An aluminum Edelbrock Performer RPM intake manifold was used instead of the standard Edelbrock Performer version because it offered better breathing without giving up much or anything on the torque side. If this motor was going into a cruiser I would have used the base Performer because rpm is limited to 4000 on a cruiser for engine longevity reasons and the stock Performer intakes work fine in that range.
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The exhaust logs and risers were drilled and tapped to a larger ¾” NPT size to promote better flow characteristics and to assure the motor would never overheat due to limited water flow.
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Rather than bolt the very heavy water filled brass circulation pump onto the front of this aluminum intake manifold, I chose to eliminate it all together and let the sea water pump do the job. The sea water pump is rated at 35 GPM and the circulation pump is rated at 65, but the input and outflow is still regulated by the sea water pump. In the old days when the 427 was raced in Southern California they did not even use a thermostat, they just ran the water in and out and that was it. On this system I sourced some old speed equipment from none other than Steve McElroy (who raced 427 motors back then). This is the splitter that bolts to the front of the intake rather than the big heavy brass circulation pump Chris Craft used on the industrial motor design. I milled the back of the splitter to also accept a thermostat. My system brings water in from the sea water pump through the pan mounted oil cooler, then through the transmission cooler and into the rear, and hottest, portion of the exhaust log, forward to the same point of entry into the block as on the stock Chris Craft motor. This system does not have the two way circuit down and back inside the exhaust log like the standard Chris Craft system. Once in the block there is still a constant but intentionally small flow out the two small hoses on the front of the intake manifold, supplemented by full flow of hot water once the thermostat gets warm enough to open everything up. Feeding the exhaust logs from the rear to forward also assures they will always be full of water, avoiding a potential melt down if they happened to drain down. The system is still pressurized to the same level with a pair of 2-psi Chris Craft pressure regulator valves, so the priority feed goes to the motor at all times and once the system exceeds 2-psi it begins dumping excess water directly into the riser and out the tailpipes.

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At this time the transmission is being mated up to the motor, final hoses and wires are being finished up, and I will be posting a video of the test run for everyone to see. An Edelbrock #1409 carb rated at 600-cfm is still plenty big for the needs of this motor, and I actually sold a perfectly good new-in-the-box 750 in order to bump down to the 600, because it would work better. Bigger is not always better. The history of the motor include a recent rebuild with Keith Black forged pistons, so the compression and displacement are slightly higher than stock. I am anxious to do the water testing and prop selections on this project. Speed projections for this boat are more along the lines of what Jim Wynne would have liked when he designed this 24-degree deadrise deep V hull. We’ll see how it goes. A boy has to have a hobby!

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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mfine
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Post by mfine » Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:36 pm

How are you feeding the 1409 with fuel, mechanical pump or electric? They can idle rough if the fuel preasure from the mechanical pump gets too high for the valves. You can put in a preassure regulator, get an electric pump with regulation, or I saw a post from Don Ayers a couple years ago that mentioned Van Ness will do a valve replacement on the carb to solve it. I went electric to solve the evaporation hard start issue on both my CC and our Penn Yan ( OMC small block install ) and couldn't be happier with that choice. Startup is almost car like easy even after sitting for a week or more.

Looking forward to your video, hope the audio is good!

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Post by Paul P » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:24 pm

I appreciate the comment about the overpressure, so far I have not experienced problems with the stock fuel pumps creating too much pressure. This 1409 is a clone of the Carter as I am sure you knoe, although there are some small differences (this one is rated 600 and the carter used on the 427 was 625, but the motor never knew the difference because the cfm needs were far below that level anyway at 4000 rpm).

The carters are known for hard starting, at least from my experience. Iron will hold its heat for a LONG time and when you are shooting a flame through a crossover passage from one cylinder head to the other underneath the carb, that big iron intake manifold tends to cook the carb for a long time after you shut off the motor. In additiion, that tiny little antisiphon valve we never change because it never comes in the rebuild kits, has been branded a culprit too. As a result, these carbs take a lot of hand pumping or cranking on the starter which you fixed with your electric pump. One thing about the Edelbrock aluminum intakes, they eliminate the EGR system and that produces power, keeps carbs from cooking, and helps the motor run cooler.

For any Carter or Edelbrock clone like the 1409, I would take a long look at the choke system if starting is a problem. When these chokes are fully closed tight, the engines want to start. When there is a little air slipping by, forget it. My 427s in TRADITION (38' Commander Express) have the original carter AFBs. They need cranking in order to start, however, if I manually hold that choke shut and crank the motors, they start right up. Somehow I have yet to adjust the choke system on them adequately to replicate the way I hold them shut manually. Those old chokes use a furnace/thermocouple and piston system that can get carboned up. In addition, I understand there is a specific temperature at which these things need to be calibrated to the closed position.

I'm running a 1409 on a 327F right now and it has been very enjoyable, but on my installation it did require a wedge to function properly (some of the linkage is operated by gravity). On the 427 I received a couple 427 fuel pumps from Danny Cook before he passed away, they've been sitting around for years, so I decided i would pull the existing fuel pumpe (which happened to be good) and replace it with one of the new ones from Dan. I am not using any sort of an aftermarket pump with higher than normal pressure so I think I'll be okay.

You may remember the photo.....it was one that we all would remember. It was Joe Frauenheim standing beside one of his big V-12 engines with some sort of a comment about his test running at home....saying "the neighbors were unaffected".
I still chuckle about that comment.

Since I live on a ridgetop with the front door looking at the opposite ridge to the north, and the back door looking at the ridge to the south, the neighbors on that opposite ridge to the south are the ones I hope are "unaffected" when I roll up the garage door and fire up the motor for testing. I hope they don't return fire, this IS Tennessee you know. More likely there will be a pause and a comment like...."THAT ain't no small block Chevy".
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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mfine
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Post by mfine » Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:58 pm

Here in NY we have had the dreaded ethanol for a while and we noticed right away that the boats would start fine if they had been run recently, but not if they had sat for more than a few days. This was with a Quadrajet (barf!) and a Holley before I even got the 1409. After we found out it was an evaporation/fuel volatility issue, it was pretty easy to verify that the bowls were indeed dry by Friday. This is totally different than the iron manifold issue (solved that one on the PY a long time ago) where it cooks off the gas right away. In fact once we got them running the first time on Friday afternoon, all subsequent starts for the weekend would be fairly easy, even early morning cold starts. Definitely not a choke issue either.

I am sure local fuel mix, tank possition, how the lines are run and how good your fuel pump is all make a big difference in severity but we and the neighbors have had the evaporation problem on pretty much all of our older inboards and stern drives. If you run into, you will recognize it. As for the 1409 and preassure thing, I dont know how common it is, but just thought I'd mention it incase you experience it.

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Paul P
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Post by Paul P » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:23 am

Rather than hijack a thread about a Riva here on the BUZZ, I'll hijack my own thread with a fiberglass boat, showing that it is entirely possible to build a very fine small block if (IF) you do your homework and use restraint.

evansjw44 wrote:If you look at comparable 350 CID marine conversions they run anywhere from 235 to 260 HP. Some high performance might run up to 300 HP but I don't see them from the major suppliers. Here's the clues: Higher HP takes higher RPM and flows. That almost always mean lower torque at lower RPM. Unless you want to run at high speed most of the time you need torque at the low end of the power band.
Jim Evans, you are EXACTLY right. If your objective from the start is top speed, then go with a buzz motor. If you want drivability, reliability, and longevity, go with lower compression, lower rpm, and pay attention to the torque curve. Very careful research and lots of cash can produce remarkable results, however.

Here is a fun video of my friend, Bill Policastro, in his 327-powered 23' Commander. This boat was offered with 327F and 427 power. The motor was properly put together for marine duty....Dart iron heads were used along with a mild cam upgrade, and they spent time and dollars on reliability issues and not just power. Based on the performance obtained, this engine is estimated to be producing somewhere in the 320 horsepower range with 327 cubic inches. It continues to be a very successful rebuild.

Turn up your speakers.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/05C7N6_tbOY?rel=0

My 427 is going into the same 23' hull but with inboard shaft angles & prop pocket, rather than the v-drive of the 23 Commander. The boats differ in that the 23 Commander v-drive uses a 13x13 cupped prop and direct drive with higher engine speeds than I am intending to use; I will starting off with a 15x23 3-blade and 1.5:1 gear reduction.

A boy has to have a hobby !

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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mfine
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Post by mfine » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:47 am

Paul, with the reduction gear and higher displacement you should be able to spin the engine faster AND have better low end torque. If the acceleration performance your friend is getting out of the 327 is not enough for you I could see focusing on low end torque, but you can get 400 hp out of your big block without sacrificing much.

As for longevity, your first post mentioned you have TWO 427's. The way I would interpret that is you have one for the boat and another as a spare. When you blow up the one in the boat, swap engines and rebuild. You only need the thing to last half a season, and that's if you are slow with your rebuilds. With that in mind I would think you should have a power target closer to 700 hp give or take. You only live once! :D

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Paul P
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Post by Paul P » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:13 am

mfine wrote:Paul, with the reduction gear and higher displacement you should be able to spin the engine faster AND have better low end torque. .....

As for longevity, your first post mentioned you have TWO 427's. The way I would interpret that is you have one for the boat and another as a spare. When you blow up the one in the boat, swap engines and rebuild. You only need the thing to last half a season, and that's if you are slow with your rebuilds. With that in mind I would think you should have a power target closer to 700 hp give or take. You only live once! :D
Restraint is a virtue! It is also less expensive!

The stock 427 put out 438 footpounds of torque and this motor is capable of operating in the higher rpm ranges if attention is given to the valve springs and rocker arm supports. Higher cam profiles require heavier springs, heavier springs cause more stress on the rocker shaft assembly, then you need end supports, etc., on and on. Then attention is needed for stronger (LeMans) connecting rods, attention needed at bearing surfaces, oil restriction is then needed at the cylinder heads as the 427 wants to fill the valve covers with oil at sustained high rpm, and on and on it goes. Yes this engine is capable of a lot more power than I am targeting but ultimate speed is not the issue here. At LeMans, by the way, FoMoCo detuned these motors down from their NASCAR spec to 500-horsepower, and required drivers to hold rpm down to 6,000 rpm in order to assure they would last 24 hours at speeds required to stay ahead of the best cars Ferrari and Porsche would provide. As the story goes, first time out they finished 1, 2, 3, 32 miles ahead of the next closest car.

Comfortable fast commuting at moderate engine speeds and little fuss between Commodore Yacht Club and Cedar Creek Yacht Club (Cumberland River) is the goal here, sometimes with 4 couples aboard. If you do the math with a 15 x 23 prop and 1.5:1 gear reduction, at 4500 rpm, factoring in 15% slippage/drag factor, you can see that plenty of speed will be there without trying to build a "go-fast boat". There has been some discussion that perhaps going to a smaller diameter 4-blade will be better than the 15" 3-blade. Time will tell! One thing for sure, with this hull profile we won't need to back off once we see the whitecaps of Old Hickory Lake.

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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mfine
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Post by mfine » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:41 am

Your restraint doesn't save me any money so I fail to see the virtue. :D

If you are spinning at 4500, I think that is a pretty reasonable target and that definitely should move a lancer. I got the impression you were going to be more conservative than that.

With the 16' ski boat hull, I don't slow down for white caps, I take a different boat! With the flat bottom on that thing, I slow down for ripples. Maybe I should add a lancer to my wish list, but our 76 Penn Yan has a deep vee hull that will handle any weather we see around here, it just lacks any semblance of top end speed.

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Post by Paul P » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:20 pm

mfine wrote:Your restraint doesn't save me any money so I fail to see the virtue. :D
The only virtue here will be self inflicted.

mfine wrote: If you are spinning at 4500, I think that is a pretty reasonable target and that definitely should move a lancer. I got the impression you were going to be more conservative than that.
Yes I intend to be more conservative than that most of the time, however, the mere fact that I am putting a 427 into a 23 Lancer is socially unacceptable by some standards.
mfine wrote: With the 16' ski boat hull, I don't slow down for white caps, I take a different boat! With the flat bottom on that thing, I slow down for ripples. Maybe I should add a lancer to my wish list, but our 76 Penn Yan has a deep vee hull that will handle any weather we see around here, it just lacks any semblance of top end speed.
My 17' CC Sportsman is a fun but only on smooth water. On the Cumberland River it is most often like a silver ribbon snaking through beautiful hill country with pasture land in between, with a very seldom wake from another boat. One day, however, we were running with four adults in the front seat, one of whom was a former member of the UDT before their name was changed to Navy Seals. On smooth water the boat ran beautifully flat with all four of us up front, but oh brother did I ever get an education when I slowed down to overtake a big cruiser making a wake. A wall of water 4 inches deep came over the bow right into our laps. Mike laughed but the girls didn't. After a few more miles we all dried out and had a fun day.

Your jet boat would be a blast on the Cumberland.

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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mfine
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Post by mfine » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:50 pm

I definitely meant building and propping to max out at 4500, I wouldn't expect you to cruise there all day long. I rarely run at 4000 let alone 4500, except for brief periods of acceleration but it is nice to build in the option for when you want it. You rarely wish you had less power on tap.

My ski-jet would be fun on the Cumberland, as long as there are plenty of closely spaced fuel docks! I should add that to my list of bodies of water ti visit. I don't know about your sportsman, but ski boat has this curved glass thing just in front of the cockpit. I have heard it referred to as a windshield but it didn't take long to realize the main purpose is to keep most of the waves out of your lap when you come off plane. The wind benefits are definitely secondary.

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Paul P
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Post by Paul P » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:06 pm

Has someone tipped you off to the fact that I have taken a beating due to the fact that i ran my Skiff a couple years without a windshield?

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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Paul P
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Post by Paul P » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:12 pm

By the way......the windshield on a 23 Lancer at near top speed will equate to about an 80-pound hold back force. Hold up a 4x8 sheet of plywood in a 10 psf wind speed and you'll see what I mean. If you're ever going to race Don title for title, take the windshield off, and run with a quarter tank of gas just enough to finish the race and do a victory lap. I also have some other tips for the evening before the race but they involve working in the dark holding a small flashlight in your mouth, so probably best left unsaid.

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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mfine
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Post by mfine » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:41 pm

If I took my windshield off, I would have to put a cover across the cabin like an open water kayak skirt. That would actually further reduce drag, but after the secret 2 am adjustments to Don's carb, I don't think I need to get that radical. I still have further work to get my jet working at 100% but I also have a 300+ hp powerplant, 900+ less pounds to move, way more thust from a standing start and no drag from running gear below the hull. And that doesn't count the extra weight of the 3-4 beautiful young women that Don will have to deal with once he gets that Riva in the water.

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Paul P
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Post by Paul P » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:04 pm

post deleted pending more research on the marine HEI distributor for the FE motors.

stay tuned,

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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Post by farupp » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:33 pm

This is one of the most fun threads ever! To quote:

"With that in mind I would think you should have a power target closer to 700 hp give or take. You only live once!" And remember "A boy has to have a hobby!"

Thanks guys.

Now, back to my 283 Ranger with its large windshield. 185 HP give or take. 30 mph on a really good day. And a cooler of beer as the only extra weight.

Frank
Frank Rupp
1959 22-foot Sea Skiff Ranger
283 Flywheel Forward engine

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Paul P
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Post by Paul P » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:39 am

I can now testify that a Borg Warner Velvet Drive 72C will, indeed, fit up to a later series Paragon/Ford/Chris Craft bell housing. Also note I have added the incoming water manifold and standard pressure regulator valves from Chris Craft, intended to bleed off excess pressure at higher rpm, and to also assure priority water flow to the motor at lower rpm. I decided to wash down the brass with Eastwood PRE to degrease everything, and then finished it with Eastwood Diamond Clear (mag wheel clear coat). Since this is a total custom installation, no need to paint everything Chris Craft blue, just trying to do a neat and proper hot rod job. After all.............the boat came with no motor :-)
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1: Incoming water directly from sea water pump, through oil pan mounted oil cooler, then through vertical transmission cooler, and finally into the brass splitter manifold you see here.

2: Priority water flow to the motor, into the bottom side of the header for additional preheating.

3: Pressure Regulator Valves, start to open at 2-psi and continue to open more as pressure builds.

4: Excess water is dumped into an available port on the riser. All hot engine water enters the riser at a different port not visible from this vantage point.
Image

Image

Progress is slow, but a lot of work has actually been done sourcing specialty motor mounts that clear the risers, as the Paragons would not, making sure the 72C fits and will drop to fit the shaft, and even replacing all intake manifold bolts one at a time and doing another master-torque, to assure I had enough thread grip, as some of those bolts did not seem quite long enough due to the fact that the aluminum casting is thicker than the iron.

Also, I would like to report in that I totally buffed out the 1966 Sea Skiff and it looks fabulous, so not all the work is going into the 427 Lancer project.

Image
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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mfine
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Post by mfine » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:42 am

Paul,

Do you have a source for new preassure regulator valves?

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Post by Paul P » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:55 am

No, but the old ones clean up well and they're all brass. I see them on ebay now and then. The cast housings shown in my photos are unique to the closed cooling system on the 427, but I could have just as easily used some from a small block Chevy but would have required a tap into the riser directly like CC did. The 427 standard cooling units are free supported just by hose, so those could be used on ANY motor.

Image

Here is how I bolted all my parts together, I had to use an angle on the PRV in order to allow for a nice direct feed to the riser via 45-degree fittings. I could have mounted the PRV directly to the aluminum riser but did not want to add the weight there. Fun project.

Image

Beware, many of the ebay closed cooling 427 systems will arrive without the valve inside unless you check carefully in advance, due to people tossing them thinking that helps cooling. Granted, their function is much more pronounced in a standard system. They clean up nicely when touched gently with a spinning wire wheel, look like new inside and out.

best,

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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mfine
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Post by mfine » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:57 am

Thanks Paul!

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quitchabitchin
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Post by quitchabitchin » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:09 pm

My little Q motor looks like a baby compared to that beast! Nice work.
FLASH1969 Chris Craft Cavalier Ski-230 HP 327Q

CCABC Board of Directors Member

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Paul P
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Post by Paul P » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:45 am

That's what it takes to push a 23' Lancer deep-v hull 50-mph. If I can get into the high 40s I'll be happy but my goal is to cross the 50-mph threshold.

On this particular re-powering there is a lot more unusual issues at hand than we normally see. first of all this is a deep-v boat and it has more water drag than the normal flat bottom Chris hull at the transom, which most mahogany speedboats have essentially zero deadrise and are therefore faster boats on smooth water and can do slide turns so nicely. Not so with this rig, a 23 Lancer is incapable of doing a slide turn in the first place, and secondly it takes more power to match a flat bottom deadrise. In addition, the prop pocket on this deep v hull comes into play significantly, because Chris Craft used a 1.5:1 gear reduction on this boat to get enough prop under it and make things work with a small block motor. In retrospect, maybe I should have used a direct drive with the bigger power but I elected to stay with the slower turning prop like CC did, and it will be a total experimentation on what prop works best.

Naturally I can step up the line on the 15" diameter props until I reach a pitch that brings rpm down, but I am also going to be in contact with the 4-blade manufacturers and experiment with some 14" aggressive pitch 4-blade props too. The fun part about all of this is the fact that the big Ford NASCAR motor now weighs the same as the small block all iron GM 350 due to the way I have shed so much iron off. I won't have any weight penalty, just a ton more torque and power, so we'll see how it goes.

With a variety of boats to contend with including a cruiser in the water and a lake property too, my time is spread pretty thin most of the time. My progress on boat restoration generally happens during the off season. I am hopeful I will be able to do a test run with this beast later this season or most certainly next springtime. The cosmetic work will follow, and it is actually taking a parallel path now on the ratty 23' hull I'm working on. One thing guys.............free boats are free, but they are not cheap, lol.

At one time I actually thought about putting the 427 in the 20-foot Sea Skiff (photo in my last posting) but it wouldn't fit, it was too long and realistically would have been a gross overpowering of that hull. The 210-horse 327 is the perfect motor combo for that one.

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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Post by Peter M Jardine » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:55 pm

Good project Paul... great motor. A couple of comments... you might find that by using the aftermarket manifolds that restriction raises pressure, and the CC bypass are too low a pressure, will blow too much pressure.

Most of the drag boats just operate at a higher pressure.

To my knowledge, there was no differences in 427 blocks,except oiling patterns of course... the industrial engine just used a steel crank instead of an iron one, and the crank boss was heavier.

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Paul P
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Post by Paul P » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:45 am

Peter, very excellent comments, thank you.

Look at some of my early postings in this thread and you will see where I actually drilled out the ports on all the aluminum pieces and installed larger fittings to promote better flow. However, your point is very well taken, as I certainly don't want to be dumping needed water casually overboard, just want to vent off the excess stuff the pump developes at higher rpm.

In order to test this, I plan to unhook the line between the pressure regulator valves and riser, put a temp plug in the riser, and actually observe the flow coming out of the pressure regulator valves while observing how the motor is reaching and maintaining its own temperature. If I get high readings on the motor it would be easy to install a bit of restriction to the outflow from the PRV and still leave the 2 psi spring assy there. Since this is a totally custom installation I'll be doing a fair amount of in the water tweaking.

There are some variations within the FE motor series, and this includes the FT (Ford Truck) series as well, all of which used steel cranks that had different snouts than the automotive versions. All the FE motors are externally balanced except the 427. The cast iron 427 crankshaft is a very good one, and there is really no need to go to a steel crank on these motors unless you are really pushing them hard (like 2x the original power rating and very high rpm).

There is some credible reporting that the marine /industrial blocks actually had a bit more iron around the cylinder bores. Since Ford made so many changes to the FE series along the way, especially the 427 (internal rib reinforcing, cloverleaved cylinder enclosures) it is pretty much impossible to really tell unless you take one apart and really know what to look for. All the detailed production records from Ford are gone. In addition, the actual metalurgy was tweaked on the 427 as well so those blocks are harder than the rest of the FE series (commonly reported to be chromium and phosphrous).

From my own collected data files:
The OHO notice of May 1972 states "varying" Cr and P content in the alloy results in a 15% greater tensile strength.

The ESE-M1A116-A cast iron chemistry which showed up around 1964 for cylinder blocks called for .25 min Cr. The later drawings called for the same material except modified to .15 - .40 Cr.

The cloverleafed cylinder design started with the C3AE-AB block which was released on 12-5-62. It is noted that the 406 received the cross-bolted mains first, and then evolved into the 427 during 1963-1/2. Basically, all production 427 cylinder blocks were cloverleafed, and this is just one of MANY reasons why the 427 motors last so long. When they were built intentionally to dominate NASCAR (which they did totally in 1963, 1964, and 1965, and remained in contention for years thereafter) being stuck in a detuned Chris Craft really was not very tough duty for this particular motor.

Lots of great history there within the development of this motor. I actually have some of the blueprint drawings used on the 427 motor design. It is fascinating how they got such a strong cross bolted block while keeping weight down too. In racing weight is about as important as power, sure makes a difference on the front end tire wear!

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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mfine
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Post by mfine » Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:18 am

Can you replace the springs on the PR valves? I would think a stiffer spring to delay opening would be better than a restriction in the flow.

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Post by Paul P » Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:57 am

I could put a small ball valve on each side but that would look ohhh so plumbing. If you look at the springs in the photo I posted earlier, you will see they are brass and not easily removed. I hesitate to say anything is NOT possible these days, but restriction is easy, spring replacement would not be easy, and where would you even find brass springs??

The idea is to get the priority flow to the engine naturally, and my entire system uses larger diameter tubing to feed the motor first, with intended restriction feeding the PRV itself. So even if the PRV hose looks big, it is already restricted by the small end of the PRV on the inlet water side. The flow to the bottom aft side of the headers is the flow to the motor and all of that system has been ported of max flow, all of which is regulated by the thermostat I sneaked in behind the front aluminum splitter. I have a lot of options once the system is water tested. If I run hot (which I don't think I will based on what info I have received during reserch) I can change the T-stat or remove it entirely. Since those older designs all ran so cold I am actually hoping I can warm things up to 160 to 175 anyway. I can also regulate the degree of preheating too.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the day I can do the water testing, which is now looking more like springtime next year.

best,

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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mfine
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Post by mfine » Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:59 pm

If I understand correctly, you are using the PRV's to make sure you have some water going into the wet exhaust when the thermostat is closed on a raw cooling system?

My concerns with a restriction would be 1) are you getting enough flow to cool the exhaust, especially if you have rubber hose after the elbow, 2) will there be enough flow through the pump 3) will the system have too much back preassure, making it difficult for the water pump to self prime?

I am curious how this works out because I may need to redo the cooling on my 350/283 install due to priming issues with the very remote water intake on my early ski-jet.

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Post by Paul P » Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:28 pm

The system is complex, fully engineered, and following a model from another person I know who has done the same thing, but with improvements I have made on my own. Therefore we're still subject to final tweaking. It is easy to make the motor run too cold, the objective is to make it run a little warmer, but not hot of course. Therefore I have a system that stands on its own until things do warm up and then the hot water is metered out by thermostat action. Initial T-stat is a 160 so we'll see how that works.

The PRV does assure I get water to the motor first, just like the standard CC system. It also assures there are no air pockets. It is a pressure relief valve as much as it is a regulator valve. There will be almost the same 35 GPM of flow available as in the CC System. My system feeds the hot and lowest aft portion of the header, flowing to the motor block where it is circulated and then dumped in the riser. There will always be a flow through the exhaust header due to additional plumbing on the front side of the motor intended to do this. When the T-stat opens it will supplement the flow through the exhaust and dumping into the riser. There is never a situation where there is no flow through the entire system. If you need specific details that are going to bore people here, send me an email and I can send you diagrams and correspond offline. I'll be happy to share whatever I have with you (or anyone else for that matter).

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!!

Peter M Jardine
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Post by Peter M Jardine » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:58 pm

The FE blocks in general were the next generation of casting quality, and a lot of the old gear heads referred to the high "nickel" content in some of the 427 blocks...

My bad, I didn't read your posts on the cooling jacket mods.

Should be a great motor.... I'm still poking away at my 430... the cruiser is taking most of my time.

Your point is well taken with propellers... the increased surface area on new era cupped props makes up for diameter etc. I think I will be running a 14X 16 four blade on the Supersport, but I haven't quite decided.

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Paul P
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Post by Paul P » Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:59 am

Hi Peter,

The high nickle content people speak of was actually chromium and phosphorous, as one of the guys I correspond with remembers tossing in bags of both into the furnace at the time. It is amazing what kind of information still exists out there in the form of DNA, which is not necessarily written down or otherwise available in print.

Not to get too far off topic here, but you know most of the 427 motors were cast as side-oilers and most were actually machined as top-oilers (sometimes referred to as center-oilers). The side-oiler did not produce any more power but it did have a refinement that allowed Ford to win a few more races because it allowed the motor to last longer before blowing up, and it did not matter if the motor was smoking when you crossed the finish line as long as you were first.

The the side oil feature fed oil directly to the main bearings, whereas the top oiler fed the camshaft first and then on to the main bearings, so in racing if you wiped a lobe on the cam or suffered some sort of a malfunction up top, you automatically cooked the mains. The side-oil feature is just a razor sharp competitive feature, because it was also installed on the port side of the motor due to the fact that NASCAR has left hand turns (no need to be fighting centrifugal force). We have seen some side-oilers showing up in CC boats, and even Carroll Shelby said they were a waste of good machinery unless they were installed in a full race chassis. Most of the 427 Shelby Cobra cars actually came with the less expensive 428, and therefore the Chris Craft boats got the read deal when the Cobra got a good second choice. Most people could not tell the difference between burning rubber for a city block or a block-and-a-half.

Now for the story.........the 427 blocks most all have a bulge on the port side for the side oil passage, which had to be drilled if the motor was ordered as a side oiler. Ford jobbered the drilling process out to a specialty company, and it was reported that the gun bore drilling operation to install these side oil passages ate up a lot of drill bits because the blocks were so hard, was very expensive, and it caused some blocks to go back to the melting furnace. Once the side oil passage was drilled, then perpendicular drilling was done through the passage en route directly to the main bearings, and on a side-oiler you can see the small plumbing plugs located directly above the cross-bolts which themselves are directly above the oil pan. (these are located only on the port side of the motor).

Fun history with the engine series, they existed only to run at wide open throttle and win. Their record for 1963, 1964, and 1965 is daunting too: 101 wins for Ford versus nine (9) for GM during this time frame. Now you know what motivated Chrysler to resurrect a hemi engine for NASCAR (they had to if they wanted to see some wins, and even after they did, the FE still managed to win due to respectable power but legendary refinement and durability enabling them to last long enough to win).

Mine is a top oiler, which is just as well, because I can use the standard FE cam bearings and I don't intend on running at 6,000 or 7,000 rpm for prolonged time frames. During the development of this engine series Ford did everything they could to keep it king of the hill, including the crazy thing of insalling bumper knorbs on top of the pistons to slam the valves shut at very high rpm and avoid valve float. On the GT-40 project when it was decided to bring the big bad NASCAR bruiser to LeMans, Ford actually detuned the motor down to 500-horsepower and limited the drivers to a max of 6,000 rpm, which seemed to work because they finished 1, 2, 3 and something like 32 miles ahead of the next closest manufacturer.

I especially like this history because my grandfather had a small town Ford dealership at the time and I was just starting to drive. Wisely they put me in a full size Ford Fairlane 500 with a six cylinder motor and three on the tree.

Hope to be making some noise with my 427 in a week or so. I trust the neighbors will be "unaffected", ha. When I do I'll post a video here. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

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!!

Peter M Jardine
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Post by Peter M Jardine » Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:57 pm

Neat history.... I did not know the side oiler complete story.

I have a torn down 430 HO that indicated a 1959 block and the original pistons with in had the little knobs on the piston top PLUS the step. I didn't figure them for valve float, but that makes sense.

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