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Old 26-05-2015, 18:26   #1
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Advise on repower or keep same

I am looking to rebuild my two Chrysler 454 crusaders,. I have no idea how old they are or in what shape there in only what i was told. One had a blown head gasket that was fixed but leaks some? and the other runs great.
No one seems to know what Hp they are either. I like to keep them Mechanical so as not to change the controls. Their in a 1960 45 ft Chris Craft Constellation. this vessel should weigh in around 33k lbs after full load and soaked up some water. Any thoughts on these eng's and or a re power?
Thanks
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Old 26-05-2015, 18:36   #2
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re: Advise on repower or keep same

All comes down to how much you have or want to spend and how long you plan to keep the boat.

If big budget and the boat is a keeper then I would consider repower with diesels However that might cost as much as you paid for the boat.

Guess you should also factor in what you plan to do with the boat. Cruising the neighborhood then keep the one that works and do a head job on the bad one (if a mechanic doesn't find more serious problems). Then get a good towing insurance policy and go play.
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Old 26-05-2015, 19:18   #3
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re: Advise on repower or keep same

so if i do go with diesel's what type do you recommend for off shore, heavy cruising. Easy to replace from the crusaders Right now she has 22" props on her and the original trans and reduction gears.
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Old 26-05-2015, 20:07   #4
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re: Advise on repower or keep same

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so if i do go with diesel's what type do you recommend for off shore, heavy cruising. Easy to replace from the crusaders Right now she has 22" props on her and the original trans and reduction gears.

Now we're getting way beyond my pay grade. Been far too long since I was doing anything with power boats. I'll leave this to the experts.

I will throw in a couple of cautions. Before putting a lot of money into engines I would have a really, really good survey of the hull. After all, this is a 55 year old wood boat. If well cared for could be in great shape. If neglected it could be a HUGE project.

Check for rot, cracked ribs, condition of the fasteners. If the hull checks out then start thinking about engines. Just as a ball park, new diesels could set you back $40-$50,000 or more if you add new transmissions and pay a yard to do the job. Even used or rebuilts could be $20K.

I would also ask what you consider offshore, heavy cruising. After all, this is a 55 year old wood boat (haven't I heard that somewhere before?). Not sure if I would want to take this out in weather too sporty.
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Old 26-05-2015, 20:19   #5
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re: Advise on repower or keep same

By the way, these old CC's are classics and well worth the effort to make them nice.
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Old 27-05-2015, 08:12   #6
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Re: Advise on repower or keep same

I think if they're 454 Crusaders, they're not Chryslers. Or vice versa, if they're Chryslers (possible, perhaps even likely, as originals in a boat of that vintage), then they're not 454s and not Crusaders. Or maybe if they were originally Chyslers (the 318CID was commonly marinized, maybe others too), perhaps they were replaced with Crusaders sometime in the '90s?


That said, you can search prices on new Crusaders that would likely fit in your spaces. I think the 8.1s are history, so maybe the current options are 6.0L... but given efficiencies over the year, perhaps equal or more horsepower/torque if compared to your originals. You might be able to use current gears, shaft, and props, but I wouldn't expect that serendipity.


Let's say $12 per engine, installed? Plus whatever for gears, shafts, props? Or maybe throw a dart and assume it'll land somewhere around $30K plus/minus?


And then compare that to rebuilds of your current engines. Ideally, pulled out of the boat and completely rebuilt in a good shop. Dunno what that might cost, but it'd be less than new ones. But it would also depend on whether your current blocks are rebuild-able. And you'd have old engines with maybe some parts issues down the road somewhere (although perhaps not insurmountable).


I think maybe viable, assuming you're intending the Connie as a keeper... and depending on your cruising intentions. Gas can be viable for short hops or only occasional long trips... depending on your budget.


For comparison, a dock neighbor repowered a gas '80s Bertram 35 convertible/sportfish with Cummins 5.7L 6BTA diesels. Counting the genset replacement, that cost him about $100K. I suspect the boat was worth approx $80K after the conversion.


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Old 27-05-2015, 08:37   #7
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Re: Advise on repower or keep same

If the boat still has the actual original motors I'd want to keep them just to keep the boat as original as possible but they are gas guzzlers. If you do repower you need to think about how you use the boat. This boat has a semi-displacement/planing hull that will go as fast as the hp you throw at it. If I was repowering this boat I'd get smaller Betas & run the boat at 10 knots instead of big Cummins & 20 knots. Big price difference & better fuel economy. Either way it's not going to be cheap.
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Old 27-05-2015, 09:01   #8
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Re: Advise on repower or keep same

Scout 30 beat me to the punch. Those engines suck up the gas so consider that in your decision. Another good thing mentioned, was have the hull surveyed before investing in new power. You may want to look at Boats and Harbors for used or rebuilt diesels.
You might be able to pick up a couple of 671s with crash box transmissions reasonable.
JMHO
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Old 27-05-2015, 09:12   #9
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Re: Advise on repower or keep same

If they are Chrysler they are probably 440's. If Crusaders then 454 GM engines.

I had Chrysler 440's on a 35 Fly Sedan. Very robust engines and hard to kill. Parts are cheap and many are interchangeable with automotive parts. There is still a good parts supply and rebuild if necessary is not expensive. Talk to a good mechanic.
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Old 27-05-2015, 09:34   #10
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Re: Advise on repower or keep same

Repowering changes everything - vertical offset of the output shafts, engine beds, wiring, exhausts, pumps, hydraulics if you have them, shaft diameter which means intermediate bearings, stern bearings, fuel tanks (at least cleaning), transmissions and couplings. Things like exhaust pipe clamps add up to more than you expect. The power curves will be different, so new or repitched props.

I repowered my boat shifting from a 6-71 to a Sisu 620, both diesel. I got the engine at a reasonable price, but finding a transmission with sufficient vertical offset (4") and the right reduction was a challenge. The cost of the engine was less than half the cost, and I did all the work my self except for renting a crane to switch engines.

The new engine weighs half of the old one and is much more fuel efficient, but it was an expensive, time consuming project. You need to really like the boat to make repowering worthwhile.

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Old 27-05-2015, 09:54   #11
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Re: Advise on repower or keep same

Swap for BMW diesel engines,see petrol to BMW thread work very well.

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Old 27-05-2015, 10:07   #12
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Re: Advise on repower or keep same

I would not even THINK about repowering that boat for even one second.
First, it's primary value is as a classic. Maybe the engines in it are already not original. But they are more original than what ever you may likely put in.
Second, you will never save enough fuel to pay for the new engines. Especially diesels. Even if the gas engines burn twice what the new diesels do.
Third, the boat wasn't designed for them. New diesels may, depending on which engine you buy, weigh significantly more. And you will have to change, modify, upgrade EVERYTHING. Big bucks. And, in my opinion, zero return on investment.
Find a knowledgeable mechanic and fix the engines you have. They are simple, reliable, relatively light weight, easy to work on, and parts are cheap compared to anything new.
If the engines were totally shot, and I really just wanted to spend a lot of money.... I would research the boat's history to determine what it was originally built with. And i would search out a pair of those to return it to original.
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Old 27-05-2015, 10:30   #13
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Re: Advise on repower or keep same

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Originally Posted by dgz3 View Post
I would not even THINK about repowering that boat for even one second.
First, it's primary value is as a classic. Maybe the engines in it are already not original. But they are more original than what ever you may likely put in.
Second, you will never save enough fuel to pay for the new engines. Especially diesels. Even if the gas engines burn twice what the new diesels do.
Third, the boat wasn't designed for them. New diesels may, depending on which engine you buy, weigh significantly more. And you will have to change, modify, upgrade EVERYTHING. Big bucks. And, in my opinion, zero return on investment.
Find a knowledgeable mechanic and fix the engines you have. They are simple, reliable, relatively light weight, easy to work on, and parts are cheap compared to anything new.
If the engines were totally shot, and I really just wanted to spend a lot of money.... I would research the boat's history to determine what it was originally built with. And i would search out a pair of those to return it to original.
Good advice! Fix what you've got & use the boat. Don't spend a dollar to save 10 cents.
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Old 27-05-2015, 10:31   #14
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Re: Advise on repower or keep same

I'm guessing that if 454's they are GM/Chevy engines. If so they are plentiful and cheap compared with diesels. A switch to diesels would be a big job for sure and expensive. Nice if you can afford it. You will likely need to put in new fuel tanks also.
Have your 454's checked out, maybe they just need some work. When I was a looking at cruisers a few years ago, the ones in the 26-28 ft range with dual or single 454's were super cheap.... due to the fuel usage. You might find a boat with two good 454's in it for $5k and steal the engines. The trailer's worth $1500 at least. Less if you need only one engine.


I found GM 350 CID Jasper complete rebuilt for $1600 a couple years ago. I think the 454's are about $2200 each. Of course installation is a lot of work.
Would you do the work yourself or have it done?
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Old 27-05-2015, 10:34   #15
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Re: Advise on repower or keep same

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutt View Post
If they are Chrysler they are probably 440's. If Crusaders then 454 GM engines.

I had Chrysler 440's on a 35 Fly Sedan. Very robust engines and hard to kill. Parts are cheap and many are interchangeable with automotive parts. There is still a good parts supply and rebuild if necessary is not expensive. Talk to a good mechanic.
I'd forgotten about the 440s; yep, perhaps the more likely, if OP has Chryslers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dgz3 View Post
I would not even THINK about repowering that boat for even one second.
First, it's primary value is as a classic. Maybe the engines in it are already not original. But they are more original than what ever you may likely put in.
Second, you will never save enough fuel to pay for the new engines. Especially diesels. Even if the gas engines burn twice what the new diesels do.
Third, the boat wasn't designed for them. New diesels may, depending on which engine you buy, weigh significantly more. And you will have to change, modify, upgrade EVERYTHING. Big bucks. And, in my opinion, zero return on investment.
Find a knowledgeable mechanic and fix the engines you have. They are simple, reliable, relatively light weight, easy to work on, and parts are cheap compared to anything new.
If the engines were totally shot, and I really just wanted to spend a lot of money.... I would research the boat's history to determine what it was originally built with. And i would search out a pair of those to return it to original.

I think I'd agree with this. Especially if OP has 440 Chryslers, likely an easy rebuild.

A rebuild eliminates all the additional considerations of a repower, even a gas repower. New diesels could be worth more than the boat, even if the boat is already completely restored.... and the combined worth might even drop if "collector value" is a factor.

-Chris
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