36' Sport Cruiser

36' Sport Cruiser

Joined: November 5th, 2008, 12:18 am

June 12th, 2009, 12:55 am #1

Since Paul has posted my project again and I love it, thanks. I thought I would bring everyone up to speed on it. I am still converting it to what I'm calling a Sport Cruiser (no bridge). I have planty of plans for items that will be mounted on the hardtop, the biggest and most $$$$ is a radar mask.
I have just about everything out of the bilge, and I mean everything, port holes, hatches, all the wiring, of course the 427's, fuel tanks, water tank and etc., pretty much anything that was or wasn't screwed down. The only thing I have not removed yet, and I will get to them next week, is the thru hull fittings. Within and couple of weeks I should beable to start cleaning in preperation of painting.
I am also proud to say my heart would not let me repower her. So I'm sending the big dogs the George Anderson to have him rebuild them. The more I lessoned and the more I researched, I must agree they are the best and the right motors for any of our classic Chris Crafts.
My friends all think I'm crazy?





















Last edited by FEfinaticP on December 30th, 2009, 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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John Kloka
John Kloka

June 12th, 2009, 4:09 am #2

Glenn... Is that a hole in the back of YOUR boat? You're singin' my song, man! I can't wait to see how that comes together... post lotsa pics!
Toplees is best!

John Kloka.
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Mark Weller
Mark Weller

June 12th, 2009, 4:15 am #3

Since Paul has posted my project again and I love it, thanks. I thought I would bring everyone up to speed on it. I am still converting it to what I'm calling a Sport Cruiser (no bridge). I have planty of plans for items that will be mounted on the hardtop, the biggest and most $$$$ is a radar mask.
I have just about everything out of the bilge, and I mean everything, port holes, hatches, all the wiring, of course the 427's, fuel tanks, water tank and etc., pretty much anything that was or wasn't screwed down. The only thing I have not removed yet, and I will get to them next week, is the thru hull fittings. Within and couple of weeks I should beable to start cleaning in preperation of painting.
I am also proud to say my heart would not let me repower her. So I'm sending the big dogs the George Anderson to have him rebuild them. The more I lessoned and the more I researched, I must agree they are the best and the right motors for any of our classic Chris Crafts.
My friends all think I'm crazy?




















Keep them 427 Big Dogs go ask anyone do you have 427 FORD motors in your boat? I didn't think so just imagine how much that means in the grand scheme of things one more good pic before the sun goes down life is good!
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Glenn
Glenn

June 12th, 2009, 12:05 pm #4

Glenn... Is that a hole in the back of YOUR boat? You're singin' my song, man! I can't wait to see how that comes together... post lotsa pics!
Toplees is best!

John Kloka.
John, I have been want to put in a transom door, but as we all know, taking a saw to a perfectly good boat is hard to do. I have been working almost daily on her, climbing in and out all day over the side, my knees said time to get the saw. Sure does make it easier. More pic will come.
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Glenn
Glenn

June 12th, 2009, 12:10 pm #5

Keep them 427 Big Dogs go ask anyone do you have 427 FORD motors in your boat? I didn't think so just imagine how much that means in the grand scheme of things one more good pic before the sun goes down life is good!
Mark, I'm aready looking forward to showing my big dogs off.
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Paul
Paul

June 13th, 2009, 4:52 pm #6

Glenn,

Wise choice sending the big dogs to Doctor Anderson, the Gessford machine shop knows the 427 motor better than just about anyone on the planet, and they should do a magnificient job for you. Be sure to have them rebuild the motors to the stock configuration, and don't try to build a high powered custom road-racing motor for marine use. The marine cams, intakes, heads, compression, etc., are all carefully engineered for long service in the marine environment. You would not want to use a high rpm LeMans motor to haul a dumptruck load of stone up a long hill, and that's basically what the lower compression torque monster cams and pistons, etc., are for in that marine configuration. If you rebuild to the stock configuration, you'll essentially have a pair of NEW 427 marine CC motors in your boat, and that will be a real pleasure. Naturally, George has found ways to increase reliability, perhaps with some updated components, and that's fine, but I'd stay away from the temptation to install a pair of 450 hp motors when Chris Craft has such a fabulous reputation for the detuned 300 hp marine version. Don't worry, you'll have plenty of power in that size boat, and you'll still be able to burn lots of fuel with the detuned motor.

TRADITION, using all 438 footpounds of torque at the rated 2900 rpm, and accelerating to wide open throttle, Cumberland River, November of 2008. Photo by Reece Ewton, aboard FANDANGO.



There's nothing quite like a solid lifter wedge head firing up through a big diameter wet exhaust. People are still quite impressed with my setup, and I have the added fun of being able to fire mine underneath a covered slip, and the metal roof just amplifies the sound. Nothing like that baritone VaaaaaaaaROOOOOOooooooooooommmmmm when the keys are twisted on a 427. Like the guy said...........only big block marine motor to ever win the 24 hours of LeMans. It was Henry Ford II's way of telling Enzo Ferrari to "get a life", ha.

Here are a couple quick vidio clips of TRADITION running flat out on the Cumberland River. It is quite a thrill to see the countryside passing by so fast on board a 20,000 pound Commander, and of course the sounds are awesome. The big solid lifter dogs need a little attention to valve adjustment every now and then, but it's easy, and when set properly they sure love to run. When you talk with George, it would be good to know what kind of motor oil he recommends for the break-in period, and for the general running of the boat once the break-in is done. In particular, I'm interested in the synthetic oils that have lots of zinc and other additives, which I contend are far superior to the oils available "back when" these motors were actually built.


<embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" width="425" height="344">

<embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" width="425" height="344">

As with most marine motors of the past, certainly from the classic era, they were virtually ALL lower compression motors that had a great low rpm running characteristic, and they did well under the high torque loading needed to move a boat. I think you can get the idea from my short video clips, even at the 8.9:1 compression ratio, the big dogs are far from anemic. They have little problem pushing my 20,000 boat at impressive speeds, and they have put a lot of smiles on faces along the way. With a pair of well built 427 solid lifters, you not only get the performance of a fine motor, you also get the provenance and historically interesting mystique of running motors that dominated NASCAR with 101 wins in the three years of 1963, 1964, and 1965 when Ford literally "dominated" the oval tracks (and just about anywhere else this motor was allowed to run in open road racing).

Regards, three cheers, keep us posted, let us help if we can,

Paul

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Glenn
Glenn

June 13th, 2009, 9:19 pm #7

Thanks Paul,
I do like the sound of yours. Do you have the orginal cast iron mufflers?
There are three things I am thinking of doing to my dogs. (1) Porting and polishing the cast iron heads (cc them), I am a big believer in efficiencies, getting gas in and getting burnt gas out is part of that thinking. (2) Aluminum manifolds, gives the gas more time to mix with the air. (3) Newer state-of-the-art carburetors.

What do you or anybody think about my thoughts?
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Paul
Paul

June 14th, 2009, 2:53 am #8

Hi Glenn,

I've ported and polished a few cylinder heads in my day and enjoyed the efficiency and power that comes on with the cam at higher rpm, but with a cruiser application I would have to say, "save your money and time", becuase a few more horses will probably be un-noticed with the way a marine motor behaves. Ford actually used SMALLER valves in their 361 and 391 (FT truck) versions of the FE motor to build torque, now necessarily concerned with "power".

Doing a lot of calculations in the past with weight, hull design, friction, power and prop combinations, I have realized it takes a LOT of additional power to eeek out one more mile per hour on a cruiser hull. Therefore my advice, even though I've been tempted with the aluminum manifolds too, is to stay with the stock configuration because it was totally engineered and tested for the marine application. The marine heads on a 427 are considered in the FE circle to be "very good heads". A little porting and polishing will result in additional power but all the comments I've heard are in the automotive realm where power will come on at higher rpm than we experience in the marine mode, where an automobile will feel and enjoy the boost. In a cruiser I really don't think an additional few horses will make much of a difference. These marine 427 motors are all about torque. If you look closely, you'll see they produce more torque than most any other big block of the era, including the 454, and at lower rpm. If you were in a Chris Craft Gran Prix hull, yes, maybe the additional power would mean something, but in a cruiser with all that weight and friction of the hull, it would take quite a bit more power to see much of a difference, and you do run the risk of compromising the low end drivability. Porting and polishing never really "hurts", but you're still limited to the cam and lift, which is where the power really is (in the head) along with compression. Ford and Chris Craft had a motor that could easily produce 500 hp, but they elected to go with a 300 stage of tune for a reason. My advice is to stick closely with the stock rebuild, enjoy the massive torque and reliability of their engineering, and don't try to re-engineer the motor to a better standard because they (Ford) spent untold millions on that FE series and they knew what they had. Chris Craft was wise to go with the 300, and it has built a legacy for them.

Porting and polishing will always "help", but with todays gas, the stock compression and RV "truck" cam they used is the ticket. Manifolds, carbs, and valves are all selected to work together. I suspect at 4000 rpm, the motor still breathes as much air as it really needs. Do any test for carbs at 425 cubic inches (the 427 is actually 425 cubic inches) and 4000 rpm, and you'll see the stock 625 CFM Carter AFB is more carb than the motor reall needs. I don't think breathing is the limiting factor, I think weight and water friction is the limiting factor.

Cheers !

Paul
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Tom Slayton
Tom Slayton

June 14th, 2009, 3:10 pm #9

Well this is an interesting topic, and it seems to be where two worlds collide, the car culture and the marine culture. What works for one doesn't necessarily work for the other.

The porting and polishing technique is only "a part" of the entire performance equation. Just porting and polishing something like a Hercules flathead would not have much, if any benefit. They peak out at 3200 rpm and breathing is not the limiting factor with a Hercules, rotating mass and other things like compression, cam lift, and a huge flywheel for low rpm smoothness limit that motor. Even the higher lift Hercules 131 didn't really produce much more power with three carbs and a hotter cam, it just became more difficult to drive at lower rpm. All that carb and cam did was to produce 11 more horses.

Porting and polishing is generally done in conjunction with a better flowing intake. Together that makes a nice improvement, but a higher lift cam is also a big part of the breathing system in a motor. A better flowing intake and head (alone) won't really add much if the flow is already flowing as much as the rest of the engine needs. If the compression goes up, and a higher lift cam is installed, then there is a "need" for more fuel. More fuel and better flow makes the power. All those things working together make the difference.

The motor is an air pump, and a higher lift cam keeps valves open longer and wider so more air can be taken in and exhausted, porting really helps in this scenario, but generally at higher rpm where a marine motor never sees. At the lower rpm in the 4000 range, torque is what you're after, and porting and polishing is a high rpm operation, not a torque operation. Porting and polishing a motor that is already well below it's need for more breathing will do little or nothing, IMO.

Paul is right when he says it won't hurt, but the benefits of a porting job with an improved intake will probably not make much difference on the water in real terms. The iron intake Ford used on the 427 motors was also used on many of their automobiles and trucks, many of which had higher breathing requirements than the marine 427 does with the same intake. It is not a performance intake, per se, but it was used on motors producing more power than the marine 427 does. Yes, the 427 is a bigger displacement and will therefore pump more air at the same given rpm as the 352 and 390, but the latter engines were all rated at much higher rpm (resulting in the need for more air flow than the 427), and the iron intake served those needs. Therefore it should very adequately serve the needs of the marine 427. Ford produced a very nice 300 hp solid lifter 352 motor, and of course, there were numerous powerful 390 versions too. My point is to suggest the iron intake (and heads) on the 4000 rpm 427 are not in need of much additional efficiency at that engine speed. Will it hurt? NO. Will it help? YES (but in limited terms).

By changing the intakes to Edelbrock high flow jobs, you might be able to add 10 or 15 horses to the motor on the dyno at 4000 rpm, and that's significant, but whether you would ever notice a total of 20 to 30 additonal horses remains to be seen. Think of it this way, here you are running at full speed with two big propped gear reduced 427 marine motors like Paul's videos, and then you drop a 35 horse Johnson outboard into the water off the back of the boat, fire it up and and run it at full speed too. Personally I don't think there would be much difference adding a 35 horse Johnson becuse there is too much weight and friction involved.

Porting and polishing, with a new intake, won't hurt a thing IMO. There is nothing there that causes more wear or unreliability. It's normally a good thing to do, but we're conditioned to think in terms of automobiles that operate in entirely different rpm conditions. All the operations about bigger valves, machined valves for slightly higher bench flow at outrageous rpm ranges, etc, just don't apply when you're needing a low rpm Hercules (or Ford) to do the hauling.

One thing I absolutely would NOT do, is add a bigger carb. Doing that will only lead to problems. Do the math, the 427 at 4000 rpm doesn't even need a 600 cfm carb.

Anyway, please forgive the long dissertation, this is just my opinion, I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade. Porting and polishing with a better intake would be fun, and I would be very interested if there was an actual dyno test between one stock 427 with the stock intake, and another stock 427 with the Edelbrock.

I recall an instance where a guy was running a hot Interceptor 390 in a speedboat with Ford heads, purchased some expensive Edelbrock aluminum jobs, and the boat ran slower than with the Ford heads. He may have purchased the wrong cc volume, but Ford and CC did their job well with this motor, they had a lot of experience knowing what made power.

Tom
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Paul
Paul

June 14th, 2009, 3:38 pm #10

We're singing off the same sheet of music on this one.

I would be much more inclined to use the Edelbrock intake than I would be to do any porting and polishing. The heads probably already flow more air than the 427 needs at 4000 rpm. Porting and polishing would do nothing for torque, from what I understand anyway. The Edelbrock intake may have more of a "distance" built in from carb to port, and thats what builds torque. Remember those crazy old 413 Chrysler Max Wedge setups with the intakes that ran all across the motor compartment? The longer the intake runner, the more torque, and more torque is probably a better thing than more horsepower in a marine environment. The 427, however, sort of takes the record among all big blocks for torque already, and I would be cautious not to do someting that actually tampered with that. It produces more torque at lower rpm than just about anything else out there, 438 footpounds at 2900 rpm, is just outstanding.

I have been tempted to use the aluminum performer Edelbrock dual plane intake myself. Not necessarily for more power, but just becuase I want to I would be very interested in knowing the difference in power and torque curves as well, maybe some day I'll do this on one motor at a time and do some sort of testing program along the way.

The fact that Glenn is having his big dogs redone at Gessford is outstanding. Those people know the insides and outsides of the FE, they know to drill out and sleeve the oil passage from block to head that is prone to cracking, for instance. All machine shops do that operation on FE motors these days, just as a precaution.

It would be great if Glenn is able to give us some feedback from George Anderson, his opinion on the intake thing would be interesting, and he would also be able to do the dyno testing too. It will be fascinating if he would do a dyno on the stock 427 marine after rebuilding, with iron intake, and then again with aluminum intake. That sure would tell the story of power and torque, and the rpm range where things are affected. I dare say, if the 300 hp 427 was rated at the shaft, it will produce more than that on the dyno.

Regards,

Paul








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