October 10th, 2017, 2:00 pm #11

As noted, the closed cooling 427 is a much easier swap because the plumbing castings are out of the way. You can see from the photos what I had to do to re-route things. For a moment I thought I might have to have a custom fabrication made, but I ended up being lucky enough to be able to do this myself with little more than a pipe cutter, torch, flux, and solder. The plumbing I installed is freely supported by rubber on both sides, no hard connections, this is necessary to assure long live in a vibration environment. All solder joints were very carefully sanded with 1000 grit paper and heavily fluxed to assure a very strong joint.

As for the actual distributor itself; well it is a drop in with ONE WIRE HOOK UP.
The voltage is so hot I actually opened up the plug gap to something like .052"

Here is a series of photos showing the basic process one must go through to do this swap on a STANDARD COOLING MOTOR.

Note there is a physical contact with the plumbing casting and the throttle plate assy.
This distributor is very large, contains the coil, everything.

So on that cold winter night I retreated back to my shop where I have a pair of 427 motors. I took a Standard Cooling casting and turned it sideways to see if that might work, and it did !!!!!!!!! I mocked up the copper connections and the modified throttle plate assy, and just went back to the boat and hooke everything up. Two photos below are of my spare engine in the shop.

Here is what has to be done for the Standard Cooled 427 to use one of these big distributors.

After initial size set-up, I decided to add collars at the ends. This adds strength and also helps close the gap nicely between the copper and the inside surface of the hose.

And then the throttle plate had to be cut out (Photo below is from my spare 427 in the shop).
Let the cutting and griding begin!

Actual work progressed in the evenings during March. Not exactly warm and cozy down there.

Here you can see from this video, no green on any of the hills, as it was still winter time in Tennessee.
Just out doing a test run. This was with the old fuel pumps (little did I know one was starting to fail).
I think this photo was taken on March 9, 2013. Not exactly a warm day, but hey any day on the water is a GOOD DAY !

(same video below, two alternatives to view it) ... 0.mp4.html

The transformation to electric fuel pumps was a very positive one. During this transformation I discovered one of my carbs will fire up the motor instantly and the other one won't unless I hold the choke closed manually. Odd, and I think the reason is the offending carb has a bad accelerator pump inside, we'll see because it will be coming apart sometime soon

Here it the thread on how I instlled electric fuel pumps on the 427 big dogs.
Note: I used a LOW PRESSURE CARTER fuel pump on stock Carter carbs. You do NOT want to use anything more than 6 psi on these carbs or you will have to use a pressure regulator and that is just one more thing that can go wrong. ... rative+%29

For now the engines run well but I am still rebuilding some spare carbs. I'll soak and rebuild both at the same time. May as well have a good one waiting to go.


Original 327 power

A superior piece of equipment in EVERY way.


Joined: January 28th, 2008, 7:59 pm

October 10th, 2017, 4:13 pm #12

Steve Davis, of Davis Unified Ignition, Performance Distributors, sent me a couple nice notes today.

He is pleased he has some satisfied boating customers!

I have to tell you, my 1966 427s love that 50,000 volts to the spark plugs with the wider gap.
They run better than they ever have in the past.

Looking forward to a more reliable baoting season this year, and you know what that means: It means I need to check the wiring that the ignition switches, and all the way back to the motors and solenoids, etc., because loose wires do not fix themselves.

Back in 2006 when we were doing the photo shoot for MOTOR BOATING MAGAZINE, one of my engines acutally died on me during the shoot. It did not want to restart either. I ended up putting the starboard engine in gear while the port engine sustained our forward movement, and then hit the ignition switch with throttles partially open. The forward movement of the boat caught the rotation of the prop when the starter spun the motor and the combination sort of jump started that engine.

Preventative maintenance is what it's all about.

All that work and expense for the new distributors was a part of my PM program.
I hope it pays off.
So far neither engine has missed one beat after the new distributors.
One starts hard due to a carb issue right now, soon to be fixed.
However, once running, they sure run nice
A little hands-on experience from a bilge monkey

Time will tell.


Oh how badly I wish one would fit a closed cooled Q...I would buy 2 in a heartbeat! haha


October 10th, 2017, 4:54 pm #13

Well we've had lots of rain here in Tennessee, the river was rolling, thunderstorms were all around. It seemed like a good time for a boat ride. Wide open throttles, 427's singing, the 1966 38 Express is a beast!


As a point of information ... stributors.