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  1. #1
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    boat motor gone bad!!!

    I have a 1994 Mach 1 2900 Endeavor with twin 454 mags (365 carb). I bought it last year for 18,500 and still owe 16k. its in good shape (except the engine). The shop is telling me that water is getting into the cylinders both sides and I probably need a new engine... The shop has told me that the cheapest they have found so far is $7k; they are going to keep looking a bit but its not looking good for me and my wallet. I have already conceded to the loss of this boating season. So, 7k and im back on the water next year with the shop doing all of the work... or is there another route to take? This is the thing... the both motors have almost 500 hours on them and I am afraid that even though the other motor is running fine I don't want to loose two seasons in a row... also I would like to go much faster than the 65 mph I'm running now at 4250 rpm. should I repower? or just replace the one engine.... maybe rebuild the other? I want to go faster but I know I have to pay for it... I have a little knowledge about mechanics(nothing to brag about) and have alot of time (obviously none will be spent on the water) and plenty of desire to learn as I would love to do my own work... Please!! any and all advice would appreciated! If you have a idea... lets hear it! even if you think I should sell the boat the way it is and find another boat tell me what you think.

  2. #2
    sandman Gold Member sandcraft's Avatar
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    Welcome to the club! And get ready for an expensive hobby/pastime. Most of us here have been where you're at and there is no cheap, easy fix for repowering.

    Your engines have 500 hrs, one is bad and the other probably isnt far behind.

    The least expensive way (but the most time consuming) is to rebuild them yourself. You will need to find a first rate machine shop and someone experienced in building marine engines to help you along.

    Option 2: Buy remanufactured longblocks or new ones if you can afford it. This is one of the quickest ways to get back on the water. This gives you the option to sell your old engines to offset some of the cost or rebuild them and have a spare set of engines. (see the link)

    http://www.perfprotech.com/store/cat...nder,5982.aspx

    Option 3: Buy low hour takeouts. This is what I did. I found a pair of 496HOs (420hp) with 64 hours for 6300.00 each. This will also get you the power increase you mentioned and also have the old motors to sell/rebuild. Initial cost is higher but long term reliability and operating cost due to modern efi setup will offset that.

    Once you get solid, dependable power, your outdrives will probably explode. You should have those looked at while your engines are out.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way.

  3. #3
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    The first thing to figure out is where the water is getting into the engine. There are only so many ways for water to make its way in. Could be as simple as head gaskets. Maybe intake manifold or exhaust manifolds? There are other options than just throwing another engine in there.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by balinsteadt View Post
    I have a 1994 Mach 1 2900 Endeavor with twin 454 mags (365 carb). I bought it last year for 18,500 and still owe 16k. its in good shape (except the engine). The shop is telling me that water is getting into the cylinders both sides and I probably need a new engine... The shop has told me that the cheapest they have found so far is $7k; they are going to keep looking a bit but its not looking good for me and my wallet. I have already conceded to the loss of this boating season. So, 7k and im back on the water next year with the shop doing all of the work... or is there another route to take? This is the thing... the both motors have almost 500 hours on them and I am afraid that even though the other motor is running fine I don't want to loose two seasons in a row... also I would like to go much faster than the 65 mph I'm running now at 4250 rpm. should I repower? or just replace the one engine.... maybe rebuild the other? I want to go faster but I know I have to pay for it... I have a little knowledge about mechanics(nothing to brag about) and have alot of time (obviously none will be spent on the water) and plenty of desire to learn as I would love to do my own work... Please!! any and all advice would appreciated! If you have a idea... lets hear it! even if you think I should sell the boat the way it is and find another boat tell me what you think.
    where are you located? I ask cuz i just saw one of those out in my pool. had never seen it before. just curious

  5. #5
    sandman Gold Member sandcraft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by balinsteadt View Post
    The shop is telling me that water is getting into the cylinders both sides and I probably need a new engine... The shop has told me that the cheapest they have found so far is $7k;
    Exactly what is the shop talking about doing? Pulling the engine and rebuilding it or longblocking it? What is the name location of the shop and are they a marine shop? Have you used them before or know anyone else that has? Anytime someone else does the work, you can double or even triple the price.

    The option that run em hard mentioned would be the cheapest fix (initialy) and one of the three things he mentioned is most likely the culprit. BUT, merely finding the leak and fixing it without a teardown and inspection could be disasterous. Do a compression/leakdown test on the other engine. If it seems to be in good condition with many more hours left, then leave it alone. (I would still replace the riser gaskets for peace of mind)

    Do a top end teardown. (this can be done with the motor still in the boat) Have the exhaust manifolds pressure tested. Have the heads checked to make sure they arent warped. Reassemble and Roll the dice because thats what you will be doing if a teardown/insp wasnt done. It's been my experience that the cheapest fix can often wind up being the most expensive. Even if the oil was contaminated, that doesn't automatecly mean anything else was damaged. You could get away with doing the fix I just mentioned, but if you're wrong........ Hopefully some more experience will chime in. Lotta smart guys here. BTW, put your location on your avatar because there might be someone near that can help.
    Last edited by sandcraft; 06-15-2010 at 03:28 PM.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way.

  6. #6
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    Eclipse 233 sbc 383 dry piped
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    Quote Originally Posted by balinsteadt View Post
    I have a 1994 Mach 1 2900 Endeavor with twin 454 mags (365 carb). I bought it last year for 18,500 and still owe 16k. its in good shape (except the engine). The shop is telling me that water is getting into the cylinders both sides and I probably need a new engine... The shop has told me that the cheapest they have found so far is $7k; they are going to keep looking a bit but its not looking good for me and my wallet. I have already conceded to the loss of this boating season. So, 7k and im back on the water next year with the shop doing all of the work... or is there another route to take? This is the thing... the both motors have almost 500 hours on them and I am afraid that even though the other motor is running fine I don't want to loose two seasons in a row... also I would like to go much faster than the 65 mph I'm running now at 4250 rpm. should I repower? or just replace the one engine.... maybe rebuild the other? I want to go faster but I know I have to pay for it... I have a little knowledge about mechanics(nothing to brag about) and have alot of time (obviously none will be spent on the water) and plenty of desire to learn as I would love to do my own work... Please!! any and all advice would appreciated! If you have a idea... lets hear it! even if you think I should sell the boat the way it is and find another boat tell me what you think.
    I think you have all the right ideas right in your questions. I've rebuilt a big block for $2500 myself after a 10k rebuild quote. Get friendly with your local engine machine shop not a rebuilder or performance shop unless they do all their own machine work. Ask lots of questions at least one of the guys is going to know a lot about engines and will likely come give you a hand every now and then for a 12 pack if you need it. In the process you will learn a ton about marine engines and make boating much more affordable for yourself in the future. As long as you have the time it can be done.
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  7. #7
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    Kansas City, MO
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    Quote Originally Posted by Run_em_hard View Post
    The first thing to figure out is where the water is getting into the engine. There are only so many ways for water to make its way in. Could be as simple as head gaskets. Maybe intake manifold or exhaust manifolds? There are other options than just throwing another engine in there.
    And hopefully I cover everyone elses questions... I updated my profile to show my location.

    The shop I am using is Smithville Marine in Smithville MO. There are very few "go-fast" boats in my area (I see maybe one or two others anytime I go out) They primarily cater to anything with an outdrive but there are several sterndrive runabouts there anytime I go in... They stay very busy since our options are limited in this area, If anyone knows of a good place to take my boat within 100-200 miles of Kansas City PLEASE let me know as I am not very happy with this shop right know.... It started last year about a month from the end of our very short boating season when I got spanked in a race and the engine got hot (really just warm, around 185 according to the gauge) and died after I came down off plane. It subsequently did not start and I then took it to Smithville Marine. They told me I needed a new starter on the portside engine. (same engine as current problem) I figured the engine dieing was a coincidence and the boat shop knew what they were talking about. The engines are not staggered... I guess that goes without saying, being that its a 1994 boat. (at that time I believe Mach 1 was built by Baja Cruisers) Anyway in order to change the starter they had to pull the motor to get to the starter. I had it winterized in the same visit. (probably my first mistake) It took them a full month to get it done and cost me $1,200 (300 for winterization for each motor with no oil change because they wanted $100 to change the oil [I'll do that my self, thank you very much!]) meanwhile its getting colder and colder outside dropping below 32 degrees several times at night... Luckily, it was winterized prior to a severe cold snap when the temp dropped to 25 degrees for a couple nights in a row and barely breaking mid 30s during the day. Anyway it sat from Oct till the 1st of may this year when I took it out to shake out the cob webs and get it cleaned up for the season. I backed it into the water and the starboard engine fired right up. The port side sputtered and coughed a few times but eventually started. I have never heard a sound come from an engine the way it sounded starting... it sounded like it was missing spark plugs... as in... not there at all.... not fouled... not burnt... not detonation... not there... it sounded like a freaking pogo stick! But it started... idled slow... sounded fine... just slow... I feathered the gas to see if that would bring it up to normal idle and noticed the boat moved... it was in gear... forward to be precise... "strange" I thought to myself. I pulled the throttle back and tried again to put it into neutral. Nothing happened... except when I thought I was in neutral and feathered the gas again the boat pushed forward. "well thats not right!" I thought to myself. So I pulled the throttle back and tried to put it in reverse and feather the thottle. The boat pushed forward and I realized that no matter what I did I was stuck in forward. Just then my wife who was standing on the dock beside the ramp asked me "How come water was only coming out of one side of the back of the boat?" I immediately killed both the engines. I asked her which side water was coming out of and as you can probably guess she said the starboard side.... well she said "that side" and pointed to the starboard side. I took out my phone and called Smithville Marine. They said "bring it in and I'll see what we can do to get it looked at." Five days later they called me and said my boat was ready and they replaced a shift cable and impeller. They didnt charge me anything but they did say the impeller looked like it had been run dry. So, I take it out and it starts up (still sounds like a pogo stick starting up) and once it fires sounds good and with a steady idle. The wife and I take it over to the dock, and spend the better part of the afternoon cleaning it out at the courtesy docks there at Camp Branch Marina on Smithville Lake. We finish up and take the boat over to the restaurant for dinner. On the way over there I pretty much babied the boat but felt as though it was running a little slow for the rpm I was at but thought maybe it was just in my head... We pulled up to the dock and went into have a nice meal as the sun set. After paying our bill, we got back into the boat started up (I let my wife turn the keys, she was excited to do that) the starboard engine (to mask the sound of the pogo stick that I knew was coming when she turned the port side.) She turned the key and the engine made the pogo stick sound a few times and then stopped. The gas gauge usually turns on when that key is turned on but it stayed pointing at the E which I knew for a fact was incorrect. There was no way the tank was empty. The cabin lights didnt work, the cockpit lights didnt work, the lighted gauges didnt light, the only thing that worked was the starboard engine, associated gauges, and the nav lights. So me and the wife spent about 15 minutes trying to figure out what was going on... I pulled out the ignition cylinder and tried to hotwire it thinking that if the gas gauge didnt turn on maybe it was the ignition switch. Nothing happened so I jumped the wire leads from the other ignition which started the gas gauge up but not the engine. Me and the wife then idled accross the lake to the truck and trailer over the course of 45 minutes. Ha! good thing the Nav lights worked.... because it was thoroughly dark by this time. So, Back to Smithville Marine! They tell me this time the connector from the battery lead that attaches to the starter corroded and fell apart dropping the battery lead off the starter, thus causing my problem, however, now they are only getting the motor to turn half way either by wrench or under power by the starter and then stop abruptly. They told me they had to back it up with a wrench in order to try it again. So they wanted my permission to pull the engine and start diagnosis... I assume this is where they will start charging me for parts and labor. So they pull the motor out and get it to turn over. They call me, mind you, its been a couple days; anyway, they tell me they are getting it to turn all the way around now and dont know what the problem was, but they are going to put it on the floor and run it tommorrow morning. The next day I call them about 20 minutes before they close (I assume they were probably not going to call) but they tell me the motor has good compression however water is getting into the cylinders. They tell me they are going to break it down and try and find where the water is coming from. They tell me a few days later that they I am going to need a new engine due to a crack in the block that they cant find unless they send it to be magna-fluxed, which would cost $1,700 and I would then know where the crack is and still need a new engine. The service manager (the guy I've been talking to this whole time) is going to look and see what he can find. Now, its been a week and I spoke with him yesterday before making my post. when he told me the cheapest engine he has found is 7k I think thats the complete engine because its cheaper to buy a complete engine than to pay for the labor to move the accessories over to a long or short block. I called him today and told him there was no way I could afford to pay 7k for a new motor and the labor to put it in with in a reasonable amount of time and I needed some other options. He told me if I could procure the engine (short/long/or complete) and put it together, he would drop it in for me. I feel as though with the right advice I could accomplish this, he said I could come get the motor and do whatever I could and he would do the rest. So I am glad he is willing to work with me. I am willing to do the work. As I said before, I am not a very experienced mechanic, however, I feel as though this is something I can handle... especially if I have a checklist of things needed... I can buy a repair manual and follow directions... I truly believe this is something I can do. I also have a friend who has a friend that is supposed to be into marine mechanics on the side and works out of his house... I have not met this guy yet but my friend tells me he is going to charge me $20 an hour. Which if its true, its a steal! compared to the $105 an hour Smithville Marine is charging me.

    Thats every detail I can think of since I started having problems... I hope that answers all the questions you have... It would only let me quote one post at a time...

    A few new questions...

    True or False? With water getting into the cylinders due to cracked block therefor I should replace with a long-block because its cheaper than having the top end moved to a short block.

    True or False? With a cracked block I should replace the rotating assembly due to wear caused by the water.

    True or False? The new engine should be exactly the same as the other engine ok... but can it be a few hp/torque off? like 10 or 15? I realize the engines need to be the same size but some 1994 454 short/long blocks are rated at 375hp at the prop (same year) where as far as I'm aware my engines are 365hp.

    I know this post is darn near a novel, but I was trying to incorporate every detail that I could think of so you would have as much information as I could possibly provide at this point in a forum. As I get more information, i'll post it.

    Anyone have a resource suggestion for me to find a replacement motor? things to keep in mind... things that are required/optional... so on and so forth.

    Thanks to everyone who has already offered advice, opinions, and direction!

  8. #8
    sandman Gold Member sandcraft's Avatar
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    Put the engine on a stand and call that marine mech. He will start you in the right direction. Disassmble yourself and send all major components to a machine shop for inspection and pressure testing. (to see if it is a cracked block) Have the heads rebuilt. Call the marine mech dude to advise on reassembly. You should be able to do this for under 3000 even if a block has to be replaced.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way.

  9. #9
    sandman Gold Member sandcraft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by balinsteadt View Post
    A few new questions...

    True or False? With water getting into the cylinders due to cracked block therefor I should replace with a long-block because its cheaper than having the top end moved to a short block. Depends on what it cost to rebuild the heads.

    True or False? With a cracked block I should replace the rotating assembly due to wear caused by the water.
    False. Even a severly damaged crank can be repaired.

    True or False? The new engine should be exactly the same as the other engine ok... but can it be a few hp/torque off? like 10 or 15? I realize the engines need to be the same size but some 1994 454 short/long blocks are rated at 375hp at the prop (same year) where as far as I'm aware my engines are 365hp. HP ratings for these engines are determined by the head/cam combination. Even if you rebuild to original specs, the fresh engine will make a little more power than the one with 500 hrs.
    Good luck
    Lead, follow or get out of the way.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member Platinum Member 1BIGJIM's Avatar
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    That is the longest post I have ever seen on OSO.

    I can feel your fustration reading it.
    There is always two sides to a story but something dosent sound right. I have been building marine engines for over 20 years. I would take it to another dealer, it sounds like you are getting screwed big time.

    If you are interested, I am selling my spare 454 that I put 30 hours the end of last summer. Send me a PM we are only a few miles apart.

    ALso a member Griff on the boards probably could point you in the right direction to a good mechanic in your area.


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