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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Which would you buy and why? Merc. (Reman) 383MPI, (New) 350MPI,or (New) 5.7 TKS Carb

    Hello all,

    Which one of the three listed engines would you buy and why?

    MerCruiser (Remanufactured) stroker 383ci MPI 350HP complete drop-in engine. $7,000 range.

    MerCruiser (New) 350ci MPI 300HP complete drop-in engine.
    Again, $7,000, maybe $8,000 range.

    MerCruiser (New) 5.7L TKS carburetor 250HP complete drop-in engine.
    $6,000 range.

    I have a 1998 Rinker Captiva 232 cuddy cabin that came with the MerCruiser 5.7L carburetor (2 barrel) engine. The engine was damaged and got yanked out of the boat. I have a Bravo three outdrive on it with the 26 pitch propellers. This boat is about 23'6" with 8'6" beam, weights 4100lbs dry (more like 5000+ loaded), and is a trailered salt water boat.

    The MPI would be nice to have, however the simplicity aspect of it goes to carburetor. The thing is I would love to have an "upgraded" powerplant verus a stocker for some performance improvements.

    I am deaf, so getting stuck out on the water is something I want to avoid at any cost. I may make occassional trips without any one on board to help with the VHF radio, etc. Don S. of put it down the best that when he is out in the middle of no where with no communication lines that he wants his engine to be reliable and starts right up every time. That's what I would like.

    What do you all think? Any advices, suggestions, and/or ideas would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    My Boats:
    22 Velocity
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Marietta, Ga.
    If you are not stuck on mercruiser, there are 300hp Carb motors available from Cruisader for 3,600.00. You have to reuse your exhaust and front eng acc. though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by DKerns View Post
    If you are not stuck on mercruiser, there are 300hp Carb motors available from Cruisader for 3,600.00. You have to reuse your exhaust and front eng acc. though.
    Yeah, you are right. I've seen them for around $3000-$4000.

    The thing is I am looking to also replace the exhaust stuff just to be safe. That will only add to the cost.

    I figure after I buy some replacement parts to go on top of that how it would cost close to what a complete MerCruiser engine would.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    My Boats:
    1990 28 Apache SOLD!, 1990 16 Wahoo DC, 1973 40 Kingscraft
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Mansfield, TX
    I agree - might as well go all out and buy a new complete engine. Replacing the block might be cheaper in the short run, but it will be more expensive and troublesome in the long run. Plus when it comes time to sell you can say you got a new engine with new accessories and everything. I say go with the 383 for more HP, but I don't really know of any reliability differences between the three. In theory if you have more HP you should be able to run at lower RPM to run the same speed, which could improve if you would have to run those 350's at WOT to acheive what that 383 will do at 3/4 throttle - it should last longer.

  5. #5
    Masher touches my Gold Member Outdrive1's Avatar
    My Boats:
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Phoenix, Az
    I've had some experience with the 383, it's a good motor. It's ready to drop in, has the PCM555 and it makes good power.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member Charter Member
    My Boats:
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    so. WI
    I'm a big fan of small-block power and have owned quite a few of them, singles and twins, 350's and strokers. My best experience in reliability was with the 350MagMPI package. They are incredibly reliable, turn-key starting even after non-use, and make good power for stock bore and stroke. The fuel efficiency in comparison to carbureted power is substantial. I can't say that with the carb motors I've owned, and did not have good longetivity with increased stroke in comparison.

    Do a VERY thorough search; you can find excellent buys on turn-key packages for the 350 MagMPI- I've seen dealers on E-bay in pretty fierce competition to supply the lowest price, and all have been quite lower than the pricing you listed above. If you are searching for a little more power and torque and want factory reliability, I've heard the 6.2 litre MPI engines are quite reliable too. I've seen turn-key pricing on those motors lower than you have listed above as well.
    Good luck on your search!

  7. #7
    My Boats:
    89 chaparral 2550sx
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    roxbury, NJ
    I say the 383, but make sure you get good quality manifolds and risers...Some of the aftermarket ones are made of cheap China metal that will not last long in salt water.

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