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It's been a long time coming ... but the rocket's home!

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Old 02-19-2007, 04:35 PM
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Default It's been a long time coming ... but the rocket's home!

Finally, after two months of eager anticipation, my Baja 232 was brought back home sporting a fully rebuiilt 454 Magum MPI under the hood.

Although there were other engine options available to me, I decided to keep the original "stock" engine for a couple of reasons. First, I saw no compelling reason to spend a great deal of "horsepower money" to repower my 23' hull beyond it's hull design and safety limitations, especially since I boat exclusively offshore. Second, I have always preferred being considered among the "best in class" rather than attempt to "outpower" others with similar hulls. As I've come to understand in both muscle cars and performance boating, there is no end to the horsepower you can purchase, nor is there a limit to the money others will spend to out perform you!

Although every external component of my new 454 is Mercruiser Black, the engine was rebuilt with all new high-performance internals. The entire project was done by Mario Latka of SoCal Speed & Marine in Simi. The block and head work (overbored 8") was performed by Jim Grubbs Motorsports in Valencia who also provided the custom pistons, rings and rods. Almost every internal engine component was replaced by premium alternatives including Inconnel valves and springs. The final installation and rigging of the rebuilt powerplant was done beautifully. Although I am following Mario's recommendation and taking it "easy" on this newly built roller motor for a couple of hours, he did grin and suggest that a few WOT bursts wouldn't hurt anything!

It's been a long time coming, but after an hour of testing offshore of Channel Islands Harbor yesterday, I can only say WOW!

There is simply no comparison between the old 454 and the new monster. The first thing I noticed was a dramatic increase in torque. You can actually "spin the wheels" (prop blowout) throughout the RPM spectrum, and I run a Bravo/1 23p 4-blade. Throttle response at any speed places you firmly against the back of your seat! Seas were a too sloppy to test HP at WOT, but a quick burst behind the breakwater leads me to believe that there is more than enough HP for the 232. I did not care to spend the money for a dyno report, but it's Mario guess that my stock 454 Mag is now producing in excess of 400 horsepower. If the engine was producing at least 350-375HP before the project, my guess is about 450HP now! There is that much difference in performance!

I plan to test a Bravo/1 24p in a few weeks. My hope is that the 24p will propel the 232 to a speed of at least 70gps at 5000rpm in 1-2' waves. That's plenty quick for this "gray panther" and most important of all, it's faster than Christopher's 272
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:45 PM
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Finally, after two months of eager anticipation, my Baja 232 was brought back home sporting a fully rebuiilt 454 Magum MPI under the hood.

Although there were other engine options available to me, I decided to keep the original "stock" engine for a couple of reasons. First, I saw no compelling reason to spend a great deal of "horsepower money" to repower my 23' hull beyond it's hull design and safety limitations, especially since I boat exclusively offshore. Second, I have always preferred being considered among the "best in class" rather than attempt to "outpower" others with similar hulls. As I've come to understand in both muscle cars and performance boating, there is no end to the horsepower you can purchase, nor is there a limit to the money others will spend to out perform you!

Although every external component of my new 454 is Mercruiser Black, the engine was rebuilt with all new high-performance internals. The entire project was done by Mario Latka of SoCal Speed & Marine in Simi. The block and head work (overbored 8") was performed by Jim Grubbs Motorsports in Valencia who also provided the custom pistons, rings and rods. Almost every internal engine component was replaced by premium alternatives including Inconnel valves and springs. The final installation and rigging of the rebuilt powerplant was done beautifully. Although I am following Mario's recommendation and taking it "easy" on this newly built roller motor for a couple of hours, he did grin and suggest that a few WOT bursts wouldn't hurt anything!

It's been a long time coming, but after an hour of testing offshore of Channel Islands Harbor yesterday, I can only say WOW!

There is simply no comparison between the old 454 and the new monster. The first thing I noticed was a dramatic increase in torque. You can actually "spin the wheels" (prop blowout) throughout the RPM spectrum, and I run a Bravo/1 23p 4-blade. Throttle response at any speed places you firmly against the back of your seat! Seas were a too sloppy to test HP at WOT, but a quick burst behind the breakwater leads me to believe that there is more than enough HP for the 232. I did not care to spend the money for a dyno report, but it's Mario guess that my stock 454 Mag is now producing in excess of 400 horsepower. If the engine was producing at least 350-375HP before the project, my guess is about 450HP now! There is that much difference in performance!

I plan to test a Bravo/1 24p in a few weeks. My hope is that the 24p will propel the 232 to a speed of at least 70gps at 5000rpm in 1-2' waves. That's plenty quick for this "gray panther" and most important of all, it's faster than Christopher's 272

congrats have fun with your new power
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Old 02-19-2007, 05:39 PM
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Bill, it was great seeing you on Saturday. Glad everything worked out well. The water smoothed out Sat. afternoon but the wind made it a fun ride anyway.
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Old 02-19-2007, 05:57 PM
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What was the initial problem?
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Old 02-19-2007, 07:02 PM
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Congrats Bill, good to see you back on the water again. A true enthusiast of the Offshore Sport!
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Old 02-19-2007, 07:12 PM
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What was the initial problem?
http://www.offshoreonly.com/forums/s...d.php?t=147732
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Old 02-19-2007, 07:17 PM
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great news, enjoy!
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Old 02-20-2007, 02:49 PM
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Thanks guys ..... it's great to be back on the water

I was pleased with the 232s performance pior to my foolish decision to proceed with the infamous valvejob, and admit to a great deal of frustration over the subsequent engine failures.
But that was then ..... and this is now!

I'm greatful to Tank Sears (thisistank) for referring me to Mario Latka of SoCal Speed & Marine.
Mario not only built me a great new powerplant, he has restored my faith in integrity and workmanship. Although I had no intention of upgrading the 454 prior to its failure, with Marios new monster in place,
I'm thrilled that I ended up with something exciting for the money I had to spend.

Again, many thanks to both Tank and Mario for helping me get back on the water.

Last edited by [email protected]; 02-20-2007 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:38 PM
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congrats and post a vid of the new engine
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:00 PM
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congrats and post a vid of the new engine
I'll be happy to take and post some pics next week.
The problem is ..... it doesn't look any different than before the rebuild!
However, it sure feels different when you push the throttle
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