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When to rebuild and cost of motors/drives

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Old 06-26-2007, 09:35 PM
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Default When to rebuild and cost of motors/drives

I have been looking to buy a older boat from the 80s and most of them will have a 454 with a Alpha drive. Some of the boats have had rebuilt motors/drives and other have not.. So my question is this

When should a motor and outdrive be rebuilt and how much is it for a 454 merc with a Alpha driveÖ

Why would one have to have it rebuilt? Lack of care or to many hrs?


Thank you for your time


Frank
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:51 PM
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lack of care, too many hours...both are correct...also, they are boats, shiat breaks...
in the case of 454 with Alpha drive--I would estimate the life expectancy of that combo to be about 8 minutes...
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:09 AM
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I've been told you should be able to get 1,000 hours out of a properly maintained (non-blown engine). I would suspect you'd have problems with Alpha outdrives with a big block engine.
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Old 06-27-2007, 06:39 AM
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What would be the cost to rebuild them?
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Old 06-27-2007, 08:11 AM
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A stock 454, not beat on, will last forever. My dad has about 1800 hours on the pair in his cruiser.

An alpha, on the other hand, is not enough outdrive for a big block. If you baby it it should last long enough. No WOT out of the hole, and frequent fluid changes, and it should do okay.

Forget about rebuilding the alpha. You can buy a complete new knock-off (mercruiser never patented their design) for like $1200.

http://www.sterndrive.cc/Merchant2/m...ry_Code=106AUC
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Old 06-27-2007, 08:24 AM
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If you are goimg to drive it hard or plan to do any hi perf upgrades, don't buy a boat with an Alpha and a big block.
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:07 PM
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Thanks for the advices!

I donít plan on driving it hard as itís a formula 242 that I am thinking about buying for my 1st boat. I just donít know how the last owners treated itÖ

I am trying to figure out how much to rebuild the motor if it needs itÖ
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Old 06-27-2007, 02:20 PM
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It really depends on how much you can do yourself, how bad it is damaged, and how much you want to upgrade it.

Rings, bearings, cylinder hone, a valve job, and a gasket set, with you doing all the labor = not that much

dropping the boat off at a mechanics and picking it up with a rebuilt motor a few weeks later = $5000, give or take $3k depending on who you know and what you broke
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Old 06-27-2007, 02:52 PM
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I got an Alpha sitting behind a 502. Let me go ahead and tell you it is gonna break. I have 120 hours so far on the drive but i know it is coming soon. The price for a replacement alpha complete is $1200.00. When it does breaks check www.sterndriveengineering.com
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Old 06-27-2007, 03:01 PM
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Used to have a neighbor that had a Scarab with the dreaded big block / alpha combo. I don't think the boat ever ran for more than a month at a time.

Aside from the potential problems you may have with that combo, it's also going to be almost impossible for you to sell it when it comes time.
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