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Any suggestions? Magic Cat motor blew up 1.5hrs after purchase!

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Old 04-21-2009, 02:45 AM
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Default Any suggestions? Magic Cat motor blew up 1.5hrs after purchase!

Well, where do I begin? I have been waiting all 32 years of my life to purchase a new powerboat and finally decided to pull the trigger on a used 2002 28' Magic Cat. I live in Southern California and made my way to the Magic dealership (Power Marine) in Lake Havasu to test drive the boat. The dealer told me the engine was a 650HP Flat top that was originally built with the boat in 2002 and that it had 104 hours on it. Strangely though, they said that the boats top speed was 104mph and it most likely had a little more than the 650HP they were stating. It has a blower, whipple supercharger and is being pushed by a 32P prop. It started right up and ran perfectly during the demo ride. After about 30 minutes of driving and a quick tow back to the dealership, I headed back to So Cal to get my financing in order.

Two weeks later, on April 5, 2009, I headed back out to Havasu to take delivery of my new (used) Magic Cat. While walking into the dealership, my salesman made a statement that he was concerned that they might be closing their doors the following day. This made me begin to second guess my purchase but with an "As is" statement on my purchase agreement, I decided to go through with it. After paying for an engine and drive service at the tune of $835 and signing the purchase agreement, I was ready to hit the water. The owner of Magic himself drove my boat down from the factory to make the delivery. He asked me if I had any experience driving blower motors and I told him just some friends’ boats over the years, so he then proceeded to warn me of running it for too long..he said 15 seconds of blower and then back it off. With the quick few words of caution from the owner himself, we were then off for the river.

The sweet Cat ran perfectly for the first 1.4 hours up the river. We were cruising at about 4200 RPMs and around 70mph just north of the sandbar when all of a sudden ..BANG! It blew...! I lifted up the hatch and saw oil everywhere. It was smoking like crazy but fortunately no fire! After a 2 hour tow back to the Nautical launch ramp (and $508), my first day as a boat owner thankfully came to an end.

Now this you won't believe! The following day I returned to the dealership to see what they would do for me. I walked inside the office and was approached by one of the workers inside who told me that they were closed. Knowing that they were open 7 days a week, I was a bit confused. I told her that I had just purchased a boat from them the day prior and needed to talk to someone about it. She made a quick phone call and referred me to the factory up the street. As I was walking back to my boat, the owner came to a screeching halt next to my car, jumped out of his, and asked how he could help me. I proceeded to tell him that I had a rough first day with the boat and that I thought I blew a rod or two (two big holes on either side of the oil pan!). He quickly started yelling at me and accused me of running the boat too hard. As politely as possible and with all due respect, I told him that we were not running the boat too hard at all and that he was falsely accusing me of something I hadn't done. He continued to yell at me saying that we had a big problem on our hands. Holding my composure, I agreed with him and was awaiting some advice. He told me that the gentleman who had built my motor had his own engine business there in Havasu and that I needed to take the boat to him so we could determine the extent of the damage that ”I had done to the engine”! He raced off in the middle of our conversation, leaving me with my mouth on the floor. I then headed up to the factory to hopefully get some better customer service and I unfortunately ran into the owner again. He once again began yelling at me, saying that he did not want the boat, I wasn’t able to drop it there, and that I could call a lawyer if I wanted to. Still completely speechless at the way I was being disrespected by the owner of a multi-million dollar boat business, we left.

I towed the boat back to my mechanic in SoCal, seeing that I wasn’t getting anywhere with the dealership. I called my insurance company to file a claim, but knowing that they wouldn’t cover mechanical engine failure, I did not have my hopes up. My mechanic tore apart the engine and It turns out that multiple rods broke with one of the pistons snapping and destroying the block. The bottom end is basically trash. My mechanic gave me an estimate of over $23,000!!! Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do? I certainly don’t have 23K to drop on a rebuild! Considering legal action but not too sure I would get anywhere seeing that Magic has closed their doors!
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Old 04-21-2009, 03:10 AM
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get refocused and start enjoying picking out a new power plant,,,maybe without the blower
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:30 AM
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No offense man but you bought a 7 year old boat with a blower motor. Its not going to reliable as a bone stock merc power. How much boost were you running at 4200 rpm? Not sure what you have but is there any way to verify the number of hours on it?
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:34 AM
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Man that is so sad to read but not shocking at all. I would talk to a few of the quality engine builders in your area and get a few estimates. Talk to your engine builder and get him down into your price range. 23K sounds like a high end build for just a block. Maybe the heads got messed up as well? I just had TWO 600 HP motors built for 15K and that was from scratch. I did use used blowers, blocks, cranks.... Just had everything checked and machined. This was done at a very reputable builder in my area. So I would think you should be able to get on the water for around 7 grand or so. Not with the best parts in the world but still quality stuff that will hold together for a few years. I would not waiste my time with a lawer you will spend a lot and likely never get any place with it. Just get the boat fixed and try and enjoy it.
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:46 AM
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I would not waste my time with a lawer you will spend a lot and likely never get any place with it. Just get the boat fixed and try and enjoy it.
I am sorry this happened to you. Even if you "won", you would be out more money than it would cost to just get back on the water. Just because you win doesn't mean they cut you a check right there either.

Sell for parts, get new 496 with a warranty to put in the boat and enjoy.

Welcome to performance boating!
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:53 AM
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It does suck but I hate to say that even if the dealer was still in busineess you where screwed. It says "AS IS" on your agreement . As what do next look for a low hour take out or find a way to rebuild what you have.
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:17 AM
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It does suck but I hate to say that even if the dealer was still in busineess you where screwed. It says "AS IS" on your agreement . As what do next look for a low hour take out or find a way to rebuild what you have.
Sorry Man that sucks!! I'm not a sales man for them ,but Nor-Tech has a lot of take out motors . I'm going to buy a extra motor ,just in case!! Being on the water is the chit !!!!
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:24 AM
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Of course it is always fun to mother fu ck the guy that treated you so poorly!
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:20 AM
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SoCal has a few engine builders out there...Archer Marine, Paul Pfaff, Joe Baca @ Precision Marine......All these guys can help you out Dan @ Archer does some pretty good wheelin and dealin
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:40 AM
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Sucks to hear your story, but most of us have been in your shoes........

Are you mechanical at all? If so do some of the work yourself. Have a nice short block built, re-use your heads (if possible), and everything else that is ok. Make sure the motor is tunned well and not running lean. I think you could be threw this whole deal for under 10K.
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