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Old 05-03-2002, 09:02 PM
  #21
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Sorry, I must not have been clear. The boat hull has been
designed with an extension "box" already in the mold... this
is part of the hull/transom. This is why the concern over having
too much of a setback.

The application can fit (albeit tightly), without the transmission in the extension box, but it then places the engine 12" forward and makes working on the engine a bit tight. Also, should a blower ever be added, it (pulleys) might now hit or be within an inch of the engine compartment front wall.

I am trying to look at all possiblities and options for both now and down the road, as I want to try and anticipate as many scenarios as possible. This is why the OSO board is such a great resourse!
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Old 05-03-2002, 10:54 PM
  #22
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Thunderdan,
I have sold many many XR Bravo drives. Here is a list of some
that are still running perfect.
32 Skater 500 EFI
37 Active Thunder Factory II Raceboat 500 EFI
33 Awesome Cat 700 Hp
33 Amercian Offshore 700 Hp
38 Nortech 500 EFI
36 Apache 700 Hp
32 Skater 575 SCI
38 Sonic modified 575 SCI intercooled MSD Ignition on boxes
40 Baja triple 500 EFI
33 Powerplay 700 Hp
With anything over the magic Merc #575 Hp the boat needs to
weigh in at less than 10,000 lbs. But remember all the boats
I listed above do a visual inspection of there gears on a regular
basis. You cannot just change gear lube and go boating. Just
think about the abuse these drives are going through for a hour
and a half on any Factory II raceboat.
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Old 05-04-2002, 10:36 AM
  #23
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Goodfella has some very good points. I doubt that Merc approves or disapproves every installation which indicates that the boat manufacture is the one "designing" the engine/drive combo for each boat they build.

I agree that Merc is responsible in a properly designed engine/drive combo which I am sure works fine in most of the applications however when it is mis-applied, the blame is gonna shift. That nor-tech is very heavy which no doubt is leading to the drive failures.

Good Luck.
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Old 05-04-2002, 10:57 AM
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STOP! STOP! U guyz are are scarring me.I want to upgrade to a 33ZX Donzi with T-500`s and XR drives,but after all this brew-ha-ha am I gonna have to get a second job to boat.
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Old 05-04-2002, 12:48 PM
  #25
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First of all let me say that I am sorry to see that your plight continues Dennis.

Secondly, I have read the article as well regarding Mr. K's so called statement. If I were to bet on what was actually said vs. what the magazine printed, I'd be on the side of what was actually said. He has been around the business a long time and the very first bravos were stuck behind 400 HP 502's with 500's soon after. Things have changed considerably since the drives inception and there is a definate need for something above and beyond the XR's ability. Merc is very aware of this and I'm pretty sure you will see something from them by the end of the year. I doubt however that it will be a direct replacement of the bravo.

How were your XR's broken in and who did the breakin?

Thirdly, we have lots of XZ's and XR's with the largest (heaviest) being a triple 37 Outerlimits with XZ's and 725 HP in front of them for two full seasons without a failure. Not because they can't break them, but because of discretion. My point being that the drives were not intended for that big a boat with that much HP and a little owner prudence goes a long way. Yes, it does get taken to poker runs and run hard, including Miami to Key West.

Fourthly, we have experience with B-Max's. Granted our biggest application doesn't have the weight you have, but what it lacks in weight is more than offset with what it has for HP. The biggest application we have done with them is an 01 38 Fountain with a pair of 572's with 1071's on top making right at 1000 HP @ 5600 and making 910 ft/lbs of torque starting at 3000 rpms and peaking at 980 @ 4400. Those drives have been abused, did we have issues, yes, but not because of the drive. It was because of improper assembly, machining and tolerance stackups. All very much controllable at assembly. Consequently, we totally rebuilt these drives from the ground up and have not had an issue since. I would guess that since Dean now has a warranty on these drives, many of the issues that we had and which he was informed, have been corrected.

I personally would not hesitate to put a set of B-Max's on anything with 1000 HP or less, with the stipulation being that we tear them completely down, go through them and put them back together. Based on my personal experience, I suspect that the failures experienced by Nortech thus far could have been prevented. It is my opinion that the drive is more than capable of handling your application if its setup properly. If you'd like more info or to talk to me personally, I can be reached days at 920-236-4220.




Rod

Last edited by rpm; 05-05-2002 at 11:33 AM.
 
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Old 05-05-2002, 12:03 AM
  #26
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SPEED2LEAD,

I honestly don't think you have anything to worry about with your application...scroll up and read my first post on this thread.
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Old 05-05-2002, 12:21 AM
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RPM (Rod),

Do you do any upgrades/mods to the stock Merc XR drive??? I'm asking because I saw an article in a recent "Family and Performance Boating" magazine where Teague Marine showed a very extreme and extensive upgrade to the stock Merc XR drive complete with several "how to do it" pictures...does your shop offer anything like that to the XR?

Thanks,
Mark (KAAMA)
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Old 05-05-2002, 07:10 PM
  #28
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Hi Mark, no we really don't. We've tried most of the stuff out there as well as some of our own without any real success. You can make the shafts stronger, but you can only make the gear floors so thick and when you get to the point that you don't twist or break shafts, you knock the bottoms of the gears out or break teeth. I really have resolved our drive issue to either use merc, imco or teague stuff as it is for up to 600 HP with prudence on hole and out of the water shots or to B-Max's or VI drives depending on the application. Thanks for asking.

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Old 05-05-2002, 07:51 PM
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Has anyone considered the Arneson Bravo Conversion?
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Old 05-06-2002, 11:10 AM
  #30
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Cat...

The boat I am looking at is a new 460 Black Thunder. Several
years ago, BT added an 'extension box' to the mold (not a bolt on) with the 43'. Due to this addition, they finally lengthened to swim platform to create the 460... same running surface.

If you are familiar with the 388 Hustler, they have a similar transom design. I looked at a 388 this weekend at the Oceanside CA races and they had #5s with huge boxes... they stated that they have had no handleing issues.

Anyone out there know of someone with a BT and boxes????
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