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Raylar- Nothing but problems

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Old 08-04-2010, 11:41 AM
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Does this 496 model have cast pistons? if so what do you expect?................................Robertjr... ...........................
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:44 AM
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How can you blame a cast piston failure on anyone?

They are cast, the 496 has a known issue with this problem.

I personally used CNC'd iron heads on a 496 and a performance cam and had the same issue at 600 hours. Once you modify them.... who knows when they will let loose. I modified it at 200 hrs and it ran for 400 hours modified... not bad.

Last edited by Keith Atlanta; 08-04-2010 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:44 AM
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Didnt get to read the above as you posted while I was writing mine. Sounds like you either had a weak piston from the factory, something happened to it during its 110 hours, or you were running lean. Did the mechanics check your air/fuel ratio after installation was complete?
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:48 AM
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Does this 496 model have cast pistons? if so what do you expect?................................Robertjr... ...........................
I would expect the ecm to limit the rpm to a safe speed for the type pistons involved, wouldn't you?
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by russellhorn View Post
Didnt get to read the above as you posted while I was writing mine. Sounds like you either had a weak piston from the factory, something happened to it during its 110 hours, or you were running lean. Did the mechanics check your air/fuel ratio after installation was complete?
I did all the work. I used an A/F meter to test and set at 12.8

The kit is plug and play but you have to realize you are swapping heads. Not exactly easy but not hard for an experienced engine builder. it isnt as easy as changing a throttle body but its all relative...

Are you sure your mechanics understood the 496? Thats why I educated myself, many/most mechanics dont know too much about the 496.

Last edited by Keith Atlanta; 08-04-2010 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:49 AM
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Thanks Hawks. I appreciate the feedback on your experience. I know some guys are bashing you for talking about Raylar, but all I ever here is that the kits are awesome on the internet. Some people say stay away from them, but you never hear why.

I don't see any reason you can't just give the straight up facts about your experience without getting the keyboard jockeys all fired up.

I'm the same guy with a 496 that I would love to have a Raylar kit on, but have read enough in the last few weeks to be skeptical.

Keep the story coming.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by launchpad475 View Post
Thanks Hawks. I appreciate the feedback on your experience. I know some guys are bashing you for talking about Raylar, but all I ever here is that the kits are awesome on the internet. Some people say stay away from them, but you never hear why.

I don't see any reason you can't just give the straight up facts about your experience without getting the keyboard jockeys all fired up.

I'm the same guy with a 496 that I would love to have a Raylar kit on, but have read enough in the last few weeks to be skeptical.

Keep the story coming.
I agree with your statement however I am not skeptical. It just makes so far for a more informed person/purchase.

I have built and have had built enough engines in boats cars and motorcycles to realize that anything man made or mechanical has a finite life and at any moment anything can happen.

I have spoken to Ray a few times and I always found him accommodating and forthright with me.

I also don't have a problem with hawks posting his point of view on his encounters.

I think this thread handled properly can be very informative for everyone. So i hope it stays civil.

Also it is my understanding that 8.1's come with hyper-eutectic pistons.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:07 PM
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Hey kieth when I said "above post" I meant the full story from the person who started this thread. I agree totally with your post.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:24 PM
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My "new" motor from Ray arrived the week before Labor day weekend, and we got it back in the boat. I had detailed break in instructions from Ray. Run it for at least 10 hours with the oil that is in it. Vary the speeds constantly and keep it under 4000 RPM's. We did exactly that over the weekend and it ran great. I think my favorite part of both motors was the sound at idle, you could really tell the different cam.

We took it back to the boat shop and had them change the oil and took their fuel pressure guage. Ray had told us the last thing we should do was make sure the fuel pressure was staying up at WOT at higher RPM's then "Run it like you stole it".

I took the wife with me and we took it up to the river, hooked the guage and ran it for about 30 minutes. Everything looked good, so we took it back and put the boat away for the year since we don't boat in the fall.

Memorial weekend this year we get the boat out again for the first time. We boated out to dinner on Saturday and everything went fine. Sunday we head out with a group for a longer boat trip (@40 miles) since we are in a group we never really open it up, just cruising and hitting a few beaches and other spots. We have all the kids, so not getting crazy.

On the way back we have split from the group and are getting closer to home. There is a barge ahead so I speed up and am running about 4100 Rpms passing the barge. All of the sudden the boat drops about 300 RPM's and it sounds like there are pop cans banging around under the hatch, definately metal on metal. I take it off plane and pull well to the side away from the barge. It sounded fine and was idleing fine. We shut it down, checked everything over and couldn't find anything.

I started it back up and since we were about 5 miles from home got it back up on plane and headed back at about 2800 RPM's. When we got back we unloaded everything and then I went back down to the dock and looked everything over again. I couldn't find anything, but thought I heard a slight tick.

I idled the boat around and took it out of the water. I dropped it off to the boat shop and called them and Ray on tuesday. I told them to check it out and call Ray then I would pick it up in 2 weeks. They looked it over and talked to Ray, and nobody could come up with an explaination. Ray basically said if it ran back the 5 miles don't worry about it.

We picked the boat back up on Friday and put it in Saturday morning. I loaded the kids and coolers in the boat and idled out of the Marina. When we hit the lake I got it up on plane and made it 1/2 a mile at 1/2 throttle when it made the same noise and lost power just like before. I idled back to our dock to drop off the kids. On the way there and when I stopped I could hear a definate ticking noise. I take the boat back to the ramp at an idle, and 1/2 way there the noise stops. We loaded the boat up and dropped it back off at the boat shop (sort of a standing joke by now on my boat, friends love to call up laughing)

Monday morning talk to the guy at the boat shop. He says that the noise is definately there now, and one cylinder is low on compression. He pulled the plug on that cylinder sqirted in some oil, and the compression came back up. He says that he still thinks that it is something in the top end, but he is not going to go any further. He will pull the motor but he is not removing one bolt from it.

I had real problems at this point in getting anyone to look at the motor. Everyone was either really busy or wanted nothing to do with it. This was definately not Rays fault, but it was about to get ugly.

Two weeks later I get a guy I know who builds racing motors to take a look at it. I had to do some real arm twisting because he was not too happy about climbing up in the boat and working in the engine compartment. He pulled the valve cover off and said the nut holding one of the roller-rockers had backed almost all of the way off. He also said that the bearing was damaged and the push rod was damaged from hitting eachother and needed to be replaced, and he needed a new valve cover gasket. He told me that every nut on that side turned at least 1/4 turn when torqued to specs and some were close to coming loose as well. He thought the lack of compression was from that cylinder "washing down".

We called Ray and told him what we had found and he agreed to send us new parts right away. My mechanic told Ray about everything being loose, and asked if Ray wanted him to pull the other side and check them but Ray told him no, "it will be fine"

The parts showed up a few days later and I took them to my Mechanic. As soon as we opened the box, it was clear things were used. He sent us a used valve cover gasket (which would have been usable), the wrong push rod, and a used rocker which my Mechanic said was worse than the one out of my boat.

We called Ray and he told us just to put them in, It would be fine. My mechanic told him the bearing was bad, and if it let go it could nuke the whole motor. Ray again say's don't worry just put it in for the weekend and I will send you a new one. When my mechanic got off the phone he said there was no way he was putting that rocker or the old push rod back in the motor, so we decided to wait for the new one.

One week later I called Ray to see where our new parts were, and his answer was I sent you the other ones to get you by for now. I told him we didn't put them in and weren't about to. This really set him off and he proceeded to tell me that no one in Iowa knows anything about building motors and he has forgotten a lot more that my guy will ever know about motors. At this point I've had enough of Ray and tell him that may be so, but my guy has not forgotten how to torque a nut.

This really set him off and he proceeds to tell me how it's all my fault for racing all the time and running the motor so hard. I inform him that this motor probably has 2 minutes total at WOT and has less that 15 hours since he built it. He shuts up and says he'll send the parts.

He finaly did send the new parts and we got the boat put back together.


Now I've paid for the labor to fix it but he will not even return my calls, emails or faxes for the past few weeks to let me know if he is going to reimburse me.


I had 2 Raylar motors in my boat for over 1 year and never had a single weekend of boating where I had no restrictions or problems.

The End
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:25 PM
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How old was your gas Hawks? That would be my first guess at problem definition. I
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