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Bravo Upgrades...(again)

Old 12-18-2002, 01:36 PM
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Bravo Upgrades...(again)

Ok. So I do a search on all the latest crazes for upgrades. The first thing I do is look up the Imco Extreme SC. I read the advertisement and think, WOW!! this thing seems to be exactly what I'm looking for. It sounds like it can handle the HP and man, it even looks fast standing still!! Cool right?


During my search I found only a couple people that haven't had any problems with this drive. Not to mention the fact of the comment in one of Back4more post, the guy from Imco said, "what part of no warranty don't you understand." I would have reached through the phone on that one.

So anyway I'll start here. 3 people that have stood out lately on this Imco drive:


So how did you guys make out? Any more problems?

Through Kaama's findings, which I had considered as well, was to go with a place like Max Machine Works, or Billet Marine.
Through what I've read in the search, it as well backs up the validity of these machine shops and makes me lean towards going that way. I just have a few questions before I call the shop.

What's the cost for these parts?

I know that any certified bravo mech can install them, but is it better to send it to them? Do they even do the work?

Do they already have complete drives for sale or can I only buy the parts?

Ya I know. It's winter time I'm not gonna get too much more info than what I've already read through the search. However, if anyone else has more info to add, feel free.

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Old 12-18-2002, 02:01 PM
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Dave, I destroyed 3 (maybe 4, I can't remember now???) IMCO Extreme XR units (I try and block all the tows back to the marinas out). I was not overly impressed with the service I was given through IMCO. They did replace the units at a reduced price, but that was still expensive. I do not want something for nothing, but the total hours on the 3 units was about 15 hours (one had less than 2 hours on it). I talked to Bob Teague and he offered a 90 day warranty on his Platinum XR drive and I went with that. I boated all summer and the unit still is working well(approx. 40hrs.). If the unit blows up now, I am at least ahead of the game I was playing before. I don't know wether I just received units from IMCO that had flaws due to gear hardening(this was a problem I heard). I know others who have had good luck with the IMCO units, I was just rather tired of being pulled back to the marinas, and decided to try something else. The warranty sold me on the Teague unit, and Bob was very sincere in his willingness to help.
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Old 12-18-2002, 06:29 PM
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ya. I hear you. I've been lucky with my drives. I've put 900hp through my stock bravo with no problems and I'm very easily tempted to put my estimated 1200 plus through it also. Just to try to prove everyone wrong. However, I think that if I have the extra money at the end of the project I might go ahead with some "insurance" and "peace of mind" on the Bravo upgrade.

Hopefully this thread will get some more replies.

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Old 12-18-2002, 06:49 PM
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I used my IMCO-SC's for one season, about 60 hours, I finally decided to change gears from 1.36 to 1.5's . At that time (end of season) I had my old drives Merc B1's) upgraded by Max Mahine works and switched to 1.5 ratio. I have not run them yet as winter set in but they are installed and ready. I had no problems with the IMCO's but I also feel I dont push them too hard, I think I only got air 2 or 3 times and it wasn't drastic. I did not baby them but I think I was cautious. There was a few shavings on the bottom plug after the first fluid change but very few and fine. Inspection of the gears showed some marking but what would seem normal for break in and smoothing of the gear teeth faces. I am running close to 700 HP on them. I hope the MMW's perform well , Time will tell. They get high reccomendations from many people I have talked to.

I had good service from Dave @ IMCO although my "problems" were not a major problem. I had heard at first they were going to warranty the for up to 800 HP word yet?


My Imcos with Large XR prop shaft - $8500.+-
MMW Upgrade with standard size propshaft - $6500+-

Call Jason @ MMW he was very nice and seems to know his stuff. They do have full drives available.

I think both are "better" than the Merc XR's but how much??? I feel better at least making an attempt to have the drives the best they can be.

Again you can break anything if you are reckless but I personally have had no issues.

Last edited by Raypanic; 12-18-2002 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 12-18-2002, 07:04 PM
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Bob Teague has always stood behind his Platinum Drives. I sent my stock broken Bravo One drives to him and they came back Teague Platinum XZ drives. Teague worked with Merc Warranty to cover part of the upgrade.
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Old 12-18-2002, 07:30 PM
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Hmmmm, that reminds me of last summer.

As you might have heard, we waited till July for the engine builder to finish our 557CI Blower motors...he found some weak parts here and there water testing it.
When we got the boat back to Chicago I was ready for some rockin since I also upgraded our driveline with the IMCO Boxes, their steering and the new -2" IMCO Extreme SC's in the 1.348 ratio.
I have to admit I ran the boat very hard because I missed out on half the summer.
42' of boat with 800 or so HP puts a big load on those drives.
The day that we lost a drive I ran down to Hammond, IN. for a fuel top off and some more ice for the brews.
On the way back I ran at about 75mph/4500rpm for the 10-12 miles returning to Chicago.
We came up to the locks in the city and I tucked the drives in 1 notch, got a little more into the throttles............BANG! thats when the starboard drive let go.
When we got back to the Marina and lifted the boat out we saw a drive showercap missing on that drive which was there at launch but gone now???.
I pulled the back cap off the drive and saw a few teeth missing off the forward and pinion gears.
Called IMCO mad as hell.....blah, blah, blah and they covered it.
We looked the other drive over that had to limp me home for the 3rd time since the starboard motor had its bad days too....and that drive showed it!
I was able to get the boat on plane with 1 motor before so I did it again, and again, and again on the port drive.
We swaped out the pinion gear for a new one and rotaited the drive to the starboard side so it would have a fresh forward gear tooth surface contact.
I switched to RedLine Heavy in the drives and also upped our boost a pound with -2 teeth on the blower another 7 mph top speed.
I have done at least a few dozen WOT runs for a mile or 2 with these rebuilt drives and had no reoccurring issues since.
Time will tell.
The IMCO's have XR componets inside of their own heavyduty upper case...So Its a repackaged XR with some beefier parts from IMCO here and there.
If all else fails...Rod's Bmax's are next.

Last edited by Back4More; 12-18-2002 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 12-18-2002, 07:35 PM
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Originally posted by Dave F

tempted to put my estimated 1200 plus through it also. Just to try to prove everyone wrong. However, I think that if I have the extra money at the end of the project I might go ahead with some "insurance" and "peace of mind" on the Bravo upgrade.

Hopefully this thread will get some more replies.

On what Boat.
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Old 12-18-2002, 08:43 PM
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Tell us what your running.. power and weight.. How much of an upgrade do you want.. There are improvements that can be done, but if you are in the upper leagues with Real big power.. the upgraded Bravo one wont do it. The XR gears are good, but there are other weak links to consider. I have a Bravo 1 with XR gears and SS tower. I have not had a chance to abuse it. Others have done the assymbly and it has failed several times.. the first being with Imco gears from 3 yrs ago.. So I am rebuilding it myself, that way I can't blame the pros for screwing it up. One person you might want to talk to is Maxx from the board. If you need a good drive he will blue print your drive to make sure it is assembled correctly.. I am doing the same thing, making sure the gears are in the proper place when assembled..

good luck with your search.. there are many that have been down this road..

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Old 12-19-2002, 03:15 AM
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Default Up-graded Drives

Back4more and mr Gagets

Question.. Mark how come you guys by-passed B-max and went other directions? With the hp you guys have, why say if all else fails we can always go B-max, Hell, just go that way and be done with the drive worries,why should you have to R&D other peoples products at your time and expense.
I have taken off my Bravo/Imcos and ordered a pair of B-maxs,If HTM could drag race with them, looks like how we use them should be no problem!!our summer is too short as it is, let alone taking time to fix drives..Am I missing something here?? Just my .02 worth!!

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Old 12-19-2002, 06:13 PM
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I'm expecting around 1200hp in a 5500 lb boat. As far as if the bravo drive will hold up can be argued from now until the end of time.
It's my opinion that there are 3 main components that contribute to drive failure:
1. hp
2. weight per drive
3. how it's used.

Back in the old days Merc was coupling the 454/330's on an alpha.
Well, everyone was twisting those drives up too.
My old boat (4500lbs)had this set up for 10 years with no problems.
I have since run 500 and 625 hp through my Bravo 1- 1.5 and 850 through my Bravo 1- 1.36 reaching speeds of over 90mph on that same boat, still with no problem.
That tells me that the above order is from least important to most important.
Example; a 46' Black Thunder weighs in around 10300 dry. Add fuel, gear and people you're around 12000lbs, easy. With twin engines that's 6k per drive.

My point is, the most important thing for a Bravo drive is how you treat it.
If you stand on the throttles comin up you'll be able to break pretty much anything.
If you're jumpin wakes, gettin some big air then you're more likely to break the drive.

Like I said before, I'm tempted to just run my stock Bravo just to see if my theory is correct because I do none of the above.

That's just my .02

Thanks to everyone for all your replies and answers. I'll give MMW and billet marine a call soon and see what my options are.

Bob I've tried to mail you but your box was full. I'll try again.
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