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The ultimate engine?

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Old 03-19-2004, 05:40 PM
  #21
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Dockrocker,

Sounds to me like you have had some bad experiences in the past. You sound awfully jaded.

I have already listed one company that produces a product that meets the criterea and that was just off the top of my head. 725 hp on 632 ci is barely 1 hp per ci and is not considered a radical or unreliable package. I asked the question because I couldn't imagine there weren't more.

Like many past powerboat owners, I too have been sold high performance engines that not only didn't meet up to the expectations of what was promised, they had to be "traded in" on different motors because they just didn't run well.

I would prefer not to go through the experience again. I would also be willing to sacrifice power for reliability.

Ron Sporl offers a 650 HP blown 454 at a price of $15,000.00 I am not sure if that has all the accessories or not but those are not terribly expensive. He also offers a 555 C.I. long block that makes 600 HP for $10K. That motor can be rigged like the Marine Engines package for less than 5K. I haven't spoken to him but I assume he gives at least a 90 day warranty.

Hekimian Racing offers a 406 C.I. long block carb to pan that makes 640 HP for $12,000.00 That is a small block stroker motor.

Too Old is going to get his hands on some off-lease GMC Vortec 8100 Marine Engines. Complete with water, fuel, and oil systems ready to install, less headers for around $9,000.00 These are rebuilt but do come with a warranty. They produce 550 HP.

Even with my limited amount of knowledge and experience it doesn't seem terribly difficult to find decend power for the money. I can't imagine that others on this site have similar packages that you have heard of.

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Old 03-19-2004, 10:23 PM
  #22
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I think this is an excellent thread. We need to find alternative ways to buy great products at lower prices.
I love boating, but the price of boats, motors, drives (#6) is already getting friggin rediculous. I don't have the money to buy a $300K+ boat per say, but I have a real "problem" with spending alot of money on something that will be worth half it's purchased value in 5 yrs of use

What really makes me wonder.......why does it usually cost over $20K to make a 700HP+ motor in a boat---but you can get them much cheaper with these stats for a car?????? I know a marine motor is "marinized", but come on, these dmn things cost a fortune.
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Old 03-19-2004, 10:43 PM
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Semper Fi,

Your frustration is felt among most high performance powerboats including myself.

It is one of the reasons the thread was started in the first place. I do believe, however, that we need to be cautious not to compare our powertrain with those of the land lubers. The "marinization" process of the engine itself has very little to do with added cost of the engine package. The inclusion of the sea pump, strainer (if there is one), crossover, etc. is a small cost of the overall product.

Our costs are drastically increased in the quality of the components that must be used to survive the incredible load factors powerboats put on them. Powerboat engines run higher rpm for extended periods of time with load factors drastically higher than those of an automobile.

Most engines designed and built for cars, even high perf. ones, wouldn't last a month in a boat. That is why so many engine builders with automotive backgrounds have little success in the marine industry. That is not to say the current marine engine builders out there don't build good products, just that most would agree automotive builders have come and gone.

With all of that said. I still believe there are good quality, reliable, turn key engine packages that are available to guys like us who can't spend $35K on an engine. I believe some of the examples listed above are good options but I still haven't had much input on some of the other options I am sure are out there.

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Old 03-20-2004, 12:44 AM
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Whirlygig, is the Recon engines you referenced above from Philly?
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Old 03-20-2004, 12:58 AM
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That's correct Bob.
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Old 03-20-2004, 03:02 AM
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Whirlygig, we do offer some engine packages in the price range that you are looking for. We have a 525 hp 502 for $17,500 and an aluminum head 575 hp 502 for $19,000. Both packages are complete from flame arrestor to oil pan and have a one year warranty. They do not include exhaust or motor mounts.
Whether we are building a 500 hp engine or a 1500 hp engine, we take the same care and pride in its assembly. Quite simply, time costs money. We are a custom engine shop, not a production shop. We may take two weeks or more in an engines assembly alone. We do not strive to build as many engines as possible. We strive to build the best engine possible. We do not settle for "good enough" or "that will do". We only settle for perfection.
The higher horsepower engines cost more because the quality of parts must be much better, and with that increased quality comes increased prices. We still charge the same amount to assemble it. In an engine like the one that Marine Engines is selling, the cheap price is a direct result of cheaper parts. When you have an engine with a 4.750" crankshaft, like the 632, you have a much larger rotational mass. This is not the place for a crank and rods that are made in China. They do not have the strengh to continuously support that added mass. They may work in a smaller dispacement engine, buy I personally would not build an engine with that combiation because I don't think that it will live.
If, or when, that crank or rods break and you have to start all over, where is the savings.
As for Ron Sporl, he does not offer any warranty what so ever. I am very familiar with engines from both of these companies, as I have rebuilt many of them when they broke.
Please do not misunderstand me. I am certainly not bashing or badmouthing either of these companies. You will never here that from us. I am just trying to give you a little insight as to why the pricing is the way it is.
If we can help you in any way, please do not hesitate to call. TMP
By the way, do a search on Marine Engines (1800runsnew) There was a thread around March of 03 about some problems with them.
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Old 03-20-2004, 07:35 AM
  #27
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TMP,

Thanx for the input. Your 525 HP is an example of a well built, reliable engine package with a warranty for around the 15K mark.

I would also agree that the 632 is an awfully long stroke which does increase stress on the crank. As I stated earlier in this thread, I don't think that is necissarily the engine to go with. I am also willing to give up some HP for reliabiltiy. It does seem however there are many that believe you just can't get reliable power for 15K and I just don't believe that's true. Your 525 HP package is a good example of the contrary.

I used Recon engines as an example because with their purchasing power and size they could take the money they were saving on parts, couple that with their ability to defer their overhead through the products that are "production style" engines such as the smaller crusader lines and a company would have the ability to produce a high performance marine engine for less money without sacrificing quality.

This is done all of the time in other business. Take a company that currently has a base line of products that are successfull, they "keep the lights on" by covering the overhead of the company and produce the company a decend profit. That company may then have the freedom to allocate a small section of the company to producing a niche product, maybe something higher end, that may or may not produce a profit, to build brand awareness and open new doors for the company. In this senario, with the companies buying power and overhead deferment, this company can concievably produce a very high end product for substantially less than a competing company that depends soley on the profit of that product to keep them afloat.

Again, this thread is more of an educational hunting trip for those of us who want to try and find the best possible engine package of the dollar.

Corrado,
To answer your question on bringing highperf hardward to a local engine builder. That is certainly an option but you will pay retail for all of your parts. By the time you purchase those parts, bring them to a local shop and pay a local builder for time and expertise in assembly your cost will be more for your engine than if you were to go to TMP and purchase their 525 HP package.

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Old 03-20-2004, 11:03 AM
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Item 1: You started the thread talking about a 700+ hp package ready to drop in for $15k with a warranty. You make some good observations and some decent arguments, but then all of a sudden decide that you were talking about 525 hp being okay. You have just made a huge concession in your requirements but are acting like it is a non-issue... Are you wanting 700 hp or 525 hp? It DOES make a difference.

Item 2: Part content. Sure, everybody you talk to will be using a brand name forged piston, good rod bolts, good bearings. Roller rockers, etc.. A big inch motor has the choice of going with a $900 crank that is externally balanced (cheap and fragile), or a $1,700 crank that is internally balanced. You can have a set of $100 valvesprings with the same specs as a set of $650 valvesprings. You can have $40 retainers or $250 retainers. You can have a block that has just been assembled, or you can have one that has been hand-deburred, detail work done on the oiling system, cating flash ground off, and internally painted. You can have a bored and single pass honed block, or you can have one that was step honed to the proper size, finish, and angle of pass (with proper torque plates installed). It goes on and on.

I want not only good parts (which are expensive), but I want the proper level of detail work done on them as they go together. You speak again and again about RunsNew's operation being used to "mass rebuilding" of high volumes of motors. THAT IS EXACTLY WHY I WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM FOR A PERFORMANCE APPLICATION. Unless they do the performance motors in a building a mile down the road from the mass assembly, then if I were FORCED to purchase my performance motor from them I would want them to send it to me completely unassembled....

Parts cost money. Parts can be purchased much cheaper in large quantities. BUT LABOR STILL COSTS MONEY. LOTS OF MONEY. If you are getting it cheaper there, then it's not because they pay half of what Pfaff or Crockett pays for parts. IT's CAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE THE SAME AMOUNT OF TIME IN IT - or cause they are paying $12/hr to their assemblers instead of $25/hr.

Item 3: You have made mention of the word "reliability" in speaking of a Naturally Aspirated 700+ hp motor. You mention 1 hp/cubic inch. You mention "mild state of tune". Let's be clear here on something... Reliability in a big block that has been "properly" assembled with name brand parts is a function of valvespring life and oiling. You have a good sized oil cooler and change the oil regularly, then that takes care of the oiling if the assembly and clearances were ok. The requirements of a valvespring are DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT for a 525hp motor versus a 700+ hp motor. You can only use "so big" of a spring on a BBC head. Somewhere around 2" installed height is all you got to work with.

Regardless of whether it is a 454 or a 678 inch motor, you still have to GET the fuel charge INTO the combustion chamber. More hp requires that the valves open faster and farther and stay open longer.

An HP500 has a cam of around [email protected]" duration at .575" lift. With correct springs, it will give appx 150-200 hours of operational life. Swap it out for a Crane 741 with [email protected]" at .600" lift and you drop to 125-150 hours, but you get another 20hp.

If the 502 inch HP500 gives 520hp with the 741, then it's making over 1 hp per ci. So with the same setup, a 670 inch motor running the same cam will give you another 170 horses, won't it? Nope, a 670 inch motor running a 741 cam won't give you 690 hp. Cam is holding it back. Put big aftermarket heads on it, and run the 741, and you will still make probably around only 610hp. To get the 700 horses out of it, you need to go to a cam of around [email protected] at .660" lift. Also got bigger valves. Your spring's life just got a LOT more difficult. Got to handle larger valves, got to open them FAR more quickly, got to open them much FARTHER, and then slam them shut very fast without letting them bounce. Spring rates have just gone up which means a thicker wire on the spring. This means more heat in the spring. The open and closing rates are much faster which means more heat. The extra lift means the spring is running a wider range of full compression which means more heat, and closer to the yield point of the metal it is made from. Your valve springs will now last only 25 hours. UNLESS you go to the mega super mondo expensive springs, AND use extra long valve stems, AND use special rockers to allow the extra long stems, and special pushrods for the different geometry, and monster solid lifters to handle the loads of the valvetrain. Now you also got valvetrain flex to worry about - spring pressures are high. Rocker studs are long to work with the long stems. Now you need to consider another grand for pedestal rockers to hold the valvetrain geometry intact. Otherwise, everything will be flexing and it will cause the valvestems to wallow out the guides in a hurry and you will be replacing guides and valves (cause the chrome will wear off the stems) every 80 - 100 hours.

Warranty? Read the fine print and see if you are expected to replace parts on a short schedule to keep the warranty intact.

Decide what your criteria is for this discussion. There is indeed a difference in a 525hp motor and a 700hp motor if we are talking about a similar level of longevity.
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Old 03-20-2004, 12:04 PM
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Mcollinstn,

Refering to your item #1. If you review the original thread post it was to determine what the "best" or "ultimate" package is for $15K. I said nothing about attaining a certain level of horsepower outside of mentioning the company offering the 632 c.i. motor for $10K. I wasn't suggesting, as I have stated before numerous times in the thread, that it was indeed the right package. I was merely using it as an example and looking for others with different experiences to help elaborate on potential options. I have also stated that I was willing to sacrifice power for reliabilty (quality of components and assembly). I believe you are misunderstanding the intent of the thead, it isn't to reach a majic HP number for the money, it was to find a package that met the initial criteria. i.e. under or around 15K, reliable, turn key, idles well, etc.) Horsepower and torque numbers were not listed in the criteria. If the best package ends up to be 550 HP for the money then so be it.

Item #2: Part quality. I agree whole heartedly with your interest in not only using good quality parts but great ones. I do believe there is a fine balance between building and over building a package. If the reliability of a 700 HP motor needs a $1700.00 internally balanced crank to live then that would fall under the "reliability" section of the original criteria listed above.

You are misunderstanding my intent when I say there are companies that mass produce product that may have the capability to produce a high end package for less money. I agree with you that no one in our hobby wants a mass produced highend engine, you and I both know it won't last.

My meaning behind the mention was to suggest that a company that doesn't rely soley on building high end engines with tight margins would have the capital recourses to take one of their guys that might be way over qualified to build assembly line products, give him his own space and allow him to build higher end products. The company can use it's incredible buying power to purchase higher end components from wholesalers they currently do business with to recieve discounts on those parts. The builder, who is being paid by the company from the profits of the other product lines and works out of an area, seperate from everything else, can take his time assembling a high quality package. They don't have to make a large profit on the product because it's not keeping their doors open. The assembler can take his time and do it right because he isn't pressured to get the product out the door, again because his livelyhood doesn't depend on it. If you couple that senario with the discount on parts that they receive the company should realistically be able to produce a high quality package with high quality internals for a price that is substantially less than those who don't have the leverage this company might have. I was not, by any means, implying that we as consumers in an incredibly demanding hobby such as powerboating, would ever consider purchasing a low quality mass produced powerplant.

During your referal to the cost of labor for a quality builder I suggest only that a company that is in the financial situation the above example might be in that the labor cost of assembly would be soaked up by the production of the other product line. This is quite common in many other areas of manufacturing. A company will utilize some of the gifted labor to work on special projects, produce new products, improve existing one, etc. Their expense is just part of the payroll of the whole company.

You obviously know quite a bit more about building engines than I. I respect your knowledge and appreciate your input. I don't doubt that there is a big difference between the quality components needed for 500 vs. 700 hp. My intent here is to help others, myself included, to try and find potentially the best possible package for around the $15K mark. If that's 150 HP, than so be it but I think we are selling ourself short with the attitude that the above criteria for the thread was unrealistic.

With your knowledge of engines and what it takes to build good realable horsepower I would urge you to give us your opinion on what you would have built (including labor costs) for $15K. Please just try and stay in the parameters of the original post.

So far, TMP is the only one who has offered a package that would meet the above requirements and for that I thank him.

Your help is appreciated.

Whirly
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Old 03-20-2004, 01:46 PM
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mcollinstn, exactly my point, especially where assembly is concerned.
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