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The long time running 496ho debate..to keep or ditch

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The long time running 496ho debate..to keep or ditch

Old 08-27-2019, 06:14 PM
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Default The long time running 496ho debate..to keep or ditch

So I have now had a summer with our new to us 2006 Velocity 290sc and my wife and I love the boat. We ran our first poker run a few weeks ago, had a blast......But...even running 60-70 mph we were always in the back of the pack of 30+ boats. Conditions were not favorable for a 29' boat running with 40'+ boats so a solid set of tabs are definitely in the future. BUT...even when the lake laid down and running 70ish consistently were STILL struggling to keep up so, more power. I know there are a million threads on upgrades on the 496ho but they are all 5+ years old at best. So, my options are..whipple if my engine compartment has the room needed which would be tight. Raylar build, or ditch the 496 and move on. So I will ask people to keep in mind I am NOT rich, budget is tight so I am trying to stay cost effective. I also found a 2002 suburban locally with a 496 for $800 that I thought about buying for the engine, and do a budget build. I would love some more modern options and experiences on upgrading the power of the 496. Thanks!!
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Old 08-27-2019, 07:20 PM
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if it was me, i would build a nice reliable 540 and roll on with it. save the 496 complete to put back in the boat when you sell. then you get to keep your big motor on the side for the next boat even if you have to build another. i wish i would have done this and will do this in the future.
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Old 08-28-2019, 09:39 AM
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Test ran the new Raylar goodies

My experiences with the 496 are above......Bought the parts used for cheap. Did all work myself. Gained a couple mph. If I had paid for it, I would have been very disappointed. Stock heads SUCK!! You won't make more than 470ish hp with them.

What speeds are you looking for? Who is going to build and do the engine work?

Whipple won't fit in the VR1 without cutting clearance into the rearseat bulkhead.

Definately keep your stock 496 longblock for resale down the road.

Easiest option is to order the Raylar 540 longblock. Swap over your accessories and go boating with 200 more hp. Probably not the cheapest route.
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Last edited by Ryan00TJ; 08-28-2019 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 08-28-2019, 09:53 AM
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I have read through that thread a few times now, good stuff. I am running around 70mph right now and I would like to add another 10mph so 80ish. I am also set on sticking with an efi setup. I have emailed back and fourth with the owner of the suburban and I can pick it up for $500. I am seriously considering this option, it will allow me to build an engine at my own pace and not be without a boat!
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Old 08-28-2019, 10:03 AM
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There is no sense in buying a truck for the 496. You can buy a 496 .030 over long or short block with forged internals from Raylar. Also, there are a few issues with the truck block, no big deal but in my experience, all the block bolts were SAE and then all the merc stuff was metric. So you will have to find a bunch of bolts that work with the accessories - which is a time consuming pain in the azz. As Ryan stated, I agree, but once you factor in machining the block, the forged crank, conn rods and pistons you arent saving that much.

You might be able to do a custom 540 from him with the re-used welded intake. Might save a couple grand and still be real close to 600 HP probably over.
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Old 08-28-2019, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by formulavt View Post
I have read through that thread a few times now, good stuff. I am running around 70mph right now and I would like to add another 10mph so 80ish. I am also set on sticking with an efi setup. I have emailed back and fourth with the owner of the suburban and I can pick it up for $500. I am seriously considering this option, it will allow me to build an engine at my own pace and not be without a boat!
290SC's run in the low 80s with 525efi. They dyno 550-560hp. Thats for reference.
Buy the 8.1 from the burb. Machine shop the block. Crank is good for 650hp. Add forged rods, pistons. Raylar 315cnc heads, 206 cam, rockers, Coolgap intake w 90mm tb. Swap over all your accessories. Save your stock longblock.

Don't forget to budget upgraded exhaust, fuel pump, regulator, oil cooler, wideband 02 setup, pcm tuning. It will add up quickly!
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Old 08-28-2019, 10:46 AM
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IMO keep it the way it is or sell it for another boat.

To really gain any speed worth talking about your going to have to add 150-200hp to the engine.

600-625hp will get you 80-85mph in that boat but that Bravo X drive isn't going to be happy.

Either sell the boat and buy something with big power and an SCX drive or a larger boat with twin 525EFI's
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Old 08-28-2019, 01:49 PM
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From the research I have done 600hp dosent seem to be that difficult to achieve from a 496 done right, keep in mind the velocity 290sc weighs less then 5,000lbs so I'm hoping that the XR Drive will hold up alright, I dont ever do hole shots. I think my 80mph goal is achievable. And again, I am a blue collar guy, going out and buying a 37' with twin 525's is not an option. Anyone have an opinion or even better experience on building the bottom end only and running a whipple setup?? Whipple claims their kit is extremely safe on the 496 with moderate boost on a completely stock engine, I would think with better pistons and rods it would be pretty solid
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Old 08-28-2019, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by formulavt View Post
I have read through that thread a few times now, good stuff. I am running around 70mph right now and I would like to add another 10mph so 80ish. I am also set on sticking with an efi setup. I have emailed back and fourth with the owner of the suburban and I can pick it up for $500. I am seriously considering this option, it will allow me to build an engine at my own pace and not be without a boat!
Formulavt,
First take a breath before you start building a new engine and think about how you'll use your Velocity 290 and how long you'll likely keep it. There's some good advice above about pulling out and saving your stock 496 (building & installing new power as you indicate) for future resale. Because if you really like the Poker Runs, you're going to want to trade up to a longer boat to run with the longer boats - I know first hand! I traded up from my 320 Velocity (plenty fast enough) to a 390 Velocity to handle the lower 80's well in messy Poker Run conditions. I'd recommend that you first get a feel for running your 290 around 70 in crowded Poker Run conditions to see if you think you really want to run faster and for how long. Most Velocity 280/290 that I've seen on Velocity events, don't run with the bigger boats for more than a few miles - even if they have the power to do so (incluidng my 280!). Size matters in Poker Runs. Now if you just want to go fast when the conditions are right - go for it and good luck!
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Old 08-28-2019, 03:20 PM
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My opinion is to go with the biggest raylar kit you can afford and enjoy...whipples are cool but it sounds like you have to do some boat modifying to make it fit and in reality no matter what they claim its a bomb waiting to happen...if you go with the raylar kit get some more speed out of it and in a couple years decide hey I want more you have a good base to build off of...I personally think that is the cheapest and more bang for the buck option...if you spend the same amount on a whipple as a raylar kit and first time out next season snap a rod well guess what there goes your season and I would bet my life whipple is going to say tough luck and now you have a shiny new whipple with a pile of junk....if something happens to the raylar engine I'd bet you have a much better chance of getting them to back it and yea you may be out some time but at least you didn't just spend 10k on a pile of scrap metal lol

Just my opinions take em however you please...good luck!!
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