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-   -   40' Outlaw Upgrades - Twin 900Sc to 1000hp Duramax Diesels (

kidturbo 08-03-2016 04:30 AM

40' Outlaw Upgrades - Twin 900Sc to 1000hp Duramax Diesels
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A few months ago a new member contacted me about helping with a diesel swap in a boat he was purchasing. Besides owning the first Duramax powered boat, I've helped out with several other custom conversions over the years. So I figured no big deal, I'll happily pass along some pointers. Until he told me what he was upgrading from.

When Dave [who lives as far from me as one can can get on this planet,, Australia] said he was purchasing a 40 Baja Outlaw, my first thought was twins or triple 525's and Bravo 1 drives. Should make a nice long range diesel cruiser. When I learned he was ditching a pair of supercharged 900hp BBC's for diesels, my next thought was Jim Darr has a new screen name I've missed...

After confirming he was serious, and the boat was actually listed for sale on OSO, I agreed to go check it out in person. Sure enough, it was a clean 2003 OL rigged with Merc 900SC's and #6's from the factory. The current owner had it tucked away in a garage, where it wasn't easily coming out for an early spring test drive while I was in town. Since there can't be that many 900SC Baja's with 6's out there, I Googled it. Which lead me right back here to a couple old topics. Here is how it looked a couple months ago, before we scrapped all the powertrain.






kidturbo 08-03-2016 05:22 AM

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A little searching here produced a couple old threads related to this same boat. One of those threads confirming it ran mid 90's when first built. So after a few more emails and phone conversations, I agreed to run some numbers on what it would take to replace these gasser's with equal or greater diesel power.

Dave said he'd wanted to do a fast diesel poker run boat for a long time, but no one was interested in tackling it. I on the other hand had owned a fairly fast single engine diesel, but traded it in for a big cat that needed basically everything. Then decided wasn't worth the investment to rig like I wanted. So while searching for a new hull myself, why not help put this one together as a great proof of concept.

The short story goes, we decided that building engines, rigging, and testing the boat here in the states would be far easier and quicker than shipping all the pieces to Australia and trying to assist remotely. Paint and interior upgrades would wait until it arrives at it's new home port. Leaving myself with easy stuff, like build and marinize two 1000hp Duramax engines, fab up all the mounting hardware, upgrade the electronics, modify the drives, and find somewhere suitable to do all this rigging work.

A few weeks later the boat arrived at my place minus the 900SC's. By this time we had concluded those early model 1.5:1 ratio 6's would cost more to upgrade with 1:1 gears than planned. Plus 1800flbs of torque is slightly over their max power rating. When another member alerted me to one of the only pair of Weismann surface drives in private hands. The plugin Huber 1450's and 6's were pulled and sold the following week. And I still can't believe I just sold a pair of 6's, after searching a full year for a good used set to fit my cat project...


The #6's and 1450's went to another member where they should fit his build perfectly. While a certain 50 Nor-Tech is getting ASD8 upgrades, and I now have the best diesel drives available to use on this project. Some assembly required.


jeff32 08-03-2016 06:09 AM

Nice project! Keep us posted!

bor 08-03-2016 11:46 AM

subscribed so I can follow you when you forget to give me updates by phone !!

awesome project not out of the book and totally different then others , cant wait how it turns out !

Thank you Dave and Kid turbo to let us be part of this !

mac90sup 08-03-2016 09:46 PM

Will be one of most interesting rerigs out there. Keep us in the loop.

kidturbo 08-04-2016 02:54 PM

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While the coolest part of this build is defiantly the powerplants, the hardest has proven to be the rest of our driveline components. Getting the final gearing correct for the diesels is made much easier with the Weismann surface drives. Shifters dry sump gear cases not only control output shaft direction, they also allow for setting any gear ratio you can imagine.



Down side to this setup, the X dimension on his drives are not same as the old plug in #6's our boat was previously rigged with. Requiring all new engine and transmission mounting locations to match. No lower unit spacer plate options either like a bravo. Set it and forget it. Add that to a transom angle that's different from the drive or extension boxes by 3deg or so. Equaling a bunch of moving puzzle pieces that need to fit exactly. Luckily I've enlisted the help of a couple very skilled members / riggers who share my interest seeing these drives perform as designed behind some big diesel power.



kidturbo 08-06-2016 12:05 PM

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Some bling you'll feel but never see. Straight out of the same Ohio shop that produces the QC4v cranks...


Connected to ceramic coated soup bowls. Still equals 16:1cr


Dd24skater 08-08-2016 05:19 AM

Looks like your going to be busy.....subscribed

cougarman 08-08-2016 05:37 AM


Fun project

2187 08-08-2016 06:02 AM

Hi there guys...and gals!

It's Dave from Sydney, Australia, the owner of this great project.

I have been dreaming of building this project for about 5 years, but have searched unsuccessfully for the right people to make this happen.

The tradition, as far as I can see it, is that a Poker Run Boat can only have a BBC or get off the to speak.

Now we're I live at Northbridge, in Sydney, we have a small bay, just down the hill from were I live and the marina has only 29 wets berths, so it is very hard to get a berth, almost to the point where you need to have it passed onto you....anyway, was lucky enough to score a berth and bought a beautiful day boat of 44 foot, built in Australaj in the mid 1990's by Riviera in Australia and called the Diavolo. My model was called the America's Cup Edition and they only made 12. Mine has been completely rebuilt and is absolutely stunning. Anyway I was talking to the mechanics at the Marina about my desire to build a diesel Poker Run Boat and they said why don't you just bring the hull in and fit s couple of 525's and be done with it......and I said well were the bloody challenge in that.......beyond which, the prospect of motoring out of our quiet bay with BBC's would have people run me out of my own neighbourhood.......I hopped onto OSO and found a gem, a nice soft hulled Baja 40 Outlaw and off we went....

It was around March when I went onto OSO and having done so for years without finding anything and now with my boat already paid for I saw a member named kidturbo talking about marinising a Duramax diesel.........we chatted about a day or two and after Ken understood what I was trying to do and after I asked if he would like to run the project, we were underway.

Now all I can say is that Ken has delivered on every milestone and without me never flying anywhere to see anyone. You see us Aussies are brothers of the Yanks, having fought many wars together, the Aussies are inclined to trust a boy from Ohio, Ken, with everything. That's just the way Ken and I have rolled and I have not looked back.......

So now you are looking at a project that should have engines ready for dyno runs in two weeks, then let's just watch the rest of the project unfold from here.......

This project should have the establishment sitting up and wondering what the **** was that boat that went past, which made no noise on its approach but upon passing it sounded like a jet, with four 64mm NRE symmetrical turbos spinning st 300, 2.6mpg at 100mph and not an engine rebuild in stress.

Cheers - Aussie Dave

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