View Full Version : 22 Classic upgrades

09-05-2011, 08:27 PM
Picked up my new 2002 22 Classic. Been running it about a month now and am starting to figure out what mods I want to make. Already decided on 280 K-planes. Headers im down to CMI or Dana's. I want to add external steering also and this is where i'm lost, anybody have any opinions on which brand, model, etc?

Carl C
09-05-2011, 08:37 PM
You shouldn't need k-planes. Putting expensive exhaust on a stock engine is a waste of money. You may see no speed gain or maybe 1-2 mph at best. Steering is nice and Zeiger sells a system ready to install on your boat with pre-cut hoses and drill guide and everything; If you specify a 120 cc helm you will have fewer lock to lock wheel turns. Your money can be better spent. Is it a 496 HO now?

09-05-2011, 08:47 PM
yeah 496 HO. I'm on the Chesapeake so i'm in bigger water alot. A guy i talked to that ran the 280's said they are priceless in bigger water. I also talked to one of the techs at Donzi and he told me that re entry in rough stuff will be alot more controlled. He described it as making the boat think its bigger, for whatever thats worth.

09-05-2011, 08:49 PM
Zeiger is perfect for the 22. Add a front cabin like Carl did...

09-05-2011, 08:56 PM
dana's no good! cause reversion,,take it from carl on the cmi's,,,he did it ans wasted money...cmi's are only good for a few years in salt water and sometimes onlt good for 1 hour :boggled:..lots of problems for the 500 & 525 efi's and merc or cmi wont do a thing about it...lots of 525's distroyed over them..

280's on a 22 will stuff the bow and will probably sink the boat if your not careful..
if you want to go faster with your 22 save your money and sell your motor and get either a standard 502 mpi,,500 or a 525 efi..way better motors.:shades:

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tipical 496

09-05-2011, 09:34 PM
how many hours were on that 496?

09-05-2011, 10:02 PM
ask yeller

roadtrip se
09-05-2011, 11:03 PM
Steering is where I would start. Zieger, IMCO, Hardin-Mayfair-Marine Machine, and Latham are all great systems. I have run Latham since 2001, but there are great systems out there for less money now.

Do not waste your time on tabs, unless you really think you need them for handling reasons. They will be more trouble than they are worth.

Mess around a little with some prop testing. You might be surprised at the results.

Yes, full stainless headers are a waste of time on a 496. Stainless Marine headers have worked for a lot of 22 guys trying to take weight out of the rear of the boat, but don't expect miracles. Again, I have run CMI's since 2001 in fresh water, and they are still in great shape. But I have run a 500 EFI and more now with these headers.

Do some searches here on IMCO shortys. I really like what mine did for the boat, handling-wise, and the ability to turn more prop is a big bonus.

Best bang is starting to look at cubes or blue motors. I like a 540 stroker.

And take your time. You won't be selling this boat any time soon, and there is lots of time to start the upgrades.

09-05-2011, 11:26 PM
seems like alot of mixed views on the site concerning the 280's but some of you guys appear to be having good luck with them. i would think that if you run them from a couple clicks above neutral to up at speed they should clear fine and it would be tuff to stuff. maybe im missing something but what the guy at donzi said makes some sense. at nuetral or slightly above the big tabs extend the stern which "should" in theory give a more stable and controlled landing since the stern hits first. i would think the tabs would have to be buried to dive the bow and then i agree, you created a submarine.

09-05-2011, 11:43 PM
what kind of handling improvements did you see with the shorty? Steering is #1 on the list and tabs i think are a neccessity in the bay here, at least 150's since the plates are interchangable if they are not enough, if your going to be able to run it. i hate the bennets, they are slow as molasses. i'll take everyones advice and not dump $$$ into the 496, didn't realize how "popular" they were!

09-06-2011, 12:28 AM
I have an 89 22 classic and I ran in the bay by the key and bay bridges and I have a imco 2 shorty 14in tab and imco external steering I love the set up only thing that slows me down is heavy boat traffic on thing is with the shorty shape turns at a higher speed can be scary

09-06-2011, 07:36 AM
I added the 280 tabs on my black hawk edition and it made a huge difference , I run in the bay and it does make the boat track straight after re-entry but thats just my 2 Cents:wink:

09-06-2011, 07:59 AM
The first thing you should puchase is external steering, before spending a dime on anything else. Tabs are last thing you'll need unless your in the 90+ range. My boat has them, as I'd rather have 24' than 22' at a high speed. Tabs also can get you in alot of trouble guick, if you don't know how to use them.

09-06-2011, 02:22 PM
I boat some in the upper chesapeake bay (freshwater) so I understand your handling concerns, you can get into some nasty water at times on the bay for sure.

So the first upgrade I would do is steering, the Zieger system is awesome IMO and like Carl said they already have them made up for a 22 classic. Forget the headers I have Dana Headers on my 496 HO saw a little better midrange but thats it. Next upgrade I would do and am planning on doing on my 22 is a shorty, u should see about 3-5 MPH increase and better handling. If you do the steering and shorty then do some prop testing because that will help in the handling department as well. The trim tabs I would not mess with until I did the other upgrades first, you might be surprised what some prop testing, steering and shorty will do for your boat.

If you really wanna get serious on power dump the 496 HO and either do a merc blue motor or a 540 because there is no substitute for displacement and horsepower IMO especially in these 22 hulls....I plan on doing a blue motor someday myself because the 496 is a great motor but when you run with other 22's with more HP you kind of feel slow:wink:

If you get up to the upper chesapeake bay area let me know Dr. Dan (teal 22 with a 500 EFI) and myself (red 22 with a 496 HO) run around up there once in awhile:)

Take care keep us posted on your progress with the upgrades..


PS Just for your information I have a 2005 22 496 MAG HO, has Zieger steering, Dana Headers and run a labbed and tweaked 26P Bravo I for rough water and better handling, and a 26P Turbo TXP for top end and ok handling...

09-06-2011, 03:29 PM
I have heard for many years now that the 375hp 496 is MUCH more reliable than the 425. What is the concensus here?

09-06-2011, 08:22 PM
Your Bennetts will respond a whole lot faster if you add a second pump (one for each tab).
A second pump is a heck of a lot cheaper than a set of K-Planes.
I agree w/others that longer tabs on a 22 aren't generally needed.

09-06-2011, 08:57 PM
good to see someones having good luck with the k planes as i'm still leaning that way. i am taking everyones advice and going to get the zeiger kit right away. I was thinking about the 2" shorty, my plan was to run with the new steering first and feel the difference then go there next. as for the blue motors, that's always the goal. i had a 2001 hull with a blown 454 in florida i almost bought but the guy was making me take a junk trailer he thought was a diamond for big $$$ so the deal fell through. i was going to go big straight out of the gate with that one if i got it. this boat came up and while it wasn't my first choice in power, it was in beautiful shape. I'll live with the 496 until i do everything else first but i'm not thrilled with the low end and mid range on this motor. The boat doesn't feel like it will handle anymore on the top without the handling mods you guys are suggesting so that sounds like the better direction to focus on first. how far north are you guys in the upper bay?

09-06-2011, 09:19 PM
second pump, that's something to think about.

09-06-2011, 10:26 PM
also keep in mind when and id you install the 280's you will have to beef up the transom so you dont put the tabs theough the weak out sides of he transon..

09-06-2011, 10:40 PM
would you need to beef the transom if only doing the external steering and not the tabs?

09-07-2011, 01:42 AM
[ QUOTE=$originalposter]{$pagetext}[/QUOTE]

no! have a look inside the engine compartment and you will see what im talking aboutm,,you will see how theirs no wood and extra fiberglass to support the extra stress that the 280 tabs will put on the transom..

09-07-2011, 07:39 AM
Listen to mike.
I ended up adding an additional three courses of 1708 bi-directional stitchmat to the thin outer panels of the transom.
The thickness went from about 5/16" to 11/16".
It needs it.

Carl C
09-07-2011, 07:40 AM
[ QUOTE=$originalposter]{$pagetext}[/QUOTE] Qoute function looks broken....No the 496 is not better than the HO version. Both are good reliable engines but just not enough power for some of us and if you want to really increase the power you have to redo the whole engine
[ QUOTE=$originalposter]{$pagetext}[/QUOTE] Fixx, what year did they go to the fully cored transom?

Sweet Cheekz
09-07-2011, 08:25 AM
Steering first

Shortie Second

280's third
Sorry guys but anyone saying big tabs are worthless doesnt have them. There is no downside to tabs except cost
They never hurt the boats ride used properly and in rough water they can improve the ride. They are expensive and you must reinforce the area they are mounted in, and make sure the steering ram is mounted to a beefed up area too but you will love them.
280's are the ticket

Skip the headers

My .02


roadtrip se
09-07-2011, 11:44 AM
Are about as controvesial of a discussion topic here as motor oils. It really depends on your boat and set-up.

One idea if you must go this route, is to use stainless steel backing plates. You should utilize these for your steering rams installation, too.
In my opinion, the modern cores can hold up to the pressures of steering and tabs, given proper backing.

Anyone running a blackhawk drive is going to have a different view of tab use. Apples and oranges, when you compare these set-ups.

I don't run any tab at all, never have. And I run at extreme numbers, in big water. Mr. X is running no tab at all with the Ilmor boat at over 100.
If you have to run tab today under normal conditions, which your hull might require, start looking at balance and set-up, like steering and shortys.

Again, if you must, I would start with a 150 or equivalent. You can always go bigger. Keep in mind that you are going to have re-finish the transom for the new mounting plates, as the Bennetts mount differently. The downside to the lengthening the hull argument is that you can hook a tab at the worst time when flying and landing the boat and tip or lunge suddenly to one side unexpectedly, they scrub speed if not mounted way above neutral, and they're something else you have to mess with, when you should be focused on what is in front of you.

My opinion. I would do it only if the boat absolutely requires it.

09-07-2011, 12:27 PM
Everyone has given good advice so far.

But just something to think about.
Why not spend as much time as you can behind the wheel for the rest of the season and learn to get as much out of it that you can so that when you do start making changes, they'll be meaningful?

09-07-2011, 01:51 PM
BOBMX we are all the way at the top of the chesapeake we usually splash the boats at Anchor Marine on the Northeast River.....look us up if you get up that way..

09-07-2011, 02:22 PM
everybody has great points and all the feedback is much appreciated. i'm going to do the steering asap as it sounds like no matter how much seat time you have you need to do that regardless but doing the other mods in steps and testing the effects of each one makes alot of sense. with a little bit of tab and the drive trimmed out a little better than 50% it seems to run the best at speed but it still starts to come "a little unglued" at WOT especially when i pull the tabs off. im going to check the gimbal ring too. everyone talks about the imco 2" shorty, what about the sportmaster? any difference in handling between the two?

09-07-2011, 07:50 PM
Fixx, that's misleading to post pics of my 496 and call it typical. Despite what happened, I still really like the 496. I think it's a good engine. What happened to my engine was my fault, not a weak engine. I'd still be running it (with the supercharger) if I hadn't F'd up.

Bobmx, here's my opinion: Older boats can't be compared to newer ones such as yours. They handle differently. MrX has a newer one, but you can't compare to his either because it's a one-off. It wasn't a production model by any stretch of the imagination.

Can you get into trouble with longer tabs....YES. Can you get into trouble without going to longer tabs....YES.

No offence to anyone else, but find out who has longer tabs and ask them. That's where you'll get real-world feedback.

FWIW: I have a longer than normal set of Bennetts, but am ditching them for a set of 24" Eddie Marine's. I'm positive it will be an improvement on my boat. Also, the newer boats have the entire transom fully cored. I will still be adding reinforcement where I mount the tabs though.

09-07-2011, 08:54 PM
I think I will leave my 22 as a 65+ boat. If I want to go faster I will buy a members boat here who already spent the "extreme" amount of money they will never recoupe. Personally I think 65-70 is plenty but that is another debate. I honestly don't think I want to do 85 in a 22. Then again I never wanted to do 85 on a quad which was probably just as much as a rush....65+ was fine with me. Don't take this as a slam...I am just Ok with my performance. My friend has a 27 Progression with a 800sci that runs about 120....no thanks! I was on his last 27 with twin 320 Merc outboards at 100 and again...no thanks!

09-07-2011, 09:17 PM
yeller, do you know what year they started to fully core the transoms? i have had alot of boats and i just am used to "using" tabs on everything. i know how to run em and i feel naked without em and you're right, you can get in trouble either way if you dont know what you are doing so the argument can run either way. i had a boat that didn't "need" them but was much more behaved and enjoyable with them and another that you could not run without them. for the record, i would probably put tabs on my bathtub if i could find a place to mount them...right after the steering!

09-07-2011, 10:13 PM
I guess I'm with biggiefl, and happy enough with toolin' along at a bone stock 72 mph.

Several years ago we lucked into an incredible 36' Skater ride, at 133 mph, so at least I've got that unbelievable experience to remember!
(Here's the back story): http://www.donzi.net/forums/showthread.php?45539-What-a-ride!!!&highlight=grand+haven

The other (totally tragic) back story is that the boat we rode in ("Pammy") was owned by Kevin Sellers, who died in an accident on Lake Cumberland in 2009.

Thanks again for the ride, Kevin!

09-07-2011, 10:32 PM
Ditto....I was happy if she broke 60 as you are 2' above the water. The fact I am 65+ I am tickled pink. If I wanted faster I would have spent $10k more on the 22 with a 500hp engine doing 80+....again no thanks.

09-07-2011, 10:54 PM
biggest improvement to any boat is seat time

should always run a boat for a year the way it is then decide what you want to change based on your experience

i had 280 kplanes on my blackhawk as well but that was a blackhawk not a std 22 so it doesn't apply to this

roadtrip se
09-07-2011, 11:37 PM
Sportmaster has been tried and doesn't work very well on a 22. Several guys running the IMCO stuff with good results. If you go this route, I would be happy to help you with set-up for handling, as there are a few tricks with this drive.

I had several offshore boats that needed tabs to run effectively. Some of the 22's do, some don't. As I have said and others have said here, there are a lot of other set-up issues that can be addressed with the typical 22, 496 or not, that can settle the boat down. Each boat is different and there are no general rules based on the vintage of the boat.

I ran 80+ with a 500EFI for a decade. After the latest go-around of enhancements and changes, including much more power, the thing is more stable than ever, and definitely more so than it ever was, at 80. Just takes time, testing, and a good set-up. I also agree with the seat time suggestion, so you will know your base line starting point.

09-08-2011, 02:15 AM
Thanks, i'll take you up on it when i get ready to pull the trigger. i'm crammin as much seat time as i can, probably 30+ hours over the last month already. by the end of the season i should have some idea of where im going. i hit 74.2 last week and thats where it was coming unglued a bit. its not as bad as when i first got it but still a ways to go before i can say its stable. forum has been a big help as at least i've got some direction now.

09-09-2011, 11:25 AM
im just curious. how fast should a 22 go with a 496 under the right conditions? i have a 4 blade cleaver on it now.

09-09-2011, 11:30 AM
[ QUOTE=$originalposter]{$pagetext}[/QUOTE]

Best i ever heard was 77GPS with a 3 blade, normal around 73-75GPS. Lots of trim, almost to the limit to get those last few mph.

09-09-2011, 11:31 AM
At 74, you're probably at the peak for a NEW-TO-YOU, no mods 496 boat.
I can't think of any that did better out of the box.

09-09-2011, 12:22 PM
there are plenty. this one was a 496/425 bone stock, 75.6 mph gps @5500, 40 gl fuel swinging a 3 blade mirage.http://www2.worldpub.net/images/BL/btlfeb09donzi600graph.jpg

09-09-2011, 01:37 PM
With a 496 MAG 70-72 MPH GPS, with a 496 MAG HO 74-75 GPS....

My personal boat I have hit 76 MPH GPS @ 5000 RPM, one person, light on fuel with my TXP 3 blade prop, however all day long with the 3 blade prop 74 MPH GPS, with a four blade 70 GPS all @ 5000 RPM....IMO where the 496 boats lack excitement is in the midrange you can get to 74 or 75 whatever BUT you need a lot of room (water) to do it in and they need to be trimmed just right, with a higher HP 22 either blue motor or custom built you get awesome midrange and get to the mid to upper 70's rather quick with a top end of 80-84 MPH which is what I like.

I have run a lot with a 500 EFI 22 and he makes me look very slow not only in top end but in the mid range area his boat is a rocket ship from 40 on up....

That is my two cents

PS the graph you posted the RPMS I think might be a little off the 496's rev limiter is set at 5250 RPM so if he is hitting 5500 RPM its not stock.....or hit tach is off...

Carl C
09-09-2011, 01:45 PM
73ish usually. I was able to hit 75 one time only with the HO.

09-09-2011, 04:49 PM
Just to clarify my statement about running 74 so as not to be misleading. I did it ďonceĒ and under what I would call ďidealĒ conditions, 10 knot wind to my back and between ľ and Ĺ tank of fuel. I had been running 72 and a little better all week so I was tickled to hit it. It started getting a bit unstable at that point and I pulled off it right away. Now I see why everyone has been saying get the steering first. Trying to get those last mph on the top with slop in the steering can get a little scary. I also found some play in the gimbal ring the other day so Iím sure that didnít help the situation either. I will be replacing it and adding a zeiger system before pushing it again. I heard several different ways to do it. Someone said the best way was pulling the motor to get to it. If thatís the case you may see a low hour 496 on ebay while itís out as I agree with undertaker about the 496 having a boring mid range. I can definitely see a repower down the road to to get the horses to satisfy. Itís my drag bike all over again. Spending twice what you can sell it for must be the going rate to get snapped back in the seat!

09-09-2011, 05:32 PM
Pulling the engine is definately the easiest way, although it can be done w/it in.
But trying to lay in some glass w/it in would really be difficult.
Something to be aware of.......the shape of the transom off center, away from the gimbal, is pretty complex. There are several radii to the shape on either side of the gimbal.
The reason I mention this is, if you're planning to use metal plates to back the steering and tabs, it'll take some planning. I made some 3/8" aluminum plates to back the steering cylinder outer ends. It turned out to be a small ordeal to flatten the mounting area for the plates.
As I mentioned previously, I reinforced the transom sides w/three courses of 1708 stitchmat. I did this AFTER taking a lot of time to carefully smooth and fill the existing inner surgace. Donzi didn't go out of their way to help out by doing outstsanding glass work there. My Donzi Testa Rossa had some Hynautic Power Planes added in about '93. I added some extra reinforcing in the bottom area where the planes are mounted as I found it darn near impossible to fit inner mounting plates. The mounting bolts simply have extra large washers inside. Of course the transom is nearly 3/4" thick there, so I'm not particularly worried about it.

09-09-2011, 09:07 PM
George....how about that steering wheel?

09-09-2011, 09:21 PM
George , just curious ...............why did you not have the mounting plates milled for the area that needed to be flatten ..........instead of making a small ordeal out of it ?

09-09-2011, 09:30 PM
"George , just curious ...............why did you not have the mounting plates milled for the area that needed to be flatten ..........instead of making a small ordeal out of it ?"

Artie, I didn't have anything milled, I did it all myself.

It's a lot easier to grind a little on the glass than machine a plate.

09-09-2011, 09:34 PM
"George....how about that steering wheel?"

Which wheel are we talking about?

09-10-2011, 10:29 AM
thanks for the advice george. let me throw this out there. if the motor is out and if you decided to do the glasswork on the transom would you take advantage of the situation and re-enforce the stringers since '02 was one of those questionable layup years and taking into account that i'll probably go bigger power at some point?

09-10-2011, 10:46 AM
"thanks for the advice george. let me throw this out there. if the motor is out and if you decided to do the glasswork on the transom would you take advantage of the situation and re-enforce the stringers since '02 was one of those questionable layup years and taking into account that i'll probably go bigger power at some point? "

If you're up to it, or you need a good winter project.
On my TR thread, I reinforced the stringers, and the bottom, both inside and outside of the stringers.
Those years can have some issues.

09-10-2011, 11:29 AM
The tan momo...I will e-mail you again. Thanks!