View Full Version : what's the difference between the bravo 1 and X

12-18-2012, 01:03 PM
Looking to source a bravo conversion for my King Cobra.

Is the X much more durable? How much of a premium should be paid (used)?

The power pushing this is just a standard 502 without any mods so probably abound 425 H.P. if I had to guess. I can imagine a cam upgrade in a season or two to bump the power up to maybe 500 h.p.


12-18-2012, 01:46 PM
To the best of my knowledge no one within our group has blown a hump back King even with big power, the same goes for Volvo. But when it comes to black on back there have been many fatalities! If you insist on down grading consider a Diesel X that is what is behind my 383.


12-18-2012, 01:50 PM
A Bravo is all you "need" as they can handle much more than 500hp. Question is what do you "want" and how much more are you willing to pay? Used prices are all over the place. I have seen people selling Blackhawks in pieces and asking $4k and I have seen practically new working drives actually sell for $4k. Bravos are soooo common, condition means everything especially when you can buy a new lower from SEI for $850 w/3yr warranty, now you just need an upper and gimble. I personally on a 22 like mine I would look for a used Bravo and maybe a used Imco shorty. I keep my eyes peeled for the shorty but with my standard 330hp I doubt I would gain much but it would look cool.

12-18-2012, 01:52 PM
Phil...there was guy on here last year(Seattle?) that had a blown KC on a 22 and he sold it CHEAP because he did not want to bother finding parts, etc I believe. I have no problem with the KC but you can keep a regular Cobra.

12-18-2012, 02:13 PM

I like the way you think and I wanted so bad to make this King Cobra drive work. I checked vacuum and pressure stripped it back to bare aluminum and then had it repainted so it looks good and is ready to go but....

If you or anyone can tell me how to make the King Cobra work with an aftermarket non-obsolete ignition and shift interrupt I'm all ears and would love to use the KC drive.

Bottom line is that I can't find anything on the web that provides me a cook book recipe on how to hook up an ignition and ESA. ...MSD used to have the 4489 shift assist kit and that is now obsolete and NLA.

Some would say that with the King being a cone clutch you don't need shift assist but most say you need it.

So now that I'm back on my project I'm exactly where I was earlier in ther year over the summer without having a good idea on how to wire up a shift interrupt being stuck trying to find obsolete parts. The option of simply bolting on a mercruiser bravo and being up and running is getting more and more appealing.

I'd welcome any of you that thinks you can get the OMC King Cobra hooked up wired with an ESA and a non-obsolete Spitfire ignition that wants to fly down to Houston and make a couple bucks - well I'd be happy to discusss that too.

I'll look at the diesel X...


12-18-2012, 02:51 PM
You might not need an interupter, Bravo does not have one.

Carl C
12-18-2012, 03:02 PM
I don't think there is much significant difference. They both have helical cut upper gears and that is where they fail. The XR has straight cut gears and is stronger.

12-18-2012, 03:06 PM
I figure that it could work without a shift assist but it seems most folks that have this drive use a shift assist.

Anyway, Unless I can get some help pointing me I'm going to go ahead and make this boat a mercruiser. ...probably get all the money out of it if I ever sell it because OMC being on this thing is certainly not doing anything to help the value.

12-18-2012, 03:41 PM
the msd units pop up on ebay. here is one that didn't sell from not long ago, maybe contact the seller and offer the 50 bucks they originally wanted?


12-18-2012, 04:16 PM
Thanks for the lead on the MSD unit.

I was on OSO and someone over there with a liberator has been running his King without a shift interrupt no problem he says he just set the idle to around 850 and it will shift in and out of gear. -something to think about I guess.

12-18-2012, 05:13 PM
Handful of differences. Here's a summary...

http://www.go-fast.com/mercruiser_bravo_sterndrives.htm (http://www.go-fast.com/mercruiser_bravo_sterndrives.htm)

12-18-2012, 05:56 PM
You could swap out the for Merc IV which is more than well proven then use the merc interrupt, should be able to do that deal for a few hundred where as the swap will break into a few thousand.

12-18-2012, 10:09 PM
I have a '93 22 Classic with a King Cobra on it. I swapped in a complete '99 Mercruiser 454 MPI Magnum motor (385hp) The motor was an easy swap infront of the King and I have no shift issues. The idle speed is around 650 rpm and I run a 24 pitch prop. It was a plug and play for the wire harness to the boat also. The 502 in your boat has a idle spec of between 600 to 700 rpm. (550-650 for a 454) If you keep your idle at the lower end of the specification I dont see any problem with shifting into or out of gear. If you installed a more aggressive cam and had to raise your idle speed (and had a higher pitch prop to take advantage of the extra hp) there might be a concern.... :eek!:

12-19-2012, 12:09 AM
Ditto w/johnny50....idle speed is in gear, not neutral. Keep an eye on your plugs, if too clean bump it some due to intrusion.

12-19-2012, 09:00 AM
I've found a complete take out of a bravo 1-x with less than 25 hrs on the drive. The drive and all the other stuff I need ...transom assembly, rams, pumps, bellhousing, shift bracket, powersteering pump ram etc can all be had for about $5,000.00.

THe drive unit was sold as NOS to the current owner and for some reason the data tag does not have a serial number on it. What are the visual identifiers to confirm that the drive itself is a 1x rather than just a 1?

I'm a bit torn on what I'm going to do here. I may just get to work buttoning everything up over the holidays with the KC drive and call it done for now. Then again, I think if I should change over to the Mercruiser stuff the boat will be much more marketable and probably worth more down the road. -although not necassarily better as it seems lots of y'all think the KC Hump is a superior drive.

On that note does anyone have any info on the boat characteristecs of a KC boat vs a bravo boat? I know they are stronger etc but does the ride change with that heavy drive hanging off the back?

12-19-2012, 09:16 AM
For 5k you would probably get your money back on resale. From what I have seen in the market the average price gap between Merc and Bravo on a 22 is about $5k. It also gives you the benefit of putting on a shorty lower and the huge Mercruiser aftermarket is a nice thing to have.

The KC with transom assembly should be worth a solid $2k, although it may take a bit to sell and you may have to sell separate.

As far as telling if it's an X... Is it the new swept upper style or old style drive? The new ones have a finned top cap and an X sticker on the back. The finned top cap on the new style is really the biggest thing.

The old ones might have said diesel or ?

12-19-2012, 09:33 AM
7412974130[ QUOTE=$originalposter

Here is what I have for pics

12-19-2012, 11:17 AM
The serial should be on the side imprinted in the sticker under where it says MerCruiser. check again to be sure. If it's not there and the guy bought a drive and engine package check the engine as it should have the drive # listed on it somewhere as well.

Either way, it's definitely at least a Bravo 1 and there isn't much difference between the 1 and the 1X. If you can't confirm it's an X just pay for it like it is a standard Bravo.