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View Full Version : Thinking of motor swap for the 22 Classic



gusto378
05-24-2013, 11:05 PM
I'm thinking of swapping out my OMC 460 and Cobra drive. No issues with the current set up other than its OMC. I have access to a complete Merc 350 EFI for around $2500. I would need the Merc drive. Thinking about the SEI conversion.

What are your thoughts on this switch?
Would Merc power increase resale?
How much top end would I loose going to the smaller motor?
What would the OMC motor and drive be worth?

Thanks,
Ryan

joseph m. hahnl
05-25-2013, 08:42 AM
Don't quote me " do some research" but I believe that a Mercruiser fly wheel housing will bolt to a Ford. The 350 would be a huge loss in torque. The only disadvantage to a ford is there not as much of selection of after market parts as Chevy. But I think they make enough of the right stuff to make a killer performance motor, and from what I seen performance Ford parts don't cost as much as they use too :wink:

MOP
05-25-2013, 09:46 AM
You will need to dig up a Merc transom shield, not a big deal used parts abound. The SEI drives are a great way to go, I have wished many time that I had not gone to a Bravo it is a bioch believing the Bravado. I would have been many thousands richer and probably still running the same Alpha I started with, if not I would be running a "3" year Guaranteed SEI way cheaper deal!

Carl C
05-25-2013, 10:10 AM
Go with the proven package for performance, reliability and resale value: BBC, Bravo 1.

Donzi_Dude
05-25-2013, 10:15 AM
it is a bioch believing the Bravado. I would have been many thousands richer

NO, say it aint so. the guru's where wrong?

lol!

biggiefl
05-25-2013, 10:16 AM
How many HP is the 350? Why not run the 350 with the Cobra? If you have thru-hull the exhaust will not line up. Lastly...if it aint broke, don't fix it.

mattyboy
05-25-2013, 12:23 PM
another choice would be change the 460 out to a chevy BB and run the KC til it pukes which may be a while.

as far as resale and value go most 22 classic buyers want performance first and unless it is a strong SB they will want a BB.

joseph m. hahnl
05-25-2013, 12:41 PM
NO, say it aint so. the guru's where wrong?

lol!
http://heshatsheshat.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/fart-air.jpg

Pat McPherson
05-25-2013, 02:15 PM
You will probably loose 6-8mph going to a 300HP small block Merc Alpha package. I have to say that before I ran my 22C with 502, I was thinking a small block would be enough power but not anymore. Unless you build a 400HP stroker small block, you will be disappointed with the performance. I agree with Carl, BBC and Bravo drive...

Donzi_Dude
05-25-2013, 02:28 PM
so just why is it again you want to swap a BB Ford for a sb chevy?

fords make more HP dont ya' know. :wink:

lol!

gusto378
05-25-2013, 02:41 PM
Thanks everyone! I was frustrated with the lack if OMC parts around me. I needed a starter solenoid and there were none to be found. Plus the 460 likes gas...a lot.

I will probably hold until something breaks and then go BBC.

JayZ
05-25-2013, 03:07 PM
Thanks everyone! I was frustrated with the lack if OMC parts around me. I needed a starter solenoid and there were none to be found. Plus the 460 likes gas...a lot.

I will probably hold until something breaks and then go BBC.

Good idea!
I would say in for a penny in for a pound. in other words if you are going to do it, do it right. I think I would run the 460 until it dies. Even if it is thirsty ...the cost to due a swap will pay for a lot of gas.

MOP
05-25-2013, 04:16 PM
Another easier route is a 351 Ford bolts right up! I run a SB 22 and love it it does 65.5, you will be down to 60 unless you need more. BB's suck a lot more fuel than a SB, I have a 383 with work and a 750 Holley and still get over 4 MPG. I have been on enough runs to see how much the BB's guzzle!

joseph m. hahnl
05-26-2013, 08:43 AM
I look at it as down time. Any time your going to modify "use something different than what was there". there is a lot of down time. Not the right time of the season to play motor swap, unless it's broken :propeller:. Competitively speaking if you were a Ford guy, you'd keep the 460 and pump it up, to put a Chevy in its place. Don't be fooled that Fords lack Power. Now if Your a Chevy man Your going to pull it and bury it in a six foot hole and whiz on it:wink: As you can tell Carl loves his set up and It is awesome, "no doubt ". A pre engineered 525 from Merc. That is pretty pricey .Probably cost more than the boat, trailer, and engine you got now. Add a Bravo drive , You'll need a 2n'd mortgage. I think you need to choose your battles, for when the time is right. I'm a Chevy man:yes: ,But more so of a Donzi nut:hyper: and, If my Donzi "so close:lookaroun:" came with a Ford , it would leave with a Ford:boggled:. "Just Sayin"

duckhunter
05-26-2013, 10:38 AM
Another vote for keeping the current setup, especially since it's the start of boating season. The KC is a solid drive and I certainly wouldn't swap it with a Bravo unless it took a dump. The 385-series Ford big block is stout and will make a ton of power. Not quite as much aftermarket stuff available (especially marine) as for a BBC, but it's out there. No matter what you do it will drink gas. Like someone else said, spending $20k to do a BBC/Bravo conversion pays for a lot of fuel! Approx 5,000 gallons / 100 tanks full at my local non-ethanol 93 octane prices. How many times do you fill the tank per season?

OMC stuff is scarce, so it might be worthwhile to scour ebay and craigslist and forums to stockpile common parts before you need them. Stuff like starters & fuel pumps & alternators are NEVER available on Friday night before a vacation, but if you're not pulling your hair out looking for them it's amazing how frequently they pop up. Dedicate a shelf in the garage and build up a spare parts inventory. Worst case you won't use it, but I would bet it would help sell the boat someday.

If you really want to spend less on fuel I will trade you even-up for my 13 Whaler. She sips gas! Six gallons lasts all weekend!

roadtrip se
05-26-2013, 10:48 AM
Big block or don't do it, until you can justify it. Dr. D's OMC Cobra has lived for many years behind a 500efi without major issue, and I just saw it run out real well at this year's AOTH. As for fuel economy concerns, at a rally, I would rather run 100 miles at 80+ and top off, than be looking for the pack out back. My cruiser with twin 496s gets better fuel economy than my Classic.

Ghost
05-26-2013, 11:16 AM
Unless it's really sick I'd run what you have for a while. Sure, some parts are getting rare, but as was mentioned, grab a few spares of common stuff and enjoy. The KC is apparently better than any Bravo you can buy. A 350/alpha swap will cost a good chunk and you'll end up with less. If economy is what you want, big picture is run what you have and put the $$ into gas instead of changes. You'll be ahead on $$ for 5-15 years, depending on how much you run the boat. Maybe forever.

If you do change, I'd definitely hold off until you could do a BBC, and only do that if you wanted to build something much stronger than your 460, endlessly chasing more speed. (Also wouldn't rule out doing some tweaks to the Ford, either.)

FWIW

gusto378
05-26-2013, 09:11 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone. It runs good its just a little cold natured. I am going to keep running it as is until it won't anymore...
I gave up on having the fastest boat out there a while ago. I just want it to be ready to go when I am. That said, I also don't want the slowest one out there either. I guess I'll start looking for some spare parts to lay around.

duckhunter
05-26-2013, 11:22 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone. It runs good its just a little cold natured. I am going to keep running it as is until it won't anymore...
I gave up on having the fastest boat out there a while ago. I just want it to be ready to go when I am. That said, I also don't want the slowest one out there either. I guess I'll start looking for some spare parts to lay around.

So does that mean you don't want to trade for the Whaler? :wink:

gusto378
05-26-2013, 11:53 PM
Haha. I've got a 21 CC that's my "economy" boat.

Donzi_Dude
05-27-2013, 04:57 AM
Don't be fooled that Fords lack Power. [/B]

boy and how.

consider we are spinning a superprop @ 5K+ with a warmed up stock displacement/compression 351W in a heavy ass slow boat.

dont you need a 400ci+ chebbie and 450HP to turn that wheel?

lmao!
;)

Carl C
05-27-2013, 08:26 AM
We all have different needs as to how fast we want to go. My goal was never to be the fastest. Box stock 73 mph didn't quite get me to the thrill zone, but close. Low to mid 80s with great acceleration and a reliable package from a reputable builder that can run 80+ all day on the Great Lakes did the job for me. I'm a Ford fan but not of the 460 engine. There are parts out there now to bring the power up though. How fast do you want to go? If you are good with the performance then leave it.

biggiefl
05-28-2013, 01:28 PM
Not sure how much more a 460 sips than a 454 but my 454 @ 3k is getting 3.5+mpg which is awesome. If the prices of 383's pumping 400+ keep coming down while BBC prices keep going up, I might consider a 383 one day. For now I am happy with my lowly 330hp BBC. 65 is good enough for me.

Moody Blu'
08-23-2013, 09:30 AM
Hi tek out of australia makes headers for the 460, as I have a one off set of headers from them(one off design with me and the owner) for my 351w

those headers will boost your power at least 30HP and youll get better gas mileage and wont have to worry about riser gaskets etc..

cams are def out there so are heads.. and the omc KC is a great drive.. dont waste your money swapping it out. mod that motor...

gcarter
08-25-2013, 11:16 AM
I keep thinking that if someone is thinking of re-powering their 22 and spending $15-20K doing it, that an LSX454 is a good choice;
http://www.chevroletperformance.com/lsx/
7.4 L (454)
Small block architecture and weight.
Aluminum heads
Long stroke, should be lots of torque
forged steel rotating assembly
Buy the carbed version, add marine carb and cam.
No reason it couldn't be a reliable 450 HP engine.

Mrling
08-26-2013, 02:29 PM
I have a 1990 22 with the same set up, a ford 460 and the King Cobra drive. The lack of parts can be an issue but the power setup is solid. I plan on running her until she fails, then do a complete repower to merc / brovo. I do love the BB though and it would be a shame to lose all that torque. Its nice loading the boat with 5 people, all over 200lbs and a cooler of beer, and the 460 still does 40mph at 3100 rpm.

silverghost
08-26-2013, 03:58 PM
Hi tek out of australia makes headers for the 460, as I have a one off set of headers from them(one off design with me and the owner) for my 351w

those headers will boost your power at least 30HP and youll get better gas mileage and wont have to worry about riser gaskets etc.

I had Hi Tek build me a custom set of their very unique SS headers for my Big Block Chevy inboard skiboat with very long & very low swooping 4" Indmar skiboat engine style exhaust outlets.
Since I have a center boat inboard style motorbox I needed then to hug my engine heads tightly to preserve space in a very tight & compact clamshell motorbox.

Not really sure I believe the Hi Tek stated 30 HP gain, or better gas mileage claims also made by them.
My experience with an otherwise stock BBC HO showed No real horsepower gain~~~and surely No better gas milage.
Unless you have made other mods on the engine such as cylinder heads, cam, etc

Most of these expensive flashy Stainless Steel aftermarket exhaust systems offer almost exactly the same performance as stock cast iron units.

They sure do look Cool however and hold-up great under constant in-saltwater use sitting in the water all summer long with saltwater always in them~~~much better than stock cast iron.
I have Fresh Water Cooling on my engine ~~~but now with these unique Hi Tek SS headers my exhaust system will now last as long as my engine.
and~~~it's always better to get rid of those pesky sometimes leaky riser to manifold gaskets.
My units also have large Camp zinc annodes in their 3/4 inch bronze drain plugs to protect them from electrolytic errosion.

My custom BB Chevy skiboat HiTek units cost $1800. about five years ago before you fator in the high shipping & import duy from Australia. HiTek did build exactly what I needed based on my supplied very tight motorbox dimensions. They arrived within a month after my special custom order. And they fit perfectly & look super !
Great Service from "way down under" !

Keep your Ford 460 & King Cobra OMC drive~~~
Both hold-up very well ~~~for a very long time .