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Old    Paul (paublo)      Join Date: Jul 2002       08-17-2006, 1:18 PM Reply   
I'm trying to give a little advise and direction to my daughter and son in law on what to do with their boat, and thought that I would get some of your opinions.

Background- It is a '95 Ski Nautique that has the PCM GT40 with around 700 hours. They are the third owner and have had it 18 months. Never a problem until now. It wouldn't stay running so it was taken to a CC dealer. They said it had low compression in two cylinders, so the heads were pulled. They saw valve problems that they believe are from overheating. They stated it happens in these older Nautiques- the muffler starts to go and creates too much back pressure, and then the overheating of valves/head. They point out that the muffler had a number of pin-hole leaks, also from the higher temps.

1. Dealer says that new heads are $1600 each and if you put new ones on, you have to rebuild the rest of the motor or it won't hold up. At that point they say it is better to go with a new long block and bolt all of you other stuff back on. Their price- $9000.
I've talked to a popular supplier mentioned often on this site and have a few other options.
2. Get new heads for $750 each and put it back together.
3. Buy a new PCM long block for $3500 and put it back together with existing externals for say $5000 to $5500
4. Buy a new complete PCM GT40 for $6500 and install and be done for under $7500.
5. Buy a new PCM Excaliber 330 Hp for $7750 and install and be done for around $8750.
Options 2-5 would not include taking it back to the dealer. Another local reliable mechanic would do the labor.

All of these would still require a new muffler for $500 to 700 for parts. They plan on keeping the boat for a few more years and then sell. I guess that new heads or rebuilding won't hold value and will still be subject to potential problems. I'm leaning towards the new GT40, but I've been told that the motor is really phasing out and parts will just get more expensive and harder to get. So will this be a negative in the future vs. the new Excaliber with the 5.7?

Sorry to ramble on, but it is a lot of money and not an easy choice. What would you do?
Old    bocephus            08-17-2006, 1:51 PM Reply   
If it were me, I would just take the heads to my local machine shop, have them rebuilt with new valves, guides and springs and put them back on and call it a day. $1600 each for a new head is highway robbery! You could put on a set of these:

for half that price!

A CC dealer is telling them all this??
Old    pwork (siuski)      Join Date: Feb 2003       08-17-2006, 2:11 PM Reply   
Had to put new heads on my old 93 SN w/ 351W a few years ago due to cracking, trying to find heads for it was like pulling teeth, stock new or rebuilt. I think I paid $2k for parts and labor for the GT40 head upgrade.

Before I cast my vote, are they using it for comp skiing or barefooting (3k rpm +), or wakeboarding? If they are using it at high rpm's alot I'd go a new motor, because if the heads are trashed you don't know what else is about to let go. If they are just using it for wakeboarding you could probably get away with just new heads. Even loaded down I'd rarely get above 2500 rpm in my 93 SN.

If they can afford it, I'd vote for the 1) new 5.7 because of the lack of parts available for the ford and not enough $ difference between the GT40 and Excaliber. 2)long block. 3)throw new heads on it and see how long it will last.

Other gear heads might have a different opinion.

(Message edited by siuski on August 17, 2006)
Old    Paul (paublo)      Join Date: Jul 2002       08-17-2006, 2:27 PM Reply   
Yes, that came from one of the top ranked (in customer satisfaction) CC dealers. My other source for the heads says that he has 4 left at $695 each and future heads from PCM will cost $1400 each. So the dealer is marking them up $200 over MSRP. The dealer also said that rebuilding those heads was not an option.

They mostly wakeboard, but pull a skier from time to time.

And (#2), throwing heads on it and see what happens is a real option. They just don't want to throw away $2000+ and then still have to replace the engine.
Old    George Aslinger (mobv)      Join Date: Jun 2002       08-17-2006, 2:29 PM Reply   
I woudl do like Bocephis and go to a head rebuld shop and have the heads rebuilt. Cost under $300. Install a new muffler and run the engine.

Are the exhaust manifolds / risers in good shape, or are they rusted out?

If they really want the engine to last I would take it to a rebuild shop and have new main and rod bearings, rings, etc done. If the crankshaft and pistons are in good shape you will get out for $1200 - $1500 plus the heads and labor to remove and reinstall.
Old    Rich (rich_g)      Join Date: May 2003       08-17-2006, 2:32 PM Reply   
The #3 option sounds about right, but some of the other quotes seem outrageous. I was looking at a project boat that had a cracked block, and got a qoute for an Indmar longblock $3300, shipping $400, and labor to remove the old block and install the new at $1000 to $1200; so just under $5K.
Old    Darrel F (95sn)      Join Date: Sep 2005       08-17-2006, 3:22 PM Reply   
The invertaflo muffler is fiberglass that I believe is eaisily patched. Ive heard of lots of people that have reglassed them. The GT40 heads are available from Discount Inboard Marine for $695.
I have never heard they are phasing out the 351/GT40, that would be bad news. I know it is true many of the pro-tec ignition parts are hard to get.
Old    Paul (paublo)      Join Date: Jul 2002       08-17-2006, 3:33 PM Reply   
Darrel, yes the pin-hole muffler leaks on the outide can be fixed easily. But I have not seen the inside, and from what they said, something must have failed or moved to cause the exhaust restriction. Does that make sense and can it be fixed?

And the heads listed in option #2 were from skidim with a little added for shipping. They were the ones talking about phase out and prices going up.
Old    Leo Lasecki (malibuboarder75)      Join Date: Jan 2004       08-17-2006, 6:55 PM Reply   
My heads went out, they were aluminum. Had them welded, valve job, and resurfaced for under $500.
Old    Tanner Russell (tanner)      Join Date: Oct 2005       08-17-2006, 7:51 PM Reply   
I cracked both heads on an older boat once, and getting them repaired and a valve job costed $550 total after tax. If you can't get a good referal from someone, try groing through your phone book under head cylinders in the automotive section. There's bound to be someone local to you that does head cylinder repair.
Old    Jay (jaybird)      Join Date: May 2006       08-17-2006, 9:38 PM Reply   
I just had a mercruiser 350 chevy built by a very reputiable builder some here in town say he is absolutly the best around. anyway all my block work and headwork included. line boaring, new everything, pistons, total seal rings, all roller rocker assymbley new valves,springs and a new crane Z cam all stainless gasket set ballanced you name it I am out the door for 2000 bones.
just my 02 shop around and ask LOTS of questions
Old    ilovetrains            08-18-2006, 11:41 AM Reply   
As someone who used to build older Ford blocks (had a 69 Mustang) I would take the heads to a reputable shop and have them re-built. Even with labor you would be under 2K and I seriously doubt the rest of the block has any damage.
Old    bocephus            08-18-2006, 2:14 PM Reply   
I see that you are in Phoenix, I assume you daughter is not in Phoenix, is this correct?

I am shocked that most of the others aren't in dis-belief and shock of those prices for a simple head problem.
Old    Paul (paublo)      Join Date: Jul 2002       08-19-2006, 10:00 AM Reply   
Correct, the boat is in Del Rio, Texas (about 2-1/2 hours west of San Antonio). I am not really complaining about the dealer or their approach to the problem. Their prices will always be higher than an independent mechanic or rebuilder. Their cost to check it out, compression check and pull the heads for examinataion was $200- which I thought was reasonable.

I think that the dealer doesn't want to spend $2000 to $4000 on heads and then have everyone upset when something else goes wrong- right away or after 6+ months. They are trying to protect themselves with no risk. I've heard that this dealer has been #1 in customer service.

So this wasn't intended to bash the dealer, just getting opinions on what options others would take if it were your boat- how much money would you put into it (put at risk), before spending the bigger bucks. I really appreciate the comments thus far- any other ideas?
Old    Peter_C (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       08-19-2006, 12:35 PM Reply   
I concur with taking the heads to a reputable machine shop and having them repair the current heads if possible. Even a crack in the head can be easily repaired.

Now the part I would like to add to...what caused the problem in the first place? Was it a lean condition? If the exhaust got hot something was running lean. Usually when valves burn something was running lean. That problem needs to be found and addressed.

So what EXACTLY is wrong with the heads? Is there any scoring to the block?
Old    P. Van Every (boss210)      Join Date: Jun 2006       08-20-2006, 4:06 PM Reply   
Order some ford racing heads or some world products aftermarket heads, change to better roller rockers, and run the bottem end for another 700 hrs. As long as the oil has been changed reguraly their is nothing wrong with the bottem end.If its a carburated motor you smoked a valve probaly running lean. My guess is the second cyl is what is refered to as the sister cyl. When one piston is at a compresion the other is at a intake. With a bad valve that pushes all of the broken valve pices into the sister cyl and fails that set of valves as well.
Go with the aftermarket heads new, use good paint so they dont rust, fatten up your carb & run the old bottem end.


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