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Old     (907rider)      Join Date: Apr 2011       04-11-2011, 9:23 PM Reply   
Okay so as a result of my being a couple days late getting my boat winterized I am the proud owner of an Indmar vortec 350 paper weight. Block and both heads cracked. So I'm wondering if anybody can point me words a good replacement block and heads for a good deal. I have researched marine motors and I realize that there's a difference between a normal block and marine block and I'll regret it if I throw in a normal block. From what I've seen I'm looking at about 3 grand with shipping. Just wondering if anybody had any recommendations on quality engines for a good price. Also with gas prices like they are I'm not interested in getting a bigger motor as many of my friends have suggested. My 350 did just fine. Till I killed it.
Old     (lakesurfer)      Join Date: Jul 2009       04-12-2011, 8:15 AM Reply   
I dont know anything about this place or even if they have an engine that will work for you, but I saw it posted on another site
Old     (h20king)      Join Date: Dec 2009       04-12-2011, 8:55 AM Reply   
give these guys a call I think you can buy a brand new long block from them cheaper than going through indmar
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       04-12-2011, 9:07 AM Reply   
$3K isn't that bad....
Old     (kenteck)      Join Date: Jan 2005       04-12-2011, 11:37 AM Reply   
Kem Equipment, there one of big accounts, great people, talk to lonnie, that would be the first place i would contact. tell him ken from ase supply sent you.
Old     (tuneman)      Join Date: Mar 2002       04-12-2011, 11:53 AM Reply   
Contact the guys at Discount Inboard Marine. They sell long blocks to complete engines specifically for inboard boats.
Old     (packrat)      Join Date: Mar 2005       04-12-2011, 2:04 PM Reply   
Don't even consider U.S. Engines, just look at all the complaints they have.
Old     (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       04-12-2011, 2:37 PM Reply   
Is the 3k for a reman or a new block.

I have heard good things from these guys:
Old    SamIngram            04-12-2011, 3:14 PM Reply   
What are you getting for $3K? All the marine components can easily be taken from your existing engine. The camshaft and rotation are all you would really have to worry about. I would buy the same camshaft that you currently have and that will take care of the rotation. When I have to replace my PCM motor I'm just going to use a GM Performance Long Block from Summit and call it good, even if it says it's not a marine engine. I'll just swap accessories.

What do you think makes a marine engine? Maybe a 4 bolt main, but other than that I have no idea what makes a marine engine a marine engine (talking about long blocks here, not a complete engine).
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       04-12-2011, 3:26 PM Reply   
Great point Sam. Even the main may be a stretch as a standard 2 bolt should be able to handle it. Marinized parts are starter, alternator and carb back in the day. All still in good condition and can be grabbed from the paperweight.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       04-12-2011, 3:26 PM Reply   
maybe a diff t-stat, but thats' pry still debatable
Old     (wake_upppp)      Join Date: Nov 2003       04-12-2011, 10:27 PM Reply   
No your right Nacho, boats run 165 t-stat while most cars are 185-195. My first boat was a flat bottom with a blown up Ford 460. I went to Pick & Pull and paid $75 for a 460 out of a Thunderbird, swapped all the bolt on marine parts over, new gaskets and paint, prolly had $300 in the engine and that thing ran like a top for several seasons till I sold it! lol
Old     (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       04-13-2011, 7:25 AM Reply   
Does the 4 bolt main make it more tolerant of the long, relatively high RPM (compared to a car on the highway), cruising that you'd typically do in a boat? Do they not put 4 bolt mains in car/truck engines?

I think I've seen some non marinized engines with steel freeze plugs in them too. The pic of the engine that Sam posted would indicate that it may have brass or some sort of brass colored freeze plugs which would probably be fine. If they're steel it would probably be advisable to swap them out with something more corrosion resistant given that they're just stamped sheet metal.

Also, I believe that the water circulating pump "impeller" (Can't remember what you call it on the circulating pump) is brass/bronze/ss on a marine unit vs. the stamped steel on a typical automotive one.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       04-13-2011, 9:06 AM Reply   
Sparky thats awesome!! Love stuff like that. Got any pics of it? I've got a buddy with a 351W block that I'd build up in a heartbeat if I needed a fresh engine in mine. Even got the heads ready to go to the machine shop. And an intake now that I think of it!

Jeff, I don't think high RPMs matter, and I wouldn't call 3200'ish RPMs high. I think high torque starts would cause more of issue, not wakeboat pulls but with a stall converter off the line.
Old     (norcalrider)      Join Date: Jun 2002       04-13-2011, 2:45 PM Reply   
From another forum that has a long thread on this subject:
The longevity is an issue with the raw water cooling, especially if the boat will ever see salt water. An automobile engine is cooled with, preferably, antifreeze, but even straight water will neutralize itself and stop eating away at the metal parts. On a boat, you have a constant flow of new water, which leads to a higher rate of corrosion. Two areas that are usually "marinized" are the head gasket and freeze plugs. If you are rebuilding the engine anyway, get the marine head gasket, and make sure the freeze plugs are brass instead of steel.

Safe and legal are mostly fire/explosion issues dealing with the fuel and electrical system.


The marine carburetor will be a little different, designed so that the float bowls don't vent into the engine compartment, although the differences are rather subtle (at least to my eye).

The fuel pump has one major difference: it is designed to contain the fuel in the event of a ruptured diaphragm. It is common for a fuel pump to fail by rupturing the diaphragm, which allows gas to leak onto the side where it wasn't intended to be. This gas will then either leak out onto the ground or into the crankcase. For a car, onto the ground is preferred, but on a boat either case is really, really bad! A standard solution to this problem is to have a double diaphragm, with a drain between them. If the primary diaphragm ruptures, the gas will be contained by the second diaphragm and flow out the drain. This drain typically has a hose (usually clear) attached to it which leads up to the carburetor intake. Any gas that leaks is dumped into the carb, and if the leak gets bad enough it will flood the engine, which is a lot better than blowing you to smithereens!


Starter, alternator: rotating shafts with electrical contacts, they make sparks! Sparks will ignite fumes! To prevent the sparks from blowing up the entire boat, a marine starter and alternator will have flame suppression on the cases. The starter and alternator are NOT sealed, they have what is essentially a flame arrester between the source of sparks and the outside. It is possible for a small amount of gas fumes to enter the starter/alternator and be ignited, but the case will hold the small explosion and the flame arrester will prevent the fumes in the boat from being ignited. This flame arrester may look like nothing more than a small screen, but it is so important!

Distributor: Same flame arrester idea as the starter. The advance curves for an automobile are usually not the best for a boat, so you are better off with a marine distributor anyway.

While the fuel system modifications are intended to prevent any combustible fumes from being accumulated, the electrical system is designed to not ignite any such fumes that might be present. You may consider it redundant, but there are other ways to get gas fumes in
(such as while refueling) and other sources of ignition.

I highly recommend that you purchase the marine versions of the starter and alternator. You may choke when you see the price tags, but consider this: gas fumes are heavy, they settle to the bottom. The starter is located about as far down as anything can be. Gas fumes are most likely to settle when the boat is idle, which means that the starter is most likely to be the first electrical item operated. Starters, with out a doubt, make sparks. In other words, the greatest hazard comes from the starter.

Rod McInnis

And another:

I had a target engine (off the shelf from a dealer) rebuilt when it spun a bearing. The rebuilders used a different cam (for the nature of the use rather than highway), racing timing gears and chain (usual higher revs than automotive) and brass vs. steel freeze plugs.

Dropping in the marine electronics (mine was carb, so your application might be different) including the brain and distributor (no spark) completed the deal. Runs like a champ.

So, there's not all that much different. If you don't already have the exhaust manifolds, that will be extra, but isn't really marinizing the 'engine' - and you'll want the marine alternator and starter, probably, too, for the same no-spark reasons. So, all the "hang-on"s will likely have to be bought new or used, but the engine itself doesn't need much modification.
Old    SamIngram            04-13-2011, 3:23 PM Reply   
Yes, all that stuff is beyond the long block and can be transferred over from the original engine. I talked to my machine shop this morning about this (they are rebuilding a CAT engine for my log skidder).

He said that sometimes marine engines have the bosses on the block drilled and tapped whereas a regular engine might not have all the bosses drilled and tapped for the marine accessories. According to him, he has ran into this on about 5% of his marine engine work, and it's usually from a jet drive application.

Other than that, he said that in the old days marine engines would get a different set of head gaskets and sometimes exhaust valves to deal with water recirculating from the exhaust system and a different swinging oil pickup was sometimes used.. This is no longer the case and a standard set of Fel-Pro gaskets already incorporate the changes. The oil pump isn't an issue anymore either because almost every present-day oil pan has a baffle on the return side so oil is present in the pan no matter what angle the engine is running at.

Regarding the 2-bolt or 4-bolt issue, he said that it was no longer a big deal and he regular sees engines with both from marine applications. According to him, in the old days we didn't have the bolt technology that we have today and the 4-bolt main engine was highly desirable in marine applications. ARP has supposedly pushed bolt technology so far that they can achieve similar results with only 2-bolts now. Chevy supposedly now has ARP produce their rod and main cap bolts for heavy duty applications.

He did stress that a common fly-by-night engine rebuilder might not produce a good marine engine and that quality is very important. If the builder skimped on gaskets and bolts and used junk that the longevity of the motor will be in question when it comes to marine applications (he uses only Fel-Pro and ARP). He also said that the old, old school guys that build marine engines usually left a higher clearance between the piston rings and cylinder walls because in many boat applications the engine does not see the high temperatures that a car engine sees. The piston temp is similar but the block temp is generally less. In an automotive application both materials expand and the tolerances are set at X. In a marine application the pistons and rings get much hotter than the block and therefore expand further than the block. This requires a larger clearance so that the pistons can grow more than the block. The only time that the old timers would do this though is on a really high performance marine application like on a hydro or similar racing application. They don't do this anymore though because most of the high-end motors are aluminium with steel cylinder liners.
Old     (882001)      Join Date: Nov 2003       04-14-2011, 4:09 AM Reply   
i had mine doneby the local hot rod machine shop, they usually do motors for scarab,fountain,cigarette, etc, 1700 out the door, took it home and put it in,


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