I am going to repower my 38 Commander this winter.   I am debating between two new 7.4L carbureted engines current I have 454s or go with 8.1L fuel injected.   There is a considerable difference  in price.   I am replacing the transmissions too.   Any advise or experience with either option regarding performance or other?   If I go with the 7.4L I am hoping my shafts and struts would not need modification.    If I go with 8.1L they need changing from what I was told.   8.1L is more fuel efficient, but has more HP so fuel savings might not be that much given the boat size.    

Thanks,

Mark

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On the 35 the old engines are only inches from the Bulkhead which makes replacing impellers especially "fun"

The 8.1s with their much smaller tranys will significantly improve this space by more than a foot

Heres what the old motors looked like in there 

Odyssey,

Thanks for sharing these pictures.   They've got me really excited.    We have the same boat and I also have the original props.     Replaced the fuel tanks last year with 140 gallons a side.     Last question .. were you able to keep the shafts without modification?     Honestly before seeing your pictures I was considering repowering with 7.4 new carbureted.   The difference in price is only $5,500 to the 8.1s so my decision is made 8.1 it is.    Other have these engines in the 38 Commander with excellent results.   

Thanks,

Mark

I repowered my 36TF with 8.1s almost 2 years ago---they have been spectacular---you will love them.

Hi Mark,

I’ve got tons more pictures- the boat has been updated throughout save for perhaps paint- all new teak outside, new salon door panels, drainage system to prevent water leaking into the aft bilge, rebuilt the deck hatch to the aft bilge (at least 2-4 gallons of water came out when we started drilling it from the underside- was totally rotted inside), two new AC/heat units plus ductwork, new LED lighting + headliner, new teak/holly floor in the galley & v-berth, new toilet & holding tank, new countertops in the galley, upholstery throughout, refinished the interior teak, etc.  Mechanically you’ve seen much of it- engines, generator, fuel tanks, framing & cradles for the tanks, bilge paint and various others.  

To answer your question though- we did buy new shafts, bearings and dripless shaft seals.  Props were original, though we did have them serviced.  

Question for you- do you have pictures you could share of your 140 gallon tanks?  I’m curious how the fit is given the significant increase in size.  Any issue getting them in there?  What is your timeline on the engines and have you done any other major work to the boat?

Thanks,

Mike



Mark Regenhardt said:

Odyssey,

Thanks for sharing these pictures.   They've got me really excited.    We have the same boat and I also have the original props.     Replaced the fuel tanks last year with 140 gallons a side.     Last question .. were you able to keep the shafts without modification?     Honestly before seeing your pictures I was considering repowering with 7.4 new carbureted.   The difference in price is only $5,500 to the 8.1s so my decision is made 8.1 it is.    Other have these engines in the 38 Commander with excellent results.   

Thanks,

Mark

Odssey, that is impressive. You are way ahead of me, but I am headed in your direction. On the shafts did you replace them because if the length or thickness? Mine are 1.5 inches and I was hoping to save that expense. We can take this offline and I can share pictures. Fuel tanks fit just fine and came in out the bildge opening. Aluminum epoxy coated. My boat I put new vacu flush system, new teak on sides of salon doors outside, new airconditioning systems with total BTUs of 33,000, new garmin. electronics networked, replaced rear railings and hinged rail, repainted strips, and added outriggers. Lots left to do like outside teak, interior floor covering and cushions.

Mark

Mike,  here are two picture of my new tanks  .

2018.04.19AmadaRepairs%2812%29.jpg

2018.04.19AmadaRepairs%2814%29.jpg

Hi Mark,

Haven’t forgotten about your question on the shafts- I don’t recall to be honest.  I’ll check with my father (with whom I did all the work) and let you know.  

Where do you boat out of, and how long have you had your 38?

Mike

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