35 commander salon with twin Ford 427's.  Pulling them out and re powering with new 454's. 

Questions:

1) does anyone have any links to a swap like this?

2) does anyone know anything or have links to modifying the cradle (not sure that's what its called in a boat)engine mounts?

3) anyone have 454's in their 35 commander?  If so what kinda cursing speed are you seeing (and RPM) also what is your planing speed.

The engine parts is strait forward and something I do every day for a living but have a few questions about proper alignment of the new engine's and drivers in conjunction with the shafts.

Any and all opinions, links and comments are ready.  PS I have the super disk (can located it but I know I have it somewhere). 

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"If so what kinda cursing speed are you seeing"

There are times when a lack of spell check actually makes a post simultaneously funny and much more accurate than if spell check was working...that's one of the all-time greatest, and I mean that as a sincere compliment. lol

I'm working my way through a gas to diesel engine install on my Roamer refit, so "cursing speed" is a phrase that I can personally attest to...it goes up every time the engine install goes wrong. But don't lose faith. You've got a couple of great options. One is to get ahold of Lee Dahlen, who's a regular contributor  here and mechanical genius with these boats. The other is to have welding and metal cutting and/or shaping machines...or know of a local machine shop that can make things to your specifications.

It ain't rocket science, it's worse, because rockets are assembled with parts that have tolerances measured in tens of thousandths of an inch. Measure everything. Make no assumptions except to assume the worst....unless you call Lee, and then it's much easier.

Ha, no kidding I missed that one on my quick proff read (in other words it didn't have a red line under it).  See how technology has taken the fun out of things. 

I looked into/read into swapping in some diesels and quickly decided NOPE.  I feel for you on your conversion but man will she be an amazing boat once you get done dropping in some heavy duty diesels. 

35 Commander Captain

Just get those 427`s re-built and save a lot of cash . Those 454`s  are not any better than a pair of

" blueprinted 427`s "  that produce more torque at a lower rpm range than the 454 engine .

My 35 express will run 22 mph ( gps) @ 2800 rpm & 18 k weight  in freshwater @ 20 ft water depth .

Top end is confidential because of the Sea-Ray lurkers out there on the web  !

Tim Toth

Gosh Tim, with all these 427s being decommissioned, we'll be able to keep ours running forever!

Sounds the the rebuild is good advice if not much is to be gained from the swap.

I saw a program or video where they made up a 'template' of the new engine so that the 'cradle' could be tweaked without having to play with the weight of the real motors. The 'template' was like a tubular metal cage that had the same hull stringer and shaft connection points as the real thing. An ingenious idea.

I have one main reason for wanting to go with 454's over re building the 427's.

1)  New parts availability.  As Matt noted above, with all these 427's coming offline they will have parts to keep their 427's running forever.  That statement would imply that crucial parts to keep your CC 427 running in tip top shape are had to come by (at a decent price that is).  For example where would one find NEW water jacketed exhaust manifolds for the CC 427?  What about NEW parts for the CC 427 close cooled cooling system?  The other parts (the Ford 427 FE parts) can be had NEW with out issues but what about the Chris Craft specific parts? 

454 big block parts are very easy to find and very easy on the pocket book in comparison to custom making new components.

I would really like information on where NEW parts can be found for the CC 427's.

Jim:  We have one of these a the shop I work at that I can use for the mock up. 

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/pyp-2123/overview/

Granted, my boat is a 38' rather than a 35', but my recommendation remains the same. Go with new 8.1's and you will be very happy with your choice! I'll try and attach a post I wrote showing early performance stats after my Repower. Beyond performance, now that I've got 100 hours on these babies I'll tell you the efficiency is around a 50% improvement over the old 427s. And there is NO mystery with new power, you turn the key and they sound exactly the same every single time.

Hello fellow Captains,

I know there a couple of you out there looking forward to this info, and I finally had favorable conditions to get some accurate performance numbers with the new power and running gear. For the benefit of new readers, this is what I'm dealing with:

1967 38' Commander Express
2014 Mercury 8.1 Horizons
ZF 63A 2.5:1 Transmissions
New 1.5" shafts
Tides Marine dripless shaft seals
5" Centek MK II Vernatone Mufflers
Vintage 23 x 25 3 blade wheels

Drum roll please...

2600 rpm, 20 mph
3200 rpm, 25 mph
3600 rpm, 30 mph
4600 rpm, 35 mph

Granted, they are still very new and I may adjust the pitch on our backup wheels. But I'm quite pleased with what I'm seeing so far.
(Maybe someone in the club will want to document this whole project sometime...Char?)

John

Sea Hawk

My 1969 sports cruiser was repowered with twin 8.1 EFI crusaders just prior to my purchase. According to the owner of the marina that did the repower the fuel consumption was cut drastically from the previous power plants, what they were I have no idea. Here is what I am getting out of these motors;

2000 RPM @ 15 KNOTS / TABS TRIMMED AT ABOUT 1/2

2200 RPM @ 18 KNOTS / TABS @ FULL TRIM...... THIS SEEMS TO BE A SWEET SPOT

2600 RPM @ 23 KNOTS / TABS @ HALF

3200 RPM @ 28 KNOTS / TABS QUATER TRIMMED

OVER 3200 RPM'S............ TRIED IT ONCE HAVEN'T DONE IT SINCE....... HOLD ON TIGHT IF YOU DO.

 I sure would be proud to sport a pair of 427 fords in my Commander. Will you be selling them? It would be quite a trip for me from NH.

Yes but They are in less than Ideal condition and will require a full rebuild.  I am the engine guy in our machine shop so my plan is to clean them, blast them, machine them, paint them, blue print and build the lower rotating assembly then sell them as short blocks.  I was planning on building them as car short blocks since there are many more buyers for these engines in the automotive world.  I think I should see 5k-6k (a pc, but maybe im dreaming) for the fresh forged/built short blocks.  

A gen 6 454 big block is just more modern and more efficient plain and simple.  I plan on going Fuel injection on the big blocks.  I would love to rebuild and reinstall the stock 427's.  I think the 427 FE is an awesome engine and way before its time.  Very few production engines come with all the goodies the FE came with.  The only issues is WHERE DO I BUY NEW WATER JACKETED EXHAUST MAIFOLDS for the 427 FE that are less than 5k?  a set of new 454 water jackets manifolds runs $700.    If parts are not available for the marine FE's then what the point? 

Heimlich, back during the real estate boom, when lots of people had more money than sense, 427s were reportedly selling for the numbers you mention. These days, I wouldn't bank on it.

Ebay is still an option for 427 parts. The exhaust manifolds show up there pretty regularly.

I just put brand new risers and HEXs on last year.  Now I got mine barely used, but this is who made them:  http://www.marinemanifoldcorp.com/  Don't remember retail/side.  What more do you need?

Heimlich2010 said:

I have one main reason for wanting to go with 454's over re building the 427's.

1)  New parts availability.  As Matt noted above, with all these 427's coming offline they will have parts to keep their 427's running forever.  That statement would imply that crucial parts to keep your CC 427 running in tip top shape are had to come by (at a decent price that is).  For example where would one find NEW water jacketed exhaust manifolds for the CC 427?  What about NEW parts for the CC 427 close cooled cooling system?  The other parts (the Ford 427 FE parts) can be had NEW with out issues but what about the Chris Craft specific parts? 

454 big block parts are very easy to find and very easy on the pocket book in comparison to custom making new components.

I would really like information on where NEW parts can be found for the CC 427's.

Jim:  We have one of these a the shop I work at that I can use for the mock up. 

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/pyp-2123/overview/

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