Well the Port 431 gave up the ghost on Saturday either swallowed a Valve or broke a piston. It looks like I need to get moving on getting the 454's ready for the spring. If anyone needs an oddball part for a 431 let me know. I am planning on just scrapping the engines.
Well here is what I know.
When buying the boat I had full knowledge of the 431 issues. With 1200 hours on each I knew they were on borrowed time. I can say that the fuel burn was .8 mpg @19.2 MPH so not as bad as everyone says. Oil burn was approx. 1/2 Quart per hour. There are many purists out there that say fix them. Well unless you are footing the bill the answer is no. I knew they were tired and needed a rest. They got me 1 1/2 seasons so good for them. We plan on cruising and I will feel much better with a pair of fresh 454's and velvet drives.
I grew up on a 35' 1957 Connie with Hercs and I know what it is like run for 2 hours fix for 3. I spent more time in the bilge fixin than I did relaxing and I enjoyed it. Having a 1965 38 with the 431's is a blast nothing like factory fresh. But now it is time to evolve to a reliable supported drive train.
Why not upgrade to a newer engine and transmission combination?
I have a pair of Crusader 454's with Velvet Drive 72's almost ready to go. I gave serious thought to Small Block 383's because I have them but Big Block is the way to go for reliability and power.
As I thought more about this it seems the 454, like the SBC, has become the default standards.
Oh yes a requiem for the 431's. Having worked for a CC dealer in the 70's and 80's in charge of CC parts. I rarely sold many parts for 430, 431 or 427 mainly water pump and ign.parts. I later sold a 42-CC conqueror with 431's and the only thing that went bad was the gearbox. My best friend's dad would only own Chris Crafts from 1952--1985. His last one was a 50Connie with 431's, He would cruise from Portland out into the Pacific every summer and cruise at 12-knots-----no problem until he sold it to a young hotrodder that blew a rod by running it to many times at 4000rpm. Up at the annual Chris Craft show every July----where I have seen about all CC's from the 20's to the 70's nicely restored. A trophy winner was a 1960--50' Connie softtop called the "lovedrive" A "10" alloriginal down to the 431's----his wife was mad at him as he had 6-spare motors just in case. 2000 trouble free hours on the originals. For you 427--drivers we sold a new 36-commander Sport fish with 427's last lasted 5000 hours before anything came apart.