I'm getting way ahead of myself, but just had the random thought....

Assuming the blocks are good, would it be possible and reasonable to somehow upgrade a carbureted 454 to electronic fuel ignition with modern electronic monitoring?  It would be amazing to have something like the Mercruiser SmartCraft display for old engines!!

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Anything and or everything is possible if you want to spend. Just my advice make sure the carbs are tuned good and fill the tanks a couple of times with the saved $. I prefer the carbs, less electronics and things to fail.

Spend your extra cash on the best chartplotter you can buy.  The newest ones allow hook up to important system thru nema2000 sensors. Nema2000 is enabling you to hook up more and more sensors every year. The best thing you can do for your 454's is top notch ignition and carburation. The best way to enjoy your boat is for it to be super dependable!

Holley makes a marine approved throttle body EFI set up. I'm sure it would make the boat easier to start, asside from that I don't believe there's any fuel savings benifits over a properly tuned carb, However if I had to do it again I'd spend the extra and go efi over carbs. 

When I looked into it, I would have to install a sensor in the exhaust riser for the EFI computer.  There were a couple good articles, no one company made all the sensors and throttle-body and other parts certified for marine, but they could all be found and installed.

I've know several people that wanted to do this but could never find one that was approved for marine engines.  I don't know if any are available now since I haven't check in over 10 years, but make sure what every you do the item is approved for the environment you use it in.  Otherwise if something happens because of it you could find your insurance won't cover you.

Just my two cents worth ,but, I have been a mechanic for 45 years and I saw the transition from carbed engines to injected engines first hand and I can tell you that an injected engine is much better for the internal components of an engine .Even the best tuned carb cannot meter the fuel well enough to not have some residual fuel running down into the crankcase .So in my opinion an injection conversion would be much better for the life of the engine . That being said . I have never seen an aftermarket injection system with anywhere near the quality or reliabilty of a factory system .

Besides what better sound and feeling is there then hearing the motors start to sing once the secondaries open up. Just try not to think about how much fuel there drinkin up lol

Pardon my ignorance, but how does fuel run from the carb into the crankcase?

Good Morning Jim.

If your rings are worn on your pistons, you will get "blow by" of combustion gasses into the crankcase, allowing small amounts of gas to get into the oil. On the other hand, if you have a carburetor problem ,I.E., the ethanol ate your float, you will be dumping raw gas into the intake manifold, which will also end up in the crankcase. if you get enough gas in the crankcase, you will lose oil pressure and the engine will start to complain. When you go down and check the oil, you will find it over-full, and rather thin. The next surprise comes when you fill 2 gallon jugs with oil from that engine, and it's still got a quart left. The 454 only takes 7 quarts. Fortunately we do not believe the engine suffered permanent damage. After rebuilding the carb we changed the oil twice that month, and again at the end of the season.

The Holley system is approved 

Byron Schaeffer said:

I've know several people that wanted to do this but could never find one that was approved for marine engines.  I don't know if any are available now since I haven't check in over 10 years, but make sure what every you do the item is approved for the environment you use it in.  Otherwise if something happens because of it you could find your insurance won't cover you.

The Holley system is pretty good, however you need to install everything.That means the Hyperspark and its accessories to go with the Sniper EFI. You will have over a couple of boat units and probably closer to three in cost into a conversion per engine if you do the work yourself.

This system is really tailored to the performance crowd to get max performance.

You will likely not get the fuel efficiency of the newer fuel injected engines in that the new EFI engines have significant internal changes to address parasitic losses. This includes piston skirt design,oil ring design, plateau finish of the cylinder walls, optimized cylinder head for peak combustion efficiency, the spark plugs and ignition coils are now directly connected allowing for a much greater coil voltage and hotter spark.

Like others have said, you will be money ahead to use the Holley money to fill the gas tank several times.

Darin H said:

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