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!!
From the discussion that I've seen, and input from my mechanic friend - it sounds like there's really no compelling reason to convert to EFI. If I had to replace the engines, sure. But it sounds like there's not enough advantage to justify the expense and aggravation of changing otherwise.
Thanks for the discussion though!
There was a company, years ago at the Atlantic City boat show that offered an EFI for boats. cost was $1100 per engine. There were two set-ups: one required changing the intake manifold, not an option for Q engines. The other could put a throttle body on existing intake. Both required a computer to run it, sensors and fuel returns along with electric fuel pumps. Both promised a 30% savings in fuel. When I changed my fuel tanks years ago I put in fuel return ports in case I wanted to pursue that option. That said, I love my quadrajets, so I'll probably keep them. They have served me well for 35 years and if it ain't broke, don't fix it, just maintain it. Dave
Thank you to all for the discussion!
From what I have seen, it just doesn't seem worth it to convert. The initial presumption was "if I have to take the heads off, and if it isn't ridiculously expensive, could I add EFI". In practical terms, the answer appears to be "no". Even though it is *possible*, it doesn't seem terribly practical, and wouldn't give me enough of any kind of advantage to justify the expense, effort, and added complexity.
As stated before - the carbs will hopefully be fine once we restore the engines to proper operating conditions. And then... If I *KEEP* the boat running (don't neglect it for years) - hopefully the carbs should be fine for at least another 10 years.