Eliminator Whaler resto Part 2 - the motor years...


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Sep 25, 2009
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So here is a link to the cosmetic part of this build https://www.riverdavesplace.com/forums/threads/1987-eliminator-whaler-resto.156162/

And now I am moving back to the motor. During the part 1 restoration, I put an Edlebrock top end kit on the original small block chevy. 64 cc heads, performer intake, edlebrock 600cfm carb, cam, lifters, rods and time chain... I plan on reusing all those parts if I can because they only have 2 year and less than 10 hours on them.

Motor ran fine until the end of last season. I think I blew the rear main seal based on how much clean oil was in the bilge with no other signs of leaks. Also pretty sure the extra compression and newness of the top end finished off what was left of the rings based on the oil consumption going on...

Let me preface this with the fact I only expected the short block to go a short distance with a new top end, but it worked fine. Also, I really don't care about pulling motors and playing with them in this boat since it is just my sunday cruiser I use a couple of times a year. I am not trying to build a new top of the line, and state of the art motor that will last a lifetime and go 3000 hours.

I am pricing some crate type short block, but will also look into building my own

Big question for me is what is the best way to get the most out of a 383 stroke engine?
1) replace stock exhaust manifolds with headers into the Y pipe
2) replace stock exhaust manifold with headers and through the transom pipes?
3) when and if to add 3-6 lbs of boost with a roots style blower.

Would like to end up about 450 hp

Basically one day of work to tear it down and now it go time...




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May 27, 2018
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The stock 454 port engine in my antique(ish) cabin cruiser has some 2800hrs on it and is only finally now giving out. I've been limping her around for the last 1.5yrs as she's still running great but has developed a bottom end tick (saved from the scrapyard #2) I've started rebuilding my replacement motor for her as well.

As far as performancy exhaust options, I think the Eddie Marine EMI Thunder performance aluminum manifolds are the best bang for the buck. I mean everybody loves headers but those are about half the price and deliver nearly the same hp return.

I have had great luck with Mabbco Motors based out of Tyler, Tx for multiple motors of mine and they will custom build to order stock-to-mild performance build engines for you. They did the short block in my 450hp 5.0L Foxbox Mustang, and the long block in my Ultra (saved from a trip to the scrapyard) which is about a 425hp L29 454 as well as a couple of engines for boats I've flipped. They have great pricing and machine work is topnotch, just don't order a custom engine block color cuz they can't paint an engine worth a shit lol. With the great pricing comes only a 90day warranty, so at your own risk.... but I have yet to have an issue with them and I've personally done four engines with them.

Oh also, go THRU HULL EXHAUST!!!!