View Full Version : MCX, LQ9, or L-18

08-14-2004, 10:04 PM
I am thinking of ordering a new X-30 but am wavering on the engine. My local dealer is helpfull but I always want to check other sources. I was hoping a few of you actually own one of the three I am looking at and know from experience the advantages / disadvantages... other than just cost and power. I am looking at the MCX, Cadillac LQ9, and GM L-18.

The MCX is the minimum in power I want and seems to be the most cost effective. The Cadillac LQ9 is a little bump in power but I don't know if it is worth the extra $7,000. The L-18 is only a bit more money than the Cadillac and provides sufficient power to tear off my friends arms on occasion but I have been told it has a vibration issue.

I am concerned about the performance and lifespan / maintenance of each engine. I don't want to start a big debate. We all know bigger is better... but can you please help me. :worthy:

08-14-2004, 10:53 PM
You're going to need to say how you plan to use it for the majority of the time. That's the only way to realistically and logically make a decision. If you're going to wakeboard 80% of the time, you won't need a go-fast motor or one that will pull stumps.

08-16-2004, 11:28 AM
Thank you Jim,

I plan on using the boat about 80% of the time for wakeboarding. About 40% of this time at an elevation of above 5,000 feet. If the MCX engine is powerfull enough at altitude then it is probably the best and most cost effective choice.

But... if running the MCX engine at 90% max opposed to the LQ9 or L-18 at 60-70% max results in more maintenance or other engine problems then it may be wise to go with the bigger engines.

Thank you all for your recommendations and opinions. :smile:

east tx skier
08-16-2004, 11:29 AM
For a comparison, the TBI with 308 horsepower is sufficient to pull my arms out of their sockets and get me up on plane before the wake gets there if the need arises. Unless you have a specific need for more yank, 350 horsepower ought to suit most needs.

08-16-2004, 11:41 AM
My underderstanding on the 6 litre engine is the extra horsepower doesn't kick in until about 5100 rpms and low end pick up is slower in the this engine. My vote is for 5.7 litre engine

08-16-2004, 01:38 PM
Anyone know what the HP rating on the LQ-18 is? I can't seem to find it on the Mastercraft site. Also if anyone knows the weights of the LQ-9 & 18, that would be great.

08-16-2004, 02:12 PM
HP Ratings:

http://indmar.com/images/eng_detail_p_mas_57_Predator_thumb.jpg Predator - 310hp
http://indmar.com/images/eng_detail_p_mas_57_mcx_thumb.jpg MCX - 350hp
http://indmar.com/images/eng_detail_p_mas_60_lq9_thumb.jpg LQ-9 - 385hp
http://indmar.com/images/eng_detail_p_mas_81_L18_thumb.jpg L-18 - 450hp

I have a 2001 Maristar 230 w/ the LTR engine @330 hp. It has plenty of power out of the hole and holds speeds quite well. My recommendation would be the MCX. Anything more is a waste of gas. Plus the engine looks awesome.

For technical information go to www.Indmar.com (http://www.indmar.com)

08-16-2004, 05:38 PM
Excellent Information. Thank you all. I am leaning toward the 5.7L MCX. It sounds like it will have all the power I need and I have yet to hear anything bad about it.

Good point on the torque at low RPMs. I didn't even think about that part.

The coolness factor goes up on the MCX when you add the chrome plenum! I saw it in the 2004 brochure :dance:

08-16-2004, 05:59 PM
As the owner of a 2003 MCX I'm not sure if I would get it again. Trouble free and running great for 13 months :dance: but it does burn up the gas and I hate not being able to make it through a full day on one tank of gas :mad: . Could be that I have just gotten used to it and no longer notice the difference in power. Wish there was a way to see the actual power curves for these engines as well as fuel consumption. I plan on talking to ACME and getting a different prop next year to improve low end torque and give up top end speed.

08-16-2004, 07:19 PM
I just got my '05 Maristar 210 on the lake this weekend and I can tell the the MCX engine is extremely strong 8p . I have not really put the hammer down on it yet, due to trying to break the engine in, but even at 3/4 throttle out of the hole it gets on plane and feels stronger than my '98 LT-1 190 w/ PS tranny :confused: - must be my imagination, but the 210 feels a lot stronger than my 190.

Michael Epp
08-16-2004, 08:49 PM
I also have the MCX in a 2004 X-10; love the great looks!! we're problably 70% wakeboarders and 30% just cruising; recently I loaded it up with 8 or 9 adults and full ballasts; my thought was "I wish I had a little more power"; it definitely took a little longer to get up on plane and reach the desired speed for the Perfect Pass to take over (best option ever!!); my guess is that the extra power from either of these option engines may not be worth the cost (recommendation from my dealer specifically relating to the Cadillac engine); I'll be satisfied with the MCX engine for many years to come; 83 hours on my X-10 so far and loving every hour!!

08-16-2004, 09:55 PM
That is a bummer about running out of gas DanC. You must enjoy your boat from sunrise to sunset. I can't imagine how quickly you would burn it with the Cadillac or GM big block. I wonder if Michael Epp has a similar problem. I noticed the Prostar 209 holds 35 gallons, the X-10 holds 45, and the X-30 holds 61. I guess your telling me I'll be spending about $140 per day (full tank) will the gas prices in Cali. I guess if I can afford the boat... I can afford the gas. :D

08-17-2004, 11:07 AM
Glad to hear that the MCX is performing well for most everyone. I've got a buddy that has an '04 X9 with the MCX, and he loves it - and so do I. But it just doesn't seem to perform qute as well as I thought it would. He claims he is only getting 43-44 WOT (on GPS) and the hole shot is significantly less than my '99 LT1 190 (I am VERY surprised at JCC's experience). Not that I expected the bigger hull to perform like the 190, but he doesn't even keep up with our other buddies' Malibu 23' Wakesetter LSV (Note Hammerhead 385hp).

Can anyone elaborate on the differences between the 197 and 209 with the MCX and LQ9. We do a lot of footn' and I don't want to loose ANY performance (hole shot & top end specifically) over my current boat. Perhaps the 197 with MCX will satisfy me, but my gut is that I will need the LQ9 to be happy. And for a 7K upcharge, it better be exceptional.

I still would like to see info re: the weights for all of the engines - Thanks smitty for the HP ratings.

lakes Rick
08-17-2004, 01:48 PM
Not sure about HP but the MCX sure is cool looking from the pics.. Comes with those new exhaust manifolds???

Looking at the pics the two steps up in HP do not have them??? Is this correct??

08-17-2004, 02:39 PM
Pretty sure my 2003 MCX does not have the manifolds in the picture above. :confused:

08-17-2004, 04:48 PM
but it does burn up the gas and I hate not being able to make it through a full day on one tank of gas :mad: .

If you think that the MCX burns fuel, you'd shat yourself with the LQ or 18. My tournament team colleagues who run the big motors always whine about gas and I find my 05 MCX/slot to be a bit more punchy on the low end than my 04. I think the MCX is the best all around motor from MC to date.

I think the issue here is ballast and boat size. The MCX is more than enough juice for the PS197 and even the 209. I was working a wakeboard tournament last week with an 04 X-Star with MCX. With all three ballast tanks maxed and 7 crew she came out the hole a little sluggish. I wouldnt say it was slow but the motor was working. This was my perception from the safety boat, I was not the driver, so it is tough to say for sure.

08-17-2004, 05:15 PM
6Balls, if your 05 has the power slot did your 04 MCX have the power slot also?
I try not to compare to the v-drives, apples and oranges.
I am pretty sure the 209 version that was AWSA approved was with the power slot but sometimes published information is incomplete. I don't hear about many 209 w/MCX w/power slot, wonder how they compare with a 209 w/MCX w/1:1.

08-17-2004, 06:16 PM
One thing to remember about a boat loaded with people and full sacks- all of that weight wants to stay where it is and water isn't like having tires on dry pavement. You can't argue with physics. The weighted boat sits there and the prop just pushes the water back, but the propwash just slides through the water 'till it starts to move and then can accelerate. Unless there's a more agressive prop, it's not getting out of the hole very fast.

08-17-2004, 07:05 PM

Both boats are MCX/Slot - 04 was the first year for the MCX/Slot Combo. The '05 definitely feels better all the way around, this seem sot be the consenus amongst the Tournament Services drivers since we still have the 04 to compare it to. The only thing is, it is not apple to apples because the 05 is Drive by Wire.

BTW - I always forget about the V-Drive in wakeboard boats....Sorry. I'm a mainly a 3-Event dude.

Oh, one more thing- I did run two 03 PS 197's with MCX 1:1 and found them to be quite ferocious - this is why I have said that I think the PowerSlot is becoming obsolete.

08-17-2004, 08:38 PM
6balls, thanks, always good to hear hands-on experiences. :steering: