View Full Version : LT-1 Versus 351 Ford (carbed) which is more reliable?

10-30-2009, 07:40 PM
I'm dancing around the purchase of two very sweet boats. One is a '93 with the LT-1 motor and about 220 hours, and the other is a '93 with the Ford 351 motor and about 120 hours. The deciding factor may be the engine reliability. Anyone have a mechanical preference between these two engines?

Thanks for all the sage advice I'm about to receive!

JP :)

10-30-2009, 07:47 PM
Lt1 without a doubt! Had a 94 351 and a 98 LT1, with similar props and trans, there is still a noticable difference between the two engines. Holeshot was better with the LT1, smoother acceleration, and more top end. The other question is what transmissions are on the boats? Powerslots vs. 1:1 can also make a difference.

10-30-2009, 07:50 PM
Thanks Uncleboo! Both boats have the 1:1 velvet drive. Forgot to mention that!

JP :)

10-30-2009, 07:52 PM
What about reliability and maintenance? Did you notice much of a difference there?

JP :)

10-30-2009, 08:01 PM
Which wake did you prefer, the '94 or the '98?

JP :)

10-30-2009, 09:56 PM
I definitely preferred the 94 wake for skiing 28-30, the 98 can actually throw a decent wakeboard wake with the right combo of ballast. If you are running above 30, then they both get real flat for skiing. However, the 98 has a bump in the wake below 30. EFI on the LT1 was more reliable (in my humble opinion). Both engines should run like tops as long as you take care of them (and have been properly serviced).

10-31-2009, 12:44 AM
Thanks again! Good to know. The ford is about $3000.00 cheaper, I was just guaging whether it would be worth it to me or not.

JP :)

03 35th Anniversary
10-31-2009, 05:16 AM
Thanks again! Good to know. The ford is about $3000.00 cheaper, I was just guaging whether it would be worth it to me or not.

JP :)

Is it the 351 Ford the 240hp or the 285hp?

10-31-2009, 07:16 AM

10-31-2009, 09:36 AM
I have a '93 with an LT-1. It has 1300 hours. Still snorts like a bull. Truly a very impressive engine. It hasn't needed anything major in the way of repair.

The only part that I have had to replace hs been a fuel pump...and that was an easy fix.

10-31-2009, 12:10 PM
Is it the 351 Ford the 240hp or the 285hp?

It's the 285hp engine. The original owner has never had any problems with the carb, but he lives on the lake and is never running the boat for more than an hour at a time, so I can forsee possibly having to swap out the carb - but I rarely run my boat for hours at a time either....

Thanks for all the great information!

JP :)

10-31-2009, 12:41 PM
I love both engines but given the choice I'd go LT-1 everytime! Sooooo much fun to drive not to mention the cool factor of having a vette engine in your boat.

I think both engines are reliable but I love turning the key and having the boat start. I've owned carb'ed boats before and they are great, but I got tired of the finiky starting and constant flooding that seemed to plauge mine.

10-31-2009, 01:28 PM
I would go for the carbed 351. While a carb can be finiky, any back yard mechanic can work on it.

Although finding a good carb guy is getting harder to find.

03 35th Anniversary
10-31-2009, 02:29 PM
1:1 = 240 hp, IIRC

LT-1 = aluminum engine component

351 = bullet-proof.

The 93 I have has the 285hp with the 1:1

10-31-2009, 04:07 PM

03 35th Anniversary
10-31-2009, 04:17 PM
You are the exception Johnny. Good to know.. It's been a while since I fooled with the Fords.

From what I understand alot of them came with that package. It's not a change I made.

I just up the HP!!! :D

Jeff Lyman
10-31-2009, 04:28 PM
I have a 285hp Ford HO, 1993, 205 it just hit 1300 hours this summer and so....far it's been a good runner. Although the carb had issues until I rebuilt it completly and yes cold starting a bit troublsome. BUT...other post are right on it has to be the easiest boat motor combo to work on and cheap to. Go for it!

PS. No powerslot needed this engine has enough power to rip your arms off!

10-31-2009, 10:40 PM
Thanks again fellas! The ford is on a beautiful Stars & Stripes, so that pretty much settles the question. I was a little apprehensive about not getting the powerslot (we have a very short lake with just enough room for a course - not much setup time), but from everyone I've spoken with, that shouldn't be an issue with 285 horses.

I would have certainly preferred the corvette engine - they just look BOSS - but I also know I'll be plenty happy with a carb.

Thanks again for the comments! Here's a picture for your efforts!


JP :)

10-31-2009, 10:50 PM
Here's another picture.


JP :)

10-31-2009, 10:55 PM
What the heck! Here's another one.


JP :)

11-01-2009, 12:18 AM
That water tractor will get it done on a short lake/close entry course.

11-01-2009, 12:25 AM
I have a 91 with the 260hp and a 4 blade prop. Getting a skier up with full throttle isn't necessary, most people it will pull the handle out of their hands. I go 3/4 throttle 99% of the time.
I agree it's easy to work on no computer to confuse things. You can do most of the work yourself.
It looks like a great boat you will enjoy it.
PS NEVER enough pictures

11-01-2009, 01:00 AM
Fair enough! Here are some interior shots.




and finally


JP :)

11-01-2009, 08:06 AM
I would get the S&S regardless of which engine it has.

Hell, I would even get it without a engine.

Jeff Lyman
11-01-2009, 09:27 AM
Nice boat good choice. I could not imagine crawling under and over that arch during ski runs with a few people in the boat and after a couple adult beverages. My guess that will be the first part of your new MC hanging from the rafters in your garage.

Carefull of that big bad Ford....the first time I was pulled up on one ski with my then new to me 93 205 Ho it ended my skiing for 2 months. Ripped the cartilige between my ribs, you will no the sound it makes is a clicking snap noise like unsnaping your vest....it hurts!

Again Nice boat...enjoy!

11-01-2009, 09:47 AM
Good choice! Beautiful boat (and nice boathouse, too!)

I second the watertractor and excessive pull comments. Even with a measly 240hp 351W, I've learned to just let go of the handle when I hear the carb secondaries snap open if the newbie driver-in-training gets overzealous.

11-01-2009, 09:54 AM
I had the red and platinum 1993 stars and stripes with the 285hp ford. It ran awesome. It had roughly 1400 hours on it whenI sold her to a friend.

During that period we also had a few LT-1's on the lake and this Ford could hold it's own against 'em!

Little cold natured, vapor locked a bit if you did not constanlty run the blower...

LT-1 is a nice engine to say that you have under the hood, but the Ford is just as impressive.

carbs are easy to fix....LT-1's, well.....they be going to the shop!!!

11-01-2009, 10:42 AM
Ok Ok, let's not be gettin into the Ford vs. Chevy here on TT. I love these boats regardless of the engine, I'm a die hard chevy man, but love the cummins diesel over the duramax ANYDAY! I'm a die hard chevy man, but I'll take a 351 mastercraft over an equally equipped indmar or lt1 mc if the money is right ANYDAY! Hmm, so maybe I'm not such a die hard chevy man:confused:

I'm goin back to my cave to re-think things...:(:rolleyes:

11-01-2009, 10:44 AM
And just WHAT THE HECK am I doing on TT right now?? I've got a damn boat to finish winterizing... must've been all those coors last night. :D:cool:

11-02-2009, 12:19 AM
That is a great looking S&S. You're making me jealous :)

11-02-2009, 09:27 AM
you should start a thread with all the pictures you have of your 93 S&S 190 :D ;)

11-02-2009, 10:11 AM
jipster, do you have any pics of the 93 with LT1, just curious. I have a 93 s&s like the one you posted pics of but mine does not have the wing. mine has the 285 hp HO engine with powerslot transmission. it pulls great. the 351 engine is easier to work on yourself since the LT1 would require a computer to work on the EFI. the carb on the 285 HO engine can be troublesome as noted on some posts here. mine has been pretty good. the two carbs are 4160 and 4010 and I keep forgetting which one is the problem one. good luck with our purchase.

also, great find in the s&s with only 120 hrs. I thought I did good finding mine with under 400 hrs.

Panda Cub
11-02-2009, 11:29 AM
This thread is really helpful! I'm looking at boats in this year range so I can afford to get a tow vehicle as well.

The cool factor of the LT1 corvette is a big deciding factor for me.

11-02-2009, 04:41 PM
I'm a die hard chevy man, but love the cummins diesel over the duramax ANYDAY!

Thread jack....
Oh Boy!!! Talk about opening a can of worms and starting a religous debate. :) Like this topic hasn't been beaten to death a million times on diesel forums.......and it feels like I have read most of them. :o The Cummins is a excellent engine and I have nothing negative to say about it except the first two generations in the Dodge trucks were too loud. But I think the Duramax is just a good and the only knock has been it's reputation, which it didn't have like the Cummins did. Now - 9 years later the Duramax has proven to be an excellent competitor and opening a lot eyes to it's potential.

The bottom line expressed on most other forums and I agree from witnessed experience is the problem with the Cummins is what's build around it. Flame suit on..... ;)

11-02-2009, 04:49 PM
I am the original owner of a 1991 Prostar 190 with the Indmar Ford 351 carburated engine with about 700 hours on it. All I have done is basic winterizing/dewinterizing, tune up, etc., and have never had any problems, repairs, etc. I have enjoyed its reliability. I just purchased a 2005 X7 with a GM 350 MCX engine, MEFI4, etc., and while it's a dream of a boat, I do worry about what I'll do if/when the MEFI messes up and I'm far away from a dealer.

11-02-2009, 05:31 PM
shadrax theres quite a bit of info on mefi if you check around on the net
check this link for a diagnostic manual for the mefi 4 http://www.pleasurecraft.com/manuals/L510005P.pdf its for pcm but theres a lot of info in it..

11-03-2009, 03:01 PM
Thanks, I bought that book from Discount Inboard Marine for $20.00, and it is excellent. Does anyone know if the Rinda Codemate DTC reader will connect to the MEFI4 interface on my 2005 X7? thanks