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vwtype53
03-29-2011, 08:13 PM
I have a 1981 Stars and Stripes that I have been preparing for a restoration. It has a Ford 351 engine that I would like to have completely rebuilt. I considered doing the rebuild myself, but would rather have it done by a seasoned engine builder.

First, does anyone know of a good marine engine builder reasonably close to Knoxville, TN?

If I can't find a good shop locally, are there any "mail order" marine engine builders that are recommended? Experiences?

I appreciate all help and information!

thatsmrmastercraft
03-29-2011, 08:35 PM
If you go with a remanufactured engine, Jasper Engines does a fantastic job. They sure aren't the cheapest route to go, but you won't be dissatisfied with their quality. http://www.jasperengines.com/marine-products.php

Slinkyredfoot
03-29-2011, 08:41 PM
How many hours on the motor and what is the overall condition? Do you have pics? It might not need as much as you think it will, just some updates, gaskets, ignition, timing chain among other minor stuff.

I have a 351PC that I refurbed myself, really not that difficult to dig into, one project at a time with your own sweat and blood.

If you have a bit of mechanical aptitude you can provide the labor and save yourself some bucks. Good luck and lets see some pictures.

americanskierJim
03-29-2011, 09:09 PM
I have to agree with Slinkyredfoot. A friend of mind and my self rebuilt my 351W. There not that bad to tear down and put it back togther. Save your money DIY.

JLeuck64
03-29-2011, 11:12 PM
I can recommend this video series...

http://video.boxwrench.net/basic-engine-building.htm

Very reasonably priced. Does a great job of covering the basics for a first timer like yourself. Even though it is geared towards the automotive side it would work equally well for a marine application.

1redTA
03-30-2011, 07:37 AM
I would definately tackle it myself. Have the block cleaned/vatted at a machine shop and the heads R R'd. Then get a hone, some plasti-gauge and set up the rotating myself. Look at vendors for all the parts to replace; pump,chain, bearings, rings, blah blah blah and see if the machine shop would beat them. I used RPM performance in Nashville and he did a very good job on my LT1. It may have helped that Darryl, the owner, been invited to the Engine Master's Challenge and was very competent.

vwtype53
04-08-2011, 11:48 AM
Thanks for all the advice and input so far...

The boat has approximately 1425 hours, and I believe the engine was original. When I purchased the boat the PO had already removed the engine to "refresh" it (said it was running fine before, but felt it was time to refresh seals, heads, etc). The PO had disassembled the engine to the point of removing the accessories, intake, and heads. The bottom end is still intact. The rockers and pushrods were removed with the heads and are mixed up in a box, so I imagine I would need to replace these with new components if/when the engine was rebuilt and reassembled.

I am not opposed to rebuilding this engine myself, as I have rebuilt smaller 4-cylinder engines in the past. The main reason for having this engine rebuilt at a shop or purchasing a crate engine would be to save time and knowing that a reputable shop did it right. I admit, though, that it would be nice to maintain the original engine to the boat... just for sake of keeping it real. :-)

You guys are definitely giving me the encouragement to tackle this myself, so at the minimum I will start searching locally for a good machine shop that can do the work... if I do this myself I would prefer to overbore the block with new pistons/rings, have the crank checked and machined (if necessary) with new main bearings, and so on... I mean, with 1400+ hours on the engine, wouldn't everyone agree that it's time for a "full" rebuild? Or do you think that the bottom end might be worth a closer inspection and potentially just new seals and rings? No matter what I would do to the bottom end, I will definitely have the heads fully disassembled, cleaned, checked, valve job, etc...

Thanks again for the input.

kyfooter
04-08-2011, 12:04 PM
I'm all for fun projects, and the satisfaction of completing an engine rebuild. But if the engine runs fine, why tackle the project now with summer just around the corner?

Also, 1,400 hours is not that much. My truck has 1,500 hours on it and 45,000 miles. 1,400 sounds like a lot of hours, but it really isn't. If the engine has been maintained, there is no reason to think any major components are in need of replacement.

03geetee
04-08-2011, 06:34 PM
Amen.

2743 hours on my original engine, only major part replaced was the timing chain and gears.

Keep on enjoying her!

JTR

airdrew99
04-08-2011, 07:35 PM
I have a 1981 Stars and Stripes that I have been preparing for a restoration. It has a Ford 351 engine that I would like to have completely rebuilt. I considered doing the rebuild myself, but would rather have it done by a seasoned engine builder.

First, does anyone know of a good marine engine builder reasonably close to Knoxville, TN?

If I can't find a good shop locally, are there any "mail order" marine engine builders that are recommended? Experiences?

I appreciate all help and information!

VWtype53,
If you were closer to the Memphis, TN area, I would be able to help you with the rebuild. I've done many Ford small block V-8 rebuilds. Like the other guys on here are saying, it is not bad at all. Have you ever rebuilt any engine? If not, I would definitely have someone around that has. If you have any 351W questions, PM me.
Drew

matt
04-08-2011, 09:19 PM
A small block Ford is easy. To find a good builder, hang around a race track one evening, ask around, you'll find one. I would suggest if you have never built one, I would consider getting a builder to do at least the short block. I might save some major grief in the long run. I would also agree in waiting until fall if I could. I pulled mine out last November and hopefully it will hit the water this weekend. It seems like there are delays everywhere and this is something you would want to take your time with. Also, take lots of pictures, esp. the small things in detail like brackets, hoses and cables.