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View Full Version : Yet another engine replacement thread


piper_chuck
05-30-2012, 12:30 AM
The boat should be in the water already, but have been too busy with work, home projects, taking the family to Orlando for a week, and maintenance to prep a house for the summer rental season.

Anyway, when I started getting the boat ready to put in the water on Saturday I discovered water in the oil. Then I found the crack in the block. Obviously I messed up with the winterization, but I'm surprised because it didn't get very cold in Columbia last winter and the boat was in the basement garage which stayed fairly warm.

So now I need to decide what to do. It's a 98 PS 205 with a 5.7 Vortec. I plan on keeping this boat for a while, so I'd like to get something I know will last. I spent hours over the past few days doing research.

Based on the bulge in the side of the block, I don't think I want to try having it welded.

I'm planning to do the swap myself. The boat was running well with no issues last fall and it started up quickly on Saturday. A visual inspection of the outside of the exhaust headers and other components makes me think they're in good shape. I'll take a more thorough look as I start removing them.

The question is which way to go for the actual engine?

A reman short block seems like the cheapest option, but that would require more work such as taking the old heads off and sending to a shop for inspection, putting the tin on, etc, and in the end there would be more old parts that could fail down the road. It seems like the swap itself will be enough work without adding this extra assembly, but if the savings were good enough and long term reliability not compromised, it's something I would consider.

A reman long block costs more, but removes some of the work I'd need to do if I went the short block route. After reading I couldn't conclusively determine if reman was better or worse than new. It seems highly dependent on who does the work, but there seem to be some bad reports about everyone.

And then there's the new option that looks like it would come in a bit below $3K.

For the reman long blocks, I saw lots of recommendations for Jasper, but their web site makes it seem like they only want to deal with registered installers. I saw a handful of other sources recommended here and at a few other forums I browsed through.

Skidim lists new 5.7 Vortecs for $3340 (actually 3440, but they say there's a $100 credit if they don't supply the intake manifold). They're local so I could avoid shipping costs, but I would have to pay sales tax. I don't know if they have any other engines on hand, but will probably give them a call soon. Several other places sell them in the $2600-2700 range with a couple hundred for shipping.

So, does anyone have any words of wisdom on which engine choice to go with and which source is best, which to avoid, etc?

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
05-30-2012, 12:48 AM
If it ran fine before cracking the block I think I would do a short block. I've heard good and not so good things about jasper reman engines.

Rossterman
05-30-2012, 01:41 AM
Seems to be little difference between marine and auto smallblocks. Preferrably a 4 bolt main block, steel crank, forged steel rods, and forged pistons would be the most durable option. You might want to look at some places like summit racing to get a comparison of what your $ will buy. May also want to consider a 383 stroker as not much more and makes a great boat motor!

piper_chuck
05-30-2012, 07:25 AM
If it ran fine before cracking the block I think I would do a short block. I've heard good and not so good things about jasper reman engines.
Thanks for the input. As I'm prepping the engine for removal I guess I'll pull the heads and have them checked out. If I could find a small block I knew I could count on, it would save some cash. Figuring out who I can trust seems to be the biggest challenge.

piper_chuck
05-30-2012, 07:31 AM
Seems to be little difference between marine and auto smallblocks. Preferrably a 4 bolt main block, steel crank, forged steel rods, and forged pistons would be the most durable option. You might want to look at some places like summit racing to get a comparison of what your $ will buy. May also want to consider a 383 stroker as not much more and makes a great boat motor!
From what I've read, the primary difference between marine and auto for this engine is the cam and using brass freeze plugs.

Yesterday I found someone selling a 98 5.7 vortec on Craigslist for $175 that he pulled from his Suburban. Says he thinks it spun a bearing. If I could find a local shop that rebuilds and that I could trust, I wonder if it'd be worth picking up that other engine and let them reuse the best from each engine?

A stroker is a possibility, but the boat already has more than enough power for the family. If I can get one for a similar price, I'll keep it in mind. I want to minimize fussing with the engine when it's back in. Would a stroker require any changes to the fuel injection programming?

piper_chuck
06-14-2012, 12:03 PM
Still weighing my options. A short block looks like the best choice at this point.

I'm assuming the heads are ok. A friend recommended a local shop that will check them out.

Plan to replace some of the other bolt on stuff such as starter, water pump, and rusty pulleys while it's apart.

If I went with a 383 stroker short block would I need any changes to the original Vortec heads, assuming they're ok? Same question for the throttle body injection system. Would it use the same cam, or would it need to be changed?

Pitch
06-15-2012, 11:59 PM
Still weighing my options. A short block looks like the best choice at this point.

I'm assuming the heads are ok. A friend recommended a local shop that will check them out.

Plan to replace some of the other bolt on stuff such as starter, water pump, and rusty pulleys while it's apart.

If I went with a 383 stroker short block would I need any changes to the original Vortec heads, assuming they're ok? Same question for the throttle body injection system. Would it use the same cam, or would it need to be changed?

I just ordered this short block

http://www.mabbco.com/catalog/Marine/Marine_Short_Blocks_-_NO_CORE_REQUIED_/Chevrolet/MARINE_GM_Chevrolet_5.7_350_Short_Block_1996-2006_Vortec_2-Bolt_-_NO_CORE_REQUIRED_-_90_Day_Limited_Warranty/150

It shipped yesterday, should be here mid week next week, and will be in next Saturday. I'll give you an idea about quality when I get it. It was the best option for me, and I was in exact same shoes as you.

piper_chuck
06-16-2012, 09:31 AM
I just ordered this short block

http://www.mabbco.com/catalog/Marine/Marine_Short_Blocks_-_NO_CORE_REQUIED_/Chevrolet/MARINE_GM_Chevrolet_5.7_350_Short_Block_1996-2006_Vortec_2-Bolt_-_NO_CORE_REQUIRED_-_90_Day_Limited_Warranty/150

It shipped yesterday, should be here mid week next week, and will be in next Saturday. I'll give you an idea about quality when I get it. It was the best option for me, and I was in exact same shoes as you.
Thanks. I've been watching your thread and was wondering how it was going.

Cloaked
06-16-2012, 01:31 PM
Thanks. I've been watching your thread and was wondering how it was going.As a point of reference in conversation, heads can easily be examined with a magnetic particle test (MT) for cracks. In the below picture, you can see a crack at the end of the pen, as well as on the next port to the right. That is green magnetic powder embedded in the crack, indicating the location of the crack(s). You can also test other metal surfaces (block, etc.) and areas anywhere you can get a magnetic prod to create a magnetic field. A very easy and inexpensive non-destructive examination procedure to perform.

Corrosion buildup is another indicator of the condition of the water flowpath / head.

.

piper_chuck
06-17-2012, 10:08 AM
Thanks for the pics. I'll have the heads thoroughly checked before I decide whether to reuse them or not.

For anyone interested, I did some research on my questions about the suggestion of using a 383 stroker. I found several comments that TBI wouldn't be able to provide enough fuel. At this point, the engine replacement is enough to take on so I'll stick with the standard size block replacement.

CantRepeat
06-17-2012, 10:13 AM
If you change to a 383 and different heads and cam you're going to need to do something with the ECM programming.

piper_chuck
06-17-2012, 11:15 AM
If you change to a 383 and different heads and cam you're going to need to do something with the ECM programming.
That's what I was afraid of, thanks for the input. I don't have the spare time to dig into and deal with all the things I'd have to change. The stock configuration is plenty powerful enough for family boating.

I'm also looking into buying an old pickup for towing the boat and to make weekend runs to Home Depot, getting mulch, etc. I've found one from the early 90s with a blown 350 engine, I might go the stroker route for that project.