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Old 06-14-2016, 09:41 AM
KubotaMan KubotaMan is offline
TT Newbie
Join Date: Jun 2016
Boat: 1984 Stars and Stripes
Location: Southeast
Posts: 5
84 S & S engine trouble

84 S & S 351w. Trying to get it back on the water ASAP. Want to order a new engine from Grooms. I would like to make a good engine spec choice. Has 1:1 Velvet Drive transmission. Would like to get the engine up to 310hp rather than 240hp. No real reason for that, just thought "Why not?". But if it is going to be hard on the Velvet Drive, I won't do increase power.
Would like help on the following:
1)Cam lift, duration, etc. Source?
2)Which Edelbrock intake manifold would be best?
3)Should I work my own heads and install, assuming they are GT40's? (Taking off this morning but broke head bolts doing so). If not, should I find GT40P's? Where would I look?
4)Any recommendations on upgraded engine mounts, or a source for original engine mount rubbers?
5)Fiberglass silencers have several small pin holes in them that squirt small amounts of water out. Should I replace those? Where would I get those?
6)Should I take out the Velvet Drive and have it built, even though it is functioning fine? Do I take that to my local transmission shop, or do it myself? Good places to find parts for Velvet Drive.
7)Impeller housing is stripped so PO just used longer bolts and nuts. I need a new or used impeller assembly (including pulley, if possible). The pulley assembly seems okay, but not sure about the bearing. Lots of rusty dust inside that part of the housing.

I bought this boat and my three boys and I are working on it. My 12 year old son, Orrin, took the exhaust manifold and valve cover off on the port side of the engine. He also checked compression on the cylinders all by himself. Very proud of him. I have a back injury and can't do much right now. And I have never taken an engine apart, but I thought it would be a wonderful laboratory experience for the boys. The engine is sitting there like it's on a stand! Even if I go upside down on this boat, the experience for the boys is incredible. How many children get to do such things these days?
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Old 06-14-2016, 09:52 AM
lakedawg's Avatar
lakedawg lakedawg is offline
TT Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2015
Boat: 2000 X5 "Red Five"
Location: Rabun County, GA
Posts: 144
#3 - get head shop to work heads for you, I think that is what you mean. You need to verify which heads you have, someone will chime in to tell you how to identify.

#7 - just replace it, can be sourced from a few places like skidim.com should be this one:


BTW, was it just sitting for a while and locked up or why are you wanting to do all this work?
Lake Dawg
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Old 06-16-2016, 08:30 AM
KubotaMan KubotaMan is offline
TT Newbie
Join Date: Jun 2016
Boat: 1984 Stars and Stripes
Location: Southeast
Posts: 5
I was told that with the blow-by I was witnessing, the engine was toast. My lead mechanic at one of my tractor dealerships confirmed this opinion. That is when I sent out the request for information on TeamTalk. I then asked Orrin, my 12 year old son, to perform a compression test. He had never done this before. in fact, he had never worked on an engine before. No compression in cylinder number 5. All others good. I thought this was explicable only by a broken valve or a hole in the piston, so I asked Orrin to remove the exhaust manifold and valve cover on the port side. Then I asked him to remove the head. This was just a little project for him, and he did it well. I lifted the port head off and immediately saw the head gasket was blown at cylinder nuumber 5. I sure am happy that I didn't just pull the engine out and install a new crate engine. This saved my thousands. I asked Orrin to remove the starboard head, which he did in about 15 minutes, ordered a gasket set, and now the heads are at the machine shop being worked. The heads are not GT40's. The engine has probably been replaced before, and these appear to be cheap reman heads, but I am going to keep them for now. I hope this works out and I have a functional boat for less than $400. And what an experience for my son! I don't think there is any other machine with an engine that is so accessible. It is like a laboratory. And better than an engine stand, because it's hooked up to the boat and is usable. This experience is going to change my son's life. Now if I could get his 11 and 14 year old brothers to show similar interest.
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Old 06-16-2016, 09:50 AM
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Spork Spork is offline
MC Maniac
Join Date: May 2010
Boat: Sporkcraft
Location: South
Posts: 3,659
Will be relatively easy to achieve 310+hp.

There are much better cylinder heads than ford oem gt-40 heads.

if your on a budget I would use GT-40P cylinder heads off a 5.0 explorer, use a weiand intake manifold and a Lunati camshaft 10350701 mostly because gt-40 heads run out of steam around.500" lift. of course you would need to replace lifters and any other wear items...

one thing to consider is when adding power you'll likely over power the stock nibral 13x13 prop. and an ACME 13x12 CNC prop will really wake up this combination.
a spoon-shaped eating utensil with short tines at the tip
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