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Behindtheboat

Cracked Block...looking for options in NC

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Behindtheboat

Howdy all!

This will be my first post here, and unfortunately it is with BAD news.

Took the boat out last weekend and noticed the bilge pump kicked on. When I opened the engine compartment I could see water was being sprayed into the bilge from somewhere on the engine....when I get the boat back on the trailer and open the engine compartment again I see light brown sludge on the top of my engine and in the bilge....and when I pull the dipstick the oil is a light brown milky substance.

She's at the shop now and they have not looked at it to confirm, but they seem sure I have a cracked block.

Their estimates to replace the engine were $8500 for a new engine and $5000 for a remanufactured. Does this seem in the ballpark....do I have other options? Is this something I could do myself (I am failry handy, but have never rebuilt anything larger than a lawn mower engine).

This is for a 1998 Malibu Sunsetter VLX with an Indmar Monsoon in it. I am located in Wake Forest, NC if anyone has any experience with boat places or engine folks in the area.

Thanks,

Dan

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68Slalom

Welcome to the board, too bad this happened during this time of the year. Did you ask how much the cost was for the engine build vs the labor. It sounds to me like they are trying to charge you about $2-2,500 to R and R the engine. That seems like a lot to me.

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Behindtheboat

Yeah, really bummed that I may be boatless this summer! Cry.gif

I have not gotte the price breakdown, I'm waiting for them to get it in the shop and determine what is actually wrong and what they think it will take to fix it.

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skicrave
It sounds to me like they are trying to charge you about $2-2,500 to R and R the engine. That seems like a lot to me.

Bummer! Both engines are long blocks, so the difference isn't in the labor, it's just in the cost from the supplier (most likely Indmar unless the dealer is fairly large).

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99response

I would say that is about right @ shop rate of $100/hour. Takes about 2 hours to get to the motor (take apart interior) and another 1-2 hours to pull it. Then switching it over ~8 hours of labor, then reinstall and reassemble, lake test, alignment, etc.

Unfortunatly you have to know your $hit to start pulling and replacing motors.

I'm shocked in the cost difference between a new longblock versus a reman...maybe they quoted a bobtail or something funny, we need to know that before we can really comment.

When I did my engine last year (I'm a tech) it cost me $3k for a new longblock and other stuff to make the switch (baseline for the engine cost), on a DD. Of course if you also lost your mainfolds, raw water pump, etc these are also pretty pricey.

You can also think about trading it in and making an upgrade, sometimes this makes sense (I know I have a great 01 Sunsetter VLX for sale....and I guess I can do trade in's Whistling.gif)

-Chris

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68Slalom
It sounds to me like they are trying to charge you about $2-2,500 to R and R the engine. That seems like a lot to me.

Bummer! Both engines are long blocks, so the difference isn't in the labor, it's just in the cost from the supplier (most likely Indmar unless the dealer is fairly large).

Well, I see the cost new $8500, and rebuilt $5000. That is $3500 more for a new engine, you should be able to buy a new engine for the $3500 and at most $2000 for R and R. So my point was even at $3000 labor, $5500 for a new engine Whistling.gif either way they both sound like it's too much, unless he is having it done by a dealer and gets the full warranty out of it.

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lakewaterjunky

Bummer Dude, sorry about the bad start to the summer.

Depending on how much you can do yourself and/or how much you care to research it, get the GM #’s from the block and cross reference it to the cost of a new regular GM short block then put the heads, intake and exhaust on the new one. If your heads could use a rebuild, this would be a good thing before reassembly.

I’d say going this route would be significantly cheaper even if you were paying someone else to do the labor. It is highly likely what I will do when the time comes, but I do all my own maintenance and repair.

Good luck

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LS-One

Was this due to a freeze ? If so do you have insurance ?

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fever5
It sounds to me like they are trying to charge you about $2-2,500 to R and R the engine. That seems like a lot to me.

Bummer! Both engines are long blocks, so the difference isn't in the labor, it's just in the cost from the supplier (most likely Indmar unless the dealer is fairly large).

Well, I see the cost new $8500, and rebuilt $5000. That is $3500 more for a new engine, you should be able to buy a new engine for the $3500 and at most $2000 for R and R. So my point was even at $3000 labor, $5500 for a new engine Whistling.gif either way they both sound like it's too much, unless he is having it done by a dealer and gets the full warranty out of it.

sorry am I missing something here?

a NEW motor (just motor not labor) is $3500? Drool.gif Outboards and even Merc inboards seems more expensive. I was looking at the price of a new Merc 496 HO and it was ~ $15000 (cheapest out there)

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Sunsetter95

Speaking from experience. I chose to replace my engine/rebuild when I first got the boat. We overheated and blew a head gasket because the impeller let go.

I had an experienced rebuild shop in town rebuild my/an engine. To my surprise, they went beyond my expectations. They built a long block in exchange for what I had. They took the casting numbers to ensure they would match all the bolt holes and other connections.

I went from my stock engine, 2 bolt main 6.5:1 comp and a worn stock cam and gears and exchanged it for a 4 bolt forged crank and the block, upped the comp to 7.5:1, put in a Comp cam kit for low and mid range power, roller timing chain and gears, fresh heads and soft plugs for the marine application. I supplied the pumps and labor for the R&R, and all the rest. I spent around $2500-$3000 for all that about 4 years ago. An extra $250 for the carb rejet and rebuild by a pro. I have not touched it since except for normal maintenance. It runs strong and smooth.

I did not think it was that difficult to change out the engine. One of the biggest issues was a lift that would clear the boat when lifted up. I ended using/rented a heavy duty engine puller that was made for 4X4 trucks. Granted I did not complete the job as fast a shop would, but I know it was done correct. I have had a fair amount of experience turning wrenches, but I still don't think it is that hard.

So I would not hesitate to looking into a rebuilt engine, just do due diligence in checking them out.

Good luck!

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SacRiverRat
I did not think it was that difficult to change out the engine. I have had a fair amount of experience turning wrenches, but I still don't think it is that hard.

Little different getting the V-Drive out vs DD, but agree it still shouldn't be too tough.

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radioman
Howdy all!

This will be my first post here, and unfortunately it is with BAD news.

Took the boat out last weekend and noticed the bilge pump kicked on. When I opened the engine compartment I could see water was being sprayed into the bilge from somewhere on the engine....when I get the boat back on the trailer and open the engine compartment again I see light brown sludge on the top of my engine and in the bilge....and when I pull the dipstick the oil is a light brown milky substance.

She's at the shop now and they have not looked at it to confirm, but they seem sure I have a cracked block.

Their estimates to replace the engine were $8500 for a new engine and $5000 for a remanufactured. Does this seem in the ballpark....do I have other options? Is this something I could do myself (I am failry handy, but have never rebuilt anything larger than a lawn mower engine).

This is for a 1998 Malibu Sunsetter VLX with an Indmar Monsoon in it. I am located in Wake Forest, NC if anyone has any experience with boat places or engine folks in the area.

Thanks,

Dan

was water left in the block all winter, no antifreeze, did you have a big freeze.

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Sixball

Check out Summit Racing. All kinds of complete marine engined. If you need to replace the engine and don't want to play around with local speed shops. Jegs may also have something both should be quality engines.

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Behindtheboat
Was this due to a freeze ? If so do you have insurance ?

That's the speculation....I do have insurance, would they cover that?

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Behindtheboat
was water left in the block all winter, no antifreeze, did you have a big freeze.

I thought I got all of the water out, was a pretty mild winter this year. The guy at the shop said it could have happened in a previous year.

I do my own maintenance, so I guess it is possible that I missed something when winterizing.

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johnsvt

I didn't think it got below freezing in NC. What a bummer.

If you could find a reman. automotive short block the main difference between a marine and automotive is brass freeze out plugs vs. steel. I would imagine a reman automotive is readily available and 1500-2000K. Swapping the motor out isn't real hard, but the whole realignment thing would seem to be the hard part.

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Behindtheboat
I would say that is about right @ shop rate of $100/hour. Takes about 2 hours to get to the motor (take apart interior) and another 1-2 hours to pull it. Then switching it over ~8 hours of labor, then reinstall and reassemble, lake test, alignment, etc.

Unfortunatly you have to know your $hit to start pulling and replacing motors.

I'm shocked in the cost difference between a new longblock versus a reman...maybe they quoted a bobtail or something funny, we need to know that before we can really comment.

When I did my engine last year (I'm a tech) it cost me $3k for a new longblock and other stuff to make the switch (baseline for the engine cost), on a DD. Of course if you also lost your mainfolds, raw water pump, etc these are also pretty pricey.

You can also think about trading it in and making an upgrade, sometimes this makes sense (I know I have a great 01 Sunsetter VLX for sale....and I guess I can do trade in's Whistling.gif)

-Chris

I believe they did say the 8500 price was for a bobtail.

Well....not sure I want to do an upgrade, but what are the details on your sunsetter?

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LS-One
Was this due to a freeze ? If so do you have insurance ?

That's the speculation....I do have insurance, would they cover that?

Not sure but I would surely give it a try. Maybe someone more knowlegeable will chime in.

You said that was a hammerhead right ?? Whistling.gif

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Behindtheboat
Was this due to a freeze ? If so do you have insurance ?

That's the speculation....I do have insurance, would they cover that?

Not sure but I would surely give it a try. Maybe someone more knowlegeable will chime in.

You said that was a hammerhead right ?? Whistling.gif

Monsoon

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LS-One
Was this due to a freeze ? If so do you have insurance ?

That's the speculation....I do have insurance, would they cover that?

Not sure but I would surely give it a try. Maybe someone more knowlegeable will chime in.

You said that was a hammerhead right ?? Whistling.gif

Monsoon

I was making an insurance claim joke. :)

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bigD
, upped the comp to 7.5:1,

Good luck!

Thats actually a REAL low ratio even with an RV/truck cam which can't run at high ratios since they don't bleed off compression like larger lift and longer duration and overlap cams due. I think a bone stock Chevy would not have less than an 8.5:1. and run good on the cheap stuff. But hey, if it runs good what the heck.

Back on topic, I would order a long block from Summit Racing or Jeg's like others said and bolt on all your marine stuff, you'll get a nice seasoned block and probably a little more power depending on how much you spend. Also your local GOOD machine shop (not Kregans or the like)most likely will have long blocks available with exchange.

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IamN2Speed

I'm having my motor in my 02 23 LSV rebuilt as we speak. The cost of a remanufactured long block from Jasper Marine with an 18 month warrantee was $3350 and $1700 in labor. (16 hrs at 108/hr) The cost of a local engine builder to rebuild my existing motor with a little hotter cam, .30 over on the cylinders, head work, and new internals was $3250, with a 12 month warrantee. Jasper had a 1 month backlog, and the local guy could get it in right away, so I went with the local guy, and gave up 6 months on the warrantee, but will end up with a little more powah. I wouldn't see it costing more than $5500 for a new long block (installed) any way you cut it.

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98mallybu

With a new long block engine from Indmar $8,500 makes sense tome. Don't even compare to automotive pricing, completly completely different engine not built strong enough to run in a boat. I bought a long block from Indmar and built the motor in my avatar picture for about $6,500 (engine and parts, i didn't skimp on anything, if it was questionable it was replaced or rebuilt) and about 30-40 hours of my time (i polished and re-painted everything so it looked brand spankin new)

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99response
I would say that is about right @ shop rate of $100/hour. Takes about 2 hours to get to the motor (take apart interior) and another 1-2 hours to pull it. Then switching it over ~8 hours of labor, then reinstall and reassemble, lake test, alignment, etc.

Unfortunatly you have to know your $hit to start pulling and replacing motors.

I'm shocked in the cost difference between a new longblock versus a reman...maybe they quoted a bobtail or something funny, we need to know that before we can really comment.

When I did my engine last year (I'm a tech) it cost me $3k for a new longblock and other stuff to make the switch (baseline for the engine cost), on a DD. Of course if you also lost your mainfolds, raw water pump, etc these are also pretty pricey.

You can also think about trading it in and making an upgrade, sometimes this makes sense (I know I have a great 01 Sunsetter VLX for sale....and I guess I can do trade in's Whistling.gif)

-Chris

I believe they did say the 8500 price was for a bobtail.

Well....not sure I want to do an upgrade, but what are the details on your sunsetter?

There is absolutly NO WAY you need a bobtail in this case. The bobtail will include everything inculiding fuel injection system, intake manifold, raw water pump, wiring harness, exhuast manifolds, etc etc. All they would have to do at the shop is pull the motor, change over the tranny/V-drive (quick job) and throw it back in. I think a bobtail is like $6-$7 k from Indmar, whereas a NEW longblock is more in the $3.5k range.

I think what you should go with IMHO, is a NEW INDMAR LONGBLOCK, they arn't that much more than a reman from indmar, plus everything is NEW (big plus on resale side, if you are thinking of selling it)

How did the block crack, was everything full of water or was it just an improper winterization (water trapped in block)?

And the Sunsetter is nice...monsoon, titan tower, perfectpass, heater, wedge, new stereo, brand new interior (complete factory repacement), and super low 60 hours on the freshly tuned Monsoon Whistling.gif

-Chris

-Chris

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Behindtheboat
There is absolutly NO WAY you need a bobtail in this case. The bobtail will include everything inculiding fuel injection system, intake manifold, raw water pump, wiring harness, exhuast manifolds, etc etc. All they would have to do at the shop is pull the motor, change over the tranny/V-drive (quick job) and throw it back in. I think a bobtail is like $6-$7 k from Indmar, whereas a NEW longblock is more in the $3.5k range.

I think what you should go with IMHO, is a NEW INDMAR LONGBLOCK, they arn't that much more than a reman from indmar, plus everything is NEW (big plus on resale side, if you are thinking of selling it)

How did the block crack, was everything full of water or was it just an improper winterization (water trapped in block)?

And the Sunsetter is nice...monsoon, titan tower, perfectpass, heater, wedge, new stereo, brand new interior (complete factory repacement), and super low 60 hours on the freshly tuned Monsoon Whistling.gif

-Chris

I really can't see it being an improprer winterization (people make mistakes I suppose so I can't say there was not some water trapped somewhere, somehow) . I flusehd the engine, ran anti-freeze into it until it was coming out both sides, and I keep a light in the engine compartment near the block for forcasted freezes (which I think we may have only had 3-4 days this past winter where it was below 32, and nothing in the teens).

The only thing I can think of is last summer a piece of trash got sucked up and blocked water flow, but as soon as I noticed the engine temp going up I shut it down (thought I had lost the impeller on the pre-pump, but it was just a piece of plastic that got sucked up enough to block things). Once I got the trash out I ran it the rest of that week, and several other weekends with no problems before she was put away for the winter.

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