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383 Hammerhead Engine Reliability?


OneMoreSet

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Looking at picking up a new boat, and came across a couple threads that mentioned that the hammerhead 383s are not as reliable as the 340 monsoon?

Any notable issues here - whats the weak link, or common problems?

Is there a particular year range thats effected? I'm considering 07/08, maybe 09.

How do the hammerheads - or do they call them strokers? (bad name in general..) compare to the 340hp versions on fuel efficiency.

Cheers,

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I have no idea about reliability, but from what I heard, you have to rev the HH pretty good to get the power, therefore increasing fuel consumption.

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Some have a oil burning problem from not breaking the rings in

This caused malibu to send out new dip sticks to add a quart of oil

I have had mine for 6 years now no oil burning

I beat this motor from day one , was always taught too to set the rings

Bigger displacement equals more gas .

I run with a lot of extra ballast .

Been in the same vlx with a monsoon running the same 1235 prop and the hammer head is more responsive

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the bugs were out of them by 07/08/09.... just in time to pull the engine from the line up. Some burn oil others had a low oil pressure issue when going direct to idle from on the power. The extra quart was to help the low oil pressure... in addition they run straight 40W oil to keep the viscosity up.... also helps with burn off as the motors are built loose... it is a GM performance parts 383 long block. Keep in mind you don't see forum posts for the 99.5% that have good success with the motor. Like the 99.5%.. mine works great. As a heavily ballasted boat I appreciate any and all extra power.

A good point was made here a while back. The hammerhead is a lighter engine due to aluminium heads (can't remember but 100-150 lbs)... so in hindsight I have to add extra ballast to offset...oh well. If you are looking at a vtx for ski performance there is an upside to the HH.

Fuel economy wise... it has more to do with the right prop and the right driver.... side by side it won't make an appreciable difference.

Edited by G-Mack
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I have no idea about reliability, but from what I heard, you have to rev the HH pretty good to get the power, therefore increasing fuel consumption.

I can assure you that's not an issue with the HH.

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A good point was made here a while back. The hammerhead is a lighter engine due to aluminium heads (can't remember but 100-150 lbs)... so in hindsight I have to add extra ballast to offset...oh well.

Unless the block is aluminum, which I doubt, or there is some other significant weight saving measures done, that's not going to shave 100lbs. The weight difference between a pair of iron heads vs. aluminum heads is about 50lbs.

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480+ hours of trouble free performance on my 07 RLX HH. Almost all hours are either in the course at 36mph, or footing 41+. Does not burn any signifacant amount of oil between changes.

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my 05 RLXI has the HH, with the new dipstick, never had a problem, sure is fun when a hot rod boater thinks hes all that, and I show him different

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Unless the block is aluminum, which I doubt, or there is some other significant weight saving measures done, that's not going to shave 100lbs. The weight difference between a pair of iron heads vs. aluminum heads is about 50lbs.

I think the only all aluminum engines Malibu has put in boats is the Caddy SC engine and the base corvette engine the LS3. Not sure why Malibu only used/installed the LS 3 for one year, but it has been flawless in our boat. Not sure how much lighter the LS3 is than the 5.7 cast iron? maybe 200 #?

The HH's low end TQ was lacking until it got up to about 1500 rpms. That was my experience on our 07 LXI SE. Tried different props, think we ended up with an Acme 449.

Edited by jkendallmsce
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I think the only all aluminum engines Malibu has put in boats is the Caddy SC engine and the base corvette engine the LS3. Not sure why Malibu only used/installed the LS 3 for one year, but it has been flawless in our boat. Not sure how much lighter the LS3 is than the 5.7 cast iron? maybe 200 #?

The HH's low end TQ was lacking until it got up to about 1500 rpms. That was my experience on our 07 LXI SE. Tried different props, think we ended up with an Acme 449.

Back in 09' I saw an overlay of the HH and LS3 for torque and HP curves, the LS3 didn't produce any additional torque over the HH that I can remember. I wish I had that thing, I'll see if Paul still has one.

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I think the only all aluminum engines Malibu has put in boats is the Caddy SC engine and the base corvette engine the LS3.

Look at my Avatar. :) LSA and LS3 aren't the only all aluminum motors put in a Malibu...LS1 as well, which is more common in a Malibu than the LSA and LS3 combined (though I'd rather have either of those motors for obvious reasons).

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I have almost 50 hours on my 2007 HH...never had a problem with the engine itself. Never burns oil or has low oil pressure. As for power, I don't have to rev it high at all. It has amazing power out of the hole and I have the stock prop. I like to be easy on my toys and rarely take it over 3000 rpm. The motor starts every time I turn the key and has never had a problem starting. I love it and the power. I know some have had issues, but aren't there issues with every motor?

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Back in 09' I saw an overlay of the HH and LS3 for torque and HP curves, the LS3 didn't produce any additional torque over the HH that I can remember. I wish I had that thing, I'll see if Paul still has one.

The ls3 has a much flatter TQ curve than the hh (hh is more parabolic, while the ls3 is a simple convex curve. I have the hp/tq for the hh and the ls3, and the ls3 generates more hp and tq...not sure how much more as the folder is at the other house. and I was referring to the hh in my 07...not sure if there were any changes from 07 to 09.

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The ls3 has a much flatter TQ curve than the hh (hh is more parabolic, while the ls3 is a simple convex curve. I have the hp/tq for the hh and the ls3, and the ls3 generates more hp and tq...not sure how much more as the folder is at the other house. and I was referring to the hh in my 07...not sure if there were any changes from 07 to 09.

Post up the chart if you can get to it. I distinctly remember them being really close, and don't remember to HH having an arching tq curve. No difference from 07-09 that I know of.

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I have 06 247 with ACME 1235 Prop. I usually have around 3000#'s of additional ballast with Wedge down and have had no oil burn at all. Great engine and pulls better than my 340 Monsoon with same prop in 21 VLX. They did have around 1 out of 6 that burned oil during the first 100+ hours but engine is super reliable.

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Look at my Avatar. :) LSA and LS3 aren't the only all aluminum motors put in a Malibu...LS1 as well, which is more common in a Malibu than the LSA and LS3 combined (though I'd rather have either of those motors for obvious reasons).

I am looking at your avatar...isn't that an ls3?? base engine in the corvette....425 HP and 425 TQ plus or minus a few and depending on how you perform the dyno??

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Post up the chart if you can get to it. I distinctly remember them being really close, and don't remember to HH having an arching tq curve. No difference from 07-09 that I know of.

I'lll be at the house next weekend, so I'll get it...not sure how to cut and paste though, as I am not member...PM me and I can scan and email. I am pretty sure I have the HH, ls3 and monssoon curves...if not the gm marine site shows the curves for their engines.... 5.7, ls3, and l96.....

And I had one of those 07 HHs that never worked right....long long story, but suffice to say, that's why I have an 10 LXI same color scheme, interior with the ls3 and maliview.

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Starting to split hairs.... my boat before a HH was a Merc 4.3... I gained 215 hp .... even a HH with a miss would be a huge step up.

I never did add on my first post... the HH did nearly let me down once. The nylon fitting at the top of the EXT /CAT failed.... it is a know issue when you are surfing..starve the high side of water and it overheats the fitting... not a specific HH issue more an EXT/CAT issue but if you are surfing you should look to moving to a brass fitting and thermostat housing mod. A few have suffered this failure.

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I am looking at your avatar...isn't that an ls3?? base engine in the corvette....425 HP and 425 TQ plus or minus a few and depending on how you perform the dyno??

Nope, LS1. LS3 didn't come out until 2008 - my boat is a 2001. LS1 was the non-Z06 motor for the 97-2004 Corvette, as well as the V8 motor for the 98-02 F-body (Camaro/Firebird), and motor for the 2004 GTO.

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