Hiya. New to me 2004 1800SR3
I picked up a mechanic's special about 6 weeks ago. This one owner boat with 30 total hours had been put to bed wet - literally - and the water in the engine cracked the block & both exhaust manifolds. The crack on the block was actually in the valley UNDER the intake manifold. It looked OK from the outside and the brass plugs were fine, but careful inspection revealed the bad news. That said, the rest of the boat and trailer looked brand spanking new. It hadn't seen the water since 2006.
I just finished up a rebuilt longblock swap of the 4.3 with slightly higher compression pistons from an outfit in Florida -$1,700 delivered. I ran it with the ears on it a few nights ago to set the timing. Very easy to do with the Thunderbolt 5 ignition system. Wasn't entirely happy with the gimbal bearing alignment, but it was as good as I could get it. That will be a follow up project for the off season. I never swapped an inboard boat engine before and got to use a jinky old forklift to do it. It would have been faster with a helper, but beer & patience helped.
Took it out for its shakedown cruise today at Folsom Lake in Northern California and it ran flawlessly. Good sense would dictate this would be a short hop, but I went full send - packed up the dog, girlfriend, my two daughters and an Airhead 2 person sit down tube (thanks Amazon). Four hours later and all is well. Happy passengers all around.
Of course I did inspect the engine while running at temperature after clearing the dock. Tightened a couple of hose clamps to stop some weeping, and that was it. It's at the start of the 20 hour break-in period so I didn't punch it off idle and never went above 4,000. Varied the throttle a lot to keep those piston rings rotating and found it was happy cruising on plane at a tick over 3,000 rpm. For a boat, this thing sips fuel.
Lots of little projects on the to-do list. First up is a Faria depth gauge, tidy up the routing on the plug wires and I hook up the speedo sensor on the back of the drive. Couldn't be happier with the quality and performance of this wonderful little boat.