Repower 28' Diesel - Seeking Advice



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  • Repower 28' Diesel - Seeking Advice

    Hi. We have a 28' Aluminum (Bruin) we run out of Whittier. It has a 1994 Mercruiser (Ford/International) 7.3 liter 270 horse turbo diesel, pushing a Bravo III outdrive. Only 1300 hours on the engine. The boat weighs 12K on its trailer, so 11K+ lbs of boat. The top end was 32mph with this setup, we cruise at 25 or so. Its an oddball engine so parts have been hard to come by/expensive, and now through mysterious circumstances we've let her run dry of oil, so the engine is seized. Top end is now drifting speed.

    I am certain someone has been down this road, so I am seeking your counsel.

    1. Is it possible the engine could be rebuilt? (20 years old, loud and an oddball, so only if this is dirt cheap)

    2. Should I get a Cummins or some other diesel that bolts up to a Bravo III? I have heard a diesel repower would be $30K. Maybe a cold fusion reactor at that price.

    3. Is it time to switch to outboard(s)? I have no idea what it would cost to have outboard brackets added to the transom, and if I went that route could I just clean out my diesel tank and add gas, or are there other factors. Lots of room in the holds for tanks, though.

    Unless there is a cheap option I am not thinking of, finances dictate that we have all winter to find the solution.

    Fuel economy, range, service/parts, noise level (she's loud) are all considerations. I have yet to call a shop - looking for advice there too. Thoughts, recommendations, opinions? Thanks.

  • #2
    That might be a rare marine engine, but it is very common in trucks. A long block with warranty can be had for around $5k.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"


    • #3
      Twin 150 outboards plus a bracket and all the extras will be $40k plus, get a long block 7.3 or get the one you have rebuilt. Might even find a motor at one of the junk yards that could work and get you back on the water then do a complete rebuilt this winter.
      A Cummins would be better but both are going to be loud. You just need a new motor not a complete re power.
      2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

      Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson


      • #4
        Without any idea of your budget there can be little relevant discussion. Tell us what you can possibly afford to get that boat back in the water. Check out ebay as there was a D4-260 for five grand complete with electronic controls. Plus shipping.


        • #5
          I have a couple 325 HP vortec 350's I am wanting to get rig of. 350 hours on one, ten hours on the other.
          Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation


          • #6
            Originally posted by Archipelago View Post
            Top end is now drifting speed.
            Now that is funny right there.

            I think AK Frontier's FNM diesels would probably be the fastest bolt up to you Bravo III you could be boating by August 1st.

            Now would be the only time to switch to outboards. The outboard bracket fabrication will run $3-$5k. The only single outboard I'd recommend would be Yamaha's F350 V8 for that boat ($30K-$35K). But if money is a consideration, a set of used 150's or 225s would push her. You could snag a pair of used Honda 225s for about $20k, these are older charter boat motors usually and will provide your with an easy 1,000 to 2,000 hours (I see these on CL all the time).



            • #7
              I would think rebuilding that 7.3 would be cheapest and easiest, like grayline slayer said that is a very common truck engine. I am not a Ford/International fan but that was one good engine.
              Give Roks Diesel (wasilla) a call and he could probally give you a quote?


              • #8
                Thanks for your thoughts. The reality is we are in a budget crunch at the moment, so I am unable to spend much at all. I have put in a call to Rok's diesel - they will have answers. I read so much about how different marine diesels are from road engines, but maybe I can scavenge the key parts from the dead motor and make it work. I will let you know what I find out. The engine has had issues since we bought the boat, I was hoping to upgrade, but financially speaking, now is not the time. Hopefully we'll be back in the water soon - we recently gave nearly all our halibut away.


                • #9
                  How many hours do you put on the boat a year?

                  Any motor that has issues sucks to be out on the water with, especially when you only have one. So, looks like a big project no matter what.

                  Rebuild if possible, that would be the cheapest of course.
                  Repower if able. That would be the safest.
                  Repower with another diesel if you have the money, that would be the best and safest and bet fuel economy.
                  Repower with a gasser if you want to be out on the water for half the upfront cost. A drop in crate motor pushing 250 or more HP will be around 15K with gauges, cables and cleaning your gas tanks out. Of course your gas bill will go up. But then again, how much extra gas will the 20k saving get you?

                  Any way you go about it, sounds like a 20k hit unless you get lucky with the rebuild. B.O.A.T.T. Bring On Another Ten Thousand.

                  So much for going to Maui this winter.


                  • #10

                    350 hp for around 10k. I saw one in stock at a boat shop here in town last week. PM if you want the name.


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