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Old 04-07-2006, 03:00 PM   #1
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Default Need Motorhead Help - Chevy Engines?

What 4 cylinder Chevy engines are available that were/are rear wheel drive or will fit that type bellhousing?

I have almost no info to go on, but am looking at a used 18' boat for $400 that is in great shape with a solid lower end (Inboard/Outboard), but the motor is probably toast. I went to check it out last night and the owner said he hadn't started it in two years, but that it ran fine and he had been on the water with it.

I went to drain about a quart of oil to put some Mystery Oil up top to set for a day, along with pulling the plugs and putting some in there. When I opened the oil pan drain plug, I got about 2.5 quarts of water before getting the mayonaise snot and then some really black oil.

Bottom line, cracked head or blown head gasket at least and water setting in the bottom end for two years. Engine'* toast.

Now I need to quickly find out what 4 cyl. Chevy engines are available and some idea of cross-compatibility. Can anyone help?? Please?
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Old 04-07-2006, 03:12 PM   #2
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Would a 4.3 litre GM bolt up to that lower end? That was a very common boat power plant all through the late 80s and 90s.
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Old 04-07-2006, 03:13 PM   #3
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OK, a little research showed me that there are the following I-4s available used.

2.0 OHC - used in 1987-99:
Beretta
Cavalier
Corsica
Firenza
Skyhawk
Tempest
4-121 (2.0L, VIN "1")

2.2 OHC used in 1990-91:
Beretta
Cavalier
Corsica
Tempest
4-134 (2.2L, VIN "G")

and
2.3 DOHC Quad 4, used in 1989-92:
w/o HO; (VIN D)
Beretta
Grand Am
Calais
Achieva

Does anyone know what bell housings these will fit/require?
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Old 04-07-2006, 03:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vital49
Would a 4.3 litre GM bolt up to that lower end? That was a very common boat power plant all through the late 80s and 90s.
I don't know really. I've been told that many people adapt different and larger engines to these lower ends, but I do know that you are somewhat limited by the fit to the bell housing.

Plus 4.3 would probably be a bit of a screamer on an 18 v-hull, lol. Not exactly a booze-cruise type of motor. I've also been told (and mind you, I am a TOTAL n00b when it comes to I/O motor set-ups and boating in general), that use of the larger motors is what leads to early bottom end failure. The bottom end can be $6000 to replace, so I'd want to steer clear of that if at all possible.

You're talking this, right?
4.3 - used on 1986-92:
(4.3L, VIN "N")
Astro
Chev Van
Chevrolet 10 Pickup
Chevrolet 20 Pickup
GMC 1500 Pickup
GMC 2500 Pickup
GMC Van
Safari (GMC)
Chev Pass.
Malibu
Monte Carlo
Pontiac
Sprint
Chev Pass.
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Old 04-07-2006, 03:38 PM   #5
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There are a couple that I know of... One from the old days which would be the 2.5 Iron Duke... And in the Later years the 2.2 or 2200 ... But those aren't a marine application...

I see a 3.0 L4 that is a Marine application...

4.00 " bore and 3.60 " stroke... Looks a whole lot like an oversized 2.5...lol

There are a couple of diffrent 4.3 marine engines tho.... 184 HP 2bbl, and 243 Tq or the 211 hp 4bbl, with 265 Tq...

The 2.2 LN2 in the * series trucks is good for 118 Hp and 130 Tq, not sure how that would work in a Marine application...

Just some general ideas for you I guess..

How about a picture of the engine bay of the boat?

What kind of boat is this? I would think with a 18 ft boat you might be able to use a larger engine, like a 3.8 lol

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Old 04-07-2006, 03:43 PM   #6
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Yes, those are the 4.3s I'm referring to. IIRC, none of those are a throttle body setup. All carbed. As far as weakening the lower ends, that'* the first I've heard of that claim. I guess it could be compared to having too much torque for a transmission on a car. But, if the lower end is built to handle the 4.3, I don't see why it would be an issue.

What motor is currently in the boat? And, who is the manufacturer. Year? Volvo also used to have marine applications. We used to have an 82 Thompson with an I-4 Volvo.
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Old 04-07-2006, 04:14 PM   #7
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Honestly, I have no idea what size the current engine is, other than the fact that it is an older, carbed "I" or "L" 4 Chevy (it says so inside the valve cover housing), that uses leaded gas. I am not familiar with the older Chevy 4s, so am somewhat at a loss to identify it. The current owner barely knows where to put the gas and had trouble giving me answer when I asked when the last time was that he changed the oil (never of course).

I haven't bought the boat yet, as I am trying to decide if I want another serious project at this time. I'm kinda stumbling around trying to figure out the pros and cons.

Thanks Mark and Don for your help on this!
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Old 04-07-2006, 04:22 PM   #8
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Talk him down on that price. Use the motor as the negotiating point. For a few hundred dollars, I'm sure the boat is worth it.

You could rebuild the existing engine if you can't find a replacement.
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Old 04-07-2006, 04:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vital49
Talk him down on that price. Use the motor as the negotiating point. For a few hundred dollars, I'm sure the boat is worth it.

You could rebuild the existing engine if you can't find a replacement.
I'm thinking about it...

Wondering how bad a rebuild would be with that water setting in there for that long. I think he'll be about ready to take less for cash-in-hand. He saw the mess that was in that motor. It'* sad really, but not everyone cares at all about the motors that run their toys.
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Old 04-07-2006, 04:36 PM   #10
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If it actually sat with water in it for 2 years, I'm not sure it would be rebuildable. Maybe, if you were really lucky, it all settled into the oil pan and didn't get a chance to rot the "guts". But I wouldn't count on it....
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