View Full Version : Questions on the chris craft inboard

Rob B
05-05-2003, 09:33 PM
" OK Guys, here goes.

Currently in the chris craft, is the motor with bell housing and transmission.

Motor and bell housing are not reusable, tranny is still probably useable.

As you guys know, the boat came with the standard 350 GM and paragon trans.
My question is, since Im replacing the motor completely, do I have to replace it with the same type, I mean the pre-1986 version, or can I scrap that older style and purchase the most up to date style 350 available on the market today.
And still use the paragon tranny, shaft assy. ect...

Also, since this boat was sunk and resurfaced, and neglected for some time, Im thinking the original gas tank is probably trashed on the inside. The tank is a long 2ft round cylinder, about the width of the boat, and sits in the back against the transom.
Anyone ever replace one of these with a newer style, ie plastice or aluminum rectangular type.?

Thanks in advance

Rob "

05-06-2003, 01:29 PM
"Rob, the engine question boils down to whether a GM small-block with a one-piece rear main seal (post-1986) will fit the Paragon and flywheel assemblies. Sorry to say I haven't tried this combination yet, so I can't say if there is a fit problem. Maybe someone else on the board has done a transplant like this.

One thought......if you still plan to go with a carbureted engine there should be some good sources for two-piece seal long blocks or even complete engines. I just linked to Marine Power and found a pre-86 model on the first try - but there are other considerations for a complete engine, like starter relocation, etc.

If the tank is ferrous metal it's probably trashed, but aluminum may be salvageable. My 1980 original tank is aluminum rectangular type. At 75 gallons, it puts nearly 500 lbs. in the aft end and makes the boat squat even with trim tabs. If you replace your tank, I'd recommend around a 50 gallon capacity unless you plan to do some long range cruising.


Rob B
05-06-2003, 07:46 PM
" Hey Croozertoo,
Thanks for the input.
So, I guess I really need to get in there and pull that engine and tranny, and pronto.
Then I can see if the tranny is salvageable, and if so I will need to go with an exact replacement on the block, ok.

As for the tank, its galvanized, but probably a rust trap on the inside by now, plus with all this work Im doing, I will feel better replacing it.

Some other questions I have for ya,
You say you have a 75 gallon tank:
How far can you go on a tank of gas?

Could I put a larger one in, maybe 100gal.

I plan to take this boat to the bahamas, 65miles from the local port here. The diving and fishing is great over there.

Also, what is the top cruising speed of your CC cat? You mention trim tabs, was this neccasary on the boat, to get it to trim prperly?

Also, is there any danger of your exhaust lines running under your gastank, or do they not get that hot while running?

I plan on stripping the entire boat of all its funiture, ie table bathroom walls, sink counter top, refrigerator. Then replacing it with all new.
Besides removing all the engine and tranny and gas tank, I will paint the bilge and the entire outside of the boat.

It will be some project, that is why Im trying to find out all the particulars before hand, ie motor size and also any other gotchyas, I might encounter. So anything else you guys can tell me about this boat would be great, ie capabilities, handling in rough seas, anythig will be greatly appreciated as always.

Rob "

05-07-2003, 01:19 PM
"We're a little off the topic of engines here, but I don't think Andrew will mind. I agree that replacing your tank is the way to go. If you want to have 100 gals. of fuel onboard, I'd look at mounting two 50 gal. tanks forward in the engine compartment on either side of, and with at least 1 foot or more in clearance from, the engine.

Don't put a 100 gal. tank in the stern. That will really cause the boat to squat underway. Most Catalinas I've seen have factory trim tabs for that very reason. Mounting the tanks closer to the center of gravity will help handling noticeably.

The deep-V design makes it a good rough water boat for a 25 footer. But because it's a deep-V and has a lot of beam, it's sensitive to lateral loads. Another reason they came with trim tabs.
Beam seas will roll this boat easily.

When you rebuild your cabin be aware of the weight of materials and their distance from the keel centerline. Try to keep things balanced. In fact, the original cabin layout puts quite a bit more weight on the port than starboard side. Placement of your fuel and water tanks, batteries, etc. can help keep the boat in trim.

IMHO, the 225 HP 305K is not enough power if you plan on cruising on plane most of the time. I would go with a bigger GM small block like a 350 or 377/383 stroker of at least 275 HP and increase prop size to around 13x13 (from the standard 13x10). This will lower your cruise RPM's and quiet things down, too. Give me your Paragon's model number (stamped on top) and I'll tell you if it's 1:1 or 1:1.5 ratio.


04-19-2004, 02:00 PM
" Can anyone supply the valve lash specs for a 1961 Chris Craft 283-H. This is a new boat for me, and I noticed blown head gasket when de-winterizing. Engines apper to have solid lifters, however, these seem to have been set with no valve lash. "

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