View Full Version : 65 Cavalier 327

07-10-2007, 01:07 PM
I just bought a 65 Chris*Craft Cavalier with a 327CID yesterday so I am now part of this group... I am coming to find that this is more of a collectors item than I had originally thought... I bought it because I loved the classic looking lines...
It is needing a restoration but the boat seems to be a good shape... The engine was rebuilt in 92 and has never been cranked >> the last owner was not a mechanic but he did pour Mystery oil in the cylinder every year and roll it over by hand...
I am going to have some questions about what needs to be done so I can get it back on the lake ASAP...

07-20-2007, 12:01 PM
"Pull the plugs. Crank it over while watching the oil pressure gage like a hawk. If it wheels over fast, and has spark, put NEW plugs in and fire it up.

Good luck! That was my favorite SB Chevy motor, by the way.


07-20-2007, 04:01 PM
I started working on it yesterday evening... I pulled the plugs and rolled it over but the starter rolled kinda slow... I adjusted the valves and re stabbed the distributor so that #1 firing position was in the right spot...
Re installed the plugs and found no fire...
Checked the points (I hate points) and found some corrosion and filled them... I can get them to fire the coil manually but when I roll the starter is seems to sap too much juice and the coil fire is weak....
I pulled the starter and took it apart and it was pretty dirty inside of it... I clean it up and put some grease in the roller bushings on the ends and reassmebled it...
I will install it next and see if that helped....

Here is a question...

It that doesn't work >>> Should I rebuild the old starter to stick with original or should I just get a modern chevy starter to solve the problem?


07-14-2008, 12:41 PM
Well it has been a year and I let the boat sit... I am about to get back on it and work with it again... I just want to hear it run!
I bought a drop in electronic ignition for the prestolite distributor and I am going to rig up a system to lubricate the cylinders through the plug holes with mystery oil and turn the motor over to loosen it up... (I hope it works because it hasn't been started in 12 years)
I have a question though... The motor is a 327F and the fly wheel is in the rear (toward the back of the boat) and so is the distributor... However the motor turns over counter clock wise looking at it from the front to the rear.... Is the front right cylinder #1?? and what is the firing order for this type of motor??

07-14-2008, 01:03 PM

you have a RH motor running opposite from the standard automotive rotation, as Chris Craft installed in ALL single engine boats that had flywheel aft. The number one cylinder is (when looking at the flywheel) the one on the front left side. Here is some info from my personal reference site that will be of help to you.

http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/message/1123103583 ("")

Good luck, been there, done that, so far it appears to be working okay. Be sure you have some lubrication inside those cylinder walls, rotate the motor by hand by putting a breaker bar on the front pulley nut out of the crankshaft, be sure to turn the motor so when viewing the flywheel it is running in a clockwise rotation or you can booger up the rubber impeller in the water pump (which you should replace if it has been sitting 12 years, it is probably frozen to shape now). I would remove the freeze port for the pump and squirt in a little soap just to get things started, with a mild water flow from a hose, but be careful as this can and has flooded motors in the past (Hercules problems).

Naturally, if the carb has not been run in 12 years, we can hardly expect it to run now, as parts tend to dry (and gum) up. Might be a good idea to borrow one for the test or get a rebuild kit.

Good luck


07-14-2008, 08:58 PM
Thanks for the reply dogsharks38... I wasn't expecting a reply so fast! lol.... Thanks for the heads up on the type of motor and the reference site... I printed it out and I am going to use it out on the boat.

jim cartwright
09-10-2008, 09:12 AM
"i have a65 30ft connie had the 283 rebuilt port engine blows oil out dipstick tube at 2500 rpm +compression &bleeddown good rellaced pvc,filter screen oil ventalator . any sugestions"

09-11-2008, 12:53 PM
"Hello Jim,

This sounds like you might have a rusted out intake manifold. When this happens, it can pressurize your crankcase, and cause the oil to blow out the dipstick. The rusted area that makes this happen is at the exhaust crossover part of the intake manifold, and if you have a hole there, you will get exhaust pressure seeping into the crankcase. There may be something else going on, such as excessive blow-by, but if that is happening enough to blow oil out I would think you have a badly smoking motor too.

Also, if your PCV system is plugged, you can build up pressure in the crankcase.

Good luck,


09-17-2008, 11:00 AM
"thanks paul is there adifference in the 283f intake manifold marine or auto. also could this pressure cause rpm,s to stop at 3000. thanks jim"

09-19-2008, 07:39 AM
"I have a pair of 1968 327F's I recently rebuilt. After about 5 hours on the engines, I developed a hole in the starboard manifold. I purchased a used pair of manifolds that are serviceable but are showing some signs of scaling inside the exhaust passage. I was told this passage provides exhaust to warm the carburator during high RPM operation which can cause icing in the carburator. My questions are

1. Can this passage be blocked off completely? Would performance be affected?

2. Is there some way to "sleeve" the passage with tubing or high temp rubber hose to retard or eliminate the development of burn/rust holes in the passage? Has anyone tried something like this?

3. Is there a source for NOS manifolds? I have only been able to locate used ones in "fair" condition.

Thanks everyone for any thoughts and or information.

Dave Bullington
St. Charles, MO
"Whoz Yer Daddy"

http://www.marineengine.com/discus/messages/12491/219227.jpg1966 Chris Craft Cavalier 33' Futura

09-19-2008, 08:59 AM
"http://www.sea-way.com/chriscraft.htm ("")

Seaway should have the manifolds"

10-04-2008, 10:13 AM
"dogsharks38 paul I pulled intake wow large crack changed manifold runs great . 4000 rpm,s and no oil blowby. Thanks Jim"

10-04-2008, 03:29 PM

I beg to differ re: "Chris Craft installed RH engines in all single engined boats with flywheel aft"

I have a 1969 Lancer I/O that is (was) fitted with a 283FLV engine. This is a regular inboard engine that was installed via a custom ChrisCraft only adapter to the Volvo stern drive. It is most assuredly a LH rotation engine... perhaps the straight inboard only Chris' were RH... ???

10-05-2008, 08:57 PM
"Hi Robert,

My comments are for the straight flywheel aft inboard motors and not for the V-drive or outdrive, and NOT for the Q series small block Chevy, many of which were reversed and hooked the transmission on the front of the motor. It is possible for a outdrive or v-drive transmission to change the prop direction of rotation from the direction of motor rotation, depending on model and type.

Maybe I missed something, but I thought I told the guy he had a RH motor (spinning opposite hand from standard automotive, standard automotive being LH) in his 327F flywheel aft motor. You are right, all flywheel aft motors of this vintage use RH props, but how they get the RH direction is sometimes very confusing.

The real squirrel comes about when you start working with the Q series motors, that are turned around backwards, still spinning the prop in a RH direction, but the motor internals are still automotive standard.

Therefore, RH and LH should apply to the installed mode of rotation only, and never a reference to the actual internal configuration of the camshaft, etc.