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Crusader Engine Prices

Old 07-03-2020, 07:19 AM
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Default Crusader Engine Prices

The last twenty years I've owned either diesels or outboards and have no idea what inboard gas engines should cost. I'm looking at a 31 Bertrams. Some of them need to be repowered. I assume that I would want 8.1 Crusader but I'm having a hard time finding ballpark prices. From advertisements the prices are all over the place. Does anyone know a realistic price with transmissions? I've made a few calls but the answers have been very vague. What are some other choices of engines and price range that would work on a 31 Bertram?

Last edited by buzzk; 07-03-2020 at 07:26 AM.
Old 07-03-2020, 07:28 AM
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You want to buy a boat already re-powered with diesels
Old 07-03-2020, 07:31 AM
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Do they even offer a new 8.1 anymore? I though they stopped manufacturing that. Maybe remans are available?
Old 07-03-2020, 07:48 AM
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805gregg, You're right if I wanted diesel I should buy a diesel. But I'm not sure I want another diesel but I haven't ruled it out. It just depends on what I find. The model Bertram is more important to me rather than diesel or gas.
Cobia23, You may be right and they don't make them anymore. I've been out of the big block loop for 20 years. Do you have any suggestions for higher HP engines that would work in a Bertram 31 and the ballpark price with transmissions?
Old 07-03-2020, 08:09 AM
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Michiganmotorz has a good website with prices on Mercruiser engines and also transmissions.
Old 07-03-2020, 08:26 AM
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Check out Atlantic Marine Store in Miami. They have great prices for IB motors.
https://www.atlanticmarinestore.com/

You might want to consider going with the 383 Stroker MPI engines. For a 31 Hull you could get away with the lower displacement (IMO) and pick up a ton in fuel economy. I was considering 383 Stroker engines to replace my 454 crusaders.
it all depends on how you plan to use the boat. If you are going to be pushing the boat hard all the time and running a max cruise then the 383 might not be the best.

Based on my research you will be looking at 10-15K minimum per engine to switch to Fuel Injection. If you want to keep the carbs you can get Short Block and Long Blocks for under 10K each in some cases closer to 5K each ( no trans )

Old 07-03-2020, 08:33 AM
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If you can find Crusader 8.1 MPI engines, get them. They are much in demand but scarce as hen's teeth ... because they are fantastic big block engines. Last sold new by GM to the marinizers (Crusader, Mercruiser, Volvo Penta .... Crusader is much preferred) in 2009 (I think?) but remans are available from several sources.

Good luck with your search!


Old 07-03-2020, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Fiddlehead View Post
If you can find Crusader 8.1 MPI engines, get them. They are much in demand but scarce as hen's teeth ... because they are fantastic big block engines. Last sold new by GM to the marinizers (Crusader, Mercruiser, Volvo Penta .... Crusader is much preferred) in 2009 (I think?) but remans are available from several sources.

Good luck with your search!
I was very close to buying a pair of 8.1L used engines for my boat I found for 10K. After talking to a few rebuilders around South Florida they suggested against it. The 8.1 / 496 is an over bored 454 making the cylinder walls very thin. Given the higher operating temps for marine engines, the builders said they have seen many failures due to this.

I think there is a good reason why the 8.1L is few and far between. I am not an engine builder...just sharing info I picked up while doing hours of research.
Old 07-03-2020, 08:49 AM
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I really don't know what I would need. I just assumed 8.1 but after hearing these comments it doesn't appear to be what I should get. If I buy a boat that needs repowering I would want brand new and fuel injected with new transmissions. Years ago my dad had a 31, it had the big block Chrysler and I just assumed I would need big block engines. That's why I was asking what most people would use and ballpark pricing with transmissions.
Old 07-03-2020, 08:55 AM
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If I'm reading this right a complete new 383 with fresh water cooling and a new transmission would be in the 17k range. Is that seem about right?
Old 07-03-2020, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by buzzk View Post
I really don't know what I would need. I just assumed 8.1 but after hearing these comments it doesn't appear to be what I should get. If I buy a boat that needs repowering I would want brand new and fuel injected with new transmissions. Years ago my dad had a 31, it had the big block Chrysler and I just assumed I would need big block engines. That's why I was asking what most people would use and ballpark pricing with transmissions.
If you are planning to switch to FI then you are going to be $12K (bare minimum) to about $20K with no trans. I don't know the weight on the Bertram you are looking at but that will play a factor in what displacement you will need. You could always run with carb engine and possibly use your existing trans.

Here is a link to a brand new 383 Stroker MPI for $12,000 with no trans.
https://www.atlanticmarinestore.com/...inboard-350hp/

Too many scenarios without knowing more about the existing engines and also how you plan to use the boat.
Old 07-03-2020, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by buzzk View Post
If I'm reading this right a complete new 383 with fresh water cooling and a new transmission would be in the 17k range. Is that seem about right?
Thats probably about right.
Old 07-03-2020, 09:18 AM
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Twin new 375 hp Crusader 6.0L Classic's with a ZF63A down angle gear is about $16.5k (plus all the rigging) and would work very well in boat as light as a Bertram 31 (they are about 11,000 lbs).
Old 07-03-2020, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by LI32 View Post
Twin new 375 hp Crusader 6.0L Classic's with a ZF63A down angle gear is about $16.5k (plus all the rigging) and would work very well in boat as light as a Bertram 31 (they are about 11,000 lbs).
Yes also a good option at about 9K per engine without trans

Crusader Engines Classic 6.0L MPI
Old 07-03-2020, 09:27 AM
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you're not really going to know until they take out the old engines and try to install the new ones to see what else needs to be fixed up before the new engines can be installed properly.
Old 07-03-2020, 09:55 AM
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There is a good chance you will need new shafts /props to go with new engines/trans----I would factor in the budget. My older motors use BW Velvet Drive and standard & counter-rotating motors----new motors usually have Hurt transmissions
that reverse rotation ---the trans are shorter and would require longer shafts. Depending on the RPM range and gear reduction--the current props may not work.
Old 07-03-2020, 10:30 AM
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Thanks guys, I realize it's going to probably require some substantial changes in the boat. I was just curious about what the engines and transmission alone would cost. I'm a little surprised that gas engines are as high as they are. When I'm in Ft. Lauderdale I always pick up the free marine magazines at some of the restaurants and look through them and I've noticed some of the engine prices. But when I have called around what I would actually need never seems to be that cheap. At least that's what I've found in the past.
Old 07-03-2020, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by unitedmotorleague View Post
I was very close to buying a pair of 8.1L used engines for my boat I found for 10K. After talking to a few rebuilders around South Florida they suggested against it. The 8.1 / 496 is an over bored 454 making the cylinder walls very thin. Given the higher operating temps for marine engines, the builders said they have seen many failures due to this.

I think there is a good reason why the 8.1L is few and far between. I am not an engine builder...just sharing info I picked up while doing hours of research.
Yes and no. While it is possible to bore and stroke a 454 to a 496, the original 8.1L motors were built by GM as 8.1L blocks, not modified from 7.4L, and are known to be rock solid reliable. They are great motors and only went out of production when GM went through their troubles in 2009 as part of the financial crisis.

Used Crusader 8.1's move very fast if they're in any shape at all. Mercruiser or VP, not as much in demand but still good motors if they've been taken care of.




Old 07-03-2020, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by buzzk View Post
Thanks guys, I realize it's going to probably require some substantial changes in the boat. I was just curious about what the engines and transmission alone would cost. I'm a little surprised that gas engines are as high as they are. When I'm in Ft. Lauderdale I always pick up the free marine magazines at some of the restaurants and look through them and I've noticed some of the engine prices. But when I have called around what I would actually need never seems to be that cheap. At least that's what I've found in the past.
Nothing with a boat is cheap.

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