More and more we watch the powerboating consumer demand modern LS engine technology they just can’t find in the new OEM sterndrive marine market today.
We’re living in the world that the automotive industry created and made infamous as the “Resto-mod” market. “Restoring and Modifying” has never been more popular as boat design has remained a constant for so many years and consumers have realized that with an update they can have the best of both worlds in a restored and modified popular boat.
Daryl Wear, owner of Loose Change Customs lives in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada, located about three hours north of Seattle. Cultus Lake is a popular boating destination and Harrison Lake, also nearby is 60 kms long and almost 9 kms across. “We are used to seeing some wicked cigarette boats show up here for a poker run” remarked Daryl.
Daryl says they were tasked with the update of a pristine 1985 Chris Craft 312 Stinger recently, so they set out removing the tired 454’s originally generating a meek 330 hp each and installing a pair of new GM Performance crate LS376 engines. They added Holley Sniper EFI intake manifolds, and Lightning headers. They also completed the entire front of the engines with Hardin Marine’s LS Serpentine Drive Kit with Closed Cooling to create the perfect finished product.
But best of all is the performance! The two brand new crate engines were rated at 480 hp but proved even more powerful with all the modifications. “We dyno’d at 517 hp each!,” Wear exclaimed. Not only are the new engines lighter (They lost about 600 lbs being all aluminum), and more fuel efficient, but they will make for a nice and reliable stock power package with over 500 hp each. The boat with original 454’s was a 70 mph boat, but it’s now besting 80 mph with better fuel economy.
Their next project is an old jet boat they are building as a budget project. The plan is to add a 6.0 LS3 and add twin turbo’s. We look forward to seeing where that goes!