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chevy 153 181 nova mercruiser 4 cyl who has used one????

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 32coupedeville, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. cartman4gc
    Joined: Jul 25, 2011
    Posts: 88


    I'm building a 27 T roadster with a 120 Mercruiser. I bought a vacuum advance distributor from Carquest, made my own intake manifold to use the Rochester 2GC from the boat, and made my motor mounts.

    I'm toying with a T5, and the flywheel/clutch parts are standard chevy V8 153 tooth parts, clutch disc to match the trans splines.

    Due to space considerations, I probably will go with a Turbo 350 though, and its easy to bolt up, again a 153 tooth flexplate, and slightly higher stall converter, all with a 3.73 rear end from a S10 pickup.

    Exhaust header came from Clifford.
  2. jugernot
    Joined: Apr 5, 2012
    Posts: 3

    from No Cal

    I just picked up a chevy 153ci 4 cylinder and am planning a future build. can you post a pic of your intake manifold? Thanks
  3. 32coupedeville
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 1,253

    from cincy

    i will be putting the 140hp mercruser in a 28 model at hiboy closed cab truck. i hope to keep the weight down low to help out performance.
  4. Do you still have the 181 Nova engine ?
  5. Searching for 181 Merc Eng and 3.7 Merc engine also.
  6. Just a few illustrations for your post.

    Charlie Stephens

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 15, 2012
  7. bobscogin
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 1,761


    Isn't the architecture of the Pontiac SD head based on the Iron Duke engine? I think they have different head bolt patterns and cooling passages from the Chevy II/Mercruiser engines.

  8. 6narow
    Joined: Jun 1, 2008
    Posts: 517


    The only difference between a "marine" engine and an "automotive" engine are two plastic "clips" or "shields".
    One mounts on the battery positive of the alternator and the other mounts on the battery positive of the starter.
    Aside from that, most run a water-cooled exhaust manifold, but that's not a mandatory thing to have (although in most engine compartments, its going to make things very warm, very quickly, if you don't use one).
    The cam is usually of slightly higher performance than the stock automotive cam, but as long as its ground to run right hand rotation, its fine to run on the street.
    I know with the Chevy inline sixes, the Mellings copy basically just has the intake ground to the same lift and duration as the exhaust, so the "improvement" would be about .013" valve lift and about 5-10 extra degrees (figure your peak power goes up about 500 rpm).
    Also, its my understanding that the ports in the cylinder head may be of a better shape and that's where some of the HP increase comes from.
    I've heard of a few guys running boat engines in their cars, so the idea is not out of the question, but the practice was never very popular.
    If you decide to get one, I would suggest buying new or making absolutely certain that the engine did not spend too much time running in salt water, unless the seller can guarantee that the engine was cooled via some kind of "sealed" system, such as a keel cooler or a heat exchanger.
    Otherwise, it means the engine was "raw water" cooled, which means the water pump simply picked up the water the boat was floating in and ran that through the engine.
    The problem there is two-fold; one, there could be erosion via electrolysis since it was cooled with only water, and two, if it was run in salt water, there could be additional corrosion from the salt itself.
    So, while the notion is a cool one, the reality is.....buyer beware.

    P.S. In your post, it sounds like you think there's a 120HP and a 140HP version of the 181, but actually, the 120HP version is the 153. The 140HP version is the 181.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
  9. ottoman
    Joined: May 4, 2008
    Posts: 288

    from Wisconsin

    Thread was last posted on in 2012...
  10. 6narow
    Joined: Jun 1, 2008
    Posts: 517


    ...I'm sorry, was I not supposed to do that?
  11. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,583


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