Engine builder

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Trapper510
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Engine builder

Post by Trapper510 »

I am about to repower a 16x8 panther boat
Gonna change gearbox prop and all
I am in Alaska
What are your thoughts on Steve Schmidt vs Water Thunder engines
Thanks

Gary S
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Re: Engine builder

Post by Gary S »

I'm not a car motor guy, but if I were I think I would rather have a guy with proven success with air boat engines than a a guy with proven success with race engines.

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Scipio
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Re: Engine builder

Post by Scipio »

Go with Dave / Waterthunder. Airboats are not race cars, and you never want to worry about water on your setup.
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Trapper510
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Re: Engine builder

Post by Trapper510 »

Thanks
That was my leaning just wanted to ask around

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ARMYCOUNTRY43
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Re: Engine builder

Post by ARMYCOUNTRY43 »

Steve Schmidt does warranty motors for airboats that he builds he has pictures on his website for who he has built for I would assume waterthunder also warranties motors Prestige Motorsports in North Carolina also builds motors for airboats they just built a 632 for some people in Louisiana not too long ago look them up on YouTube
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SWAMPHUNTER45
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Re: Engine builder

Post by SWAMPHUNTER45 »

"The best warranty is the one you never need to use.....SWAMP"

You cannot forget MAS either when talking car motor builders.

GTO has been aligned with MAS for years.

WaterThunder, Branch and MAS have been in the game a long time and have proven reputations for engines that stay together and make good power on airboats.

I met a guy 4-5 years ago up in a little spot around Levy County. He had a WaterThunder engine that was beyond bad ass. Talked with him a bit and learned he was affiliated with a NASCAR Cup Team. That should tell you something right their. I got with Dave and he verified it and if I recall the conversation there was some very special head work that was done to that engine.

Wish you the best in your search for a quality build, may you get years of trouble free rides!

RJC5778
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Re: Engine builder

Post by RJC5778 »

we used shane lejeune down here in south la. alot of the seismograph contractors use him for their builds. we have 2 engines from him and they are reliable work horses. both BBC one 540 and one 468 (stockish but with upgrades to live in an airboat). haven't had any troubles other than normal maintenance and incidentals. both run 2-1 belt reductions on 3 blade composite props.

firm believer in you get what you pay for in the engine world especially marine engines. if interested, i can pm you his number (currently works in orange tx). great guy and stands by his work and has been building airboat engines for a good while. let me know.

Trapper510
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Re: Engine builder

Post by Trapper510 »

Thanks for the info
I think I have decided to go with Steve Schmidt
One of his 423 SB engines
Gave me a good quote and delivery time

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kwanjangnihm
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Re: Engine builder

Post by kwanjangnihm »

https://www.steveschmidtracing.com/raci ... ando-elite

Trapper have you decided on a gearbox / prop combo for the new engine?
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Trapper510
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Re: Engine builder

Post by Trapper510 »

Stinger 2.68
82" 3 blade JX

SWAMPHUNTER45
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Re: Engine builder

Post by SWAMPHUNTER45 »

So this boat is together (rigged out) and has run at an acceptable level for your use with a Small Block Chevy before ?

Trapper510
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Re: Engine builder

Post by Trapper510 »

It has been running with a 383, 2.12 gear box and a 78" 2 blade
Bit under powered but it worked in the rivers

Trapper510
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Re: Engine builder

Post by Trapper510 »

Going to 600+ hp and torque with a 2.68 and 82" 3 blade jx should alleviate the under power issues

SWAMPHUNTER45
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Re: Engine builder

Post by SWAMPHUNTER45 »

Big boat for a small block

If it ran decent with your prior set up then this will be a solid gain in performance.

A 2.55 ratio may work well with that prop too.

I have run a 4 blade(82) JX and it pushed very well.

You will find it sort of gives a snappy push when it spools up as compared to a steady gain. You will like it!

Trapper510
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Re: Engine builder

Post by Trapper510 »

I had considered a bbc but have decided to stay with a sbc
Everything but dry running was acceptable with the low power set up.
Lots of depth fast water where we run

Trapper510
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Re: Engine builder

Post by Trapper510 »

What are your thoughts on it swamphunter.
Engine wise

Klondike Jim
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Re: Engine builder

Post by Klondike Jim »

I am in Eagle River, AK and repowering my 18’ Alaska Airboat this winter myself. Currently running a NAPA crate 350. My guess running about 230 hp and replacing with MAS Performance 383 @ 500. Figure it still won’t run dry but should do fine on Big Su, Deshka and Yentna.
:alaska: 1997 18’ Alaska Airboat 383 Stroker w/ Whirlwind Stump Puller.

SWAMPHUNTER45
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Re: Engine builder

Post by SWAMPHUNTER45 »

Over the years Trapper510 the experience learned on this site generally finds the 15ft boat length as a objective point to using the small block platform. Once you get to the 16ft and then add a lot of weight or in the ice boat community a cabin, the consensus has been a big block with gear and wide blades is the proven power combination.

This said there are some very successful LS power combinations but even the LS king (Dave) at "WaterThunder" had recommended going BB after the heavy 16ft mark.

If you have been fairly content with the current small block and your new engine offers more power and is properly matched to your prop and gear then you will clearly get more than what you had. The gain will not be proportional but, it will be a solid noticeable gain. That new 3 blade prop is going to work to your benefit and if you crunch the numbers on the gear ratio you will see a big boost in the boats ability. As long as you don't need to travel over ground for great distance and avoid traps like sticky green or dry mud your probably going to be very pleased.

The power combination is very capable it will just have to work harder in difficult environments.

Those JX blades push your going to have a big smile on your face when they are spinning up !

redbeard4
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Re: Engine builder

Post by redbeard4 »

Has anyone tried a 3.6L pentastar (chrysler) engine on an airboat? it is around 300hp 6 cyl.

Trapper510
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Re: Engine builder

Post by Trapper510 »

My previous engine was nowhere near the power of this new one. I am probably going to be increasing the power by 300hp. Plus going to 3blade JX.
We mainly run the rivers around here. Big Su, Talkeetna and Chulitna, and Deska.
Not looking for a bulldozer just better power and reliability.

SWAMPHUNTER45
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Re: Engine builder

Post by SWAMPHUNTER45 »

Any time you get into the high horsepower ranges of a platform you “test” reliability. That is where the builders reputation and their R&D comes into play. Sounds like you will be happy with your choice.

Let us know how it slides. Those blades have the push I had tested them. SwampThang has a 4 blade JX CF race prop for his turbo build that we put on my boat. It was snappy and pushed very well. He said he could see my boat go from being a bulldozer with a lateral push to a more sporty crisp push with nearly the same overall ability.

The best way to describe it was the JX blades acted like they had a “stall” where they spooled up and then hooked up.

Have a Merry Christmas and stay well.

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