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    To repower or not???

    Well, here are the facts:
    1. I bought my 1988 (9?) 2556 over a year ago on an impulse. I loved the size, the flybridge, the spacious aft deck, the layout and the homely wood interior of the saloon so much that I overlooked some technical aspects like highly probable rot in the transom and engine room, a possibly corroded and on the brink of leaking fuel tank and the health of the 30+ years old big block 7.4L Merc. 454 carbureted and the Bravo 2 stern drive.
    2. For health and other reasons I was able to put the boat to water at the end of September this year. The test showed some problems with the carburetor and the ignition system which were dealt with fairly easily. A more thorough inspection by a technician revealed that the OEM exhaust manifold has been replaced by some of the previous owner with a Chinese one and the OEM starter with a European automotive one. There was some rust but not too much on quite a few places, including the sump. Otherwise the engine ran well and with enough power to put the boat on plane pretty quickly. The steering, shifting and general behavior of boat in nearly flat water was satisfying.
    3. Only then I came across the alarming number of threads and post in the BOC and elsewhere about transom/stringer/engine room repairs due to rot and, even more alarmingly, difficult and quite costly replacements of fuel tanks for fear of imminent leaking. So I gradually accepted the fact that the Merc and the Bravo had to be dismantled in order to allow a more thorough inspection and the possibility of repairs & replacements. It wouldn’t have bothered me if I possessed the skills to do most of the work myself like “Builderdude” Dave and so many others but, unfortunately, I am a near complete technical idiot. Still, by now the boat had grown on me so much that I decided to go ahead and do what had to be done, hopefully keeping the cost as low as possible to avoid severe repercussions by the Admiral.
    4. So, finally, to the point. Since I will be taking out the old and not exactly economical 454 anyway, is this the time to replace it with a smaller in size, less “thirsty” and, hopefully, not needing frequent repairs or part replacements engine??? I do my boating in a mild climate (Greece) from May to November. Any ideas, suggestions and thoughts on the subject will be highly appreciated.
    5. I would like to expand a little more about the intended use of the boat. She will have to leisurely “transport” just skinny me and my even skinnier wife for sunbathing and swimming away from the crowds plus some fishing trips in the quite protected waters with not more than 10 miles away from any shore.

    Thanks in advance!
    "ΑΛΕΞ"
    1989 Bayliner 2556 Mercruiser 454/Bravo II
    Chalkidiki, Greece

    Toyota Land Cruiser 100 V8 470
    Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive

    #2
    I would not get rid of the 454 just yet, that 25 ft boat is a big heavy vessel and big block power is superior, there is no point in trying to use a smaller engine to get better fuel economy because you are still moving all that weight, as far as I am concerned unless you installed a 383 cu in small block the boat would be seriously under powered with a typical 5.7 small block. As long as the engine runs well, does not burn oil, you do not find water in cylinders or water in the oil, leave it be. Remember you also have an I/O transom mount and outdrive to maintain.
    The bigger issues are the fuel tank and any structural rot you may find. Unfortunately this is a part of old boat life, and these problems are expensive & time consuming to repair. There is no way around it, if you want to be in boating. Fix things as they come up and prepare for the "big ones" (ie gas tank, transom, stringers etc) and then continue on boating. That, or sell before troubles start and buy a smaller and MUCH NEWER boat as in less than 5 years old, modern outboard powered. That plan will free you from headaches that old boat owners have, but to keep the costs reasonable smaller is a must, and 4 stroke outboard power. DO NOT buy a late model I/O boat with Cat Converter exhaust you will regret it, exhaust repairs cost a fortune and they are a nuisance due to check engine codes because of the absurd use of O2 sensors in a wet exhaust design.
    88 Four Winns 200 Horizon 4.3 OMC
    98 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.0/Selectrac
    07 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.7 Hemi/Quadradrive II

    Long Island Sound Region

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by 88fourwinns View Post
      ...sell before troubles start and buy a smaller and MUCH NEWER boat as in less than 5 years old, modern outboard powered. That plan will free you from headaches that old boat owners have, but to keep the costs reasonable smaller is a must, and 4 stroke outboard power. DO NOT buy a late model I/O boat with Cat Converter exhaust you will regret it, exhaust repairs cost a fortune and they are a nuisance due to check engine codes because of the absurd use of O2 sensors in a wet exhaust design.
      I gave up that idea after I experienced the immeasurable joy of driving a flybridge boat with a huge aft deck. I'll never be able to afford a modern outboard driven boat that costs from 100 000 upwards. I'm prepared to accept the life of an old boat owner but would like to take the right decisions and actions in order to arrive at the point when I'll start to enjoy my 2556 without constantly repairing, replacing parts or fixing something major I need a plan to achieve that at the lowest possible cost and with the least wasted time.

      "ΑΛΕΞ"
      1989 Bayliner 2556 Mercruiser 454/Bravo II
      Chalkidiki, Greece

      Toyota Land Cruiser 100 V8 470
      Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Kolyo View Post
        Well, here are the facts:
        For health and other reasons I was able to put the boat to water at the end of September this year. The test showed some problems with the carburetor and the ignition system which were dealt with fairly easily. A more thorough inspection by a technician revealed that the OEM exhaust manifold has been replaced by some of the previous owner with a Chinese one and the OEM starter with a European automotive one. There was some rust but not too much on quite a few places, including the sump. Otherwise the engine ran well and with enough power to put the boat on plane pretty quickly. The steering, shifting and general behavior of boat in nearly flat water was satisfying.
        Sounds like she’s currently running good. I’d clean up the rusted areas on the engine and repaint as time allows. The aftermarket exhaust manifolds will work fine but ALL exhaust components need to be replaced at some point as they typically rust away over time, that’s just a maintenance item. The starter can also be replaced without engine removal on the 2556, it’ll be tight but doable. The transom may be just fine, there are things you can do to test it’s structural integrity. The fuel tank will likely need to be replaced at some point but as long as it’s not currently leaking the boat can be used, keep an eye on it and keep your insurance up to date.

        Is this boat moored full time or trailered?
        Dave
        Edmonds, WA
        "THE FIX"
        '93 2556
        Carbureted 383 Vortec-Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P

        The rebuild of my 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
        Misc. projects thread
        https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by builderdude View Post

          ...The transom may be just fine, there are things you can do to test it’s structural integrity. The fuel tank will likely need to be replaced at some point but as long as it’s not currently leaking the boat can be used, keep an eye on it and keep your insurance up to date.

          Is this boat moored full time or trailered?
          Thanks for all your advice!

          Talking to the guy with 23 years of servicing boats and engines experience whom I've entrusted with the repairs of my 2556 I got assured that the transom and stringers condition can be checked without removing the engine. As for the fuel tank, when I suggested to him we do a pressure test he was absolutely against. He argued that a pressure test can make the tank leaking prematurely.

          The boat is on dry dock for the winter months and I hope to get her ready for sailing by April next year.

          "ΑΛΕΞ"
          1989 Bayliner 2556 Mercruiser 454/Bravo II
          Chalkidiki, Greece

          Toyota Land Cruiser 100 V8 470
          Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive

          Comment


            #6
            If it runs good - Run it.

            Agree that aftermarket Manifolds and Risers are acceptable replacements. Depending on the cooling system (half or full) will determine exactly how much of the system is considered a service item. The tins are cheap but it also would take a really long time to corrode through a oil pan, a bit of surface rust wouldn't have me pulling the engine to swap it. If the engine was out and there was some serious pitting then I would replace it.

            The B2 and 454 is the best factory option they had in the 2556. I would hesitate to go to a 383. The 454 is always considered "thirsty" but it takes fuel to make HP. Going to a smaller displacement engine to save fuel isn't going to do anything but work the smaller engine harder to get the same power out of it and burn nearly identical amounts of fuel in the process. Saving weight in the stern is good but the difference is ~100lbs. It is pretty easy to find a 100lbs of other stuff to move forward in the boat... much easier than a repower.
            1999 Sandpiper Pilothouse - Current
            1989 3888 - 2011-2019, 1985 Contessa - 2005-2011, 1986 21' Trophy 1998-2005
            Nobody gets out alive.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by kwb View Post
              If it runs good - Run it.

              ...The 454 is always considered "thirsty" but it takes fuel to make HP. Going to a smaller displacement engine to save fuel isn't going to do anything but work the smaller engine harder to get the same power out of it and burn nearly identical amounts of fuel in the process. Saving weight in the stern is good but the difference is ~100lbs. It is pretty easy to find a 100lbs of other stuff to move forward in the boat... much easier than a repower.
              It's not so much the fuel costs that made me think of repowering. My mooring place is 100% safe in all weather conditions, which is pretty rare in my area, but it has the drawback of lacking shore AC power supply. So I'm heavily dependent on my Honda 2000i generator, Although it's fairly quiet I thought I I'd "silence" it to almost inaudible level if I installed it in the engine room after replacing the that huge 454 with a smaller in size engine. At one point I even thought of getting rid of the I/O and stern drive altogether, hanging a 25hp high thrust outboard at the back and driving the boat at displacement speed only. This alone wouldn't have been an unbearable compromise for our needs but I got talked out of it when I realized that we could not have a comfortable ride in anything but flat seas.

              "ΑΛΕΞ"
              1989 Bayliner 2556 Mercruiser 454/Bravo II
              Chalkidiki, Greece

              Toyota Land Cruiser 100 V8 470
              Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive

              Comment


                #8
                You're not going to get a lot of positive feedback regarding the Honda generator in the engine compartment. Certainly not for running it there but even for storing it.
                2007 Discovery 246
                300mpi BIII
                Welcome island Lake Superior

                Comment


                  #9
                  Click image for larger version  Name:	image_33061.jpg Views:	5 Size:	3.24 MB ID:	605539
                  Originally posted by 706jim View Post
                  You're not going to get a lot of positive feedback regarding the Honda generator in the engine compartment. Certainly not for running it there but even for storing it.
                  I got the idea from a fellow BOC member and thought it was a very good one. In any case I'm planning to remove the fish well as well, if you'll excuse the pun
                  "ΑΛΕΞ"
                  1989 Bayliner 2556 Mercruiser 454/Bravo II
                  Chalkidiki, Greece

                  Toyota Land Cruiser 100 V8 470
                  Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Another reason for wanting to change the engine is the size of my technician. He is far from skinny and I felt sorry for the guy when he got stuck when working upside down


                    And then I saw this video with all the space down there and 23 knots which is enough speed for my needs. I wander what engine is that?

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWsfU2gFS90&t=7s
                    "ΑΛΕΞ"
                    1989 Bayliner 2556 Mercruiser 454/Bravo II
                    Chalkidiki, Greece

                    Toyota Land Cruiser 100 V8 470
                    Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Kolyo View Post
                      Click image for larger version

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                      I got the idea from a fellow BOC member and thought it was a very good one. In any case I'm planning to remove the wish well as well, excuse the pun
                      I remember the thread.
                      That’ll be a legitimate marine designed genset that’s been installed there. In other words it’s been designed and more importantly approved to run in an enclosed engine bay. Your little Honda not so much. Best to keep it on the exterior somewhere.
                      Dave
                      Edmonds, WA
                      "THE FIX"
                      '93 2556
                      Carbureted 383 Vortec-Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P

                      The rebuild of my 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
                      Misc. projects thread
                      https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Kolyo View Post
                        Another reason for wanting to change the engine is the size of my technician. He is far from skinny and I felt sorry for the guy when he got stuck when working upside down


                        And then I saw this video with all the space down there and 23 knots which is enough speed for my needs. I wander what engine is that?

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWsfU2gFS90&t=7s
                        When you get down to it the Big Block and Small Block aren't that much different in size. Remember they both lived in a lot of the same engine compartments of GM cars and trucks. I know how hard it is to get around in a bilge as a big guy, I still wouldn't want a smaller engine just for the sake of access.

                        Based on that video it is some sort of home grown project. I am sure you can get the same results for a thousand or two hours and the cost of a nice new sedan.
                        1999 Sandpiper Pilothouse - Current
                        1989 3888 - 2011-2019, 1985 Contessa - 2005-2011, 1986 21' Trophy 1998-2005
                        Nobody gets out alive.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by builderdude View Post
                          I remember the thread.
                          That’ll be a legitimate marine designed genset that’s been installed there. In other words it’s been designed and more importantly approved to run in an enclosed engine bay. Your little Honda not so much. Best to keep it on the exterior somewhere.
                          Is it because of the exhaust fumes or the fire risk? If it is the fumes, they sell German made flexible ss exhaust extensions. Click image for larger version  Name:	honda-eu20i-generator-flexible-exhaust-extension-1.jpg Views:	0 Size:	18.4 KB ID:	605548
                          "ΑΛΕΞ"
                          1989 Bayliner 2556 Mercruiser 454/Bravo II
                          Chalkidiki, Greece

                          Toyota Land Cruiser 100 V8 470
                          Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive

                          Comment


                          • kwb
                            kwb commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I am guessing you are in Europe but all the same.... marine generator is spark arrested and water jacketed exhaust.
                            A portable Honda has neither of those things.
                            Both are required in the US, based on what I know of European Regs they tend to be a bit more restrictive than the North American versions.

                          #14
                          DO NOT attempt to install and operate a Honda EU series generator in a gasoline engine bay.

                          A true gasoline marine generator will be ignition source protected, will have a wet exhaust system and it's own seawater pump, etc. like the one shown in post #9.



                          As for down-sizing the engine, if you go from the BBC to a SBC, go with the 6.2L (377 cu in) or 6.3L (383 ci in) SBC (aka the stroker engine) with the proper quench effect style pistons. The GM version uses the Full Dished style, which IMO, should never be used in the Marine version!

                          Click image for larger version

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                          While it won't quite produce the torque of the BB, it will be closed....... but only if a Q/E build is incorporated.



                          Originally posted by Kolyo
                          And then I saw this video with all the space down there and 23 knots which is enough speed for my needs. I wander what engine is that?

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWsfU2gFS90&t=7s

                          While it sounds like a gasoline V-8, the info says: Bayliner 2556 3.6L Turbodiesel 185 PS 3850 U/min 23Kn Turbolader bei Vollast
                          Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
                          2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
                          Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
                          Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
                          Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

                          Comment


                            #15
                            Keep the 454, install a marine ignition protected starter, keep it tuned and go boating. I understand feeling sorry for the yoga positions your tech needs to get into, trust me, I’m “well rounded”. Any tech is going to have to do about the same thing, that’s just part of working on a boat. My oldest son had a 2556 with a 454 and we have friends with the 2556 with the 350, by comparison, the boat with the 350 seems underpowered.
                            I fully agree that trying to install, or even store a non marine generator in the engine room is a very bad idea. For the amount of money it would cost to install the portable, I think you could come up with an attachment to the exhaust outlet that would further reduce the volume.
                            P/C Pete
                            Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
                            1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
                            Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
                            MMSI 367770440

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