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Possible replacement for Mercrusier 4 cylinder 470 Series 165hp

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  • Possible replacement for Mercrusier 4 cylinder 470 Series 165hp

    I own a 1979 Wellcraft Elite 185 ski boat. Many years back the engine seized and I had it taken out for repair but I no longer have the engine. I have read multiple posts about how bad the Mercrusier 4 cylinder 470 Series engine was so I figure I don't want another one like it. When I get home from deployment, I would like to fix the boat and get it back in the water. Can someone please recommend a four cylinder engine that I can use in its place? One that the motor mounts are the same if that is possible? I would appreciate any help with this issue since I am a novice at boating. I would like to buy a refurbished engine. I do still have the outdrive. Thank you.


  • #2
    Re: Possible replacement for Mercrusier 4 cylinder 470 Series 165hp

    Your best bet is to drop in another 470. Yeah they have a bad rep, and a lot of guys do not like them, but there are really only 3 things to worry about, the cam seals, the alternator and the head gasket. All are things that can be pretty easily taken care of, especially if the engine is out. If you try to replace it with a 4 cyl, the gear ratio in your outdrive will be wrong, and there is no "drop in " engine anyway. Look for a post 1982 model with the larger coolant reservoir, and a 4 inch heat exchanger. If you can find a complete engine , it would be a weekend project to drop it in. It is not a bad engine, light and powerful easy on the gas, but will keep you on your toes maintenance wise good luck, and welcome back.
    Terry
    87, 4WINNS H 190
    470/Alpha I

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    • #3
      Re: Possible replacement for Mercrusier 4 cylinder 470 Series 165hp

      I never had a problem with them and I had twins. Down here when they get pulled they are gone through and end up in sprint cars.

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      • #4
        Re: Possible replacement for Mercrusier 4 cylinder 470 Series 165hp

        I use a 470 also. They are not that bad at all. Like stony stated before, there are really only the three problems to look for. Ive had mine for the past 3 years and can tell you that my little ole 4 banger eats up most other 4 bangers in its class, and some 6 cylinders too. Love the power in her. I would suggest you switch from that stator to a 1 wire alternator. I did this last year ans love it...
        "If it's not broken, don't try to fix it....."
        '87 Larson DC 190, 3.7 Mercruiser/Alpha one, (SOLD, she was a good ole gal.)
        '90 Sea Ray Sundancer 250, 7.4 Mercruiser/Bravo

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        • #5
          Re: Possible replacement for Mercrusier 4 cylinder 470 Series 165hp

          I have twin 470's and they sound great and not as bad as people say. One has a leaky cam seal. The boat is getting auctioned soon but they are not somthing I want to own either. The fact is no engine will fit the 470's mounts on the BACK TRANSOM plate. The front mount can always be changed but the rest of the hardware is unique. You will have a 1.89:1 ratio drive which is geared wrong for the 120/140 4 cyl. It will be geared close for the 165 L6 engine, and it will be geared wrong for the V6/V8 engines. Very little options there.

          Buy a rotted boat and swap another 470 in. Or buy a rotted boat with a mercruiser "whatever" engine and swap everything over. If you like the boat a lot and want to keep it long term go for a complete alpha one 4.3L LX. It will be decent on gas and have decent power. It will also typically fit where a 470 was after changing all the transome stuff.
          1988 Four Winns Sundowner 235, 5.7-4V 260HP OMC Cobra

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          • #6
            Re: Possible replacement for Mercrusier 4 cylinder 470 Series 165hp

            Thank you stonyloam. Since reading you post I have not had any luck finding any 470s. So I think I am just going to try to sell the hull and outdrive and buy a newer boat alltogether. It's a shame because it's actually a good boat. Thanks again.

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            • #7
              Re: Possible replacement for Mercrusier 4 cylinder 470 Series 165hp

              Thank you all for your advice.

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              • #8
                Re: Possible replacement for Mercrusier 4 cylinder 470 Series 165hp

                i own a 1983 470 merc yes there is still 470's out there i looked because someday i will have to replace or rebuild there is some on the net but sometimes you got to find those little old men sitting out front of there shop they will help you

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