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Old     (dking13)      Join Date: Oct 2009       10-12-2009, 6:20 PM Reply   
hey guys. bought a 2000 malibu vlx this weekend only to find the block cracked from water being frozen in the block. the motor still runs and sounds good and has only 216 hours on it. any ideas. i would have no problem pulling the motor and swapping over parts (say if i got a short block.) is that my best option? and if so where would i find one? does it have to be a marine block or will just any 350 vortec work? any help would be appreciated in need.

Old     (jtnz)      Join Date: Sep 2007       10-12-2009, 6:55 PM Reply   
Any block should work. I think there are marine blocks but not sure on the differences. Mostly just accessories which you already have.
Old     (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       10-12-2009, 6:58 PM Reply   
Low hours, runs well. Just get an engine builder to swap the parts into another empty block, and install new rings and bearings. Any block will do but a heavy duty one is better for a marine engine because you spend so much time at high load.
Old     (bmartin)      Join Date: Jan 2007       10-12-2009, 7:18 PM Reply   
Hope this wasn't a surprise for you. In my first IO, I had an external crack in my block and had the crack ground out and they patched with some weld compound. Had zero problems with the patch. Can't tell from pictures if this is an option, but if the cracks are external, which yours seem to be, the major risk is the loss of coolant lake water and filling your boat up. It is something to investigate before investing in a new block.
Old     (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       10-13-2009, 5:43 AM Reply   
If it's just an external crack i.e. no oil in water jacket and no water in the oil, then weld it closed and rock on. If it ever becomes an issue again, the end result is still the engine swap.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       10-13-2009, 7:32 AM Reply   
That doesn't look like a crack you could weld. In fact it looks like water would shoot all over the bilge, if that's a drain plug in the block I'm seeing...

Isn't there a 72 hour buyer's remorse clause? pry depends on which state you're in. Not sure bout Canada.

Anyway, get ya a fresh block and start yanking parts off. At least its getting cold...
Old     (cwkoch)      Join Date: Aug 2006       10-13-2009, 7:44 AM Reply   
Wow!! That's a huge crack!! Didn't you test drive the boat, and look it over closely??
Old     (snowboardcorey)      Join Date: Jan 2004       10-13-2009, 8:17 AM Reply   
Looks like its time for a new block, charlies right that is a huge crack. It's impossible to say without running it but my guess is that with that kind of external damage you're also going to have internal damage. Replace the block, install new plugs and wires while your at it and you'll basically have a new boat come spring.
Old     (razzman)      Join Date: Dec 2006       10-13-2009, 8:34 AM Reply   
There are big diffs between a standard Vortec and a marinized one. Camshaft, HD mains, all brass plugs and fittings to name a few. Do not buy a standard Vortec, get the marine version long or short block.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       10-13-2009, 9:04 AM Reply   
Were the freeze plugs blown out?

I'd go with a marine block as well. Some have higher nickel content for strength, not sure on chevy blocks.

Current cam and valvetrain should swap over to new block, no?
Old     (razzman)      Join Date: Dec 2006       10-13-2009, 9:54 AM Reply   
Shouldn't be a problem swapping the cam, gears, etc. BUT depending on hours i'd opt for a new one.
Old     (illini88)      Join Date: Oct 2007       10-13-2009, 10:44 AM Reply   
the good news is you are finding this now, rather than come spring. I'm assuming there is more of a story to this transaction...
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       10-13-2009, 12:17 PM Reply   
Me too, but it would depend on how the old cam looked. I'd personally go for a new one in search of performance. But, 216 hours is nothing and current cam shouldn't have any issues.

New timing chain or gears for sure.
Pry new intake as well.

Those block are cheap. Shouldn't be a big deal.
Old     (dking13)      Join Date: Oct 2009       10-13-2009, 4:06 PM Reply   
talked to an engine builder he has said under 2000 he can replace the block if i bring him my short block. i also got a price on a short block 1600 but it is just a automotive engine. and for everyones info the blocks are all the same its all in the machining and component in the engine that makes it a marine engine. designed for running the rpms and loads it does. plus all the bolt on stuff. is what he said. if anyone has any other ideas or doesnt think this is a decent deal let me know. or disagrees.
Old     (greg2)      Join Date: May 2002       10-13-2009, 4:20 PM Reply   
Contact Sunwest Automotive in Medical Lake Washington. Ask for Mike and he should be able to help you out...does great work.
Old     (johnsvt)      Join Date: Dec 2006       10-13-2009, 5:39 PM Reply   
marine short block has brass freeze out plugs and a couple minor changes...wakeboat motor isn't under a ton of stress as it only turns 3-4k rpm

look for an automotive shortblock and ask machine shop to change freeze out plugs if you don't want to
Old     (formfunction)      Join Date: Jun 2008       10-13-2009, 6:04 PM Reply   
There is no way a empty block and changing over gutts should cost two grand.That is redonkulous.Vortec 350's are the most popular engine platform ever and can be had for pennies on the dollar.On top of that the only difference between marine and car is the brass freeze plugs.I would buy a used block from a machine shop(not the one that wants two grand)and switch over the internals.
Old     (craig_f)      Join Date: Feb 2008       10-13-2009, 8:50 PM Reply   
And here is my idiotic idea of the day....
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       10-13-2009, 11:04 PM Reply   
sent you a contact to a guy with a merc black scorp for sale...
Old     (gregtay)      Join Date: Aug 2008       10-14-2009, 10:54 AM Reply   
If you are going to go with a VW TDI then go for the 4.2 liter:-). (I have a V10 TDI Touareg... would LOVE that motor in my Wakesetter.. TONS of power and it's really heavy :-).
Old     (bob)      Join Date: Feb 2001       11-03-2009, 12:57 PM Reply   
A buddy had a similar crack, welded it up and it ran fine until he sold it some time later. As long as the internals did not get pushed in it would be fine. Many will tell you to just change the block BUT if you have good compression, leak down is good and the water jacket pressure tests good after a quick weld your good to go. Way cheaper and easier then an engine swap...
Old     (joesell)      Join Date: Apr 2001       11-03-2009, 2:04 PM Reply   
^^^^I second Bob. I would try to fix the crack first. If you run all those tests, it'll be fine.

If you do want a new block, the diff is brass freeze plugs, windage tray in the oil pan, and roller cam and lifters.
Old     (wofrankwo)      Join Date: Jul 2009       11-03-2009, 2:16 PM Reply   
ive got a complete 2000 315hp black scorpion sitting in my garage with less then 150 hrs on it .... pulled it out of my fishing boat in december .... runs perfect .... $2,500 .... will take less since you may not want the water manifolds and such
Old     (bdavis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       11-03-2009, 8:58 PM Reply   
Welding it would not be easy. You would need to break out the pieces and V the cracks with a grinder. Make a patch plug, heat the casting, weld with nickel rod, cool slowly, and hope it doesn't leak. I don't know if you could do that with the engine assembled and not mess up the tolerances.
I suppose it wouldn't hurt to try epoxy, it wont make it any worse. Good luck.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       11-03-2009, 10:40 PM Reply   
Sell you my marine 350 long block for $1500, $1000 if you don't need the heads.
Old     (joesell)      Join Date: Apr 2001       11-04-2009, 3:51 AM Reply   
You could use epoxy, or jb weld. Like brett said, It cant get any worse.

Glue it up, let it sit for a day or two. Then run it. If it blows, then get a new block. JBweld is like $5.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       11-04-2009, 8:00 AM Reply   
IMO That block is shot. You're just wasting your time trying to epoxy or weld that. There's no way in hell i would try to patch that. to each his own and yes JB Weld is cheap; Time is not.

Might as well tear those two pieces out and just start with a big hole. As least you'd have a clean surface to glue/epoxy/whatever patch you come up with.

Dude, pick up a book and learn to work on an engine. It's not rocket science.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       11-04-2009, 8:00 AM Reply   
Or get the rotating assembly put into the new block, the rest is cake.
Old     (bob)      Join Date: Feb 2001       11-06-2009, 7:01 AM Reply   
This may be a bit exagerated but, if you strip/crossthread a spark plug hole do you recoil it if it will hold and is industry tested or just replace the head? My point is the water jacket is not really a structural part of the engine, it just holds hot water in. I have seen this work, welding it up and I'm no welder but have been told by pro's a proper weld can be stronger then the surrounding area??What can it hurt to try? I consider myself a decent mechanic and pulling a motor and swapping everything over to a new block is anything buy "cake". This is why most people, 90%, would never even consider doing it themselves. Hell most wont even do their own manifolds.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       11-06-2009, 7:10 AM Reply   
"Cake" is subjective I suppose.... If you can follow instructions and operate a wrench, its really not that difficult.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       11-06-2009, 7:11 AM Reply   
BTW i doubt "the pro's" were referring to a cast engine block that had been welded... But I'm no welder either.


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