Wellcraft 23 Nova XL - I-6 for a v-8?

Discussion in 'Sterndrives' started by sandandwater, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. sandandwater
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Location: Arizona

    sandandwater New Member

    Hi, new here.

    This may be sacrilegious, but here's the deal:
    I want to put a good running I-6 Mercruiser 165 and Alpha 1 drive into a '84 Wellcraft 23 Nova XL that has been stripped of the engine and outdrive. I believe this boat was originally outfitted with a Mercruiser 260 and Alpha 1. The transom plate and bell housing are still in place.

    Beyond the obvious result that the boat will be underpowered, what other issues and/or pitfalls could I encounter?
    Will the I-6 fit?
    What are the implications of modifying the mounts?

    I have two boats, a '76 Fiberform with twin I-6 Mercruiser 165's, and an old Blue Water with a single 165. The Blue Water is about done, but the engine and drive is good to go. I like the I-6 engines and am looking for a fouth one to rebuild and modify.

    The Wellcraft is on a trailer, a good deal, and would be used to "store/test" the I-6's, if I can get it installed.

    Thanks for any help and advice offered. Don't hesitate to shoot straight, I know this is an unconventional refit.
  2. charmc
    Joined: Jan 2007
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    Location: FL, USA

    charmc Senior Member

    Some obvious stuff: exhaust, engine mounts (you might have to make lateral adapter plates to reach the stringers for a secure mount, they'll need to be heavy enough to resist vibration) tach replacement, possible guage replacement, engine cover and deck cutout modifications for extra length, possible interference with lateral braces from longer sump, cooling water pump and line modifications, and I could think of more given enough time. I don't know if any of these are going to be major problems, just things you need to plan for before starting the conversion. Remember Murphy will be your helper, whether you ask for help or not.

    I agree, it's an interesting project.


    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: Florida

    RMSOSF Junior Member

    There will be a sustantial power reduction, I would try to traade the I6 package and some cash for a good V8 260 package if you could find such a deal. You are looking at 100 HP difference here and the performance of the Wellcraft would be poor at best.
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