Chris Craft 431 marine MEL motors

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FEfinaticP
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Chris Craft 431 marine MEL motors

Post by FEfinaticP » Tue 20. Jan 2009, 03:50

Hi Theo!

I was doing some late night surfing and saw a note you posted on the old FE forum, and so I now found your new MEL forum. I’m posting some info here, and I am also linking my ChrisCraftCommander.com form to yours.
The marine 431 MEL motor was used by Chris Craft beginning in the late 1950s or early 1960’s, not sure when the first one was used, but they were used in the big premium wood runabouts like the Chris Craft Continental and many of their premium wood cruisers of the era.

Here is a scan of some original literature I purchased on ebay, and you are welcome to use it here on your forum. My intent is to share the info.
printer11248.jpg
Here is the direct link in case the image is not properly shown here in my first attempts to share scans of this nature.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v472/ ... r11248.jpg

In 1966 Chris Craft transitioned from the MEL to the FE, so there were two years of use in the premium fiberglass Commander too. They were fine motors, many still in operation. Where torque is really the issue, the MEL did fine, as marine motors rarely run over 4000 rpm. Many big cruisers use a 2.5:1 gear reduction Paragon transmission, and are swinging props of 22 to 24 inches in diameter.

Here is a link to an article I scanned about the first Chris Craft Commander of 1964, which was their first fiberglass cruiser. It was powered with a pair of MEL 431 motors and it received wide acclaim for performance. You can see how a pair of MEL motors would push a 20,000 pound boat at 31 miles per hour!
http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1191346702

Regards,
All the best from Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Paul
http://www.chriscraftcommander.com

Chris Craft crazy
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Re: Chris Craft 431 marine MEL motors

Post by Chris Craft crazy » Thu 10. Sep 2009, 14:20

The interesting thing I have noted is that Chris Craft continued to use MEL engines after they were discontinued in cars. For someone looking for a good MEL consider finding an old marine block... usually low hours relative to age. The cam would be different.
MEL Marine division... and if you thought MEL car parts were scarce....

FEfinaticP
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Re: Chris Craft 431 marine MEL motors

Post by FEfinaticP » Thu 10. Sep 2009, 14:39

Yes, same with the 427, used in boats after discontinued in cars, due to the warehouse full of them sitting on skids, awaiting installation in boats.

The MEL marine motor is a fabulous low compression monster, in the old school style of Hercules flatheads. Big V8, low compression, lots of cubes, monster torque, great sound too.



regards, P

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Re: Chris Craft 431 marine MEL motors

Post by Chris Craft crazy » Tue 15. Sep 2009, 15:39

Image


An MEL doing it's job... This is the boat I bought... now it's ripped apart of course, because thats what I do :mrgreen: but come spring....
MEL Marine division... and if you thought MEL car parts were scarce....

FEfinaticP
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Re: Chris Craft 431 marine MEL motors

Post by FEfinaticP » Wed 16. Sep 2009, 10:20

At only 8.0:1 compression ratio and that many cubes, I'll bet that thing sounds totally unique on the water, especially with the stancard unmuffled copper wet exhaust system.

Chris Craft used many Hercules flathead motors of various sizes, some small and some very large, but they were all heavy iron with low compression, and as a result they lasted forever. The marine MEL with that low compression would be a very durable chunk of American iron. In addition, it is actually a musical instrument. Bet it sure sounds great when docking, ha!

Regards, congratulations,

Paul

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