540 powerboat mill

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540 powerboat mill

Post  stanger68 on December 14th 2015, 9:20 pm

Do any of you remember a 540 build from the mid 90's? The build was featured in Hot Boat magazine somewhere around the mid 90's. My dad saved the magazine for years with plans of building it and just eventualy got old and unmotivated. Well now he has donated the DOVE engine he bought for this build to my new cause of finally moving on from the old FE. This is what I know: it uses a 240 6cyl rod (supposedly forged at factory), offset grind the crank to accept the longer rod. Which if my memory is still good the 6 is the same journals a 302, so there are good inserts available. Custom venolia pistons were used in this build. My dad actually talked to the guy at length on the phone one day. The guy was on the design team for ford that engineered the 429 to start with. He eventually worked in the SVO division before going out on his own. He claimed it would run 900 hp continuous at 7200 rpm untilit ran out of fuel in offshore boat racing. All done with ford parts. Granted they were all heavily worked. The crank was lightened and knife edged, cj heads etc.

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Re: 540 powerboat mill

Post  jones on December 14th 2015, 9:28 pm

Sounds real interesting. I have heard of some builds using Subaru and Honda journal & bearings?

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Re: 540 powerboat mill

Post  stanger68 on December 14th 2015, 9:34 pm

It's legit. I read the article myself. The trick was everything was so darn light. The efficiency was pretty high too, in the 30's. His theory at the time was the long rod kept the piston at TDC longer to get more complete fuel burning.

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Re: 540 powerboat mill

Post  jones on December 14th 2015, 9:50 pm

stanger68 wrote:It's legit. I read the article myself. The trick was everything was so darn light. The efficiency was pretty high too, in the 30's. His theory at the time was the long rod kept the piston at TDC longer to get more complete fuel burning.

I have heard the same but there are negatives according to some. They feel like it might give the cylinder more time for detonation if it has hot spots.


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Re: 540 powerboat mill

Post  stanger68 on December 14th 2015, 10:05 pm

Yeah, I can see that side of it. I was just curious if anybody here had tried it in drag racing or any other application for that matter.

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Re: 540 powerboat mill

Post  jones on December 14th 2015, 10:14 pm

stanger68 wrote:Yeah, I can see that side of it. I was just curious if anybody here had tried it in drag racing or any other application for that matter.

I have no experience with the exact setup but it sounds like what they are doing in ProStock motors.

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Re: 540 powerboat mill

Post  jones on December 14th 2015, 10:19 pm

I have read about some off-road baja engines what are really trick.

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Re: 540 powerboat mill

Post  stanger68 on December 14th 2015, 10:56 pm

HMM, I had no idea what they were doing these days with pro stock. I wish I could remember the guys name at least. Seems like his shop was in Florida?

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Re: 540 powerboat mill

Post  68formalGT on December 14th 2015, 11:57 pm

That would be cool if you could get a reprint of the article and post it.
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Re: 540 powerboat mill

Post  supervel45 on December 15th 2015, 12:30 am

http://www.network54.com/Forum/85220/thread/1100568391/Drew+Backlund+540+Stroker+Questions Skip it. 4.5" bore not a good idea. All the Drew Buckland article links are gone. I second a repost of the article if you can for old time sake.

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Re: 540 powerboat mill

Post  supervel45 on December 15th 2015, 12:33 am

Edit meant Drew Backlund.

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240 cubic inch, 6 cylinder rods, 6.7947 inch center to center

Post  DanE on December 15th 2015, 11:56 am

In 1989, Carl Holbrook and I put our heads together and built a 520 cubic inch Cobra Jet engine using the 240 rods. Stroke at 4.2 inches and bore at 4.44 inches. Engine ran very strong on the street and was reliable. Actually, got the idea from Engine Systems in Georgia.

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Drew Backlund "540"

Post  Paul Kane on December 15th 2015, 8:46 pm

Here's a link to Page 1 of the article. Click "Next" for the subsequent page(s), 5 pages total:

http://www.supermotors.net/registry/media/440299_1

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P.S.: I have a similar back-burner project: OEM 460c rankshaft, 4.25" stroke, 2.100" rod journal
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Re: 540 powerboat mill

Post  stanger68 on December 15th 2015, 9:43 pm

Well Hot Boat mag has been canceled for quite a few years now. I was able to dig up the archives page run by it's former editor. email has been sent maybe he can at least tell me the guys name. My question at this point is cost. Would it be any cheaper to offset grind, lighten, knife edge, and balance a crank than to just buy a forged balanced 557 Kit? Off the top of my head I'd say it would cost more. Never had that much done to a crank. Anybody?

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Re: 540 powerboat mill

Post  stanger68 on December 15th 2015, 10:10 pm

Sorry guys, did not see the posts earlier with the links. Thats awesome! There are still a few sparks upstairs after all! August '95, I think that qualifies as mid 90's LOL.

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Re: 540 powerboat mill

Post  jones on December 15th 2015, 10:16 pm


I would just order a billet crankshaft with all the features mentioned, like small journal bearings, flat plane, gun drilled. Then some billet aluminum rods made to match.

My guess is this was the only way to make 540cu back in the day. They didn't have all the cool parts we have today.

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Re: 540 powerboat mill

Post  dfree383 on December 15th 2015, 11:05 pm

Enough inexpensive stroker kits now days, I wouldn't waste the time with the 6 cylinder rods and custom Pistons.
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Re: 540 powerboat mill

Post  stanger68 on December 16th 2015, 11:34 pm

Kinda what I was thinking

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Re: 540 powerboat mill

Post  IDT-572 on December 17th 2015, 2:24 pm

It's still amazing that long skinny stock 240 rod held that kind of hp and rpm...............
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Re: 540 powerboat mill

Post  DanE on December 17th 2015, 7:09 pm

Yes it is, but they did in a high performance street combination. And the engine I am referring to was pushed hard.

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Re: 540 powerboat mill

Post  cool40 on December 17th 2015, 9:58 pm

I built one in 90 with 240 rods. Stroked it .375 and used 429 Pistons. I recall the counter weights were cut down and made balancing a pia.i still have the crank,balancer, hatchet weight with added weight and flex plate with a bunch of $tuff welded on it too. I also remember the rods had lots of side clearance maybe from all the turning down? Arrow
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