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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Show your support of my nudge to peak some interest of shorty lowers for Alpha drives.

Maybe they'll listen, maybe not. Doesn't hurt to try does it ?

Merc won't listen to us I'm sure so I thought, heh, what about SEI ?

Click: http://sterndrive.cc/vbforum/showthread.php?p=1714#post1714
and then sign up and post showing your support on why this would be great, why you'd want one, etc,etc.

Let's make the demand speak up.

Go Celtics ! WOW !!!!!! :D
 

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I emailed SEI once already and explained how many guys are looking for Alpha SS and how much they pay for one and they replied they have no intrest in a shorty drive. I understand there view though,they have a good warranty and you know their would be many a moron putting 600hp 540 behind their shorty alpha ,launching it off waves and drag racing it then want it warrantied when it blows sky high.

I have 25+ years on my drive yet how many guys do you know have blown a stock Bravo with a stock big block by doing stupid things like the above. If I was them I wouldnt make it either but Ill sign your petition! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
HTRDLNCN said:
I emailed SEI once already and explained how many guys are looking for Alpha SS and how much they pay for one and they replied they have no intrest in a shorty drive. I understand there view though,they have a good warranty and you know their would be many a moron putting 600hp 540 behind their shorty alpha ,launching it off waves and drag racing it then want it warrantied when it blows sky high.
Understandable, but that was one person's e-mail.

Won't hurt to get a bunch of interest from many different people put up on their forum. The thread will always be there until they no longer have a forum. Basically, your voice will be heard infinitely.

What do we have to lose ? Nothing.

Let's be heard ! :D

============

BTW: I guess there warrantee is strong, however, I saw that they state there is no warrantee on engines over 300hp. So, no warrantee anyway for most that would be interested in the shorty anyway.
 

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RSCHAP1 said:
Is that what makes it an SS? Shorter lower? Thanks!
yup,its basically an Alpha upper with an outboard CLE shorty lower mated together by Mercury with some special parts. Parts that are no longer available and guys looking for them will pay top dollar. There was also a 454 specific Alpha that came with 1.36 gears and possibly heavier duty parts.
 

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their reply to yours+mine post:

Today, 07:44 AM
Tech Support Tech Support is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
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At this time we have no plans on coming out with a shortened lower for the I/O drives. Currently our efforts are directed at the release of our line of outboard lower units.

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Brunswick Corporation is the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Sterndrive Engineering, Inc. (or SEI) is not affiliated with the Brunswick Corporation and is not authorized to sell or service Brunswick products.
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I'm very interested in a shorter drive...

to the point where I've been doing some homework to see just what would take to make one. I did see the web page above where they removed 4" of the upper half and welded it back together. presumably they took that approach because the only hard thing they had to do to the lower was to cut and respline the lower drive shaft. Not a big deal on the lathe for any machinist worth his salt.

Overall, it doesn't look that rediculous to do, and with the price / availability of an alpha ss may be the way to go. The only problem I see is that it requires modifying both the upper and the lower so you can't just switch back to the original x-dimension lower and further changes in the x-dimension require a complete remodification.

I already have a spare upper drive that's in good shape and a lower that was working fine until I sheared the lower drive shaft off at the o-ring groove. For it to be good for anything, I'm going to have to replace the driveshaft anyhow, might as well see about having it cut and resplined....

I'll carefully measure everything out this weekend to see if those were the only two modifications that would need to be done and also think about how hard it would be to do something that would only require modding the lower unit. Then in the next week or so, I'll check with a couple of fab shops I've dealt with in the past to see what they would get to 1. cut, align and reattach / weld the upper, and 2. cut and respline the lower shaft if i take it out and 3. required machine work for some other option if it seems workable.

Even with the headache and adding a rebuild / cryo the lower gear box along the way it can't be any more than what it will cost to locate and buy an alpha ss then go through it...

I guess the question then becomes: "What do I want / need for x-dimension with the new set-up???"
 

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perhaps the other thing to think about with sei.... they're pretty much having the original off-patent designed copied rather than doing any engineering design in house or even contracting for it and are aimed at the much larger market of replacement parts for common mainstream drives... unfortunately i doubt if the handful of us who would loke to play with shorter drives will ever make a viable market under their apparent business plan...
 

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yup, and even if they did I would imagine they
would market a shorty for the way more popular Bravo drive
than for the Alpha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Okay, if anyone is interested then just please go to the sight and express your interest.

It doesn't hurt anything.

If you don't do something it never get's done.

==================================

wtfo - keep us posted. Even if 2" is 'not enough' it is still way better than most of our bottom dragging alpha's are currently.

I know many people are interested, but for some reason they just don't think it can get done. Bad attitude I say. :D :laugher:
 

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The original Merc SS's used a unique SHORTER upper case with no built in cavitation plate, very similar to the pre alpha models. The lower is a close setup to a 2nd gen outboard CLE case with shorter vert DS that is NLA and different shifter setup.

Most think the SS's get their shorty status like their Bravo bro's with a shorter lower. It's actually the upper case that makes it shorter. Found this out the hard way when I found an SS lower case on EBay and tried to make a way to mate it to my Gen 1 Alpha upper.

I would love to have an option of a shorty for the Alpha. Hammond had the Challenger's X raised 1.5" vs standard from the factory than other boats of the time so mine is not that bad. A shorty could only help me with this light pad bottom hull that loves a cleaver prop.
 

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Thanks for the good info Ryan...

I just assumed on the lower...

Right now, I've got about 7 - 7 1/2 inches from the bottom of the pad to the propshaft center (rough measurement, may be off a little).

How does one go about estimating just where prop height "should" be on fairly light (ca 2200-2300 pounds maybe) pad v-hull? I was running right at 60 with the v-6 in it and am now running a fairly healthy 383.

I'm still getting carb jetting right and breaking things in a bit on this engine, and will just have to see on props and set-up... either way, it moves right along just as it sits...

I'm wondering how much of a difference raising the prop shaft height 2-3 inches and propping accordingly would make.
 

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wtfo said:
Thanks for the good info Ryan...

I just assumed on the lower...

Right now, I've got about 7 - 7 1/2 inches from the bottom of the pad to the propshaft center (rough measurement, may be off a little).

How does one go about estimating just where prop height "should" be on fairly light (ca 2200-2300 pounds maybe) pad v-hull? I was running right at 60 with the v-6 in it and am now running a fairly healthy 383.

I'm still getting carb jetting right and breaking things in a bit on this engine, and will just have to see on props and set-up... either way, it moves right along just as it sits...

I'm wondering how much of a difference raising the prop shaft height 2-3 inches and propping accordingly would make.
Hey no problem.... Sounds like you have a standard mount with that X. Mine is roughly 5.5". Mine is 1800lbs dry weight. Around 2800-3000lbs loaded. I also have a 385ci and it hauls ***. I've seen just under 75GPS with non labbed prop that is not exactly perfect. I'm hoping for upper 70s with the perfect prop.

Hard to say about actual speed gained #'s gained by raising the drive height. You will gain but how much is a guess. A very expensive guess in most cases.

Here's a vid from last weekend......

http://www.speedwake.com/upload/showthread.php?s=&postid=806808#post806808

Go to the bottom of the page.
 

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movin right along and sounds great!

I don't have any video on the water yet... but here's the engine running in the drive after I broke the cam in... have had it out a couple of times, but jets weren't quite right yet... made some changes and hopefully tomrrow... so far have run it up to mid 60's real quick but not let it run out nor given it all the throttle. So far it's been stable as can be...

It's in an 18 ft checkmate that ran right at 60 with a strong v-6 in it. We probably added 200 horsepower...


new 383...
 

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Other than his attitude was a little brazen, you guys should have paid close attention to Tripple Digits! (RLCE as posted above) If he would not have been "baited" he would still be a member. He has made a shorty alpha and I have seen it first hand. There is more to it than just cutting a chunk out and welding it back together. Good luck with that idea wtfo!.

I personally would like to try an SS drive on my boat. I was told by Velocity that with the right prop it would be worth almost 5 mph by testing that they had done with SS drives in the late 80's. I would love for someone to produce one. They could even shorten the warranty as long as they had replacement parts readily available in my opinion.

I have the option of trying TD's shortened drive on my boat, just don't want to be without my boat because of R&D!!! I will contact SEI to show my interest. Good Luck to all!!!
 

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RyanOOTJ, I will have to measure mine, but it dosen't seem that my drive is any more than 4 inches below the pad on my boat. (To the center of the propshaft)
 

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I'm with Dwayne,it isn't just cut and weld.I was along for TD'S engineering of the drive.I had daily updates on the problems he encountered and how he got around them.I even looked for axles from an old dana for his setup.There's more than meets the eye inside that drive setup.
 

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Sorry for making light of your comments... didn't mean it as sarcastic as it may have come across. There's clearly more than meets the eye in the set-up and shortening the drive is obviously not a trivial thing to do. That being said, it clearly isn't impossible to pull off either.
 
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