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431 Chris Craft MELS's

Discussion in 'Chris Craft Roamer: Buy/Sell/Trade' started by Lawrence Neisle, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. Lawrence Neisle

    Lawrence Neisle New Member

    Aug 23, 2005
    Southern Lake Michigan
    Hello Everybody,
    My name is Lawrence and I am one of those other guys, I have a 1965 38 Fiberglass Chris-Craft Commander and am on the board of governors of the Chris Craft Commander Club. I am very active their discussion group. We Commander guys joke with former owner Mark Young about having an “Experimental Commander” with his 42 stinky motor grader powered Roamer.

    I certainly do not want to be one of those guys that log in because they want something but there could be a member of our group that could benefit from this post.

    My understanding is that CC put a good many 431's in Roamers so there may be people in your group still running this equipment. It is a much less common power plant for the Commander; most of them have 427's in them. Most of our club members that are keeping their 427's long term are stock piling spare parts.

    I have one of the few 431 Commanders in existence and I am going to repower with new 8.1 Crusaders/Velvet Drives.

    It would be a shame to send these engines to the scrap yard and the long blocks actually have some value to the hot rodders so at the very least I would like to see the marinized parts go to someone that could really use them.

    The engines are fresh water use, raw water cooled and have 1600 hours on them with approx 100 hours on valve jobs with hardened seats (according to the p.o.) He said he had the Mallory dual point distributors rebuilt at the same time. I just rebuilt both raw water pumps, replaced the belts and tuned them up and they run fine.

    They have Paragon HJ7 2.5:1 gears, 13/8" shafts, and two sets of wheels, 21 x 23, one three blade and one four blades set.

    These engines would be fine as primaries or would make a terrific treasure trove of spare parts if you are still running them.

    I don’t plan on giving all of this away but will be as reasonable as possible. I would be most interested in someone that wants everything and would definitely make a deal to someone that would be willing to pull them out.

    My boat is located on Southern Lake Michigan in Michigan City IN.

    Best regards and Thanks for allowing my post.


    Lawrence Neisler
    Evanston, IL
  2. 9lives

    9lives Member

    Nov 30, 2004
    Lake Superior
    stinky road graders????

    Oh now I am really offended!!!
    My cats' barely smoke upon startup and after our 500 mile cruise two weeks ago I looked at the transom and couldn't decide if I needed to clean it or not...
    You will like the 8.1's,
    Boat should be 500# lighter at least. I don't know any others up here with the MEL 431's but will inquire to a couple of older roamers that are of the mid 60 vintage. Just so you know we topped off the tanks in Madeline yact club in the Apostle Islands and the price for diesel was $2.22, gas was over $2.75. I can't explain the differnce as our local marina was 2.70 for diesel. But at that rate I saved about $100 for the 200 gal. I put on board. At that rate I can cost justify the repower to diesels in another 60,000 miles of use. Lets see that is a break even of just over a century. I bet I didn't show that calculation to my wife!!

    Good luck with the repower and I will look at sending the genset info your way.
  3. alloyed2sea

    alloyed2sea Moderator

    Jan 28, 2004
    Alex, VA

    Lawrence - thanx for writing in with that invaluable offer. :p
    It's always good to find a line on rare, and correct Chris-Craft parts,a nd the 431 MELs are no exception. A great torque-rich motor, I enjoyed driving one in my '61 Lincoln convertible for years (called the 430 Lincoln in that application).
    Hopefully, someone here in the Roamer Club can find use for these - dont throw them out. EBAY also beckons. ;)
    Best of luck.
    PS - Great year for a 38' COmmmander, eh?
    (what with that 1.5 inch thick hull bottom, no?) :D
  4. Roamingroamer

    Roamingroamer New Member

    Jan 3, 2017
    Louisville, KY
    Any chance these motors are still around
  5. 9lives

    9lives Member

    Nov 30, 2004
    Lake Superior
    Dear Roamingroamer,
    I am pretty positive Lawrence moved them, but you might also try the Commander club website as well as post a wanted in the roamer forum.
    There were probably many more Commanders with the 431's than Roamers. especially since the Commander line sold many more units. this is the link for the site