By Stephen Horsfall
from issue 26-1

 

Cautions and Suggestions

Q:

I have a 1996 Chaparral (1850) bow rider ski boat. It has a 5.7 inboard-outboard Mercruiser motor. The out drive is an Alpha One. I am going to rebuild the 5.7 and I was wondering how much horsepower can the Alpha One handle? I would not want to build the motor with too much power where it would hurt my outdrive.

T. Kidder, via e-mail

A:

I would hesitate to recommend a hopped up version of a 5.7 liter engine with the Alpha One drive. My experience is that the lower gear set (forward gear and pinion gear) are prone to failure when too much torque is applied. Water skiing is especially the kind of use that is problematic; hard acceleration with high loading is the kind of thing to be avoided. Let’s face it, what is the fun of having all that horsepower and being afraid to use it?

I would recommend upgrading to a Bravo II (two) series drive if you are going to dramatically increase the horsepower (torque) on this unit..