Infiniti QX56-Powered Boat Project Update - Marinized Engine Awaits Restoration of Classic 1962 Chris-Craft Holiday
Engine Work Complete, Infiniti Luxury Boat Project Moves Onto Maine for Concours Quality Replacement of 50-Year Old Wood Hull Structure and Decking
December 28, 2011 – Cerritos, Calif. – Cerritos Infiniti is excited to update the progress of the QX56-Powered Boat Project.
For the students from Tennessee Technical Center-Nashville and Nashville State Community College, waiting is the hard part. Having finished their critical role in the Infiniti QX56-powered Boat Project – removing the powerful 400-horsepower 5.6-liter V8 from the donor Infiniti QX full-size SUV and working with instructors and Infiniti personnel to get it operational outside of the vehicle – they are anxiously looking forward to the day when they can experience the engine’s full power on the water. All that’s missing, it seems, is the boat.
A little over 1,000 miles away in Freeport, Maine there is indeed a boat, resting upside down in a well-heated craftsman’s workshop – stripped of its engine, hardware, wiring, interior and hull planking. It is, as the students might say, not even the shell of its former self. More like the skeleton. But that’s the good news. The second phase of the project is well underway.
The concept of “hot rodding” – putting a newer, more powerful engine in a classic chassis – is not limited to motor vehicles alone. As much as its history can be traced, the new Infiniti QX56 V8 will be at least the fourth engine to ride between the rich mahogany wooden hull sides of the 1962 Chris-Craft “Holiday” that is serving as the body for the transplant. Previous engines have included a 431-cubic inch Lincoln plank head marine engine and a pair of 440-cubic inch Chrysler Hemi marine V8s, including one with a high-performance dual-quad carburetor set-up.
After its removal from the original QX56, the engine was sent to Bracket Marine in Westbrook, Maine for a trial fitting and modification of the engine’s bell housing for use with the ZF/Hurth marine transmission. The engine was then sent to a shop in Alabama for “marinization” – a process that involves fabrication of water-cooled exhaust manifolds and the adaptation of a closed cooling system. The big 5.6-liter V8’s next stop will be back to its birthplace, the Infiniti engine facility in Decherd, Tennessee, where it will be run on the dynamometer to make sure its horsepower and torque are still up to factory specs. Finally, the engine will be returned to Maine for final installation in the hull. But first, a total restoration of the hull is in order.
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