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TECH A little outboard treasure
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  1. #1

    A little outboard treasure

    I bought a "scrap" 4 hp Johnson outboard a couple of years ago for $20 and it sat in the back of my shop 'til recently. I decided to go over it and found that the power head was good and would run well, but it needed so many other parts that it didn't make economic sense to buy the parts individually at retail. I found a '77 Evinrude 4 hp outboard on eBay - which is basically the same engine - being sold cheaply for parts. I bought this and it arrived yesterday. Naturally, before parting it out I gave it a good going over. It turned out to have 90 psi compression in both cylinders (which is very good) and it had (ignition) spark! I added fuel and it wouldn't run. OK. This has to be something simple, right?

    It was. Some unknown previous owner or mechanic had reversed the plug wires and I suspect that's why it wound up being sold as a non-running parts motor. I installed the plug wires correctly and the little motor fired right up! It runs great, so I'm obviously not going to use it for parts.

    Now I still need to find a parts motor for my Johnson!

    Best regards
    Doc

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Happy on the mountain
    Posts
    69,465
    What a horrible problem to have
    The wonder of our time isnít how angry we are at politics and politicians; itís how little weíve done about it. - Fran Porretto
    -http://bastionofliberty.blogspot.com/2016/10/a-wholly-rational-hatred.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    I could use some parts for my Johnson as well. Maybe I should cannibalize my chain saw?
    "...Cry 'Havoc' and let slip the cats of war..."
    Itís a real pisser when your belief system gets T-boned by reality.
    Iím not afraid of dying...I just donít want to be there!
    ...sell your cloak, and buy a sword...Second Amendment 1.0

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Profit of Doom View Post
    I could use some parts for my Johnson as well. Maybe I should cannibalize my chain saw?
    Have you been abusing your Johnson?

    Most small Johnsons are very durable and last a lifetime.
    Proud Infidel...............and Cracker

    Member: Nowski Brigade

    Deplorable


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    37,405
    Outboards have gotten really pricy over the years, don't know what you paid for the second one but sounds like you made out like a bandit.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Publius View Post
    Outboards have gotten really pricy over the years, don't know what you paid for the second one but sounds like you made out like a bandit.
    Publius, I've now ordered a third one for parts. The average cost of all three thus far has been $137 apiece including shipping. If the third one turns out to be a runner too, I'll probably sell one. The average price for good running 4 hp Evinrudes and Johnsons (of this era) seems to be in the neighborhood of $300 to $400 on the various boards and classifieds. I'm not in the outboard business, but I always look for good deals on everything and I'm a decent mechanic...which helps.

    Best regards
    Doc

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Columbia River Gorge
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    6,741
    Now all you need is a boat to put it on and you'll be in business!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Maine
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    Guy I work with restores these and sells them. He buys them cheap at junk shops and other places. They are good little engines.

  9. #9
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    I think I have one around here somewhere...mebbe a 4hp 2cyl?

    Seems to me it's a long shaft type.

    ETA: Crap! Now I'm curious and need to get up and go poke around to see if I can find it...and I was contemplating a nap.

    ETA 2: I guess it's a 3hp 2cyl

    Proud Infidel...............and Cracker

    Member: Nowski Brigade

    Deplorable


  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by blackjeep View Post
    Now all you need is a boat to put it on and you'll be in business!!
    I already have a 14' semi-V aluminum hull :-)

    Best
    Doc

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Millwright View Post
    I think I have one around here somewhere...mebbe a 4hp 2cyl?

    Seems to me it's a long shaft type.

    ETA: Crap! Now I'm curious and need to get up and go poke around to see if I can find it...and I was contemplating a nap.

    ETA 2: I guess it's a 3hp 2cyl



    Millwright, most of the 3 and 4 hp Evinrude and Johnson twins of that era are very, very similar and have something like 98% parts commonality. It also looks like you have a little OMC 1.5 hp kicker motor in that pic.

    Best regards
    Doc

  12. #12
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    It's an OMC. Dunno much about it. One of my Dad's finds.

    IIRC, the Johnson ran when I came by it 10-15 years ago.

    Got it in some kind of swap & trade deal. Never really had a use for it tho.

    Probably needs all new rubber now. I guess impellers are still available.
    Proud Infidel...............and Cracker

    Member: Nowski Brigade

    Deplorable


  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    In CLE again
    Posts
    56,395
    everybody needs a little kicker now and then.
    RULE 1:
    THEY want you DEAD.

    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my brothers' children (and their parents) may have peace, and have NO KNOWLEDGE of what I have done."

    The BEST in Life:
    To CRUSH your enemies.
    To see them driven before you
    To listen to the lamentations of their women

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by night driver View Post
    everybody needs a little kicker now and then.
    only if it doesn't hurt your Johnson.
    Proud Infidel...............and Cracker

    Member: Nowski Brigade

    Deplorable


  15. #15
    Join Date
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    Great find....

    Texican....

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    I recall once asking my mother if my dad was happy with me, or if he really wanted a boy instead.
    She told me what he really wanted was a Johnson outboard motor.

    I had always assumed he was happy with me, but then there were those times when we would be out fishing on Lake Champlain, and a storm would come up on us fast.
    Those were the times he would throw me over the stern and tell me to hang on and kick my legs like hell and push the boat to shore.
    It made me wonder....
    "Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we will all face the choice between what is right, and what is easy."
    Dumbledore to Harry Potter, Goblet of Fire.

    Luke 21:36

    A people who no longer recognize sin and evil, are not a people who will recognize tyranny and despotism either. Invar


    ďDuring the course of your life you will find that things are not always fair. You will find that things happen to you that you do not deserve and that are not always warranted. But you have to put your head down and fight, fight, fight. Never, ever, ever give up!Ē

    - President Donald J. Trump

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Change the water pump impeller and the oil in the foot before you run it much. Good little engines!
    "If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." (Will Rogers)

  18. #18
    Not that I'm complaining here, but I got into the 2nd "Not running, parts only" eBay motor (a folding, 3hp Johnson) and got it running! It has 90+ PSI in both jugs and no bad noises. It has very weak spark, so when I get around to it the flywheel comes off and I'll look at the points, condensers and coils. Yet again, this little motor is too nice and solid to part out so I'm left with my original problem of needing a parts motor for the first Johnson - not that I'm complaining here... LOL

    Best regards
    Doc

  19. #19
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    You will be able to run twins on your boat.
    Proud Infidel...............and Cracker

    Member: Nowski Brigade

    Deplorable


  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal View Post
    I recall once asking my mother if my dad was happy with me, or if he really wanted a boy instead.
    She told me what he really wanted was a Johnson outboard motor.

    I had always assumed he was happy with me, but then there were those times when we would be out fishing on Lake Champlain, and a storm would come up on us fast.
    Those were the times he would throw me over the stern and tell me to hang on and kick my legs like hell and push the boat to shore.
    It made me wonder....
    Apparently he wanted a kid with a Johnson, you did what you could.
    "...Cry 'Havoc' and let slip the cats of war..."
    Itís a real pisser when your belief system gets T-boned by reality.
    Iím not afraid of dying...I just donít want to be there!
    ...sell your cloak, and buy a sword...Second Amendment 1.0

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millwright View Post
    You will be able to run twins on your boat.

    Becky Lee and Bobby Sue.
    "...Cry 'Havoc' and let slip the cats of war..."
    Itís a real pisser when your belief system gets T-boned by reality.
    Iím not afraid of dying...I just donít want to be there!
    ...sell your cloak, and buy a sword...Second Amendment 1.0

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Profit of Doom View Post
    Apparently he wanted a kid with a Johnson, you did what you could.
    Never looked at it that way.
    Answers my question though.
    "Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we will all face the choice between what is right, and what is easy."
    Dumbledore to Harry Potter, Goblet of Fire.

    Luke 21:36

    A people who no longer recognize sin and evil, are not a people who will recognize tyranny and despotism either. Invar


    ďDuring the course of your life you will find that things are not always fair. You will find that things happen to you that you do not deserve and that are not always warranted. But you have to put your head down and fight, fight, fight. Never, ever, ever give up!Ē

    - President Donald J. Trump

  23. #23
    LOL! Nice...

    My sons tend to pick up stuff off the roadside on garbage day... their favorites are lawnmowers and propane grills. One found some super expensive grill that apparently wouldn't light for the owner, so they tossed it. DS had it cleaned, fixed ane working flawlessly in half an hour. Lawnmowers are the same... almostvalsys a minor issue because of ethanol fuel or old gas. People are shockingly clueless these days.

    Summerthyme

  24. #24
    Small outboard tip: I mentioned above that I got the second little outboard running, but that it had weak spark. I fixed that today without spending a dime and I thought some members might be able to use this tip in future. Outboard components tend to get corroded over time and this can cause poor electrical contact. All I did on this second motor was to remove the flywheel and loosen and re-tighten every electrical contact screw. Doing this often re-establishes a good current path. Then I cleaned and gapped and lightly lubed the old points and cam. That's it. No parts replaced or money spent. I replaced the flywheel, attached my spark checker and spun the motor up with an electric drill. Bright blue sparks and when I added fuel, it fired right up and ran well.

    A lot of these types of repairs can be done easily and inexpensively (or free).

    Best
    Doc

  25. #25
    I indexed one of my Kohler 321s after resurfacing the head. It don't crank on. It pops on, like a light.

    Best.

    http://www.evinrudenation.com/owner-...dexing-how-to/

  26. #26
    West, that's required/recommended on the newer Evinrude fuel injected engines. Most people don't know that it also works on the old two strokes. If you orient the electrodes towards the intake (so that the open area faces the intake), where they get a fresh blast of fuel-air mixture, the motors often run better. You don't want the curved electrode coming from the plug body facing the fuel intake.

    Best
    Doc

  27. #27
    Interesting, on my old kohler I indexed the plug to open/face the cylinder. Just learned about it. Had to make my own thinner copper washer and removed the one in the plug. Sets it down into the combustion chamber just a bit too.

    Turn the ignition and it just pops on.

  28. #28
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millwright View Post
    Have you been abusing your Johnson?

    Most small Johnsons are very durable and last a lifetime.
    Y'all are killing it, beer thru nose is messy
    Don't start nuthin', then won't be nuthin'

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    OK
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    Keep it up Doc1.

    Soon you may have a smaller version of this.




    ETA: Jegs & Summit used to have spark plug indexing kits.
    Proud Infidel...............and Cracker

    Member: Nowski Brigade

    Deplorable


  30. #30
    you guys got your Johnsons out and getting them running this is for you ..



    time 4:13

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2gIdMRwfuM
    Consilio Non Impetu (By wisdom, not by rashness)

  31. #31
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    Little cabin in da big woods.
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    28,667
    [QUOTE=byronandkathy2003;7313542]you guys got your Johnsons out and getting them running this is for you ..



    In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.

    Proverbs 16:9




  32. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Upstate, S.C.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millwright View Post
    Have you been abusing your Johnson?

    Most small Johnsons are very durable and last a lifetime.
    That may be true but I'd rather have a bigger Johnson!!

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