Anyone good with boat motors?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by henrymartin, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. henrymartin

    henrymartin Mr. Tourguide

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    I just got my hands on a mid-eighties boat with a Johnson V4 VRO 110HP outboard. Probably same vintage.

    Sat for 6+ years. Starter turns but does not engage. When i engage it manually, it struggles to turn the motor over. Well, it turns, but real slow and has a hard time.

    I'll look into the starter and clean it. Where the heck are carbs on this thing? Looking at the motor, I feel like I never saw a motor before (and I rebuild a few bike motors)

    Thanks
    #1
  2. wvboy

    wvboy Been here awhile

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    Carbs should be on the very front of the motor. I have a 88hp johnson that has been super reliable.
    #2
  3. St_rydr

    St_rydr Strider

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    Check that all electrical connections are clean and right, check the bendix to ensure it is well lubed and engages properly. I would do a compression check to ensure all cylinders above 100psi and balanced between all cylinders. Seafoam works wonders on stuck rings and built up carbon deposits.
    #3
  4. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    If the cylinders weren't fogged before the motor was stored, they're probably a little rusty.
    #4
  5. fritzcoinc

    fritzcoinc Enjoying my last V8

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    I have a service manual for those motors. I'll send you a PM.
    #5
  6. Bad Daddy

    Bad Daddy Been here awhile

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    First thing to do is change the impeller in the leg. It's most likely taken a set, and won't pump water. If you're using a flushing attachment make sure water is coming out of the tell tale.

    Run the engine off of a fresh fuel tank. Check the fuel filter.

    And then do all the stuff mentioned by the other inmates!

    The carbs are behind the black air box on the front of the motor.

    #6
  7. Rutabaga

    Rutabaga Been here awhile

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    First, check the ground connection for the battery wherever it is located. No good ground no get nuki. No get nuki no be happy.
    #7
  8. henrymartin

    henrymartin Mr. Tourguide

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    Thanks for all the replies. I'll tackle this over the weekend (if I find the time).

    Will post back once I find out more.

    So far I found the battery, the oil tank, gas tank, and a bunch of wires. :lol3 Will have to make some sense of it soon.
    #8
  9. henrymartin

    henrymartin Mr. Tourguide

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    Cleaned the plugs, carbs, gas filter, gas lines...fresh gas (mixed at 50:1) and the sucker started on the third try. Sounds good, and all.

    I did not replace the impeller since water comes out of the pisser at idle pretty strong when connected to water hose. Powerhead stays pretty cool too.

    I'm getting a short buzzer alarm every second or so, which (upon research) means the VRO is not pumping oil. Ha, good thing I premixed for the test.

    The manual I have covers too many motors and too many years, but it appears that the VRO services as a unit???

    I'm going to pull the hose, take the oil tank apart and clean the filter, blow the hose clear and try again.

    Online search reveals two camps - one that says bypass the VRO and run premix, the other says VRO is the best thing.

    What say you boaters?

    I don't want to run it too much until I get it in the water, the hose attachment is good for short tests, but I don't trust it for extended test runs.

    Right now I'm cleaning carpets, removing hull oxidation (gellcoat), and fixing wiring to the bilge pump and all the wiring that does not work or look safe.
    #9
  10. BigEasy

    BigEasy Long timer

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    Lube the starter bendix then use it, they loosen up and work best when they get use.

    As for the VRO in a stock motor keep it. The last time I had one go out I think I paid about $150.00 installed. I like it just for the convience factor. The tanks on my boats hold a gallon when the alarm goes off so I don't have mess with doing math to mix oil. The motor will run just fine on premix that's how racers run them but I don't need that headache but that's my lazy opinion. Have fun with your new toy.
    #10
  11. mwood7800

    mwood7800 Banned

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    Do yourself a favor and change the impeller and oil in the foot. No way that impeller sat that long without damage. Should be changed every other year anyways
    #11
  12. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    I disagree, that's old logic. I run a water pressure gage on my 1988 Mariner 100, (that I bought new) I changed the water pump once, even then, water pressure has always remained as new. It gets less than 20 hours of use every year.
    #12
  13. barnyard

    barnyard Verbal tactician Super Moderator

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    The lower unit fluid should still be drained and changed. If the water stream is good out of the tell tale, I would leave it.

    Back when I worked for a dealer, their unofficial policy was to recommend running premix after the VRO failed. Most of the people I knew that owned one, disconnected them and ran premix.

    I sold mine before it failed and replaced with a Suzuki 4t.
    #13
  14. henrymartin

    henrymartin Mr. Tourguide

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    The water pressure out of the "pisser" is good and the cooling head (whatever that black part is called) is nice and cool as long as the motor runs. As for the lower unit oil- I was planning on that. VRO - I'll try cleaning the pickup filter and the lines, then see if it starts working.

    Short of calling Johnson, is there any way to find a year of manufacture? All I have on the motor is the serial and model numbers.
    #14
  15. Bad Daddy

    Bad Daddy Been here awhile

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    You can usually call a dealer and they can tell you the model year.

    I might be able to tell with my Sierra Book if you pm me the numbers.
    #15
  16. barnyard

    barnyard Verbal tactician Super Moderator

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    Any dealer should be able to tell you. It is a letter code, I used to have it, but threw it away.
    #16
  17. r1150r

    r1150r Out standing in my field

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  18. mwood7800

    mwood7800 Banned

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    If the impeller is that old it's shit. It will work great till you get high rpm. No way it will work like it is supposed to. It will piss a stream all day till u need it. Anyone who doesn't replace their impeller at least every 3 years, 2 is a stretch, rode the short bus.
    #18
  19. henrymartin

    henrymartin Mr. Tourguide

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    Motor is 1987.

    I need to find a dealer so I can buy some lower unit oil and a couple other things.
    #19
  20. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    WallyWorld (or NAPA, or ...) has lubrimatic lube for that, as good as any. Just don't get the stuff marked "for electric shift" lower units. Procedure to refill after draining is pump it in from the bottom, till it comes out the level plug, then plug that, remove the pump and plug the drain.
    If the oil is milky looking, water intrusion past the shaft seals is indicated. Usually it's the prop shaft, fishing line wrapped around the prop can eat up the seal, or worn bearings, or just old age.
    #20