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toonfish

Little Help- Johnson Rebuild Purchase? Y or N

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Thanks in advance for any feedback!I don't have a lot of mechanical/outboard knowledge!

I am in the market for a used fishing boat, I have been working with a dealer as they have trades coming in at this time of year.

One boat in paticular came in and I love the boat, it is exactly what I am looking for. The motor is a 1996 Johnson Faststrike 115 hp. The dealer gave me a price for the boat, at the same time they let me know that the motor needed some work. One of the cylinders had an issue (scorn) and they informed me they were going to do a rebuild of the unit.

This is a reputable dealer in our area, but I have heard good and bad about any powerhead being re-built. I guess this is a little different than most rebuild situations where someone is deciding if a motor they already own is worth re-building and taking on the cost of re-pair....but I want to know if this motor should be drastically discounted becasue it is re-built.

Do you have any advice on what I should be asking about the rebuild, experience, warranty etc...Further when buying a re-built motor, what kind of discount should I be asking for? What kind of warranty do you think is reasonable.

Is it better to have a 1996 motor with no re-build and not know much about it, but performs well or a 1996 that has been inspected and re-built?

Do you have any experience with this paticular motor being re-built?

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My opinion is that on a motor that old that the rebuild is the better way to go. And given that you love the boat, seems like a reasonable way to go.

I have no personal experience with the OMC V-4 motors but they had a good reputation back before the FICHT fiasco. This has carbs, right?

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Yes this is not the 'rude FICHT. From what I have heard the Fasstrike is a pretty reliable motor. It is the oil injected, oil resevoir system. More concerned about the re-build and what to ask dealer, negotiate, stay away from?

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I can't help with price type stuff. I have no idea. One thing I would ask is about the oil injection. At one point they had a bad reputation so I would make sure that gets rebuilt too.

I might also ask just what the rebuild consists of, like all 4 cylinders or just the bad one... Carbs, etc.

Hopefully one of the more knowledgeable outboard guys will chime in.

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Thanks, they did tell me the VRO pump is being replaced....because I asked about removing it all together, but they seem to think that it is a reliable system and does not need to be removed. I will have to ask about the cylinders and carbs.

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More details:

1 cylinder was slightly scorn and lost some compression.

They are replacing the sleeve and all piston rings.

Replacing the water and oil pump.

Offer a 30 day warranty.

They assured me they have done many of these in there shop before and the earliest they have seen one comeback blown again was 5 yrs. and was probably user error (oil).

Anybody else running on a rebuild, with some info?

Hopefully some pros chime in. Thanks

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I am not expert on this, but have seen buddies and others with the VRO, and one thing for certain, they all eventually remove it and run with pre-mixed fuel. I personally would not trust that "VRO". I am sure some will disagree, but if I had to buy an omc with vro I would get him to come down another <insert rebuild cost here> and then save it for the next time wink

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I have done a number of rebuilds,That particular motor is most likely scored because the VRO failed.If the cylinder was changed out for new with a new piston and rings,Ask them what the compression is in all cylinders.you want all the compression readings to be within 10 lbs. of each other,if they are more you'll have a rough running motor and the high compression of the new will eventually stress the lower compression cylinders.Mix your own oil so it doesnt score another cylinder!! In other words have them remove the VRO!

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Thanks, any ideas on what I should ask for a discount on a rebuild or does the re-build bring the cost of a regular used of same age and model?

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Anybody else running on a rebuild, with some info?

Hopefully some pros chime in. Thanks

I've been running my 93 Evinrude longer since I rebuilt it than it ran before it needed it. Mine was also due to the VRO going out. I had the scored cylinder re-sleeved, put in new piston and rings and gaskets and re-ringed the undamaged cylinder. Runs like a champ again!

The new replacement VRO pumps are supposed to be ok now, but I still drop a pint of oil in every tank just for some added peace of mind.

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My concern would be with the dealers reputation and experience in rebuilding.

As far as the VRO, one scored cylinder is rarely, and I mean RARELY, the cause of a failed VRO. It supplies the entire system with oil as a whole, not individual cylinders. If the rest of the engine shows signs of lack of lube, I would look at the pump then.

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I rebuilt a Johnson 40 horse 1996 that had Vro. All cylinders were bad on this one from a failed pump. Even if all cylinders were not bad all would have got at least honed and new piston and rings. Pretty sure the cylinders on your motor would not be nicasil yet. You cant hone nicasil. Motor I did is still going good six years later. I did not want problems so I replaced all. To me the dealer is doing a patch job to get it back out the door at cheapest cost. Good luck.

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According to the dealer the VRO did not go bad and was not the issue that caused it, but they are replacing the pump anyway.

Slurpie---- you are saying that all cylinders, piston and rings need to be replaced, even if just the one was damaged? Or All cylinders need to be honed? Or both? Otherwise it's a shotty job?

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I would want all the cylinders redone with new pistons rings bearings and cylinders lining. If the cylinders are steel I would want them honed with new piston and rings in the good cylinders. You should not use old rings with any rebuild. As stated earlier should be less than 10% difference between all cylinders. The motor is all tore down to replace one cylinder why would you not put all new in at mainly the cost of parts the labor is already there?

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Why would you need new pistons. Dealer said all new rings and one new liner.

If the VRO had gone, all four cylinders would be bad it seems to me.

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After very thoroughly inspecting and confidently determining so, rebuilding 1 cylinder is fine, provided all others are fine.

My guess for the reason the dealer not doing all 4 is in necessary spending.

Piston kits are $100-125 each. Sleeves are $75-100 each. Machine work labor varies but I'd estimate $30-50/hole.

That roughly $700-800 more.

If the other cylinders are in need of recon, by all means they should be done, NO QUESTION ABOUT IT. They need to be thoroughly inspected.

The carbs should be rebuilt and the water pump replaced.

I would also want some reassurance the gear case is in good shape as well. Ask them to reseal it and upon doing so, they can do a good inspection.

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I think I would just find a different boat. Or ask them to sell you a different motor with it. Sounds like there is to many unknowns. You would hate to purchase it then have trouble. Yo have a lot to think about good luck on your decision. smile

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There are too many "ifs" in this situation. You stress the "discounts" you want to get from the dealer and are very concerned about the mechanical questions. My hunch is you will be much better off with another motor. Don't think you are going to be happy with this one. Talk with dealer about another motor on same boat, since you like the boat. Or just look for another rig. And don't expect long and detailed warranties on a 15 year old outboard motor.

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This motor sounds fine for something that's over 15 years old. I'd rather have a motor that a reputable shop inspected and overhauled than one that seems to run fine but is a ticking time bomb.

Instead of talking them down on price, I'd strongly urge you to follow boatfixer's advice. Tell them you'll pay their price but you want them to throw in re-sealing the lower unit, the carbs, etc. Look at it as spending the appropriate amount of $$ to make sure that you've just purchased a motor in good condition.

If it were me, I'd also ask them to give you an itemized list of other recommended repairs. Sure this leads to more spending, but it will incentivize them to thoroughly inspect the entire motor - not just the powerhead and oil pump - before handing it over to you.

I'd also want them to do the repairs (which they were already planning to do) prior to purchase so that you can walk away if they discover a load of additional repairs that are needed.

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I agree with this. A little less emphasis on "getting the dealer to discount more" might help you get a nice rig in the final analysis.

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Thanks for all of the input, it gives me a lot of information to bring back to the dealer. But I don't think I am going to over react and walk away from the deal completely. I can see what other motors they have available. But I tend to agree with the others that have said....I would rather have a 20 year old motor that has been inspected, looked at and the necessary parts have been repaired/rebuilt and replaced with new vs. taking a shot on some other used motor, just because it has no "history". I could end up buying a bomb either way, but after input from all I think I feel more comfortable with the rebuilt than another 1996 used motor.

I think some more questions just need to be asked of the dealer and thanks to all for the suggestions. But walking doesn't seem necessary at this point. The unknowns in the deal just seem like they just need to be asked.

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I have the 115 Johnson. I had to rebuild mine due to a bad ring. People like to blame the VRO pump, but the truth is these engines like to chow through rings. I had all 4 pistons and rings done for a grand. That was 3 years ago, runs great. I would do all 4 rings and pistons, that way you are good for at least 10-15 years until she chews another one up.

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