5HP 2 stroke Johnson outboard-opinions

C08

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Thinking of buying a "back up" outboard to hang off a bracket of my boat for longer trips/less hospitable places in UK. The engine I like the look of is a sail drive long Johnson 2 stroke engine. It looks to be in very good condition and mainly fresh water use with low hours; my reservations are the weight at 28.5kg (not sure whether newer 2 strokers are lighter) and whether 1990 ignition technology is much less reliable than a say mid 2000's engine. I know nothing about Johnson outboards so any comments about these engines will be valued. Thanks for input.
 

Tranona

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Firstly you can't buy a new 2 stroke outboard now. The one in question was as good as any when it was new, so it depends mainly on its condition now. Freshwater use is good from an internal corrosion point of view. Outboards are designed to be used - not hung on the back "just in case" so reliability depends on using them and maintaining the key items of electrics and fuel. You don't say what boat you are going to use it on and why you think you need a standby engine.
 

VicS

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Thinking of buying a "back up" outboard to hang off a bracket of my boat for longer trips/less hospitable places in UK. The engine I like the look of is a sail drive long Johnson 2 stroke engine. It looks to be in very good condition and mainly fresh water use with low hours; my reservations are the weight at 28.5kg (not sure whether newer 2 strokers are lighter) and whether 1990 ignition technology is much less reliable than a say mid 2000's engine. I know nothing about Johnson outboards so any comments about these engines will be valued. Thanks for input.

I have the a (1984) 6 hp Evinrude version

You dont say exactly what year it is but if a genuine Johnson made one presumably early 1990s as I believe they were made ( in Belgium for the European/ UK market ) from 1984 to 1997. I did not know there as a "sail" version of the 5 hp though. I have only found the standard shaft and ordinary long shaft versions listed.

The 5 Hp is basiaclly the same engine as the 6hp and 8hp engines of the time. It explains the weight I think. The similar 4 hp is a smaller capacity engine, although still a twin, and is quite a bit lighter.
( it may be possible to uprate a 5 to 6hp but I dont know what would be involved)

From around 1998 they were rebadged single cylinder far eastern made units ( Suzuki ??)

Mine has been reliable although it did need a replacement ignition module under the original 1 year warranty.

I've had to replace gear case seals a couple of times and of course water pump impeller now and then. The only recurring thing that's a bit of a PITA is the rubber grommet at the top of the water tube but they changed the design of that part of its anatomy several times. Hopefully the later ones do not suffer from the same trouble as earlier ones

The CD ignition system otherwise seems robust No frequently reported problems on the US outboard engine forums that I am aware of.
It is important that the correct spark plugs are used. If its a twin pre 1998 model take care not to use NGK resistor plugs. They should be Champion QL86C


DSCF0287.jpg
 
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C08

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Firstly you can't buy a new 2 stroke outboard now. The one in question was as good as any when it was new, so it depends mainly on its condition now. Freshwater use is good from an internal corrosion point of view. Outboards are designed to be used - not hung on the back "just in case" so reliability depends on using them and maintaining the key items of electrics and fuel. You don't say what boat you are going to use it on and why you think you need a standby engine.
Recently my power tilt declined to tilt, only a 3 year old engine-it turned out to be a poor connection in a bullet connector but it did make me think how I would have sailed my way out of where I had just been, if the engine had been locked in the up position. It is on a catamaran, not renowned for sailing capabilities. I take your point that on a good sailing boat you can sail your way out of most problems and back up engine is not really necessary but on a cat that is not close winded and a wife who like to get to shelter as soon as possible when it blows up that is totally different.
 

ZuidWester

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I've got an older long-shaft 5 HP 2-stroke Johnson which I rescued from a sunken boat. It had been under (fresh) water in the harbour for six months, but luckily the fuel line was still attached to the external tank and after some work it fired up and still runs years later. A bomb-proof outboard.
 

VicS

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Recently my power tilt declined to tilt, only a 3 year old engine-it turned out to be a poor connection in a bullet connector but it did make me think how I would have sailed my way out of where I had just been, if the engine had been locked in the up position. It is on a catamaran, not renowned for sailing capabilities. I take your point that on a good sailing boat you can sail your way out of most problems and back up engine is not really necessary but on a cat that is not close winded and a wife who like to get to shelter as soon as possible when it blows up that is totally different.

The engine in question does not have power tilt!
 

Lakesailor

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The engine in question does not have power tilt!
I think he was explaing why he wants a back-up.

My brother in-law has had two of the engine under consideration. Both were hardly used and immaculate. He had no trouble whatsoever with them.
I've had the smaller 4hp twin which I found a bit noisy and smelly. The bigger engine like Vic's (in it's smallest incarnation it is a 4.5 hp) is a much nicer engine.


This was the first one he got


Davesboat04.jpg
 
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VicS

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My brother in-law has had two of the engine under consideration. Both were hardly used and immaculate. He had no trouble whatsoever with them.

I seem to remember you had to do the watertube grommet on at least one of them

Watertubegrommet.jpg
 

C08

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Thanks for the info chaps.

One other point;am I correct in thinking that this engine is the same as the 8hp engine and that it would be possible for me to uprate it to 8hp? If so what does the uprating amount to?
 

VicS

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Thanks for the info chaps.

One other point;am I correct in thinking that this engine is the same as the 8hp engine and that it would be possible for me to uprate it to 8hp? If so what does the uprating amount to?

It might uprate to 6hp but as I said earlier I dont know what would be involved . It might just be carb jets .


Even my 6HP, although basically the same engine, cannot realistically be upgraded to 8 hp, Different carb different manifold , different crankcase IIRC, and some other differences that I have forgotten


What year and more importantly model number are we talking about . OMC seldom made exactly the same engine for much more than a couple of years in a row. mine was a new model for 1984. Even the 1985 models are slightly differnt.

You will find the model number on a plate on the port side clamp bracket
 
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VicS

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Actually, that was the one in the pic on the boat.

It wasn't as bad as it looks :D

No you went a bit too far there,

Gear case and power head off would probably have been sufficient + cylinder head if it needed descaling
 

William_H

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I have had Johnson 6HP for 30 odd years. Strangely though I have had trouble with that area where Vic's rubber grommet sits mine is vastly different.
I have had over the years a failure of prop shaft losing prop. A failure of the ignition unit but mostly problems with cooling system water pump and that area at the top of the copper tube pump to engine. It has always been an easy stater. For all that I feel I know it weel, and am attached to it ina strange way. (you might imagine it is a seagull)
The twin cylinders makes it a quiet smooth engine compared to singles. But as you note it is heavy to lift on and off the transom when on the water. I keep mine inside under the cockpit. Hence I have avoided using it for 2 seasons now just prefer to sail or paddle . I sometimes think a new o/b would be nice a low powered single cylinder that is light is what I need. good luck olewill
 
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