1988 Johnson Outboard Restoration

40 HP Johnson Outboard Restoration

A large part of the restoration of the 1966 Boston Whaler 13 is going to be restoring this 1988 Johnson Outboard. This engine came with the boat. It hasn’t been started in over 30 years so I imagine that I have a quite a task ahead of me.

Stuck Tilt Tube and Frozen Steering Rod

The first challenge I encountered doing the Johnson Outboard Restoration was that the tilt tube and steering were frozen completely. I did some research and came up with some methods to fix both these issues. How to Fix an Outboard Stuck Tilt Tube or Frozen Steering Rod

Johnson Outboard Carburetors

I’ve already tried starting the engine and ran into complete failure. Inspecting it revealed that I definitely had good spark (hopefully timed correctly). I did find that the carbs (as expected) were gummed up and needed a rebuild so I performed a rebuild on both the carburetors. Here is Part 1 of the carb rebuild. There is a second part as well. In this post, I remove the lead shit and clean the idle jet passages. Idle Jets .

Going Forward With the Johnson Outboard Restoration

There is a lot more work to do to get this running. I’ll be making custom spark plug wires and impeller. I will also be replacing the thermostat and head gasket. This will give me chance to take a good look at the pistons and cylinder walls. I’ll also be checking and potentially replacing the reeds. One thing I will definitely do is get rid of the VRO2 oil pump. I will replace that with a standard fuel pump.

Hopefully once I get this done, I’ll mount the engine on the boat and run it around the lake this coming summer. After that, I may get ambitious and pull the power head and do a rebuild on it. Stay tuned and follow along as I get this old engine running.

Johnson 1988 40hp Restoration
Johnson 1988 40hp Restoration

Remove an Outboard Lower Unit with a Stuck Drive Shaft

After sinking a significant amount of time and money into this motor, I wanted to do one more thing before starting it up. IT had shown a weak stream of coolant when I had run it before, so I figured a new impeller would be the next think to do. I went through the normal …

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Replace a Johnson Evinrude VRO Oil Pump with a Standard Fuel Pump

Why Remove the VRO Oil Pump? Running an older outboard can present some challenges. One of them is the constant worry of having the VRO oil pump go out on you. Many boaters elect to bypass a Johnson or Evinrude oil pump. There is a ton of information in the Internet on how to do …

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How to Replace an Outboard Thermostat

So far I’ve done a number of things to restore this old outboard to life. Before going any further though, I want to make sure there is adequate cooling for this engine. There are two things I’ll tackle to do this. First, I’ll replace the outboard thermostat. This engine hasn’t been in run on a …

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Make Your Own Spark Plug Wires DIY

Making Your Own Spark Plug Wires Building your own spark plug wires is a simple yet rewarding task. They are not complex to build and do not require advanced skills. If you have worked with wire strippers and crimpers you can easily build your own spark plug wires. In this post I’ll be describing the …

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How To Accurately do an Outboard Compression Test

Why Compression Test an Outboard Engine There are several reasons you may want to compression test an outboard engine. If you notice the engine is running rough (especially at idle) is one. If you are buying a used boat than certainly performing a compression test is definitely in order.  Don’t make a decision on purchasing …

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1988 40HP Evinrude Johnson Carburetor Rebuild

My first attempt at starting the Johnson 40hp Engine resulted in a few sputters and a bang or two. Consequently, I checked the carbs and drained the one on top. My reward was a stream of prehistoric ooze. I tried removing the screw from the bottom carb to drain it as well, I found that …

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How to Fix an Outboard Stuck Tilt Tube or Frozen Steering Rod

The Boston Whaler 13 I purchased came with a 1988 Johnson 40hp outboard. We had to return to pick it up in the bed of my truck. Once we got the engine home my son and I removed it from the truck. We mounted it on the wooden stand I had built. That’s when we …

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