Evinrude - Opinions and what years (or all to be avoided)

Discussion in 'Boats, Motors, Trailers and Towing Rigs Forum' started by Damien, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. Damien

    Damien Active Member

    Hey folks, I have my eye on a little 16' boat with a 115hp Evinrude. I have no experience with these motors, have had Merc and Yammy my entire life.

    It is a 1997 and from what I can tell the problems with the FICHT models began in 1998 but i'm not totally sure.

    Does anyone have experience with this vintage Evinrude (Johnson?) motor? I have heard the VRO labelled models where many people take out the VRO and premix. But again, this motor doesn't have either a VRO label nor a FICHT labe, no is it an "Ocean Pro".

    It looks like this [​IMG]

    Lastly, any mechanics in the lowermainland that you know of that service these things? Between the expected reliability and access to service, this will drive my buying decision. Lake trial will happen this Tuesday...

    The boat and motor are in very good visual condition, turned over instantly. Original owner's manuals for the boat/motor package bill of sale etc are in place. And I get overall good vibes from the seller, i'm just hung up on the Evinrude part of the equation.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. beemer

    beemer Well-Known Member

    your safe Damien. This is a carb model not fuel injected.
    Damien likes this.
  3. finaddict

    finaddict Well-Known Member

    If it an ocean pro then it is carbureted and should be a typical 2 stroke outboard of that era. I had a 110 Evinrude that did 25 + years with a single rebuild. It will be a gas guzzler and use lots of two stroke oil, but it should be reasonably reliable if it was well maintained. I also had a 2000 Evinrude FICHT 200 V-6, I got 608 hours before it lost a cylinder due to a bad injector. My understanding is that the only years that were any good are the most recent and even those had a lot of problems.If it is a FICHT, I would recommend that you do not walk away from this motor, you should RUN.
    Damien likes this.
  4. SpringVelocity

    SpringVelocity Well-Known Member

    I had one of the same vintage and it was a VRO. To be honest it was the most reliable engine I ran. It smoked etc. But a ran the good envinrude oil and got rid of premix and always ran 50/50. A 16 foot will haul ass with that motor. My 16 foot DE had a 70hp and it was fast.

    They are so easy to fix.

    Mine had lots of hours but ran fine for 5 years with boat I had. The secret of these motors is to use them. I am firm believer to use them all year round if you can. They dont like to sit idle.

    That looks like a regular envinrude. Non -Ficht.

    Damien likes this.
  5. Damien

    Damien Active Member

    Thanks for the feedback so far. It has an oil reservoir and apparently all works fine. As for the sitting part, that scares me as it hasn't been used since last summer.

    It should go ~50MPH, I would guess. Max rated HP on the hull sticker and owner's manual says 125hp. The boat is a 'small' 16.5 footer in that it is not a deep V. More of a ski boat style, I know I know. Wife wants a bowrider, and it needs to be small enough to tow with my little SUV, so here I am.

    I'm going to see how I can mount a kicker and downriggers if it passes the trial.

    I guess sea trial, change impeller and fluids and see how much use I can get out of it...
  6. BigBird007

    BigBird007 Member

    If it's a 60 degree block with a OIS oiling system. IMO probably one of the best carbureted outboard engines ever built, owened a few.

    But like any outboard a compression test and a good visual inspection will tell its current condition.

    If it's s FICHT I a agree with finaddict, run as fast as you can.
  7. Damien

    Damien Active Member

    I don't know how to tell if it is a 60 degree or 90 degree. Is one a deal breaker over the other?
  8. willydw

    willydw Member

    Good engines.Do a compression check and check the leg oil for water.Should not be milky.
  9. BigBird007

    BigBird007 Member

    It's not a deal breaker but the 60 degree motor is a much better motor. I think the easiest way to tell is to pull the engine cover off, if you can see the flywheel and flywheel nut it's a 90 degree. If all you see is plastic covers it's a 60 degree engine. If it's an older 90 degree defiantly don't buy it without a compression check first.

    I can't remember exactly when the stopped making 90 degree engine's but my bet is this ones a 60 degree.
  10. Damien

    Damien Active Member

  11. Damien

    Damien Active Member

    Probably can't tell by those pictures, but thats all I have for now, until seatrial Wed/Thurs.
  12. Fishin'Zinn

    Fishin'Zinn Active Member

    Looks like a pretty clean engine.

    If you do end up buying it (if it runs well, etc). Do some research on maintaining a 2-stroke, best oil to use, specifics etc and you should enjoy that for many years (well, enjoy most of it, except the smell maybe haha!)
  13. scott craven

    scott craven Well-Known Member

    Looks like more of a lake boat than a fishing boat ?
    saltydawg likes this.
  14. Damien

    Damien Active Member

    Yes it does, because it is.

    The boat is a 'small' 16.5 footer in that it is not a deep V. More of a ski boat style, I know I know. Wife wants a bowrider, and it needs to be small enough to tow with my little SUV, so here I am.

    I'm going to see how I can mount a kicker and downriggers if it passes the trial.

    Things have changed in my life and this is the direction I have to go. Lots of friends with boats for the chuck, I need something more suited to taking a bunch of kids for a tube ride.
  15. willydw

    willydw Member

    Nice looking unit. Should fly.
  16. BigBird007

    BigBird007 Member

    That's a 60 degree motor...

    If a compression test and the gear oil check out I wouldn't hesitate to buy that motor, boat is decent quality as well.

    Scotty has many options to be able to mount riggers to the boat easily. The kicker will be a tough one to rig but it can be done by a decent fabricator.
    Damien likes this.
  17. Damien

    Damien Active Member

    Excellent, thanks for this. Really gives me peace of mind. Test run after work this week. Compression test best to be done prior to launching, or after it is hot?

    I'm thinking something like this mounted on the port 'swim grid';

    I will have to hole saw out an access point to through bolt though, I would guess.s

    I plan on running either an electric motor and/or 6hp 4 stroke so the 75lb weight limit will not be exceeded.
  18. Russ

    Russ New Member

  19. Russ

    Russ New Member

    I have a 1996 88 special which is the same as a 90 without oil injection on my 16' starcraft the thing is a rocket but hard on fuel. Best motor i have ever had and never had any problems. I only used it once in the last 2 years and this year used it lots, so as for sitting long times, as long as it is winterized, no problems.
  20. finaddict

    finaddict Well-Known Member

    On the plus side, people will always know where you are as they can follow the contrail of 2 cycle smoke behind you wherever you go. :)

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