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Author Topic:   More Evinrude/Johnson -- Bombardier News
bigz posted 04-03-2001 09:12 AM ET (US)   Profile for bigz  
Decided to start a new topic thread for those interested in recent developments ---

This latest news, along with rehiring of administrative and engineering staff and opening the parts distribution centers coupled with the Ficht recall plus the warranty backing, tells us that Bombardier (with assets and revenues far exceeding Brunswick Corporation) can and I believe will bring the Evinrude and Johnson outboards back as strong competitors to the others in the industry --- Appears they are truly committed --- as well it should be since these brands have a long history of solid performance and customer following ---

"Bombardier acquires Evinrude test center"

(also reported but not confirmed that Bombardier purchased the old OMC facilities in Hong Kong)

lhg posted 04-03-2001 01:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
There is also word that Bombardier wants to get the Calhoun GA engine plant back in production by July 1st, producing the 150HP Fichts. Their goal is make up to 400 engines per day. They must now feel that this engine is bug-free enough to start up again.

Nobody is sure that this is a long term committment to building engines in the US.
Many think they're going to take them foreign, and this is just a short term solution to stay in the marketplace.

If they even have a chance to have anything ready for the 2002 model year (which come out in late August), something needs to start production soon.

No word on the larger Fichts yet. My guess is they're still working on the remedy for the safety problems.

SWarren posted 04-03-2001 03:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for SWarren  Send Email to SWarren     
It is good to see OMC back in business. I was out on my fathers montauk this weekend with his 2000 90 hp fict. The motor ran great, and seems to have much more power than my 90 yamaha did on my montauk. It is a super quite motor and very smooth. I know there have been a lot of things said about the ficht, but what have I seen so far it has been a great motor. It burns little gas and does not smoke. My 115 twin johnsons on the revenge will smoke you out when they have not been run for a couple of weeks. I dont know much about the larger fichts but the 90 is a pretty good motor.


andygere posted 04-03-2001 06:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I've often thought that the Ficht 90 would be the ideal Montauk motor: reasonable weight, 2006 compliant, efficient and not too smokey. I'm glad to hear that it seems to actually be the case. Will Merc try to compete by offering the Opti in the 90-100 hp range, or are they strictly 4-stroke in that hp range? How about Yamaha? I saw that Tohatsu was planing a clean DI 90, has anyone seen one yet? Right now, I hope my old 85 hp Johnson runs long enough for the OB industry to offer some real choices.....
bigz posted 04-04-2001 09:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Just received news on the Ficht 200 and 235 recall.

Apparently this is related to the injectors coming loose and leaking fuel into the bottom pan of the crowl. This was supposed to have been handled with the original kit issued last summer for early 2000 and 1999 motors --- however they determined they needed a redesign because some engines with the early strap kits were still developing leaks --- the recall effects all 2000 and 1999 engines even if they have the old strap kits installed.

Dealers can easily order kits via fax. They just request kits giving the engine serial numbers, and will be sent out immediately. The dealer will be reimbursed for labor. (the kits take less than an hour to install I understand)

You can tell if your engine has the upgrade by looking at the top starboard side injector if it has a rubber boot and strap it is a new kit --- the new kit number is 5004550 --- the old kit which might have been installed was 5001183.

Not sure many if any forum members or readers have these engines --- thought it best though to pass on this information ---


blackdog posted 04-04-2001 10:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
Have you heard of any recalls or problems with the 2001 models?


bigz posted 04-04-2001 11:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Gene only the 225hp and 200hp Ficht's 2000 and 1999 as far as I have heard -- yours should be fine ---

Bombardier has bought into a real winner with a bit more refining I'd say --- the twin 225's on our new WA ran unbelievable never thought a 2 stroke could be that awesome --


bigz posted 04-13-2001 12:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Brunswick suspends US Marine production
The above is somewhat interesting since BW sells mostly "smaller" boats too!

Bombardier rebate program for engines


Some relief for dealers ---

Also Bombardier has formed a new division encompassing J&E,Ficht and Rotax

bigz posted 04-16-2001 01:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Andy the Tohatsu engines are using the Orbital technology similar to the Merc Optimax and you will also see an engine in the Nissan line with this set up.

News is that Bombardier might be announcing they will exercise the option to purchase the OMC casting plant #2 in Waukegan this week and if they do I think you will see it back in operation shortly if as stated they intend to be back in production in a June/July time frame ---

hauptjm posted 04-20-2001 03:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
More on the Dealer side.

Bomber said they are working with dealers regarding reimbursement plans that were in place prior to the bankruptcy at OMC, but with restrictions. To wit, "In a statement issued Thursday, Bombardier said it "will not allow recovery of OMC reimbursements due from co-op advertising, yellow page advertising, outdoor illuminated sign program, billboard program, stationary program, service programs or secure stock programs."

At the time OMC went bankrupt, many of the dealers were owed rebate money, but had no way to recoup it, as the bankruptcy process protected OMC from creditors while its assets were liquidated."

Read the article at:

lhg posted 05-08-2001 02:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Word is getting around that Bombardier is buying a large building in Racine WI, presumably for production of Evinrude and/or Johnson engines. As has been their method in the past, they're not talking about what they plan to use it for. But it's got to be something with the engine operation. Maybe only a warehouse? Parts production?

They evidently are not going to use the old OMC plant in Waukegan, which has a lot of environmental problems they don't need to inherit.

The new building was previously a printing plant which could be vacated by July 1st. My guess it would be pretty hard to get new engines into production much before Oct 1.

One of these days they'll figure out (or at least announce) what they're going to do with the Evinrude and Johnson brands. I guess fixing "Ficht" has been their first priority. There's not much news out on them lately. They seem to have gotten key previous employees in line and plugged all the information "leaks" pretty well.

Bullbay posted 05-08-2001 09:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bullbay  Send Email to Bullbay     
We just got a letter from Bombadeir this week saying that the warranty on our 2000 90 hp Evinrude Ficht was going to be honored by them but that purchased exended warranties would not. I bought the Ficht oil thinking that it would be in short supply - but it uses so little oil that the 4 gallons that I have should last for 3 years. I am running about 16 hours per month.
bigz posted 05-09-2001 09:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
That's a fact, Bombardier is purchasing a large building (500,000 sq. ft) of a bankrupt printing company and they have stated it will create approximately a 1000 jobs in the Racine area

There are I believe 3 or 4 OMC buildings in the Waukegan campus, only, if memory serves, the #2 Plant which is the casting plant has the EPA problems. There is as Larry states no real news on the business plan Bombardier keeps saying will be announced shortly for J&E outboard brands.

From what I have recently heard about 300 people working in the administration, marketing, customer service and distribution areas in the Waukegan facilities. All the facilities had maintenance staff through out the bankruptcy proceedings, meaning they were kept up and nothing frankly had to be done to open them up.

lhg posted 05-10-2001 05:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
It's looking more and more that Wisconsin is going to be the Outboard motor capital of the world. With Mercury already in Fond-du-Lac, and now Bombardier of America favoring Racine for it's nucleus for rebuilding its Johnson/Evinrude lines. There is supposed to be an announcement on the the new J/E plans around June 1st.

With time going by, I'm wondering whether they will be able to get any 2002 engines on the market of their own manufacture. I assume Suzuki will still be needed for the 4 strokes.

bigz posted 05-11-2001 10:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Yes Larry the "plan" is still the mystery question --

Picked this up this morning might shead a little more light on the situation ---

Not much I'm afraid --- intersting speculation though!

lhg posted 05-24-2001 11:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Bombardier has finally announced that they will resume production of E&J Ficht engines by the Fall of 2001. So it looks like there will be some engine product out there for sale by the 1st of the year, with maybe a 1/2 years run of 2002 engines.

They are evidently abandoning the old, heavily polluted Waukegan IL site in favor of a new Wisconsin location in Racine. I think some engines will also be made in GA.

They did not indicate whether any conventional 2 stroke engine manufacturing will be re-started up. I think the 150HP Fichts are their first priority. 4 strokes will continue to come from Suzuki.

It will be interesting to see what they come up with. Now with new engines on the horizon, any leftovers made by the old OMC should be available deeply discounted, since most will want to wait for the new, improved, warranted versions.

Dick posted 05-24-2001 11:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
Just read the article myself. At least they have finaly set a target date to start production. Will be intersting to see if they produce any 2 strokes other than Fichts.
The full article is at
TightPenny posted 06-07-2001 10:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for TightPenny  Send Email to TightPenny     
To reply to Blackdog:

I have a 90hp 2001 Ocean Pro Johnson.

After finally opening it up to full throttle, at 5 hours, it started to run rough, and wouldn't idle. Gas consumption went through the roof, and smelled fuel.

Pulled off the air silencer, and found that one of the carburators was spouting fuel out of the intake.

When I took it in for warranty service, they found out that one of the carbs had a porosity problem. They tell me it is covered by the warranty. I pick it up tomorrow.

blackdog posted 06-08-2001 09:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
Thanks Tightpenny,
The only issue I have had so far is Injection oil is dripping from the air box and collecting in the engine cover when the engine is tilted up. If the engine is in the vertical position the red oil runs down to the out drive. Other than that the engine runs well with loads of power, starts first time.
I believe the Johnsonís are carbed and the Evinrude's are Fuel injected.
TightPenny posted 06-11-2001 10:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for TightPenny  Send Email to TightPenny     
The Johnson's are indeed carburated.

They replaced the failed part and the engine now runs just beautifully. Warranty covered it all.

lhg posted 06-12-2001 08:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Word is out that Bombardier has suffered another setback in it's efforts to get Johnson and Evinrude engines produced in time for the 2002 model year, which begins Aug 1st.

Evidently General Electric is legally preventing them access to the new manufacturing facility in WI they want to set up, until Aug 1. Involves a bankruptcy dispute with the prior occupant of the building, with GE as the creditor, unrelated to the OMC collapse.

They are in court with GE, but if they don't overturn the situation, don't look for much in new engines until Jan or Feb 2002. Maybe they'll bring them out as early 2003's, which would be smart.

hauptjm posted 06-13-2001 11:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
Some interesting industry news:

Ford is entering the marine engine business in a big way. Going after the inboard/sterndrive market. I wonder who they are targeting?

Mercury is manufacturing parts for OMC applications. I think this is a great business decision for Mercury.

bigz posted 06-23-2001 07:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
"Bombardier timetable unchanged for new building"

For anyone who is interested finally word on the slight set back with Bombardier's new production facility. Appears they still believe engines will be built as originally outlined in their schedule ---

lhg posted 06-28-2001 07:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
For those of you interested in repowering with Johnson or Evinrude, I understand that the remaining supply of OMC produced engines in inventory stands at about 4000, but that all of these are in the unpopular models, and in lower HP versions.

There are literally no V-6's available, in any form, from 150HP and up, unless a particular Dealership still has one on hand.

The Ficht engines are also completely gone, many of which were used as replacements for earlier problem designs in the larger HP ranges.

The article I read is estimating that no new engines will be available from Bombardier until December 2001 or Jan 2002, and the Fichts will be the first priority. Since they are now sponsoring Bass fishing tournaments, I would imagine the 20" bass boat V-6 models will be first priority.

Yamaha has once again stumbled into a perfect timing situation (with Ficht and Optimax problems), with the new 200/225 Four stroke coming out in a few months. Mercury's 4 stroke will be ready in Jan. Bombardier has a problem here.

Whaletosh posted 06-29-2001 08:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    

Sometimes one must believes one's gut feeling. I am of the opinion that four stokes are going to be the future of outboards. Now that Honda, Yamaha, and Mercury have broken the 200 HP barrier what real reason is there to continue with DFI developement. I don't see any reason. An EFI four stoke should be a much easier engineering feat. Low pressure on the fuel system and more time to get it into the cylinder. That is the real downfall of the DFI two stokes. The need to get the fuel into and atomized in such a short period of time. With a four stroke fuel can be introduced throughout most of the intake stroke.

Yamaha, Honda, and Suzuki have plenty of experience in building reliable compact four stroke motors. Mercury is learning fast. Bombadier should stengthen their ties to Suzuki. This will help them with Ski Doos as well. I am sure that snowmobiles will be under the gun for emmision standards as well.

Personnaly, I believe that people are "catching on" to the pitfalls of DFI two strokes. some of the motors are very good with great track records. Others aren't. But I also believe that EFI four strokes will prove to be the best long term solution.

SuburbanBoy posted 06-29-2001 10:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
The last stand of hi-tech 2-stroke technology is 500cc Grand Prix motorcycles. 200hp for 500cc is not uncommon. They have spent 10's of millions attempting to develop usable, reliable fuel injection systems. They gave up and today all of them are carbureted. But the real news is that next year they go 4-cycle. This is bad news for 2-stoke fans. The 4-cycle train has left the station. It will be hard for some to catch up. This could be an opportunity to break Mercury's strangle hold on the outboard sales market. Oil changes while in the water will be very interesting.


lhg posted 06-29-2001 05:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Sean - I am beginning to agree with you on the 2 stroke DFI's. I have previously speculated that they could be a temporary solution until the 4 strokes get perfected in large sizes. Now this reality seems closer. Yamaha's new 200 weighs about the same as a 225 Optimax. Mercs' is supposed to be in that weight range also. If nothing else, the DFI's have gotten us used to heavier engines, so now the 4 strokes don't seem so bad.

If I was in the unenviable position of having to repower, I think I would go with conventional 2 strokes/EFI's as long as they are being made. And when they do finally go out of production, by then the 4 strokes should be reasonably perfected and reliable.
If nothing else, the higher weight may simply mean we have to make do with less HP on our Whalers. As an example Mercury/Yamaha's new 115 EFI 4 stroke weighs the same as my 200 HP EFI 2 stroke (415 lbs). A pair of the new 600Lb 200HP 4 strokes on my 25 Whaler would simply be too much. I would have to settle for less HP.

I remember when the first V-6 2 strokes came out. A Merc 175 weighed about 375LB, and it was inconceivable that an engine that weight could go on a Montauk. Now, the Merc 4 stroke 90 weighs 386 LB! The older, lighter weight technology still makes some sense to me.

High HP Ficht and Optimax problems have left me wondering, and I think the Yamaha HPDI (which we don't seem to hear much about) also have their problems. Will these engines have any value used? So far, the Mercury 135/150 Optimax's have the best track record.

Eric posted 06-29-2001 09:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
Sure weight is a factor, but what about cost? A 2 stroke carb engine can be 60% of the cost of either an efi or 4 stroke. Now I grant you that the carb engines are about to be history at some point (witness california), but they are still out there. I wonder if the cost could be as much of a factor in the decision to use a smaller engine as weight appears to be. My Johnson 90 cost 4500 new last year, a honda would be about 7500 for a 70.
Whaletosh posted 06-30-2001 07:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    
Cost won't be as much of an issue in the future. Normally what happens in any change in technology is that early on there is a high price on the first units, then the price stagnates or goes down. What will happen is that the price in 4-stokes will probably not rise rapidly over the next few years, but we (boaters in general) will economically grow out of it. Competition and economies of scale will hold the price down.

Besides, the weight and cost issues a moot. Four strokes and DFIs will definately be the only new motors you can buy in just a couple of years. Look for less and less EFI/carbed 2-strokes, even before the 2006 deadline.

Begin soapbox

Anyone thinking of repowering really should consider the long term value of a traditional 2-stroke. Saving money now only to later be required to buy an EPA compliant engine later isn't a sound investment. I am not saying it is justified, or that we should have to tolerate it, but look for more emmission based bans. Better to be prepared than not.

end soapbox


jimh posted 06-30-2001 09:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
One issue with newer outboard motors: their complexity. Can these things be made to run for 25 years?

I have a 1976 Mercury 50-HP 2-stroke outboard that runs beautifully. The simplicity of the 2-stroke engine makes this possible. There are so few moving parts, really just the pistons, the connecting rods and the crankshaft. Everytime it runs it lubricates itself with fresh oil.

In contrast, the 4-stoke engines have valves, camshafts, oil pumps, and who knows what else all in motion.

What happens to all those moving parts after 25 years? Will there be 4-stroke engines with 2,500 hours on them?

Sometimes I wonder about the total environmental impact of this change to low-emission. Now you'll have oil changes and used outboard engine oil to dispose. You'll have dozens and dozens of sparkplugs to dispose. You'll have your old 2-stroke engine to dispose. And maybe you'll have your first 4-stroke engine to get rid of when it wears out in half the time. That is a lot of junk going into the landfill just to keep a few molecules of hydrocarbon out of the atmosphere.

Besides the residue of all the oil, the maintenace parts, and the worn out engine that has to be considered, there is the pollution and energy consumption that goes into the manufacture of all these new products. What is the environmental impact of having to make ten times as many spark plugs for every outboard engine in the world as used to be necessary?

Any really, how much fuel goes through the typical outboard motor in a year? I bet I will burn more gas in my car in a month than I will burn in my boat all year. I really have to question the basic wisdom of imposing strict emission standards on outboard engines. Why not lawnmowers? There must be a 100:1 ratio of lawnmowers to outboards, and they get used far more every day.


Peter posted 06-30-2001 09:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     

I think you make an excellent point here. The environmental impact should be made from cradle to grave taking everything into account.

I never thought of it like this before, but now that you raise the question regarding total impact, one could view the DFI engines as having high spent spark plug emissions.

bigz posted 06-30-2001 10:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Lawn mowers and garden tractors are in the process of being EPA regulated.

The DFI engines will eventually be used in automotive applications according to the articles I have read in trade auto publications.

The Ficht technology is the simplest of all DFI's at this point and the easiest to work on.

The DFI's in general based on emission testing produce less then any 4 stroke, this gets into the type/form of emissions being controlled --- what is currently being controlled they meet or exceed there 4 stroke counter parts.

As of Friday Mercury isn't back in production with the 200/225 Optimax engines yet!

My NC dealer just sold 3 big Fichts last week, said no problem at present getting them from inventory!

New engine production on the street from Bomb is now estimated for late fall ---

Reports are the new Yamaha 4 stroke 225 is an awesome engine -- dealer I spoke with said he should have them in stock next month about $18,000!

So folks that's all the news for now from this old man, see yeah in the near future --

Peter posted 06-30-2001 10:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     

Further to your 25 year success with your Merc 50 -- I have found that the key to basic 2 cycle outboard longevity and low maintenance is to use it frequently. It has been my observation that people who don't use very frequently have more problems. Could be that they don't do maintenance, but I think the frequent use keeps everything nicely lubricated.

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