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Author Topic:   Unhappy Whaler Owner
Dick posted 05-14-2002 11:48 PM ET (US)   Profile for Dick   Send Email to Dick  
Yesterday I had a customer drop off a beautifull 1986 15 Sport with a 40 Evinrude for service. Said it would only run for a few minutes and then shut down.
We took a look at it today, compression was 125 on the top cylinder and 60 on the bottom one. The spark plugs were clean and dry, no oil residue. Found the deck mounted VRO tank full of water, which doesn't provide much lubrication.
It wasn't much fun calling him and giving him the nasty details. He did confirm that the boat had filled with water and he just pulled the plug and didn't consider anything else.
Hope everyone here keeps a close watch on their VRO tank.
prj posted 05-15-2002 09:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
i got tired of keeping a suspicious eye on the damned vro tank and disabled it this weekend.

consistently ran too lean, white smokey exhaust, alarm and shut-off occassionally on longer runs at speed.

final straw was weekend may 4, wisconsin fishing opener, boat dealer on lake for trial run with customer asked about it after seeing it idle at dock. when notified it was still connected, stated "PLEASE, disconnect your vro."

enough for me at that point. ('88 john 70vro)

Alan Hiccock posted 05-15-2002 09:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Alan Hiccock  Send Email to Alan Hiccock     
My present engine has the VRO under the engine cover { Yamaha 70 } on my 15. What I dont understand how the water got in his tank as thier all waterproofed?
I had a Carolina Skiff before the Whaler with an OMC with the VRO tank mounted in stern & it become covered with water many times, no problemos !
Maybe a bad " O " ring or gasket?
triblet posted 05-15-2002 10:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
How did he get that much water in the boat that
it got to the top of the VRO tank.


David Pendleton posted 05-15-2002 10:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
Okay. What's a VRO?
Tom W Clark posted 05-15-2002 10:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
This is yet another very good reason why the VRO tank belongs in a battery box, preferably a battery box that has had the vent holes in the lid sealed. This way an air pocket if held over the VRO tank and the cap, hose port and sender are not submerged.

On my battery boxes I just take a piece of electrical tape and stick it over the holes on the inside of the lid.

The cap on a VRO tank is vented so air can, given time, get in there, but under normal circumstances and in the short term, itís waterproof.

By the way, VRO is the trademarked term for OMC's oil mixing system (Variable Ratio Oiling). Yamahas and Mercs don't have VRO but have their own systems.

As far as OMC's VRO system is concerned, I think it works great but that is merely based on four different VRO equipped motors and 15 years of ownership. As with any oiling system, if thereís no oil in the tank, the motor will not like it.

Alan Hiccock posted 05-15-2002 01:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alan Hiccock  Send Email to Alan Hiccock     
Tom, I disagree that the cap's on VRO tanks are vented as its a pressurized system.
Unless the orig. ones werent, but I doubt it.
Tom W Clark posted 05-15-2002 02:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

Perhaps the newer VRO systems are different but the last VRO motor I had, which was a 1990 Johnson 150 hp, the oil tank was definately not pressurized. The oil is sucked to the motor not pushed. There has to be a way for air to enter the tank to fill the space left by the consumed oil. The avenue for air to enter is through the cap.

Whalerdan posted 05-15-2002 02:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
Both of the OMC's I've had the VRO was not pressurized. They've had a pump bulb just like the fuel tank.
Whalerdan posted 05-15-2002 02:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
Oh, yea they were and '85 and a '96.
Alan Hiccock posted 05-15-2002 03:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alan Hiccock  Send Email to Alan Hiccock     
What happened with mine was water went over the top of the tank { rainwater} and the Mechanic @ my yard told me not to worry because it was watertight, part of a pressurized system. Sure enough he was right about the water not entering through the cap or tank as the oil in there was fine.
Now this is what I was told but after learning some more since I posted I think it might not be {pressurized} but I'm not sure.
I think the bulb is for initial priming when setting up the system then you dont need to prime it again which might point to a non vented system as well?
Hey, I might be wrong been there before & will happen again but from having an incident with the water over the top of the tank and then asking about it this is the info. I was told which all made sense,
Thanks for the reply,
Alan Hiccock posted 05-15-2002 04:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alan Hiccock  Send Email to Alan Hiccock     
I would have sworn from the info. I was given, but have been told that the caps are vented by another OMC mechanic but theres often a problem with the casting of the caps or the vent was clogged and thats why my tank never got water in it, hmmmmmmmm.
I would have bet on it, remind me not to have my marina touch my engine because they dont know the score!
should have known better then to question the Aces on this site !
LOL!!, take care, Alan
clanton posted 05-15-2002 05:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for clanton    
The OMC VRO tank is vented, the pump pulls the oil from tank, if not vented the tank would be crushed inward. Always been like this.
Salmon Tub posted 05-15-2002 05:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Salmon Tub  Send Email to Salmon Tub     
What are the benefits of an external system when you are talking about small open hulls? It is rather stupid in my opinion. I can understand this in big 25'+ hulls that will have a compartment to locate this in, since it might be difficult to reach the engine cowell always, but in a small hull? Might as well give your buddy one of those intravenus bottles and tell him to hold it the whole time. Yet another external component, along with those fuel water separators, and batteries that where not in the console is all a mad as hell monster halibut needs to wreak some havok on a boat. I need all the deck space I can get. Makes no sense to me.
Alan Hiccock posted 05-15-2002 06:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alan Hiccock  Send Email to Alan Hiccock     
Salmon Tub,
You make some good points, my current motor a 70 yamaha has the oil tank under the cover attached to the engine, another thing yamaha thought of with its mid range models for the very reasons you brought up, alan
Tsuriki BW posted 05-15-2002 07:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     
My '99 75hp Merc also has the oil tank "under the hood" but with a fill cap on the cowling. Even comes with a "dip stick". LOL


Dick posted 05-15-2002 09:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
The way he explained it to me was that he and a buddy were out on the lake when they shouldn't have been. Wind, waves and heavy rain. Took a bunch of water aboard and the dinky hand pump he had wouldn't get rid of it. By the time they got back to shore the boat was half full(?). I asked him why he didn't pull the plug, his answer was how do you do that when the boat is in the water. I wanted to answer that you can't when it's installed on the outside, but suggested that he install it from the inside next time.
He didn't want to spend anymore money on diagnostics so we didn't get into the why or where the water got into the tank.
Alan Hiccock posted 05-15-2002 10:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alan Hiccock  Send Email to Alan Hiccock     
I think him putting the plug on the outside of a 15 Sport with its bildge system design that keeps the boat dry with the plug removed was well... pretty stupid
He's lucky he didnt get totally swamped, Alan
Ferdinando posted 05-16-2002 12:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ferdinando  Send Email to Ferdinando     

I bought a brand new 15' SS model back in 86 with a 70 Evinrude. The dealer did not connect the VRO and when I arrived home with my new bride I decided to connect the tank up.

Not wanting to have this tank exposed out on the deck I took apart the rear storage compartment which had a hatch that opened upwards and it fit perfectly in the rear left corner with access to the fill cap just by opening the lid I mentioned. Matter of fact it looked like it was factory installed.

Had it for 13 yrs without one VRO problem...


jameso posted 05-16-2002 08:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for jameso  Send Email to jameso     
Didn't mind mixing the gas and oil in my Hodaka and don't mind on my OMC. If you do have a VRO tank that water can/could/would get in remember oil will float on water, just removing the cap and saying 'yeah looks good" may be asking for trouble as the water will be on the BOTTOM of the tank.
Jim Armstrong
lhg posted 05-16-2002 04:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Has anyone noticed that over the entire history of this site, the only talk about consistant oil injection problems, issues, de-activations, etc involve the OMC "VRO" trade name system?

The Mercury and Yamaha systems are virtually trouble free, except for isolated incidents that surely must exist. Although I have heard of none. I actally think the Yamaha system is the best, since it puts out less start-up exhaust smoke than Mercury. Both of these brands wisely put the oil tanks on the engine, 125Hp and less, eliminating these tank placement problems in smaller boats.

When OMC went down, one of their engineers indicated that their "VRO" system was defective from "day one" (thousands of OMC engines have blown up because of this), and the company would never go back and start with a "new" system, but rather simply kept "fixing" what they could. By now, it's probably pretty good, but it's still got to be unnerving to know that your older OMC engine could have problems at any given moment. That's why so many have been disconnected. I wonder if Bombardier has addressed this issue.

Taylor posted 05-16-2002 06:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
No, I had not noticed that, but I'm glad you pointed it out. I'm feeling much better about the oil injection system on my 1988 Merc 100 now. It just seems so darn convenient, the tank on the engine and holds something like a gallon of oil.
whalernut posted 05-16-2002 06:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I agree the oil-injection under the cowling is much better in so many ways, not in the way, very convinient, and also is that system gravity fed or pumped in, unlike the VRO with the engine mounted pump?? Jack.
Salmon Tub posted 05-16-2002 08:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Salmon Tub  Send Email to Salmon Tub     
You forgot to mention Nissan, Lgh, also under the hood.
Chris J posted 05-17-2002 12:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chris J  Send Email to Chris J     
Mistitled post. This guy wasn't an unhappy Whaler owner, he was an unhappy Evinrude owner. And a 1986 Evenrude, at that, I guess. The motor may not have owed the guy much if he got 16 good years out of it.
mcole posted 05-18-2002 07:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for mcole  Send Email to mcole     
I am both a certified Mercury and Omc outboard mechanic. Mercury uses a pressurized tank. Omc uses a vented tank.

I have not been working in the trade for a few years now. So newer engine may be different.

I have experienced many overheats and seizing from water getting into the vro tank on whalers. Just pull the hose off the vro pump, pump out all of the water until you get fresh oil. Fire it up and continue fishing or boozing, I meant Cruising. And realize you just destroyed many hours of your engines life!


lhg posted 05-18-2002 07:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Does that mean that in no case should an OMC oil tank be placed in the transom splash well? Water gets in through the vented system?

It sounds like these have to be placed in a location that is totally dry.

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