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Author Topic:   Johnson 20 hour service/warranty issues
Eric posted 04-26-2001 12:03 PM ET (US)   Profile for Eric   Send Email to Eric  
I bought a leftover 1999 Johnson 90 in June of 2000. Due to problems with the boatyard that worked on the boat I took delivery on the motor in January 2001. The Johnson dealer told me that they wouldn't put in the warranty until I took delivery, but the papers were still submitted. When I called to have the warranty issue cleared up, OMC had gone into bankruptcy, so there was no one available for the dealer to talk to. Now one of four situations exist:
1. no warranty on the engine. Since the bombadier press releases state they would honor the 2000 and 2001 warranties, this may exclude earlier models.
2. warranty expires in 2 months.
3. warranty coverage till January.
4. coverage by the dealer, but I won't hold my breath.

My question is this: if there is no coverage, or coverage for only 2 more months, should I spend the money for the 20 hour service or do it myself? It's pretty simple. I have built a few auto engines, and own a good torque wrench, and other than retorqueing the heads, it's really simple. Check all the fittings and fasteners, change the lower unit oil, and check the plugs. I'd need the torque values and the bolt tightening pattern for the heads, but I was planning to purchase a book for the motor anyhow. What book should I look for?

lhg posted 04-26-2001 12:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
From what I understand, with a 1999 model, you have NO warranty, although the Government has forced Bombardier to cover the fire/explosion defects in the 1999 200/225HP Fichts. Owners of other 99's are out of luck except for the Dealer's good will. I understand some are performing here, to preserve their customer base.

This will be your opportunity to see how good of a Dealer you have. He put that engine on your boat after the company had collapsed, so he has an obligation to you. He really should have told you at the time "To be honest, I shouldn't really sell you this engine until we know what's going on." I'd have him do the 20 hour work. It's no big expense to him, but be there when the checkup is performed. Hopefully, it will be a good engine and you won't need any warranty work.

This is why I think people should stay away from a new purchase of a left over OMC engine. Life is too short, and the engines are not any better in quality than the other brands being offered. Personally, I think other brands have been better for many years, which is why the Company went down in the first place. Wait until Bombardier gets the new engines up and running again as their product.

witness posted 04-26-2001 01:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for witness  Send Email to witness     
Was this a Ficht (I wasn't sure if they made a 90 Ficht)? If so, does the year 2000 upgrade apply to the 90 like it does the 150? If so, you might want to ask your dealer to do the upgrade (or see if they did it like they should have before they sold you the motor). This is both software and "hardware" and apparently makes a HUGE difference in the motors "expected life span". --mike
Eric posted 04-27-2001 01:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
I stopped in and spoke with the sales rep yesterday. He assured me that they weren't going to leave me hanging if there's a problem. The dealership and their service department are very highly regarded in this area, and I don't feel too worried. A good reputation and a view for the long term happiness of the customer go together.
I have a small warranty issue, the fast idle (known as quick start) hasn't worked since initial start-up. He told me they would cover the repair. As far as Bombadier goes, he told me that the only answers he's gotten are "wait for the next press release".
This is a carbed engine, not a Ficht. I did see a new (2001) Ficht Evinrude on the transom of Sarasota's #1 inshore guide's boat yesterday. I asked about it, and he said that he chose the engine for its durability! He said the local rental (center consoles, runabouts and pontoons, not aluminum V-hulls with 9.9s) uses the ficht motors because they held up better to the rental market abuse. I don't know what to make of this, just passing it along to confuse everyone else, like myself.
lhg posted 04-27-2001 01:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
If you have a carbureted V-4 90, you shouldn't have any major problems with it at all. It's an excellent engine that's been around for over 30 years, and is one of the most widely sold outboards ever built. I would imagine there are plenty of parts around. The only thing I don't really like about it for a smaller Whaler is the separate oil injection tank. The Mercury and Yamaha solved this problem, but OMC didn't.
sorcerer posted 04-27-2001 02:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for sorcerer    

Since you actually purchased it in Jan 2001 should be covered -- this would be a gray area and I would contact Johnson/Bombardier since they are stating the warranty is based on the sale date. Your dealer does have customer service to talk to now, it is back in operation, so they should do the checking for you. For the minor 20 hour service heck your dealer should do it out of courtesy, no biggie deal!

The government didn't force Bombardier to do a thing! Bombardier went voluntarily to the USCG so that they could get the message out fast on the injector problem associated with the '99 and some 2000 Ficht because in certain cases the injectors worked loose, only the 200hp and the 225hp, the 90 thru 150 Ficht's were not affected.

In fact a bunch of local commercial fishermen I'm acquainted in NC run and have been running '99 and 2000 Ficht 200, 225, and one even was able to get a pair of 2001 250's last Fall with no problems what so ever these "characters" beat the "H" out of their equipment usually trade off or up bi-annually. They believe me wouldn't touch a Mercury with a 10' pole! Though a few do run Yamaha and they say they love'm too.

Eric posted 04-28-2001 04:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
Scheduled the 20 hour service for next week. We'll see what happens with the warranty. I think that calling customer service myself is the best option. I may follow through on that. As far as the durability of the carbed V4, I wanted proven old technology, and that's what I got.
Thanks for all the input.

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