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Author Topic:   Dead 225
jimp posted 08-18-2002 12:30 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimp   Send Email to jimp  
Disaster yesterday with my 1990 225 Johnson on the Kelsey J (Revenge 22 W.T., Cetacea 44). Never came up to speed, missing, wouldn't hold power (usually cruise at 4,000 rpm), sudden HUGE power loss, so I shut it down. Thought about it, fired it up again, started OK, started to run her up, no guts, no power, so I shut her down and came in on the kicker with the original Kelsey J (daughter) driving. On the way in, I tilted the engine and checked all the plugs. The first 5 looked great. Number 6 (top right) was wet with fine metal filings all over it. I guessed, and my mechanic confirmed... the metal filings aren't good. Gee, really? Only 321 hrs on the engine. No alarms, temperature gauge was fine (and it works). I just read the "Engine Life" thread yesterday, nice timing.

The engine has always idled rough, and sometimes stalled, and didn't like going (clutch speed in the boat harbors). Lots of blue smoke on start-up. In the past, when coming out of the boat harbor, and idling rough, coming up to speed would get all cylinders firing and all would be fine. For the last 6 years could easily reach WOT at 5,600 rpm. VRO installed and used.

So, regardless of what happened, what's the next step? I have 13 year old 225 that doesn't work. Repairs/replacement are going to be expensive. What are my options?

1. Rebuild with new power head. Could be $5,000. So I'll have a 13 yr old engine with new powerhead and it will likely be fine, but it will still be old.

2. Buy a newer used 225, if I can find one, say $7,000-$10,000. Newer technology?

3. Buy new. Cost of a new 225? Likely a 2-stroke as a 4-stroke is out of my price range with two kids going to college in a few years. Get the newest technology.

4. If I buy a new 225, do I stay with an OMC (Bombadier), or try Merc, Yamaha, or Suzuki? Will I need all new instrumentation? Is that included with a new engine? Who's the best dealer in town (I'll have to find that out myself).

5. Do I do it now (likely won't have the boat for the rest of the season as the season is pretty much done by mid-Sep)? Do I shop an end of the year sale (Ha! What good deals. And the market is down).

6. Do I wait until the spring and get a "boat show special" deal? Maybe the market will be up.

Just kind of discouraged now. Should I have done something differently? Maybe more addatives, or cleaners, who knows.

Ideas? Can somebody wave a magic wand and make it better?


jimh posted 08-18-2002 04:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Boy, jimp, the way engines are going bad around here I am becoming afraid to even start mine up!

I am no expert on this, but I recently read that for some engines you can get oversized pistons that weigh the same as the original pistons. You can bore out just the bad cylinder and rebuild just that cylinder with an oversized piston. I can't imagine that it would cost $5,000 to do that.

Any idea what caused the failure?

David Ratusnik posted 08-18-2002 08:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
jimp- I can't tell your hours over the last "6 years" but if it ran 12 months per year most weeks at "5600 rpms" I wouldn't cry up a storm. One guys opinion, sell it for parts (plenty of takers -- maybe $500) and then shop for another V6 carb motor that is new and hanging around- Look in boat trader mags. 01 Ev/Johnsons might be a bottom feeder play. Could have a Bomb 3 yr warrantee. Or, (given your situation as per thread) finance a DFI 2 stroke (seem abit less expensive than the 4 strokes). One guys opinion. David
David Ratusnik posted 08-18-2002 08:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
jimp- By the way, I'm running an '89 225 Johnson with a rebuilt powerhead 3 years ago, time bomb. I'll be in your shoes one day. Engine pulled 3 kids on tubes and slalom all over the icw today and yesterday. Yea, mid 5000 rpms. The silver lining is you have no smart choice other than upgrading to a newer engine. New or rebuilt powerheadleaves you with decade plus lower unit, electrical, etc. Other time bombs. Thoughts. David
David Ratusnik posted 08-18-2002 08:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Just noted "321 hrs" on engine. D
jimp posted 08-18-2002 09:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
JimH & David -

Thanks for your thoughts.

I pulled the right hand head today (mechanic said I could do it, or I could pay him, and it needed to be pulled anyway). Found some nice chunks (1/16-1/8" ) on top of the piston that were steel and not aluminum (magnet picked them up). The #1 cylinder sleeve was scored (could see it). When I spun the flywheel (with all sparkplugs removed) it rotated fine... to a point, then it got harder (not impossible, just a bit harder). Mechanic indicated connecting rods, crankshaft, maybe lack of lube, etc. Could be as "simple" as shipping the head to Seattle for a new sleeve and then fixing other parts.

Today I cleaned the boat & engine... now I have the cleanest broken engine on the block. Sure looks nice...

So, that's it for the season. Well it was 48F and drizzle today anyway.

Maybe I'll work on my Squall (just reweighed it. It was 484, now after 4 months in the garage it weighs 444lbs! Three years til its dry!).


jimp posted 08-18-2002 09:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
David -

Forgot to mention. I normally cruise at 4,000 rpm. Only go to WOT to see what it can still do and if it runs smoothly. WOT is usually less than 60 seconds.

I bought the boat in 1997 with 192 hrs on the engine. Put 50 on the first year, 7 this year, and 14 last year. The fishing holes are only 15 minutes from the launch ramps, so you don't get much running time. Then I spend hours on the kicker (usually 60-70 per year).


David Ratusnik posted 08-19-2002 09:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
jimp- A few random thoughts from a nonmechanic, I just hang around them an pick up enought info to be dangerous.
1. Your engine was not used enough given the hours noted over the last few years. I bet number 6 carb dysfunctioned. Sounds like you had plenty of oil, it just didn't get into number 6 hole.
2. I don't believe these old V6 carb engines should be babied. Blow them out, run at high rpms often (WOT). Might want to put your daughter on a tube or ski on the way to the fishing hole. Yanking her up will certainly clean up the internals of the engine. .03


jimp posted 08-19-2002 10:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
David -

I hear you on not running it enough. And also a timebomb if I fix just one area of the engine. I might have to go new next spring.

The girls are reluctant to tube or ski en route the fishing areas as the water temp is 55F-60F most of the time. Funny though, they don't mind swimming near the glacier!


David Ratusnik posted 08-19-2002 07:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
jimp- Now that I am awake and understand the 300 hrs maybe you shouldn't jump so soon at new. With so few hrs the lower and mid units of the engine are probably in reasonable shape. Rec- study the cost of a new rebuilt powerhead or rebuilding yours. These old Johnsons can be put back together then just keep plugging along for many hundreds of hours. I'd get several opinions before I spent biiiig bucks on a new 225. .03 David
jimp posted 08-19-2002 07:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
David -

I just got sticker shock with the local Yamaha dealer. $12,500 for the engine + $2,000 for installation, then add 5% tax. 4-stroke goes for $17k. I asked about "boat show specials" next spring, and the answer was "What's that?".

You have a good point with rebuilding an engine with only 300 hrs on it. After the upcoming salmon derby, I'll take the boat to my mechanic and see what he says. I don't really care to spend big bucks either.



David Ratusnik posted 08-20-2002 07:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
jimp- Quick thought. Hey if you stay in your current hours of use per year pattern who cares how much gas a V6 carb engine uses. Neither the 4 stroke at 17K or the rebuilt V6 at 2-3K costs much to run. Also, the jury is not in on just what the impact is on a 4 stroke that is used infrequently. Finally, Yamis do break and they are more expensive to
fix than what you have on the boat now. Good luck. On the other hand, my neighbor has that 225 4 stroke Yami on his 23' Dusky. Sweet, easy on gas and you can hardly hear it. But, 17K for a motor? David
jimp posted 08-20-2002 10:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
David -

Thanks for the thoughts.

Yup, got to wait a few weeks, then get the expert to look at it. I think repair is the first option, because as you mentioned, the engine has no hours on it. If I put on 30 per year for the next 10 years, I'll finally reach 600 hrs. Still a spring chicken.


rsgwynn1 posted 08-21-2002 09:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for rsgwynn1  Send Email to rsgwynn1     
Sounds like a ring broke. Sleeving one cylinder and installing new rings shouldn't be that much of a job, though most mechanics would want to put new rings in the other cylinders when the engine was torn down. Had this problem with a 112 Johnson.
lhg posted 08-22-2002 03:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I would get it rebuilt, and do all cylinders while it's torn down. But be advised you are not working with one of OMC's better engines.

A friend had a pair of those 1990's on his boat, and had a lot of trouble with them from day-one. Stators come to mind. A reputable BW/Johnson dealer sales manager told me they were really happy when the later OceanPros came out, and said these predecessors were "problematic". But all of the ones I've seen do seem to be a quite powerful engine when running correctly.

jimp posted 08-22-2002 03:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
Well, until last Saturday, except for running rough when idling, it was GREAT!

Off to the mechanic next week. We'll see what shakes out. If its no too bad (what does that mean?) I'll repair. If bad, the Canadians in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory can get me one a Yamaha 225 4-stroke for under $15K, installed and including transportation.

Next week may tell.


jimp posted 03-01-2003 07:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
Well, my Canadian warranties thread had the repair bill on my old 1989 Johnson 225 - $8,200. So write that off. If interested, I'll have parts for sale later.

Talking to the Canadians in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory this week and spending some time at the Juneau Boat Show today produced the following results:

Whitehorse: 225 Yamaha Saltwater OX66 2-stroke -
Engine CA$17,880
Install CA$700
Prop - included?
With exchange rate, installed engine is US$12,518
Ferry boat to Skagway (roundtrip) $626
Passeneger passage (2) (roundtrip) $150
Lodging (3 nights) $300
Gas $100
Food $100
(Equates to a mini vacation)
Total Canadian Yamaha 225 = $13,794

Juneau Boat Show deals 03/1/03:

Evinrude Ficht $16,700 + $375 tax = $17,075

Yamaha 4-stroke + $375 tax + installation + commercial discount + aluminum prop = $14,979

Mercury Optimax - not a player, can't get them in town.

Suzuki 225 EFI + install + $375 tax = $13,000

Dealer you'd like to deal with due to reputation in town = Suzuki

Thoughts and advice?


rwill1 posted 03-02-2003 01:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for rwill1  Send Email to rwill1     
"Dealer you'd like to deal with due to reputation in town = Suzuki"

You answered it already: Suzuki. Good price as well.

djahncke posted 03-02-2003 03:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for djahncke  Send Email to djahncke     
I love the Ficht that I have on my Dauntless.

However not $4K worth. I'm with rwill1. The Suzuki sounds like the logical choice.

swede5 posted 03-02-2003 07:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for swede5  Send Email to swede5     
Jim. I currently have a 1986 Johnson 225. It has not missed a beat except new stator last season. I do wonder why I only get 5300 rpms with a 15x17. Well anyway, the best motor I have ever had was a 115 hp Suzuki. "never missed a beat" Good luck.
jimp posted 03-02-2003 08:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
rwill1, djahncke, swede5 -

Thanks guys, I've got my wife leaning that way too!


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