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Author Topic:   Evinrude V4 120-HP Gear Case Repair
SpongeBob posted 04-04-2009 10:04 PM ET (US)   Profile for SpongeBob   Send Email to SpongeBob  
After looking for a used motor for a while I gave up and decided to rebuild the lower unit that had blown on one of my Evinrude 120's. I run twin 1985 120's on my Outrage 22. My mechanic has told me that it will take $1,400 in parts to fix it. It seems that for 1985 the V4 120hp Evinrudes were given the V6 gearcase and a special gear set. It was just for that year and only OMC makes replacements, and used parts are scarce due to the low numbers. My neighbor had a rebuilt 1989 unit, but when I put it beside mine, mine dwarfed it.

Does this scenerio sound plausable and the price reasonable: Let me say I have used this mechanic before and have no complaints and he has a good reputation. It's just that the price has almost doubled since the problem was diagnosed last year. Could the resident OMC gurus give your take on the situation--sounds reasonable questionable, or totally out of line?


makoman310 posted 04-05-2009 08:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for makoman310  Send Email to makoman310     
[OMC] built two gear cases for the 85 to 150-HP motor. [You] have to check the splines on the output shaft and the hub. The 13-spline was 3-5/8-inch hub, and 15-spline was 4-5/8-inch hub. [As] for gear sets they were all the same. [Their cost is about] $430 with the clutch dog. [The] difference now. [You] said they were 1985 motors; they did not make 120s in 1985. [They] started in 1986 with a large case. [The part number] for the gear set is 22650 with clutchdog. [It] fits all V4 motors. [Hope] this helps. [Is] your case bad ? Or is it just the gears?
jimh posted 04-05-2009 09:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
An after market parts manufacturer is selling new replacement gear cases for outboard motors for about $800. Forgive me, but I do not have the name handy. I have seen advertisements recently in most boating magazines for this product. These replacement gear cases are significantly less expensive than OEM replacements.
rtk posted 04-05-2009 09:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for rtk  Send Email to rtk     
Is this the company you saw advertised Jim? I came across this one the other evening in a boating magazine (trailer boating or something like that).

Nice warranty and great prices. I have never dealt with them so I have no idea if they offer a good product or are a reputable business.

A buddy needs a lower unit so I have been shopping around.


Tohsgib posted 04-06-2009 11:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
I thought only the 140 had the V6 case and the 120 had the V4 but I never owned one. It would not be hard to find a used case and yes $1400 is too much $$ if housing is still good. I would think $7-800 if all the parts needed replacement. Many just need a gear or 2 and bearings which should bring you down to $5-600. If they are 25" shafts used ones are PLENTIFULL. If 20" they are still not hard to find. A nice used foot should be between $300-600 depending on condition, etc.
Tohsgib posted 04-06-2009 11:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Jeff. bring it to my mechanic by me, he is the best and cheapest around and might even have a used one for you.
Peter posted 04-06-2009 11:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
The 25 inch 1985 Johnson 140 that came with my 2nd 18 Outrage had a 13 spline V4 gearcase. I don't know whether that is the original gearcase because I didn't own the motor for its first 22 years.

Did the 20 inch models come with a V6 gearcase.

an86carrera posted 04-06-2009 12:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for an86carrera  Send Email to an86carrera     

I have a gear case from a 1995 90hp 20", e-mail me or call, your e-mail is not working. You can come look at it to compare fit, I will even let you try it out first.


SpongeBob posted 04-06-2009 05:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpongeBob  Send Email to SpongeBob     
Sorry for not checking in earlier but I've on the road to NC. I was told when I bought the boat years ago that the motors were '86's so when the mechanic told me that they were '85's it kind of sent off red flags, but then I've never checked the numbers and I'm not in a position to check right now. I've always felt that this mechanic has steered me right but who knows. I don't want to name names, but Nick and Len know him (located in the middle of a trailer park).

$800.00 was the quote when he first looked at it last year. I decided then I'd look for a replacement engine instead of fix the old one. Economics has changed my mind. Then a $1,400 price killed that idea and seemed high.

Len I've tried an '89 88 Special case and an '85 90 case and mine dwarfed them so I'm assuming that it is a V6 case. According to the "mechanic" they only did that on the 120 for the 1985 year (but then if they didn't make a 120 in '85???). There is nothing wrong with the case just some of the gears.

Peter mine is a 20" motor as is it's twin. It has the larger hub, didn't count the splines.

I think I'll hold off and retrieve it when I get back into town and take it to your guy Nick. Nick if you would email me his contact info I'd appreciate it.


SpongeBob posted 04-06-2009 05:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpongeBob  Send Email to SpongeBob     
Rich thanks those guys are right up the road.


Tohsgib posted 04-06-2009 08:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
13 spline is V4, 15 is V6. Randy is a great guy but I trust mine more but Len trusts Randy more so??? His contact is Henry-941-721-7628 and DEFINATELY tell him I sent you.
Tohsgib posted 04-06-2009 08:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Sorry...that is my # his is 722-1244. BEER!!!!
jimh posted 04-06-2009 08:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Here's a new gear case for $800: Category_Code=JohnsonEvinrudeLowerUnit

(Thanks to rtk for the reminder.)

whalerwon posted 04-08-2009 10:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerwon  Send Email to whalerwon     
Hello, I have a used 20" gearcase for your motor for $500 if you are interested in going that route.
SpongeBob posted 04-15-2009 01:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpongeBob  Send Email to SpongeBob     
Well I'm finally back in town and have retrieved the boat from the mechanic. Thanks to all who have replied. Let me update you on I have found out when I picked up the boat.

As I said before I have always had good luck with this mechanic and let me say that my faith has been restored. When I first found out what was wrong I was on the road and could not look at the lower unit in question and what was relayed to me did not sound right. After having Randy show me the internals in person it made more sense.

OMC for my year engine (1985?) decided to put a V6 gearcase on the V4 120hp model. This is the only year they did this. In addition to the gearcase they made a special gear set as well. The most obvious difference in the gear set is the size of the pinion gear and the splined portion of the drive shaft that it goes on. The splined portion is much smaller than a V6 or V4 drive shaft and therefore the pinion gear has a smaller hole that recieves the shaft. There are other differences in the gear set as far as ratios go. Since this was a one year only deal (I guess they figured out that this wasn't a good idea) none of the aftermarket manufacturers produce any replacements because of the small market. Used ones are scarce for the same reason. Bolting on a used or rebuilt V6 or V4 lower unit from another year would work except that I have twins and would have to buy two so they would have the same gear ratio. Very cost prohibitive. The link that Rich provided is neat as they manufacture everything new, including the case. But they are still working on their V6 units (I guess I could buy two V4 units from them).

Sooooo what I need is either a used or rebuilt, 1 year specific, 120hp V6 lower unit. Orrrrrr used parts to rebuild mine (forward gear is toast and reverse is showing signs of distress). To rebuild mine with new parts I would have to buy them new from OMC at a cost of $1,400.00. On a 1985 motor this just does not seem cost effective unless I'm committing to rebuilding the powerheads at a future date. They are old carb technology that run good but chug fuel at an alarming rate given todays prices.

In the past three years I have replaced tilt/trim motors and installed stainless steel tilt tubes on both motors. They also need paint jobs.

Any thoughts or insights would be welcome in this time of sorrow and woe.


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