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Author Topic:   Evinrude 1984 70 HP Issues?
hargravesg posted 07-27-2001 02:24 PM ET (US)   Profile for hargravesg   Send Email to hargravesg  
I am looking at a 15' with a 70HP '84 Evinrude ('low hours - good condition' - aren't they all). Are there any problem areas particular to this engine that I should be looking for? Is reliability for this engine above or below average? Thanks in advance for your help and insight.
Bigshot posted 07-27-2001 02:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Great engine, made for about 40 years now. Reliable, light, torquey, and is great on that boat. Check compression, especially bottom cyl. Check lower unit oil for water, before you start it. Just crack the lower screw and if it dribbles out oil, she's good(water settles to bottom). Make sure steering is free and PTNT motor works. Other than that anything is easy o fix. Good Luck1
where2 posted 07-27-2001 04:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Reliability: depends on your benchmark, but between the '81 70Hp Johnson my father owned from new until last month, and the '85 70 Hp that I have owned since '96. I would judge them as fairly reliable. Carb rebuilds are pretty easy, and not much else seems to have plagued those that I have dealt with. I will say that I wouldn't have carb problems if I used the boat once a week. It's those unexpected 4 month lay-ups between use that tend to gunk my carbs and drain my battery. My dad parted with his 70Hp not because it was a problem engine, but because he simply wanted a 4 stroke (quieter) engine for his houseboat.
whalerron posted 07-27-2001 09:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
I have a 1975 70hp Johnson and if I remember the 84's correctly, they are almost the identical motor other than color. That series of engine was in rare cases susceptible to ignition module failures. But, OMC found that this was attributable to corroded grounds on the engine. To prevent the module problem, you just need to inspect the ground wire connections periodically and remove any corrosion you see where these wires are mounted. I don't imagine it's a problem at all on a fresh water unit. I did have this problem with my engine and it repeatedly burned out a few modules. It turned out to be a corroded ground wire under the little round cannister-looking dohicky that is just above the ignition module. Replacing that part with its corroded wire corrected the problem. I guess it could have been the part (which looked almost like a capacitor) but OMC did say that a corroded ground would cause this problem and it was the ground wire of the part that was bad.

If the cylinder compression checks out ok and if the lower unit is good, I would expect that 84 engine to go many many years. Mine is running exceptionally well for a 26 year old engine. I must admit though that I would not buy a used one that old that didn't look and sound good. See if you can take it for a ride before buying it.

- ron

Ferdinando posted 07-27-2001 10:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ferdinando  Send Email to Ferdinando     
Great motor. I bought an 86 brand new with
VRO and used it for 13 straight years. Only
item I had to repair was the trim & tilt motor.

By the way the VRO worked perfectly for all those years up until the day I sold it.


hargravesg posted 07-30-2001 09:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for hargravesg  Send Email to hargravesg     
Thanks for all the responses - the engine started on first try after sitting for the last two years (we had to go buy a fresh battery - old one had died from sitting)and it ran strongly. However, there was enough water in the lower unit so that the oil had emulsified - it was that opaque green/grey color; does this mean a pass, new lower unit or fresh oil and seals?

Thanks again.

Whalerdan posted 07-30-2001 09:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
Pull the lower plug and inspect the magnet. If you don't see any big chips (you will see some small ones) you are probably only need seals and oil. Cost me $315 for my 115 when I had it done.
Bigshot posted 07-30-2001 03:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
If green and such, just flush and fill and see. You can have it pressure teted. I would not wrry due to it sitting and lack of amintenance. If you are not completely satisfied with the performance, have the carbs redone. Sounds like a winner, how much?
hargravesg posted 07-31-2001 06:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for hargravesg  Send Email to hargravesg     
I ultimately passed, but the boat is still available, in Rhode Island. The owner is asking $3500, but is a highly motivated seller. It is a very basic 15' w/bench seats and wood side console. The boat could use a strong compounding and wax and all the wood needs to be sanded and varnished, but is basically sound. The trailer needs a new axle/bearings/wheels/springs, but the frame is solid; probably cost less than $300 in parts and couple of hours time to fix - I don't know if the lights work. The engine lacks PTNT and probably needs a new solenoid ($70?). If I had not found an older style center console, I would have purchased it.

If anyone is interested, Ron is the seller: his number is (401) 828-1907 and email is He's been very straight forward and has plenty of digital photos he can email, but don't bug him unless your serious as he is moving at the end of August.

Bigshot posted 08-01-2001 09:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
What did you get? A 15' CC? If so that was my favorite. Had a sport, Supersport and CC.
hargravesg posted 08-01-2001 09:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for hargravesg  Send Email to hargravesg     
I did pick-up a CC; the old style with lots of wood; really clean freshwater boat that was used as a tender for a houseboat and kept under cover. Can't wait to get it on the water!

Thanks for everyone's help and advice.

Bigshot posted 08-01-2001 12:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
details dude. Year, motor, etc.
hargravesg posted 08-01-2001 07:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for hargravesg  Send Email to hargravesg     
It is an '83 CC w/83 70HP Johnson, just rebuilt (new pistons & rings, carbs re-tuned, etc). The boat was a houseboat tender (freshwater) and basically sat on the davits, under the cover - the bottom has never been anti fouled, there was never a need. Includes stainless Morse controls, vhf, depth, bimini, cover, trailer etc. The wood is perfect except for bow locker and it even has an 18 gallon under seat tank. Exactly the boat I was looking for and reasonably priced.

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