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Author Topic:   Johnson 235 Problems, again.
LarrySherman posted 10-03-2001 09:26 PM ET (US)   Profile for LarrySherman   Send Email to LarrySherman  
Took my boat out Sunday, Ran great, 25 knots of wind, rollers in LI Sound, crusied Greenwich Harbor, over to Cos Cob, Out to the middle of the Sound. Boat ran great, and my Cousin-in-law was really impressed.

In the intrim, I swapped props. Went from 15x17 OMC OEM to Michigan Wheel 15x17 Stainless Match.

Started up today, and let the boat idle longer than usual, getting wife and daughter down to the dock. Got back to the boat in about 10-12 min, saw black oil streak from the port side exhaust port at the top of the (Exhaust manifold?), about 3 inches long.

Motor sounded fine, so I did not think much of it. Took the boat out with the family, and the poat would not power up well. the engine would seem to shudder and loose power. I would back down, and try again, and the same thing would happen, but at a slightly different rpm. There is a definate feel of the power being there, and then going away.

I have a guess as to what it might be. I've sealed it in an envelope and will open tomorrow after you all have had a chance to play...

"What's Wrong With Larry's Motor Now!"

lhg posted 10-03-2001 09:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
The problem with your engine, Larry, is that it's not BLACK!!!
Peter posted 10-03-2001 10:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Question 1. Is the "exhaust port" the two hole exhaust relief snorkle? Question 2. Are you still running the VRO and oil in the tank?

Weren't those rollers great fun? I figure some were probably 4 to 5 plus feet.

LarrySherman posted 10-03-2001 10:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     

Shame on you, kicking me when I'm down. for that, you owe me on of those 60+ mph rides on "Whale Lure!"

Peter, Yes, that sounds right, the left snorkle hole as viewd from the stern.

I'm mixed 100:1 in the tank, and VRO is running perfectly.

The rollers were a BLAST, we definatly caught some air! My cousin-in-law has a Stamas 31 with twin OX66 225's, and an Aquasport 22 with a OX66 250.
He loved the Outrage, said it had a very soft ride in the sloppy conditions in the shallow parts of the sound, and thought it landed well coming down of some of those rollers! He said it got up on plane fairly quickly, ran very quietly, and in general seemed like a great boat. We took the boat into Cos Cob harbor and got up to WOT. He agreed that I could proably go down to a 15x15 prop, and get to the right RPM range.

JBCornwell posted 10-04-2001 12:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Larry, I suspect that you aren't running on all six. Those big sixes will idle like kittens on 5,4,or even three.

A quick inspection of your plugs should reveal something. A grey to tan, dry plug is from a probably good cylinder or a cylinder that is getting no fuel. A wet plug or black, gummy plug is from a cylinder that is not firing.

If you are in doubt, pull the plug wires, one at a time while idling. A good cylinder will cause a drop in rpm, a bad one will make no difference.

If you are lucky, the thing just loaded up while idling and fouled a plug or more. If you aren't you have lost a carb, a powerpack or a coil.

Powerpacks and coils are easy to isolate by swapping. There is an independent ignition system for each bank.

The carbs, on the other hand feed side by side cylinders.

Hope that helps.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

jimh posted 10-04-2001 12:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
My guess: badly fouled plugs.


Whalerdan posted 10-04-2001 01:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
Hey Jimh, maybe it's the spark plug wire deal.
Peter posted 10-04-2001 08:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
I think JBC's points are all well taken. My guess is you may have a fouled plug from running a rich oil mixture. It's my understanding that at idle, the VRO didn't inject any, or injected very little, oil so with a 100:1 mixture in the tank you're running oil into the cylinders which aren't used to getting that much oil at idle. This oil, or extra oil, probably isn't getting burned and eventually fouls the plug compounding the problem. Once fouled, the unburnt mixture in the fouled cylinder is getting pushed out of the exhaust port in the cylinder and down the exhaust passages where some of it is being pushed out the pressure relief snorkle by the exhaust pressure from the other cylinders and the spitting of the cooling water. The gas will evaporate fairly quickly from the heat of the exhaust but the heavier 2 cycle oil won't and so it accumulates, eventually dripping out of the snorkle and elsewhere such as from under the cover just above and adjacent to the snorkle ports.

As a rule, I never let my 150 idle for any extended period of time. For one, it ran like #@$% right after that until it was opened up and I was always concerned about carbon build up. I think most carbon build up occurs at low engine speeds like idling and we all know what happens if you get too much carbon build up -- Poof!

Your experience further confirms my opinion -- every Whaler I've ever been on (haven't been on the 25) has provided a confident ride in tough conditions. Maybe the ride isn't always the most comfortable, but its almost always predictable. This spring I was bringing the 22 Revenge home in some really nasty weather with six to eight foot rolling, following seas and never stuffed the bow, not even the pulpit.

Same experience with the 18 Outrage in similar conditions. Once I went down the face of a nearly standing wave so steep that the Outrage acted like a see saw pivoting on the wave crest to the point that the lower unit was out of the water and you could hear the exhaust blowing freely into the air. Despite the fact that the "rudder" was out of the water, the boat tracked straight down the wave never losing its composure and taking no water over the bow.

You've got a great boat, just need to get the engine quirks ironed out.

Bigshot posted 10-04-2001 09:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
plugs! Do not let a two-thirsty-five idle very lond, especially with added oil.
LarrySherman posted 10-04-2001 10:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
I'm glad you guys all are in agreement. I brought a set of plugs to work today, and I'll swap them this afternoon.

In my envelope, I had written "COIL." I have new powerpacks, and plugs already. I did not know that I could foul the plugs that quickly.

Also, my mechanic check the motor using the same technique the JBC describes. It seems to work really well. He used a rubber coated pliers with a ground wire to pull the plug boots. Do I need one of these, or can I use my fingers?

Thanks all, Larry

John from Madison CT posted 10-04-2001 10:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for John from Madison CT  Send Email to John from Madison CT     

IMHO you are definetly running too much oil. The VRO plus 100:1 would foul most plugs on any outboard.
Why not just completly disconnect the VRO and go to 50:1? This way you will know for sure that your engine is getting the proper oil it needs.

BTW, could you give me the web site of that Canadian company that sells small outboards to the US. I'm thinking about a kicker for my "new" Montauk.



LarrySherman posted 10-04-2001 11:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     


Then look for lease returns. Thier inventory won't fill up until the end of the fishing season up there. When you call, ask for Greg Spicer. He is the guy I dealt with, and he bent over backwards for me.

I would turn it (VRO) off, but I am not sure how to do it correctly.

LarrySherman posted 10-04-2001 01:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     

WHALETEX posted 10-04-2001 01:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for WHALETEX    
I had a similar power problem with a V-4 Johnson. It turned out when the engine idled long enough the spark advance arm would not follow the throttle arm in the engine when advancing the throttle at the helm. It would work great cold and after normal cruising, but it would hang-up after extended idleing. The result was an few seconds of the RPMs picking up as expected followed by big drop in power and in some cases the engine dying. If it happens to you again pull the cowl and watch the motion of the spark advance arm (the long arm hooked to the throttle system that has a link that hooks to some stuff under the flywheel) versus the movement of the throttle cable from the helm. The spark advance arm should smoothly follow the throttle cable to about 3/4 thottle when the spark advance hits its stop and the rest of the movement is just moving the throttle butterflies.
I hate to admit it, but for a couple of years we did everything we could think of to fix it right. We replaced most of the moving parts under the flywheel, we replaced the follower spring, made certain every thing was properly clean and lubricated. It would work great for a little while then it would start to act up again. The final "solution" was to wrap a couple of big rubber bands around the spark advance arm to "help" it along. I used the motor like this for over ten years without any problems greater than occationally needing to replace the rubber bands. Good Luck
jimh posted 10-04-2001 02:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I like WHALETEX's guess. I am changing my vote. Sounds like he has insider knowledge.
lhg posted 10-04-2001 02:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
My vote is still that you need a BLACK engine! (no VRO problems) But seriously though, Larry, mine will be in Southeast FL all winter, so if you're planning to be down there for any R & R this season, let me know. It would be great fun to do some boating with you. I think you'd enjoy taking the helm of "Whale Lure". Then you'll know for sure why you want a set of BLACK EFI engines!! I'll make a convert out of you yet.

Since I know nothing about OMC engines, I can't add anything here, except to be a pain in the butt, but I hope you get the 235 running reliably before you have to put it up for the season.

Peter posted 10-04-2001 03:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Hmmmm, have yet to see a black engine on a Sea-Tow boat or the like! ;)
lhg posted 10-04-2001 04:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Peter - I think Sea Tow had a contract with OMC. Lucky them - guess what 5 letter word they ended up getting stuck with??
LarrySherman posted 10-04-2001 04:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     

I'm going to be in Naples in either Feb or March, let me know what works best. I'd really like to meet you in person, and a ride in Whale Lure would be great!

I'm going down to the boat with some rubber bands in hand as well as some slightly used but clean plugs...wish me luck.

This really is a great site. Thanks Jim.

Peter posted 10-04-2001 05:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
I had heard once early on that FICHT stood for Found In Channel Hailing Tow. But I've also heard that "once you go BLACK, you might not get back." ;)
LarrySherman posted 10-04-2001 06:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
Just got back.

The plugs looked like new around the outer circumfrence, and darkend in the center, just a little. One of the plugs had a black electrode, so I gently cleaned it with my knife.

I ran the motor without the cowl to see if I could see the operation of the spark advance arm. It seemed fine. I also don't see how it could fail to follow the throttle linkage, but I'll look in the owners manual tonite.

Thanks all.

Peter posted 10-04-2001 07:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
I doubt its the linkage. If the VRO's working and you have built up your confidence it it, then you might consider filling up the gas tank without putting any further oil in to dillute the 100:1 down. At WOT with 100:1 in the tank, I'd guess you're running about a minimum mixture of 30:1 through that engine. That's a lot of oil!
LarrySherman posted 10-11-2001 01:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
I finally got hold of a 15" pitch prop. Its an OMC 15.5x15. I bolted it on and went fo a ride. I am some what confused by the results.

Using a 17" pitch prop, WOT was 5050 rpm, 31.5 knots (36 mph).

Using Clarks formula, with a hull weigh of 5000 lbs, and a "V" factor of 180, I get 39 mph for 235 hp, 37mph for 220hp. 36mph for 200hp, and 34 mph for 180hp.

When I put on the 15, I got 5400rpm, but only 30.5 knots (34.77 mph).

So I actually lost a knot off the top end, but gained 400 rpm. Strange, I though I would gain 400 rpm and a knot.

In short, I think my motor is running well at this point, but is one hole too low.

I get a big "V" shaped spray immediatly aft of the transom when running at speed, even with the motor trimmed out.

what do you guys think?

Bigshot posted 10-11-2001 02:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Raise it up 2 and see. Then go back to the 17. What you forget is that 2-thirsty-5 is probably pumping out maybe 200hp. When 2 strokes age they lose power. Plus that was before they rated them at the prop. That is why the 235 became a 225, etc. In reality a new 200 would be faster and a new 250 would amaze you.
JBCornwell posted 10-11-2001 02:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Maybe I missed it with all the changes of thread, Larry. What fixed your original problem? Was it just the plugs? If not, what?

Red sky at night. . .

JB :)

LarrySherman posted 10-11-2001 02:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
I pulled the plugs and looked them over, 1 electrode was black (top cyclinder, starboard side), so I gently scraped it off with the tip of my knife. The problem did not come back.

In turns of overall maintience, I have installed 2 new powerpacks and a new set of OMC plug wires (made them myself, kind of cool how they go together). this winter, a carb rebuild just to be sure, and the waterpump fo the same reason.


Peter posted 10-11-2001 06:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     

Sounds like the 15 is the right prop because your RPMs are about where they are suppposed to be. Although you give up a knot, you are going about the same speed with less strain on the motor. It sounds like you don't need to rebuild the carbs because if the carbs were bad, you probably wouldn't be getting the RPMs.

I'd consider raising the engine up a hole. You'll get more RPMs and might be able to turn the 17 at a decent WOT RPM. I use to run the 150 on my 18 Outrage one hole from the top. Otherwise, stick with the 15.

LarrySherman posted 10-11-2001 11:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
Thanks Peter,

As usual, your advice makes sense. I'll look at the mounting this winter. Is this too big a boat for a jack plate?

Peter posted 10-12-2001 07:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     

I don't know anything about jack plates. However, I think that some here might advocate the use of one simply because it provides some setback. On a 25', I'm not sure that it is necessary in that the 25 Outrage is not a bass boat running in the 60+ mph range.

I don't know whether you subscribe to Powerboat Reports, but if you do, I refer you to the most recent issue where they have a report on the performance of several outboards. They have a side article on the improper mounting of the Honda 130 they were testing. The article includes a before and after picture that shows the position of the anti-cavitation plate relative to the keel of the hull for both the wrong and right mounting. The general rule is that the lowest the motor should be mounted is such that the bottom of the anti-cav plate is in alignment with the bottom of the keel, not below it. You should be able to compare how your anti-cav plate matches up with the bottom of the keel to that shown in the pictures and determine whether your motor is mounted too low.

Bigshot posted 10-12-2001 08:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Correct Peter but if you can raise it 1-2 Inches ABOVE the keel you have less drag. As long as your boat still performs as you like, jack it as high as it goes.
Jurisproodenz posted 10-12-2001 09:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jurisproodenz  Send Email to Jurisproodenz     
My old Mako 21 was delivered to me with the engine set too low. The dealer who installed the engine said that this was so that when I took it offshore it wouldn't ventilate. Hogwash. After a few weeks of throwing the same sort of "V" you describe, I had the boat hauled and the motor reposition so that the cav plate was just above the bottom of the hull. Gained like 4 or 5 mph. It think it went up two holes. Or course the dealer who sold the engines to me swore up and down that he was right. He wasn't.
lhg posted 10-12-2001 10:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
As indicated here, whenever your outboard is throwing a "V" spray, it is mounted too low.

As for a bracket/transom jack, I would do it. Find one with a 12" setback if you can. This summer at the Door County WI Rendezvous, one of the participants had a notched transom Outrage 25 with twin 25" CR 150HP Merc Optimax's on twin hydraulic lift brackets, similar to the ones made by Mercury. It was a very nice installation. The boat would do about 50.

LarrySherman posted 10-12-2001 11:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
Thanks gents. I think I've found my winter project. I'm going to put her on a jack plate.


bigz posted 10-12-2001 12:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Juris, I don't think what your dealer meant was it wouldn't ventilate! Ventilation is very undesirable since it causes the air to enter the blade area either from surface or exhaust gases then the prop will monetarily over rev losing thrust consequently pressure on the blade back decreases and causes massive cavitation to occur.

If you dealer meant anything it was to prevent this from occurring. The other more important concern is to watch out for overheating due to lack of water intake when the motor is mounted to high and running at speed through either heavy chop or close spaced swells.

Each boat has different characteristics which play into this scenario. Really can't generalize -- sort of trial and error approach until one is satisfied --- of course it depends if the person knows what he is trying to accomplish in the first place and recognizes it when it occurs! Since the law of diminishing returns sets in at a point.

Larry surf to and look at the standard brackets and/or the Porta Brackets which offers a set back of 17" and 13" of rise.

Bigshot posted 10-12-2001 01:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I jacked my 15's 70 so high it would plane at 5000 rpm's until it caught then grab and fly. I gained nothing so I dropped it back down a hole and it would slip a bit but still handled great. dropped it down 1 more hole and it rode normal and top end was maybe 1/2 mph slower. Trial & error is correct. I was about 1 1/2-2" above my keel and she was sweet. My 17 is about 1" above and I am going to trial & error that this winter as well. I would add a plate but I just do not like the way it looks on a montauk and I doubt with a 90 it would make too much difference. PS engine stayed cool at all heights.

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