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Author Topic:   oil injection
ahashb posted 11-05-2003 12:18 PM ET (US)   Profile for ahashb   Send Email to ahashb  
My wife and I are in the process of restoring the wood on an 84 17 Super Sport and have a question regarding the oil injection system. The engine is a 2001 90 hp Johnson still under warrenty. A friend has advised me to disconnect the injection system and mix the oil by hand when I add fuel. He said that they are one of the first things to go out and you do not know they are not working properly until it is too late. I am primarily a sailor and this is the first outboard I have had in many a year.
I thought it was a really neat feature but now I'm not so sure.

scaleplane posted 11-05-2003 12:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for scaleplane  Send Email to scaleplane     
I'd be interesting in hearing feedback on this also.

I bought a new oil-injected 40 HP Johnson this summer and was shocked at the first sight of the oil container. Now I have a batter box, gas tank AND oil box taking up room in the stern. Mixing oil in the gas doesn't seem like such a bother anymore.

I'm assuming that if I disable the oil injection, I disable my warranty?

What steps should I take to accomplish removal should I choose to do it?

prj posted 11-05-2003 01:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
Gents:

Use the "search" option in the upper right
and key in the word "VRO"
under both this performance forum
and the repairs/mods forum.

Several lively discussions on the merits/faults
of keeping/disconnecting the vro system
should be found therein.

Under warranty yet?
I'd be hesitant...

Bigshot posted 11-05-2003 01:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Would you disconnect the fuel injection from your car because someone said carburators are more reliable?

If it aint broke, don't fix it. Vro is a simple concept that works VERY well, better than a human who has to add the right amount of oil. Back in 1984, yeah they had some problems, 20 years later, not a one.

ahashb posted 11-05-2003 03:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for ahashb  Send Email to ahashb     
Thanks for your help Big Shot. By the way in none of the posts I looked at did I see what VRO was an acronym for.
prj posted 11-05-2003 05:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
I believe VRO is an acronym for
"variable ratio oiling".

doobee posted 11-05-2003 08:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for doobee  Send Email to doobee     
Variable Ratio(Rate?) Oiling means that the oil mix changes, based on the demands being placed on the engine. Which means it is not always 50 to 1.

I bypassed the VRO on my old 1989 motor for the same reasons your friend mentioned. Back then the oil was mixed in the fuel at the fuel pump. Newer VRO systems inject the oil more precisely for a cleaner, more efficient engine.

Sal DiMercurio posted 11-05-2003 09:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Bigshots right, back in the mid 80s they had some problems, but now their bullet proof.
Leave it alone.
Sal
whalersman posted 11-05-2003 10:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalersman  Send Email to whalersman     
Why would anyone want to disconnect their working VRO????

Therefore, I agree with everyone above....

I owned a 1985 70hp Evinrude for 15 years and I never had any problems whatsoever with the VRO or anything else for that matter..

I now own a 1985 150hp Evinrude and still haven't had any problems with the VRO...

Like Bigshot said, "Would you disconnect the fuel injection from your car because someone said carburators are more reliable?" I don't think so..
How about removing the Air Conditioning from the car becuase it uses a little more horse power and fuel when going up hill????
Not trying to be sarcastic, but this is the 21st Century.....

As doobee mentions, the VRO is not always running 50:1.... At idle, it is more like 60:1 which means less smoke, less fouling of plugs, and better oil economy and effciency then mixing the oil in the fuel yourself.....

JohnJ80 posted 11-05-2003 11:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnJ80  Send Email to JohnJ80     
They reason you may want to disconnect them is that they sometimes fail, or partially fail as did mine. When that happens, you get engine damage rapidly.

I had a 1994 Evinrude 70HP with VRO. Worked fine, or so I thought. Occasionally when starting up, and cooler out, I would get a chirp or two from the low oil pressure buzzer. Seemed to go away and during the warm part of the summer, never was a problem. It was moving oil, so that didn't seem to be the problem.

Then I had it checked this spring. Well, it put out ok oil at full throttle, but it was marginal and below spec at idle. Long story made short, the cylinders got mildly scored and I was looking at a new ring job in a year or two. Plus I had to replace the VRO for $500.

Looking at the engine, it had already had a ring job by someone who owned it before me. Wanna bet that they had the same problem? I fixed the engine and dumped it ASAP.

I would advocate running your VRO with some oil in the gas. The thing is just to critical of a link in the long term viability of your motor to rely on it totally. There have been enough reported problems with them that it is worth it to be wary of them. I would certainly have them inspected for in spec oil flow every spring.

The VRO itself is a pretty cheesy plastic thing. THe whole things just does not engender confidence for something that mission critical.

It sure is really convenient to now have to mess with oil. It is even more convenient to not get stuck miles from home with a siezed engine from no oil.

j

whalerron posted 11-06-2003 12:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
Leave the VRO connected. As I understand these newer VRO systems, the VRO pump is integral with the fuel pump. If the VRO fails, the fuel will stop pumping too and the engine will stop running. The earlier systems were trouble prone but OMC finally got it right. That 2001 system is a good one.

- ron

JoeH posted 11-06-2003 01:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for JoeH  Send Email to JoeH     
The VRO pump on my 1993 150 Johnson failed on our last trip to the lake last year. Everything was great, shut down to swap out passengers and then, nothing. The warning horn went off and there is a limit to the RPM (1500 ?)just like the book said there would be. I Shut down the main motor and used the kicker to dock. I can't fault something like that that is 10 years old when it failed and still warns me that it has and limits the RPM so as not to damage the engine. I chose to replace mine, figuring the OMC folks know more about it than I do and it is so convienient. Joe
Tom W Clark posted 11-06-2003 01:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
ahashb,

I recommend against disconnecting your VRO system. The OMC designed VRO is a very simple, robust and trouble free mechanism that frees you from the chore of mixing oil and varies the oil/gas ratio to both let your motor run better and improve your fuel economy.

VRO unreliable? Not in my experience. With over 14 years of ownership and three different Johnson VRO equipped outboard motors (70 hp, 90 hp, 150 hp) from as far back as 1985 I've had exactly zero problems with the system.

Bigshot posted 11-06-2003 12:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
PS...the range is somehwere between 150:1 and 50:1, 50:1 being at WOT. Therefore if you pre-mix you are ALWAYS running the amount of oil needed to run full throttle. If you run WOT all the time, no reason for VRO.
scaleplane posted 11-06-2003 08:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for scaleplane  Send Email to scaleplane     
Sounds like I need to live with the extra oil container and leave well enough alone!

Thanks for all the feedback to ahashb's post. You've helped me too.

JohnJ80 posted 11-09-2003 09:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnJ80  Send Email to JohnJ80     
Yeah, I don't recommend disconnecting the VRO but I definitely would add it to the pre launch spring tune up list. If it was one of the ones that is integral with the fuel pump, I would feel better. At least in my experience, the VRO from mid 90's Johnsons weren't so good.

My mechanic also says the same thing - that they did see a number of the VROs having problems. There are a lot of these motors around here so this isn't a freak observation.

The sensor systems works ok so you can be pretty comfortable with that. However, you should check its operation and (to be safe) consider it about as reliable as the water pump. I think if you do that, you will not ever have a problem.

Not mixing oil is well worth the extra effort in the spring.

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