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Author Topic:   1997 Johnson 70-HP Outboard Smoking Excessively
bob1 posted 05-24-2004 10:46 AM ET (US)   Profile for bob1   Send Email to bob1  
I have a 1997 Johnson 70-HP outboard motor with oil injection. Every time I try to start it , it smokes a lot and won't stay [running]. To keep it going I have to keep pushing in the key [to keep the choke or primer pump going], but [the engine] still keeps smoking.

The oil primer bulb is always hard, but the fuel primer bulb is not so hard.

Any suggestions [as to what could be causing the hard starting and heavy smoking]?

[Apparently some time previously in this forum] some of you told me to just run 50/50(oil/gasoline mixture, but how do you do this?

Do I [remove] the [VRO] oil pump? Do I put in a fuel pump? Where can I find [the VRO fuel pump to remove it and the new fuel pump to replace it]?

skred posted 05-24-2004 04:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
Whoa! 50/50? I hope you mean 50-to-1. A mixture of 50/50 would foul the plugs in a few seconds....
bob1 posted 05-24-2004 05:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for bob1  Send Email to bob1     
Yes, I meant to write a fuel oil mixture of 50:1. Thank You.
jimh posted 05-24-2004 08:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[This article thread has been edited to improve its style and readability.]
debaywhaler posted 05-26-2004 11:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for debaywhaler  Send Email to debaywhaler     
I have just completed this modification on my brother-in-law's 100-HP Johnson . It is easy to do. You do not need to purchase a new pump if the current one is working properly. You do need to remove the oil side feed. This requires you to disconnect all electrical and oil lines. Then place a plug on the "in" line of the oil pump. It sounds like you have an over oiling problem. When I had my bother-in-law's apart I discovered some debris in the injector holding it open. You may have the same.
relahw posted 05-26-2004 10:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for relahw  Send Email to relahw     
WOW it sounds just like my problem. The dealer told me today it was the VRO pump. It has a automatic shut down in the electronics part so you don't kill the engine. They are in the process of replacing it for me. Oh it's a Johnson 2000 70HP oil injected with only 45 hrs on it It was put up the year before last and not run at all last year. I don't know if that had anything to do with it or not. Good luck bob1
davidjw37 posted 03-13-2007 03:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for davidjw37  Send Email to davidjw37     
I know its a long time but I have a pair of the same engines. Stopped the smoking but trying to start even from warm is a nightmare. Then I tow it home show it to the dealer. First turn then I look like an idiot. Any comments
jimh posted 03-16-2007 07:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
To start the engine needs fuel, air, and spark, and all in the proper ratio and at the proper time. If you have problems starting, it is often related to poor priming of the fuel system.
nnylip posted 03-16-2007 03:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for nnylip  Send Email to nnylip     
I had a similar problem some time ago with my Evin 70 '91. The solution was 1) get rid of the VRO, 2) rebuild the carbs, 3) retime (like jimH says) the linkage in the shop and in the water (by my mechanic). It runs better than it ever has.
contender posted 03-16-2007 08:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
Get rid of the VRO, you still can use the same fuel pump, do not forget to add oil to your gas, Now you can remove the oil tank, oil lines. I never hook mine up when I purchased my motor brand new, no problems I would also put a cap cover on the open oil connection on the fuel pump (you can use carb, vaccum plugs) ...good luck
Chuck Tribolet posted 03-16-2007 11:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
My 90 HP '97ish Evinrude does the same thing when I start it,
esp. if it's been sitting a couple of weeks.

Now, if Adm. Linda starts it, it fires right up. So I park
the trailer and let her start it.


irelmo posted 05-31-2007 01:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for irelmo  Send Email to irelmo     
I have just bought an 1980 evinrude 20hp twin, and this has a really bad smoking problem. it starts on the first pull but it dies if you dont keep reving the throttle and seems to missfire and choke if you open it right up.
on inspection of the plugs they are both black with what i presume is oil? this leads me to believe its the mixture thats wrong. I am using the fuel that came with the engine at the moment but I reckon it might be worth binning it for some fresh with a 50:1 (100ml oil:5 litres petrol?)mixture. Is there anything else it could be?


Tohsgib posted 05-31-2007 02:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Try fresh fuel and oil and new plugs(champion L77JC4) and see how she does.
Sal DiMercurio posted 05-31-2007 09:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
If you people remember correctly, I have the same exact engine,...1997 - 70 hp Johnson VRO.
It was smoking big time & idling rough.
It drove me nuts trying to troll for Stripered bass with this engine stumbling all over itself.
The fuel pump & VRO are all one unit & a new one costs about $400.
I disconnected the VRO & unplugged the wirering for it, pulled out the unit & put in a normal fuel pump with out the VRO & mixed my fuel 50.1 & this engine has never run this good even when my budyy bought it new.
Just the plain fuel pump is a lousy fit, but it will fit.
It's 1/4 the size of the VRO/fuel pump but the mounting bracket dosen't fit perfect, but it works.
A new fuel pump for that engine bought on the internet costs around $35.00.
I would go that route if I were you.
Just don't forget to add oil when you gas up.....not a big deal in any way.
Tohsgib posted 06-01-2007 11:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Sal...this thread is from 2004. I was answering Elmo's question above my post.
Lizerbean posted 06-02-2007 03:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lizerbean  Send Email to Lizerbean     
Hello... We have a 1986 Johnson 50 HP, J50TLCDE. Just a question about disengaging the electrical portion of the warning alarm. We have a problem with our VRO and have added oil to the gas, 50:1 ration. We are still getting an over heating alarm from our VRO system. Is this a true indicator of the heads over heating or something tied back to the vro pump? If it's a false alarm how do we disngage? Thanks.
Sal DiMercurio posted 06-02-2007 11:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
The VRO isn't going to send an over heat alarm, it has nothing to do with sending an alarm.
The VRO is just an oil pump, not an alarm system, & if there is no oil in the oil tank, the VRO senses it & it sends a code to the alarm that go's off when the oil is low or none.
You better use a temp guage or a heat stick to see if that head is heating up or not.
If it is, it's most likely your water pump or thermostat.
DanielC posted 07-26-2007 07:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for DanielC  Send Email to DanielC     
I recently bought a rebuilt 1997 Johnson 115, and I have a similar problem to bob1 who made this thread. Except it starts up without problem (choke and few turns) but after a good 20 minutes of running on idle and above idle an alarm goes off from the controls area. I suspect it is over heating because when you take the cowling off it has a fair amount of white and clearish smoke which I never used to see in this amount. If the alarm is left going the motor auto shuts off, the oil injection bulb is hard but the fuel is not when this happens.

Just wondering if I should take it in to a mechanic ASAP or not because when we are out skiing the alarm doesn't sound at all when going 2,500-RPM, the motor goes happily for hours on end.

It is a shame that the motor I bought to replace my old Chrysler is doing a similar thing to my old Chrysler :(

Any thoughts?

Sal DiMercurio posted 07-26-2007 09:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
You better get that engine in to a tech and replace the water pump. At high speed the engine pulls water from the force of the water rushing by the water intake. You don't even need a water pump at 3/4-throttle. You must me kinda simple to let the engine run until it "gets so hot", that it shuts itself off. White smoke--you continue to run it? If your looking for a new engine, do that a couple more times and you will HAVE TO buy one.

Would you let your car run hot and hotter until it kills itself? Sorry to be so crass, but that is just about the dumbest thing I've heard done in a looooong time.

Tohsgib posted 07-27-2007 11:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
I have to agree with Sal...what are you thinking?
jimh posted 07-29-2007 09:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
What is the reading on the water pressure gauge at various engine speeds?

How strong is the stream of water from the aspirator?

jimh posted 07-29-2007 09:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
By the way, the original discussion was about smoke in the exhaust as a combustion product. It sounds like the most recent inquiry is about smoke in the form of steam coming off an overheated power head.
johnkelly51 posted 12-08-2007 04:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for johnkelly51  Send Email to johnkelly51     
I have a 2004 90 hp Johnson, carbed. I want to disconnect the oil system and add my own oil. Is it done the same as these others?
jimh posted 12-08-2007 05:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
For advice on how to remove the automatic oil mixing pump on OMC motors, please see:

VRO Disconnect Procedure

The originator of this discussion seems to have abandoned the topic. We never did learn if any of the advice provided was used to remedy his problem with excessive smoking.

oldguy posted 07-07-2008 09:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for oldguy  Send Email to oldguy     
Interesting to find the information here.

We just went through the troubleshooting of a 70hp Johnson which has been neglected since we bought it and fixed it up a few years ago.

I'm no expert. I am the son of a mechanical design engineer and we have never been shy of exploring the design of all manner of equipment and we are often rewarded with the ability to restore near proper function of some of our old antiques. I suppose you could consider us antiques working on antiques.

The motor could start with spray ether but would not continue to run and would smoke fiercely.

We drained the bowl of each of the three carburetors and found that each had a generous mix of 99% oil with little gas at all.

We pumped up the gas into the bowls and started again, and got it to run a bit, and then it smoked and fouled again.

Finally disconnected the wiring to the oil reservoir which seems to have a pump of sorts. Referencing the information above confirms our suspicions.

The motor seemed to run nicely with a 50:1 mix and we were able to run it out on the bay nicely and get the smoking to decrease.

Best of luck to those of you who work to repair your equipment, I hope that you are rewarded with more days of fun on the water and joy with family in the use of the repaired motors than challenges in trying to keep it working.

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