Moderated Discussion Areas
  ContinuousWave: Whaler Performance
  Johnson 40 VRO--testing the oil injection

Post New Topic  Post Reply
search | FAQ | profile | register | author help

Author Topic:   Johnson 40 VRO--testing the oil injection
Highwater posted 05-29-2002 07:45 PM ET (US)   Profile for Highwater  
I am worried that that my 1987 oil-injected Johnson 40 hp outboard is not drawing sufficient oil from the 2 gallon (?) reservoir of oil that sits in the boat on the port side, just opposite from the battery. The engine runs just fine but I rarely have to add oil to the reservoir. How can I test to see if the engine is drawing sufficient oil?
Ventura16 posted 05-29-2002 08:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ventura16  Send Email to Ventura16     
I don't know the answer, but I have the same 40 hp Johnson on my pontoon boat and it also uses very little oil. Ocasionally the alarm will go off, but a few squeezes on the oil tank bulb will shut it up. I've always worried whether it was working correctly, but it seems to start and run just fine.


Alan Hiccock posted 05-29-2002 08:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alan Hiccock  Send Email to Alan Hiccock     
My 70 yamaha uses a suprisingly small amount of oil so your 40 must use almost 1/2 of what my engine does..
The point being sometimes it seems that no oil is being used with these small engines.
If you werent using oil , she'd blow within a few minutes I bet.
My 90 Johnson had a clear line that showed " blue" when she was pumping the ole OMC oil.
I think you can hear the VRO pump working if I remember right.
Sorry I didnt really answer your Q. but maybe some of the things I added were helpful & someone will chime in with some more info.
simonmeridew posted 05-29-2002 08:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for simonmeridew  Send Email to simonmeridew     
Remember the VRO pumps oil on the order of 50:1, maybe 100:1 at idle. So you should try to note how much gasoline you are using, after you put a series of precise lines on your VRO reservoir. Remember to have the boat on the same angle each time you read the oil level. If you use 5 gallons of gas on an outing, this would correspond to less than a pint of oil, which might be very hard to notice a level change in a 2 gallon oil tank.
Two things: If the motor isn't getting oil, it will seize up in short order. Also with the motor idling, if you see and smell smoke back by the exhaust, it's oil smoke. Gasoline doesn't smoke.
Highwater posted 05-29-2002 09:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Highwater    
Thanks for the helpful responses. Before this weekend's boating excursion, I topped of the oil reservoir, which was a mistake because some oil leaked out of the top as I trailered the boat across North Carolina. I explored two rivers and used about 14 gallons of fuel in the process of traveling 70 miles. The oil went down about an inch in the reservoir (the reservoir is about as big as the battery case). Some oil leaked out of the top while underway, and so I was not sure that I was actually using any oil. Since it ran fine for 70 miles, I guess it is getting what it needs. Right?

I'd love to get rid of this engine and get a new, quiet four-stroke.

Tom W Clark posted 05-29-2002 09:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

If you used "an inch" of oil for 14 gallons of gas consumed, I'd say that's right on target.

An OMC VRO motor like yours mixes the oil at anywhere from 50:1 to 150:1.

The only time it would really be mixed at 50:1 would be during wide open throttle. If you were putzing along, idling and cruising then it was probably closer to 100:1

At a 100:1 ratio, 14 gallons would consume a bit over a pint of oil. Not much at all.

By the way, it can take quite a bit of time to seize an engine (at least an OMC) with straight gas. I once ran a 1990 Johnson 150 for 45 minutes without oil and it ran just fine, even at the end of that trip. They are tough motors.

Highwater posted 05-29-2002 10:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Highwater    
Many thanks for the helpful information!
prj posted 05-30-2002 07:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
highwater, check out the NADA pricing thread, little off topic, but i briefly discussed the vro thing.

disconnected mine (john 70 vro) recently and runs much much better at a steady 50:1. peace of mind, friend, piece of mind.

Highwater posted 05-30-2002 09:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Highwater    
I'm all for piece of mind so let me make sure I understand this before I make any changes. I can just disconnect the hose that goes from the engine to the reservoir and the engine will be okay with that as long as I add the oil, at a 50-1 ratio, to the gasoline? Do have have to put a cap on the fitting where the hose is now connected? Will this not put a strain on the pump (?) in the engine that draws in the oil?

I now understand that one of the advantages of the VRO system is that the engine draws only a little oil at idle speed. If I disconnect the reservoir and add oil directly to the gas tanks, will the engine emit a noticeable amount of oil vapor into the air at idle speed, causing the passengers to breath an unpleasant odor and causing additional damage to the already-polluted environment? I dream of the day when I can replace this engine with a 4-stroke; seems like in that sense, disconnecting the VRO system is a step in the wrong direction. Or am I over-estimating the amount of additional odor and pollution this might cause?

prj posted 05-31-2002 09:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
i disconnected the hose from engine fitting, removed tank and hose. disconnected the hose from the transparent "oil read" section between the fuel pump and the fitting on the INSIDE of the cowling. used yellow plug that was attached to that hose to plug the very short line left that enters the fuel pump. then premix.

i have others that simply remove the line from the fitting on exterior and slide new short line on with stainless bolt fitted to plug.

intuitively, perhaps you're correct about more oil smoke at idle than previous. however, i did not experience this at all when idling my recently disconnected.

good luck.

simonmeridew posted 05-31-2002 10:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for simonmeridew  Send Email to simonmeridew     
My 1999 OMC 70 has directions in the owner's manual as to how to disconnect the oil pump system. It cautions not to just disconnect the oil line. Would urge you not to do anything yet till some more input from forum. I may be able to scan some of the manual for you tomorrow if you want; tonight lightning storms have messed up scanner and will need to re program first. Let me know.

My opinion: the VRO is a good system which is very reliable. Maybe more reliable than you mixing yourself 50:1. For example: The time will come when you put gas in the boat after you pump about ten dollars worth in your truck first, you didn't really record when you started putting gas in the boat tank, it might have been 7 gallons, or was it 9 gallons. So how much oil do I need to put in. How does that 50:1 thingy work with 15 gallons of gas anyway. Or uncle Tom put oil in the tank this morning at home because it's $3.79 a quart at the marina. but did he put in a whole quart or was it a pint?

I guess I've lived long enough to believe in human error as well as mechanical error.
Just my opinion.

Highwater posted 06-01-2002 10:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for Highwater    
Right--I would rather not disconnect it if there was a sure-fire way that I could tell it was working properly.

I do not have the manual for my 1987 engine so any instructions would be appreciated.

I could not find the NADA thread mentioned above; if that is pertinent to this discussion and someone knows the location of that thread, please post a link. Thanks!

Alan Hiccock posted 06-01-2002 01:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alan Hiccock  Send Email to Alan Hiccock     
It's a cheap procedure to have these VRO's disconnected or bypassed by certified mechanics. No more them 100 bucks or so.
Or many backyard mechanics can do it them selves.
ShrimpBurrito posted 06-01-2002 11:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
I have that same exact engine (including year) and VRO on my 15' Super Sport, and it has put in many many hours, trouble free. I use my boat for 10-15 hours every month, and I usually don't have to refill the oil tank but once per season. I agree with Simon - it's only a matter of time till you forget to add oil or mix it incorrectly, especially since you're already used to not thinking about mixing. I tend not to attempt fixing something that's not broken.
prj posted 06-02-2002 11:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
highwater, "bank uses NADA..." is in the marketplace section of forum, but not much more info there than here.

i suggest doing a search for VRO discussions as there have been many in the past.

agreed with shrimp that if its not broken, dont fix, but my '90 johnny 70 vro didnt fit that descript.

ive heard that others went preemptive on the vro disconnect as a preventative measure, realizing that a bad lean mix is prematurely aging the outboard. i not only was getting a lean mix, but that was triggering alarm and SLOW shutdown as well as generating some vile exhaust.

wouldnt suggest this on a '99 model year, but the '87 may be a stronger consideration. also, cant vouch for the performance of the 40 hp, perhaps this engine and vro hang tough, draws better or whatever.

good luck and get comfortable with whatever decision you make. patrick

fester posted 06-03-2002 03:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for fester  Send Email to fester     
As you probably have heard, there appears to be a history of reliability problems with the OMC VRO systems. It is my understanding that the original design of the OMC VRO system is less reliable then that used by other motor manufactures. While OMC has attempted to correct this by making modifications to the system over the years, I have heard that the VRO pumps still occasionally have problems. My mechanic has suggested that the best way to prevent problems with an OMC motor is to replace the VRO pump every two to three years. The pumps are not very expensive (I think around $200) in relation to the cost of a new engine.

Ventura 16
It sounds like your VRO system may not be working properly. I have never had the oil alarm go off on any engine I have owned. It sounds like your pump may be losing its prime. You may want to have this looked at.
Just my 2 cents.

skookum point posted 06-05-2002 12:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for skookum point  Send Email to skookum point     
These are the instructions given in the OMC 40hp - 55hp Service Manual for disabling the VRO system:

"If the VRO system is not used, follow this procedure:
1- Install protective cap, P/N 315391, over the oil inlet fitting to protect the VRO pump. Secure with clamp, P/N 322654.
2- Disconnet the VRO wiring harness. Seal engine harness Amphenol connector with cover, P/N 335655."

After considering the pros and cons, I disconnected my VRO last weekend. The parts mentioned above were ordered from my local OMC dealer and only cost $6.

Hope this helps . . . John

Highwater posted 06-05-2002 12:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Highwater    
Thanks. I'm going to disconnect mine, too. This will free up some much-needed space in the boat and give me peace of mind.
Bosmass posted 06-11-2002 10:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bosmass  Send Email to Bosmass     
I guess nothing is absolute. I was out last evening and the VRO alarm warned me that something was not right. My 1989 100 hp Evinrude's rpm's dropped from 2000 to 1200 and I couldn't get it much higher than that, just like it is designed to do. I limped back to my mooring and cursed the motor, swearing I'd replace it with a Japanese 4 stroke, allusions of grandeur that didn't match my budget. So far this spring I've spent more time trailering my boat to Boats and Motors in Wakefield than in Boston Harbor. Let's see: powerpack, starter motor, and new wires. I've read in these forums (see Preventive Maintenance query June 3 ) that the VRO pump is one of many items I should look at on a motor this old. I've been reading about disconnecting the pump, going back to mixing oil and was convinced half way through this current topic that I shouldn't, so I decided to keep the system.. and then after all this Highwater plans on disconnecting his…. I'll have Fred @ Boatnmotors look at it before I make a firm decision.
Highwater posted 06-11-2002 01:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Highwater    
My local outboard mechanic strongly urged me to disconnect it so I did. He also convinced me to replace the water pump with a new one, and there was nothing wrong with it, either.

On the other hand, when I went to fill up with gas, I couldn't believe how much oil I had to add to get a 50-1 ratio. I was using much less oil with the VRO system. Apparently the engine had been getting all the oil it needed, as the mechanic said that the 1987 engine had compression 145 psi for all pistons.

Bigshot posted 06-11-2002 02:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Here we go again...reinventing the wheel. If it aint broke...don't fix it. The VRO systems are VERY reliable and they will 99% of the time overfeed the engine oil instead of starving it when they malfunction. The pump that draws gas, usually draws oil too so if it goes bad, you get neither. The people who blame the VRO for engine failures are 99% of the time misinformed. If oil flow is stopped and alarm malfunctions and SLOW protection fails all at the same time, you will burn up all of the pistons, crank, etc. Again 99% of VRO "failures" had 1 or 2 pistons fry which means the carb was screwed up that fed these cyl(s) and therefore POOF! I would NEVER disconnect a VRO because I know how they work, just like I would not swap my EFI for a carburator because of things that "can" go wrong. Anotherwords....keep the darn VRO, especially on a Yamaha which has a metal gear for the pump. If I had a Merc, I might scrap it because they use a plastic gear that has a tendency to break after years of use. PS the oil consumption on a 50:1 is mucho compared to a VRO. By the way....Suzuki invented oil injection and was the 1st to use it on outboards.
prj posted 06-11-2002 05:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
well, thats one on the "keep" side and about 25 on the "disconnect" side from my informal survey of this forum, other forums, pleading mechanics and fellas at the ramp.

i feel much better safe and in fact mine was "broke". perhaps mine was that 1%.

Highwater posted 06-11-2002 09:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Highwater    
If Bigshot had posted his response earlier I would not have disconnected mine. My 1987 engine VRO system was working fine and it used much less oil than I am now pouring directly into the gas. If I was more mechanically inclined, I would re-attach it.
Bigshot posted 06-12-2002 10:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I have NEVER known anyone who's VRO caused engine failure. I know many engines that have blown due to oil deprevation, but it would have done the same if premixed. If your carb goes lean, you won't notice it because the other 2(etc) are working fine. Next thing you know the bottom, middle or upper cyls grenade and EVERYONE blames it on the VRO. Like I said before....if your VRO goes dead and every alarm malfunctions(odds here people) then you will blow everything, not just 1 or 2 pistons.

Next time someone says their VRO died and blew the engine, ask what pistons grenaded, you'll be amazed that nobody will say all of them.

Bigshot posted 06-12-2002 10:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Oh and and Skookum are the only ones on this thread that have disconnected their VRO so your 25:1 is a bit off.
prj posted 06-12-2002 11:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
bigshot, correct on the 25:1 comment, but my experience herein, on other forums, in conversations w/ marine techs and in conversations at boat ramps with dealers puts the number in favor of disconnection way higher.

i will however, dispute the notion that just because only 1 or 2 cylinders fail, its the carb and not the vro delivery. i would think it highly unlikely that all cyl/pistons would fail simultaneously under lacking lube, increased heat conditions. my expectation is that all would wear excessively until eventually, one or two fail catastrophically.

further, mine WAS failing me until it was disconnected. alarm would trigger SLOW shutdown, stop and cool, go through process again. even when it would run at speed, smoked white, lean and angry.

my impression is that the 80's omc vro systems get persistently bad press from many fronts. my other impression is that where there's smoke, there's fire.

jimh posted 06-12-2002 12:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
A couple of stories about pre-mixing:

For many years we belonged to a sailing club which had several 25-foot sailboats powered with auxillary 9-HP outboards that used pre-mixed gasoline/oil in 6-gallon tanks.

The training program always tutored on the evils of not adding oil, so there was a strong tendency on the part of members to add oil to the gasoline whenever any was purchased. The problem was the math involved was not always very good.

Typically the tank would be refilled as soon as it fell below half-full. A member unsure of the proportions and mixing procedure would decide to err on the oil-heavy side of the equation and throw in a whole bottle, usually a pint, but maybe even a quart.

This would go on all season, with the result that by the end of July the fuel tank would contain about a 1:1 mix of oil and gasoline! The engine would barely run and the plug would foul in a few minutes.

Oh the joys of pre-mixing.

Another story:
One fine summer day we were boating around Algonac in the St. Clair River in our 15-footer, which has an old Merc (still working fine) that uses pre-mix. As it was a very warm and sunny day, we had been trying to avoid dehyration by consumption of some of Canada's finest beverages. We were cruising up the Chenal Ecarte river across the border, when
we decided we needed some fuel to make the return trip to the States.

I pull into a marina and get some gasoline in my 12-gallon tank. When I it looks like we have enough to get home, I stop to see how much I have added so I can throw in the proper amount of oil and mix with a little more gas.

"How much gas have I used?" I ask the attendant overhead at the dock.

"Twenty-two litres", he replies.

Numbers like 50-to-1, 22-liters, 500 mL, and 3.78-litres-in-one-gallon are swimming around in my head, while about three pints of Labatt's are floating in my bloodstream.

The kid at the gas dock sees my problem, and converts it for me.

"That's about six American gallons," he tells me. This is a number I can calculate with. In goes a pint of oil. Up goes the credit card. Off we go, back to the States.

I gave the kid a tip, too. He probably saved my engine!

prj posted 06-12-2002 02:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
fine anecdotes jim...and thus, the title "moderator".
Bigshot posted 06-12-2002 02:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
prj.....I am not arguing here(although it is my Forte) but you said it all in your last post. The VRO was failing....alarms kept going off.....SLOW was engaged, etc. If I had ANY problems like that I would disconnect or fix depending on age and condition of engine. On a 15 year old 40...VRO's toast. In as much as everything seizing at once, you are correct but when you disassembled the engine you would see that the crank was shot(at least the bearings), all the piston walls would be scorched and some pistons would be shongo. They all can't grenade simultaneously but all will be damaged. Outboards have this neat feature that scavenges the excess oil from the bottom of the crank and routes it to the top to lube the upper crank bearing. This will usually keep the upper pistons a bit more lubed. The middles get more heat being they are in between top & bottom but the lowers are closer to the exhaust, etc. So depending on how long and hard she was running w/o oil, will depend on the damage. A lean carb however will isolate it to the corresponding pistons it feeds and wipe them out like chaulk. Crank usually survives this though. Just adding my $.02 and hopefully clearing p some "offshore legends". Enjoy!
Highwater posted 06-12-2002 03:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Highwater    
"On a 15 year old 40...VRO's toast." Bigshot, I am now confused. Please help me understand this. You know a lot more about outboard engines than I do. I did not know how to ascertain whether or not the VRO system was working on my 1987 Johnson 40 hp engine. So I created this thread to get advice. The advice was mixed. Then my mechanic said that he strongly urged me to disconnect the VRO because it was 15 years old. He said that if it was not already broken, it was sure to break soon, ruining my engine. So I had him disconnect it. On his reccommedation, I had him do other preventive maintenance as well, including cleaning the carborators and replacing the water pump. When I picked up the boat, I asked him about the compression, and he said that the 145 psi in each cylinder was as good as I would find in a new engine.

So the VRO had been working fine all this time. It had not been using nearly as much oil as I am now pouring into the gas. And the engine had not been polluting the environment as much as it does now. But I a I had peace of mind. For a day, anyway. Then I read Jim's post, and now I don't even have peace of mind anymore.

Then Bigshot joined the discussion and said "if it ain't broke don't fix it....The VROs are very reliable," etc. So then I was REALLY sorry that I had disconnected it because I value Nick's opinion and I had paid $400 to have the various procedures done to the engine (and it had been running fine to begin with). So I was considering trying to re-connect it myself, when Bighot writes, "On a 15 year old 40...VRO's toast." Now I am more confused than when I started this thread :)

whalerron posted 06-12-2002 11:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     

Are there any noticeable symptoms of a motor that has a cylinder or 2 running lean? On a OMC 90, since the cylinders share carbs, I would guess that if a lean condition exists, it is going to affect a minimum of 2 cylinders. So, if I ever encounter this situation, will there be any indication of a problem?

By the way, Bob took those outboards...

- Ron

Tom W Clark posted 06-13-2002 02:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Let me just weigh in here with some factual comments. They may not amount to much but here they are:

In fact I agree with Bigshot.

I have never personally known anybody who has suffered a VRO failure.

The only place I have ever heard of a VRO failure is here on this forum.

I only have 14 years of VRO equipped outboard ownership experience, but I have yet to have ANY problem with a VRO system. The qualifier to this statement is that the oldest VRO motor I have ever owned was ten years old.

An outboard motor, or any motor for that matter, be it two stroke or four stroke, will not last long if it has no oil. If there’s no oil in the oil tank you can’t blame the VRO. Same is true if you forget to add oil during a fill up for a premix supplied motor.

prj posted 06-13-2002 08:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
question for all, when referring to motors, is the term "VRO" proprietary and limited to the OMC brands or is this used generically for all oil injected outboards?

further on Tom's last paragraph, if your attempting to lube with H2O, thats bad also.

Cpt Quint posted 06-13-2002 12:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Cpt Quint  Send Email to Cpt Quint     
here is my 2 cents. my vro pump had given out. that means that the oil was not getting injected and neither was the gas. the easiest thing to do was take it off and pay $49 for standard omc fuel pump w/o vro. now i just add 50:1. I did this only because the pump gave out and there are no after market vros out there (new one is about $250.) this way is the cheapest but i only did it after it stopped pumping.
russellbailey posted 06-13-2002 01:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for russellbailey  Send Email to russellbailey     
I'll add to the group using VRO. Our 1988 70 hp Evinrude has VRO which still works well. To me it has been a big improvement over our 1980 70 hp pre-mix (which blew a piston due to over-revving we think). Noticeably less smoke, no hassles with pre-mixed gas to get rid of at season end, etc.
Chap posted 06-13-2002 02:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chap  Send Email to Chap     
I read elsewhere these folks either make the current VRO/OMS pumps or aftermarket ones, not sure.

My pumps perform fine for now and so do other folks pumps around here.

jimh posted 06-13-2002 05:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Clearly this topic of VRO (specific to Evinrude) has started some discussion.

While one participant cited that "the only place [he] ever heard about disconnecting VRO was on this forum", I would like to point out that the original poster's mechanic suggested disconnecting it, as noted by "[my] local outboard mechanic strongly urged me to disconnect it."

Maybe that mechanic reads the forum?

fester posted 06-13-2002 08:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for fester  Send Email to fester     
In my opinion, the issue here is not whether the OMC VRO system is unreliable or not, it is one of maintenance. All outboards require a certain amount of maintenance to run properly. They periodically need a water pump, fuel pump, carbon removed from the cylinders, carburator maintenance and a number of other things. The same is true for the VRO system, if it is maintained and cared for, the system will be very reliable. On the other hand, if the VRO system is neglected like any other major component of the outboard, it will be less reliable.

This being said, it is my understanding that the OMC VRO system is more susceptable to problems than the yamaha other manufactures auto oiling systems. What my mechanic has told me is that the yamaha injects the oil directly into the manefold while OMC mixes it with fuel. I am sure some of the more knowledgeable motor people on this forum could explain this more clearly than I can. But according to my mechanic, the end result is that the OMC system is more susceptable to problems than other motors. This does not mean it is unreliable but rather it is a system that needs to be paid attention to.

Bigshot's statement that a 15 year old VRO system is toast is probably accurate. Many systems of a 15 year old outboard are probably toast. For instance, I would not think of using taking 15 year old outboard 10 miles offshore that had never had the water pump replaced or the fuel system maintained. On the other hand, a 15 year old VRO system can be reliable if maintained. My mechanic says proper maintenance includes changing the VRO pump every few years and making sure the oil lines and oil tank are in good condition and installed such that water cannot contaminate the oil. Even though it costs a few bills to change the pump, this cost is to some extent offset if you have a large outboard and use it alot in that you will use less oil than if you premix. The VRO system should use less oil than if you premix 50:1

On the other hand, if you do not have confidence in the VRO system, then you may want to disconnect it. But I hate mixing oil with gas and it makes me feel environmentally sensitive to know that the VRO system on my 1999 175 horsepower Johnson is spitting less oil in the environment than it would if I premixed the oil with the gas. I don't want you guys to think I'm an environmentalist because there is no way I going to dish out the $$$$$ to get one of those clean big four strokes or direct injection engines.
For the record, I have seen a number of guys lose engines because of excess carbon build up or a carb running too lean. My mechanic says more than 50% of his outboard rebuilds are needed because of excess carbon in the cylinders. I have only heard of one guy who lost a motor due to a VRO failure. He had water in the oil tank.

skookum point posted 06-14-2002 01:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for skookum point  Send Email to skookum point     
On another thread I mentioned that I have been looking for a good used 60-70hp OMC to replace my 15 year old 40hp VRO, which is running great but is underpowered for high elevation running. In the past month I have looked at six used 3cyl OMC's, all were VRO's and most were about 10 years old. EVERY SINGLE ONE had the VRO disabled - sometimes just plugged at the hose barb, others were plugged at each carb.

On the other hand, when I questioned a guy behind the OMC parts counter, he was unaware of an abnormal failure rate for VRO systems.

I disconnected mine for two reasons. One is a peace-of-mind thing, logical or not. The other is that I've recently mounted a 2-stroke kicker and I want to run both motors on the same fuel. Also its nice to have one less tank-thing in the boat.

Bigshot posted 06-17-2002 11:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
!5 year old VRO is toast.....means if my VRO pump failed on a 15 year old engine, I would disconnect it and run 50:1. I should have said Elvis. Yamaha & Zuki have better engineered oil injection systems than OMC but it probably means very little. The good thing about OMC is if the VRO pump dies, so does gas flow so your engine remains intact. If you disconnect the gas line and run the gas out, it fills the carbs with oil, great for winterizing....bad for spark plugs.

As far as the engines you see for sale...If an engine has been rebuilt, they ALWAYS remove the VRO. One reason is "warranty" the other is they then have to supply the tank and hose, etc. It is easier to block it off and tell people it is better that way .....balh blah blah.

Highwater posted 06-17-2002 09:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Highwater    
Thanks for the clarification, Nick. I'll be selling my 13' soon as I just purchased a 15' (on your advice, I might add:). I'll give the new owner a printout of this thread and let him/her/them decide whether or not to reconnect the VRO.
vermilionwhalers posted 06-18-2002 10:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for vermilionwhalers  Send Email to vermilionwhalers     
"For Sale": 1988 Johnson 60hp VRO. ;-)

Gosh I just put some electrical tape on the tank and check it once in a while. Runs fine, uses little oil. Motor came with the boat, a classic 15, which is what I really wanted (classic Whalers in short supply up here). When the VRO goes, I'll repower, or start throwing in oil until the kids are out of college.

Capt_Tidy posted 07-10-2003 12:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for Capt_Tidy  Send Email to Capt_Tidy     
Bottom line - if it aint broke fix it?

Two of the 15's I've been looking at have 70 hp - one 1984 Envirude VRO in good working order (engine and boat are both perfect 10/10 condition) and the other an 1979 Johnson 70 (engine and boat 9/10).... both fresh water engines.

Does the VRO lower the value or raise it?

Capt_Tidy posted 05-06-2004 01:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for Capt_Tidy  Send Email to Capt_Tidy     
Update on VRO after much reading and searching for info...

I was worried about how little oil was being used but after re-reading this thread feel, I can now enjoy my beer (okay... I was going to enjoy it anyway). Thanks Tom and BS... your right on w-r-t VROs.

After running several tanks through my new-to-me 1984 Evinrude 70 with original VRO in the harbor, I'm thrilled with it. I actually marked the tank and can bearly see the decline. The only indication of oil use is the little puff at startup and the some little smoke at certain rpms. At 1500 rpm in the harbor, a tank of oil will last me all summer. What a waste if I was pre-mixing.

My problem is really finding a flat enough ocean to clean her out... the 15 with a 70 is a rocket and is down right thrilling at 40 knots off ocean swells. Enough so that you actually do clip on the throttle kill. I am amazed at how balanced the boat is in the air...

Having a VRO after all these years gives me new appreciate for good old 2 stroke techology. What a sweet old engine.


onlyawhaler posted 05-06-2004 01:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for onlyawhaler  Send Email to onlyawhaler     
I agree with Bigshot on the premise that VROs get blamed when things go wrong. We have a great new mechanic from Florida that have moved here to work with an upcomming Evinrude dealer. He is very experienced with OMC for the last twenty four years and his opinion is that if properly maintained a factory original OMC powerhead is good for thousands of hours. He also feels that most and he means MOST OMC powerhead failures not VRO, but are due to poor upkeep, specifically buildup in the carbs and jets resulting in a lean cylinder or two seizing.

Dirty clogged jets/carbs running lean, POOF and powerhead gone. VRO gets the blame every time.

My Johnson 150 is an 1988 and going great. No disconnection in the forseeable future. I am now much more careful in carb cleaning, running Mercury Quickcleen in every tank of gas and I have switched to Evinrudes XD50 synthetic blend of oil. The motor is running better than ever and hardly any smoke at all, even at idle.


billbobagns posted 06-30-2006 01:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for billbobagns  Send Email to billbobagns     
Does anyone have a wireing diagram that includes the various alarm tan wires? I bought the only manual I could "Climer" which has the last diagram in the book is susposedly my 1990 40HP, but it does not include any alarm wiring or VRO wireing.

Thanks for your help

Don88outrage posted 07-06-2006 01:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Don88outrage  Send Email to Don88outrage     
Gotta side with Nick, if it ain't broke don't fix it. If the VRO on my 150 ever goes it will be repaired/relpaced. Mixing oil for smaller motors running off 6 or 12 gallon portable tanks isn't a real problem. Mixing oil for 4/6 cylinder motors on a boat with a built in tank holding 60 some gallons or more just doesn't make sense to a lazy guy like me who wants to spend time fishing and having a few beers rather than guessing how much oil has to be added.

Post New Topic  Post Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | RETURN to ContinuousWave Top Page

Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Freeware Version 2000
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 2000.