My outboard motor collection.

Anything you do off the water can go here. Racing, Modeling, collecting? Talk about it here.
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bassboy1
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Post by bassboy1 »

As some of y'all have probably figured out with some of my recent and distant posts, I do like older outboards, especially Johnson/Evinrude ones, pre 1960.

So far, my collection is meager, due to me being 15, with an abundance of expensive hobbies (think multispecies fishing, and boat repair). Here are the 4 I have right now.

From left to right: 1948 Johnson 2.5 horse, 1949 Johnson 5 horse, 1936 OMC 4.3 horse. (ignore the messy shop - we are finally in the process of finally getting it organized after having thrown everything in here frantically, from a shop twice as big nonetheless when we moved in a couple years back).
Image

Here is another shot of the '36. It is an odd one, and after having had it for more than a year, and exhausted most of my outboard info sources, I cannot positively identified it. It is clearly labled as Outboard Marine Company, and not Evinrude. However, from what I hear, by the early 30s, no motors were made under the name OMC, and all were under the name of Evinrude. Also, in '36, all the consumer motors were advertised with what they called "hooded power." Basically, it had both an upper and lower powerhead cowl. The books all list it as a 4.3 horse "service twin," so after contacting a few old outboard guru's, the best we can come up with is that it was a motor sold to a large company, in bulk, or to the government, for fleet use, keeping it cheaper than buying the consumer motor with the Evinrude name, and all the fancy bells and whistles.
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Here is my 1955 Johnson 3 horse. Tuesday afternoon, I got it running, and still am adjusting the high speed and low speed carb needle valves to get it to run quite right. It is fairly stripped right now, missing the lower powerhead cowl, and the tiller, faceplate, and all the adjustment knobs at the moment (I have them, they are just removed for access to the internals of the motor - everything about this one was in remarkable condition. Most of this era have been used and abused. This one, according to the previous owner, was often forgotten about, and left in a dry barn for the longest time). I am getting the fresh gaskets to rebuild the carb, as well as a new pump impeller to get it running more reliably soon. The electricals on this were perfect. The motor has been sitting for a number of years, but it looks as if the previous owner replaced the coils, points, and all the other ignition pieces right before holing it up.
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As I get the funds, I will be restoring all of these to new condition, which includes fresh paint, and new decals, plus replacing all the broken stuff (the two from the '40s have broken tillers, and damaged recoil starters). The '36 will be running as well, and I will probably clean it up and polish the brass on it, but I doubt I will go so far as to nickleplate all the aluminum colored pieces, like some collectors do to "old iron" like this.

The 3 Johnsons are plenty practical for constant use as a main fishing motor. If I had a smaller boat, I would have no issue running them as a main motor, as they are plenty reliable, and practical for that. The '36, while it would be reliable, just wouldn't be practical for a main drag motor, as it is real heavy (cast iron powerhead, as opposed to aluminum), and lacks features like recoil start. All of mine will be run on small jon boats, and dads canoe, until I obtain the funds to build/restore a '40s style 12 foot rowboat, either in aluminum or wood (both were common in the post war era).

I am going to keep increasing my collection as funds allow. The three I want right now are an Evinrude Zephyr, which is the worlds first, and still the worlds smallest 4 cyl. outboard. It is a 5.4 horse motor, made from 1940 until '49.

Also I want a 1950 Johnson QD-10 (10 horse). It was the first motor to incorporate a F-N-R gear shift, and an external fuel tank.

Lastly, I am in search of a Chris Craft motor, either the 5 horse Challenger, or the Commander 10, but the 10 is preferred. These were made from '49 to '53, and were an excellent design. Had they not gotten in a lawsuit with Mercury motors in '53, they likely would be one of the popular motor brands existing today, and Mercury (most common motor today) probably wouldn't even be on the map. These Chris Craft motors actually were great racing motors in the mid 50s, and had a consistent track record of beating the mercs, which were known for racing during those times.

I hope to complete the restoration of at least 2 of mine during the spring, and I will certainly post pictures when I do. I will probably have the '55 out on dad's canoe as soon as it warms up, after the carb and water pump parts come in, before I get to restoring the paint and other cosmetics.

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Jim
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Post by Jim »

Your a madman! :beer:
Be Respectful!
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Captain Ahab
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Post by Captain Ahab »

That is some awesome stuff you got there BassBoy1

What a testament to the craftsmanship that went into those motors - they probably run as good today as when they were brand new.


Have you had to re-bore or re-ring any of those motors? I assume that they are all two stroke?
Trying to Fish as often as Jim works :LOL2:

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Post by Loggerhead Mike »

i love the antiques. where did you find the omc?

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russ010
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Post by russ010 »

I need to get back out in the woods behind the ponds at my place... I know there's a boat back there, and there's a few motors (I think), but I don't think they are tiller steer.

When you get your license you will have to come out and look around - there's no telling what all we will find back there.

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Post by bassboy1 »

Captain Ahab wrote:
Have you had to re-bore or re-ring any of those motors?
No, and I doubt I will if I find one that needs it. Just not really worth it, unless it is one that is real rare, and rather valuable. The 3 Johnsons I have are actually real common motors, so if one of the other 2 I have, that I haven't dug into yet need something like that, they will be either a cosmetic restoration to put on display inside, or they will be a parts motor to sit in the pile of parts motors in the back corner of the shop.

Besides the regular maintenance parts, which I can still get, pistons and rings and such for the '36 are not made anymore, so I would have a heck of a time finding them. My best bet would be to find another motor of an earlier vintage that used the same part, and buy parts from it. Doubtful I would go to that trouble. It would also be a shop or house decoration (couldn't throw something like that into the parts pile).

Since these are not going to be used for racing, merely leisurely runs down the river, and the occasional aomci.org meet, I have no desire to pump lots of money into them. If I stumble across one that has internal issues, I might give a couple bucks for it, just to have stuff like the cowls and fuel tanks (the tank wraps around the flywheel - donut shaped - I cannot reproduce them) in the parts pile, in case I find a good motor later on that has dented cowls or tanks. But, I won't sink money into replacing internals. Only carb rebuilds, ignition repair and water pump repair are what I will work on, unless it is rare, and I want one.
I assume that they are all two stroke?
Yes. Hence why I favor two strokes. They used them originally because they were simple, and were better suited for outboard use. 4 strokes had to be adapted to fit the outboard world, which required technologies that didn't exist back then. I would bet that if Ole Evinrude had tried to use a 4 stroke motor to make his first outboard, we wouldn't see outboards for a number of years.

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Post by Captain Ahab »

Thanks BB1

The reason I asked about 2 v 4 stroke was becuase teh one motor looks kinda like the Briggs and Stratton 4 stroker.

Prior to this decade the only 4 strokes were what we called kicker motors - usually less then 10 hp, but they were very common
Trying to Fish as often as Jim works :LOL2:

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Post by bassboy1 »

Funny you mention that. Briggs and Stratton were actually owners of Evinrude for a time, and after Briggs and Stratton as a company decided to sell off the outboard business, Steve Briggs actually stayed as partial owner of Evinrude Outboards.

The history on these, and well all outboard companies is sketchy. There just wasn't much documentation back then, so we are left with countless stories today. I would love to have a page that had the real story about all the companies from that time, but it just doesn't exist. The only way to really figure it out is to hear all the stories, and find the ones that make the most historical sense.

Instead, I leave most of the history part to the historians, and deal more with the actual motors. Dealing with what motor used this technology, and what used this part, and what had this flaw is much better, as we still have the motors to study. Plus, I would much rather be "studying" with a tool box full of wrenches, as opposed to crazy documents.

Y'all will hear me use the term Johnson/Evinrude quite a bit, but when I am using that, I am implying '56 - '98 motors, which were identical, for the most part. I use that, as those are the best motors to be used on a fishing boat, or something else where the concern is to get from point a to b reliably, and not have a classic. However, I am really partial to Evinrude. They were the first motors made, and while having changed ownership from time to time (besides being passed down), they are still in existence. From '36 to '55, Evinrude owned Johnson, after buying it out when Johnson went bankrupt, while keeping a Johnson line separate from 'Rude, and they didn't unify designs until '56, when the Johnsons turned red, from the green.

Evinrude also holds the outboard powered speed record, with a 620 hp V8 (hopped up V8 425 available in the late 80s), and they have had many technological breakthroughs. So, while the post '56 Johnson/Evinrudes make the best motors as far as reliability, parts availability, and ease to service (same part was used for many years), I am really partial to Evinrudes. I just happen to have a hobby of old outboards, which means as a collector, I like the other brands (Johnson, Chris Craft, OMC owned tire and department store brands etc) as well.

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Post by bassboy1 »

Captain Ahab wrote:
Prior to this decade the only 4 strokes were what we called kicker motors - usually less then 10 hp, but they were very common
I am not real familiar with the post '50 history on any company, besides the few companies that were owned by others and crud like that. However, was Honda the one that really started the 4 stroke movement? I know they have only made 4 strokes, in outboards at least (2 stroke Motorcycles), and they are the only company I have seen with 4 strokes back into the '70s.

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Post by Captain Ahab »

Accorindg to Wikipedia:

"Though fewer in number, four-stroke outboards have always been available. For example Honda Marine has been marketing small four-stroke outboards since the early 70s. Other brands have been produced for over a 100 years, but again in fewer numbers.'

Soem of teh early 4 strokes:

Homelite, 55-HP, c.1960 to c.1965 (based on Crosley automotive engine)

Fisher-Pierce, 55-HP, 1966 to 1972 (revised Homelite 55-HP engine)
Fisher-Pierce, 85-HP, 1970 to 1972 (based on English Coventry auto engine)

I will do some research and see what I can find out. old outboards are addicting


Now I need to buy one or two :D
Trying to Fish as often as Jim works :LOL2:

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Post by bassboy1 »

Captain Ahab wrote:

Now I need to buy one or two :D
Your closer to the majority of them than me. Drive over to Wisconsin, or up to Canada, pick up a few, and ship a few down to me. Send me some covered bow aluminum boats and a few Lunds while you are at it. Cannot find hardly any of them down here.

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Post by Captain Ahab »

bassboy1 wrote:
Captain Ahab wrote:

Now I need to buy one or two :D
Your closer to the majority of them than me. Drive over to Wisconsin, or up to Canada, pick up a few, and ship a few down to me. Send me some covered bow aluminum boats and a few Lunds while you are at it. Cannot find hardly any of them down here.

BassBoy - Where do you think I live? #-o

Drive over to Wisconsin? Canada?

Sellersville, PA to Madison, WI - 15 hrs
Trying to Fish as often as Jim works :LOL2:

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Post by BassNBob »

I saw this one on craigslist this morning, you might be interested. 51 Johnson that runs. https://knoxville.craigslist.org/boa/1013128358.html


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russ010
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Post by russ010 »

with these craigslists posts, it's like putting bassboy in a candy store!

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