View Full Version : old motor, trash or treasure?
06-24-2003, 02:56 PM
I have an Evinrude (1955) 7.5 Fleetwin. It has very low hours, but it spent a decade stored under a house. My question is, is it worth fixing? I imagine it is very simple, mechanically, but can I get gaskets, etc for it? Is it just a big dinosaur as far as it's power to weight ratio?
06-24-2003, 03:09 PM
I just had a 1957 18hp Johnson "overhauled" for $200 CDN. It needed new coils, spark plug wires, points, and condensers. The dealer told me gaskets, carb kits, hoses, and so on are still available, but any major castings are not. At less than 10% of the cost of a new comparable engine, I thought it was worth the money. This was the first work this engine had ever received in 45 years and it works like a charm. It doesn't look very flashy, and may be heavier than new ones, (except 4 strokes?) but for my occasional needs it is great. If your 7.5hp is suitable power for your application - go for it.
06-24-2003, 07:23 PM
PS.... My 18hp sat idle in a garage unused for 15 years, was used once and put away for another 5 years before it recently came out of retirement.
Last summer I took our 2hp West Bend out of 'mothballs' where it had been for 15 years. Had it running in about 10 minutes.
As for your Fleetwin. if it turns over you are 90% of the way there. It may only a matter of a few minutes to get it running, however I would recommend giving it a thorough going over first. I would be most concerned about things like squirting a bit of oil into the cylinders first, lubricating all mechanical linkages, changing the lower unit gear lube, & check/change the water pump impeller. I personnaly wouldn't worry about the electrical stuff unless it needs it(the points mey need a real good cleaning to get a spark). As others have said, all the parts you may need are out there. hve fun with it.
Mr. Know It All
06-25-2003, 07:31 AM
One man's junk is another man's treasure. :D
I like Bill Kelly's website for parts and advice---> http://www.maxrules.com/
This site is a good source of info too-------> http://www.aomci.org/
[ 06-25-2003, 08:35 AM: Message edited by: Mr. Know It All ]
06-25-2003, 07:35 AM
I found an old Seagull lying in the weeds and mud, on the bank of a tidal river... I KNOW it had been there for atleast 6 years, because that's when the old guy who owned it died. Took a wire brush to the plug, and put in some fresh fuel mix. Started on the 3rd pull.
As far as gaskettes are concerned, you can make your own.
The old outboards may be inefficient, heavy, and loud, but they look so much nicer than these plastic boxes they make today.
06-25-2003, 09:19 AM
good motor, easy to get running. all parts are available. get to an auto parts store and ask if they have an old copy of a sierra catalogue. lots of marine parts there(gasket sets, impellers etc.) if you decide to throw out the motor let me know where. LOL
[ 06-25-2003, 10:20 AM: Message edited by: bob goeckel ]
06-25-2003, 11:07 AM
There is a strong, but small, antique outboard motor restoration hobby. Your motor definately qualifies. A good place to start looking for info and answers is oldmarineengine.com. If you choose to discard your engine, I know of a nice clean scrap metal pile in the heart of South Jersey...I'll drop it off for you.
06-25-2003, 03:36 PM
there is a club: antique outboard motor club www.aomci.org (http://www.aomci.org)
06-26-2003, 02:12 PM
Good winter project. Then I'll build a boat to match.
07-01-2003, 01:18 PM
The two items that tend to get the worst abuse from aging are the water pump impeller, and the fuel pump diaprham. The other problem is old fuel turning to laquer and gumming up the carburators.
So long as you can find the replacement parts you need, you should be able to re-build it for under $100. If the bearings are rusted, then you've got more issues, but so long as the bearings are good, and the pistons aren't seized, go for it!
07-01-2003, 01:58 PM
I would have thought also that the fuel pump and/or gummy carb would have been the primary culprit(s) on the 18hp referenced above, but in my case it would only work on 1 cyl. The fuel was religiously run out of the system each time it was put away, so I kind of ruled out the lacquered carb, and the fuel pump was obviously not starving only 1 cyl. (There was a lot of unburned fuel in the exhaust system).
As it turned out, one of the coils was fried. When it was apart we changed all the electrical stuff to be sure. Both coils had crack in the insulation, etc...) It was about $100 CDN for those parts. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on all of the other rubber bits, hoping they haven't perished with age.
07-07-2003, 12:44 PM
Here's what my cousing had to say about the Evinrude-
"It will probably need extensive machine work. Before it sat for 25 years, it had begun burning a great deal of oil. It will most likely require boring out the cylinders, fitting new rims and pistons, new bearings and a reground crankshaft (if it uses one)."
Now, this is a 2-stroke, right? So if it was burning oil to a noticeable degree, it was probably mixed too rich, right? Do old motors often require reboring? Is he onto something, or is he being a wet blanket?
07-07-2003, 12:54 PM
You are right it is a 2-stroke and burns/blows all the oil that is put in. If it has good compression then there is no need to do the other stuff( qualified by I haven't seen or heard it run). The carb. being adjusted too rich will make it smoke more along with too much oil in the mix.
edited to add: If you have second thoughts on it pack it up and I can use it.
[ 07-07-2003, 01:55 PM: Message edited by: Gresham CA ]
Ditto what Charles said. It's only going to burn every bit of oil that's mixed in the gas. As long as there is compression & the bearings aren't so loose that you can just about hear them rattle you should be set to go. Keep in mind that the older engines do need a lot more oil mixed in the gas than new engines need. A safe bet for that engine is about a 25:1 gas oil ratio, or one quart 2 cycle oil in six gallons of gas. And yes there will be blue smoke at lower speeds.
07-08-2003, 07:24 AM
For what it's worth, my local repair guy suggested that if you use the new, high grade 2-cycle oils, the older engines are capable of running at 40:1. I've thinnned out the mixture in mine with new oil and it seems fine. It still smokes at low speeds, but it is better for the environment than 25:1.
07-08-2003, 09:06 AM
Thanks so much. It's nice to get opinions you can trust.
07-14-2003, 02:15 PM
Final inquiry, I promise.
Here is a further comment from my cousin, who saw this engine in operation:
"I assume that the Evinrude is a 2 or 3 cylinder 2 cycle engine. While the top cylinder parts are lubricated by oil mixed into the gas, there is also probably an oil sump which lubricates the crankshaft bearings. Likely the crankshaft lubrication is circulated by “dippers” on the crankshaft bearings or by an eccentric bearing that splashes oil around. If there is a wide gap between the rings and cylinder wall, this splashed oil works its way into the combustion chamber and burns with the gas-fuel mixture. The Evinrude had the other symptom of worn cylinders---loss of power. I would also assume that there is plenty of rust in the bores by now. It won’t be a pretty picture inside."
Does this sound consistent with Evinrude layout? Just curious. I don't have the engine if front of me, so I can't just crack it open and take a look.
07-14-2003, 02:36 PM
I couldn't tell you for cetain but if the only oil going into this engine is in the fuel then I would think that it doesn't have a sump. It might have a drain for any excess oil in the crankcase.
07-14-2003, 02:38 PM
The oil mixed with the gas is also the lube for the crankcase in 2-stroke engines. If your engine has low hours and isn't frozen up, it should need little fix-up.
What your cousin describes is typical of small 4-stroke engines, like the B&S in the typical lawn mower.
07-14-2003, 02:59 PM
I wouldn't pay a lot of attention to what your cousin is telling you.
"it had begun burning a great deal of oil. It will most likely require boring out the cylinders, fitting new rims and pistons, new bearings and a reground crankshaft (if it uses one)."
Two cycle engines burn oil on purpose. It is how they lubricate their insides. The fuel/oil mix gets sucked into the crankcase first, where it oils the bearings, then it gets pushed into the cylinder to be compressed and burned. I have never heard tell of a piston type internal combustion engine that does not have a crankshaft.
"I assume that the Evinrude is a 2 or 3 cylinder 2 cycle engine."
I believe the very name "Fleetwin" tells that it is a two cylinder engine.
"While the top cylinder parts are lubricated by oil mixed into the gas, there is also probably an oil sump which lubricates the crankshaft bearings."
NOT! No sump, no dippers, no slashing oil getting past piston rings. Those things are true for a four cycle lawn mower engine like a Briggs&Stratton but not for a two cycle engine.
"I would also assume that there is plenty of rust in the bores by now."
You have the motor. Does it spin freely? If it does then no rust. If it spins freely and has good compression then you most likely don't need any machine work. If you have weak compression you still might not need machine work. Weak compression could be due to bad reed valves which are just little spring flaps and easily damged.
What you have is an antique outboard motor that will probably run fine or can be made to run fine. It will be heavy, slow, and probably temperamental. It could be a nicely restored antique motor like I have seen at various boat shows. It would look real nice on a small wooden skiff. Search the web for sites dedicated to antique outboards. I'm sure you will be pleasantly surprised by the price and availability of parts.
If all you want is an outboard for everyday use, do yourself a favor and get a more modern O/B that has a recoiling starter rope, more reliable fuel and ignition systems, and a shifter for forward-neutral-reverse.
If you don't want the motor, don't junk it. Sell it to someone in the antique outboard motor hobby.
07-14-2003, 03:58 PM
Well, thank you very much. I appreciate the info. Cousin has restored several old Hudsons, etc, so I know he isn't totally in the dark, but he probably isn't up on 2 strokes. Plus he's probably jealous that he didn't think of fixing her.
I will get the engine, a manual, and my tools together in the same room and see what I can figure out.
Alan D. Hyde
07-14-2003, 04:56 PM
I talked with a guy years ago, on Lake Monroe in Southern Indiana. He was walking up and down the docks, and from a distance he appeared to be fishing with a hand line.
He had a big magnet on the end of his line, and he'd fished up many thousands of dollars of stuff over the years, he claimed. Including several outboard motors, which he said he cleaned and got running with little trouble. He pulled up an old SLR while I was there. The body was no good, but the lens was usable.
Everything they said smile.gif - No sump, no dippers, if it turns no rust (no rust anyway because its aluminum, corrosion maybe-but then it wouldn't turn over). If you've got a spark it should run for less than $10. - Just check the water pump impeller & lower gear lube after this many years.
Pull the spark plugs, put a couple of squirts of oil in each cylinder, turn it over, put the plugs back in it, put gas/oil mix in it, start it & have fun! :D
(That's about all I did to the 1948 Wizard outboard that I picked up at the dump three weeks ago (covered w/ dust & dirt) & it runs fine.)
[ 07-15-2003, 07:59 AM: Message edited by: nedL ]
07-29-2003, 10:16 AM
Opened her up, and she's full of white powder and something that looks like orange peat moss.
Doesn't turn. Pistons look like they're cooked.
I have digital pictures.
07-29-2003, 10:39 AM
It doesn't sound like it's dead yet. But I would have a chaplain standing by just to be on the safe side. Keep digging and let's see the pics.
What Chales said. As for the pistons, it can be sort of common for them to be pretty black in color with the oil being burned in there. It does sound like you might be in for (at least) some significant disassembly to get things freed up. I'd start with lots of penetrating oil. Waiting for pictures.
07-30-2003, 10:57 PM
Imagestation is really bad. I can't figure this system out. I think image-posting is not quite up to other woodenboat.com standards. Hope you can at least cut and paste url.
[ 07-31-2003, 12:22 AM: Message edited by: njcoaster ]
EEW :( , not to pretty. I'd have to say it looks loke you are beyond a Saturday afternoon to get it going. Looks like it might have gotten a good bit of water in the cylinders before it was put away, or it was in a REALLY humid basement for years. Honestly, this doesn't mean that it is gone, but it will most likely require an almost complete dis-assembly & cleaning. It may take a good bit of careful work to get those pistons careefully freed up & pressed out. The pitting in the cylinder walls isn't that big a deal on a two cycle engine (not like a four cycle where it would end up burning lots of oil). You will probably find the rings are pretty well stuck in the grooves.
You are pretty much at the point where you need to decide whether you are looking to just have a servicable outboard, or do you appreciate the family history associated with it. If you just want to end up with a running outboard I think I'd suggest passing on this one. If you are interested in it also because of the sentimental family association to it, it may still be quite salvageable, but will take a bit of time & some money.
I might also suggest pulling the carburator off & taking a look in the bottom end (to see in where the crank shaft & connecting rods are), the condition in there will also give you some good information as to what might be involved.
I will mention that even if you get this running again nicely it is probably about a $75 - $125 outboard (unless it is restored to showroom condition).
[ 07-31-2003, 09:53 AM: Message edited by: nedL ]
07-31-2003, 08:41 AM
Looks almost like it was dropped in the water and not properly cleaned up afterward. From the pictures it's hard to tell. I'd try soaking everything down real good with kerosene and keep digging.
Oh yes, I just re-read "spent a decade stored under a house". That would do it.
Thinking about this a bit more & looking at the pictures, things may not be as bad as they look. (Again I said MAY not ;) ). It appears as though the pistons are far enough down in the cylinders to leave the exhaust ports open which would let wet humid air circulate though the cylinders causing all the corrosion you see in the exhaust ports (the orange stuff is probably rust from the iron piston rings). The reed valves up by the carburator should have kept the crank case fairly well sealed, so the bottom end (connecting rods & crank shaft area) may be fine. The pistons may also not be as frozen as they appear. As Charles said, start by soaking it with lots of kerosene & penetrating oil for a good while.
[ 07-31-2003, 10:07 AM: Message edited by: nedL ]
07-31-2003, 04:35 PM
Thanks for the advice. Sorry to be peevish about the picture posting. I was getting a little tired. Thanks for retrieving them.
I will soak it a little and see if it frees up, but I think ultimately I might give the project a pass. I have to conserve my hobby time. Just got plans for a Welsford light dory that I need to concern myself with. If it were a slam dunk, I'd go ahead, but it might be a lot of work to yield a not too environmentally sound and not too reliable motor.
08-01-2003, 06:49 AM
If you decide to give it a pass, I have a niece that lives in New Jersey, maybe we could work something out about getting it to me. :D
08-01-2003, 07:45 AM
Nothing looks better than an antique outboard on an outboard-designed wooden boat.
I picked up this 1957 Mercury Mark 55, 40 h.p., from Ebay. It came from Wisconsin for $285, with shipping, via UPS! It was a dreadful mess on the outside, but turns out the upper end was great. Fired right off. But spent a good bit on the lower unit, getting a nearly complete re-sealing and water system overhaul. Then had a friend who is an auto bodyman do the finish work.
The biggest problem you'll run into is finding parts, but perhaps you'll be lucky like I was on labor: The mechanic I brought it to charged me next to nothing, saying, "After working on all this new stuff, it's been a pleasure to mess with this simple, old engine."
Good luck with it.
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