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How powerful are the Johnson v4s?

Old 10-16-2018, 05:02 PM
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Default How powerful are the Johnson v4s?

It's been a long time since I posted on this forum and I'm happy to be back

I now have a Johnson 110 V4 VRO 1987 year (My first older outboard and I'm new to the Johnson brand) and it's been well taken care of-- just the normal wear and paint fading ect.

I just want to know how powerful are these Johnson v4s--- and is it enough power to take out to open water given the currents, wind, inlets and seas? I have read that they love Fuel-- but are tough outboards. I also have read that the Looper is a much better engine...

This outboard is currently on a 16' bass boat and should push it along at a decent pace-- I'm thinking--- I haven't taken it out yet but plan on it soon...I will not be going to open water in this bass boat, but at some point i would like to put this ole Johnson on the transom of a center console

I welcome all opinions and thanks!

Last edited by buckz6319; 10-16-2018 at 05:27 PM. Reason: I will not be going to open water in this bass boat, but at some point i would like to put this ole Johnson on the transom of
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:13 PM
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It should push your 16 footer along pretty quick. Yes, it likes gas but will jump out of the hole.
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Cobia 217 View Post
It should push your 16 footer along pretty quick. Yes, it likes gas but will jump out of the hole.
I appreciate your input! good to know that!
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:18 PM
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The motor should be fine, not too sure about a 16' Bass boat and seas and inlets though!
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by noelm View Post
The motor should be fine, not too sure about a 16' Bass boat and seas and inlets though!
I appreciate your input! I failed to mention that I will not be going to open water with this bass boat but possibly in the future I will put this 110 on the transom of a Center console
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:56 PM
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Hey Buckz, you have a great engine on your hands but look at replacing all of the fuel lines including the crossover lines between the carbs. if its rubber and stock on a 1987 it is toast. you can get the crossover lines in a kit from BRP i think. They are pre bent and hard to duplicate without crimping the line.I highly recommend disabling the VRO system and mixing your own oil as this is what will kill your engine. If it has good compression and no air/fuel leaks it will probably run for a long time.Yamaha based their line on this design and have done well. Have fun and post pics of crossing inlets in your bass boat!
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:33 PM
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Sorry I double posted my 1st post

Crazy...
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Old 10-17-2018, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by nevets View Post
Hey Buckz, you have a great engine on your hands but look at replacing all of the fuel lines including the crossover lines between the carbs. if its rubber and stock on a 1987 it is toast. you can get the crossover lines in a kit from BRP i think. They are pre bent and hard to duplicate without crimping the line.I highly recommend disabling the VRO system and mixing your own oil as this is what will kill your engine. If it has good compression and no air/fuel leaks it will probably run for a long time.Yamaha based their line on this design and have done well. Have fun and post pics of crossing inlets in your bass boat!
Thanks that's good to hear. I will check out those items you mentioned. I do have a Johnson shop repair manual from Johnson.. I have thought about disabling the VRO system and read that lots of folks do that, however I'm on the fence about it, but leaning on the side that says "Do It!" . The compression on all 4 cylinders checked cold are
#1= 101
#2= 99
#3= 100
#4= 99
not the highest readings I've seen but consistent numbers across the board. I have not checked the cylinders compression under normal temperature.

I have crossed the Pompano inlet @ Hillsboro Light house quite a few time over the last few years, however it was my borrowed Boston Whaler Outrage 370 with triple Mercury Verados --- The vessel belongs to my sister and all I had to do when I wanted to use is was call Marina one and ask to have it filled up with fuel, ice and put in the slip so I could take her out however those days are gone now----------------------
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Old 10-17-2018, 03:30 PM
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Yeah, why not disable the VRO, it's worked perfectly for over 30 years, no sense in trusting it is there?
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Old 10-17-2018, 06:11 PM
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A friend of mine has one, a 90 I believe, on an 1860 tunnel hull jon boat with float pods. Runs really well. Its fast. Told me he keeps it under 40 mph now because once a stray wind caught the bow and at full speed the boat stood straight up. I'm glad I wasn't onboard for that!
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Old 10-18-2018, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by whorrall View Post
A friend of mine has one, a 90 I believe, on an 1860 tunnel hull jon boat with float pods. Runs really well. Its fast. Told me he keeps it under 40 mph now because once a stray wind caught the bow and at full speed the boat stood straight up. I'm glad I wasn't onboard for that!
Wow! well I believe that about the wind-- I've had seen some videos on overpowered sleek outboard boats that do what they call "Wheelies" looks cool but I'm sure it's hard on the outboards---

I will fire the 110 up on Saturday to hear how it runs since I changed the exhaust manifold gasket, bubble back exhaust cover gasket and installed a thermostat kit. I have also redone some wiring that had insulation and strand wire deterioration. I will check the temperature sensor alarm too-- I'm not sure if it's working or not--- I have a few other thinks to check out also.
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Old 10-18-2018, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by buckz6319 View Post
Wow! well I believe that about the wind-- I've had seen some videos on overpowered sleek outboard boats that do what they call "Wheelies" looks cool but I'm sure it's hard on the outboards---

I will fire the 110 up on Saturday to hear how it runs since I changed the exhaust manifold gasket, bubble back exhaust cover gasket and installed a thermostat kit. I have also redone some wiring that had insulation and strand wire deterioration. I will check the temperature sensor alarm too-- I'm not sure if it's working or not--- I have a few other thinks to check out also.
That's cool, I hope yours runs well. It sounds like you're doing a good job of addressing any problem areas.

I remembered another V4 after replying to your post. A friend of mine had an "88 SPL" on his Seaark 1872. The 88 was the same motor as the 90, just without oil injection, i.e. took premix fuel. That motor was majorly neglected and didn't even have a hint of a skeg left, and still did a great job on his rig.
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Old 11-01-2018, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by nevets View Post
Hey Buckz, you have a great engine on your hands but look at replacing all of the fuel lines including the crossover lines between the carbs. if its rubber and stock on a 1987 it is toast. you can get the crossover lines in a kit from BRP i think. They are pre bent and hard to duplicate without crimping the line.I highly recommend disabling the VRO system and mixing your own oil as this is what will kill your engine. If it has good compression and no air/fuel leaks it will probably run for a long time.Yamaha based their line on this design and have done well. Have fun and post pics of crossing inlets in your bass boat!
I'm getting closer to having the old girl to the lake. I appreciate your input and have replaced those thermostat hoses to each head, however i haven't see that fuel crossover line yet--- I have thought about disabling the old VRO system, however I'm on the fence about it-- I feel like it's working, but I don't know if it's original to the engine or was replaced at some point during it's life span-- is there a way to know??
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Old 11-01-2018, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by whorrall View Post
That's cool, I hope yours runs well. It sounds like you're doing a good job of addressing any problem areas.

I remembered another V4 after replying to your post. A friend of mine had an "88 SPL" on his Seaark 1872. The 88 was the same motor as the 90, just without oil injection, i.e. took premix fuel. That motor was majorly neglected and didn't even have a hint of a skeg left, and still did a great job on his rig.
that's good to know that these engines are tough! I'm still gonna be a bit leery once the time comes to take her out for the first time and hope she won't let me down, but if she does I will have my manual onboard and flag someone down for a tow if possible
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