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Evinrude 110 with lack of low-mid range power.

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  • Evinrude 110 with lack of low-mid range power.

    I have had a good look on the forum but can't find an answer to the problems I am having.
    I recently changed the outboard on my boat to an Evinrude 110 V4 VRO 1987 and the main problem that I am experiencing with the new engine is a lack of low-mid range power to push the boat up onto the plane, although the engine idles fine. When you throttle on the outboard will sit at about 2200rpm labouring and can be a little smoky, pumping the fuel primer and varying the amount of throttle has no effect. I can get the boat up on the plane by getting any passengers to move to the front of the boat (the anti ventilation plate is level with the bottom of the boat). Once up on the plane and the engine is above 3000rpm it seems to perform well and will push the boat up to 40+ mph.
    The first thing I did was buy a Clymer manual and have cleaned a load of glue like gunk from the main and idle jets in the carbs, replaced the plugs and leads and had a go at syncing up the timing (not sure how good a job I made of this) but the problem persists. I also did a compression test, I don't have figures as the needle on my tester is damaged, although all cylinders produced very similar results.

    The other strange problem I have had is that after a minute or so the oil warning buzzer will sound. If I then pump the fuel primer the buzzer will stop, then after another minute or so start again. I have tried a fuel can with a pipe directly into the engine (to ensure it wasn't a problem with the fuel tank or lines) but the same problem occurs, at idle or high rpm!?!

    I also thought I had a problem with the regulator/rectifier as the battery wasn't charging. I did the tests which pointed to the problem being with the reg but the battery has since started charging again. Another related problem is that the tacho works intermittantly, sometimes it will drop to zero sometimes it will go to the stop in the other direction (and I don't mean when I stop the engine and rev it up, for any jokers out there ).

    The outboard currently has a 17" ali prop on it, I have also purchased a 19" and 21" prop from Ebay that I am waiting to try on the boat.

    The boat is currently at my local chandlers but I am not confident he will be able to fix the problem as he is more of a Mercury/Mariner specialist than an Evinrude one. Also he has had it for 2 weeks and hasn't even looked at it yet.

    Any suggestions will be greatfully received.
    Sorry for the long post, but wanted to put as much detail in as I could.
    16' Ring
    Evinrude 110HP V4 VRO 1987
    Foot Throttle

  • #2
    Re: Evinrude 110 with lack of low-mid range power.


    When it does get up on plane what is your wot rpm's. They should be 5000-5500 rpm's, the closer to 5500 the better. Unfortunately the props that you have coming will only make your problem worse, sorry to tell you that. The higher the pitch prop the lower the rpm's. When it comes to determining the motor ht. on the transom. There is some trial and research to dertermine the best ht. If you raise it up too high it will begin to cavitate on fast starts or sharp turns, that is too high. But that is the close to where you want to be. I raised mine 1.5" and I gained 400 rpm so it does not take alot.

    What motor had you been using? What was your experience with it?


    • #3
      Re: Evinrude 110 with lack of low-mid range power.

      When you say you pump the fuel primer and the beep stops, do you mean the bulb on the oil tank reservoir?


      • #4
        Re: Evinrude 110 with lack of low-mid range power.

        When you say you did the sync timing. Do you mean the link and sync or did you actually change the timing?


        • #5
          Re: Evinrude 110 with lack of low-mid range power.

          You said you cleaned the jets - did you remove and clean the entire carburetor, or just the plugs over the jets. Sounds like the carbs need a thorough rebuilding...
          - Scott
          Share A Project Page for 1971 GW Invader Banchie 13
          Share A Project Page for 1976 American 18
          Share A Project Page for 1974 American 15


          • #6
            Re: Evinrude 110 with lack of low-mid range power.


            There are others here with tremendously more experience than myself, but you may be dealing with several issues and each will need to be dealt with. Upon further thought if this were my engine I would want to tackle the no oil signal first, because if you fix the rest and you don't have the correct oil mixture you will end up with a engine needing an entire re-build.
            First I suggest looking for possible loose fittings on any fuel lines and more important in this case any oil lines. The vro gets a pulse from the crankcase, if that pulse hose is not a tight fit, it needs to be. It connects to what is called a pulse limiter which is screwed into the crankcase, it needs to be clear, not plugged. Another possibility to restrict oil is a filter that rests in the bottom of the oil reserve tank. If you pull it out to inspect it, you'll need to mix oil in your gas @ 50:1 until you can tell the oil is being used in the tank. The reason is that when you pull out the filter you may get air in the line so you need to be sure any air bubbles have been worked out. If you want to know how the vro works go here, http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/VRO.html

            There is always the possibilty that you have a faulty VRO. I suggest starting with the above and see if you can make progress.

            One suggestion on the battery charging issue. Clean and I mean clean the cable terminals and the battery posts. I used steel wool remove all discoloration. I have since cut off the rings on the cables and installed car battery type connectors because I got tired of corrosion on those rings.

            I hope this helps you,


            • #7
              Re: Evinrude 110 with lack of low-mid range power.

              Hi, Thanks for the replies.
              The WOT rpm is about 6000, though I do question the accuracy of the tacho. The other props I have purchased are really for when the engine is sorted. I was running a Mercury 75HP previously with a 17" ali prop, the same pitch that is currently on the Evinrude, so would expect the Evinrude to need a larger pitch prop, the boat is only a 16' Ring. The Merc would push the boat up to about 35mph. I read somewhere that a good rule of thumb was that each extra inch of pitch lowers the WOT rpm by 150 to 200 rpm.
              It is actually pumping the fuel tank bulb that stops the buzzer, not the oil tank bulb strangely enough!?!?
              It was the link and sync that I did.
              I removed both carbs, removed the float chamber and the main and idle jets from each and throughly cleaned them. Some were totally clogged with a sticky glue like substance.
              The battery terminals have been cleaned with a wire brush and grease applied, I have also installed quick release battery terminals but the charging problem was there before this and I suspect quite intermittant.
              16' Ring
              Evinrude 110HP V4 VRO 1987
              Foot Throttle


              • #8
                Re: Evinrude 110 with lack of low-mid range power.

                The advice that I recently received here was when cleaning the carbs, cleaner by itself and air pressure can not clean suffeciently. If you havn't already done this you really need to run a steel wire through every port, orifice, and jet on the carb. Every single one. It sounds like yours was really bad so if you didn't do this I think you need to.

                By the way was this engine in storage for sometime before you got it? It sounds like it.

                6000 rpm's sounds a bit high. I thought your 110 and my 90 were the same @ 5500 recomended max.

                This post came to me from Joe Reeves some specifics pertain to my Evinrude90 but the general info. is the same.:

                Dennis.... All of the jets and passageways pertaining to fuel are conmmon to the high speed jet as fuel must pass thru the high speed jet before it can travel to the other areas.

                In the above, I say pertaining to fuel due to the fact that the jets that are installed at the top front area of the carburetors at a angle are "Air Bleed" jets that meter air, not fuel. However, since the air being metered is mixed with the fuel, those jets could also be considered common.

                On the 1988 90hp Evinrude/Johnson, the jets are as follows:

                Idle Air Bleed Jets (4) = Screwed in at an angle in the top forward portion of the upper carburetor body = .034 (Marked as 34)

                Intermediate Speed Jets (4) = Screwed in straight down in the float body = .026 (Marked as 26C)

                High Speed Jets (4) = located in the center bottom portion of the float chamber = .056 (Marked as 56C)

                I'd suggest that you double check the locations of all of the jets. Also, if you didn't actually clean the high speed jets with a piece of single atrand steel wire, do so as merely soaking them in solution and/or blowing them out with air doesn't do the job thoroughly.

                Note that simply blowing a carburetor out with presurized air does nothing to a fouled carburetor. That one small bit of gum causing a restriction will absolutely resist any amount of air you could apply to it.

                (Carburetor Cleaning)
                (J. Reeves)

                If you do not have a regular carburetor cleaning solution container, a very reasonably priced one can be found at many automotive type stores. Should there be a "Advanced Auto Parts" store near you (Formerly Discount Auto), they have a one (1) gallon container (resembles a one gallon paint can) that contains the carburetor cleaning solvent and it even contains a parts basket. Last price I saw on that item was only $10.00 and was under the "Gunk" brand name.

                Remove and dismantle the carburetor completely. Remove any rubber, plastic or nylon parts that may be attached to it as cleaning solvent will attack that material. Clean the carburetor thoroughly, not only soaking it in the solvent, but also cleaning it manually wherever needed with whatever tool or piece or wire etc might be required. Solvent alone, although it does a great job, sometimes doesn't get it all. Check your parts manual closely so as not to miss various parts that might create a problem..... such as the small nylon bushing/bearing that exists on the tip of some slow speed needle valves.

                Use a complete carburetor rebuilding kit when assembling the carburetor. Using old gaskets etc is a no go unless they were recently purchased and a second look, double checking ones work is in the process.

                Carburetor kits usually come with extra parts that would pertain to other carburetors


                • #9
                  Re: Evinrude 110 with lack of low-mid range power.

                  I concur with Dennisanoka. You'd probably ought to tackle the oil alarm matter first. In your initial posting you said while you are "bogged" at 2200 RPM it gets a little smokey. Then you say you have an oil alarm after a minute or so which you can clear by pumping the fuel bulb. I'm not that familiar with that engine and the oil alarm, but could it actually be a sensor detecting overheating? Pumping the fuel bulb would seem to indicate the engine may be running lean which can increase the temperature. You indicated "gunk" in the carb which may still be around causing some fuel starving. Add a weak water pump (or other cooling problems) and it might be enough to push it over the edge and cause some smoking. If I use my imagination a little, overheating along with a lean fuel mixture might also be your holeshot problem.


                  • #10
                    Re: Evinrude 110 with lack of low-mid range power.

                    The warning horn tone sequence tells if a problem is occurring while operating the engine. A rapid on–off sound is a "no oil flow" indication. One beep every 20 to 40 seconds is a low oil level in the remote tank. Of course a steady tone at all speeds is an overheat condition.


                    • #11
                      Re: Evinrude 110 with lack of low-mid range power.

                      Sorry for the loooong delay in posting an update but the engine was with a chandler who cleaned the carbs(again) and did a link and sync(again) and I have now since taken the boat out a couple of times and the problem is exactly the same!?!?! I have also now had the opportunity to try a few higher pitch props which have lowered the wot revs a bit (about 5700) but I really want to sort out the main getting onto the plane problem before worrying too much about props.
                      I have also now gone onto pre-mix just to assure myself the engine is getting the correct amount of oil.
                      An interesting workaround to the problem seems to be that if I accelerate away with the steering on full lock the boat will come up onto the plane and I can them straighten the boat out!?!? Another problem is that the engine seems to be using an awful lot of fuel.....one of my friends has a 21'cat with a 6.4l V8 in it and I am using the same amount of fuel as him which can't be right!! It seems to be using about 65l a day
                      I'm beginning to wonder if the problem may be that the engine is too low on the boat or something. The anti ventilation plate is currently level with the bottom of the boat.

                      Any advise is greatly appreciated.
                      16' Ring
                      Evinrude 110HP V4 VRO 1987
                      Foot Throttle


                      • #12
                        Re: Evinrude 110 with lack of low-mid range power.

                        did you ever find out what the problem was or resolve this issue? I am having the IDENTICAL symptoms/problems.....


                        • #13
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                          Re: Evinrude 110 with lack of low-mid range power.

                          An intermittent/erratic tach is a sign of a bad rectifier. A bad rectifier will not charge the battery properly and will not send the correct signal to the tach. Time to replace it. Not sure if your stated tach readings are actual, if you have a faulty rectifier. A boat that is hard to plane may have bad compression. What are your compression numbers on the engine? You need to insure the compression is OK before you put any real $ into it.