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johnson 88 special

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  • johnson 88 special

    almost closed a deal on a boat that has a johnson 88 special- my concern is i have have 2 dealers tell me this motor isn't that reliable.. any truth to that? if so if/ when goes better to replace with something else or rebuild this one? the $10g price tag on a new outboard doesn't look that appealing to me


  • #2
    Re: johnson 88 special

    I would not be going to those dealers anymore. The 88spl is one of the most tried and true designs OMC made during its tenure. As with any used outboard, maintenence is the key, make all of the necessary checks of the motor before purchase and I am sure you will not be disapointed.
    2000 Four Winns Horizon 170
    1997 Sweetwater 180 Pontoon

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    • #3
      Re: johnson 88 special

      thats sorta was i was thinking, they told me was a cheap motor- reason why no longer produced and that never came with power trim/ tilt- had to be customer installed ... was having second thoughts about trading my 90 hp mariner outboard in on this boat.. comparing the 2 thought about equal power and the johnson at least looks lighter so decided to let the mariner go

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      • #4
        Re: johnson 88 special

        They are a great motor. Never had one personally but only hear good things about them.
        As with any used motor you should verify the condition of it before purchasing.
        sigpicMarada 2100 Executive Series, 5 Litre V8 with Mercruiser Alpha 1 outdrive. 2007 K-Z Spree 260 RBH, all = a whole lot of family fun !!!!

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        • #5
          Re: johnson 88 special

          Yes, the Spl. line of motors produced by Evinrude and Johnson were "cheaper" versions of the regular line of motors, they always did not have power t&t or oil injection and some of the other "bells and whistles" of the other motors, but they were basically the same crossflow design from the mid 1970's.
          2000 Four Winns Horizon 170
          1997 Sweetwater 180 Pontoon

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          • #6
            Re: johnson 88 special

            has power trim/ tilt..hope has oil injection

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            • #7
              Re: johnson 88 special

              Had a 1992 88spl on the back of a 17ft sea pro center console. One of the best motors I've ever dealt with. Only had to replace water pump and defectors under the heads, and thermostats. Never had to touch the carbs within 7 years of owning it. It started easy and never left us stranded, even when it was overheating. Ours had tilt/trim and no oil injection.

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              • #8
                Re: johnson 88 special

                The 88SPL was a 90 on which PT&T and oil injection were not standard equipment. It was every bit as reliable as the 90.

                That made the base price lower. You could order PT&T and oil injection but had to pay extra.

                My guess is that both dealers who lied to you had some ulterior motive, as salesmen often do.
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Re: johnson 88 special

                  i have had several of these motors over the years. great powerplant, huge torque. they are Premix Fuel motors, you have to add oil to the fuel. they difference, is the did not have the bells and whistles. just the overheat alarm, the other were not needed, due to the premix fuel. in the later years they were available with trim and tilt. they are easy to work on.

                  All of the SPL motors were basically designed to be commercial, work motors. then the recreational boater found them, when the unreliable VRO fuel pumps were introduced.

                  i would not hesitate to buy another, that passes the prepurchase inspection.
                  FLORIDA GATORS
                  TEBOW Country



                  Please, NO PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems. they will not be answered.
                  That is what these forums are for. Post your questions, in the appropriate Forum.

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                  • #10
                    Re: johnson 88 special

                    the SPL motors such as the 28, 48, 88, and 112 were not commercial motors (those were the "W" series) but these were the economy motors which had the same power as their twins in the similar sizes, but lacked the extras to keep the costs down. They even did not have zinc anodes on them.

                    The 28 used the older style lower unit, unlike the thru-hull exhaust type used by the 20,25, and 30-35 engines.

                    The 88 and 112 were the older 90° V4 crossflow blocks compared to the 90 and 115 60° looper design.

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                    • #11
                      Re: johnson 88 special

                      now we have the complete story.
                      FLORIDA GATORS
                      TEBOW Country



                      Please, NO PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems. they will not be answered.
                      That is what these forums are for. Post your questions, in the appropriate Forum.

                      Comment



                      • #12
                        Re: johnson 88 special

                        posted this same question on another site and am getting pretty well the same responses...even told a better motor than the mariner i am trading for it w/ the boat its on- sorta surprised at that! this one has the anodes but are shot.. even told has some potential for engine mods due to the similiarities with other v-4 johnsons...am sorta hoping has oil injection- when i go this week to finalize deal, i think first thing going to check out- not surprised that i sounds like the dealers i spoke to were honest with me- one was trying to sell me a new glastron with an evinude etec- said hull has lifetime warranty- went to another dealer and they told me glastron is in bankruptcy protection- if go bankrupt good luck getting hull defects covered! thanks for all the info, am learning alot lately

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                        • #13
                          Re: johnson 88 special

                          I have owned an 88spl for twenty years in south Florida,running in nothing but saltwater and all I have done is change the water pump,lower unit oil,plugs and water diverters in one head.
                          All it requires from me is a good flush after I come back to the dock,and regularly clean corroded terminals.My only regret is that I did not grease the bolt heads regularly. I can't imagine them unscrewing easily.

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                          • #14
                            Re: johnson 88 special

                            Just picked up a 96 88 special. Model number is j88tsledr
                            Dont know if it runs yet. It will turn over. Should I clean carbs, change plugs, lower unit oil, impeller, ect, before trying to start for first time. I dont know when it was last run. I'll start with fresh gas for sure. Also, what mix should i use? Is 50-1 the way to go or is this motor better with a different mix. Oh yeah, what brand oil do you evinrude/johnson guys recommend.
                            Thanks

                            Comment



                            • #15
                              Re: johnson 88 special

                              As with any motor that is new to you, it would be best to follow the following: http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=158086

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