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Bought some toons, want to swap motors, its gonna be good times!

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  • Bought some toons, want to swap motors, its gonna be good times!

    I have searched and did lots of reading and see everyone always says "just get the matching controls". Thats to easy for me, I like complicated. lol

    So here is my situation. I bought a pontoon with a 95 120hp omc on it basically just for the motor. Then I bought a nice pontoon with an old 87 tower of power 90hp merc on it. The merc is not the original motor to the toon and I am unsure what was originally on it. The toon with the johnson has a side mount control box. The toon we are keeping that has the merc has built in controls, binnacle top mount and built in separate ignition and whatnots.

    I am thinking it should be easy to keep the ignition but am wondering about the binnacle and gauges. The cables on the binnacle look new and the shifting doesn't feel right for the merc. This has me wondering if just the cables were switched to accommodate the merc from whatever motor was on the toon originally (might have been an omc). Like I said I do have the control box for the omc but it is a side mount, I am again curious if the cables can be swapped to the binnacle if the binnacle has the right gear throw and throttle control?

    Next question is the gauges. The only real gauge that interacts with the motor is the tach it seems. I do have to look again closer if there are warning lights and whatnot in the gauge. The other gauges (that I can remember) are just volts, speedo, trim (which isn't hooked up), depth, and something else irrelevant. Now personally I don't see the tach being an issue as all it should be picking up is a pulse from an ignition wire yes? I do have the gauges from the OMC toon but they are black face and the gauges on the merc toon are white face. I don't want to mix them.

    The steering cable I haven't measured anything yet but appears to have the same size nut and shaft on both. I feel this will be the least of my issues.


    Now some stuff on the toon we are keeping that has the merc. Like I said I am unsure what the original motor was or why they swapped on an old 87 tower of problems. The bolt pattern in the stern from the original motor has a 'V' pattern and was wider at the top than the merc. The wiring coming into the motor was hacked off and redone to accommodate the old merc. The TNT on the merc has been eliminated I assume because it didn't work. And the fuel line has been hacked off and direct plumbed to the fuel pump.

    I looked quickly (have to look closer yet) but can't find any tell tale names on any of the cables, lines, or controls to tell me what was originally on the toon. The binnacle does have something on it (forget right now, again will have to look and write it down) but it was not omc or quicksilver, I believe it says something like FAL. Nothing on the steering wheel, just the toons name. Also no name on the fuel line, and like I said the shift/throttle cables have been replaced with new.


    I am well mechanically and electrically inclined and have full machining capabilities in my shop so not much scares me. Yeah I can buy all new stuff but I like to save money when I can.

    I do plan to swap the merc onto the other toon and sell it when I am done. Because that one is a side mount control I will have to find a merc control box for that one. Thats another day though.

    Thanks for your help!

  • #2
    I think you'll figure out the wiring. There are universal usage color codes in play to make that much easier. Not hard to find with a Google search.
    The steering is a non event as you suspect.
    I'm curious about the shift and throttle cables. Not sure what you're going to run into there, but my bet is you'll need to change them. The binnacle mount control, is it Teleflex, some other aftermarket, or is it Mercury? If aftermarket, thinking you can get the right cables. If it's Mercury, it'll be interesting to see how you make out. Will be following to see.

    The things we go through to get where we want to be..... Best of luck on your projects!
    Last edited by ahicks; April 24th, 2017, 10:16 AM.

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    • #3
      Thanks for replying!

      I took another look this morning while leaving for work and did find "Quicksilver" on the top of the binnacle in smaller print. So that being that I will most likely just look for a replacement binnacle for an omc. Also because of that I may take a closer look at the donor toon console to see if there is room in a convenient location for the binnacle. I will then sell the omc side mount controls I have to pay for the new (used) omc binnacle.

      With the quick look this morning I still see no mention of anything on the gauges. Am I right in my assumption that the tach shouldn't be an issue to wire in on the omc?

      Maybe this deal won't turn out to be as hard as I thought. If everything goes as planned right now I should be able to get it all done with little to no cash invested
      Last edited by jbcurt00; April 24th, 2017, 06:34 PM.

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      • #4
        My experience would match yours regarding the tach. Get the number of pulses set right and you're in business. The rest of the gauges shouldn't care what brand engine is in use.

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        • #5
          Some pictures, I like pictures, I am sure some of you do to.

          The new toon, needs some cleaning but is in over all great condition!



          The 'Tower of power' they say. I was able to run it on the muffs the other day and it does seem to run fairly well. Soon I will water test it before pulling it off for the swap to OMC.

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          • #6
            Some new things today.

            I brought home the toon with the donor motor (120hp 1994 johnson) and swapped the motor onto the "new" toon. My findings suggest this toon did originally have an omc motor. The plug at the controls to the dash gauges was an omc plug. The original bolt pattern for the motor was a perfect match to the 120 johnson when I put it on. There were new holes drilled for the merc to fit. I also found the fuel line ahead of the motor section is OMC line.

            Steering shaft like talked about was a non issue. Motor bolted right up, just have the wire harness, cables, and fuel line to run.

            Will the control cables from the OMC side mount work on a binnacle mount? Or does the binnacle use different cables?

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            • #7
              Good used omc binnacle with wire harness and too short of cables on the way. I plan to pull the key and tether out of the binnacle and move them to the remote ignition spot that is already drilling in the console. I also ordered an omc ignition and tether bezel for this. I will have to figure out a way to eliminate the holes in the binnacle where the key and tether were. It looks to be a flat area where they were so it shouldn't be to hard to cut out a piece of black plastic and weld it in (have a plastic welder) and clean it up.

              If the cables will work from my old side mount controls in the new binnacle I should have all I need now. At least I think. haha

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              • #8
                Pretty sure OMC cables will work binnacle vs. side control. Where you get into trouble is when the binnacle is aftermarket (e.g. Teleflex, Morse, etc.).

                Sounds like things are working out well on your project(s)!

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the reply hicks! I have been looking and can't find any mention of them being different anywhere. However I finally pulled all the controls and cables out of both toons today and the omc cables are 13' where the merc cables (from the new toon) were 18'. The merc cables were maybe a foot to long but no where near the 5' difference between the two. So I will have to order new cables as well. Not a big deal as cables aren't that much money and having new is nice. I will be able to recoup some of the costs when I sell my left overs after I get both toons swapped out.

                  I ran the fuel line today, oil line, and power TNT wires from the motor up to the console. Got rid of the wire mess from the conversion to merc and cleaned up some loose ends. It was funny, even though there is a fuse block and ground block under the dash the people that did the merc conversion ran wires all the way from the battery to the controls to have power and ground. Also the one omc plug that they used in the merc conversion had its pins bent over so it wasn't even making a connection. What a riot!

                  Just have to wait for the binnacle to come in and new cables and I should be able to button it up and see if everything works. I unscrewed and pulled the dash cluster out because I assume I will need to fix some wires and lights and whatnot. I also need to wire in the trim gauge.

                  There was no filter on the oil line. Every other omc outboard that I have worked on or seen always had some sort of white plastic "section/filter" in line just before the pump. Is that filter or just a splice/sight glass connection? Should there be a filter on the oil line before the pump?

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                  • #10
                    My 40hp VRO setup did not use a filter there. The only oil filter it had was in the tank.

                    I have mixed emotions regarding the VRO oil injection system. It's nice when working but if anything fails, the engine is toast. With the age of that pump being what it is, it's past due for a rebuild - and I think you'll find that's price prohibitive.

                    Bottom line, I bit the bullet and removed the one on the 40. I don't mind mixing the fuel at all given the options.... -Al

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                    • #11
                      I as well (and I think many of us) have mixed emotions with the vro. However we are running 4 vro motors and only had trouble with one so far and that was years ago when it was newer. Since it had a new vro installed its been good as well. All the motors are from the 90's and I have yet to rebuild any of the vros. Like you mention they want crazy prices for a couple diaphragms.

                      Since I had to unhook the oil line on this motor I will be running mix for awhile anyhow. I will be paying close attention to the oil usage and decide whether or not I will trust it. The vro does appear to have been replaced at some point as it does have a "newer look". I know there are something like 3 different variations of the pump based on upgrades that were made to them over the years. I am going to do some reading to see if I can figure something out.

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                      • #12
                        I dont under stand the transom hole thing....motor clamps were standardized years and years ago. Long before that toon was made
                        '47 18' CC Utility "Knock On Wood"
                        Various Evinrude powered Pontoons all named "Floosy"

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                        • #13
                          Harder to steal that way I guess?

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                          • #14
                            Finally the new to me controls have came in yesterday. They look to be in great condition. The new control cables of hopefully the right length should be in today so I should be able to move forward with finishing up the repower.

                            I received the new ignition bezel and mounted it in the old merc ignition remote spot on the console. I did have to open up the hole some because the new bezel is a two spot (ignition and tether). Now I am left with a hole yet from the separate merc tether switch that was below the ignition spot. I am thinking of getting one of those battery switches you would normally see on the back (or inside) of a racecar to mount in that spot and use it to kill the power to the console. That way too I won't have to worry as much if a light is left on somewhere or the radio or things like that. Just turn the power off to everything. Not that pontoons get stolen much around me but it is also another form of theft prevention.

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                            • #15
                              Sign up today
                              Everything has came in. Started in on the wiring for the motor. I then found the boat side of the gauge harness is the omc 5 pin female, the wire harness side is a 3 wire omc with the other two wires needed for the 5 pin running in the trim harness.


                              That deal got me into digging into where the wires ran to... Then I started finding a wiring mess. Not only the previous owner repower with the merc rewiring but all sorts of what seems "quick fixes" over the years. I started pulling extra wires, fixing mostly just bad contacts (reason for many of the extra wires), and found the trim gauge to be bad. I quit for the night once it got dark. I have a few more wires and a couple plugs to eliminate, some cleaning up of the wires that are needed, and I should be able to fire the motor on muffs tomorrow.

                              Exciting stuff.

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