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Engine question-- 1982 Evinrude 35 vs 1989 Johnson

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  • Engine question-- 1982 Evinrude 35 vs 1989 Johnson

    I have a choice between 2 engines for my whaler-- a 1982 Evinrude 35hp (electric, no pull start) and a Johnson 1989 2 stroke 25 hp with electric/pull.
    We would be using the whaler for short trips, and potentially tubing/waterskiing kids (skinny kids!).

    I am very new to boating so apologies if these questions are dumb!
    1) According to Nada, each engine weighs 114 pounds. I guess this may be possible due to same machine but different modifications but wanted to make sure this made sense. The hope is that I can pull the motor off by myself and put it on beach wagon up to my yard when beached, so weight is relevant.

    2) Is not having a pull start a big deal, and is it worth it to buy the cord and different top to have a pull start? Reliability is important to me, and if electric breakdowns are common enough that pull starts can be handy, that would matter to me.

    3) All things being equal, is there any reason not to do the 35hp then?

    Thank you very much in advance!

  • #2
    I would go with the 89 motor it has a much improved lower unit. The only drawback to the 89 is the ignition system which is easily upgraded. And much cheaper than a lower unit, and buying a hood and recoil starter. Putting a recoil on is not as straight forward as it seems because you should put the safeties on it. Neither of those motors is going to pull a tube well. Both should pull a small skier ok. The weight will be the same essentially the same motor as the 25 is just a de-tuned 35 hp.


    • #3
      So what features make the 89 lower unit " much improved " over the 82 model ??


      • #4
        Originally posted by racerone View Post
        So what features make the 89 lower unit " much improved " over the 82 model ??
        The clutch dog in 89 has 3 jaws instead of the 82 model which has a 2 jaw. That is a much stronger and better set up. I dont believe that came out until at least 85. I could be wrong but if not that is the better set-up. Especially if the ops kids are beginner skiers, because that involves a lot of shifting. If I am wrong I would still buy the 89 model.
        Last edited by flyingscott; May 15th, 2019, 07:01 AM.


        • #5
          Agreed ----But with used motors condition and hrs of use is all important.


          • #6
            Originally posted by racerone View Post
            Agreed ----But with used motors condition and hrs of use is all important.
            I do not disagree with that at all. I just gave the facts and my opinion.
            The OP asked all things being equal which one would be better. I feel the 25 hp will fit his needs better. He does not mention hrs of use or condition so I gave him my opinion on what he asked. Not to mention the 25 will have a much better resale value because of the electric and manual start. Test drive both and make sure.both are good and buy tje best deal.


            • #7
              Yes, indeed. My job to see which motors in better shape, hours of use and weigh those factors. Your answer was what I wanted to know, as I am pretty unfamiliar with this, knowing the engine change and difficulty of manual start really tips it towards the 25hp to me, all things being equal. Much appreciated!


              • #8
                A fresh coat of wax/paint can make any engine look better/good. Compression tests are only a glimpse as to an engine's internal condition, and a flush and refill of gear lube can hide Gearcase problems.


                • #9
                  Test drive is the only way to know what you are getting


                  • #10
                    Thank you all. I am deciding between 2 very similar 13' whalers from different individuals, one has the 82 engine, the other the 89 engine. I will do my very best to do a test drive on each but in the event that this isn't possible, is there a compression tester I can get inexpensively (amazon)? It is hard for me to figure out if those compression tester work for outboards.



                    • #11
                      A compression tester is a compression tester.--------No difference between them for your 4 stroke lawn mower.-----Your outboards.-----Or your Rolls-Royce motor car.


                      • #12
                        You can rent a compression tester for free at most major auto parts stores. Accuracy is sometimes questionable, but they will show dead cylinders and cylinder compression variance.

                        A test drive is best.
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                        • #13
                          Now.you are talking a package deal that is different than just motors. If you cant test drive walk away. The boat is as important as the motor how do you know it doesnt leak.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by remarksf View Post
                            I have a choice between 2 engines for my whaler-
                            Post #1

                            I am deciding between 2 very similar 13' whalers from different individuals,
                            Later post

                            A bit confusing as it sounded like you already owned a boat and were looking to pair with either of two motors....then it seems that the boat/motor are already matched.

                            Not sure where you are going with this....split them up somehow and then assemble the best combo or just select the better pair?

                            As stated, a test drive is vital....and be really particular about the boat.

                            You know that you are a very poor driver when Siri says : "In 1/4 mile pull over and let me out...."


                            • #15
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                              Full disclosure is that I am in the market for buying a boat (13' whaler) and there are two choices. The boats are similar enough (it seems) that my decision will likely be determined by the motor (one has the 25hp, the other the 35hp). So I won't be able to "split up and assemble" but will hopefully buy the best package. I will do the checks I need to on each boat and there is a chance that the differences in boat steers me to the "less ideal" motor, but wanted to know which motor was better for my needs. (weight and horsepower and overall engine quality)

                              Apologies for any confusion; not trying to deceive but was trying to phrase the question in a way that would help me understand the differences in the motors, which was my goal at the onset. Since then, thanks to you all, I gotten additional advice that is really helpful. Definitely need to test drive each, something that I didn't know how crucial it was.