Tag Archives: Johnson 9.9hp

my motor pees!

It’s 5 days to launch – I have two motors, but as of yesterday neither was working. I was getting a bit stressed-out as I need to retrieve my tender and move the boat to it’s mooring. It’s not a long trip from launch to mooring, about 10 minute motor, but I don’t want to paddle, and getting towed seems somehow – sad.

pump and impeller look good

The ancient (1982) Johnson 9.9hp was running but no cooling water was flowing. The previous owner said it was running fine two years ago…. but I was afraid potential purchasers might have run the engine dry and damaged the impeller.

A teardown revealed a good looking impeller, my guess is the copper feed tube wasn’t seated properly in the seal on top of the pump. If you look in the photo you can see it looks damaged from the tube sitting on the lip.

folded seal -just above screwdriver

I gave a blast of compressed air through the tube and it blew out the pee hole indicating no blockage in the waterjacket.

I put it back together, filled the garbage can with water and viola! it started immediately, settled down to a nice idle.

Phew. Who knew a peeing motor could be so relieving.

I am greatly indebted to LeeRoy Wisner’s awesome Johnson website for its factual and anecdotal information on keeping old Johnson outboards alive.

That afternoon, I went down and put the rudder on, and finished the bottom paint under the support pads and on the rudder.

final touches on bottom paint

Blast Off

I’ve been slowly working on my sandblasting capabilities, so far I’ve got:

  • a exterior vented cabinet 3/4 complete* that serves as a small paint booth/fume hood/sandblasting cabinet. Made from a repurposed aluminum frame. (*of course it’s the front/door that’s not finished, I sealed the box with duct tape and the gloves were a bit leaky… still have tiny beads rolling on the floor)
  • the blasting pot (Princess Auto)
  • big ol’ bags of glass beads & green glass, maybe some walnut shells will follow
  • bigger compressor was a score from helping a friend remove equipment from a closing business (thanks Seb!)

Looking at the prop on my 1981 Johnson Sailmaster 9.9hp, I noticed it was corroded and covered with zebra muscle goo and oxide etc. a prime candidate for a blasting test with my new old-compressor.

It appears that the previous owner didn’t have a sacrificial anode as the prop and the gearbox (lower unit) have blisters and a fair bit of corrosion. I can’t seem to find where the anode would go… on later models it bolts onto the cavitation plate – but on this unit there aren’t any bolt-holes so perhaps it wasn’t used…

My cabinet’s media return is a bit rudimentary – dust pan & whisk, funnel. Here is the blaster in action.

I entertained notions of refurbishing the motor with clear coat and spiffy decals – however seeing as I’ve got three unrestored motorcycles in my garage, I thought I should stick to my self imposed rule of “only do what is needed”. Determining the the prop needs a fresh coat of paint – I did what was needed. Blasted it, primed it with zinc chromate and three coats of black Tremclad.

I plan to sand down the lower unit and give it a coat of paint. Sandblasting isn’t an option as 1.) the motor doesn’t fit into my cabinet 2.) I’m worried about getting grit into the intake 3.) the oxide isn’t like rust, I don’t need to be aggressive in removing every bit of corrosion, just need to seal the surface.