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erps 02-26-2008 11:46 AM

1990 Johnson 3 hp outboard
Looking for some information. I have an '90 Johnson 3 hp motor I bought used. I think a knob is missing for adjusting the fuel mixture but the parts manual doesn't show one (just a knob for the choke/fuel shut off)

Does anyone else have one of these motors? and if so, does it have a mixture knob or do you have to use a screw driver?


SVDistantStar 02-26-2008 03:15 PM

You use a screw driver. Any info you need on this motor, just ask me, pretty much know them inside and out. I have a couple of parts motors if you need any parts for them. Im guessing it looks like the one in the picture?

SVDistantStar 02-26-2008 03:19 PM

Another quick hint of advice on that motor. Ive found that if you screw the mixture screw in all the way and then back it out 1-1/2 turns it will pretty much always run right. Sometimes a little bit of tweaking is needed, but in most cases its not.

I will say that you've got a good little motor, but if you have never run one of them, your in for a little surprise as it has the power of most 5hp motors being a twin cylinder. Just remember its got points for the ignition, so keep them clean and shiny.

erps 02-26-2008 03:27 PM

Thanks. I've used it a few years now putt-putting around in a slow dinghy. I tested it out on a porta-bote last weekend and it got it up on a plane. I adjusted the mixture so it sounded sweet after it warmed up and then parked it. When we tried to go to shore for an evening campfire later, of course it ran way to lean and trying to hit that darn mixture screw in the dark was tricky. Darn it, they should have a knob like the older 3 hp Sea Horse I had.

T34C 02-26-2008 04:25 PM

Mine actually has 2 knobs. 1 each for fast and slow adjustment. (Of course mine may be slightly different than yours, since it is circa 1958;) )

SVDistantStar 02-26-2008 08:12 PM

T34C, the carbs are a bit different, but the basic motor is the same. Ive got a couple of oldies and im about to restore the cowling from one of them to go on my 1991(the one in the pic).

On the newer ones, there is no knob, but there is a high speed mixture adjustment screw. It is a bit of a pain to hit if the motor is running, or its dark.

I love the older 2cyl small motors. Ive got the 1991 Johnson on the back of an Avon inflatable and it will plane off with just me in it. Ive also got a 2001 Nissan 3.5 and it wont plane the Avon at all. The extra cylinder gives it that little bit of an edge.

T34C 02-26-2008 10:30 PM

I wish I had an excuse to get something newer, but the damned thing keeps on running. That moter could beat the crap out of that energizer bunny!

SVDistantStar 02-26-2008 11:02 PM

T34C, i don't doubt that motor will be running for years to come. Mine has seen the bottom of a pond a couple of times and still kicks.

What a sad sight

pilote 04-23-2008 06:04 PM

an '89 johnson 3hp
i picked up the 1989 model of this 3hp johnson (looks in exactly the same condition as the pictures above). it starts, but it has issues; it won't go into gear after turning the shift handle. actually, it did go into gear the first (and last time) i had it in a lake only after banging down on it "on the tilt", otherwise it would have been an embarrassing tow back to shore. also it couldn't sustain itself at low revs...

question: is this gear/linkage problem relatively easy to fix? i already ordered a shop manual as i am planning on rebuilding the carb, ignition parts, head gasket, and maybe impeller (i miss anything?).

any advice regarding this ouboard will be greatly appreciated...


erps 04-23-2008 07:03 PM

There really wasn't much to the lower end to go wrong. My guess is when you take it apart it will either be a linkage problem or a sheared pin on the propellor.

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