1954-1964 Evinrude Johnson 5.5 HP Tune UP Project

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A Warning About Pressurized Fuel Tanks -  These motors use pressurized fuel tanks.  Rather than sucking fuel from the tank, the dual line hose pumps air into the tank, pressurizing it to 4-7 PSI which forces fuel back to the motor.  Basically these pressurized tanks are an extremely dangerous fire or explosion danger.  CLICK HERE to learn more about these tanks and how to convert to the newer and safer fuel tanks.


"Sweetest-running Johnsons ever!"

The Johnson Seahorse 5.5 and 7.5 HP outboards were marketed as true fishing boat motors.  They sold these motors by the dozens to fishing lodges, camps, and resorts in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Canada where Ralph Evinrude and other OMC employees definitely liked to spend time.  These motors were built to be rugged, dependable, quiet, and smooth running.  With a remote gas tank that would hold enough fuel to allow you to troll for pike, lake trout, or walleye all day long, and a gear selector that shifted smoothly between forward, neutral, and reverse, this motor was definitely a hit amongst the serious fishing crowd.  People would head north for a fantastic fishing trip at one of the many lodges where they could rent a cabin and a boat for a week or two and fish, fish, fish.  Chances are your rental boat would have one of these Johnson Seahorse motors that would do it's job and get you around the lakes without any problems.  In Wisconsin, it was in the local culture that pretty much everyone had a summer cottage somewhere on a lake.  Having a 14 or 16 foot aluminum "V" hull fishing boat with a Johnson Seahorse motor was quite common.  In the 50's and 60's Jonnson/Evinrude or OMC was by far the market leader in outboard boat motors with Mercury being a distant second.  OMC was growing like crazy and demand for their motors was exploding.  Johnson Seahorse was a name that everyone knew, trusted, and wanted.  Boat shows were springing up all over the midwest and around the country.  OMC would be at every one of these shows as a major sponsor marketing Johnson motors in one area and Evinrude in the next.  OMC had some really great advertising people who developed adds that ran in Popular Mechanics, Field & Stream, and other outdoor publications, particularly in the winter months so you would definitely be primed and ready for the fishing season to begin in the spring.  Besides being the ideal fishing motor, these Johnson motors were beautiful as you can see in the ads.  The motors used by the fishing lodges were usually green, but the motors sold to individuals had some of the prettiest colors and paint jobs ever seen on a outboard motor.  This may be because OMC was nearing their 50th annivercery.

Find your model number.

1954-1964 Evinrude and Johnson 5.5 HP outboard boat motor Model Number Reference.  The model number is usually mounted on the port side of engine bracket.  Once you have the model number, find the year for your motor in the  Model Number Reference.

tune up Parts List.

Here is the list of parts you will need to tune up your 1954-1964 Evinrude and Johnson 5.5 HP outboard boat motor.

tune up Procedure.

Follow this procedure to tune up your 1952-1967 Evinrude or Johnson 3 HP outboard motor.  This page has lots of pictures, descriptions and advice on how to get these motors running well.  You will be taken step by step through the process of performing a tune up on your motor.

Actual motor ads that were for sale on e-Bay.





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