Archive for May, 2009

09
May
09

1956 Johnson RJE-18E “Javelin” is finished…

Last summer Ibought a pair of 1956 Johnson 30 HP motors, one that was to be scrapped and is featured in a previous post, and the one featured in this post.  It is a somewhat unusual 1956 Johnson Javelin.

Rare?  Not terribly.  But they were made for one year only and then Johnson saw fit to make this into a “Golden Javelin” which was rated for 35 HP.  When I got these motors, I really had no hope of restoring this beast to original owing to a missing  Javelin logo on the side and the front face plate that covers the carb knobs.  I assumed I would not likely find either of these items.

WRONG!

Within a month I found a fellow selling not one, but a pair of face plates on “that auction site”.  I bought both, sold one… and made most of my money back from the entire purchase.  Then I advertised on the free classified ads of the Antique Outboard Collectors http://www.aomci.org/ website for the missing “Javelin” script for the side.  At best I hoped to find one that was beaten up that would need to be rechromed.

Amazingly these guys from AMOCI are real collectors.  I had 6 calls from collectors offering from their parts bins the “Javelin” script.  Again…a one year only part, as in 1957 the script was changed.  Two of the guys had NEW OLD STOCK scripts in a pair.  I bought both NOS pairs just to have the extras.

All the chrome was sent to Chrome Masters in Nashville, Tennessee http://www.chromemasters.com/.  I spoke to Daryl who promised to do his best with these parts despite them being in rough shape.  Daryl copper dipped and buffed each piece to get rid of scrapes and blemishes, and then put them through the Chrome Master’s 3 step plating process.  I waited eagerly for six weeks, and the results were grand.  Thanks Chrome Masters!!

Here are the photos…

My Johnson Javelin with it's sister as purchased.  Notice the rather stout steel rack that came with the purchase!

My Johnson Javelin with it's sister as purchased. Notice the rather stout steel rack that came with the purchase!

In the close up, you can see the "Javelin" script is missing in the red field below the white trim.  The motor has also been painted a dull red!  Yuck!

In the close up, you can see the "Javelin" script is missing in the red field below the white trim. The motor has also been painted a dull red! Yuck!

Here is the face plate before being sent to Chrome Masters in Nashville, TN. It was beat up and had a rivet holding one of the clips on. This had to be repaired!

Here is the face plate before being sent to Chrome Masters in Nashville, TN. It was beat up and had a rivet holding one of the clips on. This had to be repaired!

The face plate I bought on Ebay had a rivet through the face of it.  This was not attractive at all.  I gave thought to using four brass screws through the front to hold the retaining clips in place.  However, with the face plate being of brass construction, it made sense to silver solder screws to the back and then fill the rivet hole with silver solder and buff and sand it flush.  After all, musical instruments are silver soldered and hold together, why not brass screws for the retaining clips?
It worked very well.
This is the back of the face plate.  You can see the clips that holds the face plate closed.

This is the back of the face plate. You can see the clips that holds the face plate closed.

 
As with its sister motor, this motor received new paint, the cylinders were bored due to scoring and NOS .020 over-sized pistons were installed.  New bearings, seals, and lower unit seals were installed.  The ignition and carb were also rebuilt.
Here’s the finished project…
DSC00436

 More photos you say?

The side shot...

The side shot...A detail photo of the "Sea Horse" that is stamped into each side plate.

Under chover of chrome, the carburator adjustments lie in balck and white.

Under chover of chrome, the carburator adjustments lie in black and white.

And a final photo of the author and his "new baby".  Pass the cigars!  A Javelin is born!

And a final photo of the author and his "new baby". Pass the cigars! A Javelin is born!