After buying this 1937 Johnson PO-37 22hp outboard on E bay for 50 bucks, I spent twice that to drive from Toledo to Erie, PA to pick it up. She was tied up and not serviceable. I wasn’t sure she would be more than just a showpiece for my office at the new shop. But after my friend Scott Parish came to lend a hand, we were able to use heat and penetrating oil to get her freed up. We took the block down and everything inside was like new. She did have a cracked cylinder, but another AOMC member found out I needed a good cylinder and sent me four of them to choose from. A complete gasket set was purchased and she was rebuilt and repainted. I still love to just see her on her stand when I walk in my office. She looks so majestic. OH! Yes she does run now!!
I had the chance to do a little 3hp outboard for a customers grandson. Very satisfying to see the results below.
Perhaps the best part of restoring vintage outboards is summed up in this photo. A young man getting his rite of passage into freedom and responsibility.
A couple of neighborhood fellows showed up at the door one day I happened to be around holding this box of “parts”! They offered them to me after finding them in a basement they were cleaning out. I asked how much and they said “Nuthin’! We knew you were working on motors in here and thought you might be able to use the parts!”
As luck would have it, I began sifting through the box and realized fairly quickly someone had methodically disassembled this Johnson TD-20 and cleaned it. After two hours of reassembly, she was back in a bucket of water and running again.
Judging by her condition, not a dent in the tank…etc, I would say she was of very low hours, well taken care of, and maintained. Lots of compression and she runs pretty well!
We were asked to set up a display at the Toledo Antique and Classic Boat Show this year. So many lovely boats of every shape and size. Many of my motors were hung on the runabouts at the show. What a thrill and honor it is to see your work being displayed!
So this is what has been going on to keep me from updating the blog. My next post I hope to begin a series on how to do a full restoration from start to finish. All to often I hear people complain about the price of a full mechanical and cosmetic restoration, but if you look at the balance sheet and the reliability of a properly restored motor as compared with a similar motor of comparable horsepower, the $$ is in my favor. Besides…these motors have real style!