60HP Johnson VRO

 Hi I have a 5m Quintrex powered by an oil injected, 1998 2 stroke Johnson, has always been relaible until yesterday when it would not start at the ramp, gave up after 3 attempts, and spark plug change, dragged it out and took it to my boat mechanic, who texted me with pictures of what he found, apparently the oil/fuel mixture pump had failed, and the carbies were full of oil, insted of fuel/oil mix, I trust this guy, as he has been servicing my motor for quite a while, The options he gave me to get the donk going again, were


1. discnnect the oil to the motor and mix my own fuel.   

2. Replace the pump with a new one.

The engine has 135psi on all cylinders, so is still good, and has been running ok, trouble is, a mate of mine disconnected the oil to his motor, and eventually blew his engine, he said the oil/fuel mix goes off in the tank if you don't use it for a couple of months, and he thinks that is why he lost his engine.

Well don't want to be bothered trying to mix 2 stroke before putting it in tank, which is a 60LT underfloor tank , and also not being sure if I have the right mix, soooo... I am getting my mechanic to replace the pump, cost $850 for pump, with labour $1200...ouch! But cheaper that a new motor.

Anyone else had this happen?




Brock O's picture

Posts: 2082

Date Joined: 11/01/08

Phuk the VRO off...after

Wed, 2018-12-05 13:06

Phuk the VRO off...after market pumps are cheap and easy to fit...I've downloaded a basic fuel oil app and add the oil every time i add the fuel.

rtomkyns78's picture

Posts: 80

Date Joined: 13/09/13

 I had a 2000 Johnson 2

Wed, 2018-12-05 14:44

 I had a 2000 Johnson 2 stroke 30hp motor on a previous boat which worked well for a while then the fuel pump died, the motor ran hot, an alarm went off and basically had to limp the boat home a fair distance. I spoke to my mechanic and that problem happens often with Johnson motors apparently, bit of a design flaw. I began pre mixing fuel with that motor and eventually sold the boat. The new boat has a 1996 Mercury 50hp 2 stroke, due to a damaged part that runs the fuel pump I have been premixing fuel for about 6 years without any problems (65L underfloor tank). The only issue is that when the boat is idling it can smoke a bit because it only requires a 100:1 fuel /oil mix, while when in full operation at higher revs the motor requires a higher ratio of 50:1. The oil pump supplies the right ratio according to the revs of the engine but pre-mixing at 50:1 for all that time has not had any real issues. $1200 bucks is alot to spend on a 20yr old 60hp motor but you know what they say BOAT actually stands for Bring Out Another Thousand.

Posts: 79

Date Joined: 10/11/15

 thanks for your input mate,

Wed, 2018-12-05 15:19

 thanks for your input mate, I know it is a fair bit of cash, but what do you do? A new motor will set me back a lot more than that, ok the motor is old, but it has not had a hard life, the Johnson people have said that premixing may end it's life prematurely, as I might not always get the mix right, and the new pumps are better designed to deliver the correct flow to the engine, I have told him to go ahead and fix it, I am retired and it's not too much bother fortunatley, and yes BOAT really means that, I have had 5 of them.

ranmar850's picture

Posts: 2393

Date Joined: 12/08/12

Removing the VRO pump has been popular

Wed, 2018-12-05 15:47

 There was a big thing years ago where people would just take the VRO pump off "before it failed" ( as if they all would fail)--it worked OK for those old  Johnsons, due to lubrication arrangement for the bottom end. But then some people thought it was a good thing to do in general, and started killing motors because they didn't realise that the oil pump in some designs was supposed to be pumping oil direct to the crank bearings, instead of relying on the premix. There goes your bottom end--people thought the VRO principle  applied to ALL 2-strokes. And the myth persists, as myths do--just a couple of months ago, I saw a thread on THT where a yank mentioned his buddy had removed the oil pump and used premix in  his Optimax"before it failed and trashed the motor"  Opti's rely on direct oil lubrication  Also aplied to some 2-stroke motorbikes--some you could run premix in, others needed the pump to survive.

From all accounts, the VRO Johnsons ran fine with premix, with the provisos that rtomkyns78 mentioned above.

Posts: 14

Date Joined: 18/11/18


Wed, 2018-12-05 18:03

 Hang the expense. Think of your safety on the water and buy a new Yamaha 4 stroke. They are unbelievably efficient and reliable.

Posts: 14

Date Joined: 18/11/18


Wed, 2018-12-05 18:03

 Hang the expense. Think of your safety on the water and buy a new Yamaha 4 stroke. They are unbelievably efficient and reliable.

scubafish's picture

Posts: 667

Date Joined: 15/08/12


Wed, 2018-12-05 20:08


Standard fuel pump is about $25.
line in line out.
Remove oil tank.
Disconnect elec plug in cowling.
Disconnect oil line near the fuel entry into cowling
fold over and zip tie the other side to blankoff.

Unless you can get a VRO kit from US.




Piggy's picture

Posts: 340

Date Joined: 24/08/12

Get rid of the VRO

Fri, 2018-12-07 09:25

I have a quintrex with a 70hp Johnson. Ran it a few times with the VRO but read a few threads that they under and over oil your engine. Mine was smoking pretty bad so was over oiling the engine. I bypassed the VRO, put a second battery where the VRO tank was and I mix my own fuel and oil. From then on the engine has been better on fuel, smokes less and is way more responsive on the throttle. I would recommend getting rid of the VRO all together


I go boating not fishing

Posts: 79

Date Joined: 10/11/15


Tue, 2019-01-01 08:00

 Update on my 60HP johnson, the VRO has been replaced, the motor hardly blows any smoke at all now, and I don't have to mix the fuel, running great...I'm happy.