merc or johnson ?

Discussion in 'Bubba's Outboards' started by smokey869, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. smokey869

    smokey869 New Member

    Messages:
    966
    State:
    frederickt
    okay heres a different kind of question, my neighbor is shopping for a used outboard and we have found 2 that hed like, one is a 1983 115 horse merc, has between 110-120 lbs compression on all cylinders, needs a coil and water pump, the other is a 1975 johnson 135 hp, has approx 125 lbs compression on all 4 cylinders, both have tilt and trim and controls, and are clean, the johnson guy wants $400 and the merc guy wants $375, but the merc is about an 8 hour drive one way and the johnson is about 15 minutes away, he is leaning towards the merc because its almost 10 years newer, any thoughts on either of these, i have a 115 johnson with a burned piston thats a year newer and most of the parts will interchange, just looking for a few different opinions here, i know the merc is newer so parts avail is prolly better but for the drive i would go with the johnson
     
  2. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    McMinnvill
    Parts for either one can be had and as for fuel usage I would say each one is going to be close to the other. If they both check out it would be a matter of personal preference. The merc is harder to work on.
     

  3. cantstopgrandma

    cantstopgrandma New Member

    Messages:
    955
    State:
    MD
    I'd say by the time you took an 8 hour drive and put the coil and water pump in it, you could do quite a bit of sprucing up to the johnson. That's just my opinion. I prefer the johnson, but i grew up around a lot of people with the "if its black send it back" or "black anchor" mentality on outboards. Although my uncle has a mercury 15hp that has been thru hell for almost 20 years now, and its somehow still running great.
     
  4. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    I agree with Willard. Merc's are a bear to work on. Don't matter if you have enough of the green stuff to take it to a shop for maintenance / repairs. Other than that, it's Johnson / Evinrude hands down.
     
  5. tofish

    tofish New Member

    Messages:
    3,923
    State:
    arizona
    i've owned both. constant money on the merc. the johnson is like the bunny. just keeps on ticking. little castor oil, (sea foam) every other tank and won't stop running.
    gary
     
  6. lissaannjon

    lissaannjon New Member

    Messages:
    149
    State:
    Dubuque, IA
    ive owned both as well. one thing i hate about the mercis how darn hard it starts! choke choke and choke it some more. those 2 + 2 cylinders in my opinion need a bullet. ill be steering clear of the mercs after i get rid of my current unless i go to something fuel injected.
     
  7. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
    The 135 for me. That Johnson will out last most.
    Pete
     
  8. roadkill636

    roadkill636 New Member

    Messages:
    551
    State:
    warrenton misso
    I seriously doubt the merc only needs a coil....probally more likely a $300 switchbox :crazy:
     
  9. Todd Strong

    Todd Strong Active Member

    Messages:
    1,023
    State:
    Cambridge, Ne
    Johnson would be my choice, I would probably have the carbs rebuilt just to be sure everything is up to par.
     
  10. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    I've had both and like my Evinrude a lot better. Easy to work on, the website to look up parts is great, and as long as the compression is good the 10 years doesn't matter a whole lot (just my opinion on that part). And it sounds like the Johnson is ready to run - forget who posted it about the control box, but the guy may just be guessing it's a coil. I'd also wonder how he knows it needs a water pump? Did it overheat? And I've had too many bad experiences driving 10 minutes to buy something and finding it's not quite as advertised, let alone 8 hours:smile2:
     
  11. wareagle06

    wareagle06 New Member

    Messages:
    22
    State:
    Georgia
    I have owned both merc and johnson. The most recent johnson i would not give it away for the guilt I would have . All the other johnsons and mercs were great. Guess I just got a lemon. The johnson is easier to work on to me.