1978 6hp Johnson Seahorse

Johnson Seahorse Fuel Pump Rebuild

We took Belle out, just the two of us, for our anniversary in Portland harbor in August. We discovered shortly after leaving the pier that Not So Big Johnson wasn’t drawing fuel from the tank very well. It stalled just passed the rocks, thank goodness. A squeeze of the bulb, choke and a pull of the rope breathed life back into it for a minute or so. From there on, I had to squeeze the bulb every time the RPMs started to sink. It had been sitting for over twenty years and we got lucky it ran so well without overhauling the carburetor and fuel pump. All I did was change the water pump and it ran like a top last time. So follow along to see our Johnson Seahorse Fuel Pump Rebuild.

I try to get OEM parts these days if time and resources permit. I’ve had a lot of trouble with aftermarket and rebuilt parts in the past 5 or so years that has made it simply not worth it. When looking at the BRP parts catalog I could not find a rebuild kit, only a whole fuel pump for about $90USD. Googling around a bit I found a rebuild kit but it would not arrive in time for our next planned trip. So, I resorted to a Sierra brand kit instead. I saw that for almost the same money, you could get an entire aftermarket fuel pump for almost the same money. Having done this with a carburetor for my Harley Davidson golf cart with poor results I decided to rebuild the pump I had.

Taking the pump apart, it becomes apparent why there is a market for these replacement pumps. The tiny springs and spring-guards are not well kept when assembling and a challenge to manage. It took a lot of fiddling to get it right. For a commercial shop where time = money, I can see buying the new pump.

The new kit came with more layers than what I had in my old pump. So, I watched a youtube video of Brandon’s Garage doing it. Very helpful and detailed video. Check it out. Rather than reinvent the wheel, just watch that for the details of the stack up.

After putting the pump back together and reinstalling it in Not So Big Johnson, it seems to be running much better now. And this is a good thing since we needed it badly on our Aborted Coastal Passage that weekend!

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