Johnson Outboard Trim and Tilt

The Johnson outboard trim and tilt provide you with the ability to perform necessary operations on land and sea. Having these functions work properly is necessary for many purposes.

What is the difference between trim and tilt?
  • Trim changes the angle of the propeller shaft in relation to the water line as a way of changing the direction of the power and pushing force of the outboard. Most outboards have two trim ranges: normal and beach.
  • Tilt is used for pulling the drive or propeller up and out of the water. This is often intended for use when trailering. When tilt is being used, the engine should not be running to prevent serious damage to the carburetor, float level, and needles.
How do you replace a trim switch?

When a trim switch that fails, check to ensure that the relay is working properly. If it is, replacing the trim switch may be necessary to regain proper use of this feature.

  1. There are two screws, washers, and retainers that hold the new unit to the gimbal ring which must be removed to remove the current switch. Disconnect the two wires located on the back of the new unit.
  2. Position the new unit in place and reconnect the wires. Make sure all screws are tightened securely and place anti-corrosion lubricant in the fill groves ensuring the screws are covered completely.
  3. Line up the slots on the insulator with the backside of the housing assembly and install the replacement part in its place.
  4. Line up the index on the rotor with the housing index. When installing the assembly onto the gimbal ring, make sure the bell housing is in the down position.
  5. Install the new part by attaching the two screws, washers, and retainers.
How do you bleed a trim system?

Bleeding the trim system will allow it to work as it is intended. Regular maintenance ensures that air or dirt do not build up in the system causing it to fail.

  1. Begin by cleaning away dirt or debris that has built up around the pump fill plug hold. Remove the fill plug and fill your pump reservoir up to the bottom of the plug holes with fresh SAE 10W-30 or SAE 10W-40 motor oil.
  2. While you have your lines disconnected and the aft end of cylinder disconnected from the anchor pin, run the pump in the up direction until you notice a solid stream of oil flowing from the lines. Repeat this process in the down direction as well.
  3. Retract your piston rods. Connect the up lines and refill the reservoir. Cover the down ports with a clean rag and run while the pump is in the up direction until you notice the piston rods fully extended.
  4. Disconnect the up lines again and allow the pump to run in its down direction to expel any air that has formed in the down lines. Reconnect your down lines back to the cylinders and refill the pump reservoir again with oil, running the pump in its downward direction until the piston rods are fully retracted. Repeat this process with the pump in the up direction as well.
  5. Install the aft end of each cylinder connecting it to the anchor pins. Check your pump reservoir level and add oil if necessary. Install the fill screw and tighten it securely.