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merganser

60 horse johnson overheated

12 posts in this topic

I had a half decayed lilly pad leaf cover my water intake this fall and my engine over heat light came on. The water was pretty cold as I had to break ice around the landing. As soon as all the lights and bells went off indicating I was having an issue I throttled back to neutral and she steamed like crazy. Water immediately started pumping again and I just let the motor idle until the light/beeper shut back off. I continued to use the moter and used it three more trips after the overheat incident. My question is, do I need to have the motor checked out before this open water season? Would there be any obvious clues that I may have damaged my motor. I was really tuned in to everything after the over heat and one thing I thought is that maybe it smoked more... don't know if I was imagining that or not... It was pretty cold the last two trips out. It seemed to go the same speed... I don't have a tach so I couldn't tell on the RPM's. Just wondering if the warning light/beeper is an early warning or oops, too late, indicator. Thank you in advance for any input.

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Heat and lack of lubrication are the 2 biggest killers of outboard motors.

The beep and light are warnings that you are getting hot. They aren't telling you it's too late. The steam you saw was likely the result of the hot motor finally getting coolant flow.

If you were "Tuned in" to your motor after this overheating, and noticed no lack of performance, my guess would be that it's good to go. The easiest thing you can do is a compression test. If you don't have a tester just pull the spark plugs, put your finger over the hole, and turn the motor over. If you have good compression it will blow your finger off the hole. Good compression would be the best indicator that you didn't damage a piston, rings, or cylinder wall.

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Another good test of adequate compression is good starting. If you have low compression, the motor starts much harder. So if your motor started fine the next couple of times you had it out. I would say you shouldn't have a problem.

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After getting it hot like that you probably damaged the rubber fins on the impeller. It is a pretty cheap insurance policy to replace it.

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Same thing happened last summer to my 60 horse Mercury. My impeller was slipping on the shaft and not adequately cooling the motor. The buzzer sounded, so I shut her down. Happened 2-3 times since I thought I just had weeds clogging the water intake. I had the same thing, lots of noise and steam. Once I found the problem and fixed it, I had no problems or issues the rest of the Summer or Fall. The buzzer and warning indicators are there for that reason, to warn you before its too late. You should have no problems with your motor.

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I would replace the water impeller before using motor again. It's common practice doing it every couple of years of so, and in this case as anyfishwilldo mentioned too, you ran pump empty, it doesn't take much to damage it, just few seconds dry and it's melted.

It might seem fine for a while, but I wouldn't take a chance.

Also if you have just a little knowledge of DIY I would buy a compression tester, it's a cheap $ 25.00 tool even Walmart has and check your compression. I am sure you should be fine, but a quick check won't hurt at all, you want to see even compression numbers between each cylinder. It compression is very low (below 90psi) on any I would take it to a shop to have it inspected

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Thanks for all of the great info. I haven't had the impeller replaced since I bought the motor so maybe now IS a good time to have that done. The pee stream seemed fairly strong however it did seem like it took a little longer to get flowing at full stream. I just figured it was having some human tendencies linked to age. The compression tester sounds like a good idea too. I have a few other toys I can use that on. My luck, I will discover that all of my well used (old) toys all have compression issues. Oh well, the local fix-it guy will be happy! These sites are great for getting information. Thanks again everybody!

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I would disagree on the impeller replacement.

If it is a task that you can do yourself, then replacement every couple years only costs you 20 bucks.

But to pay a repair shop $200 to fix an impeller that is still producing a strong tell-tale, is a HUGE waste of money.

I know guys that have 25 year old motors that are still operating with the original impeller.

Every time you start your motor, you should check the tell-tale no matter how recently the impeller was replaced. That is just a good practice and doesn't cost a cent. If it overheats again, has no water flow, or if all that comes out the tell tale is steam (a sign of insufficient water flow) then it's time to replace it.

Until then, save your money.......!!!

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I have 55hp Suzuki. Fall of 06 it overheated on Big Stone, but the water was filled with kind of a green slime, so I figured that was it. Didn't use it until summer of 07 on Kab. Happened again in the middle of a weeks vacation. I called all around and finally found a guy in Cook who agreed to air in the impeller and put it in the morning it arrived. He was the only one that would help me out. I would have the impeller replaced. It almost ruined my vacation. Wasn't that bad, $112.00, but I'm sure could have been done cheaper without the air freight, and I would have had another day to fish.

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The hot engine and then supply of water would scare me because of warps and cracks. Seems that the engine is fine though by your description.

When you hear that beep turn the engine off. Look for the problem then let the engine cool before you start it.

What year is the engine, most have water intakes on both sides of the lower unit so a leaf plugging one side wouldn't be an issue. Could it be you had water in the lower unit from a previous outing and it froze?

I'd recommend in cold temps that you lower the outboard after pulling it from the water to drain the lower unit. Raise it up for the ride home then lower it during storage.

A manual for your outboard is only 20 bucks, an impeller around $15.

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Jumping in here on your post, hope you don't mind. I have a 60hp Merc 3cyl 2-stroke and was wondering if anyone knows of a good website that details how to replace a water impeller? Or any other advise is appreciated.

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It's always better to start a new thread but to answer your question, the job is not tough, I would suggest getting a manual, it involves removing lower unit, removing water pump and replacing the impeller with a new one.

There are kits for this, and they are not too expensive.

Once you do it, it will be much easier every time. I change mine every year or 2 and it takes approx 1 hour.

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