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BLACKJACK

Warning horn comes on!!!?

25 posts in this topic

I have 60 HP two stroke Johnson on my boat, had it in about three weeks ago for a spring tune-up at the local dealership, didn't get it out until last night. It started right up and I let it sit and idle while I attached my Lowrance and tidied up the boat, about the time I untied from the dock and got going, the warning horn came on. Shut it down, looked in the book, steady horn means over heat, check for water flow out of engine. Started it back up, water IS coming out of engine vent hole, horn still sounding. Book says to start up and run at fast idle for two minutes to cool it down, did that, water comes in steady stream out of engine vent hole, horn still blaring. Shut it down, sat and had a beer and contemplated life and my possible canceled trip to Red on Friday for about 10 minutes, started it up - no horn!!! I then drove it around for 10-15 minutes without a problem!!

1) Do I dare take it up north this weekend?

2) Would idling at the dock, even with water coming out the vent hole, cause it to overheat? I've done that before...

3) Do those overheat sensors ever go bad?

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Sounds like the water pump "impeller" is shot. Has it been replaced recently? (I change every 2 years, but I put a lot of hours on the main motor)

1.) I would repair first.

2.) Yes. At idle for extended times is the least amount of water pressure to reach the powerhead. The water stream is only an indicator that water is flowing. The water that cools the motor exits mostly thru the prop area.

3.) They can fail, but sounds like while you idled for awhile the engine did get hot.

At higher RPMS the impeller will pump more water/force upward to the powerhead to cool the engine better, and the alarm could likely go away until it idles for extended periods again.

It's not a overly difficult repair if you are handy. I googled water impeller, water pump, etc.. and I eventually found pictured diagrams for this procedure.

Just my $.02 from your description of the problem.

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I have an Evinrude Ficht, and I have had similar issues. I noticed it was when it was cooler out (30s and 40s). In short, I took it in and they said that it was "a low battery". It made sense to me that as I let the motor run a while the warning disappeared because that alternator put a bit of charge on the battery. I don't want to steer you wrong since a different problem could be costly, but I battled that issue for a number of years.

One other note on this is that it typically happened for me when I had the motor connected to the battery for a spell since my Ficht has a continuous current draw even when off. This brings the battery down and caused the alarm. Cold weather afffected the battery even more.

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Was your motor trimmed up or all the way down? The horn will sound also if the oil is low (sensor does not pick up the oil)

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My Yamaha 115 was doing the same thing due to a oil sensor.

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I have a 60hp Johnson tiller that did the same thing. I am sure it is a bad sensor because mine would come on before the motor even had a chance to over heat. I had just replaced my water pump impeller the year before and it still pumps water out the discharge at a very good rate, much better than my other outboards I have at the lake. The low oil alarm is not the constant beep but an intermediate on and off beep. I usally just started and stopped my motor a couple times or tapped on the horn and it stopped. However, one trip I was on I couldn't get it to stop the minute I started it up. I just took my chance and pulled the clip on it and fished the trip without the alarm hooked up. Now I just watch my oil level and make sure I have good water flow and it's been fine for a couple years. maybe not the best idea, just the way it is. Good luck!!

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Could be the impeller as stated. The tell tale hole can spray hard, soft, or dribble, all it means is SOME water is going through the system.

The alarms for low oil on Johnson is not steady, so thats not the issue.

It could be the powerpack too, sending a false overheat warning. I had that on my 1996 Johnson 50 horse. This is the brainbox for your engine.

A new impeller is $20 and fairly simple to switch.

Powerpacks run $150-$275 depending on where you get them, and if your engine is a twin or triple.

You said you had it it for service; What did they do?

Running the engine in gear with motion actually forces water into the lower unit, so running around for 15 minutes with no horn, but getting one at idle is a good indicator that you may need a new impeller.

What year and model engine are we talking? (by model, 2 cylinder, or 3?)

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I don't know about the Johnson but my Mercury used to do that when the water was colder. Drove me nuts as I fish a lot in the spring and late fall. I finally figures out the thermostat was bad. For some reason when the water was in the 50s or colder it would act up. New thermostat and problem was gone.

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I've got a 96' Evinrude 60 HP and I've had the issue for 5 years. Changed the water pump and Temp. sensor, still horn goes off. I agree it is not oil delivery cause as stated it is intermittent. I just think OMC has issues with the temperature sensing unit. Doesn't do it all the time, and can't tell you what water temps. was when horn sounds, but can tell you that on a real hot day 90+, you would think the motor would warm and sound the alarm, nope. So I just play old school and watch the tell tail for good velocity. I keep my motor well maintained so I have no issues trusting it. Go to Red and have fun.

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I have a 1994 85 hp Johnson that had about the same problem when I bought it three years ago. Took it back many times, ended up being a bad ground wire on the alarm unit. I heard that some spark plugs will cause it (non-resistor type? not sure). Mine still does it when motor is cold, just taking off from boat landing.

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Its a 92 model, two cylinder.

Did take it up to Red this weekend and it ran fine, lots of starts and stops and fast moving and idling - except one time when we had been anchored quite awhile the horn did go off, I just put in in gear and revved it up and it stopped blaring.

Thanks for the advice guys, lots of things to check on.

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Still having problems with the overheat warning horn on my 60 hp Johnson. Was out last weekend and the horn came on the first time I started it! Shut it off right away and found out that if I just turned on the switch, it sounded continuously!!! Now this is on an engine that is still cold and ran for 20 seconds. The book says you should briefly hear it when the engine starts to prove its working and then its supposed to shut off.

Started it up again, horn was on, put it in gear and ran it for a couple of minutes, horn blaring but water coming out of the outlet and finally the horn shut off by itself!!! Ran around for awhile, no horn, so went fishing and it was mostly fine, a couple of times I could hear the horn buzzing faintly. Weird. Any ideas?

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Just a guess but you might have a short and either the continous honking blew it out or the wires shook free.

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on the back side of the motor, near the top cylinder, you will find a sensor going into the block. It will have a tan wire connected to it, with a "bullet" connector leading into the wire harness. turn on the key to the run position, Don't start the engine, if you hear the horn, disconnect the bullet connector. if the sound stops, then you have a bad sensor. If no horn comes on, just remember to try this the next time you are out and you hear the horn. Just don't fall out of the boat tongue.gif

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Quote:

remember to try this the next time you are out and you hear the horn.


If you do this after the engine is warm (presuming that it's an overheat problem) the horn should be going off though... I believe the sensor is just a temp sensor and is not dependent on whether the motor is running or not, right?

Good way to troubleshoot it though when the engine is cold.

marine_man

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He mentioned that when he first turned on the engine the horn sounded right away. the engine had not yet came up to operating temp. You are right, it is only a sensor,a by-metal switch, and it has no idea if the engine is running or not, however If he turns the key on, the warning system is operating. If the sensor is grounded it will sound the horn. If he has access to an infrared thermometer or thermo sticks that would also be helpful to see what temp this thing is getting to when the horn goes off.

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Thanks for the advice guys. Was testing it out last night in the shed. When I just turned the switch on, no horn. Then I turned it on, pushed in and turned it over a couple of turns and the horn took off and kept running, even though the engine wasn't running. Every time after that when I would turn the switch on, the horn would blare. Finally I left it on for about a minute and then it faded out. Popped the cover off, and found a tan wire leading into a hole in the block but didn't know for sure what it was and didn't want to wreck it so left it alone....

Going fishing this weekend, will report back on how it works.

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sorry boatfixer.. I was reading too far into your post.. I thought you were suggesting that after the motor has been running (and presumably up to temp) that if the horn comes on to test the sender by removing the wire (again, at temp). I'm clear now. grin.gif

marine_man

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Quote:

Popped the cover off, and found a tan wire leading into a hole in the block


By your description this sounds like the wire. If you're unsure can you take a picture of the location and post it? That'll confirm it...

marine_man

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Update - used the boat this weekend, many starts and stops and NO horn problems. I guess I'm not going to worry about it until it happens again.

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Aren't intermitent problems great?

This prompts a slightly unrelated question though, when was the last time you replaced your water pump?

marine_man

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I have never replaced the water pump. I can see a good stream of water coming out the 'vent' hole so I 'assume' its ok??!

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Quote:

Aren't intermitent problems great?


Just get it over with and break so I can fix, right wink.gif

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How old is the motor, or, how long have you owned it?

If it's been more than 3 years and you use it regularily I'd be inclined to replace it. It's a pretty simple task, the impeller is pretty cheap and if this is a 90's 3 cyl 60hp johnson motor I'd be a little gunshy about any water pump problems as it seems these motors are a little more prone to burning down than others (from my experiences anyway).

marine_man

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Quote:

Just get it over with and break so I can fix, right
wink.gif


Isn't that the truth!

marine_man

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