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  #1  
Old 03-13-2006, 12:46 PM
MACK MACK is offline
 
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Default Need help: '97 90hp Johnson outboard motor problem

Calling all motor gurus and/or hopefully maybe someone tied to Johnson/Evinrude/Bombardier. If this is not the place to post this type of thread (not a muskie board persay), please direct me to where I should send this info. Just posting this here due to the great network of people and good knowledge base that is here.

I apologize in advance for this lengthly post..but I want to be thorough and detailed with my description in order to hopefully get help to finding the solution to my problem.

I have a 1997 90 hp Jonhson outboard motor, two-stroke, oil injected, carbed motor that's really got some sort of mysterious "issue." It's Johnson's 90 ELEU motor.

Motor runs and starts great and operates flawlessly...with EXCEPTION of wide open throttle (WOT).

Once I open this motor up, ripping across the water at WOT...the motor running at 5,000 rpms...running about 36-37 mph pushing at Crestliner 1750.....about a minute or so into the run...the alarm will sound, the "hot" light on the tach will light up and the motor will start to surge as if a sensor has tripped the motor into something like a "limp home mode" cutting either the fuel or cutting the spark to the motor as to not overheat the motor and not do any internal damage to the motor.

I just purchased this boat, used, back in either Sept or August of last year, 2005. The previous owner did say he knew of this problem and took this boat and motor to a local marina that he had purchased the boat from and has had all of it's service done by this marina. They looked that problem and at that time they replaced either one or two thermostats. I have the work order. That was done on June 7th, 2005.

Previous owner at that time thought the problem was fixed. But being the previous owner didn't have time for the boat any longer, decided to put it up for sale instead. I come by and buy the boat in Aug or Sept of 2005. I take the boat for a test drive and we find the same problem to exist. I told the previous owner, pending the problem is fixed by him or reduce the sale price, I'll take the boat. He didn't want to mess with it, reduced the sale price, and offered to at least take the boat to the marina, talk to the marina, show him his records, etc and ask the problem be fixed for me, the new owner.

Marina calls me to say the boat is "fixed" I show up, pay for the service which consisted of new thermostats...again..and now new water pump kit, new impeller and inspection of the cooling system. They deemed the problem fixed and the boat to be good to go.

I get the boat out on the water that day...rip it WOT..and find the problem to not be fixed. I put a call into them immediately. They tell me to bring it in. I ask how soon they can get it back to me. They couldn't promise it to me quickly enough being that already, they were receiving boats from people to be winterized for winter already and they were getting into the Fall mode. I told them I couldn't work with that being I had a couple substantial fishing trips coming up that I couldn't risk not having the boat for. I told them I'd work with my boat as-is and just not run it WOT and then I'd bring the boat to them later that year in th winter for them to work on when I wouldn't be needing the boat any longer due to hard water.

Well...then come to find out..this marina doesn't have a tank or any way of testing boats without using an open lake. So...hard water conditions really prolonged the search for the cure to the problem.

Then soft water comes. They test my boat and "tell" me that my tach is "bad." Not sure what test they did to determine that my tach was bad. But being that that "hot" light..and all my idiot lights are incorporated with the tach...that's the "story" they gave me. They said the tach was sending back bad info to the motor. So...they told me they'd need to order me a new tach. Well...I bought into that story for the time being.

They replaced the tach..then water tested the boat...only to find out the problem at WOT and at 5,000 rpms...still existed, again..alarm sounding and the "hot" light coming on with the new tach and the motor going into "limp home mode" again.

So...upon further diagnostics that they did, they then call me to tell me that now the "rectifier/regulator" is now bad. And now that needs replaced too and that they didn't have it in stock, so they'd need to order that.

So.....ignorantly...I buy into that story as well. So they order this new "rectifier/regulator" and install it and lake test the boat and they deem the problem to be solved and fixed and I can come pick the boat up. That as as of today, Saturday, March 11th.

I go up and pick up the boat from the marina, again...pay for this problem solving for a third time (previous owner paid the first time, I paid the second and third time) and I head out to the lake. I put the boat in the water. I do a proper and thorough warm up period with the motor, slowly crusing the lake at idle speed for a while, then slowly bring the motor up to speed, but not to WOT. I run around at 3,000-3,500 rpms for a while. Then after a while...then I opened up the motor and bring it up to 5,000 rpms and then about a minute into it...the alarm sounded again and the motor chugs and goes into "limp home mode" again!

Problem STILL exists.

After a third time of being looked at. It now appears this marina is just ghost-chasing the problem and is just throwing expensive parts at the motor hoping the problem to be solved.

Anyone know of this problem or experience this problem? Any know of solutions? Who can I talk to? Any help would be so much appreciated.

I think that about covers it.

Thank you.

P.S. I want a four-stroke 115-150 hp....
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2006, 01:21 PM
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Roccus Roccus is offline
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Mac,

Welcome to the wonderfull world of boat ownership....

I'm a Merc/yamaha mechanic.. I hate those white motors, but that said they all have the same problems...

It sounds to me like you have a restriction in one of the heads or in the intake, more than likely a piece of weed, it is a VERY common problem, my question to you is this, does the alarm stop after a few minutes of Ideling? Also sometimes on aluminum boats it the engine is mounted too high the rivets on the bottom create too much cavitation at high speeds causing the water going to the enginge to caontain too much air and cause an overheat problem, also any transducers that are mounted should be at least 6" from the lower unit if at all possible...

For the record, the rectifier should have been replaced BEFORE the tach, if a rectifier goes it normaly renders the tach inoperative...
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Old 03-13-2006, 03:11 PM
MACK MACK is offline
 
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Thanks for the response.

I'm a fan of Mercs and Yammies. Would love to have a four-stroke Merc or a Yammie out back. I miss my little 30 hp four-stroke EFI Merc I had on my last boat.

The alarm goes off after I've shut the motor down. I can restart it immediately and begin moving once again. It starts and runs just fine.

I wonder if you're on to something there with the whole idea of too much air getting mixed into the water as it gets cycled through the coolant passages.

No rivets on the Crestliner...all welded hull.

I'll have to look to see how far my transducer is from the lower unit as well.

Good tips to look into.

So tell me this: "IF" the original rectifier/regulator was indeed "bad" on my motor...what problems should I have been seeing/experiencing? Being I have had no other problems other than this wide open throttle situation...the motor's been great and works flawlessly.

I think they're just changing parts and running me up a huge bill hoping that'll do the trick.

With a bad rectifier/regulator...what wouldn't work on the boat/motor?
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Old 03-13-2006, 03:25 PM
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if the rectifier is bad, the engine would not charge, the tach would not work
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Old 03-13-2006, 06:16 PM
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Did you check water filter to see if anything was inside . water or rust, I know simple ,but maybe at high end, its not getting enough fuel or oil . How are the hoses . maybe sucking some air. Put your hand on the block ,see if one side is hoter then the other the next time it does it.
I'm not trying to second guess you Roc, but sometimes they overlook the simple things.
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Old 03-14-2006, 10:14 AM
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Sea-sea, he's got an over heat alarm, those newer motors go into self protection mode when the alarm sounds, you make good suggestions, he's just experiencing a differnt set of problems....
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Old 03-14-2006, 11:45 AM
MACK MACK is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roccus
if the rectifier is bad, the engine would not charge, the tach would not work
See...that's just it. I never had a charging problem nor did I ever I ever have a problem with the tach not working...
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Old 03-14-2006, 01:03 PM
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exactly, my point was (as poorly as I conveyed it) was the IF there were a problem with the tach( and there wasnt), the tach would not have registered, there fore, standard protocall would be to check the charging system and rectifier(if you suspected a tach issue), but in this case as youy stated ,they went on a ghost hunt guessing that there was a problem with the tach giving a false reading on the overheat, the tach relies on sensors ( in the case of RPM conveyed through the pulses in the rectifier thus when they go ,no tach reading) so the sensors on the cylinder heads give the signal of the overheat.... the tach only displays them...
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Old 03-14-2006, 04:07 PM
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Talked with the marina today.

As much as I hate to admit it..the boat is staying with them till they get it right.

Owner said that their head mechanic that's been doing the work on the boat will most likely freak out when he comes back from training next week, Monday the 20th, and sees the boat in the lot, waiting for him again.

Not sure if this guy's JUST NOW going to training for boat motor maintenance or what? ;) Owner "says" this mechanics been doing this work for 25 or some odd years. Hmmmm. Odd.

Now that they've ghost chased the problem and thrown every EXTERNAL part at it with the exception of the kitchen sink.....that leads us to believe it only mean one thing..and that ain't a purty picture.

Well see what happens here in the next week.

I couldn't get out on the boat before then anyway. So...no worries or disappointments there. Only thing is, this continues to delay me from being able to install new electronics both on the bow and the console and the new VHF Marine radio with 8' antennea.
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Old 03-14-2006, 04:28 PM
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Mack,

I wish you the best of luck, making them fix the problem is the correct thing to do, just tighten your purse a little ,let them pay some of the cost, they have had more than enough chance to find the problem, personaly I'd be PO'd too if I had someting come back that many times, intermittant problems are hard to diagnose, personaly, i feel there is a small piece of weed or debris lodged in the power head somwhere, I had a simular experience once where a boater went to three different marinas before he called me, I was his last hope, he was ready to sell the rig, after alot of thinking and alot of luck, I found a mud dauber wasp nest in the right bank of the cylinder head, I found it by using a heat sesitive crayon to find the hot spot, then after removing the head I found the little booger all mudded up tight, at low speeds everything seemed normal, after 4 K it overheated, only one passage was restricted but it was enough to create alot of misery for one guy.... i felt so bad for him I did the job for the cost of the parts....

Continuing education is important for mechanics too, hopefully this guy can learn something to help you out...
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Old 03-15-2006, 11:57 AM
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Roccus,

You bring up some good ideas and points. We're all looking at the idea that it's probably internal at this point. Something like you've described with your experience very well could be the case. Being the first two times the pervious owner has brought the boat into them...they were finding weeds wrapped up in and around the thermostats. Who's to say that some didn't get all the way up into the power head.

They've claimed they've been using their heat/temp gun to aim at the block and power head to see if it's registering an actual overheating problem and they're not seeing or finding anything. Who knows though?

I am certainly hoping they make right on this situation. I'm not interested in plunking down one more dollar on this job. This is the fourth attempt they've had to look at this same problem.

This motor?s been in this same marina for the fourth time now for the same problem and request to be fixed. The first two times it seems they only went half the distance of diagnosing the problem and once they found weeds had been sucked up by the implellar and wrapped around the thermostats, causing the thermostats to malfunction...I can pretty much believe that they just right then and there stopped looking and working on the REAL problem at hand any further and just ?assumed? that was THE problem. When indeed...that was not the case.

I do believe it was coincidental they found weeds around the thermostats twice and ended up replacing the thermostats twice, the water pump kit, the impellar and so forth those first two times when in reality..they never went the distance to find out what was REALLY causing this alarm problem at WOT. They just stopped short at the obvious signs of impeedments in the motor and assumed that was it, cleaned those parts up and called it a day.

Then I bring it back this winter for the third time asking them to look into the SAME problem again for the third time..and then that?s when they tell me my tach is bad and the rectifier/regulator, which sends the info from the motor to the tach and changes the DC current from the alternator in the motor to AC current to the battery to charge the system, was ?bad.? Whatever. I never experienced a bad tach or issues with the tach or any charging problems.

I think again...?IF? those parts were indeed maybe GOING bad...I think right there again..they stopped short of the real issue at hand and just went ahead and ?assumed? that was my problem. When...it?s not.

It's gotta be something internal at this point.

I'm in in this now for a $1000 and the problem is NOT fixed. Again...I'm not interested in opening my wallet for anything more at this point.

If they would be doing enough testing of the motor after they've worked on it and replaced all of these parts...they themselves would have found the problem to not be fixed. So...it's obvious they either aren't testing after they've worked on it...or...they're not testing long enough or hard enough.

Pretty much sounds like every time it's been half-a$$ed job.
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