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Author Topic:   Problems with Mercury OptiMax 135: BEEP BEEP BEEP
DauntlessLP posted 07-06-2006 12:20 AM ET (US)   Profile for DauntlessLP   Send Email to DauntlessLP  
I just bought a used 2001 18 Dauntless with a Mercury 135 OptiMax. The boat and engine look to be in great shape. In-water check-out with the dealer went great. However, since we put the boat in the water three weeks ago, we have had to take it back to the dealer after each weekend we tried to run it. After a brief running time we get this BEEP BEEP BEEP and the throttle override kicks in. Dealer thought he fixed it on the first "bring back," as he says he found oil reservoir under the cowliing was low on oil. He tells me there are three sensors which can over ride the throttle; low oil in engine reservoir, over heating, and water in fuel filter. In reviewing past postings I saw similar problems in the 2000 and 2001 bigger block 200- to 225-HP Mercury motors (Jurisproodenz nightmare), but the 135's were said to be reliable. Is anyone aware of what evolved as the cause and most importantly the solutions for this problem?


jimh posted 07-06-2006 08:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
You may be able to get some insight into the oiling system and how the under-cowling reservoir and the remote oil tank work from this article in the REFERENCE section:

There is also the possibility that all is actually well and the malfunction is in the alarm module itself. This is not unheard of in older Mercury motors. Literally everyone I know with an older Mercury outboard had to replace the alarm module (but that is taken from a small sample population and may have produced unusually skewed results).

sosmerc posted 07-06-2006 07:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for sosmerc  Send Email to sosmerc     
Your dealer should be able to hook up his DDT and get a reading on fault codes stored. Then clear the codes and go for a run. When it starts beeping again, check to see what codes have just been stored. Anything that causes a warning light or horn to come on should set up a trouble code in the engine computer.
Problems such as spark plug misfires, or erratic fuel or air pressure regulation will not set up codes...but may cause the engine to run badly or stop.
Be sure your battery voltage is staying above 13 volts and make sure your battery and electrical connections are clean and secure.
I have a 1998 135 Optimax and for the most part, it runs well. However, every now and then it may decide to hiccup and stop. Now that I have my DDT hooked up under the dash at all times running...she is embarrassed to stop on me, because now I maybe able to figure out why. These are little gliches that have tarnished the reputation of early Optimax engines (1998-2002). I would not hesitate to buy or recommend a new Optimax engine...they are my "engine of choice"!
Toni C posted 07-09-2006 11:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Toni C  Send Email to Toni C     
I am not sure if this is the same, but I had a similar "beeping" problem with my 1999 150 Opti. It turned out to be one of the throttle position sensors, ther are two. It was replaced, not a problem since.
sosmerc posted 07-10-2006 12:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for sosmerc  Send Email to sosmerc     
Had my 1998 Ventura with 98 135 Opti out for most of the day today on Hood Canal. We cruised around for several hours at 3200-3800 RPM...and then stopped for a couple of hours to just drift in the center of the some swimming, reading, and just plan relaxing. Wonderful day.
But the wind started to come up around 5 PM so we decided it was time to fire up and head for the barn. Well, as soon as I started to throttle up to get on plane...I got a beeping horn and a check engine light. She never quit, but would not let me get much above idle. I had my DDT with me, and hooked it up to the harness I have installed under my dash....DDT showed both TPI 1 and 2 as faults.
We idled against a fairly stiff breeze back to the ramp...having to listen to the horn blaring the whole time.
I fired up my kicker motor and left it running, while I maneuvered around the ramp, waiting my turn. I was afraid the Opti might just quit at a bad time. But suddenly, after having to shift a few times to hold my position in front of the ramp..the horn suddenly stopped beeping and the check engine light went out. The TPS readings were back to normal. Before the horn quit, I had "recorded 26 frames" of data for playback later to verify what my TPI values were at the time of going into guardian mode.
Later this evening, I pulled out the factory manual to see just what the "normal" TPI values were supposed to be...and funny, both TPS units were within spec...even when the horn was going off.......go figure.
This is a frustrating glitch, but the engine ran fine all day...and the economy is impressive. I'm getting over 5 mpg according to my GPS and FloScan. The Bennett tabs and doelfin surely are helping to achieve these impressive numbers. The Ventura is stern heavy with dual batteries, a 15hp kicker and 45 lb. stainless steel fixed bracket, 3 gallon tank and 3 gallon oil tank..all in the stern area.
I don't think I would consider adding a heavier engine to this the new 4 cylinder Verado. A new 175 Optimax (at the same basic weight as my current 135 Opti) would be just the ticket if more speed were the object.
With trim tabs, I think I could probably be happy with a 115 Opti....and be getting even more impressive mileage.
Top speed is of no real concern to me with this boat....I have a 79 mph go fast boat when I really feel the need for speed.
jimh posted 07-10-2006 08:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
DauntlessLP posted 07-15-2006 09:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for DauntlessLP  Send Email to DauntlessLP     
TPI 1 & TPI 2? Not sure what that stands for.....

Throttle Position Indicators?

bsmotril posted 07-15-2006 11:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
Those are the Throttle position sensors which tell the engine control unit the position of the throttle plate. Older Optis had two of them, and if their output disagreed a fault alarm was generated. If they both had errors, the motor goes into limp home mode. One sure way to generate them on the older motors was to start the motor with the throttle handle in any position other than dead center neutral. BillS

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