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Marco Whalo posted 07-29-2001 08:00 PM ET (US)   Profile for Marco Whalo   Send Email to Marco Whalo  
This week I was out and had my 1990 150GT 150HP Johnson opened up to full throttle (5400 RPMs)for about one minute and a warning (continuous) beep came on and shut down the engine to 2500 RPMs. I didn't like the sound of the warning so I shut her down completely and started the kicker and headed back. I turned the ignition switch on a few minute later and heard the same sound. About 30 minute later I was back at the marina and I turned on the ignition switch and didn't hear the warning sound. The *confidence* stream of water coming from the boat was strong at high and low RPMs. I have a VRO and crossflow fuel system and do not mix my fuel. I had plenty of oil in the oil tank. I also have the S.L.O.W. engine warning system. Not sure what that stands for.
I spoke with someone at the marina and they said that the warning sound and loss of RPMs could have been caused from the following: high temperature, low water pressure, low oil pressure, oil pump malfunction, water pump/impeller malfunction, el nino.

The next day I added oil to the gas tank (double oiled the fuel). I went about 10 miles at 4000 RPMs and the warning didn't come back on. I also noticed that the oil was continually being drawn down in the oil tank and being consumed by the engine. So at least at lower RPMs the VRO system seems to be working.

Can anyone answer the following questions?
Does anyone know this warning system? What causes this sytem to be "triggered"? BTW does anyone know where I can get a manual for a 1990 Johnson 150GT? Would you recommend not using the VRO and mixing the fuel? What should I get checked? The water pump, oil pump, thermostat?, etc. Thanks in advance.

simonmeridew posted 07-29-2001 10:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for simonmeridew  Send Email to simonmeridew     
Which of the four lights came on with the horn?
Adding oil to the gas will not cause the horn to go off in and of itself.
Probably the motor overheated, maybe partially blocked water inlets, a plastic bag, weeds etc if you're lucky. Otherwise maybe a stuck thermostat, since the motor seemed ok the next day.
Hank posted 07-29-2001 10:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hank  Send Email to Hank     
I can't help with the warning signals but I was able to get an Owner's Manual as well as a complete Service Manual from the local OMC dealer. He had to order from the factory. My engine is a 1984 90HP and I was able to get the manuals sometime in 1996.
I don't know what the situation is now with the Bombardier ownership but it's worth a try with your local OMC/Bombardier dealer. The Owner's manual was just a few bucks.Probably all you'd need to know about the warning signals. The Service Manual was a 50 buck deal...well worth the wealth of information.
triblet posted 07-30-2001 12:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
You probably overheated. The SLOW system
will limit RPMs to 2500 until you it both
cools down AND stays turned off for a couple
of minutes. Been there.

Simon's guesses at the cause or the overheat
seem good.

But get the factory manuals.


Tom W Clark posted 07-30-2001 01:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

Relax. While it should not be ignored it's not the end of the world either. The warning you heard was most likely caused by a fuel restriction. The motor was not getting the fuel flow it needed. This used to happen to me all the time in my Outrage with a '90 Johnson 150.

It is is important to slow down or stop when this happens. If you continue at full throttle and the motor is not getting enough fuel it will run very lean which translates into very hot. You could theoretically fry your motor but usually the motor slows down because of fuel starvation or in the case of your motor it slows down to a lower RPM because its programed to.

I was never able to get rid of this problem. I checked everything and redid the fuel lines but one thing I did not do was remove the fuel tank check valve. This might have solved my problem and it might solve yours. Read more on check valves here:

The other possibilities are lack of oil and overheating.

When your oil tank gets to about one third full, a short beep will be heard every twenty seconds. If the oil reservoir runs dry the buzzer will sound continuously. The engine will not operate above a certain RPM. You say you had plenty of oil so I don't think this applies here.

It is possible that your engine overheated. If it does, the buzzer goes off. This is where a temp gauge comes in handy. As simmonmeridew suggests, some unique event like a plastic bag on the lower unit blocking the water intake can cause the engine to overheat and then when you stop and get going again, everything is normal and you never know what happened. This is where a water pressure gauge comes in handy. I always like to have both temp and pressure gauges to help me monitor the cooling system.

But based on my own experience, I'll vote for fuel restriction as the likely culprit.

Marco Whalo posted 07-30-2001 11:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Marco Whalo  Send Email to Marco Whalo     
Thanks for the great advice. I don't have any warning lights, all I heard was the horn and felt the loss of power. I am going to do the following.
(short term)
1. Get manuals (owners and service) for the motor. I really need to (specifically) know what CAN cause the warning sound and loss of power.
2. Do nothing in the way of repairs for now since it only happend once.
3. Go out by myself and see if I can recreate the problem unless someone thinks that's a bad idea.
(long term)
4. If it happens again, this winter I will check/replace the thermostat, and water pump, fuel pump, oil pump, and fuel tank valve.

What I really want is gauges like engine temp, water temp, and oil pressure. <digression> I had an old dodge dart in college that had a clogged radiator. If you drove it over 50 MPH it would over heat. It had a temp gauge and you could see the temp go up as speed increased and temp go down as speed decreased. This is the kind of monitoring technology that I need. Any recommendations? Thanks again.

Bigshot posted 07-30-2001 02:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Marco, I would say you have a restriction or water pump failure "starting". At WOT it was triggered and probably will again, so try it and see but I would start with a new impeller and work from there. It will eventually get worse and you do not want that. My bet is oon the water pump. My 90 did the same thing, would cruise all day at 4000 and below, idle too long or go above 4k and BEEEEEP!
simonmeridew posted 07-30-2001 09:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for simonmeridew  Send Email to simonmeridew     
I got a Water Pressure Guage for my 70HP OMC a couple of months ago. Cabela's, $30.00. It was a piece of cake to install, my Johnson owners manual even had a picture and associated caption of the fitting you unscrew on the water chamber that you replace with a brass elbow. THen you run some rubber tubing thru the tunnel to the console and guage. I figured that as the impeller wears and ages, water pressure will start to fall and you get advanced warning. Right now,(newish engine) at idle it shows about 10 psi, cruise at 3800 rpm and it's about 20+psi, and at WOT the needle is buried at 30 psi. It's the first thing I check when I start it up; I don't know any better.
triblet posted 07-31-2001 10:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
It's a two-stroke. There's no oil pressure to


Bigshot posted 07-31-2001 10:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Water pressure!
Tom W Clark posted 07-31-2001 11:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Both the water temp gauge and the water pressure gauge are inexpensive and very easy to install. I recommend you do so.

As a test, install the two gauges and take your boat out for a full throttle run. You will probably be able to repeat your previous experience. Watch the temp and pressure, they will remain normal but the buzzer will sound and continue to sound until fuel flow resumes after you have slowed down.

Also, you can check the primer bulb when this happens. You will find that it is really soft or even collapsed. This is a sure indication of a fuel flow restriction.

Tom W Clark posted 08-03-2001 10:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

Could you please blend these two threads together?

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