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Author Topic:   Water Temp alarm after period of no use
LarrySherman posted 10-24-2001 01:47 PM ET (US)   Profile for LarrySherman   Send Email to LarrySherman  
I just started up my Johnson 235 after 2.5 weeks of not running it. I idled for about 1 min, and then took off from the dock. About 20 yards down the harbor, the buzzer went off. It has never gone off before. I did not check for a water stream output this time.

The motor was tilted the entire time, and started on the first turn of the key.

I came back on the kicker.

What should I do from here? I have a new water pump at home, and had planned to replace it this winter, as well as a carb rebuild.

Thanks, Larry

Bigshot posted 10-24-2001 03:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Start there. If even it looks ok the paddles get a curved posture and the water will not flow well. My 90's looked great but would overheat at an idle(prolonged) and anything over 3800 rpm. the water flow at cruise was enough pressure. Replaced pump and she is tight. If not pump, we'll figure it out. Has to be pump, thermostats, pop plug thingies, or obstruction. Start with pump. PS could also have picked up a bag and it fell off.
bigz posted 10-24-2001 04:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Check for a water stream first Larry only take a couple of seconds then shut down. If you have a stream BigShot listed some other elements which come into play. Don't want to drop the lower unit unless you have to now since not much season left from the looks of the forecast.
LarrySherman posted 10-24-2001 04:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
Thanks gents.

I was hoping to get to use the boat a little this weekend, its the first I've been free since late September.

I'll check the steam. If it's no good, I'll put the boat on the beach for the winter. I'll do the pump, thermostats and carbs over the winter.


1) What are the pop plug thingies?

2) How do you check for obstructions? I don't have the ability to flush at the dock (no fresh water), and I guess this could be a problem over time...

Thanks again, Larry

Peter posted 10-25-2001 08:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     

How about checking or changing out the thermostats? One or both could be bad. I think they start out closed so the engine warms up and then open up once it does. If they don't open up, wouldn't it get too hot at idle or low speed and cause the alarm to sound. I believe that even if the stats are bad the tell tale stream would continue to pee like normal.

FYI, Joey would replace (their relatively cheap) my stats every year and in the spring commissioning, he'd start up the motor and let it idle for a while to make sure they opened up properly and/or were not stuck open.

Also, are you sure the buzzer is temp and not low VRO oil?

LarrySherman posted 10-25-2001 09:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     

Good point on the VRO! I'll check. I filled it reciently, but perhaps it lost its prime...

I have the therostat kits. I'll start it up after checking the VRO, and if I get the stream, I'll change the thermostats.

Thanks, Larry.

hauptjm posted 10-25-2001 10:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
Another thought: what buzzer was it. I have different sounds for different reasons. Larry, I know you have an older model, so I don't know if J&E was doing that at the time, but I thought it would be worth mentioning. If you don't have the owners manual, check back here and I'm sure someone knows the answer.
LarrySherman posted 10-25-2001 02:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
Thanks Jim.

There is only one as far as I can determine, wired just below the keyswitch. I'll look in the book as well.


David Ratusnik posted 10-25-2001 02:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Larry- I had an experience with the buzzer several months ago. I run an older 225 Johnson on my 22' Outrage. The obvious is heat-water pump or maybe a goofy puzzer in a 1986 boat. It was piddling just fine-you know an older Johnson doesn't push more water out the peeee hole than we do in a mens room, but normal. Looked at old buzzer setup under console for awhile. It turned out to be insufficient gas due to a worn out primer bulb. Gas starvation, sucking air. Maybe the buzzer does double duty. Just a thought. David
John from Madison CT posted 10-25-2001 03:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for John from Madison CT  Send Email to John from Madison CT     

Sorry to hear about the aborted trip. IMHO, I would disconnect the VRO. This way, you have one less thing to worry about, and with an older boat, there is plenty to worry about. Older style OMC VRO's were not the most reliable products (unlike the Fichts <G>).
If you haven't changed the water pump, I would do it in a NY minute. The pump on my newly acquired Yamaha 90hp was supposed to have changed 2 years ago, but that's not good enough for me. Peace of mind is nice to have, and mixing oil in the gas and running a new water pump sure helps get some of that.
Now that I have a boat, we'll have to meet in the LI Sound next spring.

Good Luck


LarrySherman posted 10-25-2001 06:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     

That we will! I was trying to arrange a NYC tour/rendevous for this summer, but it fell apart. Perhaps next year will work. Be that as it may, we will hook up.

I'd love to disconnect the VRO, and you are certianly not the first to tell me to do it. The problem is, I'm not sure how to do it safely. I've heard that you can plug the line, or that I should by a new, non VRO, fuel pump. I just don't know which.

Thanks, Larry

Say, you don't want that seat back do you? I don't think I'm going to use it.

Peter posted 10-25-2001 07:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     

I'm not sure that you can just plug the VRO line. I think it probably is better to do a new fuel pump. But if it were me, I wouldn't invest much in the motor.

On my 150, my low oil alarm would go off with a full tank of oil. Turned out to be a bad sender in the VRO tank. VRO worked fine so I just disconnected the wire. I checked the oil level every time I gassed up. Never had a VRO problem in 9 seasons of use with the sender wire disconnected.

LarrySherman posted 10-25-2001 10:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     

Ok, I see your points. And I'd like to do as little as possible too. But this apparently is a new power head, so I could concievably get several seasons at least out of it, so I am willing to put in some money, and lots of sweat.

My gut is the VRO has run for 16 years on this boat, and that its proably going to run a few more. That said, if it was a matter of cutting the hose and stuffing a wooden dowel in it, then I would do it and premix. If its a $150 fuel pump, plus other stuff, then ???

Thanks, Larry

John from Madison CT posted 10-26-2001 07:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for John from Madison CT  Send Email to John from Madison CT     

I'm sorry but I do not remember how to disengage the VRO in these motors. It's been a few years since I did it, but I do remember plugging the oil line and disconnecting some sensor. You might want to try another message board, like :


I'm sure an expert will give you the right answer.

Sorry, but I don't need the 25' Whaler Seat back. (not seatback but Back <G>) I had lots of requests for it and you can probably sell it for a nice profit.

Take Care,


Clark Roberts posted 10-26-2001 08:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Larry, I have disconnedted VRO on lots of my past OMC engines. Some I refitted with simple fuel pump and on some I left the VRO pump in place. Removing the VRO pump decreases the clutter and makes accessability better! Take your pick! To disconnect, simply remove the oil line from engine connection and plug that inlet. Some, if not all, OMC VRO engines came with a little plastic plug attached inside cowling on the oil/fuel line and specifically for this purpose (or should VRO fail to let you add oil and proceed). If memory serves me correctly the plastic plugs were yellow. Now, since the oil pump (built integrally to the fuel pump assy) is diaphram (crankcase press/vac) driven there is no problem just leaving it in place. If the fuel pump needs replacing (and after 15 years it may) then go for the simple fuel pump and don't buy a new VRO just to get the fuel pump function. REmove the oil tank and associated hoses and wiring and rock-on.... I'd have my tool box out in a split second.. Happy Whalin'.. Clark.. Spruce Creek Navy
LarrySherman posted 10-26-2001 09:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
Thanks Clark!

Thats what I'll do. I'll convert over the winter, when I install my new tanks. You make it sound pretty easy. I'll get some prices on a new fuel pump, and try to go that route.

John, No worries, just thought I'd give you a chance at it.

Thanks, Larry

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