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Converting 1989 Johnson 150 Charging
|Author||Topic: Converting 1989 Johnson 150 Charging|
posted 12-07-2004 07:13 PM ET (US)
I have a 1989 Johnson 150 hp on the Outrage and had some problems with keeping batteries charged this season. I purchased the boat last year and added some electronics. Come to find out that this motor produces 9 amps when up to speed and about 3 amps when idling etc. At any rate it doesn't produce enough charge when the boat is used at low speeds and is questionable at high speed with any amount of lights and electronics on.
The service manual mentioned both a 9 amp and a 35 amp system for the motor. Spoke to a mechanic about the problem and he suggested changing over to the higher amperage system. New parts, except the voltage regulator, are no longer available for the motor so the use of used or new old stock parts will be required. Cost for the change over including labor would be about 600 to 700 and would require changing the flywheel, stator and voltage regulator.
I've been following some of the other threads concerning electrical loads, batteries, trolling motors etc., and thought this may be a partial solution for the type of use the boat receives.
posted 12-07-2004 07:34 PM ET (US)
Putting $700 dollars into a 16-year old motor just to get an increase in the charging capacity does not seem like a good investment.
What are the electrical loads on the boat?
What condition is the battery?
Are there multiple batteries?
Are you charging them while the batteries are connected in parallel?
posted 12-07-2004 07:48 PM ET (US)
Are you sure the information you got was correct? 9 amps seems low for any V-6, and that is what my 1984/85 Merc 115's have, but I have no battery problems with that boat at all (using Walmart dual cycle batteries). According to the 1989 Mercury catalog, the V-6 2.0 liter 150 Mercs had a 35 amp charging system.
Has BRP stopped supporting the older OMC's?
posted 12-07-2004 09:11 PM ET (US)
Yes, that particular engine comes in 9 & 35 amps, with most being the 9 amp charging sydtem.
The only time it puts out 9 amps (max) is at 3500 or higher rpms.
Does your tach work ?
Do you have a volt meter on your rig ?
If the tach isn't working that indicates your rectifier is gone & not charging.
If you have wing nuts on your battery, remove them as fast as you can & put 2 s/s nuts tightened with wrences or your going to blow your rectifier for sure.
Are you sure the engine "IS" charging because it sounds like it's not.
The charging system on that boat can only semi maintain, "NOT" charge any battery unless it was run wide open for 6 hours straight.
posted 12-07-2004 09:16 PM ET (US)
Putting 700.00 into a 16 year old motor to get an increase in the charging doesn't excite me either. I got a little bit of a wake up call 5 miles offshore on Lake Huron with starting trouble and no kicker, towing the boat to Toronto with a dead battery, etc. Replaced the battery and have kept it on a trickle charger when the boat is not in use so this may not be a fair representation of what's going on.
A conservative estimate of the loads at night with everything on except the cd player is about 15 amps, typical day running brings the load down to 10 amps. Throwing in the cd player adds about 17 amps. These loads do not include the tilt trim, bilge pump or starter. I'll post the breakdown of the individual items when I have them at hand and see if they make sense.
The boat is running with a single battery.
With the problems that I was having I started evaluating the direction to take the boat to make it as reliable as possible. I'm still in process on this and am considering all of the options. Dual batteries, type of battery, installation of kicker, solar charger etc. I'm also anticipating a change in use from day and night use to week-end or extended use and would like to eliminate any potential problems.
The experience I've had with the 1978 Johnson 70 on the 15 makes me comfortable with the current 150. I'll be taking it to a mechanic later this week for a more thourough evaluation.
9 amps came out of the service manual that also listed a 35 amp system. The mechanic verified the 9 amp according to the model number. Also mentioned a GTX model (?) that came with the 35 amp. This may be something to create a little business but I'd like to verify it through another source before commiting to anything.
As far as BRP discontinuing support for the older models, I don't know. The parts were not listed as available in the catalogues. I would imagine that it's a sign of the beginning of a lack of support. Would BRP discontinue parts that didn't have a demand first?
Thanks for the replies.
posted 12-07-2004 09:24 PM ET (US)
The tach and voltmeter both work. I do have the wing nuts and will replace. When under way with a higher range of rpms the voltmeter reads around 12 volts. At Idle it reads about 9 volts. I was thinking that the motor was charging with the time it took for the 1.5 amp trickle charger to bring it up to charge.
The charging system is something that will be looked at when I take it into the mechanic this week-end.
posted 12-08-2004 01:14 PM ET (US)
Assuming the engine has a voltage regulator on it, it should be charging at 14.2 volts, and idle should not be less than 11.5 volts. That seems to be the industry standard. You should DEFINITELY be using a combination starting/deep cycle battery as your main battery. This will tolerate some degree of discharging due to occasional current demands greater than the alternator can put out. Your situation will wreck a "starting only" battery in short order.
If you like the engine, plan to keep it, and it is in good shape with good life left, I would upgrade the charging to suit your electrical requirements on the boat. It's a lot cheaper than replacing the engine. All that other stuff you're going to look into would cost just as much, especially a pony motor
posted 12-08-2004 02:04 PM ET (US)
Make or get yourself an emergency starter rope and keep it in your console. That motor can be pull started even when dead cold. It doesn't need the battery to run.
I ran a 1987 150 Johnson. It never left me stuck anywhere even with a dead battery (my fault for pushing the battery life several years beyond its rated life) as long as I had the emergency starter rope.
posted 12-08-2004 07:50 PM ET (US)
The prior post being a conservative estimate, the calculated loads for the Outrage are listed below. What surprises me is the Garmin chartplotter at .3 amps. What factors should be included for inefficiencies, losses, etc.?
18 Outrage Electrical Loads
I am leaning toward a single dual purpose battery as suggested by LHG. I will be installing a kicker for trolling and haven't decided whether to go with electric or manual. Dual charge on a single battery would make the mix a little interesting and I don't know how to handle the control for it yet.
I made up a starter rope for the motor after the Toronto trip. I had some 1/8" line that would fit the flywheel on board at that time and succeeded in removing several layers of skin from my hand. I think the motor just sat there quietly smirking.
I made up a 1/4" starter rope with a nice little handle and tried to start the motor cold with that. I couldn't get the motor to turn over but I did retain all of my skin. This was this fall and maybe it would turn a little easier if it had been running or the air temperature was a little warmer. Any suggestions or do I need to go back to Wheaties?
posted 12-08-2004 07:53 PM ET (US)
Sorry about the format on the electrical loads. The cut and paste of the table didn't quite work the way I had thought.
posted 12-08-2004 08:03 PM ET (US)
My rule of thumb is, if you own a boat & only put-put around a lake, you only need a group 24 battery because normaly there's someone around or you can walk back to get help if your in trouble.
If you go anywhere near the ocean you better get yourself a "PAIR" of group 29s,...yeh, those are the ones when you pick them up, your testicals go down in your socks.
If you can carry your battery around with one hand, your asking for trouble on the water.
The heavier the battery, the more long term juice your gonna have.
Kinda like having a 6 gallon fuel tank compared to a 30 gallon.
I wouldn't even think of getting on a boat that is going on the ocean with only 1 battery.
My 20' outrage with 200 hp Evinrude has twin group 29s & I buy 1 new one every year .
My Alaska boats, 32' long, 14' wide, twin turboed 3208t cats had 600 lbs of 8D batteries, thats 2 per engine at 120 lbs each.
Even my other Alaska boat that I leased out had a 440 chrysler [ gas ] with 1 8D & 1 - 6D battery.
When you start getting cheap & pinching pennies on your boat battery or batteries, your asking for trouble.
A perko switch is a must with a hot battery as a back up on #2 on the switch.
posted 12-08-2004 08:05 PM ET (US)
Sorry to hear about your troubles...but it makes me feel a tad better about my little lighting problem when we cruised together in Chicago!
Especially if you're putting a pony on there, I'd add a second battery. Run one battery "out" and the other on the way back in....this will ensure that you generally have at least one fully charged, or near-fully charged battery on board no matter what. Once the motor is started on the good battery, you can switch the selector to the drained battery and charge it up on the run home....this will also be conforting as you said you plan to change your cruising patterns from day and night runs to weekend outings. I know LHG runs with only one battery (per motor), however almost everyone else we ran with on the NC rendezvous had dual battery systems...and none of the boats had dual motors or a kicker. (I take that back - Tyson's Revenge 22 had twin Honda's .. not sure what his battery situation is.)
Also, make it a point to find a kicker with a strong charging output so that you can maintain your battery strength when you're trolling for leviathans in Lake Huron.
I run one AGM battery and one dual purpose/deep cycle standard wet cell battery on Gambler. She had dual AGM's when I bought her, but I thought that was a bit overkill and a rectifier problem fried the #1 battery (that and my lack of understanding on how to run a boat with twin batteries...running them in the "Both" position for most of the summer).
posted 12-08-2004 08:08 PM ET (US)
Did you move the red lever on the cold start priming solenoid to the manual position (I can't remember which direction that is but its the opposite of the normal position)? If not, its unlikely that you will get it started.
posted 12-08-2004 08:12 PM ET (US)
Good point Peter...
...Paul - that's "down" instead of pointing back towards the powerhead.
posted 12-08-2004 08:45 PM ET (US)
I think you're worrying about nothing, assuming your dual cycle battery is good and your 9 amp charging system working properly. You'll simply have to ditch the CD player. You've got an extra nav light in your calculation (the all around light does not exist on the Whaler international lights), and I think your gauge lights are high. The other loads are momentary loads which the deep cycle side of the battery can easily handle.
As I said, I have run my 18 Outrage for years with 9 amp house circuit charging, and have never had a problem that a good combo battery can't handle. This includes extended cruising with courtesy night lighting and cabin lighting at night. I would not be caught dead with a sound system aboard, as we leave that to the Kingfish for that kind of entertainment at the docks!!! One is all you need
posted 12-09-2004 11:08 AM ET (US)
I agree with the quality of the battery. The new battery I bought at 6:30 am from the bait shop is labeled Walleye Buster or something like that. It was inexpensive, took care of the immediate problem and am considering it as pretty much disposable at this point in time. Still undecided on one or two batteries. Need to do what I feel comfortable with. One of the things I need to consider is that I'm not the only one to use the boat but am responsible for its rigging and upkeep. Hate to have one of the kids stranded out on the water in bad conditions.
I haven't used the CD player much myself outside of a few picnics with people dancing on the foredeck. Pretty much leave the CD player up to the kids. If I were to remove it I'd probably be faced with alot of wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Do you guys mean that little red lever that I've looked at numerous times where "manual" is impressed into the metal? Uh, gee, uh .... no. That seems to be on the same level as trying to start the motor without engaging the kill switch, not opening the fuel vent on a portable tank or leaving the keys in the car a quarter mile away from the ramp.
The listing for the all around light is the stern facing light on the console mast. Should have probably listed it as the anchor light. When that is on the marker and stern lights aren't so it's a pretty light load. I don't use it much. The guage lights are probably high. I'll also be installing courtesy lights but again that won't increase the load significantly.
As far as leviathans in Lake Huron. I here the guys that come from the Lake Michigan side complaining about the puny fish on the VHF. Funny thing is you hear the same guys complaining about it every other week-end.
Good thing it's getting to be winter up here. Gives me a little time to think about things and get ready for spring. First thing is a good evaluation of the motor.
posted 12-09-2004 12:34 PM ET (US)
Yup, that red lever. It's the equivalent to a manual choke. If you don't enrichen the mixture somehow on a cold engine, you probably are not going to get it started.
If I recall correctly, my 150 used to take about three pulls to get started from dead cold (sitting for about a week since the last use).
posted 12-09-2004 11:33 PM ET (US)
How much force do you estimate it should take to turn the motor over? Kinda like lifting a battery? or more like shoving a safe around? Both times I tried to start the motor I could not get it to turn over. I don't think turning the choke solenoid switch to manual would make it harder to turn over by hand.
posted 12-10-2004 07:49 AM ET (US)
Ahh. That's what you mean by turn over. Of course the primer solenoid would have nothing to do with the effort required to turn the flywheel with a rope. It's been a while since I've had that motor and done that but I would say that the amount of force required is probably about the same as having a tug of war with a strong 80 lb dog when you have everything set right.
Having the correct length of rope as well as the right diameter or thickness and type of rope is important or almost critical to the process. I would see if you can get a correct emergency starter rope for that motor from a dealer or get someone here to measure the length and thickness of theirs as well as tell you what type of rope it is. My recollection is that the factory supplied rope was of a nylon braided variety with a hard wood handle.
Also important to the process of rope starting is to turn the flywheel by hand once the rope is on it to get it into a mechanically advantageous position with enough straight length of rope extending from the flywheel. I recall that if I had the rope wound right up to the wooden handle that it was almost impossible to get the flywheel to turn but if I had perhaps up to a foot of line between the flywheel and the handle then it was much easier to turn. You do need to put your back into it a little as noted above but you'd be surprised at how little rotation of the flywheel is required to start it once the motor is "primed". As previously mentioned, it takes about three pulls to get the motor primed and going from dead cold.
posted 12-14-2004 09:52 PM ET (US)
Thank you for the information about the 35 amp alternator, I now am scurring about to get the parts. My engines are '91 vintage with no hours. The thought of $2000 vs 20'000 seems the way to go.
posted 12-14-2004 11:28 PM ET (US)
I recommend leaving the motor as-is with the limited 9-Ampere charging system. Upgrade the batteries on-board instead.
Go to a two battery system. Use one battery for starting, and a separate battery for the house electrical load, that is, everything except the engine itself.
Get an Voltage Sensitive Relay (VSR) so that the house battery will automatically be connected for charging when there is sufficient voltage available. Otherwise the engine charges the starting battery only.
This way you will always have a strong battery for starting.
The nice part of upgrading the boat battery system is that you can take it with you when you get a new motor. You can even take it with you to a new boat!
posted 12-14-2004 11:47 PM ET (US)
This sketch shows the arrangement better:
posted 12-15-2004 08:01 AM ET (US)
I agree with Jim. Don't bother with modifying the 16 year old motor, its not worth it.
"WLS" thanks for the "big" compliment but I typically fall squarely into the category of the average American. Over the years I've pull started several different OMC V4s and V6s including my own. Perhaps an obsession with getting out on the water those days provided me with enough motivation to get the motor started.
The trick is as I have described: you need to get the flywheel turned just so the right amount of rope is wrapped around the flywheel. Having too much rope around the flywheel (too short a lead from the flywheel) or too little rope around the flywhell (too much of a lead from the flywheel) and starting will be difficult. It's worth practicing when you don't need it so you know how to do it when you do need it. It certainly is easier to do if the motor is warm.
Over this past weekend I was trying, unsucessfully, to get a 5 HP Briggs & Stratton motor connected to a leaf blower started and I would say the pulling effort is not much greater on the OMC V6 when you have the rope length right.
posted 12-15-2004 09:52 PM ET (US)
91 Vintage with no hours? What are they?
Looking at the use patterns the loads come out a little differently.
Basic Day Use (just electronics) = 2.1 amps
Again, the motor generates 3 amps at 1,000 rpm and 9 amps at 3500 rpm. Night running at idle would be the worst case scenario.... Unless you throw in the 17 amp CD player. You can get alot of hours on a good deep cycle battery but it would need to be hooked up to an external charger periodically.
At this point, anything I do to the battery system would be an upgrade! Thanks for the links.
Would this place the pistons midway between exhaust and power strokes? Do you think a "clean" engine would be easier to turn than a fouled one? It doesn't seem that fouling would require that much more effort to turn.
I have some time here to make a decision and at the risk of getting really anal about this I should look at use patterns in relationship to hours of use.
posted 12-15-2004 11:49 PM ET (US)
The engnines are 1991 OMC (Evenrudes V6 150 Hp), estimated time is around 175 hr. for the pair. I use the boat very infrequently and don't have a problem with "old" design as long as it is well maintained. Again 2k beats 30k every time. (meaning a repower)
As for the update, with old parts, I have found some vendors that "rebuild" stator coil assemblies, and the fly wheel is the hard nut to crack. Besides, if a 9 amp alternator can't keep up one battery, (and I have see this) what happens when I want to add to the load? Just two low batteries. You still have to run for hours at WOT to get the 9 amps! To me it is sort of looking at a glass pitcher, you have to be able to put back what you take out. I want to add a CD palyer and if lucky a radar unit, and I simply need more power.
Thanks to all!
posted 12-16-2004 07:28 AM ET (US)
Paul, its been about 5 years since I had my Johnson 150 and more than that since I had to pull start it, but my recollection with all big motors I've pull started is that if the timing pointer is at that 6 o'clock position, it usually was easiest to pull if the knot was at about the 10 o'clock position. From the point where you are pulling, I think that works out to having about 1/2 of a wrap around the flywheel. As I've said before, you'll end up pullling it several times to get some fuel into the cylinders and once it is in there you'll be surprised at how little rotation it takes to get it going.
posted 12-16-2004 05:06 PM ET (US)
Cicada, I recently moved up to a Revenge with a Johnson 150 hp (1990) with the measly 9 amp charging capacity. The boat came with one deep cycle battery in good condition, and not knowing the boat well, I brought along an extra fully-charged battery and a pair of jumper cables every time I went out. I haven't needed the 2nd battery yet - even after anchoring for several hours with the lights on. It really is amazing how much juice a deep-cycle battery can provide.
My vote would be to spend the money on a good back up battery, and forget about spending the dough on an upgraded charging circuit. Also, get a trickle charger and leave it on your battery(s) at home so you know they are topped off before every trip.
Regarding your voltmeter readings, My Revenge came with an OMC volt meter installed, and it never reads correctly. I questioned the seller about the low voltage reading and he said that the meter always indicated a low voltage until the battery was fully charged at which time the voltage jumps up. He couldn't explain why, and it makes no sense to me, but we checked the voltage at the battery with a digital meter, and it showed 14.8 when the engine was running, but the installed meter showed only 11 volts +/-. Can anyone explain that one?
posted 12-16-2004 05:31 PM ET (US)
OMC was really asleep at the wheel with their 150Hp charging systems back then. My little 2.0 liter 1989 Merc 150, according to the specs, has 40 amp alternator charging, and 22.5 amps at 1000 RPM. Admittedly, Mercury was bragging in their advertizing back then that they had the biggest charging systems of anybody. I guess it was actually true.
What did the 1990-1991 3.0 liter V-6's have?
posted 12-16-2004 06:01 PM ET (US)
Actually, the charging system on the OMC 150 was more than adequate at the time. I ran a fish finder, a GPS and a VHF radio without any difficulty for 10 years. When my one battery died it had nothing to do with the charging system and everything to do with the fact it was 2 years older than the warranted life and I did nothing over the offseason to store the battery properly.
Larry, did you ever measure the charging capacity for your 150 to confirm its output is to the advertised rating? The reason I ask is that the Mercury marketing department does seem to have a history of biasing tests to produce favorable results.
posted 12-16-2004 06:30 PM ET (US)
Since 1985, OMC had 35 amp charging systems on their big block V6's. In 1991 on up, the 150-175 60 degree V-6 motors had 35 amp charging, also.
posted 12-16-2004 07:47 PM ET (US)
OMC had the OPTION for a 35 amp charging circuit. It didn't come with it unless it was ordered (at least in 1988!).
If you have a color video fishfinder, a color chartplotter, a VHF radio on, adjust the trim tabs from time to time while underway for varying sea conditions, shut off the motor between drifts, and only run around 2500-3000 rpm's, you definitely won't have enough juice with 1 battery for the day with the 9 amp charging circuit.
Been there, done that.
posted 12-16-2004 11:43 PM ET (US)
If you are still thinking about buying the parts to convert to a 35 amp system, you will also need a different upper crankshaft bearing housing. The 35 amp stator and flywheel are a lot thicker than the 9 amp versions and the height of the stator support posts on the bearing housing is different, as are the stator screws.
posted 12-16-2004 11:55 PM ET (US)
Thank you for the information. I will pass it on to my "scounger".
posted 12-20-2004 12:52 AM ET (US)
You might want to pass on to your scrounger that there have been a lot of parts for that age of motors on ebay lately. Including several sellers who seem to have access to quite a few motors for parting out. Even if you don't see it on ebay writing some of them might turn up the parts. Something like a flywheel tends to go real cheap on ebay.
posted 12-21-2004 03:19 PM ET (US)
Thank you I will pass it on.
posted 03-01-2005 08:24 PM ET (US)
The conversion to the higher amp charging is out of the picture at this time. I've been looking at setting up a dual battery system and the addition of a kicker with a 10 amp charging option. The kicker would be set up to be removed or installed on the boat depending on use. I figure a quick connector at the fuel filter, a set of electrical studs in the transom area and going to the BEP Products for the electrical controls.
Keeping in mind the separation of electrical systems I would like to have the capability to charge either battery with either motor. BEP has a dual sensing Voltage Sensing Relay listed and I was wondering if this may be appropriate to the setup?
By the way, the CD player for all intensive purposes will be ditched. Pretty expensive decoration for the console.
posted 03-01-2005 11:25 PM ET (US)
posted 03-02-2005 09:43 AM ET (US)
A little more research on the BEP marine site indicates that a Voltage Sensitive Relay may not be appropriate for the setup. It appears that the maximum size battery that can be used with the VSR is related to the charge output of the motor. For a 10 amp system the maximum house battery would be a 60 AH battery.
I was thinking about a larger house battery and would have to look at how the boat is used a little more before going to a 60 AH battery.
The dual VSR would probably work in the setup if the rate of charge was higher.
posted 03-07-2005 11:40 AM ET (US)
Did I miss something on this thread, or would a simple onboard charger work well in this situation? Not too expensive, and useable if you decide to re-power at a later date. My '90 Merc 150 Black Max does a marginal job of charging -- I just let the charger do it's thing when it's at the dock and I have no problems.....I have a "pro-series" dual bank charger that works great.
try this link:
posted 03-08-2005 09:26 PM ET (US)
An on board charger is part of the solution here. I picked one up over the week-end. Going through all of this I've had to take a look at the varied use that the boat recieves. It's a family boat and we all have a little different interests in how we use it.
For day use I'd say the on board charger is just the ticket.
For any kind of extended use where power is not available the demands on the electrical system either require some means to generate electricity on board, enough battery power to meet the demands or a combination of both.
I'm in the process of looking at how the boat is used and when to try to come up with the right solution. I know it will be a dual battery setup and have a pretty good idea on the requirements for a house battery etc. A motor with a little more generating capacity would have certainly helped to simplify this situation.
Thanks for the link. Nice site, informative.
posted 07-17-2005 06:10 PM ET (US)
posted 07-21-2005 11:17 PM ET (US)
Good idea on the electrical forum.
The motor ended up being rebuilt without the addition of the charging upgrade.
When I purchased the boat the battery was in the console with #2 wire running from the motor to the battery. The house load was wired through the rigging tunnel to the circuit breaker at the stern and back to the console where it connected into the house panel. The wiring was stripped out and the circuit breaker was moved to the console.
All of the above are in the console along with the standard starting battery. Batteries are interconnected through the switches with #2 wire.
9.9 hp Johnson 4 stroke with optional 10 amp charging - wired to BEP studs located at the stern. 6 ga wiring from stern direct to house battery.
Either motor will charge both batteries when it's individual battery has reached full charge and there is a surplus from the charging circuits.
So far I have about 30 hours of operation on the main motor and about 12 hours on the kicker. The system appears to be working pretty good. The only time I've hooked up the on board charger is after the kids have used the boat for the day. Their demands on the electrical system exceed the motor's capacity to charge. Still tweaking things on the system here and there.
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