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Author Topic:   Optimax Needs Fuel and Oil to Run
roofer posted 08-29-2002 04:23 PM ET (US)   Profile for roofer   Send Email to roofer  

I have been having two problems with my 135 optimax which any guidance on would be appreciated.

First when I am trolling out of harbor which takes about 22 minutes the motor will sometimes die due to the fact that gas is not be adequately supplied to the engine. Prior to starting the boat I pump the gas ball but when the motor dies I find that the gas ball is soft, I pump it again and the motor start right up. This occurs once every two or three trips out of the harbor.

Two when I am water-skiing which intales a series of starts and stops my check oil light goes on when I gun the boat (which does not mean I am simply throwing the hammer, but giving it enough power quickly enough to get the skier up) when this occurs the motor losses substantial power. I am forced to stop turn off the motor and restart the engine. In a 2-3 hour session of water-skiing this occurs 2-6 times. I had the marina look at it they said I did not have enough oil in the oil tank and that the cap was not on tight enough. I had just under half a tank of oil they added enough oil to take the tank up to over ĺ full, and they tightened the oil cap. I went water-skiing last weekend and had the same problem, i.e. the marinaís solution did not work.

Any help would be great, I realize from what I have read on this website that not everyone is a fan of the Optimax. That being said, it is the engine I own so just telling me that Opti suck wont really help. FYI it is a 2000 135 Optimax. I bought the boat new this year even though it was a year plus old. The boat is a 18ft 2000 outrage.

linhans posted 08-29-2002 04:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for linhans  Send Email to linhans     
I have a 90 2s whith had the same problem as mentioned as your problem one. You must have an air-leak somewhere in your fuelline. My air-leak was in the fuel-connector which connects the fuelline to the tank. I have no solution for your second problem.
diveorfish posted 08-29-2002 05:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for diveorfish  Send Email to diveorfish     
I had a similar problem once on my 135 Optimax that caused an oil reservoir warning to display on my Smart gauge as well as cause my engine to overheat. Iím not sure if its related but my problem had to do with the oil reservoir on the engine itself. There is a little plastic oil tank on the port side of the engine. That tank should be completely full at all times. If the level is not full, the oil reservoir warning will display (for sure) and the oil does not flow correctly (I think). Anyway, sometimes air gets in that reservoir which causes the oil level to lower than full and therefore causes the warning to display along with the related problems. To fix it, you have to unscrew the reservoir cap and bleed the air from the reservoir while the engine is idling. As the air bleeds out, the reservoir fills with oil so be ready to place the cap back on quickly because the reservoir will overflow and you donít want to spill oil all over you engine.

Hope this is all it is. Good luck!

jimh posted 08-29-2002 06:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I am again tempted to change the TOPIC of this posting to be "Optimax engine won't run without fuel or oil".
bsmotril posted 08-29-2002 06:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
Bad Primer Bulb (more common than you might think)
Dirty in motor fuel filter
Too restrictive aftermaket water/separator filter
Low battery voltage

But, to find out for sure, take it back to the dealer and have them run diagnostics.


TRAFFICLAWYER posted 08-29-2002 07:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    
yoy might try replacing the primer bulb,my 1998 135 optimax kept stalling as a result of a defective bulb., by the way your right about the sucking part.
dhlaw posted 08-30-2002 07:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for dhlaw  Send Email to dhlaw     
There was a recall on the primer bulbs on my 2000 Optis. Quick replace, and easy too. Did the mechanic hook up the DDT to your motor?? What were the faults? I suspect you may have a bad oil level sender but only the DDT can tell for sure. Do yourself a favor and buy a factory service manual. Also, fear not these are good motors and I now am very satisfied with my Optis.
jimh posted 08-30-2002 09:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The primer bulb problems seem very common these days. I think part of it is that the lower horsepower 4-stroke engines have very low rates of fuel usage. They have made the check valves on the primer bulbs more sensitive (i.e., open under less pressure) so the engine can draw fuel through them. If the check valve does not re-seat properly, the system loses prime.

I went through about 4 primer bulbs. I complained to the Mercury mechanic (who does all my work on my Yamaha engine). He installed (for free) two new Mercury primer bulbs. They prime beautifully and stay primed all day.

You definitely do not want to run an engine like the OPTIMAX with fuel starvation. This could cause big problems.

Whatever the plumbing of the oil system, you have to keep it full. It sounds like the sensors have stopped you from running without oil.

The OPTIMAX engine has received some very vocal criticism. I try to keep a more neutral opinion and that is why I have changed the topic. (Was "Optimax problem").


bdb posted 08-30-2002 09:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for bdb  Send Email to bdb     
Diveorfish is absolutley right in his post above. And it doesn't just pertain to the's that way on all the larger (seperate resevoir) Merc's. I've seen this a number of times this summer in our yard. Follow his instructions...that's the answer to the oil part.
VMG posted 08-30-2002 01:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for VMG  Send Email to VMG     
Cannot comment on Optimax since I've got Yams. However, I had a similar fuel starvation problem w/ my 98 225 EFI. Dealer changed the fuel primer bulb and I never had the same problem again. Dealer said both Grady and BW had problems w/ a certain vendor's primer bulb product during that period. As I understand it, Grady issued a recall on the part, BW chose to replace on an as-required basis. That may account for the problem lingering around for a while in BW products.
tbyrne posted 08-30-2002 04:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbyrne    
And we wonder why Grady got better J.D. Power ratings than Whaler. . .
prxmid posted 08-30-2002 04:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for prxmid  Send Email to prxmid     
I have the same boat as Roofer, OR18, but with a 150 Opti DFI. I had the exact same problem and it was diagnosed as a TPI issue. (Throttle Position Indicator).

Don't know what he did but the mechanic fixed it and it has run fine ever since.

roofer posted 09-03-2002 11:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for roofer  Send Email to roofer     
thanks for the replies, I will talk to my dealer about having some of these adjustments made.

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