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Old 02-08-2011, 09:30 AM
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Default Optimax Warning Horn

My 2004 Optimax 225hp sounds the warning horn with intermittent beeps (beep, beep, beep, beep) about one second apart. The horn does not sound on start, and sometimes does not sound until about 10 or 15 minutes of running. Once it starts, if I shut down and wait a few minutes, it will not sound again for a few minutes. Power does not seem to be affected, and there appears to be no RPM restriction on the engine (but I'm not running WOT with a beeping alarm to test this theory). Other symptoms include engine temp that will warm up at idle, but gets to the cold end of the gauge when running at speed (this might be normal, it's a new to me boat and gauge).

From what I can guess reading the manuals, this problem might be a faulty throttle position sensor. Am I looking in the right direction? If so, how do I test to make sure?

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:57 AM
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Is it constant beeping once it starts beeping or is it 4 beeps one minute of silence then 4 beeps one minute of silence............?
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:17 AM
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Is it constant beeping once it starts beeping or is it 4 beeps one minute of silence then 4 beeps one minute of silence............?

No, it's a constant beeping. Each beep about a second apart. Once it starts it doesn't quit until the engine is shut down.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:40 AM
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Check to see that you have good water flow from your overboard indicator. It is the only outlet of cooling water from your air compressor. We've had bugs, wasps, etc fill the outlet on ours with mud and restrict flow. That pee stream has no bearing on engine water flow, only the compressor.
The compressor overheat warning is seperate from the engine overheat sensor, and will not put it into RPM reduction or any other engine affect till the compressor fries itself. Fortunately the compressor can withstand overheating far better that the engine can.
There is also a plastic filter screen on the lower port side of the block (screwed into the adapter under the powerhead) that is there to protect the compressor water supply. Pull that, or have your tech do it and clean it thoroughly.
There is even pictoral instructions, on this forum, as to how to access that filter. I think it's about three or four pages back and it is good info.
Good luck!
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:41 AM
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I don't know if they are all the same, but I have a 2001 200 Optimax and the manual I'm pretty sure it says for CONSTANT 1 SECOND BEEPS the TPS has something wrong with it.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:00 AM
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I had a similar problem on a 1999 225 Optimax. I think you only get a throttle restriction (2500 rpms) if there is a problem with both of them. It was a pretty easy fix. I bought them online and replaced them in about 10 minutes....I got so tired of listening to the beep 1 day I had to cut the wire to the horn...
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by tiretired View Post
Check to see that you have good water flow from your overboard indicator. It is the only outlet of cooling water from your air compressor. We've had bugs, wasps, etc fill the outlet on ours with mud and restrict flow. That pee stream has no bearing on engine water flow, only the compressor.
The compressor overheat warning is seperate from the engine overheat sensor, and will not put it into RPM reduction or any other engine affect till the compressor fries itself. Fortunately the compressor can withstand overheating far better that the engine can.
There is also a plastic filter screen on the lower port side of the block (screwed into the adapter under the powerhead) that is there to protect the compressor water supply. Pull that, or have your tech do it and clean it thoroughly.
There is even pictoral instructions, on this forum, as to how to access that filter. I think it's about three or four pages back and it is good info.
Good luck!
Thanks, the indicator stream is strong, and the strainer is clean. I'm still thinking TPS.
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Old 02-08-2011, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by cgmiller View Post
I had a similar problem on a 1999 225 Optimax. I think you only get a throttle restriction (2500 rpms) if there is a problem with both of them. It was a pretty easy fix. I bought them online and replaced them in about 10 minutes....I got so tired of listening to the beep 1 day I had to cut the wire to the horn...
I'm confused? Both of what? Replaced what?

I have thought about disconnecting the horn.
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:09 PM
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Jack,

There are two (2) throttle position sensors..or at least there was on the engine I owned. I had multiple problems with mine, so the day I cut the horn wire, I was certain that there was nothing wrong with the engine and putted around for the rest of the day..I was only fishing a few miles from the dock. I think there was only 2 bolts that held them in place. I think I got them from the us boat supply (www.usboatsupply.com). They provide diagrams and parts lists pretty easy to use.
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:51 PM
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There's only one TPS on my engine (at least I think there's only one). Mercury wants about $170 for a replacement. I'm going to do a little troubleshooting before I lay out the bucks unnecessarily. Troubleshooting tips and experiences would be appreciated.
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:05 PM
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On my older 150EFI a steady horn, was when the oil pump broke.
You probably don't want to ignore it.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:54 PM
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I had a similar situation with my optimax, and also thought that it was the TPS based on what the manual said. It turned out to be a bad direct injector that was working on and off. This went on for about a month before it finally went bad. The only way to find out for sure is to hook up then engine to the computer.
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:27 AM
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stop guessing and hook it up to the computer.Mine did the same thing and it was also a bad injector.Good luck!
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:58 AM
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Most shops will charge you around $75 for a hook up read out to your motor. For the problem you have, that would be the best money you spent or drive yourself nuts chasing a problem and wasting your time and money, Cutting a warning horn wire is just asking for trouble no matter what! Don't go there!
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:46 AM
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water in the fuel
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:50 AM
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I wish it were water in the fuel, but I've already checked the fuel/water separator and the engine fuel filter. No evidence of water in the fuel was found.

The hint about the bad injector is definitely worth following up.

Its good advice to have a shop check out the problem with a DDT, and I will if I can't sort things out before boating season arrives here. OTOH, if I can figure it out myself it would save a lot of hassle and a little bit of money plus I might learn a little more about my boat's engine and I enjoy this kind of problem solving.

I'm, a do-it-yourself kind of guy and from my perspective it would almost be worth buying an eBay DDT just to sort things out now and in the future. Of course any advice I get here also helps.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Hart View Post
I wish it were water in the fuel, but I've already checked the fuel/water separator and the engine fuel filter. No evidence of water in the fuel was found.

The hint about the bad injector is definitely worth following up.

Its good advice to have a shop check out the problem with a DDT, and I will if I can't sort things out before boating season arrives here. OTOH, if I can figure it out myself it would save a lot of hassle and a little bit of money plus I might learn a little more about my boat's engine and I enjoy this kind of problem solving.

I'm, a do-it-yourself kind of guy and from my perspective it would almost be worth buying an eBay DDT just to sort things out now and in the future. Of course any advice I get here also helps.
... or buy the Mercury manual. They are excellent and it should not only tell you what the beep means, but tell you how to trouble shoot it. I know when my TPS went bad, my SmartCraft told me exactly what the problem was - so the DDT readout is also good advice.

It's wrong to assume that it is harmless to run with a malfunctioning TPS. The TPS provides the information the computer uses to determine how much fuel and oil to inject. When the TPS fails, the computer goes into a default mode and no longer varies these values according to throttle setting. Bottom line, your oiling and fuel are no longer optimal for every throttle setting.

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Old 02-09-2011, 07:00 AM
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Good advice. I have the Mercury manuals for my motor. They may provide just enough knowledge to get me into trouble, but at least the trouble will be entertaining.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:27 AM
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Jack,

I will give you one final word of advise from my long expensive season with an Optimax...dont jerk around with these highly complex technical engines. I bought the service manual and it told me what the TPS was doing. I spent 300 bucks or so, replaced them and that problem was done. A month later I lost a cylinder after enjoying 2 days in a row of fishing. Spent 7 weeks trying to figure out why the #6 cylinder would stop firing above 2000 rpms..worked with a good mechanic who rebuilt fuel pumps due to low pressure, replaced an injector, hooked up a loaner ECM, nothing helped...finally had to suck it up and crawl over to the merc-only dealer. After eating some crow for not taking it to him when I bought it, he replaced the plugs,wires, thermostat housings (1 was stuck open) and the temperature sensor which was reading too low...all diagnosed with his computer...engine is still running strong for the new owner 3 years later....
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by cgmiller View Post
Jack,

I will give you one final word of advise from my long expensive season with an Optimax...dont jerk around with these highly complex technical engines. I bought the service manual and it told me what the TPS was doing. I spent 300 bucks or so, replaced them and that problem was done. A month later I lost a cylinder after enjoying 2 days in a row of fishing. Spent 7 weeks trying to figure out why the #6 cylinder would stop firing above 2000 rpms..worked with a good mechanic who rebuilt fuel pumps due to low pressure, replaced an injector, hooked up a loaner ECM, nothing helped...finally had to suck it up and crawl over to the merc-only dealer. After eating some crow for not taking it to him when I bought it, he replaced the plugs,wires, thermostat housings (1 was stuck open) and the temperature sensor which was reading too low...all diagnosed with his computer...engine is still running strong for the new owner 3 years later....
I gather from what you write that you were able to diagnose a problem with the TPS and replace it to fix the problem? What were the symptoms of TPS failure? Do you think your problems with the TPS had any relationship to the other problems you experienced?

There is a Mercury certified shop less than half a mile away, but before I spend $80 an hour for labor and full retail for replacement parts, I'd like a shot at doing the repair myself. I'm just that kind of guy, and I admit that this behavior has gotten me into a lot of trouble in the past.
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