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2000 Johnson J90PLSIG - False No Oil Alarm

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2000 Johnson J90PLSIG - False No Oil Alarm

Old 06-13-2019, 07:55 AM
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Default 2000 Johnson J90PLSIG - False No Oil Alarm

Going to start this off by saying I am new to boating. Bought a used 2000 Aqua Patio pontoon boat a couple years ago and it has a Johnson J90PLSIG motor. Towards the end of last season, I would be out on the water and the No Oil alarm would come on (constant buzzing and a light on the dash). I know that the motor is still taking oil because I monitor the oil tank (motor is oil injected). Found that if I turn the key slightly, half the gauges on the dashboard shut off including the alarm. The boat continues to ride fine and I imagine if this was a real issue, I would have blown up the motor already! The bulb for the oil line is solid. Any recommendations on where I should start looking for this or common fail points?

Thanks,
Bob

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Old 06-13-2019, 04:25 PM
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Make sure there is no water in the oil tank!
Oil floats on water so make D_____ sure it's oil.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:36 PM
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Next time it does it, locate the vro harness behind the air silencer and disconnect it while the engine is running. If the light goes out after @ 30 sec the pump circuitry is the issue, if the light stays on it’s most likely a bad gauge. I have seen both go bad. By the way your engine is a 2001.
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Old 06-14-2019, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Hydrarude1750DC View Post
Next time it does it, locate the vro harness behind the air silencer and disconnect it while the engine is running. If the light goes out after @ 30 sec the pump circuitry is the issue, if the light stays on it’s most likely a bad gauge. I have seen both go bad. By the way your engine is a 2001.
Thank you! I will certainly try this next weekend when I am with the boat. Last weekend I replaced the gas line going from the gas tank to the engine because the ball would never stiffen up. Looked like it was the original BUT even the new one doesn't get that hard (I am comparing it to how hard the ball gets for the oil line). Seems like if I am having issues with that oil alarm and the fuel line, the VRO might be the culprit. Appreciate the heads up on the year of the engine. I was going by the date stamp of 10/2000 on the engine.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:49 AM
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Wouldn't a constant horn be an overheat condition and not a no-oil condition?

The no-oil warning typically is a on-off-on-off cadence

I'd do the recommend maintenance of the VRO
  • verify that the oil reservoir doesn't have water or jelly at the bottom and clogging
  • using 1/4" ID clear tube, marked every 1/2 inch, verify that oil is being consumed (run on premix external tank) (I think 1" column in 2-3 pulses at 1000rpm(I'll have to double check that number))
  • running on external premix tank, verify that the no-oil warning sounds after a few minutes after disconnecting the oil line. (about 3 minutes at idle and about 1 minute at 2000 rpm)
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by cfauvel View Post
Wouldn't a constant horn be an overheat condition and not a no-oil condition?

The no-oil warning typically is a on-off-on-off cadence

I'd do the recommend maintenance of the VRO
  • verify that the oil reservoir doesn't have water ro jelly at the bottom and clogging
  • using 1/4" ID clear tube, marked every 1/2 inch, verify that oil is being consumed (run on premix external tank) (I think 1" column in 2-3 pulses at 1000rpm(I'll have to double check that number))
  • running on external premix tank, verify that the no-oil warning sounds after a few minutes after disconnecting the oil line. (about 3 minutes at idle and about 1 minute at 2000 rpm)
When the constant alarm starts, the No Oil Light comes on in the dash. I don't recall noticing anything odd about the temperature gauge but I will pay closer attention next time.
When you say "external premix tank", are you referring to a gas and oil mixture? If so, how would I set this up? Would I disconnect the gas line running to the onboard gas tank and attach it to the premix tank? Would I disconnect the oil line? Do I need to do anything to the VRO?

Thanks and Appreciate all the feedback!
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:18 AM
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when I say external tank, yeah I mean at least 5 gallons jug of fuel premixed to a ratio of 50;1

You'd disconnect your fuel line before the primer bulb. attach a length of fuel line to the primer bulb and dip the end of the hose into the external tank (or attach it properly if you have an outboard tank)

Your motor with system check MAY have a different horn sound than mine. But I thought it was the same throughout the years.

I'll see if I can get SeaHorse to chime in on this thread...

Would I disconnect the oil line? Do I need to do anything to the VRO?
to do the test for oil consumption you would have to disconnect the original oil line from the oil inlet of the VRO and attach the clear line....the clear line will need to be bent upwards and attached temporarily vertically .

like this

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Old 06-14-2019, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by cfauvel View Post

Wouldn't a constant horn be an overheat condition and not a no-oil condition?

The no-oil warning typically is a on-off-on-off cadence
Those horn sequences are only for the 1995 and older motors
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by seahorse View Post
Those horn sequences are only for the 1995 and older motors

learn something new everyday....since I've only ever owned one motor (27 years) ...I only know one motor LOL
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Old 06-15-2019, 01:21 PM
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In 1996 they came out with the SystemCheck gauge which had four LED warning lights. HOT or TEMP, NO OIL, CHECK ENGINE, and LOW OIL. The warning horn would sound for about 10 seconds to alert the boat operator of a situation and at the same time the appropriate indicator LED came on. The LED stayed on even after the horn stopped until the warning issue was back to normal.
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:55 PM
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Your OMS Pump could be failing and burning too much oil. That's what mine did. Mine would sound, light stayed on for a bit then went off.

Check how much oil it's burning.
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:12 AM
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Had a chance to do more troubleshooting with the boat:
1) Checked the oil reservoir. No water or sludge in the bottom and confirmed that the float sensor works. When float is out of the tank, the LOW OIL light is on. When it is in, the light is out.
2) When the NO OIL LIGHT was on, I disconnected the wires for the VRO. The light remained on. One of the suggestions was that if the NO OIL light remained on even after the VRO was unplugged then the gauge could be bad. I ordered a replacement system check gauge so will try it this weekend coming up.

I did have the boat out over the weekend and knock on wood, seems to have run fine. Seems to be the usual amount of white smoke while going at slow speeds but goes away after speeding up.

1) Should I have to prime the bulb in the gas line before I start the boat after it sits for a day or longer? I've seen both yes and no for this.
2) Is there a way to adjust the throttle? The boat goes from 5mph to 10mph. I have a hard time putting it anywhere in between.
3) Can anyone tell me what spark plugs should be in this engine? Can't seem to find it for my specific engine. When I search, the J90PLSSE comes up and the recommended spark plug is QL78YC. This write up on the VRO (continous wave site - can't post because I am a newbie) says "Incorrect spark plugs occasionally cause false warning signals, too. Use only the "Q" style suppresser plugs recommended by OMC for your motor. Resistor plugs are not the same thing and may be the source of problems." I picked up a set to replace the L78YC that I put in the boat at the beginning of last year. After swapping, the boat wouldn't start at all. Put the old ones back in and started fine. I noticed the gap was different between the QL78YC and L78YC so maybe its just a matter of gapping them?

Thanks,
Bob
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:37 AM
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Invest in an OEM service manual for your specific motor. Helps tremendously for the DIY'er.

I have a similar motor to yours. I do have to prime the fuel bulb if the boat sits for a day, or less even.

QL78YC should be the correct plug for that motor. You should definitely double-check the gap setting. That would be in the service manual as well.
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by SweetD View Post
Invest in an OEM service manual for your specific motor. Helps tremendously for the DIY'er.
The key in this is OEM service manual. I bought a Seloc manual for my J70PLSIS, and it was... underwhelming.
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:55 AM
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The gap settings have changed since the printing of the manuals......may actually have to reach out to an OMC mech.
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:20 PM
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I see for $45, I can access the online manual for the engine for 3 years. Does anyone know if they keep the online manuals up to date? ie Would they have the correct gap settings?
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:28 PM
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Correct gap is .030" for the QL78YC plugs.
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:50 PM
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Just wanted to close the loop on this. Replaced the gauge and gaped the spark plugs. Had the boat out for 6 hours, ran great and had no alarms!
Thanks again for all the suggestions!
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