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1999 Johnson 115 trim/tilt problem

Old 01-31-2011, 04:22 AM
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Default 1999 Johnson 115 trim/tilt problem

The trim/tilt has been working intermittently for a few trips, and now has gone out completely. The battery tests fine under a load. Occasionally the trim would come on while no one was touching anything, and the engine was turned off. A helpful passer-by at the ramp told me it may be a problem with the trim/tilt relay. Any idea where that little booger lives? The relay, not the passer-by...hey, you gotta keep your sense of humor when your motor has crapped out right before spring...my GUESS is I have to remove the started to access the relay?

Any input/advice/help would be very much appreciated.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:51 AM
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Trim coming on by itself is usually a shorted switch. Locate the switch on the engine cowl and follow the wires, you'll find the relays, but unplug each of the two triangular connectors (#6 & #21) on at a time and try the trim. This will isolate each of the switches, one on the cowl and one on your control handle. If it works with one of them unplugged, you know that the other one is shorted and needs replaced.

You can do the same with the relays, one is for up & the other is down. Should the switches not be an issue, you can unplug or even swap these relays to test for defective relay.

FYI: I've seen more failed trim switches on the cowl than at the throttle handle, and these are stupid easy to replace.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by mdwstson View Post
Trim coming on by itself is usually a shorted switch. Locate the switch on the engine cowl and follow the wires, you'll find the relays, but unplug each of the two triangular connectors (#6 & #21) on at a time and try the trim. This will isolate each of the switches, one on the cowl and one on your control handle. If it works with one of them unplugged, you know that the other one is shorted and needs replaced.

You can do the same with the relays, one is for up & the other is down. Should the switches not be an issue, you can unplug or even swap these relays to test for defective relay.

FYI: I've seen more failed trim switches on the cowl than at the throttle handle, and these are stupid easy to replace.

I don't want to be all mushy, but this is incredible, in my opinion! I ask for help with a problem outboard, and not only do a I get a response, I get detailed instructions on trouble-shooting, and what appears to be a wiring diagram from a service manual, posted by a certified mechanic, to boot! Come on, it doesn't get any better than that!

I thank you VERY much, mdwstson. You, sir, are a gentleman, and a scholar.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:14 PM
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Does the Tilt/trim intermittent issues happen with both the control switch and the engine mounted switch? I had the same issues but only with the engine mounted switch. I found that one of the pins on the triangle shaped plug (#21 in the diagram) had been pulling out of the plug and needed to be reseated.
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Old 02-02-2011, 04:52 AM
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Quick follow-up.

Isolated faulty trim switch (following mdwstson's directions) on binnacle. Bought a replacement locally, installed it, and I'll be back on the water this weekend.

Thanks again to mdwstson for the help!
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by onejacker View Post
Quick follow-up.

Isolated faulty trim switch (following mdwstson's directions) on binnacle. Bought a replacement locally, installed it, and I'll be back on the water this weekend.

Thanks again to mdwstson for the help!

Glad to hear you're up and running again!
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:10 AM
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Angry Trim Problem

I have a simular problem with the Trim gauge. I can push the trim control button but the gauge doesn't move. I'm not sure what the promlem might be. I have a 1999 Johnson 130. Maybe you can give ma a little advise.

Russ
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:30 AM
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When I first read the about the symptoms (particularly the part about the motor occasionally going up or down on its own....) I figured it would be the switch up inside the binnacle (the shifter) since I've had that problem on more than one occasion in the last fifteen years. As a guide I'm changing out motors every two years or so, but the shifter and wiring harness remains the same until it needs replacing... If it's the binnacle end that's the problem, you'll be able to disassemble the shifter lever to find the switch and just replace it (it's two wires to the shifter button/switch). Your local dealer will be able to provide the part and probably some tips on installation. Good luck and post up if that fixes your trouble. I've never had anything but Johnson or Evinrude now since 1973, so I've seen my share of the little things that can aggravate you with them...
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:57 AM
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The trim position sending unit is located under the engine between the transom clamp brackets, it is a simple affair with a plastic lever that moves with the engine when trimming up and down. Very likely the lever is stuck from corrosion or it has been damaged from water intrusion. Raise the engine all the way and try to move the lever on the sender by hand with the key in the on position while watching the gauge. If it is stuck you may be able to free it up with some lubricant... if it moves freely but doesn't register a reading on the gauge then check the connections... may need a new sending unit. The gauge rarely fails.
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