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Old 10 September 2006, 15:59   #1
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Country: UK - England
Town: Todmorden
Boat name: Domingo
Make: Humber
Length: 5m +
Engine: 50hp
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 29
Problem Today!

As I'm a new ribster I'm hoping someone can throw some light on a problem I had today. My outboard lost power without warning, to be honest I thought it had stopped at first. It made the beep which my rib makes when you put the key in, why it did this I don't know, then it powered right down. I immediately headed back to harbour with the engine chug chugging along giving me around 8 knots, although the rev counter showed a steady 3000. The speed then dropped to 4 knots but I'm assuming that's because I was going against the tide.

When I got back I wanted to carry out a few tests with the rib in the water but as I was losing the tide I had to quickly recover it and head home. I fully expected to find a damaged prop but it seems fine. I now have to get this checked but really haven't got the foggiest what could cause the engine to lose power so dramatically - anyone got any ideas?

The rib is a 5m Humber and the outboard is a Johnson 50hp which is virtually brand new, only done around 15 hours and it had its 10 hour service the other day. I live just outside Rochdale so MGA Watersports would have been the place to take it to but as they're now closed can any North West ribster recommend a place where I could go to get it looked at? I took it to Liverpool Powerboats for it's 1st service but don't really want to lug it all the way to Liverpool again if there's somewhere closer.
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Old 10 September 2006, 16:08   #2
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Town: Stanley, Falkland Is
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Make: Osprey Vipermax 5.8
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were there any warning lights? on my Johnson it has four warning lights on the rev counter for overheat, low oil, no oil etc etc and when it beeps one of the lights will come on I think (though I haven't broken it yet, touch wood!)

just a wild guess but maybe it was the overheat warning and the engine shuts down to low revs as a self-protection measure?
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Old 10 September 2006, 16:22   #3
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Country: UK - England
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That would explain the beep. Got to be honest, I didn't look at the lights, I was more concerned with getting back. I just tried putting the key in now and it beeps and all four lights come on then go out one at a time, of course the engine's cold now so no overheat light would come on just yet. Maybe in the morning I need to check the oil level and see if low oil caused the problem.

I wasn't aware that the engine shuts down to low revs if there's a problem but I didn't think 3000 was low? Though the engine was chug chugging and didn't sound right, at 3000 revs I've have expected more than 4 knots.
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Old 10 September 2006, 16:26   #4
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Country: UK - Wales
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Sounds like exactly what happened with my suzuki 15hp 4 stroke. Turned out someone had stuck some black tape over the water intakes - had been flapping about so ok sometimes and not the next. Missfire and low power is a get you home mode.
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Old 10 September 2006, 16:31   #5
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Country: Other
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codprawn
4 stroke. Turned out someone had stuck some black tape over the water intakes - had been flapping about so ok sometimes and not the next.
Why on earth would someone do that ?
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Old 10 September 2006, 16:33   #6
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I know that with my Yammie I get different beep patterns(e.g. continous, intermittant etc) to indicate different faults. It could just be that you ran into an overhead situation and then engine reverted to a "get you home" mode that has just enough power to move the boat but that limits potential heating damage. You'll probably find some useful diagnostics for the beep codes somewhere on line, but if not then I'm sure that the Clymer manual for your engine will have the relevant info

Did you also happen to notice whether the cooling tell-tale was still p!ss!ng out the back? That would be sure way to overheat and I feel sure the engine would have some way of warning you that was happening

Also is it oil premix or autolube? If pre-mix, are you using the correct ratio (e.g. 50:1 or whatever your o/board takes). If autolube, are you able to see the oil level in the reservoir? If so have you tried drawing a line to indicate the level and then running the engine for a while and checking that the oil level has dropped.

Not sure if this is of any help but its somewhere to start

Andrew
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Old 10 September 2006, 16:37   #7
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Country: UK - England
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Boat name: Stormchild
Make: Ribquest 5.8
Length: 6m +
Engine: Suzuki DF115TUL
MMSI: 235030489
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Posts: 83
Have you considered all of the alternatives?

What were the conditions like ? - any chance of water ingress into your fuel tank? - Does your rib have a vented inboard tank or portable cans which you hook up when you go out? - I've had problems with condensation forming in portable tanks in the past, and I've now got a seperator fitted.
Checked all your wiring? Impeller OK? have you got a handbook with your outboard with some fault finding suggestions in? Does a flashing warning light flash in a sequennce that would indicate a certain fault etc.
Could be something and nothing, and a read up could well save you a few quid...
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Old 10 September 2006, 16:45   #8
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if its a nearly new engine then surely its under warranty and should be taken back to the dealer
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Old 10 September 2006, 16:52   #9
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Just a long shot here, but what if you where speeding along when the rubber bush in the prop decided to let go?

The revs would rise very quickly and hit the rev limit "Beep" and then the prop might slip relitive to the engine speed which it why you were doing 8 knotts at 3000rpm.

I know that this has happened before to other people. Why not you?

Chug chugging at 3000rpm is a mystery though.
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Old 10 September 2006, 16:57   #10
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eng prob

I'll bet your oil tank is low, I am assuming it is 2S injection. I wouldn't take any notice of the revs indication if the ignition is cross firing (safety mode) your tacho is prbably all to pot anyway.
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