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Thread: sj low oil alarm

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    Default sj low oil alarm

    New to me 06 phantom with 260hrs, 15 I put on gave the the 2nd low oil alarm. The 1st time it happened 20 mins from launch get an alarm, shut engine down, look everything over, find nothing, restart and good for the rest of the trip. The 2nd time yesterday before launch noticed the engine oil tank cap had striped out and was leaking. Cleaned up oil and and put cap on where it seemed tight. Again 20mins after launch get low oil alarm. This time shut down and notice oil tank is a couple inchs lower than normal, but had not overflowed and left a mess yet. Resart and idle and can watch oil level rise, take off and no problems. but after trip noticed oil tank is leaking again. Is this problem related to the leaking oil cap or bad sensor/oil pump? It also seemed to burn alot of fuel, almost 30 gal from nordale to the pumphouse and back. Which is about a about an hour each way, running 4000rpms down, smartcraft saying 6gph, coming back 4400 smartcraft saying 8.5gph. It seemed like twice as much fuel as it should have burned.

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    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    The inboard Optimax has an oil tank, and an oil reservoir. The oil tank is where you add oil. The oil reservoir is on the engine and is where the low oil sensor is located. The way it works is the engine pressurizes the oil tank. That pressure then pushes oil from the tank to the reservoir.

    So, if your oil tank cap is loose, stripped, etc and leaking air pressure the system will not be able to push as much oil as it should from the oil tank to the oil reservoir.

    When you get a low oil alarm look at the plastic tank on the side of the engine and see if the oil level is below the sensor. If so everything is working the way it should.

    My suggestion is before you do anything fix the oil tank, even if that means buying a new tank. Itís a of a lot cheaper than a new engine.

    I know the Optimax has a "limp mode" and runs rich when the ECM senses a problem. Fix the oil issue and then see if that doesnít fix your fuel issue.

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    When I said the oil tank was leaking, I meant the oil reservoil on the engine was leaking, I tightned the cap on the main oil tank after the alarm but it was pretty tight. I saw were one member put a self tapper in reservoir to keep it from leaking, or should I just get a new one, are they that exspensive?

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    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    I'm just an owner, not a dealer or mechanic and Iíve never had to replace one so I couldnít tell you the price. Marita Sea & Ski should be able to quote you a price in a few minutes.

    My impression of this engine is that Mercury is running them hard to get the horse power to weight ratio they have. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it means they are not bullet proof.

    The engine needs warmed up when cold, good clean fuel, good high performance oil, keep an eye on the reed valves, etc. So anything that impacts that list worries me. So I either fix it or if in doubt take it to a mechanic who knows the Optimax.

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    Supporting Member HMS Erne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akhigh View Post
    New to me 06 phantom with 260hrs, 15 I put on gave the the 2nd low oil alarm. The 1st time it happened 20 mins from launch get an alarm, shut engine down, look everything over, find nothing, restart and good for the rest of the trip. The 2nd time yesterday before launch noticed the engine oil tank cap had striped out and was leaking. Cleaned up oil and and put cap on where it seemed tight. Again 20mins after launch get low oil alarm. This time shut down and notice oil tank is a couple inchs lower than normal, but had not overflowed and left a mess yet. Resart and idle and can watch oil level rise, take off and no problems. but after trip noticed oil tank is leaking again. Is this problem related to the leaking oil cap or bad sensor/oil pump? It also seemed to burn alot of fuel, almost 30 gal from nordale to the pumphouse and back. Which is about a about an hour each way, running 4000rpms down, smartcraft saying 6gph, coming back 4400 smartcraft saying 8.5gph. It seemed like twice as much fuel as it should have burned.

    This shows the new tank and comments on the same issue: http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...light=oil+tank

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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akhigh View Post
    New to me 06 phantom with 260hrs, 15 I put on gave the the 2nd low oil alarm. The 1st time it happened 20 mins from launch get an alarm, shut engine down, look everything over, find nothing, restart and good for the rest of the trip. The 2nd time yesterday before launch noticed the engine oil tank cap had striped out and was leaking. Cleaned up oil and and put cap on where it seemed tight. Again 20mins after launch get low oil alarm. This time shut down and notice oil tank is a couple inchs lower than normal, but had not overflowed and left a mess yet. Resart and idle and can watch oil level rise, take off and no problems. but after trip noticed oil tank is leaking again. Is this problem related to the leaking oil cap or bad sensor/oil pump? It also seemed to burn alot of fuel, almost 30 gal from nordale to the pumphouse and back. Which is about a about an hour each way, running 4000rpms down, smartcraft saying 6gph, coming back 4400 smartcraft saying 8.5gph. It seemed like twice as much fuel as it should have burned.
    I'm curious, was the alarm you heard a series of 4 beeps? My senser just went belly up (I think) and I was getting the low oil alarm (4 beeps) when there was no problem with the oil levels in either of the tanks. I purchased a new senser from Marita (they had to order it) and I just picked it up the other day. I have yet to install it so I don't know for sure if this will fix the problem. The new senser cost $17.

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    Not sure how many beeps it was. I have smaftcraft gauges and got the oil and engine code, which the manual actually says is no oil to engine, but I dont know if the sportjet has this sensor. I figured it was low oil since the oil tank had dropped a couple inchs. Itsnt the low oil and water temp high the same alarm? Did your alarm stay on right after startup or was it little later and intermitten?

  8. #8
    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    You do have a sensor on the top of the oil tank that's mounted on the port side of the motor. It's a black plastic piece, about 3" long with two wires coming out of it, that goes into the top of the oil tank and is held in by a screw. The alarm I was getting was about a minute or so after firing the engine up. It would beep 4 times, stop, then would do it again about a minute or two later. akgravelpumper told me to disconnect (unplug) the two wires then cross the ones that lead to the engine. Doing this would bypass the sensor, and if the alarm didn't go off, this would indicate that I had a bad sensor. He also told me that it was a common problem for the sensors to go out. Crossing the wires (bypassing the sensor) eliminated the alarm, so I guess that was the problem. Like I said, I haven't installed the new sensor yet as I just got it and I keep my boat over at a buddies house and haven't had the time to replace it yet. I also have a smartcraft gauge, I never got any codes on it, but I do know that the engine temp, when this occured, was at about 100 degrees.

  9. #9

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    Mine did this a couple of years ago. There was a small crack in the cap of the reservoir and was not getting enough vacuum pressure causing the alarm. The cap with alarm wire was not cheap, but it did fix the problem. I would not bypass it in my personal opinion.

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