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  1. #1

    Default Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    Hey guys,

    My 97' Honda BF50A has been in the shop since the beginning of the year. I had taken it to get the limp mode fixed. Last summer the motor was having problems but worked fine if I had a jump box hooked up..Well I took the boat out in March and it starts great and drives perfect for about 30 seconds and then hits limp mode at about 2800 rpms. The boat doesn't have the red and green alarms but I took it to the local Honda guy and he has tried everything. He says he can't figure out the problem. He has checked compression, he has checked the oil pressure valve, checked fuel and says he can't find anything. Do you guys have any tips or ideas for me to try? Thank you for the help!! New water pump as well. She pees fine until the limp mode kicks on and then struggles.

  2. #2
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    Apr 2018
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    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    Has he checked the trim sender? That model had a feature where if the motor was trimmed too high it would alarm and limit rpm.It can be de activated by bridging two of the wires in the three pin plug from the trim sender. You will have to try by trial and error, I forget which two you need to bridge, just try different combinations to see if it fixes it, you will not hurt anything by doing this

  3. #3
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    temecula, ca., usa
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    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    Could it be getting hot?????

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    meteghan, digby co, Nova Scotia Canada
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    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    Thermostat stuck closed maybe ? Remove it and try it again.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    With the info received from a posting on another forum-

    Assuming this motor has been used extensively in the salt water - and maybe not always rinsed out with fresh water after every use.

    Saving a motor like this is like bringing them back from the dead. There's no easy fixes. It's very likely clogged with corrosion, and will need major work to clean it out and make it serviceable again. I buy engines like this, and do just this kind of work. Unfortunately, they aren't worth a lot, as they are old enough to be very unpredictable once opened up. It might require a head or even an engine block to repair. They are usually sold for parts because of this, bringing 500-1000 dollars. I winter in the Ocalla Fl. area, and am always looking for project motors like this one. They are all I work on (Honda 40-90 hp)

    If it has NOT been used extensively in salt water, find yourself another mechanic. If it has not received a new pump (complete! not just the impellor) and thermostat yet, have him start there. Have him blow compressed air back through the pisser while the lower unit and thermostat are removed - before he starts putting it back together. Often, they'll just have some sand in them that will rinse out easily.

    Once assembled with the new parts, the pisser should be steady, in "limp" mode or not! With a new pump in place, if the pisser stops it's because it's plugged, NOT because of the limp mode or because limp mode shut down the water flow. Limp mode, if that's actually happening, is electronic and should have nothing to do with the water flow through the engine. -Al
    Last edited by Alan Hicks; 07-16-2020 at 08:50 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    Quote Originally Posted by iang6766 View Post
    Has he checked the trim sender? That model had a feature where if the motor was trimmed too high it would alarm and limit rpm.It can be de activated by bridging two of the wires in the three pin plug from the trim sender. You will have to try by trial and error, I forget which two you need to bridge, just try different combinations to see if it fixes it, you will not hurt anything by doing this
    Does it matter if the motor has electric trim or not? Mine has manual trim tilt but Iíll look into it. The motor has not been used in salt water and Iíve had it for past 5 years. Itís ran like a champ until last year when it started experiencing these problems and then this year when it totally died out. Iíll check the thermostat and also Iím taking lower unit off when I get it home to see how everything looks. I understand he doesnít have all the time to get my boat fixed so Iím going to look at all these parts.

  7. #7
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    Apr 2018
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    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    Manual tilt has no trim sender. To rule out temp issue, simply disconnect the temp sensor and see if that fixes it.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    Quote Originally Posted by iang6766 View Post
    Manual tilt has no trim sender. To rule out temp issue, simply disconnect the temp sensor and see if that fixes it.
    Attached are the photos of the thermostat and the water pump. I have gone ahead and ordered a new water pump. Does thermostat need to be replaced as well?

    Can't get photos to attach.. Impeller looked bad, Where is temp sensor? Is there a way to test the thermostat/ thermostat sensor?
    Last edited by pgshields; 07-16-2020 at 04:49 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    Quote Originally Posted by iang6766 View Post
    Manual tilt has no trim sender. To rule out temp issue, simply disconnect the temp sensor and see if that fixes it.
    I would say this might be a good idea ONLY when/if you have a solid stream of water coming from the pisser. If that pisser seems shaky you can ruin a head gasket, an exhaust cover gasket, and even the plastic valve cover pretty easily. The ruined gaskets can lead to some expensive repair work.....

    There's 2 sensors up by the t-stat. The oil pressure and the water temp. I forget which is which and don't have one nearby I can check for you.
    Last edited by Alan Hicks; 07-16-2020 at 04:46 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    Don't screw around....replace the thermostat. File the expense under CHEAP INSURANCE.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    Oil pressure one wire, temp sensor 2 wire. I suggested disconnection because he said he had new water pump and checked everything else.I would also be surprised if the motor overheats in 30 seconds. From his description, it gets to 2800 and goes immediately into guardian. It's hard to diagnose without physically test one's self.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    Ordered a new t-stat and water pump.. He said he had tested but he also said impeller was in good shape. Missing a couple teeth. How would I know if the oil pressure switch/ thermostat switch are working. Just ran water through and no blockage.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    Fine mechanic you have there.....

    I would make an attempt to locate those broken off/missing vanes. They surely aren't going to help water flow through that engine! Most times they are located in or near the water pump housing.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Hicks View Post
    Fine mechanic you have there.....

    I would make an attempt to locate those broken off/missing vanes. They surely aren't going to help water flow through that engine! Most times they are located in or near the water pump housing.
    I found the broken fins. They have been thrown away.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    Good job!

    Hope it goes well for you. They can be a bit frustrating, but are really a sweet heart engine when they're right.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    If you didn’t do this already, You should get the full water pump kit, not just an impeller.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    I got the full water pump kit. Replaced it. Still no luck. Boat now tries to crank and won’t turn over. Took to shop they replaced fuel pump and fuel lines. Still no luck. Might drain gas tank and try to clean it

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    What exactly do you mean by;
    "tries to crank but won't turn over"???

    Conventionally, cranking and turning over has the same meaning ie: the engine spins when ATTEMPTING to start.

    Some folks, incorrectly, use the terms "won't crank" and/or "won't turn over" when they ACTUALLY mean that the engine "won't fire" or "won't start".

    Using the conventional descriptors of what is happening avoids confusion.

    Cranks or Won't Crank indicates spinning or not spinning.

    Starts or Won't start is self explanatory and very clear.

    Just sayin'

    Since the shop has had your outboard an INORDINATE amount of time....
    ...
    And....
    ....
    ...IF they are a LEGITIMATE Honda repair facility...

    They shouldn't be averse to trying a "known good" CDI unit to test your engine's ability to run.
    Ask them if they will do that for you and see what they say.
    If you get nothing back but a line of B.S. from them then it would be my opinion that it's time to pull the plug...
    .... and close the old purse strings to that "shop".

    Good luck.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    Thank you for the feedback. The boat with crank but will not start. He says he replaced the bulb and the fuel pump and it starts for him but I never could get it to start. So I took it back to his shop and said show me and he still hasn't shown me. Yea we went a whole year without a boat so frustrating. We cut ties with the shop it was at for 6 months. This is shop two and been there a month. The motor is a old pre 97'. I don't know if that affects how they can test it. The boat doesn't have the red and green alarms either. Anyone have any suggested Honda mechanics in southeast specifically Alabama

  20. #20

    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    This is silly.....
    To me, this is NOT a particularly difficult motor to work on. Anyone able to work on 4 stroke outboards should have no trouble here. The Honda 50hp motors are virtually identical up though the 2006 models.

    It sounds like you are having a terrible time finding a competent outboard mechanic. Waiting months to get something like this looked at is complete B.S.

    Try elsewhere, and keep moving it until you find somebody that actually knows how and is willing to work on an outboard.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    Kinda how I felt about it. Shouldn’t be this hard to find a mechanic. Thanks for the help! Anyone heard from HondaDude lately?

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    hondadude hasn't posted here for some time now. I do miss his presence as I'm sure others do too.

    The problem with going from shop to shop is that it usually costs you a significant amount of dough each time you cross the threshold.

    Hopefully someone here CAN recommend a good place to take it.

    Feeling your pain.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    I have a question. My engine is older BAZL-1000xxxx and doesn't have indicator lights. Is there anyway to tell if its throwing them or aftermarket ones I can put on it?

  24. #24

    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    All I have ever worked on are set up for lights. Do you have the black Honda side control w/built in high idle choke lever, or a binnacle (top) mount control?

  25. #25

    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Hicks View Post
    All I have ever worked on are set up for lights. Do you have the black Honda side control w/built in high idle choke lever, or a binnacle (top) mount control?
    Okay Alan, this answer might show a lot of beginner knowledge. The mount is a side mount. The control I donít believe is a Honda control through because it has a knob for up and down for my trim and my trim isnít auto. The key is on the dash and is the push to choke key as the throttle would be on the right side. It doesnít have a spot for a kill switch. Does that help at all?

  26. #26

    Default Re: Honda BF50A been in shop 4 months..LIMP

    Tells me you don't have a Honda control....

    For your purposes, the lights are not critical anyway. I doubt they would help troubleshoot much.

    Would you mind moving the discussion to one forum or the other please? This would likely be the better, as there are other experienced folks on here that might be able to share ideas as well. -Al

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