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If the outdrive oil reservoir is completely empty, will the motor shut down to protect the outdrive?
No, all it will do is sound the alarm. But it will not prevent the engine from running.
Of course if there is no lube in the drive, and the bearings are all seizing up that will certainly stall out the engine, as it is all connected and running as 1 even when you are not in gear. Have you checked to see what was in the drive for lube yet?
Drive isn't seized and doesn't sound bad, and of course it needs oil asap and there's info inline showing how to change it. But the boat shut down after about 30 minutes of running (good thing!), and once it cooled down would start again long enough to slowly get to the dock. The next day it started fine but only ran a few minutes then shorted out again. Couldn't find a short, but found outdrive reservoir completely empty. When it's acting shorted, no electr0nics (radio, guages, lights, etc.) will work, and then a bit later they will work. Any ideas? You sure an empty outdrive reservoir won't shut down the engine to protect the outdrive?
You sure an empty outdrive reservoir won't shut down the engine to protect the outdrive?
Positive. Marine engines have to run. Even if that means running overheating with no oil in it and the sterndrive about to explode. They have to run. And the reason being is if you are off shore and you get caught up in bad weather. What is more important, loosing and engine, or dying in a storm because the engine won't start because some made in china sensor won't work correctly? That is the mind set with marine engines, so they are always supposed to, and designed to, run.
As to this. " When it's acting shorted, no electr0nics (radio, guages, lights, etc.) will work, and then a bit later they will work".
The gauges and radio are all separate of the engine. You can take the engine out of it and the rest of the accessories still work. But, what they do have in common is the battery. The engine does need to be connected to a battery to run, as the ignition system needs 12V always. If you take away the 12V, or if the voltage gets really low, the ignition coil will simply shut off. So if the 2 problems are to be related, than the issue is going to be at the battery. If you have loose connections, corroded connection, if the battery cables look ratty. Those will all do it. So have a look at those cables, if they are loose and corroded, clean them and make sure they are tight. If they look ratty, replace them.
Does all of that make sense?
Yes, I've done all that. No shortage of voltage -- the outdrive trim (directly connected to battery) works fine. I understand your 'ruin outdrive is better than dying' point. Well, I guess I'll need to get a mechanic to look at it. Problem is intermittant, which always makes it more of a problem to identify. Thanks for your help just the same ...
If the problem is intermittent, it is going to be a loose wire someplace. That can be at the battery, at the keyswitch, at the cannon plug ect. And you have to either go through it 1 by 1 until you find it. Or, just run new ignition wires back from the keyswitch to the engine. In the shop, if I can't find it in 20 to 30 minutes, I just start working on running new wires. It is more time efficient that way, and helps keep the customers bills low.
But back to your original question, there is nothing electronic, the gear lube sensor or otherwise, that would shut the engine off like that.