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Old 07-10-2012, 09:12 PM   #1
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Default 3 gauges stopped working all at the same time

I just purchased a Maxum 2100SC, Merc 5.0L, Alpha 1 leg, freshwater cooled.

I was on the lake yesterday and all was well on my maiden voyage. After a few mins of running, my speedo, tach and volt meter all stopped working. I have pulled all fuses, including the 3 by the battery switch and all is good. I cleaned the RS engine ground as I was only clicking when I attempted to start it at home and that fixed that. I did what I could to clean the LS ground but its a tough one to get to, looked ok though.

Anyway, I get voltage at all 3 of the gauges using thier own grounds.
Thats about as far as I can get. Anyone have an idea on the next steps?

Thanks to all who answer.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:43 PM   #2
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Randolf, first off, Welcome Aboard!!! I know you're 4 posts in by now, but I don't think we've officially welcomed you yet.

Secondly, many thanks for the Year, Model, Engine, Outdrive, etc. Great way to start almost any thread!!! Many thanks, the devil is in the details. I doubt it's hte guages themselves or the connection to the guages, since all three are impacted. I assume Oil and Fuel are still working? No idea what the common denominator would be, but I'm sure someone will chime in.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:04 PM   #3
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Thanks for that. I'm leaning toward checking the fusible link on the starter and sehow troubleshooting the ICM as I would assume it regulates the timing and voltage? Its a "denso 861459-1 or newer no 861459 t 1.

I did speak with the last owner who said it had been intermittent for him as well.
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:04 AM   #4
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Well I notice in alot of forums that no one really wants to blame the gauges as a culprit but I'm starting to lean that way. I have pulled grounds, fusible links and checked and re checked voltage. Ive currently got 12.2 in acc position across all gauges, including the ones that work (oil, fuel, trim) on power and ground terminals. Going to the ground and sensor input terminal I have around 5v on the ones that don't work and 3-4 on the ones that do.

Is it possible there was a spike in voltage and fried these gauges? (including the temp gauge now)
I checked alternator voltage while running and it's 14.4-14.5, There is a noticeable whine while running, not loud but out of place,and sticking my ear close it's definitely the alternator?
I'm hoping I'm getting close???
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:27 PM   #5
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the odds of 3 gauges going bad are high.

It's usually not the gauges.

The speedo is mechanical with a water tube and pressure from the out drive. they don't work well to begin with.

Your Amp and tach are shorting out some where.

This is why the guy sold the boat. I beat you the short also left him hung up, and with dead batteries, which you will find out soon enough.

My AMP gauge would peg out at 17 amp, spike the alternator and throw the belts.

This was caused by the carbonmonide detector drawing 400ma, and not the 40ma like a new one.

The tach is the same,

so i would goto auto zone and buy a $10 set of gauges and wire them into the engine and see if they work.

You should pull all the fuses and run the boat with just the basic equipment fused, then one day at a time, snap in one fuse at a time, and keep doing it until the problem returns.

this way you can scope out the bad circuit.
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:11 PM   #6
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The big fusible link isn't the issue. If that was bad the engine wouldn't start.

12.2V across the battery terminals with the engine off is normal. 14.5V with the engine running is within spec's. The guages require +12V, ground, and - with the exception of the speedo, signal from its dedicated sender. If you have 12V (or 14.5 ish with engine running) at each gauge the issue has to either the sender, the connection between the sender and gauge, or the gauge. The oil pressure and temp senders are a variable resistor so their output voltage will vary. The tach uses a pulse signal from the ignition module. The 12V feeds are fused, the neg's aren't, nor are the signal leads.

If at all possible try to measure the voltage on one of the signal leads from the back of the gauge - say, the water temp. Measure it immediately after you start the engine (cold) and then again after the engine is up to operating temp. Those two values should NOT be the same.

Since you've dropped 3 gauges I'd first be looking for anything common between them. Is there a large wiring harness connector/plug anywhere? If so pull it apart, inspect, and put it back together.

Dan
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Old 07-11-2012, 03:18 PM   #7
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Looking at the wiring diagram located here:
http://www.maxumboatparts.com/manuals/1742430.pdf

I don't see much that could cause all 3 to fail.
As it has been stated already, the Speedo is mechanical and the only wires feeding it are ground and 12v for the light on it (which is connected to Nav Lights Switch)
The Tach and Volt guage also have this in common but would not cause the guage to not work. At worst it would cause the illumination to not work on these guages, that is all.
The Tach and Volt guage do seem to be connected through the Alarm system and then onto the Engine Wiring Harness where there generally is a large plug. The schematic also mentions a Guage Connector so maybe there is a plug closer to the guages as well. I would look there for the Tach and Volt.
For the Speedo, I would make sure the hole in the outdrive is not plugged, the speedo hose has not come off and that it is connected to the back of the Speedo. It should be one of those 3 that will fix that guage. For the hose where it connects to the outdrive, just trim all the way up and then look into the backside between the trim cylinders, it usually is a 1/4 turn quick connect on the end of a small 1/8 inch hose. Teh hole is in the outdrive itself and is pretty small. Just take a small piece of wire and stick it in there to clean it out. You can even disconnect the hose and then spray water through to verify it is not clogged and then re-connect the hose.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:47 AM   #8
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I have just managed to actually pull aprt my non working rev counter and clean the coil inside and put it all back together and hey presto its now working,
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:39 PM   #9
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How did you get it apart? I tried for a couple minutes and gave up, being a sealed unit the face has a ring that ain't budging

Well for anyone reading this it searching posts, DO NOT DISCOUNT MULTIPLE GAUGE FAILURE. I have replaced the gauges and all is good.
My best guess is that a confirmed bad ground on the rear of the engine allowed the voltage regulator to spike and fried the voltage, tach, and temp gauges.
Great lakes skipper just shipped my matching gauges and I was lucky enough to drop another $200 into the boat!
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:20 PM   #10
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I fail to understand how this could affect the Speedo though. Is your not mechanical like everyone I have ever seen? The only electical part of a normal speedo is the backlight and that would not cause it not register speed. If yours is an electrical speedo, where is it getting the boat speed from? Is there a magneto wheel on teh transom or some sort of water pressure sensor somewhere that converts the pressure into voltage?
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