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Engine Instruments Died

DArcy

.
Feb 11, 2017
1,197
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
A week ago I was motoring quite a bit for a couple of days then had a nice sailing day. On the way into the harbour after a great sail the engine instruments looked normal but when I started up at the fuel dock after pumping out I noticed the temperature gauge was pinned at the high end. That's the gauge I always check first so I checked water flow then shut down and checked the strainer and coolant levels with nothing out of the ordinary. When I started up again I noticed all the gauges were not behaving properly. The tack stays at zero, fuel is at full but I know there was only 1/2 a tank, the temperature gauge only goes down to about mid-scale when the engine is off but goes past max when on.

I'm guessing this is a ground fault problem but haven't had any time to dig into it yet. I'll be back at the boat on Friday to investigate. Any suggestions where I should look first, second, third...?

The engine is a Pathfinder 50 with what I believe to be the original panel and only the fuel gauge appears to have been replaced.
 

Blitz

.
Jul 10, 2007
609
Seidelmann 34 Atlantic Highlands, NJ
as said, look for the ground to the panel. also, the gauges are normally powered by the key switch, so look at the power going in and out of the switch.
 
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DArcy

.
Feb 11, 2017
1,197
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
Found the culprit. The engine harness connector is known to me as a bad actor so after a quick check on the engine panel that's where I went next. I unplugged it, gave it a shot of contact cleaner and plugged it back in. Voila, all the instruments are back to normal. I'm sure there are several people here that are not at all surprised at this fault, I've seen posts on this site saying how much trouble these old automotive style connectors can be. I'm adding replacement to the To-Do list.