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Faria instrument troubles

May 6, 2010
412
1984 Oday 39 79 Milwaukee
I recently built a new instrument panel for our boat. I originally ordered VDO instruments, but didn't like that they used push connectors instead of screw connectors, so I returned them and got Faria Euro instruments instead. Now that I have used them for a couple of weeks I am finding I have a few problems. I have tried to calibrate the tachometer to my older (newly rebuilt) Balmar 6 series alternator, however when I can get the higher rpms close, it reads several hundred RPMs high at idle. There is not setting on the calibration scale where it is not wildly out of whack at one extreme or the other. The fuel gauge usually needs a tap on the glass to begin registering after startup. The volt meter reads 12.2 even though I have 13.4 coming into the batteries, and 13.1 at the back of the meter using my Fluke DVM. All this makes me question the accuracy of the oil pressure and water temp gauges, which at least are reading in what I would expect to be correct ranges. Any suggestions or comments?
 

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May 24, 2004
6,041
CC 30 South Florida
Check your wiring and connections to and from the tach. The fuel gauge condition is independent from the instruments problem; suspect the gauge itself. Not unusual for the volt meter to under read; likely voltage drop due to older wiring or long run. They oil pressure and water temperature gauges accuracy are basically Yes/No gauges; insure the buzzer alarms are working properly.
 
May 6, 2010
412
1984 Oday 39 79 Milwaukee
The wiring is all new - trailer plugs replaced with terminal strips, instruments all wired with #10 wire, crimped connections with sealed heat shrink. I have 13.1v on the back of the gauge, so I'm confident the gauge reading 12.2 is not due to the wiring.
 
Jul 26, 2015
42
Watkins 29 Ft. Lauderdale
I had similar issues with a new Faria tach on my Yanmar 2GM. I contacted the tech support teams and they bent over backwards to help me isolate the problem. In my case, the older engine harness had an intermittent short. I ran new cables from the magnetic sensor to the tach and everything is working perfectly. Their support team is very very good. Email them at techsupport@fariabeede.com
 
May 6, 2010
412
1984 Oday 39 79 Milwaukee
Faria sent me a new voltmeter which was much closer on initial installation, 14.2 at the back of the gauge, 14 displayed. After an hour of motoring, it was showing a little above 13 with 14.2 at the back of the meter, just like the original. Tech support told me to use the fine adjustment on the back of the tach for the rpm issue. It is nearly inaccessible, and requires blind adjustment. Somehow I got it to change (for the worse) but for the next hour I was unable to get the screwdriver to connect with the adjustment pot again despite trying several sizes of slotted and phillips jeweler's screwdrivers. Since I can't see it, I am not even certain if it is phillips, slotted, or something else?
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,094
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
Faria sent me a new voltmeter which was much closer on initial installation, 14.2 at the back of the gauge, 14 displayed. After an hour of motoring, it was showing a little above 13 with 14.2 at the back of the meter, just like the original. Tech support told me to use the fine adjustment on the back of the tach for the rpm issue. It is nearly inaccessible, and requires blind adjustment. Somehow I got it to change (for the worse) but for the next hour I was unable to get the screwdriver to connect with the adjustment pot again despite trying several sizes of slotted and phillips jeweler's screwdrivers. Since I can't see it, I am not even certain if it is phillips, slotted, or something else?
On some Faria tachs it is Allen head...
 
May 6, 2010
412
1984 Oday 39 79 Milwaukee
On some Faria tachs it is Allen head...
I'll wrap this thread up by saying Faria sent me a "special" adjusting tool that they used to ship with the tachs. It is like a plastic jewelers screw driver with a very tiny hex tip. I went back to the boat and spent 15 minutes poking around blindly inside the hole where the fine adjustment is supposed to be with no success. In frustration, I finally removed the entire instrument from the panel in order to see if I could engage the adjusting tool, then reinstall the instrument with the tool in place and make my adjustment. Once I had the instrument out it was apparent there is nothing inside the hole where the adjustment pot should be. Looking into the hole where the adjusting tool goes I see three tiny solder-rimmed holes around a larger hole, but there is nothing, and has never been anything soldered into the holes. I assume they are where an adjusting pot might go. To recap, then, I purchased five brand new Faria Euro instruments. Of the five, the water temp and oil pressure seem to function correctly. The fuel gauge requires a sharp flick of a finger to register every single time the boat is started, the first voltmeter read approximately 1 volt low from the voltage at the back of the gauge (the warranty replacement is only marginally better), and the tachometer is wildly inaccurate at each one of the gross settings on the back of the unit, and has no fine trim adjustment. The first time I spoke with Faria tech support regarding the tach and voltmeter, the technician told me these are budget instruments and I shouldn't really expect much more accuracy from the voltmeter. Originally I had planned to use VDO instruments but decided on the Faria because they use ring terminals under a nut for connection where the VDO use a female push connector. This winter I will replace all of the Faria instruments with something else, probably VDO. I don't doubt many others like @Maine Sail and @woodster have had success with Faria instruments, but this experience has left me pretty disgusted.
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,094
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
What model # is tachometer? Are you sure it was a "diesel" tach for alternator AC tap pulse? We've been using Faria and VDO gauges for years and never had an issue with Faria. You also don't need a special tool, it is nothing more than a 5/64" Allen wrench.

This is the adjusting pot hole on a TD9102 0-4000 RPM diesel tach with hour meter. You can barely make out the faint Allen head adjuster pot.


These adjuster pots are EXTREMELY sensitive and prone to damage if over turned.
 
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May 6, 2010
412
1984 Oday 39 79 Milwaukee
What model # is tachometer? Are you sure it was a "diesel" tach for alternator AC tap pulse? We've been using Faria and VDO gauges for years and never had an issue with Faria. You also don't need a special tool, it is nothing more than a 5/64" Allen wrench.
Mine is a TD-9102 - no hourmeter. There is no adjusting pot and from what I can see it was never there. After I haul the boat for winter I will cut the tach open to see if there was ever a pot there - I suspect not.