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 Post subject: trim Indicator
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:00 pm 
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Seahorse
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Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:51 am
Posts: 20
Location: Thumb of Michigan
The trim indicator gauge on my '87 Sundowner is unreliable, sticking frequently or not working at all. I know that issues with the sender are not unusual also but I'm tackling one thing at a time. I'd like to rig an auxiliary gauge somewhere that will give me a more accurate indication of stern drive position. To do so, I need to understand how the indicator works and what is coming from the sender to the gauge.

The sender has a ground and a single wire that runs from it to the indicator gauge. The gauge is also grounded as well as supplied with 12 volts. My question, what does the sender do? Is it a variable resistor that modifies the 12 volts going to the gauge or is something else happening here? I purchased a set of manuals for the engine and drive but they don't go into such nitty-gritty details.

I'll appreciate any help you can give me.

Tim

_________________
1987 Sundowner 215
Mercruiser 230/V8 - Alpha One Gen 1
Previous Boat
1973 Starcraft 21' Chieftain 120 HP Mercruiser I/O
PADI Master Diver
IANTD Technical EANx Diver
Commercial Pilot
Flight Instructor


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 Post subject: Re: trim Indicator
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:18 pm 
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Livin' the Dream
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Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:23 am
Posts: 419
Location: Pontoon Beach IL
Oldav8tor wrote:
The trim indicator gauge on my '87 Sundowner is unreliable, sticking frequently or not working at all. I know that issues with the sender are not unusual also but I'm tackling one thing at a time. I'd like to rig an auxiliary gauge somewhere that will give me a more accurate indication of stern drive position. To do so, I need to understand how the indicator works and what is coming from the sender to the gauge.

The sender has a ground and a single wire that runs from it to the indicator gauge. The gauge is also grounded as well as supplied with 12 volts. My question, what does the sender do? Is it a variable resistor that modifies the 12 volts going to the gauge or is something else happening here? I purchased a set of manuals for the engine and drive but they don't go into such nitty-gritty details.

I'll appreciate any help you can give me.

Tim


I understand it to be like a rheostat....

Here is something I stumbled on, not sure that it would help or not...

Testing the sender..
1 Check trim sender Black lead for proper ground.
2 Trim drive to full down position.
3 Place ignition switch to On postion.
4 Disconnect brown/white trim sender wire from trim sender harness at the motor.
5 Connect Ohm meter (Rx1 scale) leads between drive ground and brn/wh on the trim sender.
6 Depress the up button. Ohmmeter needle should move up as the drive is trimmed up. If the needle does not move sender is bad.

Good luck!

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Current:
2002 268 Vista 5.7 GXI "Livin' the Dream"

Past
1996 Rinker 192 Captiva. "The Simple Life"
1999 Yamaha XLL 1200 Waverunner.
1976 Mercury Marquis tri hull 120 hp


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 Post subject: Re: trim Indicator
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:22 pm 
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email admin your custom rank

Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 5:31 pm
Posts: 691
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Yes, the trim sensor is a rheostat (or variable resistance potentiometer). The trim gauge is basically a voltmeter that reads the voltage drop depending on the outdrive's trim position. As long as electrical connections are good, the trim sensor is by far the most common cause of trim indicator issues. The sensor is submerged in water and prone to water intrusion causing issues.

Here is a troubleshooting site I saw while doing a Google search for "Boat Gauge Troubleshooting".
https://www.jamestowndistributors.com/u ... ?docId=833

Another source for service manuals is:
http://boatinfo.no/lib/library.html

I would recommend just fixing the original system rather than adding another gauge. Check the service manual link above for your boat and drive. When I changed my sensor on the Volvo outdrive the manual said that a starting point would be to trim the drive full down and adjust the rheostat to a specified Ohm reading for "full down trim" when installing the sensor. The sensor can be rotated to adjust trim indicator position, and then tightened in place.

Hope this helps.

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Surface Interval: A scuba diving term for that time between dives to relax and prepare for life's next great adventure.

Current boat: '02 FW 268 Vista
Previous boat: '95 FW 190 Horizon


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 Post subject: Re: trim Indicator
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:58 pm 
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Seahorse
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Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:51 am
Posts: 20
Location: Thumb of Michigan
I'd like to just replace the gauge with an identical unit but they are unique and very hard to find and often in the same condition as what I have (see photo). I haven't given up looking....with a Michigan winter coming I have a few months to figure it out. Anybody know of a place that salvages old FourWinns boats?

I was thinking of trying to produce a small digital gauge that I would mount on a unobtrusive sub-panel under the steering wheel along with a couple of USB power jacks.

Tim

Image

_________________
1987 Sundowner 215
Mercruiser 230/V8 - Alpha One Gen 1
Previous Boat
1973 Starcraft 21' Chieftain 120 HP Mercruiser I/O
PADI Master Diver
IANTD Technical EANx Diver
Commercial Pilot
Flight Instructor


Top
 Profile  
 
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