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Electrical issues - speedo tach erratic


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having a hard time nailing this one down...

I have a 99 sporty with the kysor medallion gauges (3.5" speedos) and think the mdcc 1600 unit.

at one point last season all of the gauges started going haywire. once the boat had some time to rest and restarted I never noticed the problem again, although occaisionally the speedo would not react normally. I have 1 speedo, the other has been replaced by the Perfect Pass multi line display. Maybe just a clogged line...

I took the boat out again this past weekend for only the second time this season and to my astonishment the battery was dead... so I put it on the charger for the day and by Sunday morning it was charged and the boat fired up, all gauges operating and no visable issues.

so took the boat out yesterday and after about 1hr of use the Speedo and Tach started doing their dance again.

I went around the boat with my multi meter, checked all the connections under the dash and the fuse panel, nothing out of the ordinary whatsoever.

I found 13.24 volts at the battery, alternator, and the starter. however with the key in the ON position, the meter grounded and touching the starter positive terminal was showing the voltage at the starter dropping .01 volt every few second.

I noticed the ignition switch positive terminal is loose from inside the switch. could this be the drain on the system?

any help appreciated.

Edited by Killer
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having a hard time nailing this one down...

I have a 99 sporty with the kysor medallion gauges (3.5" speedos) and think the mdcc 1600 unit.

at one point last season all of the gauges started going haywire. once the boat had some time to rest and restarted I never noticed the problem again, although occaisionally the speedo would not react normally. I have 1 speedo, the other has been replaced by the Perfect Pass multi line display. Maybe just a clogged line...

fast-fwd to this season and towards the end of my first day on the water 1 month ago the speedo started to malfunction and at the very end of the day after burning a 1/2 dozen gallons of gas ALL of the gauges just died. Once the boat was restarted they came back to life but the tach and speedo were not operating correctly.

I took the boat out again this past weekend for only the second time this season and to my astonishment the battery was dead... so I put it on the charger for the day and by Sunday morning it was charged and the boat fired up, all gauges operating and no visable issues.

I figured the battery is a few years old now and it had sat for 1 month so maybe it just lost enough of its power sitting, but with the gauge problem maybe they are interrelated??

so took the boat out yesterday and after about 1hr of use the Speedo and Tach started doing their dance again.

I went around the boat with my multi meter, checked all the connections under the dash and the fuse panel, nothing out of the ordinary whatsoever.

I found 13.24 volts at the battery, alternator, and the starter. however with the key in the ON position, the meter grounded and touching the starter positive terminal was showing the voltage at the starter dropping .01 volt every few second.

I noticed the ignition switch positive terminal is loose from inside the switch. could this be the drain on the system?

is there any way to test the MDCC? no way I can get my hands on a spare where I am....

I pulled both lines off the back and blew through them, and there was some water in the lines. I must admit I've never pulled them before in the wintertime.... but if it was fried I can't see the gauges working correctly (generally only when the boat is first used).

any help appreciated.

I had a similar problem with the gauges, the multi gauge cluster used to fluctuate allot and you could here the gauges moving ( the gear ratcheting sound they make ) allot, the tack would often just go to zero and start working fine when restarted. I cleaned all the connections and checked everything without much luck, they would seem to be fine and then act up again. Friday night I was going over connections and cleaning them again because the gauge had done it again Wed. night when we used the boat, and it drives me nuts, I changed the main ground going to the gauges from the raw water pump bracket and moved it to the actual block and it seems to have fixed the problem. The gauges were allot steadier then they have ever been and never acted up once. You may want to check that?

Edited by mainekneeboarder
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hey thanks, different setup on my boat I think though.

my engine ground is towards the rear of the motor though, right by the starter and ground right to the block. I dont think that is the problem as its thick gauge wire.

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wondering if anyone else has any ideas?

would a weak battery cause this? its 4 years old, and died after sitting for a month.

my other potential cause is the positive post on the ignition switch is a bit loose in the housing. & when I leave the key in the ON position (engine off) and put my multimeter on the starters Positive lead, grounded on the main engine ground - the volts drop continuously at the starter.

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