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post #1 of 7 Old 08-17-2019 Thread Starter
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CS 36 T Instrument Lights

Hi everyone, I just got a CS 36T a few months ago that needs a bit of TLC. I'm having a bit of difficulty with the electrical system. When I switch on the Instrument Lights from the panel nothing happens. I've tried tracing the wire but it gets lost quickly.

What I'd like to find out is what exactly are the instrument lights? I'm thinking about re-purposing that switch on the panel and just running some new wiring but before I do, I'd really like to know what it is supposed to do (compass light?).

Any CS 36 owners help would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-18-2019
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Re: CS 36 T Instrument Lights

I'm not familiar with your boat, other than by name. Would that be for your navigation lights?

Before I pulled all the existing wire, I would remove and clean each connection, from the switch to the appliance. They corrode over time. You could also check for continuity or resistance in the wire, with a multi meter, but that can be misleading, unless you truly find open circuit that shouldn't be. Bulbs go bad too, along with their connections. Sometimes the entire lamp fixture is too corroded to work properly.

If you do pull new wire, I strongly encourage pulling the old wire out (which you can use as a messenger for the new wire, if you get all the hold downs clipped off). The mystery wire will drive you crazy down the road. No one likes to find an open wire, having no idea what it's connected to on the other end.


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post #3 of 7 Old 08-18-2019
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Re: CS 36 T Instrument Lights

On my panels... there is a switch for lighting instruments... which powers a 12v bulb in the gauges and an LED for the binnacle compass. There is a separate in cockpit dash to illuminate the engine instruments in the cockpit.

You lamps may be broken or the wiring corroded. Easy to check... look for bulbs on the back of the gauges... apply 12v and verify that they work. If they do it's a wire fault.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-18-2019
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Re: CS 36 T Instrument Lights

My CS30 should be similar, you don't say but is it the Volvo panel? I didn't like the alarm configuration, there was one alarm for temp and oil pressure (audible) alarm, rather than working on the panel when neither (or both) didn't work I added an autometer Marine temp and volt meter off to the side, I ran a new wire for the temp sensor and the voltage can be picked up anywhere. Insrument switch operates the original panel but nothing can be seen there, the two new Gauges (lights) and everything on the binnacle, GPS depth&knot. Now that I'm writing this down I don't think the temp is switched and I honestly don't recall what circuit it's on, but if I don't switch the instruments on I think it still works. Similarly, not sure how the oil pressure was originally wired since it didn't work I replaced the buzzer and switched ( used a switch on the panel I think was for lights originally) it so I can cut off the alarm on shutdown and leave the key on for the blower. Not exactly as original but if repowered the entire panel and wiring would be replaced so I opted for functionality.

Just as important as all this I found probably 2/3 of the spades on the panel outputs that were not getting a clean connection or would pull right out of their spade crimps so I reworked all that and in 5 years have had NO other problems, all this was fixed first year. I would open and Inspect everything being careful of course of the AC circuits, they can hurt you.

Hope this helps AL
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-19-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: CS 36 T Instrument Lights

Thanks for the replies. Its definitely not the nav lights, they work fine. I see what you mean about mystery wire, I've found a bunch of them already. It's making tracing things are lot more challenging.

I think it's like SanderO suggests, compass light and instrument panel. I'll try testing at the bulbs the next time I'm out at boat. My vacation is over so I'm back to working on it during the weekends only.

Its a Westerbeke engine and gauge panel, but I know that a few of the gauges have been replaced at some point and I'll have to test to make sure that everything is working there too.
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-19-2019
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Re: CS 36 T Instrument Lights

Westie service manual page 58 has the wiring diagram you looking for it's a PDF I don't know if the link will work if it doesn't they are easy to find just go with search words "westerbeke wiring diagram". https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...YwaeBx-QhsE1gO

This may help,

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Last edited by deniseO30; 08-19-2019 at 09:23 PM.
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-19-2019
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Re: CS 36 T Instrument Lights

And westie installation manual PDF. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...9xO1PqXSBKB6a3

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Last edited by deniseO30; 08-19-2019 at 09:10 PM.
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