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Discussion Starter #1
I need some advise on why my Instrument Panel is not working properly please. I have a 1999 Universal Diesel Engine (M-25XP) with an instrument panel which was likely installed at the same time.
I've had the boat 6 yrs. and do most maint. myself, with a few projects left to the pros.
This past year my engine appeared to be running very well, but the instrument panel is not working correctly- all of the guages bounce around when at idle and also while in gear.
I've checked all connections at they "appear" to be connected...
Maybe a short in one of the wire connectors?
Any thoughts?
Any direction is greatly appreciated! :)
Lisa
 

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It is likely that you either have a bad ground, or bad connection on the +12VDC side of the gauge.

The FIRST thing that I would do is to verify that the old, "plug-style" connection to the gauges has been retro fitted to the newer, "screw-type". See http://www.catalina30.com/techlib/wiringdiagram/UpgradeInfoPkg1.pdf and this; http://forums.catalina.sailboatowners.com/showthread.php?t=135558

If that is OK, then I would take an Ohm meter, and test for continuity to the ground (black [likely], or yellow[less likely]) connection at the rear of the panel, by shaking the wire. If this works, shake the wire at the harness connector, and again near where it ties into the ground for the boat. I'd do the same with the +12V (Red) wire, testing for continuity between the 12V breaker that powers the instruments.
 

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Oh; PLEASE tell me that you do not have an AMP meter in your panel...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone. I will check on these things next visit to the boat.
Honestly I'm not sure what I have/don't have...
 

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The problem with the ammeter is, if the charging current from the alternator is passing through it, you tend to lose a lot of charging efficiency. On my Universal 5424, there is a direct wire from the alternator to the battery switch, so the ammeter reads nothing when running as all the charging current is bypassing it.
 

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Trailer connector in the wiring harness leading from the engine to the pannel?
Follow the link in my earlier post. This is how Universal made for a quick connect harness. The problem is that these connectors would oxidize, as current would pass through the increased resistance from the oxidized connector, it would generate heat, and MELT THE CONNECTOR...

This is a serious problem with the old instrument panels that had an Amp meter, because rather than using a shunt, the 51 Amp output from the alternator ran directly to the meter through two of these crappy connectors.
 
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I had a similar issue with the fuel gage. I pulled the panel to install a new tach and found a few loose connections. Cleaned and tightened. All is well now.
 
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