View Full Version : Power to the Dash?

04-23-2008, 05:10 PM
I have a 1989 tristar 220 and all the guages and switches in the dash are dead except for the ignition switch. The prior owner did some custom wiring and installed a push button start. Everything else looks factory. Since everything is dead I figure there is one feed wire that once connected should get everything working. Any help on where the power comes into the dash and where is should go first would be appreciated.

Thanks for any help that can be provided.


04-24-2008, 05:42 PM
Can anyone help?

04-28-2008, 10:02 AM
This is a big gray area on the board knowledge-wise......I have an 87 PS 190 and haven't had much success tracking down a dash wiring schematic either. This link was posted here though, and the color codes have helped me somewhat in tracing wiring behind the dash.....


04-28-2008, 11:05 AM
You should have a 10 ga orange wire (battery), a 12 ga red (may also be 10 ga), 12 ga yellow/red (starter crank), pink (fuel sender), gray (tach), purple (ignition), 10 ga black (ground) and you may have a couple of others. Go back to the plug that connects the motor to the boat and look for the colors.

Go and slap the previous owner.

04-30-2008, 11:32 AM
Thanks for the help. Currently have part of the problem solved. The red 10-12 guage wire was not connected at the back of the engine. I connected it to the positive side of the relay (??) and now have power to the switches. The guages still do not work but will use a tester to try and trace it back. Any other input please let me know.

04-30-2008, 12:12 PM
Does it start? My '92 voltmeter would go dead if the Emergency Cut-off Switch was not in place. (Red shock cord that is supposed to be attached to the driver)

Of course, it did not start either, but it appeared that the power to the dash, or at least some of it went through this switch.

04-30-2008, 05:12 PM
I was just going to mention the safety switch, which kills the purple lead and the ignition system. It won't start unless something was bypassed.

04-30-2008, 05:16 PM
Ditto on the safety switch. It will drop all gauges to zip on your boat.. Boat probably will crank, maybe start, but will immediatly die when the key is released from the start position.

05-01-2008, 10:20 PM
Thanks. Won't get a chance to check it out till late next week. When I was looking behind the dash the purple wire that use to go to the ingnition was disconnected. The new wires are hard wiring the ignition so that it bypasses the safety. I will spend some time (or $) getting it wired back to original.

05-23-2008, 04:54 PM
Ditto on the safety switch. It will drop all gauges to zip on your boat.. Boat probably will crank, maybe start, but will immediatly die when the key is released from the start position.
Yup took me awhile to find that culprit also......thought my ballast resistor was bad.The real problem was it was so damn intermittent.I could go a few days with no problem then blam it would come back.

05-26-2008, 06:30 PM
Not sure if this helps but had it so thought I would share

05-27-2008, 03:55 PM
Thanks everyone for the help. The ignition is wired back to factory set up and most guages are working. Remaining electrical took a secondary priority due to some other issues that poped up (see below). I put everything back together so that we could use it over the long weekend. Right now the tach and fuel guage are not working (electrical or guage problem). I will also need to replace one of the fuses on the switch panel and the safety switch.

New items that I had to fix:
- Found out that prior owner used automotive alternator and starter. Switched those parts out so that I was back to marine versions.
- Steering would bind in tight turns due to play in the rudder. Replaced the rudder port with the newer style port. This is not the easiest project in a Tristar 220 since the rudder port is a foot and a half back under the built in swim platform.