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Old 06-14-2013, 10:26 PM
markiehd markiehd is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Boat: 96 maristar 200
Location: west
Posts: 14
gauges dying?

96 maristar 200 fuel gauge has been not working for 4 years, always reads zero. volt meter pegs at full volts, when off goes to midway. speedo intermittent, but I think that is the senser in the back. now the temp gauge. the boat has never run hot, but in the last 2 times out the gauge gets hot when under load. idling and under 5 mph stay around 160. the gauge is also stuck at 160 when turned off. ??? hmm, so with the temp gauge, I have replaced the impeller, replaced the thermostat, still shows hot under load. I just now cleaned the tranny cooler screen, there was some debris, maybe that is making it hot under load. anyway, i have cleaned it and have good flow thru it. Now im wondering, does this sound like ground problems on my gauges. does anyone have a schematic for this boat. any ideas. someplace to start.
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:37 AM
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SP Maristar SP Maristar is offline
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Boat: MasterCraft, MariStar 200 VRS, 1998, LT1
Location: Richland, WA
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With all of them having trouble i am inclined to think corrosion on the posts. Have you cleaned and reinstalled all the wires on the backs of your gauges? Pick a gauge and give that a try unless you already have.
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:43 AM
markiehd markiehd is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Boat: 96 maristar 200
Location: west
Posts: 14
thats good advice. I think I will be opening up the underside of dash tonight.... Kind of a drag, as I have stuffed a subwoofer up there, which is a pain to mount and unmount....its probably time though. do you know if there is a central ground for all gauges... just wondering
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:16 AM
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bturner2 bturner2 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Boat: Maristar 200VRS w/ X2 Package, 2007, 310HP
Location: Brighton, MI
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I would agree with SP. Grounding seems to be a common point of issue with most boats. Can't remember how the electrical is on that boat but if it is similar to most MCs the lighting and grounds should be daisy chained to a bus bars for grounding and power for back lighting the gauges. I don't believe the 96 has a MDC so the individual gauges should go to the sending units on the engine. As all the gauges seem to be effected, the common element would appear to be the ground. That is with the exception of the original problem with the fuel gauge, that is most likely the sender (and now probably the ground too).

When I have these issues I typically will pick a source and work my way from one end to the other. Since I'm thinking grounding and would want to make this as easy as possible, I would start at the battery/engine side. The negative terminal is tied to the engine block to provide a common ground reference. This connection is critical and is a common source for grounding issues as the motor sits in an area that can be damp, dirty and prone to vibration. Check this connection and the condition of the cables and epically the cable ends real well. If you have any doubts about the quality of this cable replace it as it sets the basis of grounding for the entire system. Make sure the connection at the block is very clean and the connection tight.

Inspect your battery installation closely. How many connections do you have directly tied to the battery? If installed correctly only buss bars and terminal blocks should be directly tied to the battery (and possibly the automatic bilge pump/switch). If you have several wires attached to the battery find out what they are and why they are attached in this manor. The last thing you want is a floating ground or a ground loop which will give you similar issues to what your are seeing.

Once the battery side is cleaned up the last place I go is under the dash. Unless someone has been mucking around there it should be pretty much bullet proof. All the factory buss bars and gauge posts are brass and should not cause a problem unless this is a saltwater boat or you've had water/moisture issues. It is certainly possible that something has come loose (as you state you installed a sub in this area) but most of the issues I've had have been at the battery or as a result of someone's failed attempt at stereo/accessory installation.

Well at least you have a couple ideas to consider.....
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:29 AM
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SP Maristar SP Maristar is offline
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Boat: MasterCraft, MariStar 200 VRS, 1998, LT1
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Any luck markiehd?
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