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setidball 04-14-2011 02:05 AM

Hi Jack! How are you?

wheelerd 04-14-2011 03:15 AM

A good ground is like sex . . . you can never have too much. :D

wheelerd 04-14-2011 03:16 AM

A good ground is like sex . . . you can never have too much. :D

FrankSchwab 04-14-2011 02:01 PM

I had a similar issue with my boat - the voltage gauge on the dash read about 11 volts, I could change the fuel gauge by 1/4 tank by flipping on the blower, my tach would go crazy randomly, etc. I was planning on upgrading the ground to resolve the issue.

But, I pulled the dash, unbolted every wire connection at every gauge, cleaned with DeOxit (also available at Radio Shack), and put everything back together. I pulled apart all the connectors (at the engine, under the dash, etc) and used DeOxit on those also.

Now, my voltmeter reads about 14.4V, my fuel level stays constant no matter what I turn on. and the tach is solid.

I'm not saying that pulling a new ground won't fix your problems; just giving a bit of insight into my approach. Pulling a new ground is easier.


thatsmrmastercraft 04-14-2011 02:13 PM

Bad grounds can do the strangest things. I had similar problems when I got my '77. Only the tach and blower worked. All the rest of the gauges, bilge pump and running lights did not work, or only occasionally at best. All working fine now.

wakescene 04-14-2011 02:25 PM

If you spent the time cleaning everything up, it would be wise to add a little di-Electric grease to the ground connections. It will help protect the connections from corrosion.

...If you boat in Saltwater, you have to be especially dilligent with grounds. A bad ground could allow electrolosis to enter and corrode things much faster, including underwater hardware. liberal amounts of di-Electric grease is a cheap insurance solution(once everything is cleaned up)

FrankSchwab 04-14-2011 02:59 PM

Good point, Wakescene.

The PO on my boat had left the (non-breathable) cover on tightly one winter. Significant moisture got in the boat, leaving behind mildew and surface corrosion - and some poor electrical connections. Dielectric grease would have prevented my electrical issues.


setidball 04-14-2011 04:18 PM

Frank, I agree your approach is the right one. I was looking for the lazy boy work around. I do not think that my approach is smart for anything other than a short term band-aid. In the long run it only hides a symptom of a problem that will only get bigger over time. Eventualy showing up in some other unpredicted way...perhaps hazardous...worst case ... perhaps grounding the whole boat through a 10 gage wire. Humm!

cmarty123 02-04-2012 08:37 AM

Bringing up an old thread... I have a 95 Maristar 225 w/ 350 tbi. At the end of last season I was starting to have grounding issues as well. Oil pressure gauge didn't work, PP (aftermarket) was shutting off and on, voltage meter was varying, radio acting funny. The best idea from reading multiple post was to run a large wire (they had a clearance at West Marine and picked up 4 gauge for .25 cents/foot!) and a terminal block.

There are 4 wire clusters in the dash and they all have grounds. I cut the ground wire in each cluster before the connector and wired it into the terminal block. This seemed logical. However, I am having a few issues. The fuel gauge and the bilge pump don't work. I rewired everything back up the way it was and the fuel gauge and bilge pump work again, however, have not solved my grounding issue...

There is some logic in the wiring system that I obviously don't understand, and I feel like I'm getting over my head. Does anybody have any insight into this?

At this point the only option I know of is to return to the original configuration, clean the connectors, and hope for the best. I also wanted to document on the board that the simple idea of running a new ground wire and terminal block may not work depending on your boat...

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