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Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:52 pm
Now entering my second year of ownership, I have spent the off-season making some much needed repairs & improvements, including a new set of stainless rudders. Looking to possible future modifications, I am thinking about updating the instrument panels. The lower helm and flybridge were originally equipped with Stewart & Warner gauges, and at some point a previous owner replaced the lower tach's and fuel gauges with TeleFlex units. One of the new fuel gauges doesn't work at all (the sending unit is fine) and both tach's are terribly inaccurate (several hundred RPM off), despite several attempts to repair & re-calibrate them. On the bridge, both temp gauges are full of water/condensation, the gauge faces are faded & difficult to read. So I'm thinking of replacements. Shopping prices, I've come to the conclusion that replacing all the gauges at both helms is going to be in the neighborhood of a couple thousand dollars, which I could deal with if I could find a set that are weather resistant (on the bridge anyway), look really cool and are durable enough for marine use. My question is, am I to understand that with dual helms, i.e. a temp gauge downstairs and one upstairs, that the gauges and their sending units are specifically designed as dual sets? In other words, a standard automobile temp gauge will not work in a dual helm as it would end up showing half, or double the normal reading because the resistance value is different? Are the gauges/sending units different on say, a single helm Express as compared to a dual station Flybridge? Has anyone ever done a complete gauge re-do?
Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:29 pm
The gauges are the same. The sending units are unique to dual station. The only thing you have to look out for is weather you have US or VDO ohm scale. Your original set would be US scale.
I just re-gauged my lower helm with Teleflex "heavy duty" series gauges. They are very close to the original SW standard black/chrome gauges. Well priced and they are a sealed face, rear vented marine gauge. I used a Crusader p/n r020006 dual station sender for oil pressure and Chrysler p/n 3675703k sender for temp.
When I rewired my boat, and rebuilt the lower helm, I eliminated the factory amp gauges. I replaced them with volt gauges and used Crusader wire harnesses. My flybridge had only tachs, so I added the "vital gauges" and set all the wiring up for dual station.
Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:33 pm
Well I see some have gone back and updated their old posts, so I shall do the same. I took the dive and replaced all the gauges on both lower & upper helms. I went with Faria-Beede instruments, due to the fact that they are marine use specific, and carry a lifetime warranty. I had to go with several different on-line vendors to get them all. I kept the amps gauges, as opposed to switching to volt gauges, and finding the amp gauges was tricky, including buying one off ebay. While performing the update,I also re-wired then too. The original old rubber male/female plug connectors were suffering from 40 years of heat and age, the connectors were melted (luckily they never caught fire ! ) and the wire's outer insulation was brittle and cracked, especially on the bridge wire harness. The worst ones were the high amp wires for the amp gauges and ignition switches. I chose to replace all the connectors with water tight Deutsch Twist-lock type connectors. These are a bit pricey, but they are corrosion resistant & water tight and easy to take apart if the insterment panel ever needs to be removed again. On the bridge, I also moved the ignition switches. The original key switches were in the insterment panel, facing up. I had to replaced one or both every season because being mounted, facing up, they would fill up with water when it rained (dumb design) and the water would corrode them internally ! I moved them to a horizontal position below the steering wheel. Come spring I will get some good photo's and post them, and add more detail to the upgrade.
Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:46 am
Can't wait to see the pics.
Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:58 am
Replacing my gauges is on the agenda too. In keeping with the vintage look I've considered the Moal Bomber Series, even called Classic Instruments with my non marine concerns. They told me when I was ready to pull the trigger call them and they would epoxy coat the circuits making them "marine". Think these would look to cool in an old boat. Don't think I would put them on the fly bridge because of the cost.