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My unfixable Alpha drive position indicator , nothing works

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    My unfixable Alpha drive position indicator , nothing works

    I’ve had this Alpha equipped 1990 boat 20 years and it’s the same old story in spite of 2 new gauges and a new set of senders it always does the same thing. It was doing it when I got it and over the years I’ve changed out everything at one time or another over he years. I set it and it works fine for a couple of weeks then as always it starts drifting out of spec so it’s useless. Set again and it always does the same.
    I wouldn’t even give a hoot if I wasn’t in a launching situation where by September I really need it up there for a bit. The other reason I actually want to fix this is due to the micro switch dying on the shifter . My buddy the part time boat wrench showed me how to switch them around so it operates on trailer only. Works fine except it bypasses the stop limiter. That’s fine by me as I’m the only one who drives the boat and again if I didn’t have to crawl out to real water none of it would matter. All I want is a working gauge that I can set so that middle line is the 21point whatever inch max running and tell if I put far enough for trailering clearance. That’s all I want!
    So what else is in that setup that can go wrong?? The wire going from the switch plugs to the gauge? That’s all I can think of. Anything else ? If I change that long wire out I imagine I need the real wire with the formed plugs so as to avoid messing with the resistance in that wire. What do you call that wire anyways? Any other brilliant discovery’s ...............

    #2
    First allow me to say it is a royal mother%#*ker to change out the hockey pucks no chit ....

    Drive got to come off and a new wire, pucks and don't forget the grommet the wire goes thru and I add a very good smear of sillycone to make sure of no water weeps in in.

    Would also be wise to inspect and refresh everything hanging off the transom, maybe would also be a good time to pull the engine, refresh the engine bay.
    Be good, be happy, for tomorrow is promised to no man !

    1994 2452, 5.0l, Alpha gen. 2 drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

    '86 / 19' Citation cuddy, Merc. 3.0L / 140 hp 86' , stringer drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

    Manalapan N.J

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      #3
      My first boat with a Mercruiser (1980) suffered the same issue. Could be worse. My 2655 didn't come with a gauge so it is always a guesstimate. Wires from the sender are just coiled up and tied to the harness at the transom. Have thought about putting a gauge in, but then I'd suffer the same issue you have so I'll probably never do it. I hope someone here has a good solution for you.
      1998 BL Ciera 2655 Sunbridge LX (Special Edition)
      "Sea Flights"
      5.7L 2bbl w/Thunderbolt Ignition and raw water cooling
      A​​​​​​lpha I Gen II Sterndrive/1.45:1 gears
      M15.25 X 15P Black Max prop
      MFG Extra's - A/C, Fresh Water Engine Flush port, HWH and Windlass
      Docks @ Punta Gorda, Florida

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        #4
        When you are replacing the sender are you running the new wire though the transom assembly into the engine compartment or cutting the wire and splicing to the old wiring? If the latter that never seems to hold up. Is it reading at all, if so there is a tag that must be aligned properly to get it to respond the full range. Have you ohmed the sender to verify continuity and that the resistance is changing with trim angle?
        1997 Maxum 2400 SCR 5.7LX Bravo II

        Mike

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          #5
          I’ve read many post similar to this. The trim angle gauge would be nice when it’s actually dialed in and functioning but they never seem to stay that way for long. Personally I don’t have one, I trim the drive by feel and sound (speed,rpm etc.) The limit switch on the other hand is something I’d consider necessary.
          Dave
          Edmonds, WA
          "THE FIX"
          '93 2556 5.7 Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P
          (.030 over-Vortec top end-part closed cooled)
          The rebuild of my 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
          Misc. projects thread
          https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Nauti_Mike View Post
            When you are replacing the sender are you running the new wire though the transom assembly into the engine compartment or cutting the wire and splicing to the old wiring? If the latter that never seems to hold up. Is it reading at all, if so there is a tag that must be aligned properly to get it to respond the full range. Have you ohmed the sender to verify continuity and that the resistance is changing with trim angle?
            Oh it works all right . I can dial it right in and hove tried all sorts of settings , something to simply make it hold any sort of reference to that max up in drive setting. I could care less otherwise . I trim it off using best speed just like I learned with aircraft. The only other use would be to verify how high it is when i take it out of the water. I have a high trailer and like to Leave it out as far as i can for the bellows sake.
            When i did that puck set back 10 plus years ago I never soldered anything. Just plugs into mating plugs and it does the same thing it always has. You cant screw that up. That’s why I was wondering if that middle wire was somehow screwing up the resistance. I doubt its age as it was doing it when it was 9 Y O just like it does today, always the same. What about the Power lead and ground for the gauge? Strange though as i had 2 prior gauges on there and its always the same.
            Id be happier if I could get ahold of a pair of those miroswitchs and just reverse those switches like they came OEM but that’s not gonna happen. I already tried looking up the numbers everywhere, boo hoo! I’m not about to swap that plastic T handle throttle quadrant out for a used one because they are all old as far as the electronics world is concerned. I just hate dropping $300 on something that otherwise works fine . I hate it when I get backed into a
            Corner like this for something practically no one needs ......Better yet how bout someone to dredge THE GREAT CHAZY RIVER mouth . It hasnt beenbeen since 1992!


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              #7
              While the wire from the helm to stern wiring can go bad I have never heard this happening. To test the helm gauge and wiring you could disconnect those press in butt connectors for the sensor and connect in a potentiometer so you can vary the resistance and verify the gauge responds.
              1997 Maxum 2400 SCR 5.7LX Bravo II

              Mike

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                #8
                i replaced my “pucks” last year and while it was testing, it wasn’t all that difficult. I attached a pull string to the old wires before pulling them out and used it to pull in the new ones. I don’t recall having to pull the leg. I used the supplied instructions to set the trim and they have worked flawlessly. I only changed them because I’d traced a minorr leak to the grommet that seals the wires where they pass through the transom.
                Bob Hawes.
                Kelowna, B.C.
                1998 Trophy 2052 WA
                4.3 Vortec, A1 G2

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