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View Poll Results: What engine instruments do you have?
Fuel Level 73 52.52%
Fuel Pressure 17 12.23%
Filter Vacuum 1 0.72%
Tank Vacuum 1 0.72%
Volts 66 47.48%
Amps 96 69.06%
Oil Pressure 135 97.12%
Oil Temp 7 5.04%
Water Temp 130 93.53%
Water Pressure 6 4.32%
Tachometer 87 62.59%
Manifold Vacuum 10 7.19%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 139. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1   IP: 199.173.224.31
Old 10-18-2010, 10:17 AM
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What instruments do you have?

I am curious as to what instruments people have.
Note that filter vacuum is a gauge between the filter and fuel pump and tank vacuum is a gauge on the input side of the pump.
Voltmeter is a voltmeter in the engine panel, not just a voltmeter anyplace on the boat.

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  #2   IP: 24.136.77.31
Old 10-18-2010, 10:27 AM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is offline
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Thumbs up Guages

In the cockpit I have an electric oil preassure guage, ammeter, and water temp. I have a control panel at the nav station which is visable while motoring and/or working on the engine there I have a volt meter tied to the power panel, a tach and a vacuum guage for the manifold. In the box I have a static oil preassure guage and a static fuel preassure guage at the carb with a shut off valve. I have it laid out this way so when I need to know something while diagnosing something going amiss it is all visable while working on the beastie.
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  #3   IP: 199.173.224.31
Old 10-18-2010, 02:06 PM
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I am more than surprised to find 2 water pressure gauges!
What do they usually read?
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  #4   IP: 148.170.241.1
Old 10-18-2010, 03:36 PM
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ILikeRust ILikeRust is offline
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My boat is an older boat - 1968 - so it's pretty basic compared to modern boats. It has an engine hours gauge which no longer works, water temp, oil press, tach and amps. No fuel gauge - my fuel gauge is a high-tech organic fuel gauging device, a/k/a a 1/4" birch dowel that sticks into the tank.

The knotmeter is long dead and I plan on yanking the little paddlewheel and through-hull out over the winter and also pulling out the gauge and doing something else with the hole left behind. The wind direction and speed indicator also is long dead, so that probably will go too. I have a standard windex on top of the mast that does the job for me.

My brand new Garmin chartplotter shows speed over ground, so I don't miss the knotmeter at all. It also can show wind speed and direction, but that obviously requires the proper device at the top of the mast. Maybe I'll do that someday.
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  #5   IP: 71.118.13.238
Old 10-18-2010, 04:16 PM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is offline
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Thumbs up Water preassur guage

Joe, I use them on a few things especially my big outboards. The guage will read low if the pump is getting weak or the intake side is getting plugged and if it goes up you have a restriction building in the system. It is a great warning device if you pay attention to it.

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Old 10-18-2010, 04:26 PM
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I have seen them on outboards. You need to see the water pressure with a jacking plate so you don't raise the engine too far. I have yet to see one on an inboard though. I wonder what the normal reading for an A4 is?
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  #7   IP: 71.118.13.238
Old 10-18-2010, 04:37 PM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is offline
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Thumbs up Preassure

Joe, on almost every hot boat I have raced in or ski raced in has one on each engine. I have also used them on almost anything that has been modified to go fast, and it is as you stated to be sure they are picking up water at speed.
Don may know what the preassure should be, I would guess between 6 to 8 psi on a motor such as these.

Don~~~?

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Old 10-18-2010, 05:52 PM
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I not only vote for, I am a firm believer in the 1/4" birch fuel gauge.
It served me well, and it never failed...................

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  #9   IP: 76.7.149.31
Old 10-18-2010, 06:44 PM
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Marian Claire Marian Claire is online now
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Birch fuel gauge, tachometer, water temp plus oven thermometer on head and oil pressure. Have purchased and plan to install an inline fuel pressure gauge as soon as I work thru an issue with the fuel system that just came up over the last few weeks of banging around the Pamlico Sound. Dan S/V Marian Claire
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:55 PM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is offline
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Thumbs up Stick

Joe, I have recently upgraded for a 3/8" mohagany fuel guage, albeit a bit tough to read in much of a sea it has never failed.
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  #11   IP: 216.115.121.253
Old 10-18-2010, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILikeRust View Post
The knotmeter is long dead and I plan on yanking the little paddlewheel and through-hull out over the winter and also pulling out the gauge and doing something else with the hole left behind. The wind direction and speed indicator also is long dead, so that probably will go too. I have a standard windex on top of the mast that does the job for me.

My brand new Garmin chartplotter shows speed over ground, so I don't miss the knotmeter at all. It also can show wind speed and direction, but that obviously requires the proper device at the top of the mast. Maybe I'll do that someday.
Don't chuck that wind speed transponder 'til you are sure it is junk.
It might be able to send NMEA 083 sentences to you new Garmin. Not as fast a sample rate as the Garmin network proprietory stuff, but it might work.
Stranger things have been done.
A case in point(in theory):
I have an old pre-GPS-era Raytheon radar that will acept NMEA 083 Loran C sentences via a cable to display the Lat-Lon on the old crt. My Garmin E-trex will output those fake loran C sentences to a simple two-wire data cable. All I gotta do is hookem up poor boy style.(I think)
With the cost of nav instruments, I look at everything

Russ
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  #12   IP: 70.91.138.225
Old 10-18-2010, 07:28 PM
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Birch, oil pressure, water temperature, amperes and tach. I'd like to add an engine hour meter because I never remember to look at the clock when starting and stopping the engine and my log notes are estimates only. The GPS monitors volts.

The other gauges probably have their uses but I think I'd be asking for trouble trying to add them by fiddling with fuel, oil and water systems that date from the first Nixon administration. I can eyeball the water exiting the exhaust and the oil probably isn't going to scorch without the water temperature gauge noticeably rising and the oil pressure gauge getting funky.
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Old 10-19-2010, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILikeRust View Post
My brand new Garmin chartplotter shows speed over ground, so I don't miss the knotmeter at all.
This is another of those endless debates, like whether to carry a sextant or use paper charts (I have both, so having declared myself you know where this is going). I like the knotmeter for checking engine performance. I also like to know current for navigation, which means knowing speed through the water as well as speed over the ground. But without a knotmeter, for navigation purposes I guess one can always "see" current by watching the GPS breadcrumb track trend, and for engine monitoring purposes, one can always check speed/rpm curve on a calm day at slack water.

Like MarkS, I added an engine hours clock too.
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  #14   IP: 71.168.64.77
Old 10-19-2010, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rigspelt View Post
This is another of those endless debates, like whether to carry a sextant or use paper charts (I have both, so having declared myself you know where this is going). I like the knotmeter for checking engine performance. I also like to know current for navigation, which means knowing speed through the water as well as speed over the ground. But without a knotmeter, for navigation purposes I guess one can always "see" current by watching the GPS breadcrumb track trend, and for engine monitoring purposes, one can always check speed/rpm curve on a calm day at slack water.

Like MarkS, I added an engine hours clock too.
I like having a paddlewheel knotmeter in addition to gps speed.
It allows me to monitor forward speed independent of bottom speed
which is useful when combined with RPM to monitor engine speed
thru the water .Helps detect dirty bottom,amount of current fighting.
Most recently bought a Moor knotmeter, works well. $200 vs$600 for
DMI.

Regards

Art
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:20 AM
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The knot meter on the MC was not functioning properly when I bought her so I disconnected it. On a calm day, using my GPS, I made runs at varying RPMs to set a base RPM/MPH list. I use MPH because the ICW is in statute miles. So I know how fast I should be going and can determine the effect of wind and current. I can usually judge my speed fairly closely by observing the bubbles off the stern. This system does not work well when in a current. It is basically opposite. If the bubbles are ripping by I am probably going slower than expected for the RPMs into a strong current. If they are slow moving I am likely moving faster than expected with the current. Does the knot meter give the same “reversed” readings? If anchored in a 2 knot current does the meter read 2 knots? Dan S/V Marian Claire
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:39 AM
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Yes it does.
Once anchored in the Westport (Mass) River the knotmeter was sitting on a steady 5 knots!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marian Claire View Post
The knot meter on the MC was not functioning properly when I bought her so I disconnected it. On a calm day, using my GPS, I made runs at varying RPMs to set a base RPM/MPH list. I use MPH because the ICW is in statute miles. So I know how fast I should be going and can determine the effect of wind and current. I can usually judge my speed fairly closely by observing the bubbles off the stern. This system does not work well when in a current. It is basically opposite. If the bubbles are ripping by I am probably going slower than expected for the RPMs into a strong current. If they are slow moving I am likely moving faster than expected with the current. Does the knot meter give the same “reversed” readings? If anchored in a 2 knot current does the meter read 2 knots? Dan S/V Marian Claire
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:39 AM
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Only 89% have water temp gauges
If I could only have ONE gauge, that would be it.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:37 PM
hanleyclifford hanleyclifford is offline
 
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On board instruments

voltmeter, ammeter, oil pressure (2), water temp (2), water pressure, tachometer, fuel pressure, fuel level, air/fuel ratio, hourmeter. In tool kit, tach/dwell, strobe timing light and compression gauge. Close monitoring of engine functions can yield big benefits in efficiency, safety, convenience and early warning.
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanleyclifford View Post
voltmeter, ammeter, oil pressure (2), water temp (2), water pressure, tachometer, fuel pressure, fuel level, air/fuel ratio, hourmeter.
Do you take this same approach on all your engines or just the A4? Why or why not?
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:47 PM
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When flying a nicely equipped airplane, I'll have a tach, manifold pressure, oil pressure, oil temperature, fuel level, fuel pressure, fuel flow (GPH), EGT for each cylinder, and CHT for each cylinder along with electrical gauges.

My car has any parameter you can imagine available when I plug the laptop into the diagnostic port.

I still want to know who doesn't have water temp????????????

Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
Do you take this same approach on all your engines or just the A4? Why or why not?
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:01 PM
hanleyclifford hanleyclifford is offline
 
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At this point in my engine tinkering life only the A4 gets the detailed monitoring. I do this because the A4 lends itself to many adjustments by the user which contribute to fuel efficiency and engine performance and longevity. I can do little with my truck except keep fluids and filters current and provide quality fuel. Likewise the chainsaws, tractors and other landscaping tools.
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:39 AM
keelcooler keelcooler is offline
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Joe, My fathers 1961 H-28 w/an a4 had no temp gauge nor thermostat. When she overheated we would smell the paint backing off. I recently installed a temp/water pressure gauge combo from MMI on my 50 year old Pearson. Reads around 6 psi at 1600 rpm.
Product No. - GAUG_07_97
Ametek Temperature/pressure gauge

Direct reading temperature/pressure gauge. Installs in the front of late model heads.
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Old 10-22-2010, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keelcooler View Post
I recently installed a temp/water pressure gauge combo from MMI on my 50 year old Pearson. Reads around 6 psi at 1600 rpm.
Aha - this is actually the first direct pressure read I've found for the A4, and at the top end of the ballpark for what I had estimated to be the coolant pressure. The heat exchanger cap is rated to 7 psi, so I presumed it was 2-5ish. Is this raw water, or enclosed antifreeze cooling?
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Old 10-22-2010, 01:08 PM
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Rigs, Seems to hover between 5 & 6, raw water cooled. Two year old pump w/manually cleaned out jackets. Although I purchased only for the temp function it may help in identifying a restriction down stream from the head. The psi top gauge starts at 5, I would wish it was lower.
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:50 PM
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All I have at the moment is an ammeter, a questionable water temp. gauge and a busted fuel gauge. The birch dowel will not work on my boat. Fill hose is too long and curved.

So....not being an electrician, (yet...because i'm relatively new to boat ownership) I am looking through the catalogs for a replacement fuel gauge.

I have a choice between 12V gauges that are either 10/80 ohms or 240/330 ohms. Since I am not sure what an ohm is, I don't know what to order.
Without further research I can only guess that an ohm is a measure of resistance.
What ever it is, I don't know which to buy for my 1974 12V system.

I plan to purchase a tach. and a new water temp. gauge also so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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