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ABA Boat Maintenance & Repair Questions and Responses

The information contained herein is the opinion of ABA member and marine mechanic Tim Harrington of Madison Marine Service, Harwich, Massachusetts. Tim is responding to a question solely based on the information an ABA member provided. Neither ABA, nor Tim Harrington, nor Madison Marine Service assume any responsibility or liability for events that occur due to actions you or others on your behalf take based on the information given in Tim's response.  You are proceeding at your own risk.

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Q. My RPM is not working. I have checked behind the gauge itself and all the connections seems to be in good shape. Do you have any other suggestions? It's a 1999 Johnson Motor 115 HP.

A. Your question was about your tach not working on your OMC outboard. You stated that you have looked at your connections and they looked fine. Even so, I would recommend that you remove them, clean them and reconnect. Go to the engine and match your wiring from your harness and check that everything is correct. If everything is ok, you may be having problems with your gauge itself and/or the sensors at the power head that send the rpms to the gauge.

If this seems to be the case, I suggest that you have a qualified technician do an ohms test for you. It will not take much time to do an ohms test and it could tell you what your problem is.

Q. I just bought a 1990 Wellcraft 196 Eclipse and I was wondering about the size of the gas tank. The gauge doesn't seem to go much below 3/4, but the first time I filled it I put in 19 gallons. It's a 4.3 liter engine. I'm on Moosehead Lake and it's a long way between gas stations.

A. I think your gauge is ok because it is indicating! I believe that the problem lies in your float being stuck. You may have filled her right to the brim and it rotated to the top of the track on your sending unit.

If you can't bang it loose by running the boat, you will have to remove all your screws to remove it from the tank. You need to scribe a mark that you can match when you put it back in. Try and clean carefully and see if you can get it to go up and down. If it doesn't want to operate, you may need to replace it. Measure it and match the screw holes if you need to replace.

Q. My instrument gage plastic covers on the bridge are scratched and cloudy but are clear enough when dampened. How do I get them to be clear when dry? I read that polishing with peanut butter would help. Is there a polish that you would recommend?

A. There are several products you can try. Sooner or later, though, you will most likely have to change your instruments. The one thing I would try first is Lemon Pledge. This is used on a lot of plastic materials because, like peanut butter, it leaves not only wax but has lemon oil. Also, there are products like Rain-X and Star Bright that you can try. Hope one of these remedies solves your problem!

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