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Charles
Charles, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 3342
Experience:  US Navy (Ret) Certified Mercury Marine Tech with over a decade of repair experience.
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I have installed a new Suzuki DF115A. My problem is that the

Customer Question

I have installed a new Suzuki DF115A. My problem is that the trim gauge is not working. When turning the key switch on, the needle goes straight to up position, no matter the engine's trim position. How do I troubleshoot this the best way?I have changed both the trim sensor and the gauge without any luck. I have also measured the resistance on the trim sender while trimming the engine up and down, and the ohm value goes up when trimming up, and goes down when trim engine down. It should be correct right?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
Hello, my name is***** will assist you. I saw that your question had been here for a bit and you needed an answer. It sounds like you have either the power or the ground wire on the S post if the gauge. The trim sender should be on the S post, the power on the I post and the ground on the G post. Make sure that all of this is correct, and it may correct your problem.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hello Charles,You can not connect the cables in wrong way because the wires from the gauge has the same colors as the wires from the main harness.
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
use your multimeter and do a resistance test between the power wire and the sender wire that are coming from the engine. There should be an open circuit there, but the ground to sender should get a reading.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Already done that several times Charles. There is a reading between ground and signal. I don't remember the value but it doesn't change when tilting the engine. It is always the same no matter inclination of the engine.I think the main harness is short cut somewhere in the engine. Tomorrow I will make my own wires and route them directly from the sensor to the gauge.Today I installed same engine on another boat without any problems...
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
David, That is what I am getting at, there is a short in the harness. Most likely it is the positive wire to the trim sender. That would cause the gauge to max out timeserver that you turned the key on.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Charles, how do you suggest to connect the sender to the gauge, without using the engine's harness? The sender must be powered in some way right?
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
The sender works from the ground side. The gauge is powered from the key switch. You can go from the power on the tach, and branch it over to the trim gauge.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I did that (I think), but I don't get it to work.
There are three wires coming from the sender. How should I connect these to the gauge? It is one black, one blue and one yellow.
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
Is that on the sender on the engine, or at the helm?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
On the sender.
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
Did you do the resistance test on the harness that I suggested?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
It is 29.4 ohm between Signal and Ground.
27.4 ohm between Ignition and Signal.
19.7 ohm between Ignition and Ground.
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
Was that take at the engine or near the gauge on the harness leading to the engine?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
It was directly on the gauge.
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
What I am asking is where did the ither end of he wires go?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
All wires goes from engine to the gauge. Then I measured the resistance at the gauge terminals. Ignition was off, but it shouldn't matter right?
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
Please remove the wires from the gauge. Then test. The gauge could be causing false readings.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I will check, but since the gauge works on another engine I think it's ok. Also I tested with a second gauge on this engine with same fault.
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
That is why i need you to test the harness this way
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Ok, now I understand :)
I will let you know.
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
Sounds good.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Ok Charles, here is my result on the wires without the gauge connected:Ignition to ground 25.3 ohm
Ignition to Sender 16.5 Mega ohm
Sender to ground ZERO ohm!
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
there is a short in the harness somewhere between the helm and the engine. Is this an aluminum boat by chance?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Yes it is! What do you suggest me to do?
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
Has anything been screwed down to the boat lately. Especially on the side where the control harness runs through the boat?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
No nothing. The harness goes through a plastic pipe to the helm.
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
You are going to need to inspect it as well as you can. Start with where it leaves the boat and goes to the engine. Then in the bilge area. Look for any siugns of the outer cover being cut.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Charles, I tested with another harness a few weeks ago without helping it. I may think the short is in the harness inside engine. Can I measure this in some way?
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
Inspect it for any signs of melting or pinching around corners. Look at all the plugs for signs of melting.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Ok, but the harness is wrapped with electric tape. May be difficult to check I think...
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
If you suspect a certain location, open the harness up.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Ok I will check...
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
Sounds good.

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