Basic electrical hook up

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by sfbluestar, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. sfbluestar
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Alameda, CA

    sfbluestar New Member

    I took over this project boat that only has electrical hook up left to do (I'm not concerned with cosmetics). Previous owner had disconnected all the wires at the dash, although he labeled each. I thought it's gonna be rather easy, but I was wrong.

    I'm having difficulty sorting thru the almost 30 wires connecting the ignition, oil gauge, temp gauge, tac gauge, and several switches. I tried to find a manual for the engine which is OMC 120, but could not find any. I'm kind of stuck.

    Anyone know how to hook up a basic boat electrical system? Boat starts electrically. Thanks.
  2. ducknuts
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Northwest USA

    ducknuts Junior Member

    Any good wiring diagram should give you a basic direction to go in. Battery hot to this side of ignition switch, volt gauge, oil psi gauge and so on, but every engine will be a little different. Depending on what year it is try this page
  3. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Yup Thats nasty little job you got there, and yes you were wrong. I assume you know some thing or you wouldnt have took it on.

    I would suggest starting with the easy ones ,oil pressure sw, temp switch, and work from there. You should have a lot of lights wires too find those and move them out of the way till later -- Basically simplify it as much as possible. You could get a schematic but it would be unlikely to be perfect. however it would help. Dont be surprised if you dont end up cutting the whole loom open to trace it out. When you think you are done dont put full power through it Check it out with a 5amp fused supply.
  4. seven up
    Joined: May 2006
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    Location: USA

    seven up Junior Member

    How's it goin,

    A small 9v signal generator and probe kit may lend some assistance.

    Basically it is clipped on to the wire and then the probe is used to sort through the wiring and find the conductor you have clipped on to.

    An electronics supply house or maybe the home centers at the electrical aisle.

    See Ya
  5. StianM
    Joined: May 2006
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    Location: Norway

    StianM Senior Member

    I was going to sugest that.

    Those things are great, but it the wires is packed tight together you can sometimes hear sound on eatch wire, but you will hear a diference in volume.

    You also have to make shure it don't runn trough a resistor or a releay to get to other wirres witch I have ****** up befour on seartching caples in swotchboards that is up for testing.

    A friend to pull the wires while you find witch one is moving is a siple way, but can also be dificult if have them put together with cabel ties.

    If the wires are not collored it's a real *****.
  6. Vince Hosea
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Port Orchard, Washington, USA

    Vince Hosea Junior Member

    Don't use the words "boat" and "easy" in the same paragraph.

    Good Luck,
  7. dereksireci
    Joined: Jun 2004
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    Location: South Carolina

    dereksireci Senior Member

    Luckily all the old OMC owner's and service manuals are still available.

  8. Poida
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Australia

    Poida Senior Member

    The wiring in boat was a mess and I am redoing them now. There were wires running everywhere and I thnk some of them were not in use, from past wirings.

    Rather than find out what went where I decided it would be easier to rip the lot out and start from scratch.

    What I am using is trailer cable heavy enough for heavy duty stuff, has 7 wires colour coded and I use the green for earth.

    It is making a much neater job than a whole bunch of wires going all over the place.
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