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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recentley purchased a used 19fter but has no gauges. I plan on a tach and volt gauge what other gauges do i really need? My control box has a round harness at it. I have a mercury engine. is this plug for gauges. Also im from Wisconsin seems everyone is from a costal area on here with very few mercury engines. Merc dominate in this area as im only an hour from the plant where there made
 

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Whenever I rig a skiff the only really important gauges are the tach, water pressure, and engine hour meter.... Everything else is just dressing in my opinion... I much prefer a dipstick to a fuel gauge since I've never had a fuel gauge that was particularly reliable or accurate...

Your local dealer will be able to tell you how your rig (motor and controls) accepts the gauges you choose (are they simple plug-ins or something more complicated for your make/model). Tach and hour meter are all electric - the water gauge is a combination simple water pressure (a small tube from your motor's water jacket to the gauge) plus the electricity needed to light the gauge as part of your running lights... The hour meter is the easiest of all since all you need is a power source that's only got juice when the ignition is on - and it doesn't have to be on your console since you're only using it for maintenance purposes (every owner's manual will tell you how often, how many operating hours, that routine or shop maintenance is needed....) and just need to be able to see it from time to time...

Hope this helps
 
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I like to see these...

Tach
Water pressure
Engine temp
Volts

Some will say why a temp and wp gauge... because sometimes you can have overheat and still have good wp!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I like to see these...

Tach
Water pressure
Engine temp
Volts

Some will say why a temp and wp gauge... because sometimes you can have overheat and still have good wp!
Im guessing water pressure is to show that its pumping? Im new to outboards worked on everything else in my lifetime
 

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To elaborate on water pressure and the gauge that can save your motor... Not uncommon to have your lower unit pick up a plastic bag or other obstruction that instantly blocks the water pickup on an outboard while you're running or just sitting at the dock.... In just a few seconds your motor can overheat - then you're praying that the alarm sounds (most motors have an overheating alarm) and you can shut down and clear the problem before any damage occurs... That relatively cheap gauge (a bit less than $100 not including installation) will also tell you if your water pump is failing or has just failed.... Very important info to keep you running.

These days many motors not only have the overheating alarm - but also will automatically force your engine into slow speed mode to aid in preventing damage. Make a point of reading the owner's manual with your motor... Contact Mercury if your year/model used motor needs an owner's manual...

Hope this helps.. most of the above was learned the hard way for this writer...
 

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important:
tach - necessary for prop selection and helps with trim
water pressure - especially important if running a jack plate

less important:
volts - can get from chart plotter
fuel - convenient, but more accurate by dipstick
water temp - backs up water pressure but most modern engines have sufficient warning built in
speedo - can get from chart plotter or cell phone, modern gps speedos are nice
tilt/trim - convenient but can judge by ear and tach
jack plate - convenient, but a ruler works too.
 
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