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Author Topic:   Key Blank and Tachometer needed
Lee In VT posted 07-28-2013 09:31 PM ET (US)   Profile for Lee In VT   Send Email to Lee In VT  
Hi. I'd like to make a second ignition key for my [1987] Montauk 17 and Evinrude 70-HP outboard engine, but even the marina is having a hard time finding a blank. Is there a good source for marine key blanks anyone knows?

Also the tachometer has never worked since I got the boat a few months ago. The Whaler was unused for the prior 10 years. The mechanic said the tachometer was broken and he can't fix it. Anyone have a used one to sell or know of a source for an affordable replacement? Are they repairable?
Thanks, Lee

Jefecinco posted 07-29-2013 08:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     

I believe there are only a few keys used by Evinrude/OMC/BRP. Your original key should have a number on it. A BRP dealer will probably have a new key matching your original key in stock.

In regards to your tachometer, what do you mean by "broken"? If the tach is simply not working there is a good chance the problem is caused by the electrical wiring. I recommend you ensure all the connections are good at both ends and on any terminal blocks. If the lens or gauge face is damaged a replacement is probably in order. Ebay and Craigs List can be sources of used parts.


jimh posted 07-29-2013 08:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Replacement keys for the key ignition switch of outboard engines are usually something odd. You probably cannot find a key blank and have a matching key cut. As Butch mentions, the Evinrude ignition switch keys are numbered, and an Evinrude dealer typically has replacement keys in stock or can order them easily. I keep an extra ignition switch key in my spare parts box on board my boat.

The tachometer on an older engine like your Evinrude three-cylider 70-HP outboard usually operates on a signal that is derived from the permanent magnet alternator output. It is common to see that a problem in the alternator shows up as a problem in the tachometer.

The tachometer for older outboard engines usually has a calibration setting switch. It is common for the contacts of that switch to become oxidized. This results in the tachometer not reading correctly. Check the calibration switch, and perform this procedure:

--note the present setting of the switch

--using an appropriately sized tool, usually a very small screwdriver, rotate the calibration switch through its entire range of switch positions, going back and forth several times;

--return the switch to the original setting

This procedure will often wipe away oxidation in the switch setting. I have done this several times when aboard other people's boats when the tachometer was acting up. This procedure has restored the tachometer to proper operation.

If the tachometer is failing to operate due to a problem with the tachometer signal from the engine, you will likely find that the alternator needs repair. The alternator may have a bad diode or the coil assembly of the alternator may need to be serviced.

The Evinrude three-cylinder 70-HP outboard engine is a real classic engine. It is an excellent design. It was copied, literally, by Yamaha, and manufactured as a Yamaha 70-HP engine. I am told by very old and experienced Evinrude people that the copying of the engine by Yamaha was so blatant that even non-essential decorative parts of the castings were reproduced on the Yamaha copy. The three-cylinder Evinrude engine is the basis of the SST60 Evinrude race boat engine, where it runs at speeds approaching 8,000-RPM. It is quite a nice little outboard engine.

seahorse posted 07-29-2013 09:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for seahorse  Send Email to seahorse     

Here is the list of keys and part numbers used fromm 1977 to 1995. If you look closely, the key number will either be on the face or on the back of the ignition switch.

P/N Description qty Price

501800 Ignition Key 51 1 $8.30
501801 Ignition Key 52 1 $8.30
501802 Ignition Key 53 1 $8.30
501803 Ignition Key 54 1 $8.30
501804 Ignition Key 55 1 $8.30
501805 Ignition Key 56 1 $8.30
501806 Ignition Key 57 1 $8.30
501807 Ignition Key 58 1 $8.30
501808 Ignition Key 59 1 $8.30
501809 Ignition Key 60 1 $8.30
501810 Ignition Key 61 1 $8.30
501811 Ignition Key 62 1 $8.30
501812 Ignition Key 63 1 $8.30
501813 Ignition Key 64 1 $8.30
501814 Ignition Key 65 1 $8.30
501815 Ignition Key 66 1 $8.30
501816 Ignition Key 67 1 $8.30
322693 Key Blank $6.63

Lee In VT posted 07-30-2013 09:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for Lee In VT  Send Email to Lee In VT     
Thanks Guys,
The key number is "67" so I would be happy to buy a blank from you Seahorse (501816 Ignition Key 67 1 $8.30) if you sell them. My email is if you want to contact me with instructions.

Regarding the tachometer; it is physically intact and appears fine. If it's electrical then that's probably my problem because I am having ongoing intermittent (and very frustrating) electrical problems with my running lights. One day they work then they don't. I've removed and bench tested both the pull switch and the 30A circuit breaker which tested fine. But yesterday when the lights wouldn't work, they came on after flipping the circuit breaker off and on a few times, so I wonder if that's my light problem.

I'll check out the tach and alternator connections as you recommend Jim (damn, you sure know a lot about Whalers!) The battery stays charged really well so the alternator seems fine to that extent. The tach has never worked at all (even when the lights are working). Corroded electrical connections could really be the answer. I believe power to the tach does not go through the circuit breaker, right?

Great to hear from you (and others previously) about how reliable the Evinrude 70 is. We left the VRO system disconnected as had the previous owners. The engine starts and runs flawlessly, though it does seem to go through gas rather quickly (yesterday used roughly 3 gallons for 10 miles of very rough seas). Do you know what fuel consumption one should expect on calm waters?

seahorse posted 07-30-2013 12:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for seahorse  Send Email to seahorse     

See your Evinrude dealer for the keys. I do not sell parts. Sorry.

Lee In VT posted 07-30-2013 05:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lee In VT  Send Email to Lee In VT     
Found a key as you suggested at an Evinrude dealer only 20 miles from us, here in the boonies of Vermont. My surprise.
Thanks Seahorse.

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