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Author Topic:   No Gauges Working After Starting
walleyejohn posted 04-28-2008 05:39 PM ET (US)   Profile for walleyejohn   Send Email to walleyejohn  
I am newly registered but a frequent visitor of this forum. Before going to my dealer I thought I might ask for some expert assistance.

I have a 2007 Ranger 618 Tiller with very few hours. I recently had a Merten's Titan Power Steering unit installed on my 2007 E-TEC 90. Perhaps just coincidental but I have lost all my gauges when the engine starts. The gauges work when I first turn the key then as soon as it starts all the gauges fail.

Could there have been a wire that was crossed or incorrectly installed on the handle when the unit itself was installed?

Just trying to troubleshoot if it is a simple fix. Any insight on a possible solution would be helpful.

Best Regards,

jimh posted 04-28-2008 07:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

Give more details about how the gauges "work" when the engine is not running?

And how they don't when the engine is running.

walleyejohn posted 04-28-2008 09:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for walleyejohn  Send Email to walleyejohn     
When I turn the key on all the gauge lights go on the volt meter registers and the fuel gauge comes on.

Then when I turn the key to start all the gauges including the tach go off.


Bella con23 posted 04-28-2008 09:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bella con23  Send Email to Bella con23     
What happens when you release the key once the engine starts? Is the key releasing back to the run position? Have you tried moving the key around slightly after the engine has started?

It's normal for the power going to gauges, accessories, etc. to momentarily drop out when the key is in the start position, and return to normal in the run position.

Try wiggling the key after it starts and see what happens.

jimh posted 04-29-2008 12:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
What happens after the engine starts?
seahorse posted 04-29-2008 06:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for seahorse  Send Email to seahorse     
Sounds silly but do you have a key switch that uses the safety lanyard to physically turn the key to OFF when you pull it?

If so, the lanyard clip provides detent action for the key. Without it installed, the key can turn enough to the OFF position, which could stop the voltage to your gauges.

On boats with the push-to-prime choke, without the lanyard the key sometimes jumps to OFF after you let go from the START position. A lot of hard-to-start complaints are from an unclipped keyswitch that moves enough to the OFF postion when you remove your hand and the customer thinks the motor died on its own.

This may or may not be your problem, but do not discount it.

contender posted 04-29-2008 07:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
Found this problem on my truck, sounds like the same problem, My truck would start ok and then all the gauges would go dead, problem bad cell on the battery
walleyejohn posted 04-29-2008 08:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for walleyejohn  Send Email to walleyejohn     
The entire key assembly was moved & relocated when the Power Steering Unit was installed. It did notice that when I went to turn the outboard over the key was slightly angled to the right instead of vertical.

Could this have caused the internal contacts on the assembly not to line up correctly and be causing the [malfunction]?

Once the engine is started it runs like a champ and I have never had [a malfunction] with it so far.

Finally I did have [a malfunction] with my Lowrance shutting off this past weekend due to low battery power.

All the suggestions provided will certainly give me some new areas to troubleshoot.


jimh posted 04-29-2008 10:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Typically the gauges are being supplied with power via the ignition switch and the VIOLET wire. However, this same circuit also supplies power to the engine, and usually on the same pole of the switch. It seems unlikely that the engine could be getting power while the gauges are not.

Just to be clear, tell us what happens after the engine starts and is running; do the gauges operate normally or are they all dead?

walleyejohn posted 04-29-2008 11:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for walleyejohn  Send Email to walleyejohn     
When the engine starts all the gauges just go dead and shut off.

I checked out the battery and that was fine.
So I suspected the key assembly.

I loosened up the nut and backed off the key and ALL the gauges began to work once again.
So then I tightened up the nut again on the key assembly and all the gauges died. With the amount of pressure on the key being to much the contacts with the assembly must be shorting out somehow?
I just got some large flat washers to act as spacers and everything is back to normal.

I want to thank the guys that spent some time and made suggestions, it was your ideas that helped me avoid a trip to the dealer,(200 miles)this is a great board.

Best regards,

Chuck Tribolet posted 04-30-2008 10:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
walleyejohn: Putting shim washers on doesn't FIX electical
problems. It's a band-aid. It'll be back. When it
does, think key assembly.


jimh posted 04-30-2008 11:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I am curious if the E-TEC will continue to run once it has started even if the ignition switch stops supplying voltage to the VIOLET conductor. From the situation described here, it sounds like the E-TEC will keep running even if the VIOLET conductor does not have any voltage on it.

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