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Gauge Upgrade

Discussion in 'Technical Stuff' started by DaveyJ, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. DaveyJ

    DaveyJ Well-Known Member

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    Well I went ahead and replaced my tachometer with a multi-function gauge this weekend. I've posted a couple of times asking questions about this in the past couple of weeks and finally took the plunge. Basically, my boat had a tach with hourmeter, trim gauge and gas gauge. My tach would occasionally show higher than actual RPM's (based on previous experience) which made me look for a better solution. I ended up purchasing a Lowrance LMF-400 multi-function gauge which was a perfect size replacement for my tach. Yamaha outboards (even without Command Link) put out quite of bit of engine data including oil pressure, temp, voltage, hours, etc. via NMEA 2000 network.

    If my chart plotter had been NMEA 2000 compatible, I could have performed this upgrade for around $150 but since I had to buy the gauge, I'm into it around $350. The components needed for the upgrade are the Lowrance Yamaha adapter cable which plugs into the motor and outputs into a standard NMEA 2000 connection and a NMEA 2000 starter kit (these components came with my gauge). There are other nicer multi-function gauges out there but I think the LMF-400 will work for me. People have had issues with the LMF-400 washing out in direct sunlight but I run with the bimini up 95% of the time and my windshield overhangs my instruments by several inches so my instrument panel doesn't see much direct sun. Additionally, since it's in the tach location, I'm looking directly at it. I can see where off angle viewing could be an issue. The toughest part of the install was running the cables under the boat due to limited space and doing the work by myself. One interesting note is I found my motor had about 8 less hours than the meter on the tach showed. Apparently the key had been left on at some point. I took pics of the install below with the components labeled and provided a list of the NMEA 2000 engine data put out by Yamaha outboards. Thanks to tcpip95 for providing additional info on the NMEA 2000 network install. This is a fairly easy inexpensive install for Yamaha outboard owners who want a little more insight into how their engine is running.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
    kaydano, Vikingstaff, JTaylor and 5 others like this.
  2. BulldogsCadillac

    BulldogsCadillac Just some guy

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    Very nice! And I'm sure someone down the road will definitely find the install pics very useful! Thanks!
     
  3. Mike31406

    Mike31406 Well-Known Member

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    Good job, thanks for sharing.
     
  4. Link

    Link Moderator

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    Great info, thanks for sharing
     
  5. Michiman

    Michiman Well-Known Member

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    Nice work and thanks for documenting.
     
  6. the-little-B

    the-little-B Well-Known Member

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    That looks really good. Does the guage have different displays? Like if you just wanted to veiw it as a tach? Or half tach and half other info?
     
  7. DaveyJ

    DaveyJ Well-Known Member

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    Yes, there are lots of options - quad analog (in pic), dual analog, single analog, quad digital, dual digital, and single digital. I currently have the following pages programmed in addition to the page pictured: single analog tach, single digital hour meter, dual analog tach/temp, dual digital tach/fuel flow, and quad digital tach/fuel flow/oil pressure/temp.
     
    Vikingstaff likes this.
  8. the-little-B

    the-little-B Well-Known Member

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    That is really making me want to do this upgrade now! So the only thing not included with the guage was the Yamaha adapter?
     
  9. DaveyJ

    DaveyJ Well-Known Member

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    And the chrome bezel which is a Suzuki part. Suzuki SMIS gauges are rebranded Lowrance. Lowrance doesn’t have a chrome bezel but Suzuki does. I bought the gauge and adapter cable on Amazon and the bezel on eBay. I can post links later.....
     
  10. the-little-B

    the-little-B Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate all the info!
     
  11. the-little-B

    the-little-B Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the links! I do have a Humminbird Helix 7 that I think is nmea 2000 compatible but need to verify that. The new guage you did looks cooler than using the fish finder though!
     
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  12. DaveyJ

    DaveyJ Well-Known Member

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    Took a pic when prop testing the other day and it shows the visibility of the gauge in direct sunlight so I thought I would post it since that has been a concern with this gauge.
     

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  13. the-little-B

    the-little-B Well-Known Member

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    I have been busy with other projects and haven't gotten around to this yet. The one thing I realized is my guages are recessed and I'm not sure this would fit. Maybe it would and I'd just not use the trim ring? The pic is what I have for a dash.
    Screenshot_20180914-093156.png
     
  14. DaveyJ

    DaveyJ Well-Known Member

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    The diameter of the outside of the trim ring on the Lowrance is basically identical to that of the stock tach. I found a pic of my stock dash online and it shows how the stock tach fits the round bumpout on the dash. If you compare that to the how the Lowrance fits, you can see there's almost no difference in diameter. The big difference is the how far the gauge will stick out of or fill the recess. Note in the pic how much it sticks out in comparison to the stock gauges. The gauge can't be installed without the trim ring as that is what holds the buttons in place, etc.
     

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  15. the-little-B

    the-little-B Well-Known Member

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    Gotcha! I'll have to get off my behind and try it out then.
     
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