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  1. #1
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    Rigging questions

    MY project skater is getting close, but can i power up the dash, or do i need the motor on with harness plugged in? am assuming the pig tail on the control box gets its power from dash? shouldnt i have a pos & neg from the dash directly to the batt? dont want to paint it first and then find out i have electrical problems. should i hang the motor on, plug harness in to see if efi fires, fuel pump, key works? Where should i start? where does the tach signal come from? i have 2 pig tails, the 1/2 moon plug, 1 has twice the wires as the other, both plug in control box...

  2. #2
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    Typically the gauges are powered from the key, which draws power from the engine...not knowing who wired the boat, what engines you have or what key switch/control box you have, it is impossible to say for sure. Wiring is not ever standard. They key switch should not take power from the dash, it should take it from the power wire in the engine harness.

    Aside from gauges though, the rest of the dash stuff can either be powered straight from the batter or from an accessory power harness in the engine harness (if equipped). When I do complete wiring systems in boats I always keep the engine separate from everything else, but that is preference only.
    8' Yellow Jacket - 25 hp Mariner
    1984 Hst VKing - Bridgeport EFI
    22' Aquasport - 150 SeaPro Fourstroke

    25 hp Merc that runs on ACETONE
    25 hp Merc with OFFSHORE style midsection
    25 hp Merc with dry side pipe
    25 hp Merc with 11" mid and 2.42:1 gears


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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by 25two.stroke View Post
    Typically the gauges are powered from the key, which draws power from the engine...not knowing who wired the boat, what engines you have or what key switch/control box you have, it is impossible to say for sure. Wiring is not ever standard. They key switch should not take power from the dash, it should take it from the power wire in the engine harness.

    Aside from gauges though, the rest of the dash stuff can either be powered straight from the batter or from an accessory power harness in the engine harness (if equipped). When I do complete wiring systems in boats I always keep the engine separate from everything else, but that is preference only.
    Thanks for the basic system breakdown. its a 220 2.4 mariner-mag, 1987 efi. only non engine item is bilge pump, illkeep that separate. key should energize fuel gauges, volts, tach, temp??? ill look closer for some wires running from dash to stern. break out the drop light again! lol key iunder kills in control box, old style,
    Last edited by KIRCHNER; 12-02-2020 at 07:41 PM.

  5. #4
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    Yeah, so the old style box has a plug on the forward side that has 5 wires that go up to energize your gauges, then the main 9-pin harness comes out the back of the box and plugs into the motor (15 to 20 ft long typically).

    If you have engine parts layin around like I do you could take a wiring harness off an old motor and plug the 9 pin into the harness at your splashwell and then hook the black to the negative of a battery and then the red to the positive and your key switch would supply power to the plug that goes to the dash.

    That 5 wire to the dash is a rubebr plug on the control box that has a pigtail that plugs into it. The five wires are purple (keyed power), black (ground), grey (tach sender), dark brown/white stripe (trim sender) and tan (temp sender)
    8' Yellow Jacket - 25 hp Mariner
    1984 Hst VKing - Bridgeport EFI
    22' Aquasport - 150 SeaPro Fourstroke

    25 hp Merc that runs on ACETONE
    25 hp Merc with OFFSHORE style midsection
    25 hp Merc with dry side pipe
    25 hp Merc with 11" mid and 2.42:1 gears


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  7. #5
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    im gonna print out all you said so i sticks in my head. now im mot-o-vated!!! all i need now are batt terminals. i know the motor runs, seastar ram is on, easy when its on a stand. new rub rail insert on the way. helm is in, new hoses. is that a switzer hydro i see?

  8. #6
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    Im stumped again... the box i have has no rear access for harness cable, just throttle and shift. it does have the 5 wire pigtail socket. my loose harness , engine end has the 8 pin male plug + 2 pwr trim wires. however, the dash end has all colors, various jumpers. reds. yellow.purple. brown. tan.gray, black...all these wires must go directly to dash gauges, not into rear of control box, like my other boat. also efi, but engine harness goes into rear of box with pigtail 5 wire, to dash... im stumped. both boxes have trim buttons, key in rear. do you think the box with no rear harness access in is older system? i thought i had it together,after all your help. THANKS,ART

  9. #7
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    Sounds like you have a typical binnicle style harness that goes from the engine to the dash and the control box is just for shift/throttle. That kind of loose harness would be used with a dash mounted key switch. But you said your control box has a key. If the control box has a key then it has to have a wiring harness...unless someone cut it and put a block off plate in there. You can post some pictures if you want and it would help all of us here know what you have. With the colors you listed about the jumpers by the gauges, if you trace those wires to where they come out of the wiring harness then you can be sure of what they are. You may not have ALL of the following colors, but at the harness the colors are as follows:

    Red = hot from starter solenoid/+ pos terminal
    Black = ground
    Purple = keyed power
    Grey = tach lead
    Tan = Warning/overheat
    Tan/blue stripe = Water temp sender or oil press. sender on a 4stroke
    Black/Yellow stripe = kill switch
    Yellow/ black stripe = choke (on an efi motor this will get connected to the yellow/red stripe wire that goes to the ECU for cold starts)
    Yellow/red srtripe = Neutral safety switch/starter solenoid wake-up
    blue = power trim up
    green = power trim down
    8' Yellow Jacket - 25 hp Mariner
    1984 Hst VKing - Bridgeport EFI
    22' Aquasport - 150 SeaPro Fourstroke

    25 hp Merc that runs on ACETONE
    25 hp Merc with OFFSHORE style midsection
    25 hp Merc with dry side pipe
    25 hp Merc with 11" mid and 2.42:1 gears


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  11. #8
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    Yep, thats exactly what i have, and drove miles to get the B2 merc key that was missing. i will look for a block-off plate. im guessing the trim button on the lever wont function or the enrichment button, without harnesss feeding into box? and the plug=in pigtail will be useless? i can buy a modern box keyed harness in for around 150, trim button, choke. think that would be the way to go....?

  12. #9
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    I’m about to start wiring my boat as well, with the added challenge being that I’m using an AiM Datalogger dash as my gauge pod, so I will need to figure out how to splice that into the mercury 9pin harness.
    Here’s a diagram I found that may help if you’re wiring in traditional gauges:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The only thing that confuses me about this diagram is that the color code seems to be different from what Merc shows in its manual. Also the yellow/black wire for the kill switch is missing.
    Last edited by CI STV; 12-11-2020 at 05:18 AM.

  13. #10
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    That pic you posted looks like it is for a johnson/evinrude Red plug, not a merc. If it is for a merc then it is some ancient version of a side-pin harness. It is not a diagram for the 9 pin round merc that was before the modern 14 pin. If you really get stuck with something I can dig up a manual for it...I have access to near every one ever printed.

    Your data logger will most likely need its own harness to the motor cause you want it to look at way more different sensors than the merc 9 pin harness does. My guess is the only wires that will need to go from your engine harness to the datalogger is a wake up (purple for keyed power) and a tach lead (grey). Without a wiring diagram on that logger though I do not know. I would assume you will be using that for EGT, water temp, a/f, map, water pressure, throttle position, timing...all which require more wires than the merc harness carries.
    Last edited by 25two.stroke; 12-11-2020 at 11:06 AM. Reason: adress data logger
    8' Yellow Jacket - 25 hp Mariner
    1984 Hst VKing - Bridgeport EFI
    22' Aquasport - 150 SeaPro Fourstroke

    25 hp Merc that runs on ACETONE
    25 hp Merc with OFFSHORE style midsection
    25 hp Merc with dry side pipe
    25 hp Merc with 11" mid and 2.42:1 gears


  14. #11
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    ...this is a really basic sterndrive(inboard) schematic...
    Last edited by FUJIMO; 12-11-2020 at 03:03 PM.

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  16. #12
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    Ah, that makes sense.
    8' Yellow Jacket - 25 hp Mariner
    1984 Hst VKing - Bridgeport EFI
    22' Aquasport - 150 SeaPro Fourstroke

    25 hp Merc that runs on ACETONE
    25 hp Merc with OFFSHORE style midsection
    25 hp Merc with dry side pipe
    25 hp Merc with 11" mid and 2.42:1 gears


  17. #13
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    Thanks guys. That makes total sense. I was wondering why it didnít match the Mercury color code.
    I found another that looks to be from a Merc 2.5 service manual:
    Click image for larger version. 

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  18. #14
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