Teleflex Amega Gauges
These are the new Teleflex Amega gauges installed. This panel only had ammeter and temperature. It now has volts and temperature. Teleflex temp, oil & volt gauges will work with the senders on all Universal & Westerbeke engines. Of course voltage is not specific to any boat so that will always work but the oil & temp gauges do work well and these gauges are far less money than buying them direct from Westerbeke/Universal. Any of the Faria gauges will work too.
Please don't ask what that key and hunk of steel in the middle is. Someone added it to this particular boat somewhere along the way. It is not factory and it was long ago disconnected. It does however keep the holes in the panel sealed so I left it.
When re-terminating the panel and wires it is a good idea to clean any oxidation from the switches and stripped wires. I use a Dremel and stainless steel brush for this.
This is the Dremel brush I use, the stainless steel #530 wheel.
These Wires Had Been Fairly Oxidized
These wires from the factory wiring harness had been fairly oxidized. Cleaning them with the Dremel #530 wheel makes them clean enough for re-termination and creates a good, clean, copper to copper connection. The #530 SS wheel is stiff enough to get into the inner stranding, not just the outer strands. Occasionally you need to manually open or fan the strands out but it takes just a few seconds per wire, that's it. Be sure to get all copper stranding as clean as possible or just replace the wires.
Once clean I use adhesive lined heat shrink crimp on ring terminals. This keeps moisture out and creates a sealed connection.
In a perfect world every one of these wire would be replaced with new but not all owners can afford that. Cleaning and re-terminating can be a reasonable alternative.
Don't Forget The Starter End
Honestly I'm not kidding, I can't make this stuff up..... This is the sort of rats nest I see every day. It is amazing that electrical fires on boats only make up 55% of them. But I digress.
What you can see in this photo all has to get fixed. NONE of it is suitable. The #1 issue with the starter on these engines is the yellow wire with the red tracer. Follow that wire from the starter solenoid over to the in-line fuse holder. These fuse holders were cheap junk. I often find them cracked, rusted and not allowing the engine to start. As I said the number one "no start" issue I see on Universal diesels is that in-line fuse holder....
I replace these fuse holders with in-line ATC holders and they make a nice "emergency break" point for when a starter button sticks. This DOES happen.
All Cleaned Up
In this shot we can see the rats nest is gone. I have directly routed the alternator to the starter post where it picks up the large battery cable going back to the "C" post of the battery switch. Alternatively you can route the alternator output direct to the house bank and fuse the wire within 7" of the + post.
The crappy in-line fuse holder for the start switch circuit was replaced with one that is much more resistant to moisture, vibration & heat. If your start button sticks, as can happen, you will be glad you have this fuse.
The panel feed wire, 10GA wire attached to large starter lug, is also fused using a MIDI fuse & holder not too far out of that photo.
I have also installed a neg engine bus bar on the engine bed stringer. A neg wire the same size as the alternator positive is connected directly to the alternator and then to the new negative bus bar.
The second wire from the left goes directly to the ear of the starter for the best possible negative return to the battery bank. I don't like running hundreds of amps through a rusty engine, paint, corrosion and multiple dissimilar metals before it can go back to the batteries. This direct wiring to the starter ear creates less voltage drop and makes for a happy starter motor.
The third wire from the left, under the hose, runs directly back to the negative battery post and carries the alternator and starting currents..