|Posted: January 11 2007 at 09:27 | IP Logged
Hello there again, everyone.
Well, I finally purchased all my gauges, and have started this beast of a project.
I am building the new dash face at home to be hooked up next spring when the boat is in the slip (there's a reason I am NOT hooking it up while on the hard. I have a real nasty situation with 2 existing tachs that don't work, and were unhooked. I had a digital synch-meter which I have unhooked. If I hook up the feed wires to the existing tachs. It will turn over but won't start. Unhooked and the engine fired right up. I figure I better get it into the slip next spring before I start messing with it, or risk not being able to start it in the spring and trying to trouble-shoot in the launch slip.). This will also allow me to take before and after pictures.
I will give you the update on my progress, and I do have a couple of questions.
First, let me state where I am at. I have wanted to use a NICE piece of wood for the face, something REALLY crazy looking with lots of grain, etc... but NOT teak. I have enough teak and wanted to get the look of an expensive car dashboard (like Lexus and BMW use, for instance, but in real wood, not a veneer or plastic.)
My problem was the gauges are designed to be mounted 1/2" deep max. Well, seeing as I don't have a planer, I was weighing my options. Starboard? Plastic? What to do?
I found a local cabinet maker in an industrial park near my house and went in and talked to the guy. He was all for the project, and sounded as excited as me to hook me up and help me out.
Well, he said he had "just the piece of wood for me", and went into the back of the shop to do some digging.
He cut to spec (Man, I hope my measurements are on...), planed and squared a piece of quarter-sawn AFRICAN ZEBRAWOOD for my new dash! Oh, man, this thing is outrageous looking! I will post a picture, but it isn't finished yet. He suggested a yellow stain to bring out the light parts of the wood, then finish with a couple of coats of marine varnish.
I have cut the 2 1/8" holes with a hole saw for the temp, fuel, oil and volt gauges, and will be cutting the holes for the 2 tachs today sometime (well, soon, anyway).
The wood is so hard I destroyed my hole-saw bit, and my drill (burned it up!), but I managed to get the holes in.
It is going to look AWESOME.
Here's my question(s), and I'm sure I will come up with more.
I have 2 indicator lights (big, old LED lights from 1974, about the size of a dime) mounted for V-Drive oil status. Anyone see any problems changing them to modern 12v (I assume they're 12v...) small LED's? I will probably change the color from red to something else as well. (Gonna need your soldering iron skills, Rick...LOL.)
I am so excited. Wait until you see this thing. It looks great. I have mounted the 2 1/8" gauges to see how it looked. WOW! The carpenter guy also stated he could make me a swim platform, but would need dimensions to give me an estimate. He wants a picture of the dash when I am done for his shop.
I think I've outdone myself this time, which usually only means trouble, lol.
I have several other questions, but can't think of them right now.
I am going to mount terminal strips under the dash for each engine + (off of ignition switch), a separate strip for gauge light +'s and 2 for each engine -. Keep the wiring nice and neat, easy to add on to (if necessary) and get rid of the wiring cancer under the dash.