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Testing Tachometer With Water Cooled Regulator/Rectifier, by Joe Reeves

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  • Testing Tachometer With Water Cooled Regulator/Rectifier, by Joe Reeves

    A quick check is to simply plug in a another new tachometer as a piece of test equipment. If the new tach works properly and the old tach didn't, obviously the old tach is faulty.... but usually boaters don't carry around a spare tach.

    A faulty rectifier wouldn't damage the tachometer, the tachometer simply wouldn't work. This is due to the fact that the tachometer operates off of the charging system and the rectifier converts AC voltage to DC voltage, enabling the charging system. A faulty rectifier disables the charging system, and the tachometer simply doesn't register.

    However.... those watercooled regulator/rectifiers that are used on the 35amp charging systems (and some others) bring into play a different type problem, and as you've probably found out, they are really a pain to troubleshoot via the proper procedure. There's an easier way.

    The tachometer sending/receiving setup operates off of the gray wire at the tachometer. That same gray wire exists at the engine wiring harness which is connected to the engine electrical terminal strip. You'll see that there is a gray wire leading from the regulator/rectifier to that terminal strip, and that there is another gray wire attached to it. That other gray wire is the wire leading to the tachometer which is the one you're looking for.

    Remove that gray wire that leads to the tachometer. Now, find the two (2) yellow wires leading from the stator to that terminal strip. Hopefully one of them is either yellow/gray or is connected to a yellow/gray wire at the terminal strip. If so, connect the gray wire you removed previously to that yellow/gray terminal. Start the engine and check the tachometers operation, and if the tachometer operates as it should, then the regulator/rectifier is faulty and will require replacing. If the tachometer is still faulty, replace the tachometer.

    If neither of the yellow wires from the stator is yellow/gray, and neither is attached to a yellow/gray wire, then attach that gray tachometer wire to either yellow stator wire, then the other yellow wire, checking the tachometer operation on both connections.

    I've found this method to be a quick and efficent way of finding out which component is faulty.... the tachometer or the regulator/rectifier. It sounds drawn out but really only takes a very short time to run through. If the water cooled regulator/rectifier proves to be faulty, don't put off replacing it as they have been known to catch on fire with disasterous consequences.

    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"